Fourth Wonder of Pattaya, the Central Festival Shopping Center
by Jack Corbett

Pattaya Central Festival Mall

One block long, seven stories high, Central Festival Mall is Asia's largest beach front shopping center 

And for those with the money to spend in the same building is the Hilton Hotel which towers over the shopping center itself. 

I live here in Pattaya and I go to the Central Festival Shopping Center quite often.  I love books for one thing, and this shopping mall has five or six  book stores.   The largest one, B.2 S Books, Stationary and Music, not only has a large selection of books with selections that are ever changing, it also has an entire section for artists with pencils, paint supplies and easels on display.  The second book store I frequent is Asia Books, which is smaller than B.2 S Books, but which will often offer gems the larger stores miss.  Other than the malls many restaurants there's eight movie theaters on the 7th floor, a number of computer and camera shops, including Banana IT and Power Buy which not only sells a good selection of laptop computers, but a large offering of television sets, dvd players, and electronic accessories.  There are several sporting goods shops headed by the largest one that offers a large selection of exercise, jogging shoes and sandals and a whole lot more from treadmills, stair climbers and other exercise equipment to kayaks and tents.  On the first level there's even a shop selling beautiful wooden ship models for the affluent.  Those less well off are advised to fly to Vietnam to get the same display ships for 1/20th the cost. 

One of Central Festival Mall's leading attractions, at least for us, is its huge selection of restaurants.  On the first level there's a large food court that's right next to a supermarket.   Here you purchase a card for 100, 200, 300 baht or any amount you like which acts like a credit card since you then use it to purchase food from an extensive array of vendors offering everything from Thai food and pizzas to Indian food.  The employment of a single cashier's station to service so many food vendors is a terrific idea because it virtually eliminates the risk of having employees steal from the restaurant while speeding up the entire process of delivering  food to customers who are in a hurry.  There's a lot to choose from here in the food court alone, yet it's only the tip of the food capped iceberg.

On the 6th and 7th floors there's eight Japanese restaurants alone.  Not to be missed is Shabushi, which offers an all you can eat buffet for just 299 baht.  Customers sit at long narrow tables with a continuously running conveyor running behind these tables which serve as a virtual train carrying small plates of raw meats, shrimp, fish and vegetables which the diners pick off the conveyor, then dump into special individualized receptacles of boiling water in which they cook their food.   There's also a huge selection of sushi to choose from, Chinese pot stickers, small salad dishes and other things.  Lastly there's a small buffet of ice cream to pick from for desert.   Perhaps the biggest bargain when it comes to Japanese food is Yayoi.  You can view some of Yahoi's selections and its low prices in among the pictures below.  There's even a Japanese hamburger outlet, Mosburger, and I haven't even counted it as one of the eight Japanese restaurants in the shopping center.

Perhaps the best deals of them all can be found at Thaisiam, which specializes in Thai noodle and soup dishes.   You can find it right next to the movie theaters up on the seventh floor.  Here you will find Thai dishes for as low as 40 baht.  Vietnamese food can be had at Saigon Bistro and there's even a restaurant that offers Curry dishes only.  It's called Cocoichibanya Curry House.  There's a Sizzler's steak house which I like, not for its steaks but for the salads and other things I can get.   There's a Black Canyon coffee restaurant here and of course there's a large assortment of fast food restaurants including McDonalds, Burger King, A & W Root Beer, the Pizza Company, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dairy Queen and Swensen's. 

Pattaya might still be best known for its wild and wholly night life which probably ranks it number one in the world, but i Central Festival shopping Mall elevates it into an an entirely different category of city, one that offers just about everything a man or woman might want from beaches to zoos and tropical gardens, great food, a warm climate and world class shopping. 

 


 

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Visit Jack Corbett's Twelve Wonders of Pattaya to find out about all the other terrific things you can do
that have nothing to do with Pattaya's unexcelled night life

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