Bangkok Goldfish

Also available in: Russian Italian

When we arrived in Bangkok, we were like two fish pulled out of the water. After Siberia everything was different – heat, smells, colors, noises. But at least now it became much easier to visit abandoned places, the hands do not freeze after taking pictures and the feet do not cry from the cold!

Therefore, immediately after arriving in the capital of Thailand – Bangkok, we went to explore an abandoned shopping center, which became famous thanks to photos with thousands of goldfish inside.

Do you recognize this picture?


The shopping center is not so easy to identify from the outside, you really need to know where it is. Around it there are hundreds of small merchants, hostels, shops, as if there is no abandoned building behind.

First you need to find the intersection of the roads Phra Sumen Road and Chakrabongse Road, where you will notice two huge sheets of iron, with which the city authorities closed the building. You need to get inside the shopping center from the back, reaching Kraisi Road. Find on this street a huge parking, go behind the building and there you will see an abandoned shopping center. To get into it is possible by climbing a tree.


The shopping center “New World” was started to build in 1982 and after 15 years the construction was stopped. The building had 11-storey, which did not meet the requirements of the city administration.

Also against the 11-story building stood the Thais. They considered the shopping center as an insult to the Grand Palace (which since 1782 served as a residence for kings of Thailand). Therefore, the top floors were demolished and only four of them remained.

In 1999, a fire broke out in the mall, destroying the roof, and since then the rains began to flood the abandoned center. This led to the appearance of mosquitoes, a lot of mosquitoes, which began to bother the local residents. They decided to launch fish into this underground aquarium: exotic carp koi, goldfish and several species of tilapia.

Fish ate mosquitoes and at first a small fish population began to develop, soon their number reached 100 thousand. There was something like a natural ecosystem.

Several years ago there were lots of fishes, now just 20 remain

Since then, the shopping center has become a tourist attraction, and the fish became to appear on many photos of tourists who came to Bangkok. The first was the photographer Jesse Rockwell, the pictures of whom spread all around the Internet (and which probably you as well saw).

Since then, many tourists and locals have come here to feed the fish. It all ended with the government’s decision to catch all fish and release them to other pools.


We came here shortly before sunset, having read on the Internet that the most beautiful pictures are obtained at this time. Nothing like that.

We quickly climbed the tree and descended into the dark depths of the shopping center.

The first floor is almost completely flooded and it is impossible to get there. But behind the partition that separates the abandoned building from the rest of the world, people live. They have a kitchen, beds, and it seems that the shopping center pool they use as an urn.

Inside – some excavators, because the building in the end has not been operated.

You might think that you are alone, but you are not. Around you there are hundreds of bats that periodically make themselves hear when you shine a flashlight or speak loudly.

A very nice view of the city opens out from the upper floors of the shopping center. You look down on one of the world’s largest megacities and watch how everyone is rushing off somewhere. While in this place time stopped.

On the map

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