ICONSIAM: Bangkok's newest, craziest, most unbelievable shopping mall
Forget everything you knew about Bangkok shopping malls. Siam Paragon, Emquartier, Central World, Central Westgate… none of these malls can compare to the brand-new IconSiam Shopping Mall, the city’s newest, fanciest, most unbelievable mall, located right along the Chaophraya River. Visiting IconSiam is an experience in and of itself. As crazy as it sounds, I always recommend tourists and visitors in Bangkok to visit the city’s “hi-so” malls. It’s a unique experience, and one that absolutely represents the decadent capitalism and shocking luxury of the City of Angels.
Recently, I paid my very first visit to ICONSIAM. It’s a little out of the way for my, but this unique pilgrimage to capitalism was on my list of things to do for a very long time. The other day, I headed to the river to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. Here’s my experience at the city’s newest big mall.
ICONSIAM sits on the banks of the Chaophrya River, and is easily reached in just a few minutes by the free shuttle ferry that carries passengers back and forth from Saphan Taksin Pier (Central Pier) near Saphan Taksin BTS Station to ICONSIAM Pier.
Exit Saphan Taksin BTS station and keep to the right. The shuttle pier is clearly marked, and located and the right-hand side of the Central Pier. The shuttle is free, and runs from Central Pier to Icon Siam Mall before making stops at Lhong 1919 and Chinatown.
Entering IconSiam is an immediately luxurious experience. Burnished gold, silver, and bronze metalworks decorate the ceiling like autumn leaves. The mall looks elegant and even smells perfumed and new.
IconSiam is an extreme. It’s excessive. It’s too big, too fancy, too aggressively capitalist. But, it’s perfectly Bangkok. As a representation of the city, it’s just perfect. Somehow, the expressiveness really works. It’s not shocking or overwhelming. It’s a relaxing shopping experience, even if you just want to browse, sit for a beer by the river, catch a movie, or visit the museum that is opening up inside the mall.
Before leaving, head to the upper balcony where you can have a bit to eat at one of the restaurants, or a beer at the HOBS (House of Beer) overlooking the river.
IconSiam is home to:
HOBS (House of Beers) on a balcony overlooking the river and old town area.
Thailand’s first official Apple Store
An amazing water and light display
A brand-new museum of Thai historical art and artifacts, the Heritage Museum
Some of the best dining options along the river with an elegant upper-story food court and a uniquely Thai “floating market” where you can buy snacks and Thai handicrafts.