Asiatique: The Riverfront is a large open-air mall in Bangkok, Thailand. It occupies the former docks of the East Asiatic Company, and faces the Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road. The complex opened in 2012 after extensive renovation of the site.
The Denmark-based East Asiatic Company was founded in 1897 and was one of several Western firms conducting trade with Siam at the time. The company owned port facilities on the Chao Phraya, which included several warehouses, the oldest extant building dating from 1907. The port ceased operations in 1947, and the facilities later fell into disuse. In May 2011, real estate company TCC Land announced its plans to renovate and develop the site into a retail/entertainment complex to be known as Asiatique The Riverfront.
Location and facilities
Asiatique is on Charoen Krung Road in Bangkok's Bang Kho Laem District, facing the Chao Phraya River. It occupies 30 rai (4.8 hectares (12 acres)) of land, with plans for future expansion to include a total of 72 rai (11.52 hectares (28.5 acres)) of mixed-use development. The mall, featuring a historical theme from the period of King Chulalongkorn's reign (1868–1910), operates as an open-air night market. It features 1,500 shops and stalls and 40 restaurants, most of which are housed in the former warehouses. Other historical buildings and objects include an old sawmill and a World War II bomb shelter. There is a parking lot tram designed to look like a car from Bangkok's former tram system, and the site is decorated with bronze statues representing maritime activity.
The mall's layout is divided into four thematic sections, called districts. Chareonkrung [sic] District is named after Charoen Krung Road, and contains performing venues for the Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre, the Calypso Cabaret show and live Muay Thai performances, as well as shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs. Town Square District features foreign restaurants and sports bars, and includes a small event space. Factory District focuses on trendy fashions, products and restaurants. Waterfront District lies along Asiatique's waterfront promenade—claimed to be Bangkok's longest at 300 metres (980 ft)—and includes several riverside restaurants, a large event space used for concerts, festivals and New Year celebrations, and Asiatique Sky, the tallest Ferris wheel in Bangkok at 60 metres (200 ft).
Asiatique opened on 27 April 2012, and has been observed to fulfil a replacement role for the previously popular Suan Lum Night Bazaar, which had closed down in 2010. Access is by road (with a parking capacity of 2,000 cars) or by boat, with shuttle services from Sathon Pier. It is managed by Riverside Masterplan Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of TCC Land.
- East Asiatic Building, former offices of the EAC
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