Good things seldom come cheap but there are times when they come for free. Yes, it is possible to have a free boat ride in the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. Its available 365 days a year and is free for all. There is one catch though. This free boat is not taking you towards Bangkok’s best known riverside attractions like the Grand Palace & Wat Pho. Instead it will take you to an upscale night market that comes to life in the evening in the 10 warehouses of a unique shopping mall called ‘Asiatique The Riverfront’. The free boat is a shuttle operated by Asiatique and connects the shopping mall with the Sathorn (Central) Pier located next to the Saphan Taksin BTS Station on Silom Line. In this page I will give necessary information on how to enjoy this free boat ride. Also read: BTS Skytrain Link To Chao Phraya River.
Asiatique The Riverfront
Asiatique The Riverfront not just has street shopping but also plenty of food, movies including 4D movies, Calypso Cabaret, Live Muay Thai, Go Karting, a giant observation wheel called ‘Asiatique Sky’, and a river cruise. The 10 warehouses are spread over four ‘districts’: Charoenkrung District & Factory District for shopping having a total of 1500 outlets, and Town Square District & Waterfront District for food and outdoor activities. The Waterfront District has a few international restaurants along a 300 meter river front pathway. Views of the riverside are great especially at sunset. Asiqtique The Riverfront opens from 4.00pm to midnight. Keep reading for info on the free boat.
The Free Boat
Asiatique free shuttle boat can be boarded at the Central Pier next to Saphan Taksin BTS Station. Take the BTS exit 2 and walk down towards the pier. There is a common waiting area at the pier for different boat services and usually there is a guy informing passengers whenever a boat for a particular destination arrives at the pier. There is a separate queue for Asiatique. The free shuttle service operates between 4.00pm and 8.00pm from the ‘The Far Left’ pier and between 8.00pm and 11.30pm from Chao Phraya Express Boat Pier, both at Central Pier. One way ride lasts about 10 minutes.
Enjoy The Views
The views of buildings around the river are spectacular. Going to or coming back from Asiatique just before sunset can be really rewarding in terms of the priceless views. The best time to be at Asiatique starts at sundown.
Calypso Cabaret Show
Calypso, Bangkok’s famous cabaret show (for families) is also located in Asiatique Mall. There are two shows every evening and there is also a Thai cultural show and dinner option available along with the Calypso show. Read more about Calypso Cabaret Show Bangkok here.
Coming Back From Asiatique
Boats displaying the Asiatique flag ferry tourists back to the Sathorn Pier. Queues here are short early in the evening but get longer later on. Its a good trip, for the free boat ride if not for the shopping.