The Nam Jai, literally “water from the heart” in Thai, but more commonly understood as “with heart” or “kindness”, is an antique teak rice barge which has been restored by hand and outfitted with comfortable seating for eight. Cruises will set off from the resort’s newly built private pier, Long Muan, which means “fun sailing” in the local Lanna dialect.
There are two itineraries for guests to choose from. The sunrise cruise departs at 9.00 am for the nearby Wat Ket Karam. One of Chiang Mai’s oldest communities, Wat Ket, it is a melting pot of cultures – Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh – with their different houses of worship built side by side. Guests will have the opportunity to make merit with the Buddhist monks, then cross the road to snack at what was once the city’s best kept secret, but now is in the Michelin guide – the simple roadside stall Lung Kajohn which serves up delicious bite-sized steamed rice dumplings, Khao Kriab Pak Moh. From there, it is a short stroll to the quaint pedestrian bridge of Khua Khaek for views of the river and Doi Suthep in the background.
The twilight voyage departs at 5.00 pm, sailing north past some of the city’s most iconic bridges, small temples and into lush green. This is a magical time of day, when the air stills and the sky begins to glow ochre then pink. Guests enjoy free-flow sparkling wine, canapes and a romance to savour.
“At Anantara, we believe in immersing guests in the real destination”, says Pitak Norathepkitti, General Manager of the resort. “A river cruise is a distinctly Thai experience, as well the perfect way to observe local life and rhythms unobtrusively. Our new offering will be one of the most luxurious in Chiang Mai, and we are immensely excited to share it with our guests and locals alike”.