On a recent trip to Bangkok I went to Asiatique The Riverfront, which I had shortlisted as a benchmark of lifestyle entertainment destination for clients but never had the opportunity to visit myself.
Asiatique is developed by Thai developer TCC Land and it is meant to replace the old Suan Lum Night Bazaar, which closed for redevelopment into residential. The irony of property development.
It is right on the river, just a 10min shuttle boat ride from Saphan Taksin BTS station, and it occupies the former East Asiatic pier. Here is my take on what makes the place successful:
– A strong sense of place with the presence on the river, the Ferris wheel and the atmosphere reminiscent of famous Thai markets (e.g. Chatuckak)
– A nice mix of modernity (funky restaurants and bars) and heritage with the old East Asiatic warehouse theme revisited
– Good entertainment offering with 2 shows (Muay Thai, Calypso), the Ferris wheel and live music
– Branches of famous dining institutions such as Capri and Baan Khanitha
– Partnership with Tripadvisor and Dao Dao to position as Bangkok’s must-go lifestyle destination
As a result the place was happening; I saw mostly Asian tourists (Korea, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian) and a fair amount of locals.