Sunday, January 4, 2015

Asiatique The Riverfront - The new kid on the block in Bangkok City

Asiatique The Riverfront

In 2012, Asiatique The Riverfront opened in Bangkok City. The place wasn't like any other touristy places that cater to both locals and foreign tourists for the reasons that it houses not only countless of dining and great shopping facilities but recreational facilities too such as the huge Ferris Wheel; not to mention the famous Calypso Cabaret Show.

The place used to be the former dock of East Asiatic Company along the mighty Chao Phraya River. The old warehouses now house huge night market and plenty of restaurants and bars that caters to both local and foreign tourists.

Saphan Taksin Station

Crowded shuttle ferry

The place can be reached easily from Saphan Taksin BTS Station. Look for the Ferry Exit then simply follow the throngs of people threading for the free ferry shuttle ride. We were lucky that we have visited this place right after the New Year holidays thus avoiding the massive crowds. In case you want to jump the queue there is a private ferry boat that charges 20 THB per person. Be informed that there is only one ferry that shuttle between Asiatique and Saphan Taksin Station thus passengers need to wait at least 15 minutes before the shuttle arrive.

I have read on net that plenty of tourists were complaining about the traffic jam and lack of efficient road transportation to and fro this place hence the wife and I chose the free ferry ride from Saphan Taksin.

If this is your first time to visit Bangkok City or Thailand then this place is ideal for shopping. You can buy souvenirs items, clothes. ladies accessories and so on while enjoying the place; gone are the touts and pushy vendors you normally find at different Bangkok's markets. Famished? You can easily find Japanese, Western and Thai cuisines to name a few within the complex too.

It has been an established ritual for the tourists to ride the giant Ferris (Mekhong) Wheel for 30 THB while for those who look for authentic Thai entertainment you can watch the Lady Boys Show at Calypso Cabaret or a local puppet show.

However, for seasoned travellers to Bangkok City like my wife and I, we found the place expensive for both shopping and dining. Nevertheless the ambiance speaks for itself. We spent an hour loitering around and dined at a local restaurant that cost me almost 400 THB for a Fried Rice with Chicken meal set for the wife while I asked for my favorite Chicken Green Curry meal set; both meals were served with Iced Tea.

Nevertheless, I strongly recommend this place to those who are planning to visit Bangkok City; be prepared to splurge though.

The place is open from 5 pm to 12 midnight. However, take note that the free ferry shuttle stops at 11 pm. The taxis are sometimes demanding huge payment or by contract according to some reviews. You have been forewarned.

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