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BANGKOK 25 March 2019 05:10
JLT

Promenada - The Beginning of The End?

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We went to Promenada for the first (and last) time last Wednesday between around 1.30 - 3.00pm. I didn't count the customers but it certainly felt spookily quiet. We did a little shopping in Rimping where we saw one other couple, looked in Ragu and Dukes where there were no customers. Uniqlo were definitely closed. A nice building and not so far out of town as I thought but it certainly needs a new direction. As said, absolutely nothing there to draw me back.

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I ate at Duke's at Promenada yesterday afternoon around 5:00pm... I was the only customer...

Having been to Promenada at least 40 times, I can assure you that was a "one off" although 17:00 is sort of between lunch and the dinner hours. It is almost always completely packed (with perhaps 70% Thais) day and evening.

Ragu and The Mix seem to do pretty well there too, but it seems as though people go straight to those restaurants without intending to go shopping in the mall.

Edited by AngelsLariat
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I'm still a fan of relocating all of the Loi Kroh bars to Promenda!....and perhaps a chunk of the karoke bars as well

Aircon, lighting, good food available, parking (undercover for bikes no less when it rains), no wandering LBs, reduction in criticism of the Loi Kroh street, bigger bars, better furniture and seating, large flat screen TVs, tuk tuk, tour buses and taxi ranks, perhaps a medical practice, neon neon neon, fully utilize the alfresco areas, decent toilets, could cater for Malaysian/Koreans/Japanese/Chinese visitors, ATMs, .plenty of places to launch lanterns/fireworks at festivals/parties, clean, no hawkers, easy obstacle free walking from one venue to another ....a veritable tourist Mecca smile.png

Done properly would sh*t on Soi Cowboy, Patpong etc but alas with current regime do not see this as a happening....maybe my dream complex name of Thaksinland is simply going to far.

I have a dream.......

Many a true word said in jest.

The ideas of those who make the decisions was to transform Chiang Mai into some sort of cultural capital of Thailand, a sort of yuppies paradise, with nature trekking, expensive tours, golf and tennis courts for the well to do, the abundance of expensive high rise hotels, it`s temples being major tourist attractions, posh shopping facilities and expectations of enticing rich Thais and foreigners to invest in the high end property markets, transforming traditional massage parlours into spas and rip off VIP body to body massage clubs.

Now what we have is numerous huge shopping malls that the younger crowds use as hang outs and others for their wi-fi facilities rather than spending money, these malls are rarely full to capacity, high end hotels that remain virtually empty for most of the year, expensive spas, scamming karaoke bars and over priced posh happy ending parlours spread around the city, the Night Safari that has gained a reputation for it`s diabolical lack of care to it`s animals, the same applying to the Tiger temple kingdoms and zoo, the almost total annihilation of the late night Chiang Mai nightlife and adult entertainments scene, all that is left is the handful of skanky beerbars and happy ending parlours in the filthy run down area of Loi Kroh Road that seems to be an appeasement or to give Chiang Mai the semblance that it still has a flourishing adult entertainments section left in the city, limited decent western style restaurants, plus the so-called high seasons seem to have dwindled over the years.

Chiang Mai tourist wise has become a disaster and has now become a desirable destination for the elderly ex-pat retirees, who are on limited incomes many living on shoestring budgets and are not the beneficial high spending farang elite as those who had great expectations for Chiang Mai had hoped.

Many of my family and friends from abroad that holiday in Thailand once a year are now giving Chiang Mai a miss, saying that the city is expensive, boring and any incentives for the enticement of tourist to the area have become practically non existent.

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@JLT: I think the owner is a Dutch investor who in principle had a good idea to build a retail mall in the 2nd biggest city in Thailand. So the timing and idea was good. However I guess he didn't have much of an idea about what kind of malls Asians like, he could have gone to Singapore/Hong Kong/Shanghai/Tokyo or even Bangkok to get an idea. Not sure how long until they will sell it or do something different with the place. But I'm sure they are loosing money on this project.

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@Beetlejuice, go crawl back inside your hole. You have no idea what is happening in Chiang Mai whatsoever. You always talk the same BS every time this comes up. You don't understand Asian tourism or Asian expats at all. You don't understand the money that is made. Western tourists showing up in Thailand, unshaven, wearing flip flops and buying Chang beer, fried rice, and bar-fining cheap hookers while they stay in 200 THB per night huts is a thing of the past. Thailand has grown up economically. And as far as your suggestion that young people only show up at high-end establishments to use the free WiFi is ludicrous. They are some of the big spenders. Ever notice how much money young Thais drop at the trendy bars up at MAYA rooftop or at Nimman nightclubs? Or at restaurants like the Dukes? No, of course not. Even CM students have huge allowances these days and drop lots of money when they go out.

"...Chiang Mai tourist wise has become a disaster and has now become a desirable destination for the elderly ex-pat retirees, who are on limited incomes many living on shoestring budgets and are not the beneficial high spending farang elite as those who had great expectations for Chiang Mai had hoped..."

That clearly shows that you have no idea what is going on. Yes I agree about the "elderly ex-pat retirees, who are on limited incomes" but to say what you have in the 2nd part of that sentence clearly shows you don't understand what is going on. The Thai and other Asian tourists have exceeded the expectations and are the real "high spenders".

Getting personal with insults is an indication of low intellect, I suggest that you try other means of getting your point across.

I can assure you that I know more about what goes on in Chiang Mai than you do, plus you have copied and pasted only part of my post that does not give a full description of what I have explained.

Firstly the Chesapeake farang tourists as you describe them do yield in a lot of profits in numbers, the southern resorts such as Phutket, Pattaya and many parts of Bangkok are full of them and as far as I know, the establishments that cater for these people are doing very well, but Chiang Mai has chosen a path to cut down on the numbers of these types of tourists, going for what is considered quality rather than quantity that is not working. Many of the Chinese and other south east Asian tourists are not cut out for what they are alleged to be, they are not the hi so cultural big spending visitors as many are lead to believe.

3 years ago the Airport Plaza finding they had a problem with young people not spending and using their facilities as a hang out tried to install a policy of not letting students in as groups and certain groups of young people into the mall. They put security personal on the entrances that tried to vet these people trying to get in and turned away those they considered were of no benefit to the businesses there. Then after a couple of weeks the numbers of visitors to the mall dwindled to such low levels that the Airport Plaza done a U turn and ceased vetting visitors into the mall.

What I said previous still stands, the Chiang Mai experiment in trying to attract what is considered as a better higher spending class of clientele is not working.

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@DaamNaam: maybe you are right and they will survive - I'm not an expert, my initial thoughts were only that their concept might be more appealing to European customers than Asians. Personally I like CPN, not because I like shopping but I like owning their stock, keep it long term because they know how to run malls and have a very strong management. I also think that the Maya retail concept is great, Ichitan for sure has a great nose for doing good business.

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I know it was "Wan Dek aka Children's day" today but the Prom was packed to the rafters and not a car park to be found (I made one though).

Very lively atmosphere today.

Don't go righting her off just yet. Think you may be surprised that these "investors" actually knew what they were doing. Long term.

I for one welcome it in amongst the other soulless malls in town.

The reason I like it is it is as you say a mall with a soul.

When it was first brought to the attention of the people a few years back it was hyped up to be a mall with high end stores. I believe they ran into some money problems and had to put it on hold. The result as we see it now is not much in the way of high end stores. Toys or Us I will call high end also Rimping. I do think that the original planners did how ever have an eye to the future rather than today and it will not close it's doors. For sure things have to change but in the mean time they will stay open. It will defiantly take some innovative thinking but I am sure they will be up to the challenge.

For instance it has been jokingly or seriously mentioned here that Immigration be moved into it. That would defiantly be a possibility and bring in more customers. Probably draw a lot of dissatisfaction because it is in an inconvenient location. But it would sure allow room for more staff.

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I know it was "Wan Dek aka Children's day" today but the Prom was packed to the rafters and not a car park to be found (I made one though).

Very lively atmosphere today.

Don't go righting her off just yet. Think you may be surprised that these "investors" actually knew what they were doing. Long term.

I for one welcome it in amongst the other soulless malls in town.

The reason I like it is it is as you say a mall with a soul.

When it was first brought to the attention of the people a few years back it was hyped up to be a mall with high end stores. I believe they ran into some money problems and had to put it on hold. The result as we see it now is not much in the way of high end stores. Toys or Us I will call high end also Rimping. I do think that the original planners did how ever have an eye to the future rather than today and it will not close it's doors. For sure things have to change but in the mean time they will stay open. It will defiantly take some innovative thinking but I am sure they will be up to the challenge.

For instance it has been jokingly or seriously mentioned here that Immigration be moved into it. That would defiantly be a possibility and bring in more customers. Probably draw a lot of dissatisfaction because it is in an inconvenient location. But it would sure allow room for more staff.

I agree that these shopping malls will probably survive but over a period of time will probably become dilapidated like the Kad Suan Kaew An indication that these malls are not doing so well is when they begin renting out their grounds to market vendors in order to attract more customers as like the Kad Farang.

As for the Immigration department site, I cannot see any improvements there in the foreseeable future and the battle for a slot will continue for the present.

As regards Chiang Mai tourism, this has to be placed into the right perspective. Dwindling away what may be considered as the low end type tourists and establishments is not a wise move. I am not by any means suggesting that Chiang Mai should be transformed into another Pattaya, but there has to be a compromise, quality themes and venues that suit all tastes and taking into consideration those on lesser budgets so that more tourists will consider Chiang Mai as a desirable travel destination, not just those on one end of the scale, which does not appear to be a success. In my opinion re-vamping and restoration is the answer, not clamp downs and decline of one sector and then creating more shopping malls that are in competition with each other in a city that is already over facilitated with more supermarkets and shopping malls than is required and are hence never used to their full capacity.

Another great disaster is the Pantip Plaza. It was meant to be the great central hub of Chiang Mai`s retail IT and technical outlet, but was more or less a non starter, many of the stores in their have come and gone never to reopen.

Edited by Beetlejuice

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For what it is worth, the expat businesses in Pattaya do not seem to be doing well either - at least according to the TV Pattaya forum. There seems to be a tourist slowdown all over Thailand, rather than just in Chiang Mai.

Need to get out and see ALL of Thailand. Expats numbers are DOWN in Spades. Chiang Mai ain't special in this.

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For what it is worth, the expat businesses in Pattaya do not seem to be doing well either - at least according to the TV Pattaya forum. There seems to be a tourist slowdown all over Thailand, rather than just in Chiang Mai.

Chinese and local (THAI) tourists are in big numbers in Chiang Mai at the moment, if you only count Farang as tourists you are right.

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