My category “local markets” wouldn’t be complete without including one of Thailand’s modern shopping malls. Thais love them, as they are cooled down with aircons and offer everything, including lots of Thai and international foods, clothes, jewelery, supermarkets, IT and electronic centers, bookstores, watches, massage and beauty parlors and even car and motorbike exhibitions. As a hallmark of Thai Malls, there also is always a movie theatre at the top floor of the shopping complex. Often, but not always, there is a bowling center on the same floor too.
In Phuket, there are two main malls. One shopping complex is called Central Festival and another Jungceylon. The former is at the outskirts of Phuket Town, the latter in the tourist magnet Patong. As I live in Phuket Town, I know the former far more better than the latter. Central has four floors and also some outdoor restaurants with daily live music. Additionally there often hold small exhibitions, Thai dance performances and specific theme markets (a herbs and traditinal medicine market last time I saw it). One of my favorite stores there is the DJ or Diary Queen ice cream store. The ice cream is much cheaper than at the other places, but damn delicious. Another great store is B2S, a huge book store, which offers everything, from Thai cooking books, over science fiction, language teaching books and documentaries. Watching a movie in the mall’s movie theater is not just entertaining, it’s a little bit about Thai culture too. Every movie theater in Thailand shows the royal anthem after the previews and before the main movie. The royal anthem was composed 1913 by a Thai prince called Narisaranuvadtivongs and it’s lyrics can be translated as the following: We, servants of His great Majesty, prostrate our heart and head, to pay respect to the ruler, whose merits are boundless, outstanding in the great Chakri dynasty, the greatest of Siam, with great and lasting honor. (We are) secure and peaceful because of your royal rule, the fruits of your virtues preserve, the people in happiness and in peace, may it be that whatever you will, be done, according to the hopes of your great heart, as we wish (you) victory, hurrah! During the anthem, all people stand up and stop talking. During the anthem, there are picture shown of the king’s life, emphasizing especially his work for the Thai people.