During my trip to Thailand, I knew I’d be in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai and I wanted to do some heavy duty shopping. Why? Everything in Thailand is super affordable and why wouldn’t I want to go shopping? One of my first destinations in Bangkok for shopping was Asiatique Bangkok.
The night market at Asiatique Bangkok gives tourists as well as locals another reason to shop in Bangkok. 1,500 shops are housed in warehouses that line the Chao Phraya River. Inside Asiatique Bangkok you’ll find souvenirs, handmade goods, clothing, and more as well as restaurants and bars.
Taking the Ferry to Asiatique Bangkok
As I was staying at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort, I was able to utilize the free ferry to Asiatique Bangkok. Since it was advertised as a destination and they had a free ferry, I thought, “Wow. I have to check this place out.” A quick 10-minute boat ride across the river and like that, we arrived.
Once off the ferry, your eyes, ears, and nose are completely inundated with bright lights, loud music, and smells of Asiatique Bangkok.
There are four districts at Asiatique Bangkok with each focusing on a different theme. For example, one is all about shopping while another is about entertainment and so on. I didn’t have a map and didn’t know about the districts. We ended up and wandering about on our own time trying to figure out where to go.
When I tell you that you could get lost in here, I’m not joking. The main thoroughfares, like in the pic above, are nothing compared to the tiny alleys between shops. If you go with someone, stay together or you might never find them again. Seriously.
Shopping At Asiatique Bangkok
I’m not a typical shopper in the sense that I don’t feel the need to fill my suitcase up on my travels. I was, however, in search of Thai fisherman pants and definitely wanted to bring a pair home. What are they? These lightweight unisex pants wrap around the waist with a tie that forms the belt. Once used exclusively by fisherman in Thailand, they are now seen on everyone pretty much everywhere and I needed a pair before I left the country.
While I did find several shops selling them, I also found that they were all selling the same products in the same colors and patterns. Plus the typical designer knock offs that you can find pretty much anywhere in Thailand, too. That’s just not my style, so I kept on looking. Eventually, I ended up not buying anything at all while at Asiatique Bangkok.
Walking Around Asiatique Bangkok
There are some areas where few people walk and so you can easily avoid the crowds. I will award points, however, for the inventive use of storage containers turned into a café.
Other areas you had to dodge and maneuver around the hoards of people. Some were lingering, others talking, but regardless, you couldn’t avoid them.
After walking past dozens of restaurants, Mr. TSG and I decided maybe we were both hungry and it might be time to eat.
Of course, having one vegan and one vegetarian means that choices on menus are limited no matter where we go. We kept walking in hopes of finding somewhere to eat.
Asiatique Sky Ferris Wheel
No matter where you walk around in Asiatique Bangkok, you won’t be able escape the Asiatique Sky ferris wheel. This behemoth of a ferris wheel is lit up in bright lights and looms overhead at every turn.
Considered Thailand’s tallest ferris wheel, on a clear night you’ll get spectacular views of the city and the riverfront from up high at 60 meters or 200 feet tall.
While I was there, it was fairly easy to get a ticket to ride the ferris wheel because there were no lines.
Interested in going for a spin on the Asiatique Sky? It’ll cost you 400 baht (unless you negotiate a lower price or if you’re Thai. Yes – different prices for different people).
I chose to skip the experience altogether because I was more hungry than anything else. Unless they were serving food and cocktails on the Asiatique Sky, I wasn’t going.
Bugs And More Fun Creatures
We all know how easily entertained I am by weirdness. How could I walk by a booth selling insects and not take a picture?
Better yet, how could I not somehow convince Mr. TSG he had to have some? He chose the rod duan or bamboo worms, a great introductory insect for a beginner.
TSG Tip: Did you know that there’s nearly 10g of protein per serving of bamboo worms?
He did try them, but no he didn’t finish the plate. He wanted to say that he had at least tried them. They were sauteed up with sauce and scallions to give them some extra taste, but no thanks. I’m passing on that entrée for sure.
Still feeling hungry and thinking I wouldn’t find anything to eat at Asiatique Bangkok, I tripped across MaMa Monkey.
Their motto is “We serve the best BANANA experience.” Ok, I like bananas and I like monkeys. Let’s see exactly what’s going on in here.
While certainly not a 5-star meal, it was one of the few places we could get something to eat at Asiatique Bangkok. There were restaurants that offered salad, but that wasn’t really my idea of dinner that night.
Not sure what to order? They have display items with descriptions right in the window. Mr. TSG ordered the MaMa Cheese (banana cheese stick) and I ordered the Siam Fries (Thai coconut fried banana). We all know Mr. TSG will eat just about anything so no surprise he was ok with banana and cheese together. The Siam Fries were crisp and definitely something different.And Mr. TSG wanted to get the bamboo worm taste out of his mouth so he was willing to eat lots of banana anything at this point. Click To Tweet
We were so hungry, ok ravenous is more like it, that I completely forgot to take pics of our food. But let’s just say that they really did look like the display items and the food didn’t disappoint. And Mr. TSG wanted to get the bamboo worm taste out of his mouth so he was willing to eat lots of banana anything at this point.
A Little Bit Of Everything At Asiatique Bangkok
I wasn’t actually surprised to see a spa offering the trendy “fish pedicure” at Asiatique Bangkok. People love anything they can post to social media, don’t they?
While others might find it interesting, I want to get sick when I see it. The idea of fish eating off my dead skin is just disgusting. But hey, if you’re into that kind of unsanitary spa-like treatment, go for it.
Consequently, there are other activities at Asiatique Bangkok besides a fish pedicure. You’ll find shows like Calypso ladyboy cabaret, although before you go you might want to have a look at www.shemalehd.sex so that you’re not in for a shock, or if you’re looking for a more PG night out then it’s worth visiting one of the many Thai puppet performances, and Muay Thai, too.
Final ThoughtsWhile it might seem like a fun nighttime activity in Bangkok, Asiatique Bangkok is nothing more than a glorified mall selling overpriced items you can easily find pretty much anywhere else.Click To Tweet
Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about shopping pretty much anywhere I go, I did have some concerns about visiting Asiatique Bangkok. This is definitely somewhere where Thais with money can visit so the average person will probably never see it. Having dual pricing on the Asiatique Sky ferris wheel leaves an overall bad taste in my mouth as well. All that aside, I didn’t find one thing there that I wanted to buy. Not one thing and I find that extremely unusual.While you might get persuaded into thinking that Asiatique Bangkok is your best bet for shopping in Thailand, think again. Skip this one and look for smaller markets with more variety for better bargains and products.Click To Tweet
While it might seem like a fun nighttime activity in Bangkok, Asiatique Bangkok is nothing more than a glorified mall selling overpriced items you can easily find pretty much anywhere else. I like finding one of a kind items that you know will have special meaning for you or for that special someone you buy it for as a gift.
As for me, I’m definitely more about authentic experiences and this was definitely not authentic anything. If I get the chance to visit Bangkok again, I can’t say I’d go back. My advice? While you might get persuaded into thinking that Asiatique Bangkok is your best bet for shopping in Thailand, think again. Skip this one and look for smaller markets with more variety for better bargains and products.
Chareonkrung Soi 74-76, Bangkok
Hours: 5 pm – midnight
Have you gone to Asiatique Bangkok? Discover some other great destinations and travel ideas here on the Travel Shop Girl website .
On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, visiting Asiatique Bangkok scores a 1 for spontaneous travel. Make sure you find a way there, either by hotel shuttle or free shuttle available by the pier, but other than that, it’s fairly simply to plan an evening at Asiatique Bangkok.