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Sail the "River of Kings" on a Chao Phraya River Cruise

It’s one thing to see Bangkok on foot, but seeing the "City of Angels" from the waters of its most prominent river is a different game altogether. Hopping on a Chao Phraya cruise lets you do all that and more. Sail past the golden hues of Bangkok’s centuries-old iconic landmarks like Wat Arun and Grand Palace, sip on unlimited beers, indulge in delicious meals, and watch the vibrant street culture come alive at the banks of the Chao Praya. It's Bangkok like you've never seen it before.

Read on to discover your best cruise options, prices, what to expect, and all you need to know to plan the smoothest Bangkok cruise experience.

Navigate your Chao Phraya River Cruise guide

  1. Why go on a Chao Praya river cruise?
  2. Things to know before booking your Chao Phraya river cruise
  3. Your Chao Phraya river cruise options
  4. Find your best Chao Phraya cruise match here
  5. Chao Phraya river cruise route map
  6. Smooth sailing starts here: Your guide to checking in & boarding your Chao Phraya river cruise
  7. Know before you go on a Chao Phraya river cruise
  8. Top landmarks to spot on your Chao Phraya river cruise

Things to know before booking your Chao Phraya river cruise

Unfamiliar with the Bangkok river cruise scene? Don't worry! Here are a few things to consider that’ll help you choose the perfect adventure for yourself:

  • Choosing between a sunset and dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River depends on your priorities. For a quick sightseeing experience and stunning sunsets at an affordable price, opt for a sunset cruise. For a full evening experience with dining and entertainment, choose a dinner cruise.

  • Deciding on your boarding point depends on your preferences beyond the cruise itself. Consider your pre or post-cruise plans - nightlife, history, or shopping - to pick the perfect pier. Rama 3 lets you enjoy the Rama VII bridge up close. For a historical ambiance, choose River City near Wat Pho. Craving nightlife? Head to Asiatique and luxurious shopping awaits at ICONSIAM.

  • There's a cruise for every budget. Budget sunset cruises start at ฿650. Families can enjoy mid-range options (฿899+) with buffets and entertainment. Celebrate special moments in style with luxurious cruises (฿1,400+) featuring fine dining.

  • Cruise meals cater to diverse preferences. Some cruises offer a variety of cuisines mostly ranging between Thai, international, Indian, or seafood options. Before booking check the menus of your cruise choice. Luxury cruises offer multi-course meals. If you're looking to sip your favorite tipple on board, choose a cruise with unlimited alcohol servings.

  • The best time to go on a cruise depends on what you'd want the highlight of your cruise to be. For unforgettable sunsets, choose sunset cruises between 5pm and 7pm. If you're looking for night views of Bangkok, Dinner cruises starting from 7pm onwards would be the best time to see the city light up. Choose weekdays if you want smaller crowds.

Your Chao Phraya river cruise options

Chao Phraya River Cruise
Chao Phraya River Cruise

Find your best Chao Phraya cruise match here

Experience
Type
Boarding point
Timings
Food & Drinks
Entertainment
Boat type
Book Tickets
Chao Phraya Princess Cruise Sunset
Sunset
Asiatique
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5pm to 6:30pm
International & seafood with unlimited beer
Live music
2 story
Chao Phraya Princess Cruise with Dinner & Live Music
Dinner
Asiatique & ICONSIAM
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7:30pm to 9:30pm
International, seafood & Indian
Live music
2 story
White Orchid River Cruise with Live Cabaret & Unlimited Beer
Sunset
Asiatique & ICONSIAM
Clock Icon
5pm to 6:45pm
International & Thai with unlimited beer
Live music & cabaret
3 story
White Orchid River Cruise with Live Cabaret & Unlimited Beer
Dinner
Asiatique & ICONSIAM
Clock Icon
7:45pm to 9:45pm
International & Thai with unlimited beer
Live music, Thai dance & cabaret
3 story
Wonderful Pearl Luxury Cruise with 5-Course Dinner & Thai Dance
Dinner
River City
Clock icon
7:30pm to 9:30pm
International & Thai 5 course set-meal
Live music & Thai dance
Luxury boat
Royal Princess Cruise with Unlimited Beer & Live Music
Sunset
Asiatique
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4:45pm to 6:45pm
International & seafood with unlimited beer
Live music
2 story
Royal Princess Cruise with Unlimited Beer & Live Music
Dinner
Asiatique
Clock Icon
7:30pm to 9:30pm
International & seafood with unlimited beer
Live music & Thai dance
2 story
Meridian Cruise
Sunset
ICONSIAM
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5pm to 6:45pm (Mon to Fri), 4:45pm to 6:30pm (Sat to Sun)
International & seafood
Live music
2 story
Meridian Cruise
Dinner
ICONSIAM
Clock Icon
7:45pm to 9:45pm
International & seafood
Live music
2 story
Viva Alangka Cruise with Dinner & Duo Musicians
Dinner
Asiatique & Rama 3
Clock Icon
7:45pm to 9:45pm
International & seafood
Live music
3 story
2-Hour Dinner Cruise with Live Entertainment & Unlimited Beer
Dinner
Asiatique
Clock Icon
7:15pm to 9:15pm
International, seafood, Thai & Indian with unlimited beer
Live music, Thai dance & cabaret
2 story
1.5-Hour Sunset Cruise with Buffet, Optional Live Cabaret & Unlimited Beer
Sunset
Asiatique & ICONSIAM
Clock Icon
5pm to 6:45pm (Mon to Fri), 4:45pm to 6:30pm (Sat to Sun)
International & seafood with unlimited beer
Live music & cabaret
2 story
Royal Galaxy Cruise
Dinner
Asiatique
Clock Icon
8pm to 10pm
International & seafood
Live music, Thai dance & Khon show
3 story
Chao Phraya Princess Cruise with Indian Dinner & Live Music
Dinner
Rama 3
Clock icon
7:30pm to 9:30pm
Indian
Live music
2 story
The Grand Chao Phraya Cruise with Buffet Dinner & Live Music
Dinner
Asiatique
Clock icon
7:15pm to 9:15pm
International, Thai & seafood
Live music & Thai dance
2 story
Saffron Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Soft Drinks
Dinner
ICONSIAM
Clock icon
6:45pm to 9:45pm
4-course dinner with unlimited soft drinks
Live music
Luxury boat
Manohra Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Soft Drinks
Dinner
Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort
Clock icon
8:30pm to 10:30pm
7-course Thai set dinner with unlimited soft drinks
N/A
Luxury boat

Chao Phraya river cruise route map

Chao Phraya River Cruise Route Map

Smooth sailing starts here: Your guide to checking in & boarding your Chao Phraya river cruise

Regardless of your choice of cruise, you’ll start your journey from either of these 4 piers. Each pier is conveniently located in city hotspots, making it easy for you to not just access your cruise but also get a flavor of the local culture.

Asiatique Pier

  • Famous for: Night markets, Ferris wheel, restaurants, bars, live music, entertainment options.
  • Closest BTS station: Saphan Taksin

ICONSIAM Pier

  • Famous for: Luxurious shopping mall, stunning riverside location, longest fountain in Southeast Asia, diverse dining options, cultural events.
  • Closest BTS station: Krung Thonburi

River City Pier

  • Famous for: Art galleries, antique shops, high-end restaurants, cultural exhibitions, panoramic views of the river.
  • Closest BTS station: Saphan Taksin

Rama 3 Pier

  • Famous for: Gateway to historical and cultural landmarks like Wat Arun and the Grand Palace, local markets, traditional Thai restaurants.
  • Closest BTS station: Klong Toei

5 easy steps to a smooth & stress-free boarding

  1. Arrive prepared: Find your check-in point (detailed on your voucher) and have it handy. No need to print it, just show it on your phone!
  2. Find your gate: Ask the friendly staff for your assigned pier/gate. They'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
  3. Collect your boarding pass: Don't forget to get your boarding pass - it's your key to unlocking river adventures!
  4. Explore away: Got extra time? Grab a refreshing drink or explore the area before boarding.
  5. Boarding begins: All aboard! Keep your ears peeled for the staff raising signs – your cue to board the vessel. Find your designated seat and get ready to set sail on your Chao Phraya adventure!

Know before you go on a Chao Phraya river cruise

Timings
Best time to go on a cruise
Getting there
Food & Drink options
Facilities
Rules & regulations
Visitor tips
Chao Phraya River Cruise
Chao Phraya River Cruise
Chao Phraya River Cruise
Asiatique Pier
  • Bus: Take bus #45 directly to Asiatique The Riverfront.
  • Free ferry (limited hours): Enjoy the free shuttle ferry from Sathorn Pier starting at 4:30 pm.
  • More frequent options: Opt for the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat or Chao Phraya River Express for flexible timings.
ICONSIAM Pier
  • Bus: Choose bus #15 or #505 from Saphan Taksin Station for a direct connection to ICONSIAM.
  • Shuttle: Take the convenient free shuttle boat from Sathorn Pier.
River City Pier
  • Bus: Consider buses #1, #81, or #505 from Saphan Taksin Station, depending on your preferred route and connection to ferry services.
  • Walking: Enjoy a scenic 10-15 minute walk south along Charoen Nakhon Road from Saphan Taksin Station (Exit 3).
  • Taxi: Grab a taxi for around 50 THB for a direct ride.
  • Ferry: Take the orange Chao Phraya Express boat (40 THB) from Sathorn Pier to Si Phraya Pier, then walk 5 minutes
Rama 3 Pier
  • Bus: Take bus #205 from Wongwian Yai Station to the "Rama III Soi 51" stop, then walk briefly to the pier.
  • Walking: Enjoy a scenic 15-minute walk south along Rama III Road from Wongwian Yai Station (Exit 2).
  • Taxi: Grab a taxi for around 50 THB for a direct ride to the pier.
Chao Phraya River Cruise

All Chao Phraya dinner cruises and sunset cruises come with either buffet options or a multi-course set menu. While menus are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, here are a few links to help you understand what to expect:

Chao Phraya River Cruise
  • Restrooms: Available on all boats, usually clean and well-maintained.
  • Life jackets: Provided for safety and readily accessible.
  • First-aid kit: Available in case of minor emergencies.
  • Buffet area (for buffet cruises): Offering a variety of Thai and international dishes.
  • Seating arrangements: Tables and chairs for comfortable dining or lounging.
  • Bar(s): Serving drinks like soft drinks, juices, alcoholic beverages, and cocktails
  • Open decks: Enjoy the fresh air, river views, and city skyline.
  • Live music (on some cruises): Enhancing the ambiance and creating a festive atmosphere.
  • Traditional Thai dance performances (on some cruises): Immerse yourself in local culture.
  • Air conditioning: Providing comfort on hotter days.
Chao Phraya River Cruise
  • Arrive early: Most cruises require passengers to arrive at the pier at least 1 hour before departure to allow for check-in.
  • Boarding procedures: Follow the instructions provided by the crew members for boarding the cruise.
  • Smart casual attire: While there is usually no strict dress code, opting for smart casual attire is generally recommended.
  • Dietary restrictions: If you have any dietary restrictions, be sure to inform the cruise operator in advance so they can make the necessary arrangements.
  • Outside food and drinks: Bringing outside food and drinks is not allowed on board.
  • Designated smoking areas: Smoking is typically prohibited on decks and inside the boats. Look for designated smoking areas if you need to smoke.
  • Limited storage space: Most cruises have limited storage space for luggage, so pack only essentials. Large suitcases or backpacks might not be allowed.
  • Respectful conduct: This includes avoiding loud noises, disruptive behavior, and any actions that could endanger yourself or others.
Chao Phraya River Cruise
  • Capture the golden hour: For stunning worthy for the ‘gram photos, go for sunset cruises, when the sky explodes with vibrant colors.
  • Embrace reflections: Utilize the water's surface for unique mirror images of temples and landmarks.
  • Try local specialties: Sample unique Thai dishes near the pier points for the best views and food. Try pad thai, tom yum soup, or mango sticky rice for an authentic culinary experience.
  • Spice it up (or down): Inform the staff about your spice preference. They can adjust dishes or provide condiments to suit your taste.
  • Save room for dessert: Don't miss out on delicious Thai desserts like mango sticky rice or coconut ice cream.
  • Learn a few Thai phrases: Basic greetings like "Sawasdee" (hello) and "Kop khun krap/ka" (thank you) go a long way.
  • Observe local customs: Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or sacred sites along the riverbanks.
  • Support local vendors: Purchase souvenirs from small stalls on the piers or during brief stops at local markets.

Top landmarks to spot on your Chao Phraya river cruise

Wat Kanlaya, Bangkok

Wat Kanlaya

A charming riverside temple known for its peaceful atmosphere and intricate wood carvings. Take a moment to appreciate the delicate details of the ubosoth (main ordination hall) and the surrounding gardens.

Wat Arun temple in Bangkok

Wat Arun

The "Temple of Dawn" boasts a stunning prang (Khmer-style tower) adorned with colorful ceramics. Be sure to admire the intricate porcelain details. 

Wat Pho temple

Wat Pho

Home to the iconic Reclining Buddha statue, this temple complex also houses traditional medicine schools and massage clinics. Don't miss the chance to experience a traditional Thai massage in a serene atmosphere after your cruise.

Rama VIII Bridge

Rama VIII Bridge

A majestic cable-stayed bridge offering views of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok skyline. Capture photos from the observation deck or simply admire the well-engineered structure as you sail under it.

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace

The former royal residence, now a museum showcasing Thai cultural treasures. Did you know the Emerald Buddha within the Grand Palace is carved from a single massive block of jade and is considered Thailand's most sacred statue?

Thammasat University

Thammasat University

This riverside campus features a blend of Thai and Western architectural styles. The prestigious Thammasat University is known for its iconic "Democracy Monument," a symbol of the fight for democracy in Thailand. 

Ratings & Reviews

Frequently asked questions about Chao Phraya River Cruises

What are the different types of Chao Phraya river cruises?

Chao Phraya cruises come in various options, mainly categorized by time of day. Sunset cruises let you enjoy fiery skies and iconic landmarks for shorter durations (around 1.5 hours) with snacks and light meals. While dinner cruises let you savor multi-course meals with vibrant city lights and live entertainment for a complete evening experience (around 2 hours).

What are the best times to go on a Chao Phraya river cruise?

The best time of day to go on a cruise would be either at sunset (5 PM to 7 PM) for breathtaking hues and fewer crowds or at night, after 7 PM for twinkling city lights, lively vibes, and dinner. The best season would be the dry season (Nov-April) offers clear skies and pleasant weather, but expect crowds. Shoulder seasons (May-June, Sept-Oct) provide a balance. Rainy season (July-Aug) has lower prices but potential disruptions.

What can I see on a Chao Phraya river cruise?

Besides famous Bangkok landmarks like the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Rama VIII Bridge, and Wat Pho you’ll also get a glimpse of the cityscape and culture, charming riverside neighborhoods, royal barges, temples, and local life.

How long are typical Chao Phraya river cruises?

The duration varies depending on the type of cruise you choose. Sunset cruises last around 1.5 hours, perfect for capturing the golden hour and city lights. Dinner cruises typically last 2 hours, offering a full dining experience with stunning night views.

Which pier should I choose for my Chao Phraya river cruise?

Consider Asiatique for post-cruise nightlife buzz, ICONSIAM for pre-cruise luxury shopping and dining, River City for history buffs near antique stores, and Wat Pho, Rama 3 for stunning bridge views and easy Wat Arun access. All piers are conveniently accessible by public transport! Ultimately, pick the one that aligns with your interests - nightlife, luxury, history, or sights.

What kind of food and drinks are offered on Chao Phraya river cruises?

Sunset cruises offer international platters, seafood options, and sometimes unlimited beer. Dinner cruises offer buffets (international, Thai, seafood, Indian) or set menus with fine dining options on luxury cruises. Some cruises offer unlimited beer, birthday cakes, and refreshments like tea, coffee, or welcome drinks

What facilities are available on Chao Phraya river cruises?

Restrooms, life jackets, first-aid kits, buffet areas (on buffet cruises), seating, bars, open decks, live music (on some), dance performances (on some), and air conditioning are some facilities available on Bangkok River cruises.

How much do Chao Phraya river cruises cost?

Cruise prices vary depending on the type, duration, and inclusions like food, drinks, entertainment, and your chosen pier. Budget-conscious travelers can enjoy stunning sunset cruises from ฿650, while mid-range options like dinner cruises with buffets start at ฿880. Craving luxury? Fine dining experiences with live music await from ฿1,400.

What are some popular Chao Phraya river cruise options?

Popular choices include the Chao Phraya Princess Cruise, White Orchid River Cruise, Royal Princess Cruise, Meridian Cruise, Wonderful Pearl Cruise, and Sirimahannop Dinner Cruise.

Are Chao Phraya river cruises suitable for children?

Yes, all cruises are family-friendly and offer child-friendly options like buffets with kid-friendly dishes.

Is there any dress code for Chao Phraya river cruises?

While there's no strict dress code, smart casual attire is generally recommended. For luxury cruises, you might consider slightly dressier options.

Can I bring luggage on a Chao Phraya river cruise?

Most cruises have limited luggage storage space, so pack only essentials. Large suitcases or backpacks might not be allowed. Consider leaving unnecessary luggage at your hotel or using luggage storage services.

Are there any accessibility considerations for Chao Phraya river cruises?

Most cruises are accessible to people with disabilities. However, it's always best to check beforehand to ensure your needs can be accommodated.