All Aboard Bangkok's Newest Landmark on the Mighty River of Kings: Sirimahannop
Besides the magnificent tall ship Sirimahannop, dazzling gold and orange colors from a Bangkok sunset reflect off the water. On deck, the crowds are sipping on crafted cocktails and kicking back to a DJ, making for the perfect evening ahead in the city of light.
Bangkok is a city linked to its river - the mighty Chao Phraya or 'River of Kings - like few others. It has carried local commuters and boats laden with produce, tourist ferries and Royal barges through the heart of the Thai capital since Bangkok was founded in the eighteenth century.
An instant new landmark in Bangkok, the breath-taking Sirimahannop is Thailand's largest three-masted vessel, a 190ft maritime marvel, launched by Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park and now permanently docked at Asiatique The Riverfront.
Brilliantly blending culture and history with vibrant mixology and gastronomy, Sirimahannop is a replica of the Royal Thai navy ship from the reign of His Majesty King Rama V, who ruled from 1868-1910. The elegant décor takes visitors back in history - but this is also a space designed to relax in style, accommodating up to 300 across two levels.
As to who you'll find onboard, Mr. Brendon Partridge, Director of Food & Beverage explains some of the crowd who have quickly become regular guests: "Our guests are winers and diners, trendsetters and hipsters seeking a new experience. Taking pictures is one of the hottest activities; the ship provides a great backdrop for Instagram shots, and the drinks and shared plates are very photo-friendly. " Once they get on board, the reaction tends to be the same: Wow!
"We create a real wow factor, guests are always impressed by the look of the ship - and excited to step aboard. Sirimahannop really is a multi-sensory experience that is fast becoming the talk of the town. Guests are intrigued by our history, inspired by the surroundings and entertained by the gastronomic theatre."
Those drinks and culinary creations are a huge draw, especially three cocktails that showcase the tropical fruits of Thailand. "I Am Farang" blends the fruity flavor of guava and strawberry with tea, as the ship was once a type of vessel known as a 'tea clipper'. "Lychee" is especially popular among female guests, served in a tiki mug with Aperol and watermelon foam. Then "Rose Apple" blends a local Thai spirit with a unique rose apple liqueur, served from a hip flask in front of the guest for maximum effect.
Cuisine wise, many dishes are inspired by the ship's voyages between Thailand and Europe, but all are delicious:
"For example, our "Smoked Pepper Mackerel" is based on Scandinavian cuisine, while our "Gulf of Thailand Spicy Eggplant Curry" blends various Asian cultures in one smoky dish that is served with griddled roti and steamed rice. Then the "Beef Flank Steak from Java" is a fusion of Western-style steak marinated in oyster sauce with Javanese herbs and spices: chili, galangal, kaffir lime and lemongrass, with a toasted rice crust and cucumber herbal slaw."
European Oysters are another specialty, with the finest examples from France and Ireland set to tempt seafood fans, especially when paired with a glass of wine or champagne. That's another part of the beauty of this unique vessel - its versatility and ability to offer something for everyone.
Our top three tips:
· Long tables run along the sides of the ship and offer stunning views of the river, especially at sundowner time
· The Bridge Viewpoint features spectacular 360-degree views of the Chao Phraya and is ideal for private dinners
· Be sure to ask about the Hidden Rum Bar, a must-visit that lets you explore a variety of rums from around the world accompanied by an expert mixologist
Permanently docked at Asiatique The Riverfront, Sirimahannop is easily accessible by road and river, including complimentary shuttle boat services from the pier next to Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain station.