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Food · Recipes · Travel

Asiatique The Riverfront – Bangkok’s Modern Night Market by the Chao Phraya River

One of the reasons that keeps me coming back to Bangkok is that Bangkok is a city that is never short of street food and markets. There’s always something new to eat or see whenever I’m back here. During my last trip, I didn’t manage to visit Asiatique The Riverfront so this time round, I made sure I had ample time to check out new markets as well as revisit the old ones.

For those of you who haven’t been to Asiatique The Riverfront, it’s a terribly spacious warehouse-like complex with a 2-in-1 concept that combines the essence of a huge open-air mall as well as a night/festive market bazaar. It’s located along the Chao Phraya River where a once-bustling trading port used to be.

Asiatique may be located on the riverbank but it is accessible by both taxi (road) or boat (river) from Sathorn Pier. The latter is a more convenient option as traffic congestion can get really bad in the area.

Saphan Taksin is the nearest BTS Station to Sathorn Pier. If your hotel is located along the Sukhumvit Line, you just need to take the BTS to Siam and change to the Silom Line to get to Saphan Taksin.

When you’ve arrived at Saphan Taksin BTS Station, look out for Exit 2 and go down the stairs.

From here, just turn to your left and walk to the end…

…till you see this pink Asiatique sign, which is the entrance point for the Asiatique-bound boat ride.

The official Asiatique shuttle boat is a free service so make sure you’re on the right queue as I noticed there was also another independent boat operator that charged money for the same route.

Here comes the boat.

Inside was pretty clean and nice. Better than I expected.

Taking the boat to Asiatique was kinda fun because at the same time, we could cruise down the Chao Phraya River and enjoy a little sight-seeing on the way.

That’s Asiatique in the distance with the large Ferris Wheel.

The whole boat ride took about 10 minutes. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel sea-sick as the ride was smooth and steady so if you’re one who easily get motion sickness like me, don’t worry, it should be fine.

Another look at the shuttle boat

For the return boat ride to Sathorn Pier, just queue on the left hand side (likely to be the longer queue anyway) for the free shuttle boat as the one on the right is the ‘paying’ one.

Well, we didn’t really go around specifically looking for the sculptures but here was one (EAC Anchor) that was near where we were.

Restaurants and retail shops are housed in replica warehouses like this. Apparently, there are about 1,500 of them here so it will take you quite some time to actually comb through all the rows and rows of shops so come early if you think you need more time.

Love locks

Bangkok’s version of 美珍香 doesn’t sell bak kwa, lol. This is a souvenir snack shop where you can purchase all kinds of local Thai snacks and food gifts to bring home.

Stumbled upon this familiar guy.

If you like the Koh-Kae brand of peanut snacks, you’ll sure recognise him.

They actually have an ice cream shop here.

And if you like illusionary art, there are a couple here to take some shots. Thought Hubby did a good one to catch hold of that falling peanut, lol.

We had a cone (20 baht) each. It was so yummy! The ice cream had an intense nutty flavour and was packed full of peanut fragrance. Texture wise, it was smooth and creamy but not overly sweet or cloying. Must try!

Things at Asiatique are generally more expensive when it comes to shopping. For example, a pair of Havaianas flip-flops cost about 180 baht at Chatuchak Market (before nego) but 250 baht (fixed price) at Asiatique. Batik pants is selling at 100 baht per pair at Pratunam Market and at double the price at Asiatique.

Unless you’re looking for specialty products that you can’t easily find elsewhere, I would say stick with Chatuchak and Pratunam for your regular shopping.

Hello Kitty lovers – you would adore this shop

You can mail a postcard home if you want

This is one kitchenware shop that I really like. The products here are quite expensive but since I can’t find the designs I like from other markets or even in Singapore, I don’t mind splurging a bit on these.

Heard JJ Lin’s song in the background and found our way to this spot but no, it wasn’t a live performance though it really sounded like one because of the acoustics. This guy’s little puppet friend acted like he was singing but it was just music played from a CD, lol. Still quite entertaining as it was one of my favourite JJ Lin’s songs.

At Asiatique, there are no roadside street food so what they have are just restaurants, eateries and kiosks selling kebabs, ice creams, etc. More upmarket here.

The balloon man

Caricature drawing

A beautiful view of the Ferris Wheel at night

Tao Kae Noi Shop – lots of goodies to buy

All in all, this is quite a nice market to visit because it’s spacious, clean, airy and well-ventilated unlike Chatuchak Market that can get really stuffy especially when you’re right in the middle. The atmosphere here is quite festive and fun and I do like checking out specialty shops that carry interesting or specially curated goods. It is also an entertainment joint where you can catch cabaret shows or muay thai live. Very family and kids friendly too as there are activities for the kiddos to keep them entertained.

It’s definitely more upmarket here but I must say prices go with quality too. They don’t just sell any cheap junk and crap – it’s a more limited selection. There is also a pretty huge Naraya store here in which I’ve spent the most time, lol.

Asiatique is open from 4.00pm to midnight daily. For more information, check out the Asiatique website.

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