Asiatique Bangkok: The Riverfront and Curried Crab
Asiatique The Riverfront
We were lucky enough to make some great friends in Bangkok and they showed us some great sights. One of them being the Asiatique The Riverfront. An old dockyard which has been restored and renovated by the owner of Chang Beer into a huge mall and destination.
Previously owned by the East Asiatic Company, the 12 acre site came into disrepair so was bought by the Land arm of the prolific Thai Entrepreneur’s company. In 2012 he opened the dock as a destination enclosing 1,500 shops and various restaurants and entertainment venues including Muay Thai boxing and Cabaret.
Situated along the Chao Phraya, you can get a river boat to the dock where you can get awesome views of the bustling river. Party cruises, buffet boats, tours and trade boats go up and down passing the 2 main bridges linking Bangkok proper to Bang Lamphu.
While shopping you can take a trip on Thailand’s largest ferris wheel – the Mekong wheel. Sponsored by the whiskey that made the owner the powerhouse he is today. After that you can head over to the riverfront for some food.
This was where the night really took off. We went to the Kodang Talay Seafood restaurant over looking the promenade and river. Ordering some Curried Crab, Tom Yum Goong, Sea Bass, Rice and drinks we were on our way to culinary discovery on top of our tourist discoveries. Relaxing in the warm air as the sun set and the evening cruise boats started their journeys, we watched the passers by, taking pictures, watching the boats and pointing at things on the cityscape trying to identify them or teach someone.
You can imagine the bustling port this once was. On the very edge of the city, up against the river, it would have provided one of the major trade ports in the country. The huge harbour sheds would have housed ships and their cargo and in war time brought supplies and the injured home. Now, it sits with a new life and you can almost forget what is would have been like except for a couple of preserved buildings including a bomb shelter and sawmill.
When food was delivered we tucked in only to find out our friend didn’t even like Curried Crab! He just ordered it as we hadn’t had it before and he wanted us to try new things. This is the thing about the majority of thai people, they are incredible generous. It was so wonderful to be a part of it.
Making our way through the food, the night came in but it didn’t get too cold. The restaurant got much busier and even though it was only a Tuesday, it was packed to the brim by 9pm with families and large groups enjoying dishes from lobster to caviar.
A Shopping & Entertainment Destination
After dinner we walked along the various arcades that split the 1,500 stalls and tried some street food dessert which was like a small pancake filled with coconut and sugar – not that we had eaten enough already! The ferris wheel turned into the night, the Mekong sign as bright as the sun over the renovated dock.
The tourists we did see there were mostly Thai or Asian. As it is a distance out of town, I don’t think many people put it on their “to-do” lists but I thoroughly recommend giving Asiatique The Riverfront a go.
If not for the shopping and food, then you take in some great views and witness the strength off renovation done from the heart in a way that benefits the general public in a way they can all enjoy and celebrate.