Bangkok Riverside Guide – Exploring the Best of the Thai Capital’s Riverside Highlights

Often compared to the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris, Bangkok’s River of Kings is an equally important waterway that is not only home to some of the country’s best cultural highlights but retail hubs as well.

Image of resort

Image Credit: Anantara Cruises

Cruise Around

The best way to discover what lies on either side of the banks of this iconic river is on a Chao Phraya cruise offered by a host of tour organizers including Anantara Cruises among others. A daytime or a nighttime cruise can offer visitors a unique glimpse of all the highlights located on the shores of the river although one should ideally select a cruise which allows one to hop on and hop off while exploring attractions along the way.

Cultural Highlights

The Grand Palace is among the most popular points of interest located on the riverside and a tour of this royal residence is a must not only because it is the home of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, but also known as Wat Phra Kaew. Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn and Wat Pho are all also found on the banks of the river and are exquisite examples of Thai architecture.

Image Credit: Anantara Cruises


The Bangkok Riverside is also a popular shopping area in the city and those who are in search of tasteful souvenirs and consumer wares the lies of apparel, accessories and handbags will also find the malls and shopping centres occupying the riverside offer a host of exciting options.

Malls & Markets

Asiatique: The Riverfront is arguably the best-known retail hotspot in the area although the Chao Phraya Tower Shopping Arcade and the River City are equally large-scale shopping centres. Don’t forget to pop by Bangkok’s famous floating markets which are also located along the channels of the Chao Praya River. The boat retailers at the venue sell everything from fresh fruits and vegetable to bowls of piping hot noodles in this very unusual marketplace.

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Attractions Along the Chao Phraya River – See Them All

A trip to Bangkok is incomplete without an excursion in Chao Phraya River. The banks of the river are loaded with remarkable attractions and here’s a few.

Holy Rosary Church

Also known as Wat Kalawan in Thai, this is a Roman Catholic Church built by Portuguese seafarers in the 1780s. The premises are open for public viewing from 08:00am to 07.00pm from Monday to Saturday, and 08:00am to 12:00pm on Sundays.

Temple Of Dawn (Wat Arun)

This is a majestic, golden temple towered in the bank of the river and is a major attraction covered by most cruise packages such as Anantara Cruises. It is located on the other side of the river from Wat Pho, so you will have to take the cross-river ferry.

Asiatique The Riverfront

This is a new addition to the riverfront glory in Chao Phraya and is a stunning sight you will see under the night sky when on any Chao Phraya cruise. Asiatique The Riverfront is a shopping complex with a magnificent sky wheel and is a short taxi drive away from Saphan Taksin BTS station.

This is a very busy area stocked with basically everything and a very vibrant flower market. Chinatown is perfect to go street shopping, explore the various flavours of street food or to simply stroll around for a good time.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.


Exploring Bangkok on a Cruise – A Journey Along the River of Kings

Anantara Dream - Evening view

“Anantara Dream” – Evening view | Anantara Cruises

Although it is known as Chao Phraya on maps, the River of Kings in Bangkok is essentially the lifeline of the city. Surfacing at Nakhon Sawan, the river flows through long and arduous 360km before meeting the sea at the Gulf of Thailand. The dubbed name of the river is attributed to history, when it was among the busiest waterways in all of Asia, as it flows through Ayutthaya. While a Chao Phraya cruise today will not show you barges of gold and treasure, it will show you a treasure of different type – history and culture.

There are many places you can – and will – stop at along the river, depending on the duration of the tour. While it is not unheard of for people to take a cruise of one day, it would require at least three days to properly experience what the River of Kings has to offer. There are cruises available at different ranges. You have small canoes that will offer you a “cruise down the river”, as well as converted rice barges like the one from Anantara Cruises, Thailand that will offer you a luxurious experience. Depending on your budget and interests, you can decide which you want to go with.

Whatever the level of comfort you choose to indulge in, there are key attractions along the way that you must not miss. The Temple of Dawn on the West bank of the river is one of them. Other temples that you can visit are Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Panacherng, and Wat Mahathat. Apart from places of worship, there are two other key attractions not to miss: Bang Pa In, the royal palace that dates back to the 17th century and Chao Sam Phraya National Museum that will show you the riches that once sailed the same route as you are sailing now.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.