Central has many departments stores and shopping malls in Bangkok. It's flagship store Central Chidlom is more of a department store than a mall but it's other stores, such as Central Rama 3, all tend to be malls with the Central Department Store being the centre piece and then all the separate shops and stalls surrounding it.
In the Rama 3 area of Bangkok, there is a decent Central called Central Rama 3 and is a fairly standard Central Department store and with the typical shops occupying the mall area around it. It can get quite busy at weekends with Thai families visiting for a general walk about and to eat at one of the many restaurants or to go bowling or to see a movie and so if crowds aren't your thing, try getting there early or make a visit during the week.
Decent selection of goods, shops in the mall also decent
Not on the BTS / MRT lines, gets busy at weekend with families roaming around.
Central Rama 3 in Bangkok comprises 6 floors and each floor is divided into sections similar to those of all the other Central Stores.
The basement is Tops Supermarket where you can do all your grocery shopping. Rama 3's Tops is not terribly good but it has undergone a face lift recently and meats and fish are presented in a more appealing manner and there is now a bakery for fresh bread, cakes and buns. Even with the makeover, the meat counter is nowhere near as good as Central Chidlom neither is the fish counter and the cheese is not even close and so if you want decent meats, cheese and fish, head off to Central Chidlom.
Fruit and vegetables are sufficient although you might not get the selection you are after.
Check-out counters have been improved and you'll now pass through faster and not have to deal with mind numbingly slow cashiers.
Apart from the above mentioned sections, the rest is adequate for general weekly shopping although Central seems to think there is a need to employ a multitude of young girls who roam the isles doing very little. They can generally be found on the shampoo / make up / soap sections as well as the alcohol section dressed in short and colourful skirts gossiping or filing their nails. Central should get rid of these unnecessary staff and give its shoppers some more space.
The Basement of Central Department Store at Rama 3
The basement area houses many stalls and shops. The basement is also where various brands put on sales and so almost every weekend you can find men's and women's clothes on sale and most of the time it's brand names such as John Langford, Camel Active, Pierre Cardin and so on. Other times, you might have underwear sales or jeans and even swimwear and so it's not a bad idea to poke your head around the corner just to see what bargains you can pick up.
Central Rama 3 isn't unique in this area. Most Central Malls have a large open section on either the ground floor or basement where stalls are set up to offer sales and discounts. Last one we saw was for watches.
Some of the regular shops to be found in the basement are:
Meng Pong DVDs and CDs
Wine House - Wines and Spirits
Mr. Bun - freshly made breads and buns
Yamazaki - bakery
One or two other shops
Within the basement area is also a small section of stalls selling non-brand named fashions but only teenagers would be insterested in these stalls. As mentioned, this is where Tops Supermarket can be found but just outside, near Fuji, is a small section dedicated to Thai food and snacks.
Central Department stores follow the same kind of layout and Central Rama 3 is no exception. On the ground floor, you can find the following items as well as some others which we haven't mentioned:
Watches, Clocks and time pieces
Marks and Spencer's underwear, bath lotions and biscuits
Make up and Perfume
Women's shoes and bags
Hair pieces, nail clippers, umbrellas
The Terrace Restaurant - Central's own restaurant
You can probably find a few other sections but for the most part this covers the ground floor.
Rather than go on and list all the areas within Central Rama 3, we'll just state that contains the following:
Men's fashions, shoes and laptop cases
Children's fashion / Baby section
Power Mall / Electrical / Kitchen & Bath appliances
The different levels of the mall section of Central Rama 3 provide the following which we've not given in any particular order.
Brand named fashion stalls
Learning centers such as EEC, ballet schools, music schools and early learning
Health & Slimming centers
Mobile phone stores
Sony Center & a few Audio & Visual shops
Game shops, computer shops, software shops
Bowling & movie theatres
All in all, Central Rama 3 is a good department store / shopping mall to visit as it is of a decent size, has plenty of shops to look around as well as enough choice in restaurants to keep everyone happy.
Restaurants at Central Rama 3
There are a number of restaurants and places to eat in Central Rama 3. The department store has The Terrace which is on the ground floor at the front. The Terrace is a Thai restaurant and there is a branch in nearly all Central Stores.
Other restaurants are:
Ramen 8 ( Japanese noodles )
Zen ( Japanese food )
Taling Pling ( Thai food )
Banana Leaf ( Thai food )
Fuji ( Japanese food )
Aka ( Japanese food )
Sakura ( Japanese food )
Yayoi ( Japanese food )
Oishi ( Japanese food )
The Pizza Company
There are a couple of Chinese restaurants and one or two other types of places to eat so it's not ALL Japanese food !
Our favourite Thai restaurant is Taling Pling which also has a branch just off Silom road. The food is freshly prepared and is always very tasty with decent portions.