Asiatique is one of the capital’s most unique venues: an all-in-one shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Set on the shores of the Chao Phraya River, the open-air market-cum-live museum is a fun, flashy and Bangkok-iconic destination, sure to please both parents and kids.
To plan your family trip, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the four zones of the Asiatique. To start with, you have the Charoen Krung District, home to 1,000 shops and the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre, alongside other performing arts sites. The Town Square is a space for outdoor events and activities, while the Factory District offers a range of upmarket dining outlets and fashion boutiques. Finally, the Waterfront has a 300-meter long boardwalk, alongside a market with plenty trinkets.
One of the most famous of the Asiatique’s attractions is its 60-metre high Sky Ferris Wheel, promising some awesome panoramic views of the river. The wheel is open to business from 5 PM to midnight daily. Adult tickets are priced at 300 baht, while kids (height under 120 cm) cost 200 baht. On the ground below the Ferris wheel is a go-kart track where kids can whizz around in ATVs, as well as other kid-friendly rides, including robots. There’s also a carousel in the middle of the complex.
A highlight is the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre. Founded in 2002, the theatre troupe has built a reputation for showcasing traditional Thai puppetry in all its beauty and artistry. Once located at Suan Lum Night Bazaar, they’re found a new home at the Asiatique, performing plays based in the epic Ramayana, or the Ramakien as it’s known in Thai. The puppets are handcrafted and meticulously made, with as many as three puppeteers controlling their dance-like movements at once. Tickets can be booked on-site or through local tour companies and/or hotels. You can also call to reserve at 02 108 4400.
The journey to the venue is best fared by river taxi. It can be reached by taking the BTS to Saphan Taksin and taking the free river shuttle at the end of the pier. The ride takes ten or so minutes, allowing the kids to take in the riverside sights. The boat runs from 5pm until 11pm.