I just returned from an incredible week in Bangkok. I was there for the first annual TBEX Asia conference (next year it will be in the Philippines). While we were there, the good folks from Anantara Hotels (I’ve stayed at their incredible properties many times including at Qasr Al Sarab, in Chiang Rai, and near Angkor Wat, just to name a few) invited me and a handful of travel bloggers to go on one of their incredible dinner cruises.
This was my third dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River and I absolutely loved it. It’s so relaxing, the food is good and the sights are surreal. The Chao Phraya River is nothing special during the day but it’s magical at night when all of the temples and churches lining its banks are lit up.
A number of companies offer these cruises, but Anantara’s Manohra Cruises are top notch. Their boats are restored wooden rice barges, so the experience really channels feelings of old world splendor. Reservations are a must as each boat can only accommodate a couple dozen passengers. The boats depart at 7:30 pm sharp from Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort and the cruise lasts for two hours.
They serve a multi-course meal of fine Thai cuisine, which consists mainly of seafood (if you don’t eat seafood, just let them know in advance). The Silver set menu features:
- Miang kam — Assortment of fresh herbs and spices wrapped in wild betel leaves and topped with sweet tamarind sauces
- Goong yang ta-krai — Grilled lemongrass marinated prawns skewer, served with chili sauce
- Yam som-o hoy shell — Pomelo salad with grilled US scallops
- Tom yum goong — Tiger prawn soup with Thai herbs and fresh lime juice
- Massaman nong gai — Slowly cooked chicken drumsticks in Massaman curry with sweet potatoes and shallots
- Pla tord gra-tiam — Deep fried sea bass with garlic and pepper sauce
- Khao song see — Steamed Jasmine rice and organic brown rice
- Khao niew mamuang — Mango and sticky rice with coconut sauce and sesame
FYI: If you’re staying in the middle of the city and there’s bad traffic as there usually is in Bangkok, then take the BTS/SkyTrain. Get off at Saphan Taksin station, stay to the left and then jump on the complimentary shuttle boat to the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort that leaves every 30 minutes on the hour. If you get there early, which you should, have drinks at the hotel’s outdoor bar before starting your cruise.
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