When I first moved to Bangkok, Thailand, Emporium Mall was one of my favorite malls. It was also one of the most popular malls in Bangkok. A few years later, Siam Paragon went up followed by a massive renovation of Central World Plaza, and Emporium slowly fell out of favor. But, it really shouldn’t have done.
Location of Emporium – One of the best located malls in the city, Emporium is situated right next to Phrom Phong sky train station, which makes it one of the easiest malls to get to. You literally come out of the sky train turnstile, make a quick left, up a tiny escalator and you’re right in the mall. It’s also surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars and British pubs – all on its doorstep.
Atmosphere at Emporium – I love Emporium as its low-key and quiet, compared to most of Bangkok’s other malls. Even though it has some of the city’s most upscale stores, it kind of acts like it doesn’t care. Here, you’ll never hear the loud rock music of other malls or the teeny tiny barely-clad Thai girls, screaming into microphones to get your attention on what they’re selling. Emporium prefers to be calm and relaxed, and that makes it lovely to be in.
Shops at Emporium – Emporium is based around the large Emporium department store, which sells everything from perfume and cosmetics, to clothes and shoes, bags and scarves, toys, electronics, baby clothes and jewelry.
Other stores at Emporium include a wonderful branch of Kinokuniya English bookstore, with a good selection of books and magazines. There’s a Japanese book store, European boutiques like Chanel and Versace, Thai independent designer boutiques, a Zara, a Crabtree and Evelyn, Esprit and Cerruti Jeans.The fourth floor has a wonderful selection of home furnishing stores, including Jim Thompson, Jaspal Home Collection and several art galleries and lighting stores.
The fifth floor offers fine dining, as well as small cafes, ice cream shops, a Starbucks, a Burger King, a couple of good Thai restaurants, an excellent food court with cheap prices and market-style stalls selling incredible cakes and pastries. The Gourmet Food Hall is a large supermarket with loads of imported food products and a good selection of wines.
Best Kept Secrets at Emporium – I’d been going to Emporium for more than a year before I discovered the Starbucks on the first floor. Down a tiny corridor, it opens out into a spacious cavern of a room that has a Starbucks, an Au Bon Pain, several other small restaurants and a view out over the park that’s incomparable.
Kiosk is a wonderful cafe on the 6th floor, turn right at the movie theatre, down a dark corridor into the design center, and on into a lovely cafe with great food and a chic atmosphere.
A branch of Greyhound Cafe is on the second floor, the best branch in Bangkok, I think. And do not miss the ground floor where you’ll find Salon De L’Oriental, a small restaurant and cafe that’s owned by the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok’s finest five star hotel Wonderful coffee and desserts, nice salads and a pretty environment surrounded by flowers and greenery.
Emporium is a delightful mall. Typical of Bangkok in the 1980s, it’s nice to be able to go back to that time and away from all the loudness and glitz of the other malls. A calm oasis in a realm of noise.