I already knew that malls in the Philippines were HUGE but I didn’t know they were so big that 3 of them would make it on the list!
- South China Mall – Dongguan, China – 7.1 million square feet
- Golden Resources Shopping Mall – Beijing, China – 6 million square feet
- Mall of Asia – Pasay City, Philippines – 4.2 million square feet
- West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – 3.8 million square feet
- SM Megamall – Mandaluyong City, Philippines – 3.6 million square feet
- Berjaya Times Square – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 3.4 million square feet
- Beijing Mall – Beijing, China – 3.4 million square feet
- Zhegjian Plaza – Guangzhou, China – 3 million square feet
- SM City North EDSA – Quezon City, Philippines – 3 million square feet
- King of Prussia Mall – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA – 2.8 million square feet
Filipinos love malls simply because they have everything – restaurants, supermarkets, computer shops, clothing stores, shoe stores, bowling alleys, pool tables, skating rinks, arcades, cinemas, sometimes even medical and dental clinics, cellphone stores and repair shops, game and specialty stores, toy stores, pet shops, photo studios, bookstores, music stores, optical shops, dermatology clinics, hardware, small amusement parks for kids, flea markets… you name it, they have it. Not to mention that on Sundays, some malls even hold Catholic masses for the people!
These malls also make it convenient for people to go there because they’re everywhere, they provide lots of parking spaces (but even so, sometimes it’s not enough due to the amount of people that go), they provide free AC on really warm, humid days and because they have almost anything you need, you can’t go wrong. It’s a good place for people to hang out because there’s always plenty to do… you can go bowling or play pool, hang out by the arcade, see a movie, play a game at the Internet cafe or just chill with friends at coffee shops.
The first time I stepped in a mall here in Canada, I was a bit disappointed because it’s way smaller than the average mall in the Philippines. Plus, they’re normally mostly clothing and shoe stores. And the size of the food courts are about a fourth of the food courts in SM Malls. Here, you don’t go to the mall to simply hang out… you go because you need something. There really isn’t much to do in the mall except to shop or window shop or eat. Even though some malls have theatres, most of them don’t so you have to go somewhere else to see a movie.
I always tell Steve how surprised he’ll be when he steps in one of the malls in the Philippines. I can just imagine how he’ll react when he sees SM Megamall where it’s about 5-6 floors high (including the basement) and about 2-3 times the length of the Eaton Centre downtown. It also surprises him that Malls in the Philippines also carry some North American stores like Gucci, Prada, Zara, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Guess, Levis, etc… and that we also have Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Subway…
Here are some pictures of SM Megamall (grabbed from the gallery in Wikipedia):
Pictures of Mall of Asia:
I’ve never been to SM Mall of Asia because when we left the Philippines almost 4 years ago, it was still being constructed and we haven’t been back to visit yet. Steve kept insisting that no mall in the Philippines could be bigger than the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta… I just proved him wrong!