June 9, 2013

Asiatique The Riverfront, Bangkok…like visiting a theme park with too much shopping

Everything is well-planned and spacious in this chic lifestyle village/complex – Asiatique. Located along the Chao Praya river, this trendy, massive night market is housed in rows of giant warehouses  which are in fact the old East Asiatic Company warehouses, which date from the mid-19th century). In  total there are about 1,500 handicraft and souvenirs shops, some 40 restaurants (ranging from KFC to MK to Baan Khanitha), brasseries and bars, two theatres – one of them  is Calypso, a ladyboy cabaret. Wide streets run between each warehouse and Asiatique provides retro props for photo opportunities: a reproduction tram car, anchors and a push cart while cool modern jazz sets the mood. Clearly, Asiatique doesn’t resemble the maze of the Chatuchak weekend market.

Many of the shopping stalls you’ll find at Asiatique offer what you would find at the old Suan Lum Night Market across the street from Lumpini Park or MBK mall although far surpassing it in quality, diversity and scope. There are cheap shoes and clothes, expensive (and real) name-brand sunglasses to cheap fake ones, chic designer clothing boutiques to simple racks of 100 baht wears, and hand-made traditional Thai mask galleries to standard T-shirt,  touristy house wares and other souvenirs (lots and lots of elephants). Although the items here are pretty upscale compare to the markets, there are good finds too.

Getting to Asiatique is easily done with their free 15-minute ride shuttle boat service runs from the central pier within walking distance from Saphan Taksin BTS station.

There were moments I felt like I was visiting a theme park with too much shopping. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

Wat Phraya Krai-20130604-00066

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