REVIVAL OF THE RIVERFRONT

Issue : June / July 2014 Leisure Guide
 

             Bangkok was once known as the “Venice of the East”, lined with waterways and canals. Many of the khlongs have disappeared, but the mighty Chao Phraya River still flows though the Thai capital into the Gulf  of Thailand, with its mouth just 20 kilometres from the city.

 

             The “River of Kings” – the established translation for “Chao Phraya” – has long been an important trade route. Many trading companies settled along the river. Today hotels, restaurants and condominium towers grace the banks. Strangely, though, there was no waterside promenade for strollers - until 2012, when Asia- tique opened its doors, introducing a boardwalk over 300 metres long.

 

            Asiatique is a night market, a living museum, a fancy dining area and an entertainment venue, located on 12 acres on Charoen Krung Road on the former premises of the Danish “East Asiatic Company”. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the company exported teak wood from Thailand to Europe. Today those warehouses are home to over 1,500 boutiques selling souvenirs, textiles and home decor.

 

            Asiatique also houses some of the premier tourist entertainment attractions in Bangkok. The famous Joe Louis Puppet Theatre performs here, as well as the spectacular cabaret girls from the Calypso Theatre. The latest addition to the array of entertainment choices is the Thai boxing show “Muay Thai Live: The

Legend Lives”.

 

            The best way to get an overview of the premises is by taking a ride on the giant wheel, the only of its kind and size in Thailand. The air-conditioned VIP cabin with tinted windows and chilled drinks must be the most stylish way to enjoy Asiatique from above.

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