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The World's Five Most Shocking Malls

November 11, 2009 at 9:47 AM | by | Comments (3)

Amusement parks, ice-skating rinks, wave pools, and IMAX theatres—believe it or not, these are all found inside of select malls around the world. And although many know of Minnesota's Mall of America, which continues to be a popular road trip destination, the shopping centers that beat it in both size and attractions require an international voyage.

So we spilled the beans; the most shocking malls are not within the United States, but can you guess where they are? Here's a hint: although mall culture is typically associated with North America's suburban malls, a continent on the other side of the world is taking their malls a thousand times more seriously, not to mention larger.

Join us in awe, won't you, as we run down the The World's Top Five Most Shocking Malls, after the jump.

5. New South China Mall in Dongguan, China
We're talking sheer size with this one, since the New South China Mall is ranked second in the world and has room for over 1,500 stores. It's so large, that it's divided into country-themed areas, sort of like Disney's Epcot Center. You'll find Amsterdam, Paris (with a replica Arc de Triomphe), Rome, Venice (with a replica St. Mark's Square and Campanile), Egypt, the Caribbean, and California. What's even more remarkable is how this mall stands mainly empty, the grandness going to waste aside for a few western brands that have moved in.

4. Wynn Esplanade in Macau Peninsula, Macau
The Wynn Hotel and Casino's attached mall made our list not because it's got size—which it doesn't— or because of any funky attractions, because it has none. This intimate mall with less than 40 shops is known for being extremely well-curated for the richest shoppers only. There's a reason it's connected to the casino of one of Macau's ritziest properties.

We stopped by earlier this year, and we're pretty sure the prices for Louis Vuitton are higher here than anywhere else—a little bump to get the casino's money back, perhaps? Still, anyone can enter and at least enjoy walking on thick, plush carpeting, gazing up at Baccarat chandeliers, and gawking at a corridor of luxury brands that include Tiffany & Co, Ferrari, Chanel, Rolex, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Hermes, Versace and Vertu (some of the world's most expensive cell phones). There's also a half-sphere fountain domed with a gold ceiling with the Chinese zodiac; gorgeous.

3. West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
This is the closest we'll get to the Mall of America with this list, but Canada's Mall of Edmonton trumps it so easily, that it's a joke. The West Edmonton Mall is the largest shopping mall in North America, and greatly shows off via a Galaxyland amusement park, ginormous water park, three radio stations, a Chinatown-themed area, a sea lions exhibit, mini-golf, an IMAX theatre, a chapel, an indoor shooting range, and large-scale replica of Columbus' ship the Santa Maria. All that in addition to 800 shops; need we say more?

2. SM Mall of Asia in Manila, Philippines
If you think the Mall of America is large, then we beg you to stay away from the dizzying 4.2 million square feet that is the 4th largest mall in the world, the Mall of Asia in Bay City, Pasay City, just outside of Manila. But like the Mall of America, the Mall of Asia is charged with representing a whole continent thanks to its name, and it does its job with one of the world's biggest IMAX screens in 3D, a director's theater with La-Z-Boy chairs, the largest ice skating rink in Southeast Asia, an open-air music hall, conference center, and the Nido Science Discovery Center with a planetarium, LEGO robotics center, and a "life clock" for sending emails to the future.

Not to mention that you need to get around this mall by tram, and that it has hosted both the World Pyro Olympics the world record-breaking Lovapalooza, where 5,000 couples kissed for ten seconds. Insane.

1. The Dubai Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Don't pretend like you didn't see this one coming; Dubai now owns practically everything with "largest" or "most expensive" as an adjective, and here we have the world's largest mall. It's not fully filled with shops quite yet since it's part of the brand new Burj development, that goes hand-in-hand with what is the tallest building in the world, but at least it's open to the public and is brimming with locals and tourists anxious to experience its fifteen or so malls-within-a-mall, including the world's largest Gold Souk.

Inside you'll also be able to visit an Aquarium, 70 stores devoted to haute couture, a SEGA theme park, a 22-screen movie theatre, a streetscape with retractable roof, a replica of London's Regent Street, an Olympic-sized ice rink, and 120 restaurants. This mall owns most superlatives out there available to malls.

Honorable mention: Giorgio Armani's Chater House in Hong Kong. Because it's simply an all-Armani mall, housing stores for all of his brands, including the Armani florist, sweets shop, bookshop, and furniture store.

Related Stories:
· Malls [Rank Malls]
· World's Largest Malls [almost insane]
· The Dubai Mall [Wikipedia]
· Hong Kong, Pearl Of The Orient And...Mall Rat Paradise? [Jaunted]
· Shopping Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photos: Shopping cart sign via gasp* yourguide; Dubai, South China, and West Edmonton Malls photos via Wikipedia Commons; Mall of Asia photo via maniladailyphoto; Macau mall photo is Jaunted's own]

Comments (3)

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Wynn Macau

We were in the Wynn Macau in July and yes I can agree, the prices were about 40% more than in North America - we were quite shocked. We found that in most of Asia. It is a beautiful shopping area though - they recreated it (although not exact) at the Encore at the Wynn in Vegas.

woo..Shocking Malls

Do you like going shopping, it is really wonderful! we can see some people do that , it can bordoan your eyes, seeing is beliveing!http://gobrandmall.com/

Malls in Asia

Malls in Asia are very impressive. I have seen a few, but none of the ones I have seen have a swimming pool or a huge ice rink in the centre. These are some very impressive malls indeed. However I still prefer not to be stuck inside them

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