Chao Phraya Sunset Cruise – Fun Things to do in Bangkok

Add a Chao Phraya River Cruise Dinner to your Bangkok itinerary. It’s a fun way to end the day and one of the best things to do in Bangkok.

While living in Bangkok, we’ve done a few Chao Phraya river cruises. From Chao Phraya Sunset cruises to dinner cruises offering fine dining cuisine.

But one of the most entertaining and affordable river cruises that is more casual and also quite fun, is the sunset cruise. This cruise includes a buffet dinner and free-flowing beer.

People dancing on the Chao Phraya river sunset cruise and Wat Arun in the Background
On the Chao Praya River Cruise, up close is the dancefloor with the towering magnificent Wat Arun as background

Got some spare time in Bangkok?

Escape the bustling streets of Bangkok for 1 day. There’s a list of amazing day trips just outside the city!!

Chao Phraya Sunset Cruise

There are a few Chao Phraya sunset cruises that depart either from Icon Siam or from Asiatique the Riverfront. We chose the Chao Phraya Princess sunset cruise – one of the most famous Chao Phraya river cruises.

Not only did we experience some stunning views but also this Chao Phraya cruise has a buffet dinner. And it’s quite affordable too.

Chao Phraya river sunset cruise. A wooden boat sailing through a river with a backdrop of highrise building
Sunset, cruising along the Chao Praya River and incredible views-we couldn’t have chosen a better way to end the day

Honestly, before we had done any of these cruises in Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River we had a few doubts about what to expect.

Firstly, we found quite a few reviews claiming they’re not worth the money and are just a tourist trap. While other reviews said the food and overall experience was really bad.

While certain reviews do have a point, the cruise we did only cost $21. And all in all our honest opinion is that it was well worth the price.

About the Chao Phraya Princess Cruise

The Chao Phraya Princess cruise offers 2 options: a sunset cruise and a dinner cruise. We booked the sunset cruise with free flowing beer (which is more a lot of ice topped with beer which is ok and now we even prefer to drink beer with ice while before it was unthinkable).

A longtail boat floating in a river as the sun is setting.
We loved watching the sun slowly disappear into the ground while cruising along the Chao Phraya River

It’s a 90-minute cruise along the Chao Phraya River and departing from Asiatique the riverfront which includes food, drinks, live entertainment and amazing views of Bangkok city skyline and also a few famous temples.

Buying Tickets

Buying tickets can be done in person from the Chao Phraya Princess Cruise booth. The booth (actually just a table setup) is located inside Asiatique the riverfront, halfway through the main entrance.

However, we decided to buy our tickets online because we didn’t want to have to deal with any last-minute ‘fully booked” surprises. Remember, this is a very popular river cruise with both foreigners and even locals.

Booking online: if you bought your tickets online you need to register at the ticket booth inside Asiatique about 30 minutes before departure.

Once registration is done you’ll be given a seat number and a sticker to indicate your section: either upper or lower deck.

People waiting in line to buy the tickets for a river cruise in Bangkok
That’s the desk where you need to register at least 30 minutes before departure

What To Expect on this Chao Phraya Sunset Cruise

Boarding

The Chao Phraya Sunset Cruise departs at 5:00 pm from Pier 1 in Asiatique. The boarding process raised a few red flags about what we were getting into because getting onboard the boat was a bit of a mess.

Chao Phraya river sunset cruise. A woman holding a sign for tourists to follow
Look for a girl holding a board of Chao Phraya Princess-that’s your boarding point

We were all placed in line and divided into lower-section and upper-section guests. And it seems that guests are divided by nationality. Locals (Thais) are in the upper section and foreigners are in the lower section.

Then everyone got photographed (you’ll have the option to buy the printed photo later on) and finally after at least about 15 minutes of standing in the sun (there is no shelter from the sun here) we were boarding the boat.

Departure

As the boat is departing, there is a short safety briefing and next the buffet and drinks are announced.

Food

There’s a large buffet section in the middle with various food options. From fish to chicken, pasta and rice and salads and soups. But the majority of food is Asian, or at least Asian fusion.

Is The Food Good?

In all honestly, considering the cruise costs about $20, and includes free beer, we weren’t that concerned about the food.

While the food wasn’t anything special, we didn’t complain, and quite enjoyed it.

A buffet table with various food
The buffet table with several different dishes to choose from
A plate full of food from a buffet
James’ choice of food

After gulping down about 4 glasses of beer diluted with an unreasonable amount of ice, I went for a round of food. Some noodles, some fish, some fried things, something else (some sort of minced meat salad – Asian I guess). Oh yeah, there’s also a bar serving king prawns which I wasn’t expecting. I had 3 prawns, 2 were kinda good, 1 was….meh!

There’s also a desert section including tropical fruits, cakes and coffee.

Entertainment

Onboard entertainment is a singer on both the lower and upper sections. We Westerners sort of hold back from enjoying ourselves. But that’s not the case for Asians and Thais!!

While everyone was quiet in the lower section, upstairs there was a sort of party going on. The live singer was surrounded by old ladies, teens, kids, and men, everyone was just enjoying themselves and dancing and waving and obviously loads of videos and photos.

Jacqueline enjoying a cocktail drink
Jackie enjoyed the welcome drink-funny where she chose to put her sticker!
A group of Asian women and kids dancing
That’s where the action happened – open-air upper-floor

It didn’t take long for Jacqueline to join in the fun too.

If you do this tour and are assigned the lower level, have a drink, and grab a bite but then head upstairs.

Conclusion – The Big Question Gets Answered

So is a Chao Phraya Sunset Cruise worth it?

Yes, definitely. If you’re in Bangkok a Chao Phraya river cruise is worth it for sure.

It’s a great experience and you’ll also have fun – we did and so will you.


Off Topic – But Since You’re in Bangkok…

Bangkok Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk

An asian cook sauteeing food with big flames

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ DURATION: 4 Hours | BOOK NOW

Slightly off topic because it has nothing to do with this Chao Phraya sunset river cruise. But since you’re in Bangkok (the capital of amazing food) this unique culinary experience just seems fitting for one of your other nights in Bangkok.

Note: this tour starts at 7:00 pm, not midnight.

This evening tour throws you straight into Bangkok’s legendary street food scene as you ride the colorful city’s backstreets and hidden spots. And what better way than to do this on a fun Tuk-Tuk?

Your Tuk-Tuk driver whizzes through the traffic and stops you at some incredible local restaurants to sample some of the best Thai cuisine. This tour is a complete package including all food and Tuk-Tuk transport. And the evening ends at a secret rooftop bar.

Wondering where to Stay in Bangkok?

Bangkok is a huge City and is very diverse from 1 place to the other. With that in mind, it’s important to plan ahead and choose the right place or area to stay in.

Read this article for an overview about the areas to stay in Bangkok.

How We Efficiently Plan Our Trips.

Planning a holiday can be overwhelming, especially for those hands-on in the process. Thankfully, technology has simplified the task, making it easier to organize trips to destinations like Thailand. Here are the resources we swear by:

BOOKING.COM: Our go-to for booking accommodation. It’s user-friendly, offers the best prices*, and boasts the largest selection of online properties.

GET YOUR GUIDE: Our go-to resource for tour booking in Thailand and around the world is Get Your Guide. Here you’ll find a wide range of tours at great prices and most often have free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour.

It’s almost like shopping for something on Amazon and the prices are also really competitive.

KLOOK: Another resource for planning activities is KLOOK. Here we also find loads of interesting activities for the destinations we’re visiting.

HEY, just so you know…

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