Bangkok Malls

June 21st, 2007

Ok, i’m not a big shopper. All my life i’ve gone in and out of the store – keeping it quick and painless. But I find myself here loving the malls in Bangkok. Part of it is because the last 3 months i’ve been traveling on the cheap, close with nature, and i think i’m enjoying the change of pace of a nice, clean, air conditioned mall. But the main reason is cuz the malls are cool.

But these aren’t just ordinary Malls, they’re super malls. MBK, Siam complex, Central World – 3 super malls, 7 to 10 floors, all with hundreds if not thousands of stores, restaraunts, movie theaters, and more. They’re all new (a few years old), interesting architecturely, visually, not too crowded, have art exhibits in the atriums, and did i mention clean and air conditioned? Makes me realize i hate hot, polluted cities .. but sitting in clean, aircon chair on the 6th floor overlooking Bangkok thru floor to ceiling glass walls .. is kinda like outside but better. Besides those around Siam square, there’s also Pantip plaza – 7 stories of electronics, computers, cameras, printers, and food. And also the Silom complex down by Pat Pong – more of the same.

My favorite might be Siam Paragon, part of the Siam complex. Paragon has the best food court ever – All kinds of chinese, korean, japanese, vietnamese, and of course Thai food. Oh, but don’t stop there – steaks, burgers, pizzas, dozens of fruit smoothie places, lots of real ice cream, and yes, even delicious americanstyle chocolate chip cookie (at Famous Amos). Delishous. Plus an upscale huge grocery store with pretty much anything you need. Not too expensive – you can get fed prett well for 70-150 baht ($2-4 USD). Or you can splurge and spend several hundred on a nicer restaurant. And their movie theaters are unbelievable. 3 days a week its only 80 baht ($2 USD) to got see a movie in a huge, brand new, kick-ass theater. All have huge screens, seats (one of the few places in asia i don’t feel too big), and nobody goes to them. Walk right in 3 mins before the show, get prime seating. Interesting sidenote – After the previews but before the movie they show their respect for the king – gotta stand and watch how awesome he is – Guides the leaders, helps the village people, and even swims in the stormy oceans and talks to the Gods.

There’s also the ridiculous car section – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Maserati, and Lotus all have little stores with actual cars in them. Other interesting things include 3-D TVs (around the elevators and movie theaters), the lack of people – i never wait in any lines for anything, the number of workers – whether its the 10 security guards you can see at any point in the mall or the 4 people working at a shop the size of my bedroom .. i think they’re anticipating a boom any minute. According to wikipedia, Paragon has been around for 1.5 years, and its newly renovated neighbor, Central World, is the largest mall in SE Asia. I like Central as well, but its got alot of empty stores and retail space .. still too new for me, but its got potential (don’t we all?)

Well done, Bangkok. Keep me happy. (my pics)