It's hard to escape the hubbub around ICONSIAM, Bangkok's newest mall. For those who aren't too familiar with Bangkok and may be laughing at the fact that a shopping mall is worthy of hubbub, well...you need to live in Bangkok a bit longer. Shopping malls are a big business here, to chagrin of many who think Bangkok has way too many malls as it is; to those people, opening a new one is just a needless waste of money and space. Well, in my opinion, those people are not wrong...but they're not right either. I think ICONSIAM is a great addition to the area that it's in (with some caveats that I'll discuss below). I also think that the "mall question" is much more nuanced than simply saying "too many malls", so let's look at some of the issues at play:
I've written before about how Thonburi is the 'uncool' side of the river, often called Bangkok's Brooklyn or the hipster side of the river or some other cutesy term. But that reputation won't last long. I was excited to finally hear that Thonburi's newest attraction is now open, Lhong 1919. I was even more excited to get a private tour before it opened to the public, and even more excited to get invited to the grand opening. Like most of Bangkok, it's all who you know.