Ever since the closing of Suan Lum Night Bazaar, people have been asking me about an alternative night market in Bangkok. At first I thought that Siam Paradise Night Bazaar on Sukhumwit would be a suitable replacement. But that hasn’t hit off. Now we have Asiatique The Riverfront which is the best contender so far. It sits between Charoen Krung Road and the Chao Phraya River on a plot of land that used to be the warehouses for a Danish company called The East Asiatic Company Limited. The main archway in this waterfront property dates back over 100 years. In fact much of the architecture reflects back to the reign of King Rama V and is either original or an authentic replica.
Asiatique, which is a true night bazaar as it is open daily from 5 p.m. to midnight, had its grand opening just last week. When I visited, not all of the shops and restaurants were open, but when complete, they claim that they will have 1,500 shops and 40 restaurants. Of the shops that are open already, I did notice that some of them looked much the same as those at Suan Lum Night Bazaar. In fact, one shop-owner I did ask, said that he used to have a store there. From what I saw, there seems to be a lot souvenirs, fashion and home decor items.
The water front is split into four distinct zones. Chaoroen Krung District where there are 1,000 shops and a theatre for entertainment and performing arts. This will be the new home for Joe Louis Puppet Theatre and also the Calypso Bangkok Theatre. Town Square is designated for outdoor events and activities and is surrounded by international dining scene and sports bars. Factory District showcases hip dining outlets and shops selling products with style. The Waterfront area has a 300-meter long promenade and chic international restaurants offering Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Italian cuisines.
Asiatique is not in an area generally visited by foreign tourists. But this is sure to change. If you have your own car, they have parking for 2,000 vehicles. If you have a yacht, you can moor at their pier! For tourists, the easier way is probably by taking the free shuttle boat from the Sheraton Pier near BTS Saphan Taksin. It starts running from about 5 p.m. Outside these times, there is a Chao Phraya River Express pier at the temple next door. You could take a taxi or motorcycle taxi from the sky train station. It will be about 50 Baht. If you have been already, let me know what you think. Will it replace Suan Lum Night Bazaar?
GPS Coordinates: 13.704059697653, 100.50287320503 [MAP]