Sep 21 2012
We’ve written before on Bangkok‘s riverside Asiatique shopping extravaganza, but on a recent visit to the city we had the opportunity to spend a late afternoon and evening wandering the alleys, sampling the snackies and soaking up the Chao Phraya scenery.
All in all, it’s a bit of a gentrified Chatuchak market. The laneways are wider, floors cleaner, goods perhaps slightly more varied and prices most definitely a little higher.
The easiest way to reach the market is to get the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin and grab the shuttle boat from there. When you leave it’s easy enough to grab a taxi from Charoen Krung Road back to your hotel or guesthouse.
The market sits on grounds that were originally Bangkok’s first trading port. The name, as difficult to pronounce as it may be, is a play on words honouring the old Danish “Asiatic” freight company, which helped construct the port in the first place.
Today the trading takes two main forms: food and assorted knick-knacks. Want a life-size teddy bear? No problem. Likewise there is plenty of fodder for gifts here.
Compared to Chatuchak, Asiatique is really very orderly and organised. You’ll not be stepping over buckets of turtles or noodle soup slops, though, as the evening wears on, you may be stepping over a few people.
Okay, Hamish wasn’t really busking, but if you’re willing to grab a uke and sing to me in Thai in a public place I’ll put your photo on Travelfish.org.
Prices are higher than what I remember seeing in Chatuchak, but the quality of goods also seemed to be a step up.
But shopping has never been my forte; I’m an eating man through and through, and in that regard, Asiatique makes for a good spot to start the evening. Grab a few drinks and a bite to eat before heading over to Silom Soi 4 or, should you last long enough at Asiatique, Wong’s Place.
You’ll find Asiatique 1.5 kilometres south of Saphan Taksin bridge and BTS station just past Charoen Krung Soi 74. A free express boat shuttles shoppers from Saphan Taksin pier — if coming before 20:00, the boat picks passengers up from the Sheraton pier (all the way to the left if facing the river) and after 20:00 from the main Chao Phraya Express Boat pier. Asiatique is open nightly from 17:00 to 23:00.
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