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Asiatique The Riverside - New Bangkok Attraction

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I mentioned this in another thread, but since there was a lot of interest in Suan Lum night bazaar, I thought I'd make a separate post about the place so everyone would know about it, since it appears to be the most likely to succeed candidate for the 'new' Suan Lum.

I just got back from "Asiatique The Riverside", which is having its grand opening event this weekend. As you might have guessed, Asiatique is on the river. It occupies the old East Asiatic Company warehouses, which date from the mid-nineteenth century. The location is down-river from the Taksin Bridge pier, not far from the Anantara (formerly Marriott) and across the river from it. The warehouses have been restored and now house shops and restaurants.

Right on the riverfront are mostly big (and presumably expensive for Bangkok) restaurants. To your right as you come from the river is a row of pubs and smaller restaurants. Immediately back of the big restaurants are a lot of smaller shops. Most of these seem to carry nicer stuff that you may have seen at Suan Lum, but as you get further from the river, the goods get cheaper and tackier. There's a sort of food court in the middle with several cuisines on offer. Facing the street (Charoen Krung Road) on the other end of the project are several fast food outlets (MK, KFC, Dunkin, etc.)

The Joe Louis Puppet Theater and the Calypso ladyboy show will both be housed at Asiatique, although it looks like their building isn't quite complete yet. The place looks only about 50% occupied. All the shops on the main walkways are open, but if you walk into the interiors there are still a lot of vacant shops, although it does look like its filling up. There were a lot of people there looking around this evening. The place was much bigger than I expected, and they have room to expand, with plans for a 'proper' shopping mall and other buildings.

I'll probably visit here again in late May or early June, after I get back from one of my irregular visits to the mother-country.

Asiatique is open every day from 5 PM (yes, evenings only). There's a free shuttle boat from the Taksin Bridge pier about every 15 minutes from 5 pm until 11 pm. They use Chaophraya Express Boats (regular ones, not tourist boats) for the shuttle service, so look out for express boats with red roofs and red flags on the back. The Anantara shuttle boats will of course drop you off at Asiatique if you ask. If the weather looks dodgy and you don't want to take the boat, a taxi down Charoen Krung from the Taksin Bridge station should be relatively quick and painless.

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