On Sunday, we decided to check out Central Ladprao mall in Bangkok after its grand re-opening a few days ago. You may remember it shut down earlier in the year for a full renovation, with much of the interior being ripped out and a completely new outer facade being added. After our visit on Sunday, let’s just say, the renovation wasn’t worth it.
We entered the newly renovated Central Ladprao through the basement, where B2S has been moved. At first glance, we did like B2S, as it has much easier access than before and more space, from when it was crammed into Central department store next to the sports section.
But…..other than a few other minor things, that’s about all we enjoyed. In fact, we hated the new Central Ladprao so much, we left after an hour and went to eat lunch at Union Mall instead.
Of course, the newly renovated mall is absolutely crowded and, along with the usual Thai girls standing in the middle of the mall screaming into microphones to get your attention, it’s just about the loudest place in Bangkok.
Our favorite cafe, Oishi — one of the best in Bangkok — has disappeared from downstairs, the upstairs Food Court — one of the best things at the old Central Ladprao — is no longer there, and Watson’s, formerly one of the best drug stores in Bangkok, is now only a third of its size. Black Canyon Coffee has moved to a new half-floor that’s been added upstairs, and it too is smaller than its former size.
Tops supermarket has been completely renovated and it’s now the upscale version, which is nice. It looks beautiful but, as prices seem to have now gone up by 10-20% on a large number of their products, it’s not a place we’ll be shopping.
We did love the Chokchai Farms mini restaurant downstairs in the old food court, but as seating at the food court is now half of what it was previously, and it’s crammed into the tiniest place possible, it’s not a place we’d want to eat.
Add onto that all the teeny tiny expensive cafes they’ve added, each of which has about six seats, and other restaurants that pale in comparison to what’s available at other similar Bangkok malls (and are mostly Thai or noodle places) and, frankly, we doubt we’ll be spending much time at Central Ladprao. We’d rather take a train ride downtown and hit Siam Paragon or Central World instead. Too bad.