Hoohah! Yup, I’m blogging about a mall. I’m going to write 500 + words about a mall. Fancy that!
I am not even a mall rat! Even while living before in the Philippines where malls are just everywhere, I wasn’t into malls that much, there are even times I abhor the presence of malls as they contribute a lot to traffic jams. But after living here in Phnom Penh for sometime, I’ve had occasions where I dearly miss malling.
Sure there had been ‘malls’ here but they were more like small market style malls with shops selling China knockoffs and cheap clothes from Thailand. There weren’t brand shops were you can actually get genuine goods. So, you can fairly say, I missed malls. So yeah, occasional trips to Bangkok, KL or Singapore were nice and I get to bask in ‘mall atmosphere’.
When Aeon Mall Phnom Penh opened I was honestly delighted. Finally. Someplace to do some window shopping in air-conditioned comforts and at least there would be a few additions to shopping choices. While there are shops around Phnom Penh like Mango, VNC etc each have their own shop houses, having them in one mall made shopping a whole lot easier.
It has three floors dedicated to shops, supermarket, appliance center, cinemas, bowling lanes, food courts and restaurants, with an additional two floors for parking, skating rink and a learning academy. For a list of shops check out their website or their Facebook page.
There’s a whole lot of ‘Japanese-ness’ to this mall as its Japanese owned so if you’re digging Japanese food, you’d love this place.
By far my favorites are the World Dining food court on the 2nd level coz its spacious, comfy and have some good food options and we also LOVE the food stalls on the ground floor, beside the supermarket. Really cheap, hygienic food, just the place to taste a lot of staple Cambodian food. I also like that this mall is very mom and baby friendly. Yup they have baby rooms all over, even with private breastfeeding rooms and the last time I was there, they even provided free wipes and sanitizers!
I know some people are saying, commercialism, capitalism (whatever isms you can come up with) are taking over Phnom Penh, yada yada yada. Well, I hardly think this is going to destroy the traditional wet market. They are so interwoven in the Khmer way of life that I don’t think a western style mall is going to destroy that. And yes, I still get most of my stuff from Russian, Central or O’Russei Markets.
I also think its high time, Khmers have something to enjoy like this. You know, while some consider it excessive consumerism, I think its just a natural progression. People work hard, and they want to enjoy the fruits of their work. And they do travel a lot now so they are acquainted with shopping trends in neighboring countries so its natural for them to crave to enjoy something like this too.
What I could say is that while we dearly love traditional markets, its always nice to have an option. Once in a while its great to take sometime to stroll, window shop and ogle things you can’t possibly afford or need. I quite enjoy people watching there. And its good to see that of course, this is providing lots of jobs to young Cambodians. To me, this is a very welcome addition to Phnom Penh (if I ignore the traffic jam it spurs during weekends ha!).