In former decades, as it is now, the Chao Phraya River has been a major artery of trade and shipping in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Agricultural, and later manufacturing, products have been brought to its banks and shipped out, while various imported items have been brought in.
All of this began on the sight of what is now known and enjoyed as Asiatique The Riverfront.
By 1884, having observed the lucrative colonization of large parts of Asia by the great European empires, the kingdom of Siam decided that it would be profitable and wise to participate in international trade which would assist the modernization of the country, improve its revenue and also help to further establish the kingdom’s independence in an age of competing great powers.
The land was secured with a deal between the Kingdom of Thailand, who owned the property, and that of Siam. In this way was formed the East Asiatic port and the country, and its wide pier marked the start of Siam’s international trade with European nations as well as facilitated relations.
Now known as Asiatique, years after the East Asiatic port was closed down, the place has become an incredible market venue of restaurants, shops, street-side entertainment and of course the beautiful river view every evening. You can find everything from furniture to jewellery in the myriad shops which the old warehouses have been transformed into. Also offered are restaurants of every kind of food, many of them quite cutting-edge, as well as some fun pubs. You can find entertainment for children and grown-ups, including a quite large Ferris wheel that provides with a marvellous view of Bangkok’s city skyline.
Nowadays, visitors from all over the world can be found at Asiatique The Riverfront. Some will be shopping, others dining, a few taking photos at the fascinating Chao Phraya riverbank, and many more simply letting their curiosity lead them through the many stalls and sights of this exciting place.