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Mekhala Rice Barge

Cruise Ships in Thailand : Mekhala Rice Barge

The three Mekhala rice barges have been elegantly restored to provide a charming and relaxing way to travel between Bangkok and Ayutthaya on an overnight cruise, with their small size creating an intimate, highly personalized atmosphere.

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Audley Travel Specialist Alix

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Thailand specialists at 617-223-4125

Cruising on one of these restored teak rice barges is a wonderful way to explore Thailand’s historical waterways as you retrace the journey of former royal processions between the present capital of Bangkok and the ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya. This ancient capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is arguably Thailand’s equivalent to the Angkor Wat Buddhist temples. 

Over a two day cruise you’ll gain a wonderful perspective on life along the Chao Phraya River, visiting regal palaces, historic temples and colorful markets. However, you’ll still have some time left over to spend at leisure on board the charming two-deck barges, where simplicity and relaxation is key. While they may lack the facilities of more modern vessels, the barges offer homely comforts and remain in keeping with the area’s traditional way of life, providing a welcome contrast to the buzz of Bangkok.


Mekhala 1 and 2 both feature six double cabins for up to 12 guests, while Mekhala 3 has eight double cabins for up to 16 guests. Each cabin has its own en suite bathroom a few steps below the berth. 


  • Covered dining area where drinks and snacks can be enjoyed, along with delicious Thai cuisine.
  • Option to enjoy a candlelit dinner under the stars.


  • Chao Phraya River - 1 night between Bangkok and Ayutthaya and vice versa, departing regularly throughout the year

Suggested itineraries

Ayuthaya, Thailand

Our specialists suggest: 1 night aboard Mekhala Rice Barge as part of our 12-day "Thailand Uncovered" itinerary, from $5,645pp. Read more »


  • Open-air deck for viewing life on the Chao Phraya River
  • Covered seating area on deck