The EmQuartier Bangkok
EmQuartier is an enormous and trendy shopping mall in a strategic part of the busy Sukhumvit Road. EmQuartier is actually a massive extension of the existing Emporium shopping mall that was built in 1997, run by the same company responsible for the famous Siam Paragon Bangkok. Obviously, the management had 15 years to study the market in this part of Sukhumvit and knew there was enough potential demand for such an extensive addition.
Like most department stores in Bangkok, Emquartier focuses on the usual 3 things that locals and travellers want the most: Food, Shopping and Entertainment, in that order of importance. Since online shopping, changed the game so profoundly, food has become the main attraction.
The entire complex is divided into 4 distinct buildings. While food and shopping are obviously a bit everywhere, each building has a primary focus. Helix is for dining, The Waterfall is for shopping, The Glass House is the food courts and entertainment, and Emporium is more of a department store.
The Helix is a 7 or 8-floor building whose upper floor is entirely dedicated to food, with a massive amount of restaurants next to each other. It was named ‘Helix because it is built as a helicoidal walkway that takes you all the way to the upper floor. This way, from the 5th to the 8th floor, you can walk and browse all the venues without having to climb any stairs.
This fancy feature must have cost a fortune and was probably a massive challenge to build, but it fulfilled its original purpose: to create space, give an equal chance to each restaurant, make it easy to walk around and mostly make people talk about it. The novelty effect disappeared, but it is still a beautiful piece of work, easy to browse. Here is a list of the restaurants you can find there (Keep in mind that restaurants tend to open and close over the years).
The Waterfall is the smallest building in the back of the complex, and indeed there is an artificial waterfall cascading from the upper floor. The Waterfall is mostly home to a sizeable upmarket supermarket, known for excellent products and a lot of imported goods.
Here too you can eat as there are a few counters with seats in the middle of the supermarket for shoppers to enjoy fresh products. Drop your shopping basket for a moment and try some imported oysters (Gillardeau and Kumamoto), lobsters and seafood, and expensive Iberico hams from Spain. It reminds us a lot of the supermarket section of the Gallerie Lafayette in Paris. Here too, you will find some shops around and above.
The Glass Quartier
The Glass Quartier is divided into 3 vast sections: The cinemas and IMAX on the 4th floor, Virgin active Fitness Club in the midsection, and, guess what: more food!
The Food Hall on the lowest level is shared between an enormous food court and more local restaurants! Many of the restaurants you will find here are small annexes of well-known local places, a welcome change from the huge and usually not very creative franchises.
The Glass Quartier also has a nice rooftop bar with good music and excellent cocktails. The view is not really striking, but a rooftop is always a better place to be than indoors. The fun part is the small walking bridge that connects the Helix building to the rooftop building. In the middle of the bridge is a transparent section that forces people to walk on glass, at least 5 floors above the ground! Try it! it is quite impressive. But lately, part of the glass was covered with a carpet to make it easier to cross. The bar was probably losing too many customers who were not brave enough to walk above the void!
Emporium is where it all started. As it was the only mall in the area between 1997 and 2015, it covers a bit of everything in a classic layout: shops, food and entertainment. Of course, Emporium was renovated at the same time as Emquartier, but you can quickly feel it’s more conventional.
The department store is the main feature here, but the original cinema is still up there. Food is, of course, available on each floor with a lot of restaurants at Emporium Foodhall on the upper level. Kids and parents will enjoy Imaginia an interactive digital kids playground, and a roller dome where kids can play inline skate.
The Emquartier complex is a fun and incredibly versatile shopping mall with something for everyone. The layout is a bit confusing for newcomers, but most shopping malls in Bangkok are!
It was a massive success in the first years. Still, Bangkok people love novelty and many already moved to the new SiamIcon mall on the other side of the river. The BTS access and the fact that EmQuartier is very good at special events to make sure that people keep coming back.
Address: 689, 693 and 695 Sukhumvit Road, Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand
Open: 10 am – 10 pm
Phone: 02 269 1000
BTS: Phrom Phong
Opened: May 2015