Nothing makes a vacation any more relaxing than a river cruise under the clear skies and breezy weather. In Bangkok, many services offer a ferry or tour of the most important river in Thailand, the Chao Phraya River or the River of Kings in English. This river showcases the different Thai and Chinese structures that have been around since ancient times, some temples and houses, as well as more modern houses that have its inhabitants.
Most tours are done in an air-conditioned ferry with closed windows that are heavily tinted; most tourists barely see anything of the river or the people who live on the river or around it at all. While ferries are capable of holding many people, it is not always the best way to see the majesty of this river.
If you’re the more adventurous type, or even just someone who wishes to see places the way a local might see it, you might want to consider renting a long-tailed speed-boat as part of a tour you can tweak a bit. On this kind of boat, you get to lounge comfortably on the speedboat under the warm sunlight, with the wind just right. If there’s a tour guide driving you around, you’ll also get some context with the buildings and structures on the river banks—they’re especially old and some are very intriguing, especially so when you finally learn their stories.
People who usually take this route when seeing the river also get the added benefit of going to the city’s popular temples, such as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or the Temple of Dawn in a very romantic way. These temples have piers, but ferries seldom stop over these piers to allow tourists to look at the temples—but a speedboat allows tourists to go to these places in a very leisurely way, allowing them to enjoy seeing the locals going about their daily river lives while learning more about the culture, the temples, and the buildings in a very intimate way.