Asiatique The Riverside

Asiatique The Riverside is certainly one of the more ambitious projects I've seen in Bangkok in recent years. For starters, it's a renovation, something almost unheard of in Bangkok. The project is built in and around the old East Asiatic Company's warehouses, which were first established back in the mid-nineteenth century, although the refurbished buildings date from the early 1900s.

One of the walkways lined with small shops One of the walkways lined with small shops

The old buildings were restored and turned into a sort of market. Facing the river are some rather large and expensive restaurants, but behind these are small shops, a food court, a theater where the Joe Louis Puppet troupe will perform, and more shops. It’s quite a large project, and unlike Suan Lum, it's definitely permanent. The developers have plans to expand it, and they already have the space to do it. Plans apparently include an enclosed shopping mall and possibly a hotel.

One of the shuttle boats that will bring you from Sathorn Pier One of the shuttle boats that will bring you from Sathorn Pier

With a good mix of shops, food and activities in a range of prices, Asiatique looks like it could be a winner with both tourists and locals. The location is on the river, of course, downstream from the Taksin Bridge, where the main express boat pier is. There's a free shuttle boat available from the Taksin Bridge pier to Asiatique, which operates about every 15 minutes. The place is open from 5 pm to midnight, and so shuttle boats only operate from 5 pm onward. Guests of the Anantara hotel, which is just a short way across and down the river, can use the hotel's own shuttles to the Skytrain pier to get to Asiatique. You can check the Asiatique web site for more information.