Siam ParagonSiam Paragon is a new shopping mall which opened in December 2005, delayed by 1 month. It boasts a large Food Hall and some of the finest brands of the world. Apart from shopping there’s the inevitable multiplex cinema and a bowling alley. Pretty much standard. What makes it different is Siam Ocean World, a huge aquarium in the basement.

On Sunday I had the chance to visit Paragon for the first time, and while I didn’t have time to go to Ocean World, I could at least have a look at the shopping part.

The food area on ground floor is impressive and confusing at the same time. There are numerous coffee, cake, snack, you-name-it-shops, restaurants, a food court and even a gourmet supermarket. But all the shops are too close to each other, you tend to get lost in there.

First floor is the mega-brand floor. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, they’re all here. Hey wait, in fact they’re not. As of today, not a single shop is open! One month after the opening of the mall. Huh?

Second floor isn’t much better. Still good brands, but still only 10% open. Boring.

3rd floor gets better. Showrooms of Porsche, BMW, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari appeal much more to my interests than fancy shops selling the skin of dead animals. Not to mention high-end designer stereos. Nice stuff. But everyday shopping? At least not for my wallet…

4th floor gets a little more down-to earth. Furniture. Again inevitable on the 4th floor of the average mall. Nice stuff, even affordable. Plus an IT section, but still not that attractive.

The entertainment floor is still under construction, so no movie, no IMAX, no bowling (even though some girl in the street was handing out discount coupons for the bowling alley… huh?)

Paragon department store itself looks straight-forward, but not different from Emporium.

So what’s all the fuzz about? No idea. I just know that now Rama I and Ploenchit have too many shopping malls. MBK, Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Square, Gaysorn, Erawan, Amarin, Central Chitlom, Peninsula Plaza and now Siam Paragon – all within one kilometer and a half or 2 Skytrain stations. And later this year (?) the bigger-better-shinier-more Central World Plaza will open. Who’s gonna shop there?

We don’t have to worry about MBK or Siam Square. They are down-to-earth enough to find enough customers. But those high-end Hi-So malls? We shall see. I’ll stay with their restaurants as long as they’re open and leave the fancy shops to the big-hair ladies and the rich kids with their gold rings. They’re gonna be lonely there.

Oh, but before I forget: The interior designers have done a good job…

Photos:

The area between Siam Center and Siam Paragon

Contrast between modern and traditional life

Ground Floor – Restaurant Area

Ground Floor – Restaurant Area

“The Lagoon”

Food Area

Glass Elevator

What I’ll buy when I grow up