Bangkok is a city of many wonders, from its towering Buddhist temples to bustling markets. These streets are always a full-on sensory overload, but that’s exactly what makes it such a luxurious destination to travel – the intense and exciting collection of sights, smells and sounds that makes Krungthep(as it’s called in Thai) what it is, and fuels nicknames like the Big Mango and the City of Angels.
For travelers, the city is a lot of fun to explore, but also totally overwhelming. What should you see and do on just a limited timeframe? Here is one of activities that you can’t miss while visit Bangkok.
“The River of Kings” as King Rama I named it, tells a lot about the history of Bangkok and its development into the swarming metropolis we know it as today. Chao Phraya is like the life vein of Bangkok, connecting all kinds of destinations with just a ferry ride: luxury hotels, temples (like Wat Arun, for example), or the trendy bar street of Phra Arthit road. Thousands of people use the ferry as a mode of public transportation every day, but tourists can also rent a long-tail boat or attend a river or boat cruise for a more intimate and convenient Chao Phraya experience.
Saffron Cruise The 38 metre-long vessel features a show-kitchen restaurant and bar on the open-air main deck for alfresco daytime and evening dining, with air conditioning available when conditions require.
The rooftop Moon Deck features a stool-sit bar and lounge plus a scenic Sky Bridge for viewing the river’s gently rippling waters and spectacular sunsets. Authentic Thai dishes that are masterfully prepared and creatively presented come from the kitchens of Banyan Tree’s celebrated signature Thai restaurant Saffron. For more info tel: 02 679 1200
Pruek – The private cruise built almost entirely out of teak wood − highly prized for its durability and exquisite wood pattern. The cruise features decorated in the classic English style, with playful interior design flourishes and soft furnishings for an opulent, East-meets-West aesthetic.
The journey begins at the horseshoe-shaped, marble-topped Champagne bar, stocked exclusively by Piper-Heidsieck. As you sip your drink, make your way across the first floor, which opens up into a luxurious lounge room — air-conditioned, of course — with wall-to-wall glass windows for stunning panoramic views.
Supanniga Cruiseis a 40-seat dinner cruise, highly rated by locals and international visitors. Traditional materials such as Mudmee silk, terracotta, weaving wooden beater and krabom (utensil used for cooking sticky rice) are used in a contemporary fashion, resulting in a visual presence that is unique to Supanniga’s Cruise.
For dinners who book Champagne Taittinger Dinner, you will receive a glass of Taittinger Champagne upon arrival. Supanniga Eating Room’s most popular dishes have been carefully selected to enhance the cruise experience. Read more
Fun on the Water with an overnight cruise
Anantara Cruiseis the river-borne equivalent to the Eastern & Oriental Express, the overnight luxury rice barge journeys from Bangkok to Ayuthaya the former capital of Siam. Below deck she has well-appointed suite-par cabins each with a queen sized bed and a compact ensuite bathroom. On deck there is an expansive salon and dining area with bar, plus an ample sun deck forward with loungers; offering a great view of the river life as the boat plies the majestic Chao Phraya.
The refurbished rice barge features Teak, Padua and Mahogany woods throughout, custom-designed furniture complimented with luxurious Thai silks and cottons, oriental rugs decorated with Thai and Southeast Asian art, sculpture and artefacts.
Departing from Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa the tour began on the west bank of the river in Thonburi, at one of Bangkok’s best known landmarks, the Temple of Dawn, the vessel then charted a northward course, stopping at the Royal Barges Museum and then passing the island of Koh Kret in Nonthaburi Province. A delightful lunch was served on deck followed by a decadent English Afternoon Tea complete with scones, strawberry jam and cream.
We moored overnight at Wat Samakkeeyaran and a formal Thai dinner was served on white linen as we watched the beautiful sunset over the horizon. After a comfortable night’s sleep we were served a Champagne breakfast and Mediterranean lunch before arriving at the World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya where we spent the afternoon engaging in an enthralling Ayutthaya tour in the company of an expert guide, marvelling at the ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
It is an amazing experience that takes you on a journey back in time.
Asian Oasis offers a variety of fabulous private charter experiences throughout Thailand, from sailing into Ayutthaya to secluded courses wrapping around the Andaman. The Luang Say Cruise is a bespoke river barge cruise that starts in Chiang Rai, and sails along long scenic stretches of the Mekong River into Laos. There’s no better way to traverse these famous waters than in ultimate luxury and comfort. Along the way discover riverside hill tribe villages, untouched jungle, caves and a lot more.
Thailand’s Classic Barges
In Bangkok, a city jam-packed with luxury accommodation, this is indeed the most unique of all offerings: The Montha, an elegant and stylish traditional river barge. Crafted almost completely from golden teak and mahogany, the boat features a colonial-style dining room on the upper deck and a prestigious overnight suite with hand carvings depicting Thai history. The Montha sets sail from Bangkok and continues on northwards, stopping at charming Thai fishing villages, continuing all the way to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. www.classic-barges.com