New World Mall Bangkok from afar might seem just like any ordinary abandoned mall. However, at closer inspection, the four-storey high, roofless, New World Mall Bangkok is a sight to behold.
Visitors of New World Mall Bangkok might say that the spectacular view inside is apt for local legends. At 1,600 square feet in diameter, the basement of New World Mall Bangkok is apparently filled with water and nothing else but Koi fish. According to reports, Thai locals introduced Koi into the water body inside the New World Mall Bangkok to keep the mosquitoes away. What happens next is a stuff of dreams.
There is a history to the abandoned New World Mall Bangkok. It isn't just about the locals introducing Koi fish to combat the infestation of mosquitoes there. Before the flooded building was teeming with fish, the New World Mall Bangkok used to be filled with shoppers once, reports the Daily Mail.
The New World Mall Bangkok found on Bang Lam Pu Junction in Bangkok's old town, was built in the 1980s. However, in 1997 it was forced to shut down for breached building regulations. According to the Bangkok Post, the company that built New World Mall Bangkok breached building regulations in the country, which only allows four-storey high edifices. Before the construction of the New World Mall Bangkok, the approved construction blueprint of the mall was only four storeys as well.
This led to its partial demolition where its top seven floors were knocked down to stay in with the original construction blueprint. However, the New York Daily News reports that the New World Mall Bangkok was set ablaze in 1999 which left it without a roof.
30-year-old backpacker Jesse Rockwell stumbled across the New World Mall Bangkok during his travel to Thailand. He wrote a blog post in Jun. 2013 and was discovered by the website, The Verge just this week. The New World Mall Bangkok fish since then sparked interest from people all over.
He said of its demolition, 'Some people think it was set ablaze because it was too tall. Lots of people in old town Bangkok think it is insulting to build something taller than The Grand Palace. So when the mall was built people got really angry.'
Because of its hollow top, rainwater filled the building which eventually caused a major mosquito problem for locals living nearby. The locals then introduced freshwater talapia fish to eat the insects in hopes of ridding the building of them permanently.
Unexpectedly, it is evident that the species thrived inside the waters of New World Mall Bangkok and quickly multiplied. According to reports, they now fill the 5,000 square foot lower floors of the mall.
Rockwell, the backpacker from Santa Rosa, California, USA told his surprise seeing the New World Mall Bangkok. He said, 'It is quite bizarre - I was really surprised when I came across it. It is literally three blocks away from backpacker central, but nobody is even aware it is there. It was very quiet in the mall, I could only hear the sound of splashing fish, even though it's close to a main road.'
He added, 'A sign written in Thai outside says 'Do not throw anything into the water' - so people are trying to protect the fish.'
However, since photos of the New World Mall Bangkok fish thriving went viral this week, the once locally-visited spot became known to tourists and has attracted quite a number of foreigners, reports the Bangkok Post.
After photos of the New World Mall Bangkok fish were posted online, visitors soon flocked to the site just to see and feed the fish. Despite the abandoned building's following, building inspectors still warn that the site could collapse any time.
On Monday, the Bangkok Post reports that the BMA's Pramern Kraisorn, assistant to the director of the city's Phra Nakhon district office, has formally declared the building officially off limits. He also reportedly ordered barricades to be put up so the public simply can't get in, in any way. He said the measures are "for safety reasons, with immediate effect".
In 2011, Kraisorn said that a BMA already banned people from entering the premises, however it was not strictly implemented. The old and dangerous New World Mall Bangkok is not safe for the public and has reportedly violated the ban.
Kraisorn added that a month will be given to a committee working with the BMA's Public Works Department to inspect the building.
New World Mall Bangkok, if found unsafe, will sadly be demolished, while the fish will be removed.