Ranked 3 of 89 sightseeing in Bangkok

The Chao Phraya River is the lifeblood of Thailand’s capital city and has been the pumping heart of the Kingdom through all its highs and lows. All the capital cities of the Kingdom have been located on the banks of this serene river and its importance can never be understated.


The riverbank was chosen by the initial settlers for its fertile alluvial plains and the settlement grew with the growth of the Kingdom. Later on, as the old capital city of Ayutthaya was demolished by Burmese invaders, King Taskin moved his capital down south, to the western banks of the river. This city was known as Thonburi, and it remained the capital of the Kingdom of Siam for a long time. In 1782, the then-monarch King Rama I found the other side to be better suited as a capital city and chose to move his headquarters to the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya. Thus, he founded the city of Bangkok and built some of the most stunning aesthetic marvels in his new capital city. All the while, the river has remained true to its purpose - the heart that keeps the Kingdom of Thailand ticking.

Reason to Visit

The Chao Phraya River has been one of the best spots in the Far East for longer than one can imagine. Western authors such as William Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad and Noel Coward have all chosen the Chao Phraya among their favourite places in the world. The river is a testament to how the city has transformed - its banks are adorned with ancient temples sitting beside soaring condominiums and hotels. To capture the real essence of Thailand, a visit to the river is a must - it is a harmonious juxtaposition of chaos and peace, the ugly and sublime and the ancient and the modern.


When to visit

There are five passenger boats that travel up and down the 21-kilometre stretch near Bangkok - they start at 6 am and service ends only after 7 pm. Only one of the boats runs all day, while the others run only during rush-hour timings. The boats usually have a flat fee of 15 Baht (INR 30) for any length of travel. Other options to explore the river include “tourist boats”, which cost a fee of INR 300 for trips to nine of the most prominent piers in the city. This is a great way to do some local sightseeing, as they help you get your bearings over the places to visit near each pier. The more expensive options are a river cruise or a dinner cruise, but the experience is worth the money.

Where to Eat

The riverside is crowded with quality restaurants, so finding a good place to eat is a difficult task. For those in the mood for some exotic European cuisine, La Grande Perle offers some of the best French dishes in the capital. For an eagle eye view of the city, visitors should opt for the ThreeSixty Lounge, which is about 300 metres from the Chao Phraya River.  

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Lovely view of the river

Lovely view of the river  Video Review

Chao Phraya River

Mithun Nandi
6th Mar 17

What travellers are saying about Chao Phraya River

Experience scale
  • Excellent 2
  • Average 1
  • Very Good 1
  • Terrible 0
  • Poor 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Good 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time: During DayLength of visit: 2-3hrs
  • Length of visit: 2-3hrsBest Time: During Sunset
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchaseFood available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilitiesBathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowedCamera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowedWearing of shoes/footwear allowed

Timing, fees and more


Operating hours

Open All Day
Open All Day
Open All Day
Open All Day
Open All Day
Open All Day
Open All Day

Entry Fee

Free/not applicable
Free/not applicable

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Reviews and Ratings

Gaurav  Verma

Gaurav Verma4.6/5

68 reviews

Witness best Romantic Experience in Bangkok

If you are looking for a different and unique romantic experience in Bangkok, this is the place to be Cruise duration is about 2 hours (from 7:15 PM to 9:15 PM). Enjoy the rock Indian music and amazing Indian dinner on Cruise. Charge is around 1400 Bhat.

Shamili Sur

Shamili Sur2.9/5

77 reviews

Economical and fun way to explore Bangkok

The river boat is an excellent water taxi in Bangkok. You can go from one end of the city to the other cheaply and quicker than most local transportation.

Kiran ganesh

Kiran ganesh4.3/5

4 reviews

Not to be missed

As a frequent flyer tourist to Thailand with friends or family, I never miss this soothing, relaxing & mind blowing entertainment option in Bangkok city.Chao phraya River cruise starts at dusk, where thousands of tourists from all over the world will be flocking in the designated area where the cruises start. There are small chartered boats & different cruise ships available for departures batch by batch in different timings. I always opt for 2 hours cruise with dinner, cocktails & live music.The cruise takes about 2 hours & sails in chao phraya river showing us majestic look of fabulously lit up modern city, old city, vat arun, other grand temples & passes under Rama vI bridge, which is worth watching at night, then the ship turns back & travels to the starting point. By this time the entertainment inside the cruise will be heated up with lavish spread of mouth watering, Thai, chinese, indian & European menu with optional cocktail service also. The lady singer with a good band plays hit numbers ap per the choice of the tourists present there. So over all its fun & frolic till late night & then we will have to return to our hotels by midnight.

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Navneet Sinha

Navneet Sinha5.0/5

86 reviews

A must try River Cruise

While in Bangkok one must try this Cruise. It is all together a different experience. It has an upper Deck and a Lower Deck where live music is played with candle light Dinner and a Bar. The singers are trained to sing in all popular languages. Imagine in Bangkok, while having Candle light dinner and listening to "Kajrare Kajrare". Awesome, one must try.

Dr ganesan R

Dr ganesan R4.6/5

17 reviews

A good ride

We orthopedic surgeons from all over India on a academic Ortho conference went on a river cruise. It was a pleasant ride and had a good time. We all enjoyed it a lot and took almost 3 hours to reach.

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Photos of Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Photo by

Gaurav Verma

Chao Phraya River, Bangkok
Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Photo by

Gaurav Verma

Chao Phraya River, Bangkok
Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Photo by

Thejasvi Bhat

Chao Phraya River, Bangkok
Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Photo by

Thejasvi Bhat

Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

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