|Bangkok Canal Experience | Chao Phraya River Cruise & Royal Barge National Museum|
After advised by a friendly 'passer-by', we were brought to Rajinee Pier by a tuk-tuk and it left us with two
options, either going on with boat cruise or turning back to our original plan to visit The Grand Palace. Since Bangkok is nicknamed 'Venice of the East', we decided to give it a shot given the opportunity we were right at the pier.
Paying 1200 Baht (per boat) for 3 people brought us to board an engine-operated long-tailed boat. The journey along the canal took about an hour, cruising from Rajinee Pier passed by Wat Arun then turning into some canals in Thonburi whereby stilt houses are built at the edge of water, witnessing the daily life of the Thais. Unlike what was promised by the tout, there was no religious ceremony or Thai boxing performances along the canal whereby we could stop to watch. In fact, it was non-stop cruise but after negotiating with the boatman, he allowed us to take a peek at Royal Barge National Museum towards the end of our cruise.
The entrance fee into Royal Barge National Museum cost 30 Baht per person. Additional fee is charged for
photography in the museum. Housing ancient barges made from wood, they are displayed with self-explanatory note under a dimly lit hall. Unfortunately, the exhibits gave us the impression as if this place is shabby and the treasures are invaluable.
Despite the fact of being cheated for the boat ride, the experience of cruising along Chao Phraya river and Thonburi canals was unforgettable. This is not something that I would do everyday. Minus the stinky odor of the canal's water, it was a fun ride with good companies but obviously way too costly for what was offered!