The Chao Phraya River has plenty happening on its banks, and when it comes to shopping in this area, markets are plentiful. The most-famous and popular is Asiatique, a fun night market where you can eat, drink and shop – a definite must for any first time visitor to Bangkok. The river used to be the main thoroughfare for goods, and the flower market is a hive of activity, especially in the early hours of the morning. There’s also the Amulet market, which specialises in Buddhist religious icons, and Saphan Phut Night Market, a more local affair with second hand goods and new clothes on offer. We run through the top ten shopping opportunities around Bangkok’s Riverside:
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Asiatique has successfully combined two of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. Ten minutes downriver from Saphan Taksin BTS station this once-bustling international trade port has been transformed, with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under a huge replica warehouse complex. Open from 17:00, spending an evening here is no problem. You’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself; you are guaranteed to find something you would like to eat, and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso ladyboy cabaret and a Muay Thai performance. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 17:00-midnight
- Location: Chareonkrung Soi 74-76
- How to get there: The easiest and fastest way to get there is via boat. Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle at the end of the pier. It only takes ten minutes, and the boat runs until 23:00. Taxis are not recommended as the traffic can be terrible in this area.
Tha Maharaj is one of only a handful of shopping malls located in Bangkok’s historic Old City. Walking distance from many of the capital’s most famous sights such as Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, Tha Maharaj also benefits from an idyllic riverside location, with a good lineup of cafes, restaurants and bars taking advantage of the handsome views across the water. Tha Maharaj has its very own pier so arriving by boat is the most popular way to reach the mall, although if you’re on a sightseeing trip, Tha Maharaj mall is simple to reach on foot around 10 minutes away from The Grand Palace. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 daily
- Address: Tha Maharaj, 11/1, Maharaj Rd., Bangkok
- Tel: +66(0)2 024 1393
Yodpiman River Walk
Yodpiman River Walk is a lifestyle mall focusing on a heritage theme inspired by the architecture of Thailand’s Ayuthaya period. Ornate, period fixtures are fitted throughout – very much in keeping with the feel of Old City Bangkok. Opened in late-2014, this is a fine place to spend an afternoon with a wide promenade offering great river views and a cooling breeze, souvenir shopping, plenty of restaurants and snack stalls, and a large beer garden with live night time entertainment.
- Location: Soi Tha Klang, Wang Burapha Phirom, (Behind the Bangkok Flower Market)
Ta Tian Market is an immense fresh market place located by the riverside, opposite the white walls of Wat Pho. The market itself is easily missed by most visitors who often take a break at one of the charming little cafes under the arches of the Sino-Portuguese façades, and not many actually spot the small entrance right in the middle of this U-shaped heritage style building. Walking through the maze of Ta Tian market is fun and disorienting… if this is your first time in Thailand, 80% of the items on display will look mysterious. Dry fish come in all sizes, shapes and smells while huge bags of colourful dry shrimps make a great photo opportunity. Read More...
- Location: Maha Rat, just opposite Wat Pho
Even if you haven’t come to Bangkok to take home an antique stone elephant or some modern art from the northern tribes of Thailand, OP Place (Oriental Plaza) is still a fantastic place to visit. This shopping centre is more like an art gallery or museum than a department store with 50 boutiques displaying a host of fantastic pieces to admire, or if you are lucky, take home. As well as fine arts shops there are also some well-known tailors and jewellers. OP Place has a reputation for luxury and all antiques have been issued with certificates from Thailand’s Fine Arts Department, so you can shop without worry. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 18:30 every day (some stores close on Sundays)
- Location: 30/1 Soi Charoen Krung 38 (behind the Mandarin Oriental Hotel)
- BTS: Saphan Taksin
- Tel: +66 (0)2 266 0186
River City is a four-storey mall overlooking sweeping views of the Chao Phraya River. It is a playground for antique lovers and collectors with all of its floors dedicated to high quality antiques and collectibles. Besides antiques and collectibles, River City has a collection of fashion shops selling Thai silk, gems and leather accessories. Home décor items, including wooden masks, bronze sculptures and Thai crafts, are also available. River City is also an ideal place to enjoy a delectable meal, while taking in vistas of the Chao Phraya River. The waterfront promenade has a small line up of restaurants, all featuring outdoor terraces. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 20:00
- Location: Charoen Krung Soi 30 (next to the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel)
- Tel: +66 (0) 2237 0077-8
- How to get there: Get on the BTS to Saphan Taksin Station. There's a free shuttle boat service to the River City available at Sathorn Pier everyday from 10:00 to 20:00
Robinson’s Bangrak is a modern shopping centre located in the Old City area of Bangkok. It contrasts with the rest of the area, which has a more rustic, local feel to it and makes shopping for international brands convenient for visitors who are staying in the area or those visiting the riverside. Robinson Shopping Mall is only a short three-minute walk from the BTS Sky Train at Saphan Taksin. It’s open every day, from 10:30 until 22:00 during the week and from 10:00 to 22:00. As well as a decent range of shops, there are also chain restaurants and a food court. Another point of interest is the small market that runs outside the shopping mall, where you can find fresh fruit and street food stalls. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Mon-Fr. 10.30 - 22:00 and Sat-Sun & Holiday 10.00 - 22:00
- Location: Corner of Silom and Rama IV Roads
- Tel: + 66 (0)2 380052-61
Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Klong Talad) is the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok. The market has all kinds of popular flowers and flora-related items, including roses, forget-me-nots, orchids, lilies and more. Most of them sold in packs of 50 or 100 flowers in each, and prices are amazingly cheap. Part of the Old City, Bangkok Flower market is located on Chak Phet Road near Saphan Phut or the Memorial Bridge. Shops and vendors are housed inside two to three-storey shop-houses on both sides of the main road. The market lies just south of Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and has access to a river pier, so it makes for a great one-day trip when combined with other historical attractions in the Old City. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 24 hours, more popular during nighttime
- Location: Chak Phet Road, the Memorial Bridge or Saphan Phut Chao Phraya pier
- How to get there: Taxi or Tuk Tuk
The opening of Sena Fest, the latest community mall in Bangkok, is not much of an event in itself as Bangkok is notorious for having a mall opening every month or so. What is newsworthy is that Sena Fest stands on the Thonburi side of the river, you know: 'the other side', where development is a lot slower than in frantic Siam or Sukhumvit. With 120 shops it's not gigantic either but it's well designed, attractive and colorful in a convenient location near luxury riverside hotels such as Millennium Hilton and the Peninsula Hotel. Most of all it's a bit of fresh air in an aging area. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm
- Address: Sena Fest, Charoennakorn Road, Khlong Ton Sai, Klong San, Bangkok 10600
Saphan Phut Night Market
This local market is situated near the Memorial Bridge, and despite lighting up the riverside every night from Tuesday to Sunday, is surprisingly tourist free. The market set up starts at 18:00 but doesn’t really get going until 20:00, and runs until after midnight. The Spahan Phut Night Market mostly sells clothes, both new and also vintage / second hand. Prices are cheaper than at other markets along the river, and there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat as well.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 - 00:00
- Location: Saphan Phut Pier