Tag Archives: Banglumphu

Urban Exploring Bangkok: How to Find An Abandoned Mall Full of Fish

If you’ve lived in Bangkok for a while, especially anywhere near the Kho San Road area, you’ve probably heard stories of an abandoned shopping mall thats been flooded and full of exotic fish. I had, but managed to spend at least a year until I got around to checking the place out – that was until today.

We’d heard stories it was really hard to find, and even harder to get into as well as the story behind it. It turns out that the story behind the place is pretty straight forward, and finding out how to get to this abandoned shopping mall full of fishes isn’t that hard either!

The legend goes something along these lines:

  1. In the 80s a property development company built an 11 story shopping mall in the Banglupmhu district that was in breach of certain building laws and apparently 7 stories too high! The area is a historic area for Bangkok with many old government buildings, so code doesn’t allow the skyscrapers and malls you see elsewhere.
  2. The mall was forced to shut in 1997, caught on fire in 1999, someone died there in 2004 after the building started falling to pieces
  3. The offending floors were removed, reducing it from 11 stories back to its original 5, and of course, the roof was never replaced.
  4. During Bangkok’s annual rainy season, the building flooded, and the water went stagnant, creating an excellent breeding ground for mosquitos. Rumours are that the upper floors are flooded, but its kind of sketchy getting around the floors and I wouldn’t want to venture upstairs!
  5. Fish such as Koi carp were released into the flooded building to keep the Mosquitos under control. Without any predators, the fish bred like underwater rabbits.
  6. The building was officially closed to the public in 2011, but its pretty easy to sneak via the back doors (locals are even selling fish food) and its easy to find if you know how.

How to find the New World Mall Fish Pond

New World 6First find the abandoned mall on the intersection of Thanon Phra Sumen on Samsen Road (Banglumphu Junction), just down the road from Kho San and Rambutree Roads.  Usually theres a few cops hanging around the area, or a police tow truck parked up. New World 5Take a right down Thanon Phra Sumen and walk for a few hundred meters until you find the Krungthai Bank (This is the bank with blue signage and what looks like a Dragon on the logo). Turn right into the soi. New World 4Follow Soi Kraisi about 50m, past various food vendors and take a right, you should see some green netting. Don’t get lost and end up following the Soi all the way onto the other street (we did that!)New World 3 While you are at the green netting, stop and buy some fish food for 10 Baht, leave the money in the container. New World 2 Thais often feed fishes or release them into the nearby Chaopraya river to gain merit.  Feed the fishes, check out the cool abandoned building – but be careful, it is falling apart, and of course the building is basically condemned and private property. New World 1Its worth checking the building out sooner rather than later, the whole area seems to be getting a bit of a tidy up recently, with some buildings on Ratchadomnen road being demolished while others getting fenced off (not to mention the local protestors being around).

Bombay Blues – Indian Curries in Backpacker Central

I’ve been a massive fan of British style Indian curries (Butter Chickens, Chicken Korma etc) since visiting the UK in 2011 and generally speaking these aren’t too common in Thailand, with the Indian community eating more traditional food, vegetarian or local variants. Bombay Blues 1That said, you still find reasonably good western style Indian food in most of the touristy type areas in Bangkok.  One of my favourites is Bombay Blues – which has one of the better reputations in Bangkok for takeaway style Indian food that we are used to from home. If you are looking for more authentic Indian food that that hasn’t been “westernised” and aimed at the Thai Indian community – there are plenty of options in the Little India area of Chinatown. Bombay Blues 4Bombay Blues is a brightly coloured but dimly lit restaurant offering a range of indian dishes, thai beer and flavoured shisha.  Expect to pay a bit over the odds for the food, but this is the same as with any situation ordering “Farang” food, and its still cheaper than Burger King down the street. I ordered a Chicken Korma and Garlic Naan, while Sarah went for one of the vegetarian curries and steamed rice. Both curries were tasty, but nothing too extreme in either flavour or spiciness. Definitely not the best curry I’ve had (that would go to a place in Brick Lane, London) but one of the better I’ve had in Thailand which is what keeps me coming back. Bombay Blues 5It turns out however that the best dish on the menu isn’t one that you’d order at first glance.  I noticed this one advertised on a poster in the bathrooms – Chocolate Naan.  Words can’t explain how delicious these things are – far from traditional, but absolutely amazing, sweet naan Bombay Blues 7Music tends to be the same sort of abrasive music that you get anywhere in the Khao San Rd (bad hip hop, trance etc) area if you are inside, so you are far better off getting a seat outside where its fairly relaxing and you can enjoy watching all the fresh tourists walking past in their elephant pants and braided hair.  Bombay Blues 3The trashy backpacker vibe does extend to some of the advertising as well – I’d probably avoid Thursday nights if you are an expat or on a date, with it being their “Boozers or Losers” drinking challenge, which to put it bluntly tests how long you can drink until you need to take a piss. The bathroom also has a sink that is made specifically for vomiting.    Bombay Blues 6    

How to find Bombay Blues

Bombay Blues is located at 51 Soi Rambutri, Banglampoo Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, to find it go down Soi Rambutree and go past the VW bars, you’ll see a bunch of tents on the side of a road.  They are open daily from 6pm until 1am. 

Other Locations:

  • Thonglor Soi 10: 139 Soi Thonglor 10, Sukhumvit Rd, Klongton-nua, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110, Thailand