Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

SPECIAL TRAVEL ISSUE | SIDE TRIPS

King of the River

April 19, 1998

Bangkok is famous for its beastly traffic. Seasoned travelers know that the best way to sightsee is by boat--the Chao Phraya River and its canals run through the capital and the surrounding countryside, offering less stressful access to Thailand's treasures than the tuk-tuk-clogged streets. And the most regal vessel floating on the "River of Kings" is the Manohra Song, a converted rice barge.

This is no glorified log raft. The designer, former Angeleno Kathleen Heinecke, started with the 60-foot solid teak hull of the old barge and added four posh air-conditioned suites with private baths and big picture windows. She appointed the craft with mahogany wood, antiques, Oriental carpets and Thai artifacts. The result is a cruiser so sumptuous and exotic, it looks as if it floated out of Marco Polo's imagination.

It takes a day and a half for the Manohra Song to meander the 50 miles between Bangkok and the ancient city of Ayutthaya, once capital of Siam. Along the way, passengers receive royal treatment: Thai feasts prepared by a personal chef, guided tours of the World Heritage sites of Ayutthaya, the picturesque Wat Bang Na and the Summer Palaces at Bang Pa In, and the scenic backdrop of temples and long-tail boats, ruins and rice paddies. Manohra Cruises, 011 (662) 476-0021, fax 011 (662) 476-1120; $308 per person/double occupancy.--Renee Vogel

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|