Central Festival Chiang Mai is the first full-scale lifestyle shopping centre and forms part of a triad of new glitzy malls that have recently opened in Chiang Mai – Promenada Mall and Maya Mall make up the threesome. Festival, or Fest as it’s known to locals, is perhaps unique in that it offers a shopping experience replete with numerous British brand name shops that you can’t find elsewhere in Chiang Mai, as well as arguably the most uber-modern facilities in town.
Unlike Chiang Mai’s other more labyrinthine malls - read: easy to get lost in – Central Festival Chiang Mai has been designed to be easily navigated. Its giant oval structure, interconnected by criss-crosses of escalators that are usually full of bright-eyed shoppers (it has become perhaps the busiest mall along with Major Airport), is somewhat stadium-esque.
- Wat Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill-Tribe Village
- Doi Inthanon National Park Tour
- Ping River Dinner Cruise
- Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Dance Performance
- Old City Half-Day Bike Tour
- Flight of the Gibbon™ Zipline Tour
- 2-Day Whitewater Rafting & Ziplining
- Full-Day Countryside Bike Tour with Lunch
- Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School & Market Tour
- Full-Day Excursion to Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
Situated on 70 acres of land and over 250,000 sqm of floor space, the 300+ shops in Central Festival Chiang Mai are located on five floors with the fifth floor being home to the mall’s resident Major Cineplex cinema, as well as an IMAX 3-D. Car parking, as well as the added extra of Big Bike parking, can be found on the basement floor.
Some of the aforementioned British outlets include Topman, Topshop, Marks & Spencer, and H&M. Other homegrown shops include Supersports for sports equipment and apparel, Powerbuy for electrical goods, B2S for stationary and books, and an array of outlets contained within Central Department Store selling everything from French perfumes to slippers that would make your granddad happy.
Dubbed ‘Lanna Futuristic’ in style, Chiang Mai's second largest shopping mall contains local handicraft products and clothes, but the majority of outlets at Central Festival are modern brand name shops, as well as myriad chic coffee shops and cafes, including a very charming Wine Connection on the first floor where one can pick out a bottle of well-priced wine and wash it down with a cheese plate. Many of the eateries are contained on the fifth floor, and most of these are Thai-Japanese fusion, as well as Korean style BBQ.
Throughout the entire mall you’ll find boutiques redolent of Thailand’s ‘cute’ obsession; a coterie of concoctions that are the brainchild of locals with a flair for creativity. One such boutique is Vieng Joom On teashop, which is not only home to over 50 imported teas and display case of tempting snacks, but has a thoroughly eye-catching décor with its vibrant kaleidoscope of colours that seem to seep the aromas of the teas.
Another unique feature at Central Festival Chiang Mai is the ice-skating rink (Sub-zero Ice Skate), located on the third floor, which, if you’re not keen on moving on ice, puts on regular shows. If skating and shopping proves to be an excess on your limbs a Thai massage area has just opened on Floor G under the Lacoste outlet.
Central Festival is located on the Super Highway, just before the turn-off to San Sai, heading towards Lamphun. If you are coming from town drive up Huay Kaew Road and take a right at the Rincome Intersection.
Written by James Farrell
Central Festival Chiang Mai
- Opening Hours: Mon - Thurs 11:00 - 21:30, Fri - Sun 11:00 - 22:00
- Location: San Dek Intersection, close to the outer ring road east of the Ping River.
- Tel: +66 (0) 5399 8999