Arguably Bangkok's most stunning retail space, Asiatique: The Riverfront is a majestic, open-air night-time shopping experience and food venue on the Chao Phraya river. Opened as recently as 2012, this purpose-built venue is home to more than 1,700 shops, many of them independent retailers, 40 restaurants, live entertainment, and a plethora of other activities.
Located in previously derelict East Asiatic Company warehouses on the banks of the river, Asiatique has been designed to retain much of Bangkok's charm as a critical trading post at the turn of the nineteenth century. The stores and eateries have been designed within the original buildings, and the result is a charming yet modern space that locals and tourists alike can enjoy. Let's take a look at some of the best things to do at Asiatique: The Riverfront.
Asiatique is a large complex, but it's actually pretty well-organized, meaning you can plan ahead and make sure you see everything that takes your interest. The venue is split into four districts as follows:
The factory district: More than 500 retailers are packed into the factory district's old riverside warehouses. Here you will find lots of designer goods and up-market items, including fine handicrafts, luxurious home furnishings, and all the latest gadgets.
The waterfront district: This is what gives Asiatique its WOW factor! The waterfront district is the first thing you see when arriving by boat, and you will be impressed by the up-market, bistro restaurants that line the stunning boardwalk. Choose from cuisine from all around the world and sample the very best food that Bangkok has to offer. You will also notice the Ferris wheel housed in the waterfront district, so go for a ride to see stunning views across the city.
The town square district: Here is a bit of a melting pot; a fusion between east and west. You'll be able to enjoy a delicious coffee at one of the many independent coffee houses, as well as some famous Asian cuisine.
The Chareonkrung district: Perhaps the heartbeat of the entire venue, you will find more than 1,000 shops here, the majority of which are independent retailers selling handicrafts, souvenirs, and various other goods.
Each district has its own unique charm and identity, which lends itself to the wonderful diversity of goods and food available at Asiatique.
Muay Thai Live is a spectacular live stage show of martial arts that offers tourists a glimpse into one of the most popular leisure activities in Thai culture. Based on traditional Thai boxing, the show incorporates an incredible array of colors, drama, and athleticism, and is a real treat for any visitor to Bangkok. You can enjoy the show every night of the week (except Mondays), and it usually runs from 8 pm – 9.30 pm. After the event's theatrics, you can stay and enjoy the real Thai boxing fights that are on after the show finishes! It's a good idea to plan your visit in advance and book your tickets, as the show is really popular with locals and tourists alike.
The Calypso Cabaret is the most famous ladyboy cabaret show in Bangkok and is extremely popular with tourists from all over the world. The larger than life show offers an impressive display of song and dance performances by talented actors who dress extravagantly and offer the audience a glimpse of one of the most unusual elements of Thai culture. You can also enjoy some incredible Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe impersonations at the show, and the show really is a fusion of eastern flair and western artistry. The cabaret is super popular, so make sure you book your tickets in advance.
Asiatique is a mecca for foodies, and there is something for everyone. With over forty restaurants to choose from, the hardest decision you're faced with is selecting where to eat. Many of the restaurants line the riverside deck and are beautifully lit with classical jazz playing in the background. It's easy to forget you're in the chaotic capital down on the riverfront, and it makes for a memorable, romantic occasion. Restaurants serve up the best in Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Italian cuisine, so you can decide what takes your fancy and find anything to suit your needs. If you're looking for exceptional Thai cuisine in wonderful surroundings, look no further than Bann Khanitha.
Asiatique is much more than just a shopping and eating venue. It's also an excellent place to spend quality time with your family and friends with dozens of family-friendly activities. One of the highlights of any visit to Asiatique is a ride on the Ferris wheel, where you can enjoy panoramic views down the famous Chao Phraya river and across the Bangkok skyline. At 42 metres high, there's not a lot you can't see from the top, so it's well worth your time if you're hoping to enjoy unrivalled views across the city.
You can get to Asiatique in a variety of ways. If you choose to come by road, you can arrange a fair with a local taxi company. If you prefer to travel by public transport, you can take the number 15 red bus from Siam Centre. The journey is free, and it stops right in front of Asiatique. If you wish to travel via road, be mindful that the Bangkok traffic can be notoriously heavy, so plan for delays!
The best way to get to Asiatique is actually by boat. Take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station, and from there you walk a short distance to Sathorn Pier. From the pier you can enjoy a fifteen-minute boat cruise up the river, that takes you directly to the riverfront. The boat runs every fifteen minutes between 4 pm – 11 pm and is a wonderful way to arrive at one of Bangkok's most enjoyable tourist destinations.
Directions: Shuttle Ferry
Address: 2194 Charoen Krung Rd, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Opening hours: 11:30–14:30, 17:30–22:30
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