After a smooth ride of two hours we reached Bangkok and another beautiful ibis hotel with river view welcomed us. If in Bangkok, try and stay in a room with a view of Chao Phraya River which is the lifeblood of the city.
We had a room with an incredible view of the river at ibis Bangkok Riverside, located in Charoen Nakhon Rd. There is free shuttle to BTS Krung Thonburi SkyTrain station to zip you into the city centre. We really liked the location because it is little away from the hustle bustle of city centre , getting a cab wasn’t a problem, and there’s a 7-Eleven right outside the hotel too, talk about convenience.
We relaxed for a bit and then went to hunt for Indian restaurant yet again and ended up eating burger and bucket chicken at KFC. I guess that was safe bet for the folks.
Dinner River Cruise
In the evening we had booked a Dinner Cruise for Chao Phraya Princess via our travel agent and they even arrange a van picked up from our hotel to River City Pier.
Upon arrival, the driver bought us to the check-in counter to collect our boarding tickets and stickers for the cruise. After which we waited for quite some time (it’s slightly behind schedule) before the cruise arrived at the pier and the queue was rather chaotic with everyone pushing just to get aboard first.
There are four Chao Phraya Princesses river cruise and the one we went was Chao Phraya Princess IV. We boarded Chao Phraya Princess IV around 7.30pm and were seated at the lower deck .We had an unobstructed view of the Chao Phraya River stretch. Yihee.
Though it was fusion Indian food spread, their buffet dinner includes a wide selection of dishes ranging from appetizers to main dishes as well as desserts like cakes, pastries and fresh fruits. Just by looking at all the dishes made me full. I don’t really have a big appetite. I focused more on the dessert table.
Honestly the buffet spread does consists a wide range of food which suits all ages but then don’t expect anything fantastic like those buffet from 4/5 stars hotels.
During the dinner cruise, other than filling up our tummy with the buffet spread we also enjoyed the magnificent night view of the historical structures as well as religious monasteries like Wat Phra Kaew (The Grand Palace) and Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) while cruising along the Chao Phraya River.
Talking of customisation, they even played Hindi movie songs and we Indians could not resist shaking our legs desi way. From ‘Yaadon ki Baraat’ to ‘Made in India’, a Thai singer sang it all.
Overall we had a memorable dinner cruise on board the Chao Phraya Princess, considering it’s 2 and half hours cruise ride with decent buffet spread plus awesome night view along the Chao Phraya River that worth some snapshots. I am sure this is indeed an one-time experience which you might consider taking up too. The boat brought us back to the pier at the River City Shopping Complex where everyone disembarked with laughter and a smile on their face – a fitting testimony to the pleasure derived from the dinner Cruise. Later we were dropped off in our hotel.
Day 4 (Damnoen Saduak floating market)
Next day we started early and headed The Damnoen Saduak floating market, one of the most popular floating markets and a major tourist attraction. It took us around three hours to reach there as we picked up many other tourists on our way from across the City.
The guide brought us to the boat immediately. The boat just nice to seat in 8 people. The leisure boat trip brought us along the river. There were vendors selling goods and souvenirs from their boats. The boat trip was actually quite boring as we saw mostly souvenirs and nothing special. Maybe either we were a bit late as the busy morning already ended or the place has already turned too touristic. The sun was scorching hot too at this time. Nevertheless it was my first time visiting a floating market so still an interesting experience.
But be warned: authentic floating market material this is not. The line most often touted about Damnoen Saduak, by those who know Thailand well, is that it’s ultimately a tourist trap. And it’s not an assessment we can disagree with – albeit that it’s a tourist trap many day-trippers still enjoy visiting and getting a few snaps of. In fact, you’re likely to come across far more fellow tourists – likely huddled up in the same boat as you.
While the first half was spent at floating market, in the later part of the day we decided to explore Bangkok markets and malls. After figuring out BTS sky train route, we headed to Siam station, which is right outside Paragon Shopping Center. A good and easy start for you shopping bonanza.
Fourth day evening was spent at MBK, or Mahbookkrong as it is originally called, is one of Asia’s oldest shopping centers. The center is packed with small shops, mostly Thai brands and designs, and not many international shops.
Two floors (4th and 5th floor) is full of electronics, from Apple shops as iStudio to big professional camera shops as Nikon and Canon. One part of the 4th floor is full of tiny stalls selling all sorts of electronic stuff and spare parts. They have everything you can think of! Especially mobiles phones and mobile accessorize is in a majority. Here you can also have your mobile phone fixed if you have any problems with it, as they can fix almost everything at a cheap price while you wait!
At MBK you can also find Thai souvenirs at cheap price, although don’t expect them to be of high quality. This shopping center is great fun, but pretty exhausting as it is packed with Thai teenagers shopping like crazy!
As we were hungry and needed bit of rest, we headed to the food court which had Thai and International food including Indian cuisine. While I tried Thai cuisine with dad and uncle, mom and aunt stuck to Indian food.
After sumptuous dinner we got back to our hotel via sky train, followed by Bangkok Taxi. Typical taxi fares for going a few kilometres are around 50 baht. Communication can be a problem with the majority of Bangkok’s taxi drivers as they often speak little English. We had difficulty in communicating as well but somehow managed. Later in the night we chose to relax by side of the swimming pool while enjoying spectacular view of Bangkok City along Chao Phraya River.
I will put up Bangkok temple tour and Safari world diary in the third and last part of this blog soon.