Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bangkok - The Grand Chaophraya Cruise

Cruise date: 29th May 2013

Despite a challenging task to complete the last day itinerary in Bangkok, coupled with time struggling from a hectic day after a floating market experiences, a photo with the reclining Buddha and a rushed shopping at MBK Mall, we managed to get back to the hotel to freshened up, performed obligatory prayer and get down to the hotel lobby just in time for the travel agent to send us for dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. The booking was decided at a last minute before we toured inside Wat Pho.

The travel agent apparently had booked our dinner with the luxury 5 star company called The Grand Chaophraya Cruise at a rate of THB1,500/pax. Those who wishes to directly arrange can visit the cruise company directly, as shared herewith  "The cruise website", it might be cheaper. We arrived at the River City Pier right before dawn, at about 6.30pm. There's already crowd at the spot where we supposed to wait.

On the way to MBK Mall earlier, we almost cancelling the cruise as we thought it will be very stressful to finish our shopping list and the sudden plan (not in original itinerary) to go to Asiatique, a new shopping area built similar to Bangkok most famous weekend market, Chatuchak. Asiatique is located at the same compound with Bangkok's Eye (seen from the last photo of this entry). However, the travel agent informed that booking has been made, and it's not possible to cancel at a last minute. Hence, we had to rush our lunch and shopping like mad.

In the end, we do enjoy a romantic candle light dinner cruise very much. The Chaophraya River was the origin of Thai civilization that passed down a long lasting history well known to all until today. It was the memory of the blood vessel that runs through the heart of the Thai Kingdom. It was an enticing experience with Thai Kingdom history imprinted on the both sides of the river of the Chaophraya, known as "The River of Reign".

The scenery at the River City deck was really awesome. While waiting for the ship to arrive, we were able to do some more shopping as the deck is attached to the River City shopping mall beside taking photos. Anne bought a beautiful cotton bag for her and her mother, I regret that I did not had 1 for myself as it was very cheap, THB350 each. Sigh.

We boarded on the upper deck at around 7.30pm. Beautiful Thai dancers greeted us. As soon as everyone seated, the dancer was performing a traditional Thai dance which can be seen on the first photo shared in this entry. We were fortunate as our table for 2 was adjacent to a performer stage and not far from the buffet table.  The night was just perfect for the 2 of us.

The dinner includes a wide selection of dishes ranging from Thai styled to international foods, appetizers to main dishes to deserts served in a buffet fashion. While enjoying the dinner, the saxophonists and singers performing range of Pop and Jazz songs throughout the journey. 

Candle light dinner with Anne :)

Besides, we had a great opportunity to take snapshots of the scenery, famous historical structures and religious monasteries such as the Royal Grand Palace Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun (The Temple of the Dawn), Bangkhunprom Palace, Kanlayanamitr Temple and the Rama 8 Bridge along both sides of the river bank. Let's just enjoy some of the photos that I snapped that night.

Grand Palace night view

Wat Arun at night-My family & I was there during a day time in 1995

The suspension Rama VIII Bridge 
The singer in below photo sang a Korean and Mandarin song, much to our liking beside Thai and English song. There's another lady singer who sang my favourite Chinese song of Theresa Cheng "The Moon Reflects My Heart". At the end of their performance they played a rhythmic songs suited to get the passengers to get up and dance. I was really enjoying everything that night.

I'm sharing here the last few photo of the performers before saying goodbye and goodnight at almost 9.45pm. The saxophonist in white shirt is very talented himself, he played Michael Bolton's song so well. I'm really impressed with his talent.

Soon after, we immediately get a taxi to Asiatique which seated at about 20minutes drive from the River City. What we saw inside the very big shopping area was something that we regret for not taking seriously the advised offered by Jim Thompson sales assistant that we should shop in this place as it has everything that we might need. True indeed. For those who is visiting please follow the locals recommendation, visit Asiatique as soon as you landed in Bangkok. You may read about the place in here, Bangkok's Magazine.

We had unpleasant experienced thereafter but lucky that both Anne and I did not burst out our temperant, rather, we chose to stay quite, play Candy Crush and did some positive thinking. After an exhausted night, we reached hotel at almost midnight.

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