On our first night in Bangkok, we explored the charm of the Chao Phraya River while enjoying the warmth of a 6-course home cooked Thai meal through Supanniga Cruise. This is the best way to be introduced to the Capital City of Thailand. It is so interesting to find out that this river is the grand entrance of Royalties during ancient times, thus it is also known as ‘River of Kings’.
We are not yet part of the bourgeois class but is so fulfilling that I made my mother and fiancee happy for this dinner cruise experience. It is nice that once-in-a-while, you avail such VIP experience. Don’t regret the cost of 5-star service if you will feel more important and well-served. Anyways, just to justify further, it is a birthday gift for my mom!
6 Must-Try Courses while on Board
1.) Taittinger Champagne Welcome Drink and Amuse Bouche
2.) Supanniga Appetizer
4.) Sharing “Sam Rub Thai”
6.) Petit Fours & Tea
Other items in their menu: Fried Chicken Wings, Fried Vietnamese Sausages, Fried Isan Sausages, and Appetizer Platter
Champagne Selections: Champagne Taittinger Brut, Champagne Taittinger Millesime, Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rose, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Comtes de Champagne Rose
White Wine Selections: Cristo Di Campobello (CDC White Chardonnay-Insolia IGP 2017 Italy), Stefano Antonucci (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Santa Barbara DOC 2017 Italy), Leitz (Eins-Swei-Dry Riesling Dry 2017 Germany), Van Volxem (Saar Riesling 2017 Germany)
Red Wine Selections: Cristo Di Campobello (CDC Red Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot IGP 2017 Italy), Masseria Li Veli (Passamante Negroamaro IGT 2016 Italy), Caldora (Yume Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2015 Italy, Cordero Di Montezemolo (Nebbiolo Langhe DOC 2017 Italy)
Signature Cocktails by Vesper: Supanniga G&T (Jasmine-infused Kristall Thai gin, Tonic Water), Bangkok Negroni (Kaffir lime-infused Kristall Thai gin, Bianco Vermouth, Campari), and Arom-Dee (Supanniga special housemade liqueur, Rose lemonade, Champagne)
Mekhong Special Cocktails: Tubtim Siam (Mekhong Thai Rum, Fresh Pomegranate Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Lime and Syrup), Mekhong Tropic (Mekhong Thai Rum, Lychee Juice, Lime Juice, and Red Wine, When the Sun Sets (Mekhong Thai Rum, Gin, Champagne, Fresh Passion Fruit, and Lime Juice), Cha Supanniga (Signature Supanniga’s Puerh and Pandanus Blended Tea with Syrup and Mekhong), Coconut Essence (Fresh Coconut Juice with Syrup and Mekhong) and Watermelon Summer (Fresh Watermelon Juice with Lime and Mekhong).
17 Must-Sees while on Board
Suppaniga Cruise takes you down to the most spectacular part of her bents, dotted with historical relics full of stories, while enjoying a 6-course home-cooked Thai menu and Taittinger champagne. Some are known and prominent but would give you another views from the river, while some are less known, yet carefully selected for your attention, due to its interesting cultural significance. We failed to take pictures of all the landmarks but here are the Must-sees!
1.) Icon Siam
This is also called as the Mother of All Malls, considered as one of the largest shopping malls in Asia. At night, they have a very colourful fountain and light show in the bank of Chao Phraya.
2.) SCB Taladnoi Branch
This beautiful building is a mix of “Beaux Arts” and “Neo-classical” style built in 1908 to serve as the first official branch of Siam Commercial Bank, the first bank in Thai history. It’s designed by Annibale Rigotti and Mario Tamagno, the 2 well-known Italian architects who worked for the interior ministry during that time. Their well-known works include Ananda Samakom Throne Hall.
3.) Rajini School
Sunandhalai building was erected in 1880 by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in remembrance of his beloved late wife, Queen Sunandha who drowned along with her 2 children in Nonthaburi. It was one among one of the very first western brick building in Bangkok that are preserved and still in good condition. This cross-shaped building is of neo-classical style with the main facade facing the river. Its beautiful facade features the central balcony flanked by 2 niches and stairways, then topped with the scutwork in the national emblem crest, used during that time. Today, it is part of the Rajini girl’s school.
4.) What Pho
(What Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn)
A.K.A temple of the reclining Buddha, locating right next to the compound of the Grand Palace. The temple dates back to Ayutthaya period. Its large compound houses different significant historical monuments including the famous giant reclining Buddha image. It is also regarded as the first university of Thailand as learning of different subjects e.g. Thai Massage, traditional medicine, astrology, etc. were inscribed on stone steles placed around the temple precinct. It is regarded as the royal chapel of King Yodfar (Rama I), the founder of Bangkok and the Royal House of Chakri.
5.) The Grand Palace
Occupied the land of approximately 60acres, this official royal residence compound was first built in 1783 when Bangkok was made the capital after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. It comprises of 2 major sections; the Grand Palace and the temple of the Emerald Buddha. It served as a royal residence for the King and royal family including the offices of all administrative functions until 1932. Today, important royal functions and ceremonies are still held inside. It also serves as a repository of various important valuable treasures of the Royal House of Chakri.
6.) Thammasart University
The second university founded in Thailand in 1934, named as “The University of Moral and Political Sciences”. Over 8 decades of its long history, the university has produced numerous alumni, some of which was renown and highly active in politics and nation’s legislation. The university has had close witness to different major political uprisings over the years. The western style turret of one of its original buildings seen from the river is widely regarded as one of its symbols.
7.) Pom Pra Sumen
One of the two remaining original fortresses of old Bangkok city wall seen today. It was built during King Yodfar (Rama I) as part of 14 fortifications connecting the city wall enclosing the inner city. The fort, in its hey days, was used as an observing tower as well as the firing station of the canon and to house ammunition necessary for the riverine territory protection. Now, the fort and its surrounding is conserved and opened as a riverside public park where different leisure activities are held.
8.) Wat Rakang
(Wat Rakhangkhositraram Woramahavihan)
The name translated as “Temple of the Bell” is derived from an ancient bell excavated within the temple ground. The temple dates back to Ayutthaya period. It’s well known for its previous abbot, also the cardinal during the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV) who was much revered by the Thais. The temple’s scripture library, previously royal resident of King Yodfar (Rama I) is also worth seeing.
9.) Royal Navy Hall
The beautiful two stories western style hall has a rectangular shape lying at the river front directly on the opposite side of the Grand Palace. It belongs to the Royal Thai Navy. It now houses different naval offices and serves as functions venue. In 2006, the venue served during an auspicious occasion of HM King Bhumibol 60th Anniversary Accession to the Throne as the viewing venue where all the invited Kings and royalties around the world observed the celebratory royal barges procession.
10.) Wat Arun
(Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, Temple of Dawn)
A.K.A Temple of Dawn is renown for its riverside soaring high landmark “Phra Prang” (Stylized Khmer inspired pagoda). Its height is measured up yo 81 meters high and richly decorated with shards of imported ceramics. The temple dates back to Ayutthaya period but was enacted as a royal chapel in early Bangkok time. The temple is also regarded as the royal chapel of King Lertlar (Rama II)
11.) Wat Kalayanamit
(Wat Kalayanamitr Varamahavihara)
This second-rank royal temple was built in 1825 by one high rank official on the plot of land belonged to an old Chinese community, and later presented to King Nangklao (Rama III). It is famous for the gigantic seating Buddha image outside the city wall. The effigy measures 11 meters across the lap and 15 meters high.
12.) Church of Santa Cruz
This Roman Catholic Church was built on the old quarter of Portuguese community date,d back to pre-Bangkok time. The land was granted by King Taksin (r.1768-1783) to the Portuguese soldiers who assisted the Siamese army to conduct the warfare against the Burmese. The current structure of the church seen today is the third one, built in 1916 with Italian Renaissance architectural style with the dome reminiscing that of Florence Cathedral.
13.) Wat Prayoon
(Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawihan)
Founded in 1828, the temple has served as a “second-class” royal chapel ever since. The temple is well known by its gigantic mountain replica known as “Khao Mor”. The great white stupa in C nylon bell-shape style was erected in 1855. The conservation if this stupa won the “Award of Excellence” from UNESCO in 2013 for its innovative conservation and collaboration with the local communities around the temple.
Currently a riverfront open-aired promenade featuring shopping and dining feast popular among foreign visitors, this plot of land was formerly a dockyard and warehouses of the East Asiatique Co., Ltd., a Danish international trading company that has opened its branch in Bangkok of more than 100 years ago. A few original buildings are still present nowadays on its precinct.
15.) Embassy of France
The French embassy has situated on this current site since 1857. The land was first rented by the French Consul and was granted to the French government 18 years later by King CHulalongkorn (Rama V). The main building was designed and constructed by an Italian architecture. It underwent a major renovation during 1959-1968 and was bestowed with the award from the Association of Siamese Architects in 1977.
16.) Bangrak Fire Station
This 120 years old “Neo-Palladian” style was erected in 1890 during the reign of King Rama V and first used as a customs house to collect import tax from the ships entering Bangkok. Back in those days, its location here marked the southern end of the city riverine border. It is now used as the office for Bangrak district fire station.
17.) Embassy of Portugal
The premise of Portugal Embassy seen today was historically granted to the Portugal by King Lertlar (Rama II) to build the warehouse and permanent resident of the Portugal Consul in 1820. The current building seen today dates back to 1860. The building was awarded by the Association of Siamese Architects in 1984.