If you travel on the Chao Phraya River, you will likely see an enormous construction site with a peculiar-looking facade. The ICONSIAM is a future multifunctional shopping complex and set to become the next biggest attraction in Bangkok. But will it be any different from other mega malls in the Thai capital?
The ICONSIAM is a joint venture by Charoen Pokphand, Magnolia Quality Development and Siam Piwat. The latter owns the popular Siam Paragon. Its strategic location makes it attractive for both local and international visitors. According to the developers, there are three million residents and more than 10,000 hotel rooms within a radius of 5 km. The ICONSIAM will be comprised of two shopping malls, a museum, an auditorium and two residential condominiums. Moreover, it will feature 7 attractions or the so-called “7 wonders”.
A large variety of Thai products in one place
New shopping centers in Bangkok try to stand out through ever new unheard-of dimensions. It has to be bigger and fancier. But shopping opportunities are already more than abundant in the Thai capital. The fact that the ICONSIAM will accommodate two shopping malls is therefore hardly a selling point.
However, the new complex will be introducing an innovative concept as part of its 7 wonders. In Sook Siam, artisans from every region in Thailand will come together to sell typical and authentic Thai products ranging from handicrafts to food. As a result, the visitor will get a glimpse of what the country has to offer under a single roof.
The Chao Phraya under the spotlight
Two of the 7 wonders will center on the Chao Phraya River. The River Park will provide an open space of 10,000 square meters to host large events directly by the riverbank. The second attraction is a 400 million baht investment in the biggest water and fire show in Southeast Asia. It will offer a highly anticipated spectacle along the Chao Phraya River.
Focus on MICE
MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) is a kind of tourism that pertains to visitors with professional and educational pursuits. It is becoming a growing industry in Southeast Asia. But so far, Bangkok is lagging behind other major metropolises such as Singapore and Hong Kong. The True ICON Hall may be a game changer. The ultra-modern auditorium will provide 3,000 seats and adjust automatically to cater to different kinds of events. It will thus provide the capacity and technology to attract international conferences and MICE travelers to Thailand.
An innovative museum
The new shopping complex also wants to entice visitors seeking for culture. In a unique collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance, the ICONSIAM will open the Heritage Museum and provide three different spaces for art exhibitions: The National Heritage Gallery will display precious artifacts that are part of the Thai national identity. The Temporary Exhibition Gallery will show international master pieces. And finally, the River Gallery will accommodate contemporary art works from local and international artists.
A transportation hub
The ICONSIAM will benefit from its convenient location by the Chao Phraya to draw visitors from almost every corner. More than 40,000 people use the river daily as a mode of transportation. In addition, the Gold Line which is also currently under construction will connect the shopping complex with the Green Line (BTS Skytrain), the Purple Line (MRT), and the Red Line. The ICONSIAM will thus become the first transit hub in Bangkok to allow transportation by land, water and rail.
The 7th and final attraction of the ICONSIAM has yet to be revealed, but there are already a few things to look out for. The future shopping complex promises some distinguishing novelties that set it apart from other super malls in Bangkok. Whether it meets the high expectations should be clear very soon. The opening is planned within the final quarter of 2018.