The Manohra Song, dubbed ‘The Orient Express of the River’, is a 20-meter-long river rice barge that has been lovingly restored and lavishly converted into an ultra-deluxe river cruiser, designed for up to four couples to explore Thailand’s famous Menam Chao Phraya, ‘The River of Kings’, in unmatched luxury and comfort.
Built upon the original 100-year-old, solid Teak hull, Manohra Song features four air-conditioned staterooms with queen-size beds, en suite bathrooms, an expansive saloon living and dining area with bar, plus an ample forward sun-deck lounging area; with private crew quarters and kitchen in the aft section.
Designed and built by interior designer Kathleen Heinecke, the Manohra Song features warm Teak, Padua and Mahogany woods throughout, custom-designed furniture covered with colorful Thai silks and cottons, oriental rugs, Thai and Southeast Asian art, sculpture and artifacts. It has been designed using many accessories from the arts and crafts made by the peoples living along the rivers and Klongs of Thailand, as well as some of the more remote areas.
“Some of these crafts are quite sophisticated and fine, while others are more folk items or items that have been used by the Thai people for generations,” explains interior designer Kathleen Heinecke,
CEO of Polygon Designs. “We also wanted to reflect and re-create in a small way, some of the many early European influences that were embraced and encouraged by King Rama V. Many of these influences resulted in a good marriage of the styles of the time, both Thai and foreign, mixing local carving expertise with the sumptuous fabrics - many of them made from Thai silks and cottons, patterns and colors,”
Mrs. Heinecke continued.
There are many examples of this “marriage of styles” throughout the Manohra Song’s interior. A perhaps less obvious example of the master craftsmen of Thailand is the actual construction of the boat itself. Most of the work was carried out in the same manner in which it has been done for centuries - using mostly a sharp eye and patience with simple tools in very experienced hands - skills that have been passed from father to son.
Manohra Song is staffed by an experienced and attentive crew of four.
A variety of custom-planned cruises are available, including the regularly scheduled two night – three day “Ayutthaya Adventure”. Stops along the way include overnights at Wat Bang Na, a typical Thai temple, plus the unique Wat Nivat. There’s also a tour of the fabulous Summer Palace complex at beautiful Bang Pa-In. In Ayutthaya, there’s time to explore the 17th Century historical ruins (UNESCO World Heritage site), ride an elephant and do a little shopping and sight-seeing. The Chao Phraya river itself offers a never-ending vista of river life; temples, log-rafts, barges, long-tail boats, houses, palaces, and Wats; and above all, the friendly, happy people who are never too busy to wave at visitors cruising aboard Manohra Song.
Manohra Song is available for private charters and custom cruises departing from the Manohra Cruises pier located on the river front of the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa. Special arrangements can be made
for alternate pick-up and drop off points.
Services and features
“Manohra Song” has been described as the most luxurious trip on Thailand’s legendary “River of Kings”- an adventure experience
in a “Uniquely Thai” manner…an exclusive luxury cruise in an exotic setting for a limited number of discerning guests.
Four air-conditioned staterooms with en suite bathrooms Beautifully furnished with appointments of Teak and rare woods, Thai fabrics, Antiques, Art and Oriental Carpets
Deluxe Amenities Bathrobe & Slippers Vanity and make-up mirror Personal safe Hairdryer
Spacious upper deck with lounge and dining area Sun deck Fully provisioned galley Private crew quarters and bathroom Two-engines for safety and maneuverability Captain, Chief Steward, Assistant Steward and First Mate on-board Full bar available Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, all tours, guide, admissions and transfers included
A three-day two-night cruise on one of Asia’s most famous rivers -
Thailand’s “River of Kings”, the Chao Phraya
The cruise departs on Mondays and Thursdays from Bangkok
Depart from the Manohra Cruises Pier located in front of the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa. Once on board you’ll meet your Manohra Song Chief Steward and the crew who will be looking after you on your trip. Cold, lemon-grass scented towels and a chilled fresh fruit cocktail will be waiting for you.
Arrive at The Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun as it is otherwise known. This is one of the best known temples in Bangkok and dates back to the ancient Ayutthaya period. The tall, elongated central Khmer-style tower is surrounded by four minor towers, which symbolise Mount Meru, the earthly representation of the thirty-three heavens. Here you’ll find pavilions containing statues of the Buddha at the most important stages of life. The beautiful architecture and fine craftsmanship mark Wat Arun as one of the most remarkable temples in Thailand. We’ll stop here for a short guided tour and depart at 11.30 am.
There also a chance to have your fortune told here also.
Arrive at the Royal Barges National Museum. This is one of Bangkok’s most fascinating sights and something you will not see anywhere else in the world. The museum is home to an incredible collection of gilded and ornately decorated boats with magnificently carved prows. His Majesty the King’s personal barge, Suphannahongse, can be seen here. Built in 1911 to resemble a mythical swan, the boat is 46
meters long and was carved from a single tree. All the barges are unique and incredible works of craftsmanship.
Lunch underway. Enjoy our Thai cuisine prepared by your personal on-board chef. Shortly after your lunch, the Manohra Song will pass the island of Koh Kret in Nonthaburi Province, an island which was ‘man-made’ in the last 100 years when a canal was built to shorten the journey around a circuitous bend in the river. The island is populated by the Mon people, one of Thailand’s many ethnic minority groups who use the river’s fine clay to produce earthenware pots. Spend the afternoon relaxing on board, watching the vignettes of river life unfold as they float by.
At 4 pm we’ll serve a traditional English afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, scones and dainties, with a selection of teas.
A quick stop at Wat Pathum Khong Ka to feed the fish – a simple way of gaining merit and good luck. This promotes the Buddhist cycle of life by feeding the fish so they in turn can produce life.
Some of these carp fish are giants!
Arrive at Wat Bang Na, where we can watch the sunset and then moor for the night. Wat Bang Na was constructed in 1777 by a Mon family who moved from Ayutthaya. One of the more curious sights
within the compound of this temple is the body of the 4th chief monk of this temple who died in 1988 but whose mummified body remains in excellent condition and is today housed in a glass enclosure.
Relax and freshen up in your private ensuite stateroom and then return to the deck for aperitifs and Thai canapes.
With Wat Bang Na, as a dramatic backdrop, a dinner of Thai traditional dishes will be served. Relax on deck with a glass of wine or digestif before retiring to your stateroom for your first night on the river.
An early start and chance to make merit with the Monks of Wat Bang Na and tour the temple. Thai Buddhists believe that by making merit, they earn happiness, peace in life and the chance to progress in their next life. Making merit with the Monks is a wonderfully harmonious way to start the day.
We’ll get underway for the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya
Freshly prepared continental breakfast is served. A morning of gentle cruising up the Chao Phraya, through the Thai countryside. Recline on a deck lounger and watch the river life float past.
An Italian luncheon of pasta and salad served under steam.
Arrive at Wat Pananchoeng to begin your tour. Wat Pananchoeng is an old monastery housing Thailand’s largest ancient Buddha image. This image, known as Luang Po To was made in 1344. The Chinese
revere this image as their God Protector since much of the sailing done then was by the Chinese. A waiting limousine with guide will then transfer you to within Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The ancient capital was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong and it was from here that the Siamese ruled their Kingdom for 417 years.
You’ll spend the afternoon exploring Ayutthaya in the company of our expert guide. There’ll even be a chance for you to experience riding on the back of an elephant. As Ayutthaya is such a large area, the limousine driver will wait for you and take you on a tour of the outer areas of the ancient city.
From Ayutthaya, you’ll transfer by limousine to Bang Pa In, one of the 16 districts of Ayutthaya where you’ll rejoin the Manohra Song. Along the way, you may wish to buy a bag of fish or a cage of small birds for you to release back to nature. This is a wonderful gesture and makes merit. Across from Bang Pa In is Wat Nivat - one of the more intriguing Buddhist temples – and this is where we’ll moor for the
night. Wat Nivat was constructed at the command of King Rama V in 1878, in the style of an English Gothic church. The temple’s stained glass windows and unusual architecture make it one of the most distinctive Buddhist temples anywhere in Thailand
Relax and freshen up in your private ensuite stateroom and then return to the deck for aperitifs and Asian-inspired canapes
For your second night on the river, we’ll serve an Ayutthaya-inspired Thai dinner.
Wake up to the taste of a full English breakfast, freshly prepared to your order from the Manohra Song kitchen.
Guided tour of Wat Nivat
From Wat Nivat it is a short walk to the Bang Pa In Summer Palace. The original Bang Pa In Palace was built by King Prasat Thong on the island and was used as a country residence for the later kings of the Ayutthaya period. However, after the capital moved to Bangkok, Bang Pa In was abandoned for 80 years, to be revived by King Rama V. He commanded the construction of additional buildings – theatres, temples and monuments in a mixture of European, Chinese and Thai styles. We’ll explore the palace grounds by electric carts although the site can be easily walked.
Get underway for Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center.
A short cruise downriver from Bang Pa In is the Bang Sai village, which enjoys the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen. Here you can see a variety of Thai houses in regional styles and see how Thailand’s rural people make handicrafts such as fern basketry, silk flowers, hand-woven silk and cotton, silk dyeing, wood carving, miniature hand-modeled dolls and traditional furniture. A great place to shop for Thai handicrafts. After a short guided tour, we will depart at around 1 pm.
Light Thai luncheon underway
Light afternoon tea served on board as we head back towards Bangkok.
Arrive at the Manohra Cruises Pier and disembark. Try dinner at one of the Resort’s many restaurants. The Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa has the longest river front terrace in Bangkok and at the open-air Riverside Terrace restaurant there is a nightly show of Thai dancing and music set against the backdrop of the river. The restaurant’s ‘show kitchens’ serve everything from a la minute pasta, seafood BBQ, Teppanyaki and Thai dishes to Indian and Chinese delicacies, Japanese sushi and sashimi, all freshly prepared at live stations. Alternatively head to one of the resort’s other restaurants award-winning Benihana, The Rice Mill or Trader Vic’s (dinner costs on the third night are not included in the cruise)
Year Round 2 nights/3 days
Manohra Song Luxury Cruise
Two night / Three day
(Round-trip by rice barge)
Every Monday and Thursday
Inquire for details or reservation.