Asiatique

Bangkok's best night bazaar

Photo of , , Bangkok

What we say: 4 stars

Bangkok had a definite hole following the closure of Suan Lum night bazaar in 2011, but thankfully Asiatique has risen to the occasion and is now far better than Suan Lum ever was.

This sprawling, mostly roofed night bazaar is home to 1,500 shops, dozens of restaurants to suit all budgets, a 300-metre long riverfront boardwalk (by far the longest in Bangkok), a ferris wheel and performance spaces that are home to two top-notch stage shows: Joe Louis Puppet Theatre and Calypso Cabaret.

Although the bazaar is a modern affair, it also has a bit of history. The site was once home to Bangkok's first international sea port in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the name 'Asiatique' is a play on words honouring the old Dutch East Asiatic company that helped build the port. Tips of the hat to these golden days include antique anchors and train cars within the market. Keeping with traditional Thai culture, a spooky centuries-old two-storey house was left untouched during the development and now serves as Asiatique's very large spirit house.

Although the bazaar has an upmarket feel, it's quite eclectic and accessible for all budgets. Several pricey designer clothing boutiques, and even an iStudio Apple shop, can be found here, but hundreds of shops are dedicated to cheap wears and the usual souvenirs and T-shirts. You'll also find something different here, like hand-painted Thai masks and vintage toys.

Food options are similarly diverse. Settle into a flash wine bar right next to the river, enjoy giant mugs of beer and reasonably priced Thai food, choose from several Asian restaurants in a tightly packed food court, opt for standby chains like MK and Pizza Company, or pick up cheap street-style Thai finger foods in the back of the market.

Asiatique regularly hosts live DJs and bands and sometimes puts on large-scale music festivals complete with elaborate fireworks displays. All in all, this is a bazaar well done.

More details
Just past Charoen Krung Soi 74
Opening Hours: Nightly, 17:00-23:00
How to get there: Asiatique is located a couple of kilometres south of Saphan Taksin BTS station, but the easiest way to reach it is by a free boat shuttle that leaves every 20 minutes from Sathorn pier, next to Saphan Taksin BTS station, and it can also bring you back free of charge.
Last updated: 1st July, 2013
Last reviewed by:
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton and he spends most of his time in Bali, Indonesia.

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