Monday, August 22, 2011

Mansion 7: Boutique Thriller Mall

Looking more like a movie set than a shopping mall, Mansion 7, which appropriately opened on Halloween, hopes to attract Bangkok's trendy thrill-seekers by offering them something completely unique. For starters it’s nowhere near Sukhumvit, it is on Ratchadapisek Road. It also happens to have a stupendously and shamelessly “out-there” theme, as it is designed to be a haunted mansion. Best of all, every food, retail, game and drink outlet has its own unique concept and design that can't be found anywhere else in the city – a rarity in franchise-heavy Bangkok.
The entrance to the 7-rai boutique mall is a great, frightening claw in the middle of a sophisticated purple fa├žade. Once inside, the large, lofty and air-con free space is roughly separated into three main zones: Neglected Garden (home to retail boutiques), Playground (housing cafes and restaurants) and Dark Mansion. The front is the Garden’s domain, the side is for the Playground and all the back, the Dark Mansion [insert maniacal laugh…]. And interspersed amongst it all are an array of intriguing and entertaining games (pay with coupons), like grabbing a prize from a barrel before a guillotine cuts your army off – fun! There is no denying that the site is impressive, no creativity or money has been spared on its construction. In fact, this 170 million baht project is the second masterpiece of Pattara Sahawatra, the brains behind super successful "vintage village" Plearnwan in Hua Hin.
Besides all the other distractions, the real star is the "Dark Mansion" itself. It has been created around the fictional tale of the mad noble Lord Ratchada, who committed disgusting experiments on human bodies in a bid to resurrect his daughter (explained in a video at the beginning). The 15-minute walk through (groups of four clutching a rope) is definitely a work of art that plays with human psychology and fears. Each small group self-guides through spooky experimentation rooms, past embalmed bodies and into a ghostly bedroom. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a tacky romp, it was super creepy. Every detail has been carefully thought out and the odd creaking door, hysterical scream and surprise zombie will keep you on your toes. Not the mention cramped corridors, pitch-dark rooms, strange smells and things that go bump in the night….
Once you’ve made it out alive, you’ll be shown various photos (Bht 250) of yourself in completely embarrassing states of fear that can be taken home as a loving memento. After this experience you might need a stiff drink and Mansion 7 offers two choices: Beer Mansion and Cocktails! The entrance fee is Bht 180 for Episode I and Bht 320 for Episode I and II (the latter has newly been opened). There is a "Combo Set" available, including Episode I, two game coupons and a soft drink. Word to the wise, if you can possibly avoid it, do NOT go through with any teenage Thai girls in tow – their ear-piercing screams at every turn will have you running for the exit faster than any petrified corpse.
ESSENTIALS
244/7 Ratchadapisek Soi 14, Ratchadapisek Rd
02-692-631
MRT Huay Kwang.
Open Mon-Fri noon-midnight, Sat-Sun noon-2am
www.themansion7.com

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