Bangkok is buzzing, busy and noisy. It has lots of people traffic and is a place that never seems to stop. It certainly has some excellent shopping and eating, and many tourists stay for a night or two before or after an island holiday.
For those who don't have time to head out of town, there is a way to get away from the colourful chaos of Bangkok; that's on a Manohra cruise along the Chao Phraya River, The River of Kings.
Dinner and cocktail cruises take in the Wat Arun, the Royal Grand Palace and the Boathouse of the Royal Barges. You see Bangkok's famous floating markets, traditional river life and homes and temples.
Manohra and Manohra Moon are beautiful 50-year-old rice barges which were completely rebuilt and restored for dining and cocktail cruising. They take just 40 passengers and have been so successful other barges are now in the fleet.
Manohra Star is a 70-seat luxury cruiser with open-air main deck and large bar.
Manohra Dream is a 20-metre long solid teak rice barge which has been beautifully restored into an ultra-deluxe cruiser. It has two luxurious staterooms with king-size bed ensuites, saloon, dining area with bar and a sun deck lounging area, appointed with teak, padua and mahogany woods. Thai silks and cottons, oriental carpets and Asian works of art complete the décor.
Manohra Song has been called The Orient Express of the River. The barge takes up to four couples and has been built on the original 100-year-old solid teak hull. Its décor is elegant and it is on a par with the Manohra Dream.
Two and a half hour dinner cruises take you past the city lights as you enjoy superb Thai cuisine tiger prawns with black pepper sauce, sea bass fillet with sweet and sour sauce, chapu leaves with dry coconut and shrimp, hot and spicy prawn soup, beef curry with potatoes and peanuts, and a combination of Thai appetizers.
Megan Gale and the Getaway crew tried something different being offered by the owners of Manohra Thai cooking classes aboard the Manohra dining barge.
Firstly, you visit a local market with an English-speaking chef to buy the ingredients for your cooking lesson.
Once you are armed with the meat, seafood, vegetables and the ever-present chilli and garlic you re-board the barge and head up the river to a mooring spot with a background of beautiful temples.
Classes are fun Megan learned to turn out a tasty pork salad with garlic and onions and a main course of stir-fried Phuket lobster with cashews and chilli.
You do get to enjoy eating your creations, and you're bound to want to cook them at home to impress family a friends.
Along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
Creative Holidays has a three-day package from Bangkok on Manohra Song
. Accommodation, meals, tours, guides, admissions and transfers are included and prices start at $1030 per person twin share. Thai cooking classes on Manohra Cruises start at $116 per person for a minimum of four.
Emirates has return flights to Bangkok, valid for travel and sale until March 31, 2008. Taxes are included.
- Sydney, $991
- Brisbane, $1576
- Melbourne, $1610
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
For further information
257 Charoennakorn Road
Ph: 0011 66 2477 0770
Fax: 0011 66 2476 1120