A Trip to Thailand – Part 5;;;

The topic of this article is River City, a wonderful view on the Chao Phraya River. River City is a four-storey shopping mall. Antiques, rare pictures of Buddha, clay images, utensils, ornaments, sculptures, numerous hotels, cafes, there is nothing that one cannot find here. Each shop is an amazing sight. There are Thai beauties wearing traditional dresses welcoming people to the mall. 


River City

Wearing crown on the head and holding flower bouquets, they greet us with a sweet smile. I pushed my way through the crowd of tourists who were taking photos with these beauties. The ground floor has a magical collection of fabrics. I went to the next floor. In the 2nd floor, there are shops selling antiques, jewellery, ceramic and porcelain wares, pottery, art works, antiquities from different countries, ancient maps, historical prints, and other collectibles. The art gallery is beautifully designed. However, I was shocked to see the prices of arts sold here.


River City View

After having a glimpse of all these, I started walking to the spot where the cruise ship was. The cruise starts from the River City. The charge is Rs. 1560 Indian Rupees per person. The riverside was densely packed with people waiting for the cruise. I could see beautifully illuminated ships in the river. As I watched, one cruise ship came near the bank and people started boarding it. The ship that I was waiting for had not arrived yet. 


River City View

The whole river was lit up. The cruise ships in which people boarded started moving slowly to the river and I could hear lot of music and beats coming out from those ships. After sometime, my ship arrived. I showed the ticket and boarded the ship. I walked to the deck. There was noise everywhere. Buffet dinner was kept ready. The ticket that I took had my table number. We can take the food and go to the table and have the food there. The duration of cruise dinner was 2 to 3 hours. The ship started moving slowly. 


Dinner Cruise

There were lot of tourists on the deck. The cruise slowly moved through the river, accompanied by music from professional vocalists. This luxurious dinner cruise is a major attraction of Bangkok. There is a Bar on one side of the deck; the bill for the drinks has to be paid separately. I walked through the deck and into the front of the ship to see the sensational view of Chao Phraya and to take some snaps. The star-studded riverside was extremely beautiful to watch.


Cruise Dinner View

Grand Palace which is called as the landmark of Bangkok is one among the main attractive things to see. Without seeing this, the trip would be incomplete. The view of night life in Bangkok from the deck of the cruise is unforgettable. Another spectacular site is the Rama Cable-Stay Bridge. By this time, the dinner had almost reached the peak time. The holidaymakers sang and danced with the Thai artists. It was really surprising to see how people who just met mingled with each other without any distinction as to language or country. 


Rama Cabe-Stay Bridge View

The way they mixed gave me an impression that they have been long-time friends or relatives. What I feel is that it is only the travellers who are able to make these kinds of instant friendships and relations. I reckon that we keep travelling forever to unseen places and make friends with unknown people. The cruise, enjoying the cool atmosphere of Chao Phraya River and the shimmering city, is a thrilling experience. 


Grand Palace View

Indians constituted more than half of the people in the ship which I boarded. That may be the reason why the music and dances were all in Hindi, but they were accompanied by Thai dances and music. I didn’t even realize that around 2 to 2-1/2 hours was over because of these amazing spectacles and merriment. The cruise returned to the River City. After alighting from the ship, I glanced back and saw a cruise that looked just like how the temple compound looks after a festival...

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Ashok S P Jan-01- 2019 62