Bangkok, Thailand’s Asiatique Night Market: An Adventure in Encounters
Once upon a time, I was in Thailand.
After days of nonstop travel and being on the move, I expressed my gratitude and appreciation towards my family for giving me the opportunity to travel. However, I reverently said, I would also appreciate it, please, if I could just rest for just one night on our week-long trip in Thailand and actually get more than six hours of sleep a night for once.
I finished stating my request and patiently waited for an answer.
Oh, how naïve I was.
Hadn’t I already learned from the past that my mom’s side of the family’s unrelenting method of travel is to do so until you are literally on the brink of death? 😟 Despite my resistance (AKA half-hearted attempts to convince everyone to go back to the hotel that quickly trailed away into mumbles and nothingness when I realized my pleas were making no difference) I found myself on the ferry headed to
Bangkok’s Asiatique Night Market,
one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bangkok. Every time I’ve been to Asiatique, it reads off as the kind of place that everyone who comes to Bangkok has to visit at least once. But for me, the combination of fatigue and my, ahem, strong disliking of shopping made Asiatique not the most desirable place for me to be.
My fatigue might be clouding my thoughts on positivity and love for exploring new places and experiences, but it certainly didn’t cloud Asiatique’s nighttime uniqueness.
Thus, with the context established, here is my account of my quirky (and slightly creepy? 😅) encounters and experiences at Bangkok’s Asiatique Night Market —
Prepare to be amazed! 😉
Ah, what a beautiful, tiring day it was. The “night” aspect of the Asiatique Night Market hadn’t begun yet; the sky still glimmered bright blue from the lingering sun, and the market was awash in a sense of hazy calm: the same calm that washes over a place before the storm that comes with the arrival of dusk and the absence of sun in a touristy area.
I sat beside the window in a Japanese restaurant, occasionally glancing out the window to witness the transition from day to night on the streets of the market. It wasn’t a new sight;I’ve been to Asiatique multiple times before. However, being familiar with a place does not mean that you cannot encounter anything new — and that was the reason why I grabbed my camera, nearly knocking over my bowl of miso soup in the process, and began snapping pictures, my eyes wide from trying to understand
what in the world
Do you see it in the picture above? No? Well, it’s a detail that’s easy to miss, but if you look closer at the picture for a few more seconds, you’ll understand what I’m referring to.
And no, it’s not the guy in the interesting outfit consisting of a bright orange shirt, a bright green pair of overalls, and a bright yellow construction-esque hat.
Do you see it now?
You’re probably thinking what I was thinking in the moment:
I stared, flabbergasted, at this brief parade as they passed in front of the restaurant I was in. I pressed my palms against the window and realized how relieved I felt to have glass separating me from these costume-clad people…
but alas, that relief was short-lived.
Night befell Asiatique soon after that interesting scene, and lights correspondingly began to turn on and brighten the market streets. The rumble of people walking and talking gradually became louder and louder, and as I prepared to walk around the market, I saw…
*cue creepy music from every horror movie ever*
this cute ol’ dog!
Haha just kidding, that wasn’t what I saw that needed the accompaniment of horror music. 😊 In fact, shortly after encountering this adorable dog, I saw…
*creepy horror music plays more frantically now*
There was no other route to get to the place my family was walking towards, so I hastily dashed behind my family, hoping to not catch the attention of the faux-minion. Alas, because I had young cousins with me on this trip, the minion began to walk — er, wobble — at a scarily inhumane speed towards my group, thinking that my cousins would want pictures. The faux-minion started waving at us as it got nearer and nearer, and somehow, despite me trying to hide in the back and make a quick dash to the other end of the plaza where the faux-minion would not be able to penetrate the thick crowds of people mingling there, somehow, somehow…
I found myself face to face with it.
I suppressed a scream, snapped a picture of the minion, then ran away to safety.
What a terrifyingly close call. 😅
Whilst walking pasts shops of clothing and shoes and accessories that I had no interest in (see above for my opinion on shopping 😟), I found myself pausing in front of a shop full of mini everythings.
Most of them looked handmade, but again, this was lovely to admire, but not to buy. My eyes settled on a basket of tiny glass bottles, each bottle holding three to four pieces of a mini version of food. I looked through them with the same level of interest as I had done with the other pieces in the shop, but then I stumbled upon mini egg tarts. And oh, look at these mini Hong Kong hot dog buns? No way — coconut tarts too? I excitedly showed my finds to my mom, and after much contemplation (seriously — I spent waaaay too much time deciding whether I should buy these mini clay HK foods 😆) I purchased my treasure finds within a maze of things I would not spend my money on!
By the way, do these mini clay foods look familiar to you? If they are, then you’re thinking of my post on “The Best Three Books FROM Hong Kong ABOUT Hong Kong ❤️🏙” — now you know that the egg tarts, HK hot dog buns, and coconut tarts in the pictures of that post all originated from Asiatique, Bangkok, Thailand! 😊
Shortly thereafter, I ran into an interesting thing that brought up the plentiful observations, thoughts, and opinions I have on other country’s idea of what the “ideal beauty” is: a mannequin.
I still find it strange that I don’t see any Asian mannequins — only Caucasian ones — even when I’m in Asia. This observation goes much more beyond seeing non-diverse mannequins during my travels; it includes magazines and the models in advertisements, makeup products, and the actual people around me — how they dress and what makeup they wear (or don’t wear). Hmmm, but this is a conversation for another time. It will spark again when I show you a magazine that I found during my later travels in Thailand. 😊
The last encounter I documented during my stay in Asiatique was soap. Yes, soap — each shaped like the fruit in which it claims to smell like. Mango-shaped soap does indeed smell like mangoes, and so does onion-shaped soap! Fascinating! 😁
I did not buy any, but it seemed to me that everyone at the soap shops were very nice people. I kinda felt a guilty after smelling all the soaps and then walking away without buying anything… but I really needed to move on.
It was getting quite late,
and I was looking forward to finally be able to get a good night’s sleep
I left Asiatique feeling bad for the dog who was forced to wear a pink-and-denim dress, then headed back home taking the ferry. I spent the fifteen minutes on the ferry sweating profusely as I wondered whether it would be weird if I gave up my seat to the kid who kept bumping into his mother in what appeared to be his way of telling his mom he was tired because, after all, I was still technically a kid myself. By the time I worked up my courage to do so the boat was about to reach our destination and I wanted to slap myself for using fifteen minutes to think about doing something clearly polite.
Le sigh. 😅 Next time I’ll know better.
What a beautiful dusk
and a beautiful night
of strange, interesting, and terrifying
(cough cough the faux-minion)
at the Asiatique Night Market.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my encounters (am I seriously the only one freaked out by an 8-feet-fall faux-minion??? Really? 😣), and I will cya in my next adventure. It might be in Thailand again, or it might not be… hopefully you’ll be okay with the suspense! 😋
Thanks for reading, and cya next time! 🌌