Often times when we travel to a city, we ask ourselves if there’s anything to do at night? Well, to most of us, night life plays an important role. On the 2nd night in Bangkok, I decided to take Fann out to a really special dinner. She always told me that she would like to watch Thai dances while having a wonderful meal. So, I went around researching for the best places to have that kind of experience in Bangkok.

I came across a few, such as Studio 9 Café and Patravadi Theatre Café. These cafés are situated at the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Where you can not only enjoy traditional Thai dances while having your dinner and also a great view of the Grand Palace. However after much consideration, I booked for a river cruise dinner instead.

A trip to Thailand isn’t complete without a boat ride on the Chao Phraya River, so I decided to booked the Loy Nava Cruise. It is a luxurious rice barge with five star dining, touring and gives you a chance to experience traditional Thai culture on board. It is also known as the only teakwood rice barge on the river in Bangkok. I booked the cruise online through their website http://www.loynava.com/

What’s great about this cruise is that they also provide pick up service from anywhere you want in Bangkok and Yes, the price already includes the pick up service. After the dinner, they will drop you back to wherever you want (usually your hotel).

The pick up driver’s sign

The cruise dinner has 2 sessions. One is at 6pm (known as the sunset cruise) and the other is at 8pm (known as the night cruise). We went for the sunset cruise, believing that it would be more romantic to see Bangkok at sunset. They picked us up at our hotel at 5pm sharp, then went on to pick up the other cruise customers. Fann and I were so excited but felt a little alienated as all of the other customers were caucasians. Made me feel a little bit out of place. 😛

Thai girl performing traditional music throughout the cruise

Once everyone is on board, the waiter head will introduce what’s planned for the night as the barge cruises on. He hands out a small menu-looking map that is beautifully drawn. That is actually a map of the sights you will see while on the cruise, such as The Assumption Cathedral, The Royal Palace, Santa Cruz Church, Tammasart University, and many more.

Fann happily reading what’s on the menu for the night

In the mood for some photography

So, what’s on the menu you ask. The cruise dinner includes 3 menus namely the Thai traditional Menu, Thai Seafood Menu & Thai Vegetarian Menu. Of course, vegetarian is out of the question for the both of us. I’ll not go into details on what’s on the menu as you can read it up on their page here. But I can tell you that, if you choose the Thai traditional menu, you get the chance to taste almost all of the luxury delicacies that you can find in Thailand.

Sorry for the bad food photos. (The food is tastier than it looks here, trust me)Notice the cute elephant table cloth 🙂

The waiter will introduce each of the food once it’s placed on the table in front of you. So you can have an idea what’s going into your mouth. The food was delicious and while enjoying some traditional dances, really makes you feel like a Thai King.

The sights around were astounding. I’ve never seen Bangkok so beautiful at night. The soft traditional Thai music in the background, while the engine of the barge slowly cruises through the river, gives you a great tranquil feeling as you enjoy your dinner with the magnificent view of Bangkok. I managed to captured some shots of the things we saw.

The famous Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Rachini School (the first girls school to be operated by Thais)

The Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Wat Rakhang Kositharam (The temple of bells)

A view of the Phra Pok Klao Bridge

Lastly a huge U turn at the Rama VIII Bridge

The romantic mood on the barge (great for couples)

The cruise lasted for about an hour and a half. Everything was planned out very nicely and the service was great. We had a wonderful experience and this cruise has gave us a great summary and introduction of Bangkok’s heritage.

As the tour ended, we payed the bill by cash and everyone left with a small souvenir from the cruise. It was the beautiful map of the cruise’s route. I have it right here with me, if you’re interested to have a look at it, just let me know. The driver sent each of us back to the hotel and I could feel that everyone was very excited. The cruise left us with a beautiful memory and a wonderful experience on how beautiful Thai culture and hospitality is.

It was a great evening, and for those first timers to Bangkok, you can give Loy Nava a try. I find the price reasonable, having such a fantastic time on board. Check out the price on their website and just for your information, pre payment is not needed. You just have to pay on board.

I would suggest all tourist to pay by cash


  • August 9, 2012 Reply

    Musandam Dibba

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  • September 9, 2012 Reply

    Eivin ying


    omg ! the intention want to go bangkok much more aggressive after read ur post …grrr
    ur photos are impressive!

  • September 9, 2012 Reply


    Excellent pics! i was still debating whether to include this in my trip to Bangkok in Nov, but this sealed the deal.. I’m in!

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  • October 25, 2012 Reply


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  • November 28, 2014 Reply


    Hi! I was hoping to do a river cruise (with dinner) along the Chao Praya when I visit BKK next month. All I’ve actually read about where about the bigger boats with their buffets so seeing your blog post about the Loy Nava is a refreshing change. I’m now leaning more towards this one as I prefer more intimate settings as well as really good service. I have a question though. what meal did you guys order? A traditional Thai or the seafood or did you go half and half? hehe
    Cheers! Cat

    • November 28, 2014 Reply


      Hi Catherine. My wife and I chose the traditional thai menu if not mistaken. They had a variety of many thai dishes and we got to try all of them on this wonderful boat. They have a really nice atmosphere and perfect for romance.

  • June 30, 2016 Reply

    Jim Rubio

    GreatBlog! But how was the Sunset?
    I’m debating between night or sunset cruise.

    • July 4, 2016 Reply


      I would suggest sunset because the cruise is quite dark and there will only be one candle on the table. It would be quite dark to see your food on board if it’s at night.

  • March 28, 2017 Reply

    Sunil Chawla

    Lovely Post
    We have planned for Bangkok in June this year and will surely enjoy this cruise
    Thank you very much

    • March 31, 2017 Reply


      Hope you enjoy your trip to Bangkok! You’re gonna enjoy it.

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