Bangkok to Ayutthaya River Cruise

Bangkok to Ayutthaya River Cruise

Cruise down the Chao Phraya river from the modern capital of Bangkok to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Pass by the Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn. Explore the Summer Palace in Ayutthaya. Drift away aboard the Mekhala, a beautifully restored teak boat, on this two-day, one-night cruise.

Chao Phraya River, also known as “The River of Kings”, is one of Thailand’s major rivers. It was a major transport and trade route between the cities that grew up along its banks, including the modern capital, Bangkok, and its ancient predecessor, Ayutthaya, from which the former took the title in 1768. Some of the city’s most spectacular architectural achievements were built along the banks of the river - most notably the Grand Palace and the extraordinary Temple of Dawn. From the water they can be seen to greatest effect, as the river’s breadth allows welcome breathing space from the bustling chaos of the city streets.

This two-day, one-night slow boat cruise takes you from Thailand's current capital, Bangkok to Ayutthaya, its ancient capital. This trip takes you right past the Grand Palace complex, with its enormous golden chedi, or stupa. It also passes the spectacular Temple of The Emerald Buddha. You’ll have a close-up of the looming, Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, which reflects the morning sun so vividly. The prang is the name for the Khmer-style tower that is a component of temples throughout South East Asia. The 80-metre high central prang represents the mythical Mount Meru, symbolic centre of the universe, itself the focal point for the huge stone mandala that comprises the temple itself.

Just after sunset, when you have left the city lights behind, the boat will dock at Wat Kai Tia, a small, exquisitely beautiful rural temple right on the riverbank, where you will dine onboard before retiring to the air-conditioned haven of your private cabin.

Breakfast is served on board the following morning, after which the boat continues on to the old capital city of Ayutthaya, where you will disembark at Bang-Pa-In, a 17thCentury summer palace, with its pavilions and ponds set out in mandala-like fashion in imitation of far more ancient temple layouts in the region.

This is a cruise for those who want to sample the vibrant life and historic architecture of Thailand’s “River of Kings” in lavish and effortless style. Everything is taken care of for the duration of the cruise; all you have to do is sit back and lap up the sights, sounds and smells as you glide slowly past. The boats themselves are truly beautiful, and in perfect keeping with the scenery along the banks of the river, where royalty both ancient and modern have chosen to build lasting monuments celebrating their gods, their cosmologies, and, inevitably and perhaps inadvertently, themselves.

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Prices from
6,450 THB (2 days) per person

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