Central Plaza Khon Kaen at Night

Central Plaza is the most modern and biggest shopping mall in Khon Kaen. There are Central Plazas in nearly all of Thailand’s major cities. So what`s different about the one here in Khon Kaen and its little quirks?

It was opened in December 2009, covering 45 rai of land, costing 4 billion baht, with 5 floors and parking for 2,500 cars. Though that gets increased with the double parking. It has a Robinsons Department store and all the usual stores at other Central Plazas. So far nothing too unique.

However, the design is specific to Khon Kaen and North East Thailand. Located on Highway 2 it is unmissable especially at night when it is all lit up. The architecture of the plaza was inspired by “Mud Mee”, the most renowned Northeastern silk. The color of the building replicates the color of Khmer temple that blends perfectly with the graceful City Gate.

That Esan connection is promoted further with many art and culture displays. It was also where my son first saw the real Ultraman.

Art……or did the trip to Swensens with the kids not go as planned?

And what about the quirkiness of Khon Kaen Central Plaza?

Have you noticed in the last few months entry by car is now automatically monitored by CCTV. No more people handing you a ticket on entry just to hand it back on exit.Do you have a favourite parking space? Mine is always on the ground floor because it`s less hassle when leaving. And I can get my car washed, bit expensive at 500 baht though.

And what about the entrance to the biggest shopping mall around? Only 3 and both a nightmare if you`re coming from Khon Kaen city or up towards the plaza on Highway 2 hoping to turn right.

We falangs can be reminded of food from back home at Topps Market. In my case – Red Leicester Cheese, piccalilli, hob nob biscuits, pukka pies, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Jacobs Cream Crackers. Fill your stomach and empty your wallet. Don`t forget your 1 card.

There are surprisingly few salons. Even though our near blind village barber, I use that term loosely, only charges 50 baht I decided I’d had enough of the basin haircut. So I took the plunge and for 300 baht was quite satisfied. I now look like hansum man. This compared to the plethora of cosmetic clinics. Ladies we love you as you are.

I wanted a hair cut not any welding done

If you have children, then the top floor is a must. Obviously it has the cinema. It also has specialist places for ballet, music or English lessons, a roller skating ring and a train that takes you around the floor. But the piece de resistance has to be the Kids Zone. My kids love it. I love it. Take a bow Central Plaza. If you want kids of any age to have some fun for an hour or more there is so much for them to do. The soft play area is huge, safe and great fun. Parents can join their kids as well, which I always do. It`s my exercise for the week.

The Kids Zone at Central

So Central Plaza Khon Kaen does have its uniqueness and though often comparatively more expensive to other places is well worth a visit. See you on the bouncy castle.