ASIATIQUE The Riverfront is the new Suan Lum Night Bazaar

May 2, 2012

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]

18 Responses to ASIATIQUE The Riverfront is the new Suan Lum Night Bazaar

  1. Michael Chick on May 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Was there last Thursday, and it did feel like “the riverside-version” of Suan Lum. Suan Lum did however, feel like a more-expensive version of JJ though, so I don’t know if it’s a good thing to call Asiatique the Suan Lum replacement.

    On the other hand, you might want to check out a similar Bazaar which is located directly behind (means to the east of) Seacon Square. I was there on opening day, and it does feel cozy, albeit with less shops, and less decor than Asiatique.

    • Richard Barrow on May 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Do you mean to the south of Seacon? I saw that they were opening shops along the side road there. Or maybe you mean the area that used to be the ice rink? I think these are just dime a dozen places that you see everywhere. But I might be wrong.

      • Michael Chick on May 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Nope, I mean East of Seacon. It’s on the brown patch of earth on the map-link attached:
        http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Thonglor,+bangkok&hl=en&ll=13.693368,100.652243&spn=0.006035,0.009645&sll=14.058324,108.277199&sspn=24.503579,39.506836&t=h&hq=Thonglor,&hnear=Bangkok,+Thailand&fll=13.694108,100.652125&fspn=0.006035,0.009645&z=17

        which also makes it to the south of the golf-course. Easiest way is to park at Seacon Square, head away from Srinakarin Road, exit through the back, and look due east. It’s about a 100 meters away.

        • Michael Chick on May 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

          Did you manage to find it?

          It’s circa 600 shops, all built with bricks, (not stalls), some are air-conditioned, and feels like a slight upgrade of JJ…

          As mentioned, it is owned by BMA, and I was there on Opening-Ceremony Day, with many many “Poo Yai” dressed in black suits with ties (seriously inappropriate for the weather, IMHO)

  2. Michael Chick on May 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Forgot to mention that the bronze anthropomorphic castings at Asiatique look almost identical to those found on the banks of the Singapore River (across the riverbank from the Asian Civilizations Museum). Perhaps they were made by the same artisans?

  3. Bob on May 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Awesome! Finally a real replacement for the old Night Bazaar ….. This will be the new destination for tourist… Enjoyed the river boat ride from BTS Station…. very easy to get to..

  4. Izzy on May 21, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Went there last night, nice complimentary boat ride from the Sheraton pier at Saphan Taksin to Asiatique. However I was disappointed to see that much of the shop space is still unoccupied, and there was major ongoing construction on some buildings.
    Went to one of the busier waterfront restaurants for dinner. Ended up walking out in frustration after waiting an hour for a simple pasta dish. The table next to us with 6 starving kids were also waiting an hour but stayed. No one seemed to be in charge, and the waitresses kept apologising at first then just pretended not to see us. It would have been a better choice to have had dinner at the non-air conditioned food court there.
    I will definitely wait a few more months before i make another trip to Asiatique!

    • Michael Chick on May 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      @Izzy,
      As a rule-of-thumb, I always pick the “less popular restaurants” for this very reason.

  5. Andrea on July 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I went last friday and I will go back soon… still many free spaces but nice atmosphere. Not sure if the area will ever become touristic as Suan Lum used to be.

  6. Steve from Aus on August 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I will be traveling to Bankok in September and was very much looking towards visiting the old night markets.

    I used to walk up the road to the night markets from The Banyan Tree hotel, not knowing street names or area names what is the easiest way to get to Asiatique from Banyan Tree?

    • Michael Chick on August 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Easiest? Take a cab. Slightly less easy, is to walk to Silom, and take bus number 15. (and 77, as well, I think)

      Exact location is here. You can use your GPS to know when to alight:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=silom+soi+9,+bangkok&hl=en&ll=13.703609,100.503305&spn=0.001347,0.0021&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=35.957999,68.818359&t=h&hq=silom+soi+9,&hnear=Bangkok,+Thailand&fll=13.724356,100.528293&fspn=0.010777,0.016801&z=19

      Cheers Mate

      • Easy E on August 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        From Banyan Tree a taxi would be quickest but as someone who lives around there, if you don’t want to sit in Asiatique traffic on Friday through Sunday nights, take a cab to Rama 3 and come up Charoen Krung to Asiatique.

        • Richard Barrow on August 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm

          I have heard that the crowds are starting to be a bit too much with long queues for the free shuttle boat.

  7. san san on September 22, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I will be traveling to bangkok next week, would like to ask asiatique is worth to visit as i had limited time in bkk. And isit all the shop open until midnight or just part of it? how many percent of the shop were opened since it is a newly open

    • Richard Barrow on September 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

      I am not sure if it is 100% open yet, but when I visited last month I would say that they were nearly fully occupied. Its certainly getting Crowded now. I am not sure how late the smaller shops are open. I have never been there at midnight. Maybe someone else can answer.

      • Michael Chick on September 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

        Shops start to shutter from 11:30pm onwards. Occupancy is circa 90-95%, with the obscure/poorer locations not taken up. Was there perhaps 2weeks ago. Pls remember that this place only opens from 5:30/6pm, and would only kick into life when the sun has gone down. Also note that traffic is bad to get to this place from any location as traffic-jams are at its peak at that time as well.

        Consider being along the Chao Praya, so that you can take advantage of the traffic jam-free boats, to arrive at Saphan Taksin if you do want to get to Asiatique during peak traffic hours.

        Happy Travels

  8. Stanley on December 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I have been twice recently.
    It’s more upper class than the former Suan Lum, more restaurants, less cheap food and drinking areas.
    No Thai massage shops, wonder why. Should do well here.
    The free shuttle boat ride at one of the best part of the river will make it a must for all first time visitor.

  9. Hanlie on April 11, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I was there last night. I was a big fan of Suan Lum, but I have to to say this one is so much nicer. Same kind of idea, much a bit classier. And soooo much more spacious. I could actually walk peacefully and shop. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! Will be back many more times!

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