Asiatique The Riverfront is a night market that features an open air mall and bazaar. It is located along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok and the easiest way to get to it is by boat as boat taxis drop people off along the 300 meter riverfront boardwalk.
The market was converted from the former international port that was operated by the East Asiatic Company. The hanger style warehouses are used in the design to create an atmosphere of a market that reflects some of Bangkok’s past. The market complex includes over 1500 shops and 40 restaurants. The shops open at 5 P.M. and it is easy to spend an evening browsing the diversity of products in the shops. The shops feature souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry, clothing along with cutting edge fashions and electronics including an Apple store.
In addition to restaurants and shops the market also has services. Thailand is one of the world’s top spots for spa treatments and there are places in Asiatique that provide Thai massage, therapy oil massage, foot massages and even a fish spa treatment.
What is a fish spa treatment? A fish spa treatment basically involves placing your feet into a water tank filled with toothless garra rufa fish (AKA “doctor fish”). The fish immediately start nibbling the dead skin tissue away from the customer’s feet. A session lasts for 30 minutes and I have been told that it is relaxing.
Warning: If the fish tanks are not cleaned properly then there is a risk of getting an infection from a previous person’s feet.
Of course, the market really comes to life after dark. Most people don’t arrive at Asiatique until it is night time so it might appear a little lifeless in the early evening. Once it gets dark, the restaurants and shops get busy.
Eating and shopping aren’t the only things to do at Asiatique. There are several entertainment options that could be an option after dinner. Some of these options are:
• Thai puppet show at the Joe Louis Theatre
• Muay Thai Live that includes a show and live fights
• Ride the Mekhong Ferris Wheel. The Farris Wheel has 42 cabins and goes to a height of 200 ft. which gives a nice view of Bangkok at night.
Asiatique The Riverfront market was designed with a lot of atmosphere that represents both the history of the international port that once occupied this location and modern day Bangkok. It is hard to communicate an atmosphere in photos but the photos below should indicate that this market is a lot of fun to visit.