Bangkok, or sometimes known as the Big Mango is home to not just the Thais but an eclectic blend of nationalities from around the world calling this metropolis “home”. The concept of traveling has a different meaning in this city where if you cannot go to a place, someone will eventually bring the place to you. Therein lies the concept of the recent development of an Italian city in Bangkok.
Opened more than a year ago and formerly known as Venice Di Iris, an Italian concept shopping project located in Watcharapol a little out of Bangkok Central, the project was later renamed Venice Shopping Plaza. Insinuating concepts of Venice the City of Love, it comes with a short waterway canal that flows around the shopping plaza with a few gondolas available for rides on Mondays and Tuesdays between the hours of 5.00pm to 8.00pm for a cost of THB160 per ride. This ride with a few black swans and fish floating in the canal makes for an interesting photo opportunity especially if you are the type that enjoys social media updates. You can also get a chance to go around the shopping area via the canal (actually it is not quite unlike taking a slow boat ride in the regular khlongs of Bangkok).
The Venice Shopping Plaza is actually open 24 hours servicing patrons of the quite well stocked Max Valu supermarket and the Tom and Toms Coffee outlet. It would seem that patrons flock to this place more frequently in the evenings and weekends to patronize the regular food truck evenings of Monday and Tuesday, the pubs and few restaurants as well as the 24 hour coffee house. Apparently there is a good selection of mobile cuisine via the food truck on the two days that draws attention to the location.
Occasional events and promotions also makes the place popular on those particular days when you can see a lively crowd. Apparently they do have weekend markets, special gourmet events and shows. However you will have to keep track of their upcoming activities from time to time at their social site here.
There are several outlets opened for business which includes an art gallery with some interesting paintings and sculptures for sale, a home improvement store that sells modern concept interior items and decor, an Italian and fusion restaurant, and several bistros aside from the coffee cafe and supermarket which looks to be the anchor tenants.
The idea of Venice Shopping Plaza was firstly to service the fast growing neighborhood of Bang Khen district and to introduce a new tourist attraction to the vicinity. Ideas to make the plaza into a food tourism destination are underway to bring more activities and food specialty outlets into the area. Turning the plaza into a food hub would seem a good concept for the future.
Developer of the project with keeping to the theme of a Venetian flavor would do well to bring more influences of Italian origins such as hip but moderate priced gourmet cuisines, fun activities and events with a mardi gras flavor on a more regular basis to turn the place into an interesting venue for patron who are interested to experience a Venice atmosphere in Bangkok.
While the influences of an Italian culture are not quite there yet but the concept of the architecture and atmosphere of Venice Shopping Plaza is a refreshing change from regular shopping locations within the city. Given more time and marketing efforts, Venice Shopping Plaza would be an attraction in its own rights. At the moment, the lure of fairy lights after dusk from the shimmering canal and other evening attractions make this place a somewhat popular attraction in the evenings more for the pub goers and supermarket shopppers.
Do however try their Monday and Tuesday food truck events which are on a regular basis or even a ride on the gondolas for a taste of an Italian experience, albeit a slight one for the moment. Also remember to check out their social page for upcoming events regularly to see the latest going-on and promotions. We hope that with more anchor tenants such as popular fast food outlets, more cafes and restaurants will eventually turn this plaza into a more interesting shopping and foodie destination.
*** All photo credits courtesy of Sukidragon