Well, Central Ladprao shopping centre opened again today – it had been under renovation for several months, renovation which had been postponed for a while after Central World was burned down. In truth, now that we can see the new version, the outmoded and old-fashioned nature of the previous model has become even more evident.
Our first purchase. A hairdryer for the little girl.
There are, as the owner had claimed, more upmarket brands in the centre now and the supermarket and eating area has been revamped according to the style that can be seen in The Mall. The biggest fuss was for the new Krispy Kreme shop: long queues and much hoopla.
The fuss about the Krispy Kreme place in Siam Paragon has died down a little from the initial palaver (which was intense) but here there was considerable excitement – Bangkok people like a novelty and would come to the opening of a paper bag. There were certainly large crowds present today and more coming in all the time. The adjacent Horwang School had opened its grounds for additional car parking and just as well, since the centre car park seems to have been jam-packed from the time we arrived (not long after 11). When the two queens decided it was time for lunch, everywhere (literally, every eating place) was full and queues had formed.
Not everywhere was quite ready – maybe 80-90% of all outlets were open, more or less but the female toilets (so I was informed at some length) were inadequate, since insufficient were open and those that were had water on the floor and so forth. Some outlets seemed to be struggling to cope with the flood of people but, really, it must be difficult to have probably the busiest day they will ever have on the opening day.
I was pleased to see that Asia Books was still there – possibly in slightly larger premises than before, while the Tops Market benefited from the kebab stall and Chockchai Steakhouse (not that I am likely to have chance to try their Wagyu burger products any time soon). Quite how many retail outlets Bangkok really needs is a different question. It would of course be better if there were more variety in shops and fewer chains; however, this is part of the capitalist system as it exists in Thailand. In any case, we will no doubt be going quite often, for one reason or another, hopefully with fewer other people present next time.