Shopping on the Dock of the Bay: Asiatique The Riverfront
When people travel to Thailand they’re after beaches, scenery, culture and shopping. Bangkok is the king of the shopping malls in Thailand with huge sprawling complexes offering the latest items. Asiatique The Riverfront is a shopping center with a difference.
Asiatique The Riverfront opened back in 2012 to the huge acclaim of the local population. It’s Bangkok’s biggest and most well-known waterfront retail complex. It’s not just retail therapy either, as there are a wide variety of other attractions to explore and enjoy within the vast complex. It’s all open air and feels more like walking around a small village or town rather than a shopping mall and has quickly become popular with tourist and locals alike.
What’s at Asiatique?
Arriving in the evening presents a scene that looks like a neon factory has exploded. Lights are everywhere, signs flash and loud music pumps from various locations.
There are 4 key parts to the Asiatique that act as distinct districts. The themes focus on different activities; some are for shopping, others for entertainment. Thankfully there are maps everywhere, and you’ll need them as this place is ginormous.
Shop til You Drop
Shopping here is very much like the rest of Thailand, but on a bigger scale and in more modern locations. The shops are smart and well kept, but stock the same items you will have seen elsewhere. You’ll begin to see the same patterns appearing in multiple shops and realize that most shops use the same stockists.
If you’re truly after the classic Thai bargains, (we’re thinking elephant pants and the like…), then you’re best off going to one of the more local market places for a more affordable deal.
Are You Not Entertained?
As we said above, this place isn’t just about shopping. Asiatique The Riverfront’s showpiece is a towering ferris wheel. Known as The Asiatique Sky, the gigantic wheel is visible from almost everywhere in the nearby area. At the top you’ll be 60 meters (200 feet) above the ground.
The views are phenomenal and you can see across the whole city. The price is almost fairly awe-inspiring at a hefty 400 baht per ride. Tickets (unsurprisingly at that price) are available regularly without much of a queue.
The wheel aside, there are plenty of other options. Feeling like taking on a real Thai experience? Hunt down one of the bug sellers and tuck into a range of deeply fried tasty insects! Not feeling the bugs? Go for one of the hundreds of other places available to eat; Thai, Western, savory and sweet are all on offer.
You can even get yourself a relaxing fish pedicure to relax (!) those weary feet.
How to Get to Asiatique The Riverfront
You can pick any number of ways to get there. The BTS station to aim for is Saphan Taksin (S6) but this involves a 20-minute walk at the other end or (if you go out at exit 2) there’s the option of the free shuttle ferry up the river if you take it at 4 or 8pm.
The second option, and arguably the most straightforward, is to take the red number 15 bus from the Siam Center. The only downside to this option is that you might end up sitting in traffic for a while, but it’s free and takes you direct to the entrance.
Bodega Insider Tip
If you’re keen to avoid the crowds aim to leave your place around 2pm, this gives you plenty of time to get there for the 4pm opening time. That said, we’d recommend an evening visit (it closes at midnight) to really soak up the atmosphere.