Bangkok April 2015 (Day 2) | Asiatique the Riverfront
Bangkok Itinerary Overview (2015). p.s. Read about our post of how to get from BKK airport to downtown.
Asiatique is located at a former pier which belonged to East Asiatic Company (owned by a Danish). Many of the original buildings have been refurbished and the warehouses converted into retail and dining spaces. Collectively, the place is restored to become a hip lifestyle arena or an upscale night market that seemed to attract more tourists than the locals.
Asiatique is separated into four districts:
- Factory Districts (fashion boutiques)
- Waterfront District (fancy restaurants with river views)
- Town Square District (more affordable food – Thai fusion and international food)
- Chareonkrung District (retail shops for handicrafts, home decor, etc).
Within each district, except for Waterfront, it is divided into different sections. So imagine how big the place is!
There are ample options to dine and shop, with a few interesting entertainment choices. I think people adore waterfront dining, and this place sought to feed this desire. However for most Asians who are at BKK for cheap bargains, they are not willing to spend on such dining. So they are more often seen at the affordable eating outlets.
Asiatique has a lively atmosphere. Though there were many people, the big open spaces didn’t make Asiatique feel overcrowded or busy. The place has a nice feel to it and it’s worth visiting one time.
But, just one time. I might probably visit again for the Muay Thai Live performance I missed. Otherwise, it’s too inaccessible and the shops have not much pull for me to go on a second trip. Besides, time at BKK is precious with all the shopping options!
Opening Hours and Address:
5:00pm – 12:00am
2194, Charoenkrung Rd., Wat Prayakai, Bangkoleam, Bangkok 10210
Tip: Try to reach before 9pm, because the retail shops close earlier. It’s mainly to chill and drink after 9pm.
Easiest, but not recommended. The roads leading to Asiatique tend to have traffic jams. And you can be sure that the taxi leaving Asiatique will give you a high price.
Bus + Taxi
Take BRT express bus to Rama 3 station, and get a taxi ride from there to Asiatique.
BTS + Boat (Best option)
Take to Saphan Taksin BTS. Exit towards the river, walk down a flight of stairs to the pier and turn left. Be sure to walk quickly to the pier and join the long queue, because hordes of people alighting are likely to head towards the queue too.
Keep left to queue for Asiatique and not Chatrium boat.
When we were at Sathorn pier, we didn’t know where we were supposed to take the free boat ride. But we saw a long queue, and quickly joined it. It got even longer after we queued.
The free boat ride to Asiatique leaves every 15 minutes. And it’s about 15 minutes scenic ride along Chao Phraya river.
When you return, just head back to the Asiatique pier and take the boat service.
Be prepared for a crowd though. We were so squeezed into an old cranky boat, that it felt like it was going to sink any moment. It was stuffy and hot, but thank God I was standing near to the railing for fresh air. Anyhow, I felt like we were on an illegal immigrant boat. Like how Singapore’s ancestors cross the Nanyang Straits (过南洋) from China. It didn’t seem like it in the picture, but it was that bad.
Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives
“This is a spectacular live show that tells the untold story of the origins and heroes of Muay Thai, spanning 300 years, from its origins to the present day. The performance boasts hyper-real Muay Thai fights, breath-taking stunts and jaw-dropping special effects, with the riches of Thai history as its gorgeous backdrop.” – quoted article.
The show has recently won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 even as the show just celebrated its first anniversary.
Pricing: Tickets start from THB 1,200. Child at THB 500 or free, depending on height. You can buy the tickets online or in person.
Showtime: Everyday, except Monday, from 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Location: Warehouse 4
Calypso Bangkok Theater (Cabaret Show)
The Calypso is a spectacle Cabaret show of about 50 transgender artists and performers.
Pricing: You can opt for show only, or show + dining. Tickets are at THB 900 or THB 1,500 for adults; and THB 600 or THB 1,200 for children. Numbered table-seating up to 5 visitors per table. So if you are in a group of five, the whole table is yours!
Showtime: 8:15pm and 9:45pm
Location: Warehouse 3
There are also street vendors to keep you entertained, like getting your portrait painted.
Joe Louis Puppet Theater
The Joe Louis Puppet Theater is a traditional puppet performance, with modern choreography. It will take you on a mystical and yet funny journey of ancient Thai characters. They have a variety of shows.
This is formerly performed at the Lumphini night plaza.
Location: Section 13
We didn’t do too much shopping here, because much stuff can be found at Chatuchak, at cheaper rates. At least that’s what we assumed.
Although there are a few interesting shops, like this ukulele shop below. Walk around and you might find some hidden gem!
As mentioned in my previous post, you can actually buy medicinal items and local foodstuff / products here at Asiatique. The shop name is 美珍香 (mei zhen xiang), picture below.
It’s cheaper to get your stuff here as compared to the shops at MBK (Siam Square). Do note that the selection at Asiatique is more limited than those at MBK. But, it has the “famous” or typical ones Singaporeans get.
We wanted to eat some Thai food, and didn’t want to spend so much on dining. Hence we didn’t go for a waterfront romantic dinner, but ended up at Rocking Doll.
We chose this place because it was relatively more crowded than the other eateries.
The food was average in my humble opinion. It was just a meal to get by. You can probably skip this place and choose from the many other dining options at Asiatique.
Or if you really want Thai food and are willing to spend, you can try Baan Kanitha, an upscale Thai food restaurant with four branches in Bangkok. Not really authentic Thai food, but catered to the tourists’ palate.
Mango Tango serves a variety of desserts and drinks with mango as their main ingredient. They have 2 outlets in BKK, with the other one at Siam Square Soi 3.
We got the Mango Tango with Extra Sticky Rice = Mango + Ice Cream + Pudding + Sticky Rice at 160 Baht.
I wanted to say it’s nice, but later on in our trip, we had Mango Sticky rice at a roadside stall which tasted more delicious and was cheaper. More on the location in my upcoming post.
What’s your favourite shop at Asiatique?
You may also like to read: Bangkok April 2015 (Day 1), Bangkok April 2015 (Day 2) | Siam Square
Photo Credits: 1/ Asiatique Ferry Pier Signage and Price list Source
Travels 23 to 26 April 2015 | © 2015 Joogo Travel