Chao Phraya Cruises

Top sights along the Chao Phraya River

Scenic sights await you on your Chao Phraya River Cruise

If taking in iconic historical landmarks while eating delicious food is something that floats your boat (pun intended), the Chao Phraya River Cruise is the one for you. 

Cruise down the lifeblood of Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River, and catch a glimpse of  Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, Rama VIII Bridge, and other iconic landmarks in Bangkok in just one evening. 

With gorgeous sunsets, twinkling skyscrapers, and the beauty of Bangkok with delicious food and live music, the Chao Phraya Cruise is more than just a sightseeing tour, it's an experience.

Read on to find out the top sights to watch out for during your Chao Phraya River Cruise and some lesser-known gems to keep an eye out for.

Book Chao Phraya River Cruise tickets

Chao Phraya Princess Cruise with Dinner & Live Music
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 hr. 30 min. - 2 hr.
Meals Included
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White Orchid River Cruise with Live Cabaret, International Buffet Dinner & Unlimited Beer
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 hr. 45 min. - 2 hr.
Meals Included
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Wonderful Pearl Luxury Cruise with 5-Course Dinner & Thai Dance
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
2 hr.
Meals Included
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Royal Galaxy Cruise with International Buffet Dinner
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Mobile Ticket
2 hr.
Meals Included
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Top sights along the Chao Phraya River

The Grande Palace, Bangkok

Grand Palace

Once inhabited by the Thai royal family, the Grand Palace will dazzle you with its intricate architecture and glowing spires that stand tall.
Fun fact: The grand palace covers an area of 2.4 million square feet (22 hectares). This means it can fit nearly 34 football fields in it!

Wat Arun temple on the banks of Chao Phraya River

Wat Arun

Wat Arun, with its spire that glows against the dark sky, is hard to miss from your cruise boat on the Chao Phraya River.
Fun fact: The shimmering facades are created with colorful porcelain shards and seashells that were leftover ballast from ships trading with China.

Monks walking in Wat Pho Temple

Wat Pho

Situated next to Wat Arun, Wat Pho houses a giant reclining Buddha statue that is 46 meters long, and covered in gold leaves. 

Fun fact: It is believed that Wat Pho is older than Bangkok city. Records show that it was first built in the 16th century.

Wat Prayuwan

This temple is particularly famous for its collection of Buddha statues brought back from various locations in Southeast Asia.

Fun fact:  Wat Prayuwan is sometimes called the "hidden gem" of Bangkok because it's less crowded than other major temples.

Viharn of the old Buddhist temple, Wat Kanlayanamit

Wat Kanlaya

Wat Kanlaya is known for its principal Buddha statue, sculpted in a sitting posture with eyes half-closed and is 45 feet high. 

Fun fact: Wat Kanlaya has a turtle pond and you can feed the them when visiting.

Rama VIII bridge, Bangkok, Thailand

Rama VIII Bridge

The Rama VIII Bridge, as it rises above the historic temples and traditional houses, is hard to miss. 

Fun fact: The bridge's official name is the Phra Pinklao Bridge, named after King Pinklao (Rama VIII).

Aerial view of Iconsiam building in downtown Bangkok, Thailand


Depending on the cruise you choose, you will board your cruise ship either at Icon Siam or Asiatique. Whether you're a shopaholic, a foodie, or simply looking for a fun day out, Iconsiam has something to offer everyone.

Fun fact: Iconsiam has the longest water fountain in Southeast Asia, stretching over 400 meters along the Chao Phraya River.

Thammasat University, Tha Pachan campus view from Chao Phraya River.

Thammasat University

Located on the banks of Chao Phraya River and surrounded by the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the National Museum Bangkok, Thammasat University is the second oldest university in Thailand. 

Fun fact: The campus of Thammasat University was featured in the 1997 James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies."

The interior of Lhong 1919, Bangkok, Thailand

Lhong 1919

Lhong 1919 is a shopping paradise along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. You can also immerse yourself in traditional Thai dance shows, learn about local crafts, or participate in art workshops.

Fun fact: The name "Lhong 1919" refers to the year the area on the Chao Phraya River was officially designated as a port.

Lesser-known gems along the Chao Phraya River

Thai-style traditional wooden house

Traditional Thai life
Keep an eye out for traditional Thai houses on stilts lining the riverbanks that will give a glimpse into the local way of life.

Local street market

Bustling markets
You might pass by vibrant riverside markets, bustling with activity and offering a taste of local Thai culture.

Chao Phraya River with Skyscrapers and Sathon Pier with Boats at Sunset

Working ferries
You can also catch a glimpse of the working ferries along the Chao Phraya River. They are a testament to the vital role the Chao Phraya plays in Bangkok's transportation network.

Visitor tips

  • If you are looking for a quick and budget-friendly sightseeing tour that will give you some Instagram-worthy shots of the sunset, you can opt for the Sunset Cruise. On the other hand, if time is no bar and you are looking for a relaxing evening with a delicious multi-course meal, the Dinner Cruise is the best option. 
  • Are you a movie buff? Keep your eyes peeled for Thammasat University, which was featured in the 1971 James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies. 
  • Your cruise and boarding point depends on likes and your pre and post-cruise itinerary. If you are looking for some retail therapy, opt for cruises that will pick you up at Asiatique or Icon Siam so you can get some shopping done. 
  • If you want to tick as many cultural landmarks as possible, be sure to add Wat Phra Kaew to your itinerary. If you are lucky, you might be able to spot in on the grounds of the Grand Palace. 
  • Taking a cruise is the best way to see Rama VIII light up the sky and catch the water twinkling. It's also the best way to get up close and enjoy the best views. Some cruises take you close to different bridges so have a variety of options to choose from.

Frequently asked questions about Chao Phraya Cruise's top sights

What famous landmarks will I see on the cruise?

Most cruises will take you past the Grand Palace, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). You might also see other significant temples and historical buildings like the Thamasset University along the river.

When is the best time to see Bangkok’s landmarks in all their beauty?

There is no best time to go on the cruise. The Sunset Cruise provides picturesque views of the sun setting and the temples and architectural winders set against this backdrop. 

If I want to see the Rama VIII Bridge, which cruise should I book?

While most of the cruises give you a glimpse of the Rama VIII Bridge, if you want to get close to the bridge and see it in all its splendor twinkling in the night, the Viva Alangka Cruise with Dinner & Duo Musicians from the Rama 3 pier is the cruise to choose.

Can I see the Wat Arun up close?

Absolutely! The Chao Phraya cruises will take you close to the Wat Arun and Wat Pho temples. You can easily spot the Phra Prang Wat Arun and its four satellite prangs that have colorful porcelain decorative pieces.

What are some major shopping destinations I can visit before my cruise?

You can visit the ICONSIAM or the Asiatique if you are looking for a luxurious shopping experience. These shopping centers also happen to be boarding points for the Chao Phraya River Cruises.

Are there any floating markets visible from the cruise?

Absolutely! The Chao Phraya River is home to several floating markets. Some cruises might even offer specific routes that pass by these markets, so you can see the colorful boats and bustling atmosphere of this unique shopping experience.

What else can I do around the Chao Phraya River other than the cruise?

The Chao Phraya River offers more than just cruises. At night, enjoy the vibrant riverfront nightlife, or explore the shops, restaurants, and entertainment options at Asiatique The Riverfront.