Being the first trip of 2015, I wanted to visit places that I have never gone before although I have been to Bangkok many times. Thus, I was happy that I was able to visit these 3 places – Asiatique the Waterfront, Maeklong Railway Market and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – in my short 3 nights stay in Bangkok. Read my previous post on Bangkok Food: Ban Khun Mae, Sabx2 Wanton Noodles & T&K Seafood.
1. Asiatique the Waterfront – An Upcoming Trendiest Landmark in Bangkok
After Suan Lum Night Market closed down a few years ago, Asiatique The Riverfront was the next “happening” night market to visit, combining elements of a night bazaar and a shopping mall (operates daily from 5 pm to midnight).
Asiatique was once a bustling international trade port and is now transformed to a sprawling warehouse complex with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under one roof, facing the Chao Phraya river. Asiatique reminds me of Clarke Quay in Singapore, only it is bigger, better and more trendy.
Besides many dining and shopping choices, entertainment is also available in the form of the Calypso lady boy cabaret show and a huge 60m ferris wheel called Asiatique Sky, that offers breathtaking scenery of Asiatique and beyond at night.
The majority of the small boutiques (over 1,000 in four warehouses) sells souvenirs, jewelries, handicrafts and clothing. The merchandise is similar to those found in Chatuchak market and MBK mall, but of a higher quality and more expensive too (probably the rent here is higher).
Asiatique The Riverfront
Location: Chareonkrung Soi 74-76 How to get there: Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and walk to Exit 2 to board the free ferry service at Sathorn pier. The ferry ride is about 15 mins and the last departure from both Sathorn and Asiatique pier is at 11.15 pm. Taxis are not recommended as the traffic can be bad.
We did not take the free ferry as it was so crowded and packed like sardines. Instead, we paid 20 baht per person for a private ferry where we can sit down comfortably and enjoy the sea breeze. However, we took the free ferry on the return journey as the private ferry has stopped running.
2. Maeklong Railway Market
I can finally ticked the Maeklong Railway Market off my bucket list. One of the best ways to experience the local culture is to visit a local market, to see how the locals interact with one another and the food they eat.
As Maeklong Railway Market is about 2 hours drive away from Bangkok (hopefully there is no traffic jam), we enquired at the concierge of our Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square and they helped us arrange for transport to both the railway market and floating market at 1500 baht for 4 persons, saving us a lot of time and logistic hassle.
I know that there are many online deals from deal.com.sg which you can buy for both places, so do check them out when planning your trip.
Our driver was very helpful and even ran to the Maeklong Railway station once we arrived to check the train schedules for us. Do note that the train schedule is subjected to change everyday so be sure to check the schedule with the train station beforehand. This is our driver’s contact in case you need it (Mr Nat: +66 8 95259746; [email protected]). 🙂
As we have missed the train, we went to the floating market first then came back again for the 1.45 pm train to catch all the action.
Some useful phrases you can use when taking a taxi:“Chay meter dai mai?” – “Can you use the meter?” The driver may reply you “Meter gaw dai.”, which means “Meter alright.” “Ruchak Roon Raem _____ mai?” – Do you know Hotel ____? “Dern trong pai.” – “Go straight.” “Liao saai.” – “Turn Left.” “Liao Kwaa.” – “Turn right.”
3. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi
The boat ride cost 2000 Baht for 1 hour and the locals pay only 800 Baht. As one boat can sit 6 people and there were only 4 of us, we wanted to share the boat cost with 2 other tourists but they did not allow it as they have a strict one tour group to one boat policy.