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Pattaya's shopping malls

My favourite of the 2nd road Malls is Central Festival. If you have time and enjoy the breadth of choice and well thought out comfortable environment this is the place. However Royal Garden Plaza can be useful if you need to quickly buy something and can’t cope with the noise and crowds of Central – say on a busy Saturday. Finally don’t discount Mike’s Shopping Mall. It has some work to do but improvements are on-going and you could just pick up a few bargains

By Belinda Wilson

When friends and relatives come to visit I love to see how surprised they are at the quality of shopping malls we have here in Pattaya. Certainly the introduction just a couple of years ago of Central pattaya shopping mallsFestival (in itself a Bangkok quality shopping mall) has made the other two malls along 2nd road get their act together and “raise their game”.

Six floors in Central Festival

The shopping mall Central Festival comprises a department store along with five floors of well planned, well thought out shopping mall. From the moment you arrive it is clear that this is a centre where each floor has been themed and sectioned by type of outlet with the shopper in mind. The car park can be accessed via either beach or 2nd road. There is enough space to quickly turn your vehicle up as many floors as it takes to get parked and there even is a ladies parking floor, colour coded, of course, in pink.

One slightly confusing point of difference is what is considered the Ground floor. Some of us are used to the term “Basement or Lower Ground” being used when a shopping floor is below street level and this being named as Ground Floor in Central Festival can lead to problems when arranging to meet up with friends.

The escalators at both ends of Central Festival together with lifts at the side of the building make navigating through the various floors really no problem at all. In fact as you come out of the car park into the lift lobby you will find some really quite useful little stalls such as shoe repairers and watch strap and battery replacers.

pattaya shopping mallsBanks and bras

I will not list all the shops available at this mall. You will enjoy the experience of wandering around (if it is your first time) and finding just how many of the brand names you notice. However, the newly opened Marks and Spencer on the ground floor is worth a mention as there was quite a pre opening buzz about it with many British expats getting excited about the nostalgia of finding their favourite sweets such as “Percy Pigs” and “Chocolate Covered Raisins” in the little food section there. If you are looking for a full on M&S Store you will be disappointed. What we have here is a tentative first step into the Pattaya market to see how the inflated (compared to England) prices work and which sections of Mark’s merchandise we feel worth paying the extra for. My personal view here is that the underwear – especially bra section will do well.

Its hard to find good stationery and greetings cards in Pattaya so B2S being in Central Festival is a particularly useful feature. Make sure, however that you don’t rush to buy your magazines from the display at the front. The headings on the magazine covers may be in English but the text inside is Thai. Be sure to check – we’ve all had that experience the first time at a hairdresser’s in Thailand. Instead, go farther into the store, past the book's section and you will find a stand marked “Foreign Magazines”.

For those of you who are “Crafty” there are also sewing, knitting and embroidery sets and everything from sewing machines to thread, wool and knitting needles in B2S.

Its also a good idea to open a bank account in Central Festival if you need to make transactions from the branch rather than use internet banking or ATMs. These banks have the longest opening hours of any in Pattaya.

Flat screens and flowerspattaya shopping malls

If like me, you sometimes just can’t handle Tut Com and want to feel confident in your purchase – say if it is a present that you need a warranty for, you can find a great Power Buy, Canon and Apple Store here and men who don’t usually enjoy the shopping experience can spend ages in front of the newest TV models. Also the fifth floor Department store electrical goods is well worth going the extra level for. It stocks items that aren’t always easy to find such as coffee bean grinders and coffee machines. Also although I usually prefer real to artificial flowers, its not always easy to find them in Pattaya and real blooms can die rather quickly here in the heat, so the wonderful array of really beautiful artificial flowers on offer are really well worth considering.

Food and pleasure

If you want to eat upstairs rather than go downstairs where there is a very large selection of basement dining often crowded and noisy – opt for one of the eateries at the beach road end where you have the most fantastic sea view. The best way to see these is by using the glass lift – a great way to see the surrounding palm trees and beach front.

Or if you just want tea and cake, Secret Recipe with a really extensive selection of cheesecakes and brownies including the outrageous White Chocolate Cheesecake could be just the place for you.

Then if the kids want a go on to the Interactive video games there’s plenty to choose from and even as SFX Cinema and SF Strike Bowl which means that you really could spend the entire day in Central Festival.

pattaya shopping mallsRoyal Garden Plaza for shoes

Royal Garden Plaza doesn’t have the same availability of parking as Central and also the parking has to be accessed by the underground entrance to the front on 2nd road – not great during the rainy season. However you also have the option of exiting on 2nd road or Beach road here and that is very useful with the one way system. My tip for parking at Royal Garden is that when you leave the car park to enter the mall make sure and take note of the shop you exited by for ease of remembering the way back into the garage.

A real effort has been made over the last two years or so with the introduction of high brand outlets like: GAP, I Studio – Apple outlet, Guess and Pandora.

Also the Coffee Club in Royal Garden Plaza is a popular meeting place at any time of the day.

The layout is not quite as well thought out as Central; throughout the mall there is a mix of different shop types but I do actually enjoy shoe shopping here as there are a few good stores such as Charles and Keith, Aldo Lyn, VNC and Hush Puppies all within easy reach of each other on the ground floor, and like in Central Festival it has an area (where the fountains are) to watch the occasional Thai interest events such as a fashion show or talent competition.

Pay electric bill on 1st floor

The franchise store, Pena House, on the ground floor deserves a mention. I have been to other branches of Pena and found them to be a complete jumble sale where it is almost impossible to find anything worth buying. At this branch, however, the merchandise is clearly laid out to show new stock, garments by type and discounted rails. Also because they operate a system of continuous markdown there is always a selection with 50-70% markdown so this could be your New Year’s Eve party outfit.

On the 1st floor – if you’ve not paid your electricity bill within the required 7 days at 7/11, there is an office where you can do so and this is a far better option than the previous method of travelling to the office in Naklua.

You can also find a Jim Thompson shop here with some lovely gifts such as make-up and toiletry bags, silk boxer shorts and a selection of different size bags in the distinctive Thompson prints. The girls here are very helpful and will gift box and bag your purchase.

Of course Royal Garden Plaza has a whole heap of entertainment to choose from. On its 2nd floor is Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Louis Tussauds’s Wasworks (Madame’s less talented nephew!) and the new attraction Sky Rider that offers a 360 degree panoramic view of Pattaya. Talking about great views the Starbucks here must surely have one of the best views of any Starbucks anywhere.

pattaya shopping malls

Mike's Shopping Mall

Towards the Walking Street-end of second road we have Mike's Shopping Mall. There used to be plenty of parking just outside but now because of the amount of spaces taken up by clothing stalls you will be hard pressed to find a space and have to go down to the rather cramped and dark basement car park.

Inside, due to some ongoing refurbishment, it is brighter and lighter but far too full of merchandise. There is so much stock crammed on the shelves that it cheapens even the better quality items and as you walk further along towards the beach road entrance you will find that the market bazaar and questionable brand items take over. Beware too if you’re uncomfortable with sales assistants calling out to you – there is plenty of “Hard Sell” here.

Best merchandise is on top floors

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf comes as a welcome oasis of calm before you hit the beach road exit which has been significantly improved. If you take the trouble to venture further up in the store to the higher floors you will see renovations are still ongoing. Watch your footing on some areas of uneven flooring and yet to be finished lighting. However, here there are better merchandised areas such as the menswear, childrens wear and particularly cute baby wear departments.

Right up to the 5th floor there is a promise of “coming soon extra eateries”. However the best and little known fact about Mike’s Mall is that if you step out onto the 10th floor there is actually a rather lovely rooftop pool open from 11am until 8pm.

 

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Five important things to know before buying or building a swimming pool at your house in Thailand

Thailand is one of the top countries in the world where expats go to find an easier, more fulfilling life. One of these reasons is the tropical climate, which enables constant outdoor relaxation that’s simply not possible in many other parts of the world.

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TRENDS FOR BEDROOMS IN 2017

TRENDS FOR BEDROOMS IN 2017

More and more the master bedroom is seen not just a place to sleep but almost a home within a home. An all-in-one space where you can enjoy a calm,serene retreat.

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TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

Bathroom designers tell us that 2017 is going to be marked by the return to the organic and all-natural. Bathroom style”s direction will be: super clean colours, seamless lines and useful, simple arrangement of space with the dash of natural coziness and elegance.

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TRENDS FOR 2017

TRENDS FOR 2017

This is the cheery shade of green you'll see in home decor, fashion and commercial design in 2017. Named the 2017 Pantone Colour of the year "Greenery" is meant to represent refreshment and revitalization.

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Beachfront Launch Party at The Residences Dream, Pattaya

Beachfront Launch Party at The Residences Dream, Pattaya

Located in Soi 4 Na Jomtien Eric Lai Frank Satarand and their team hosted an excellent evening of entertainment buffet and free flow Guests were also invited to view the Luxury Beach Condominium of their dreams!

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Managing Your Online Reputation

Managing Your Online Reputation

It's fair to say that more business than ever is conducted online. People use Google and the other search engines as a matter of course.

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Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

The Property market in Pattaya has always been driven by new developments, with off-plan and under construction condos offering payment terms over the period of time of construction.

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Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

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Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

In my opinion, this year was very important for the Pattaya Property Market. As a property practitioner and certified specialist, working here since 2008, I have seen many ups and downs in the market.

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How does your business fare in China?

How does your business fare in China?

With Chinese New Year nearly upon us on the 16th February I wonder how many look up their fortune and see how their animal horoscope will fare in the year of the dog ?

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The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

The digital landscape moves at a frantic pace. Stand still and you are likely to be overtaken by others that…. Aren’t!

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The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

As a Certified International Property Specialist with my own real estate business it would seem that I am locked into the position of always maintaining a positive outlook on the real estate markets in which I work.

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Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring is a voluntary process where a generally more experienced person helps another prepare for future growth by advising on developing relevant skillsets.

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Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

As we reach the end of the year it is time to review some of the key points that we looked at throughout 2017. Those who have read this regular feature will recall that we have covered a variety of topics aimed at driving more new business your way. In this article we will recap on the main areas and (attempt to) reinforce the benefits of marketing in this way.

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Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd is a name which many people trust in regards to Property/Business Management in Pattaya.

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Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Retargeting isn’t new. It’s been around for a few years now; however, I am always surprised that more business owners don’t take advantage of this power advertising mechanism.

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