Asiatique The Riverfront is a large open-air mall in Bangkok, Thailand. It is situated in 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 River in Bangkok, which include 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 located 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 and is open daily from 17:00 to 24:00. 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 an 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 multiple 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. It is reachable by road (with a parking capacity of 2,000 cars) and by boat, with shuttle services from Sathon Pier. It is managed by Riverside Masterplan Co.,Ltd., a subsidiary of TCC Land.
There are a various ways to get to Asiatique. However, the quickest way is to travel via boat. Travelers are recommended to take BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin BTS Station and hop on a free shuttle boat at the end of the pier which only takes roughly 5 to 10 minutes to arrive on Asiatique's dock. Upon travelers' arrival, you will step on the 300 meters long romantic boardwalk that lines adjacent to the Chao Praya river. This boardwalk is connected to various facilities such as Ferris wheel, go-kart track, and warehouse that contain retail shops as well as restaurants. The free shuttle boats are available until 11 pm. Public transport is another option to consider. You can take public bus number 1 from Charoen Krung Road that is just below Saphan Taksin BTS Station. Other means of transportation such as taxi or Auto rickshaw are possible but not recommended. This is because the traffic can get congested and unpredictable.
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