For an excellent mix of food, shopping and entertainment all in one modern mall and market experience, why not visit Asiatique: The Riverfront?
Asiatique: The Riverfront opened in 2012 on the Chao Phraya River and has quickly developed a reputation for being a modern and organised cross between the best of Bangkok night markets and modern shopping malls. Asiatique is also probably the only market in Bangkok where looking at a map will help you find what you’re looking for.
Located in the old warehouses of the East Asiatic Company, Asiatique pays homage to Bangkok’s past as a riverside trading post during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The area was originally the pier where most of the teak trade occurred on grounds formerly owned by a Danish trading company. Many of the original buildings have been retained and given a facelift. Just a sign note, before this area became warehouses of EAs Asiatic Company, it used to be the location of Wat Phraya Krai, where the Golden Buddha was housed before it was moved to Wat Trimitr, it was at the time of its moving it was discovered to be made of gold.
From the river boat you’ll step off onto a 300-metre-long boardwalk which is perfect for a romantic stroll at sunset. Once inside the old warehouse complex, wide streets separate each warehouse and Asiatique provides retro props like a reproduction tram car, anchors, a push cart and beautiful gardens that are perfect for photo opportunities.
Asiatique contains over 1,500 boutiques and stores and 40 restaurants. You’ll need an entire evening to explore here, browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts and souvenirs, and finding something to eat among the huge range of outlets and restaurants. If this isn’t enough, popular puppet and cabaret shows are performed nightly. You’ll also find the ‘Asiatique Sky’ giant Ferris wheel at Asiatique. For 400 baht per adult you’ll be taken on a ride that offers unparalleled riverside views of the Bangkok skyline.
When you arrive by boat at the Waterfront district, you’ll find fancy restaurants and event venues lined up along the boardwalk. Concerts, festivals and the New Year’s countdown celebrations take place here.
The Factory district houses over 500 fashion boutiques in a 100-year-old sawmill refurbished to offer an upmarket shopping experience. You’ll find lots of fashion, souvenirs, design items, handicrafts, furniture, home furnishings and much more. You’ll get good value for money but it’s not the cheap bargain hunting you would find at many other night markets.
The Town Square district is a mix of Thai and western influences featuring a large sports bar, international food, and an events area. Small vendors are dotted around the square and offer drinks and reasonably priced Thai food. It’s here that Asiatique has the familiar sights and smells of KFC, Pizza Company and Au Bon Pain.
There are more than 40 restaurants at Asiatique, and you won’t be left hungry. There’s an outdoor food court (with a roof to protect diners from the rain). There’re plenty of international dining options, from Japanese, to Italian, French, Korean, American, Thai, Chinese, and Turkish cuisines. For those with a taste for the not-so-spicy version of Thai cuisine, try Baan Kanitha, an upmarket restaurant that’s a good choice for people who prefer Thai cuisine adjusted for international tastes. It’s not too spicy and a great option for families with kids. Why don’t you ask your guide for some suggestions on the best places to eat at Asiatique, tailored to your tastes?
The Chareonkrung district is where you’ll find more than 1,000 night market style shops selling handicrafts, home decor and souvenirs. It’s here you’ll also find Asiatique’s two biggest entertainment draws. The Thai puppet shows by the esteemed Joe Louis Theatre and Calypso Cabaret, one of Bangkok’s celebrated ladyboy shows. The Calypso is quiet a spectacle and features around 50 performers at each show. Both these shows have been attracting large audiences for years, and Asiatique is the perfect new surrounding for them. There’re also Muay Thai live shows, making Asiatique a place where you can cram an awful lot of Thai experiences into one night!
The selection of shops in the Chareonkrung district is interesting with a good range of unusual (and upmarket) brands rather than the usual row upon row of tourist trinkets. The Chareonkrung bazaar is busy but not overrun by tourists; locals enjoy coming to Asiatique as well. The overall atmosphere is lively, without being overcrowded or busy.
Asiatique: The Riverfront is at Chareonkrung Soi 72-76 and is open 4pm to midnight. The easiest and fastest way to get there is via river boat, even though Asiatique officially open at 4pm, things don’t really get started until around 6 pm.
Consider spending an evening at Asiatique after visiting the many attractions in central Bangkok, it’s close to the old city with its many temples, museums, galleries and attractions.
If you’re short on time on your visit to Bangkok then this is the ultimate mix of experiences all in one place! Talk to us at Your Thai Guide about getting you to Asiatique: The Riverfront!