Bangkok Area Guide
The Riverside (ริเวอร์ไซต์)
The Riverside Area
What to do in The Riverside ?
The district itself extends quite some way along the East bank of the river but visitors will mainly be concentrated on the financial and up-market hotel district found adjacent to Silom / Sathorn, where the Oriental and other famous hotels are located. In fact this is one of the oldest areas of the city outside of the historical Rattanakosin isle and by boat you can spot gems such as the old Customs House, an ancient Catholic church, former Portuguese consulate, as well as Siamese relics.
While the riverfront isn’t all a "romantic picture" of Bangkok’s former moniker "Venice of the East" you do get to see some of the city’s best tourist sites along this stretch while remaining conveniently close to the commercial districts of the city.
How to get there?By Boat :
The Chao Phraya Express Boat goes up and down the river for 13 baht. Sometimes it's necessary to buy the ticket before embarking the boat, but you can also buy tickets inside. If going north from Sathorn Taksin pier (from either Silom or Sukhumvit), the first pier on the Thonburi side is Wang Lang. It's the easiest point of entry as all express boats stop there and the Bangkok Noi area is one of the busiest in Thonburi. If you're going south from Phra Arthit pier (from Khao San Road), Wang Lang is the second pier on the Thonburi side. When you're heading for the Royal Barge National Museum, disembark at the Phra Pinklao Bridge pier.
Most travelers will visit The Riverside as a day-trip from Khao San Road, Sukhumvit or Silom. The best way to get into The Riverside is by getting off the Skytrain at Saphan Taksin station, near the end of the Silom Line, and take the Chao Phraya Express Boat up the river north.
AttractionsThe Riverside Attractions >>>
Known as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun in one of the most dramatic attractions to grace the Chaophraya River. This ancient temple can be found on the Thonburi side of the river and is believed to be the oldest temple in the whole of Bangkok.
Originally known as Wat Makok or the Olive Temple, Wat Arun dates back to the 16th century. Situated in a pretty garden surrounded by stone prangs and guarded by two gigantic demons known as yaksha, the central prang measures a colossal 80 meters high. This towering prang is decorated by pieces of porcelain, which were dumped on the banks of the Chaophraya River by trading boats in the times when Bangkok was a prominent trading port. After taking the time to burn intense and pay their respects at the shine that is located at the foot of the central prang, visitors can climb the steps that lead up the steps to take in stunning views of the river and surrounding area.
How to get there: Take the Chaophraya River Express ferry to pier 8 and a small shuttle ferry across the river or bus no. 19, 57 or 83
Opening Hours: Daily from 07.30 am. - 05.30 pm.
Admission: 50 Baht King Rama I Statue
Located in the middle of a traffic island in front of Memorial Bridge, the King Rama I Statue was designed by Prince Naris and erected in 1932. This magnificent statue depicts King Rama I seated on a throne and was erected to mark Bangkok’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
King Rama I is an important figure in Thai history as he was the first ever king to hail from the Chakri Dynasty. He was crowned on April 6th, 1782 and in this year he established Bangkok as Thailand’s capital city. How to get there: Take the bus number 72 or 503
Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours
Admission: Free Bank of Thailand Museum
Located inside the Bang Khun Prom Palace, the Bang of Thailand Museum is often overlooked by visitors to Bangkok but is an interesting place to spend an afternoon as it features no fewer than 14 different display rooms, demonstrating Thai currency through the ages.
One of the main attractions is the Ancient Coins Room, which contains collections of currency dating all the way back to the prehistoric era. At this time shells and beads were usually used as currency, while Sri Vijaya coins, Funan coins and Dvaravati coins were later introduced. Due to its location inside a royal residence, anyone wishing to visit the Bank of Thailand Museum must obtain permission from the Bank at least a week in advance and visitors are requested to dress and behave respectfully.
How to get there: Take bus number 3, 32, 49 or 65
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri from 09.30 am. - 04.00 pm.
Sport & ActivitiesThe Riverside Sport & Activities >>>
With branches all around the world, people from all walks of life are welcome at Fitness First, which provides a wide range of modern fitness equipment such as X-Trainers, toning machines, exercise bicycles and free weights. Aerobics classes are held each day aimed at everyone from beginners to advanced. A range of other classes are also held, such as yoga and kick boxing How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to the Ratchadamri station
Contact: Tel: 0 2245 3360; Website: www.fitnessfirst.co.th
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri from 06.00 am. - 10.00 pm., Sat - Sun from 08.00 am. - 09.00 pm.
Ideal for those who want to combine fine dining with sightseeing, visitors will want to take an enchanting trip along the Chaophraya River to the luxurious Grand Pearl. The standard tour is a two hour long trip along the Chaophraya River, which takes visitors past some of the riverside’s most famous attractions while they dine on a range of Thai and Western dishes. Guests can also book a trip on the Grand Pearl to the historic city of Ayutthaya. How to get there: take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin
Opening Hours: Daily from 07.30 pm. – 09.30 pm.
Contact: Tel: 0 2861 0255 Ext. 201-205 2. Riverside Bangkok Hotel
With a capacity to seat up to 800 diners, the International Buffet Dinner Cruise is ideal for groups who want a truly unforgettable dining experience. Luxurious five-star dining is provided and diners can relax and enjoy classic Thai dance performances while live music is provided by talented musicians. Sit back and relax while the Chaophraya River slowly slides past, gazing at sights such as Wat Arun and the Grand Palace.
How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin and then a ferry to the Riverside Hotel
Contact: Tel: 0 2883 1588
Opening Hours: Daily from 07.00 pm. - 08.00 pm.
Admission: 120 Baht
Visitors who want to impress friends back home with their knowledge of Thai cuisine will want to enrol in a cooking course at the Oriental Hotel. Acclaimed as being one of the best cooking schools in the whole of Thailand, this four-day course teaches students to make a wide range of traditional and modern Thai dishes and includes special skills such as fruit and vegetable carving. At the end of each day, students gather for lunch to sample the dishes they have created throughout the morning. How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to the Taksin Bridge station and the Chaophraya River Express ferry to the Oriental Pier
Contact: Tel: 0 2238 0265
Opening Hours: Daily from 09.00 am. - 01.00 pm.
RestaurantThe Riverside Restaurant >>>
Diners who crave the finer things in life are sure to be satisfied with the sophisticated décor and the excellent cuisine that the Prime Restaurant has to offer. The menu features a wide range of delicacies from around the world, including lobster and oysters, succulent Japanese kobe and matsuzaka steaks, and pan-fried crab cakes served with a creamy lemon butter and caper sauce. This is the perfect place to indulge, and those with a sweet tooth can choose from a wide range of desserts, such as chocolate soufflé. How to get there: The Prime Restaurant is located inside the Millennium Hilton Bangkok, 123 Charoennakorn Rd. Take the BTS Skytrain the Saphan Taksin and hop on a Chaophraya River Express ferry.
Contact: Tel: 0 2442 2000; Fax: 0 2442 2020
Dress Code: Smart casual
Visitors to the Land of Smiles who want to recreate a luxurious traditional Thai dining experience. Some of the finest dishes from Thai cuisine are served in a magnificent pavilion on the bank of the Chaophraya River. Diners are treated to performances of traditional Thai dancing and music while they eat and the show starts at 20:30 each evening. How to get there: Sala Rim Nam is located opposite the Oriental Hotel, Charoennakorn Rd. Take the BTS Skytrain the Saphan Taksin and hop on a Chaophraya River Express ferry.
Contact: Tel: 0 2437 6211
Opening Hours: Daily from 07.30 pm. - 10.00 pm.
Dress Code: Smart casual
Departing from the River City Shopping Complex at 20:00, the Chaophraya River Cruise is an unforgettable experience to share with friends and loved ones. Diners are treated to a ride on the Chaophraya Princess cruise ship, which travels all the way along the river to the Taksin Bridge pier. On the way, guests pass the famous sites of Wat Arun, The Grand Palace, Bang Khunprom Palace and the Kanlayanamitr temple. Seated on the top deck, diners are free to serve themselves from a wide range of dishes. There are dozens of dishes to choose from; anything from fresh seafood and sushi to spicy Thai curries and steaks cooked to order. Everything is presented stylishly in large silver tureens and entertainment is provided by traditional Thai dancing and singing.
How to get there: The cruise departs from the River City Shopping Complex. Take the Chaophraya River ferry to pier 17.
Contact: Tel: 0 2541 5599
Opening Hours: Daily from 07.00pm. - 09.00 pm.
Dress Code: Smart casual 2. Buri Tara Bar & Restaurant
The decor of the restaurant is hip, concrete, minimalist and the place is right on the river with a subdued chill-out feel. The menu is rich and interesting. It contains a lot of international appetizers, main dishes and desserts. The live low-key music is replaced with chill-out between the sets. It’s a cool place by the river! How to get there: Take a taxi to Rama III Rd. and to Soi 30. The taxis may know this area as the new Chatuchak market area by the river. As you come down Ramam 3 look for a bunch of lighted signs on the road for all the places located in this area by the water. You will see a Buri Tara sign. Or take the BTS or MRT to the silom area and then take a taxi to Rama III.
Contact: Tel: 0 2682 9457 to 9
Opening Hours: Daily from 05.00 pm. - 12.00 am.
Lovers of classic Cantonese cuisine who want to treat themselves to a little style and sophistication are in for a treat when they dine at the Mei Jiang restaurant. Decorated in traditional Cantonese style and offering diners stunning views of the Chaophraya River, this gourmet restaurant specilises in dishes such as dim sum and abalone. How to get there: Mei Jiang is located inside the Peninsular Hotel on the bank of the Chaophraya River. Take the BTS Skytrain the Saphan Taksin and hop on a Chaophraya River Express ferry across the river.
Contact: Tel: 0 2861 2888 Ext. 6914
Opening Hours: Daily from 07.30 pm. – 10.00 pm.
Dress Code: Smart casual
The Hajime Restaurant in Bangkok is Thailand’s first Japanese robot restaurant, where all the serving waiters are robots. Customers order their food on a touch screen display and their robotic waiter will whiz into action. The friendly robots will also dance to entertain as they work and go out to collect empty dishes at the customers’ table. How to get there: Located in the Monopoly Park just off the Rama III Rd. (around Soi 61-63).
Contact: Tel: 0 2683 1191 Ext. 1
Opening Hours: Lunch: 11.00 am. - 03.30 pm., Dinner: 05.00 pm. - 10.00 pm.
Spa & MassageThe Riverside Spa & Massage >>>
The perfect way to relax and unwind, the Spa Royal Botanic day spa offers guests a wide range of modern and traditional spa treatments such as Thai massage, facial treatments, foot massage and aroma therapy. The setting here is stylish and sophisticated yet ultimately calming and soothing, ideal for simply drifting away for a few hours
How to get there: The BTS Skytrain to the Surasak station
Contact: Tel: 08 9923 1707
Located within the stylish Marriott Resort, guests looking for a little pampering are sure to find what they need at the Mandara Spa. Set in the picturesque gardens of the resort, visitors can pamper themselves with a range of professional spa treatments, which combine ancient remedies with a modern twist. Among the wide range of treatments on offer are foot massage, herbal saunas, facial massage and hair treatments. How to get there: Take bus no. 1, 15, 22 or 75
Contact: Tel: 0 2476 0021
Opening Hours: Daily from 10.00 am. - 10.00 pm.
ShoppingThe Riverside Shopping >>>
Asiatique The Riverfront is an expansive open-air mall with river views and a cutting-edge ‘festival market and living museum’ concept. Fusing shopping, dining, culture and colonial-style architecture, it offers a pleasant experience for those in search of style and sophistication. How to get there: BRT Express bus Get off at Rama III Station to continue with Taxi. Take the BTS Skytrain to the Sapan Taksin Station and continue with Asiatique's service boat. 2. Robinson Department Store Sukhumvit
Robinson Department Store Sukhumvit located on 259 Sukhumvit Rd. Some good bargains can be had in the clothing department, especially with regular sales promotions. How to get there: Take a taxi to Sukhumvit Rd. and look for Robinson in between Soi 17 and Soi 19. Or take the BTS to Asok station or the MRT to Sukhumvit station and walk.
Contact: Tel: 0 2252 5121, 0 2651 1533
Opening Hours: Daily from 10.00 am. - 10.00 pm.
Those in search of the latest fashions at low, low prices will be in their element here as the Klong San Market specialises in trendy t-shirts, shoes, bags and belts. Few foreigners know about this market, meaning that they are likely to be charged Thai prices and there are several aisles to stroll along, each teeming with tempting items.
How to get there: Take the Chaophraya River Express to Klong San Pier or bus number 36, 84, 105 or 111
NightlifeThe Riverside Nightlife >>>
For more than 20 years discerning drinkers and lovers of jazz music have been soaking up the atmosphere in the Bamboo Bar, which is situated inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Decorated in an African Safari style, this sophisticated bar serves some of the best cocktails in town, with offerings including the signature Oriental Mai Tai cocktail and unique Thaijito. How to get there: Take a taxi to 48 Oriental Avenue
Opening Hours: Fri - Sat from 11.00 pm. - 02.00 am., Sunday from 11.00 pm. - 01.00
Admission: Free 2. Zeta Bar
Part of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok’s compliment of trendy and stylish bars, Zeta Bar is the perfect place to see and be seen. Guests can kick back and relax on leather sofas and soak up views of the Chaophraya River from the large picture windows while choosing from a mouth watering range of cocktails blended by some of the finest bar staff in the whole of Bangkok.
How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain the Saphan Taksin and hop on a Chaophraya River Express ferry.
Opening Hours: Daily from 05.00 pm. – 02.00 am.
Admission: Free 3. Three Sixty Lounge
Located on the 32nd Fl. of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel, the Three Sixty Lounge is a great place to enjoy a romantic date with a loved one. Spectaucal river views and light jazz music are sure to set the mood and the extensive drinks menu offers some of the finest cocktails, beers and spirits from around the globe.
How to get there: take the BTS Skytrain the Saphan Taksin and hop on a Chaophraya River Express ferry.
Opening Hours: Daily from 11.00 pm. - 01.00 am.