It has taken me a little while after my holidays to get around to visiting the new Siam Mall even though it is just a short distance from home; however, I managed a visit on Friday.
As we were leaving for our holiday, the whole area was a major building site. With talk of it opening on 23rd May. With just over a week to the deadline, I thought there was little chance of it happening, but it did, and as we pulled into the car park on Friday afternoon, we were met with an amazing transformation.
Admittedly, there is still some work going on. Around the boundary, the grounds were being landscaped. The wooden entrance is garish and untreated and looks as if it is in need of being stained to the very dark brown, you associate with buildings in Thailand, but overall the first impression is good.
At the entrance, two golden dragons welcome you. On entering, the shops have slate surrounds, the ceilings are dark and there are dancing fountains and Thai statues throughout, it all looks very classy.
Money has not been spared on attracting some retailers we don´t normally see in the south of the island. Cortefeil, G5 Wear, Massimo Dutti, even Amorino, sit side by side with a huge Zara and Zara Home, H&M, and Stradivarius. Prices like the range of shops are wide and cover all tastes from expensive to cheap. Whether you want a jeweller or a stylish outfit, a meal or a delicious ice-cream, even the mundane chemist or a large supermarket, they are all here.
We only spent time on the ground floor, as we needed to do grocery shopping and get home for the girls so I will be leaving the upper level for another day. I understand it is more of the same plus restaurants and from what we could see from the carpark a small amusement park and children’s play area. Looking at the website it seems this is also where events will be held including live music.
Ordinarily I would not be doing my weekly shopping in a mall geared towards tourists but as we were there, I decided to try it. I had been told that the HiperDino supermarket was first-class. I thought the stewing steak looked good and reasonably price, but when I got it home it contained two huge bones that were hidden from view in the packaging (still someone enjoyed them and spent most of Saturday hiding them in different places).
I also wanted a lemon and despite weighing it three times on two different sets of scales the price was €1.65 – needless to say I didn´t buy it. After getting to the checkout with only half the items on my list, the young man, although pleasant, needed training not only on how to use the scanner but also the credit card machine.
Regardless of the beautiful display of fish and meat and despite the relaxing piped music, the overall supermarket experience left me feeling frustrated.
Nevertheless, whilst I wouldn´t go again for food shopping I will certainly be visiting for all the other shops, there is a wide choice in a lovely location so somewhere I will enjoy spending a few Euros, when the mood takes me.
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