If you travel on the Chao Phraya River near Taksin Bridge, you will likely notice an enormous construction site with a peculiar-looking facade. The ICONSIAM is a future multifunctional shopping complex and said to become the next biggest draw in Bangkok. Will it stand out among other super malls?
The ICONSIAM is a joint venture by Charoen Pokphand, Magnolia Quality Development and Siam Piwat. The latter owns the famous and popular Siam Paragon. The strategic location makes it attractive for both local and international visitors. According to the developers, three million residents and more than 10,000 hotel rooms are within a radius of 5 km. The ICONSIAM will house two shopping malls, a museum, an auditorium and two residential condominiums. Moreover, it will feature 7 attractions or the so-called “7 wonders”.
A wide range of Thai products in one place
New shopping malls in Bangkok try to stand out through new unheard-of dimensions. It has to be bigger and fancier. But shopping opportunities are already more than abundant here. The fact that there will be two distinct shopping malls at the ICONSIAM is therefore hardly a selling point.
However, the ICONSIAM seeks to reproduce a shopping experience known from OTOP events. In Sook Siam, the visitor is supposed to find a broad range of typical Thai products from every corner of the country. But as opposed to OTOP trade fairs which occur only twice annually, the ICONSIAM wants to showcase the best of the country all year round.
The Chao Phraya under the spotlight
Two of the “7 wonders” will center on the Chao Phraya River. The River Park is expected to 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 one of the biggest water and fire shows in Southeast Asia.
Focus on MICE
MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) is a branch of tourism that pertains to visitors with professional and/or educational pursuits. It is a growing industry, but Bangkok is still lagging behind other major cities in Southeast Asia in terms of its facilities. The True ICON Hall may be a game changer. The ultra-modern auditorium will provide 3,000 seats that adjust automatically to cater to different kinds of events.
An innovative museum
The ICONSIAM also wants to satisfy the cultural visitor. In a unique collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance, the ICONSIAM plans to open the Heritage Museum with three separate 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 showcase international master pieces. And finally, the River Gallery will accommodate contemporary art works by local and international artists.
A transportation hub
Last but not least, the new shopping complex will benefit from its convenient location by the Chao Phraya to draw a large number of visitors. 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 ICONSIAM with the Green Line (BTS Skytrain), the Purple Line (MRT) and the Red Line. The ICONSIAM will thus become the very first transit hub to allow transportation by land, water and rail in Bangkok.
The 7th and final attraction of the ICONSIAM has yet to be revealed, but there are already a number of things to look out for. The new shopping mall promises some distinguishing novelties from other super malls. Whether it meets the high expectations should be clear very soon. The ICONSIAM is expected to open in the final quarter of 2018.
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