A mall in Thailand that used to be packed with shoppers is now teeming with fish after the abandoned building was flooded.
In 1997, the New World Mall in Bangkok was closed after it was found its business owner have breached building regulations. The shopping mall was located at Bang Lam Pu Junction, the shopping center had 11 floors, instead of the approved construction of only four. The building was left abandoned caused by a fire in 1999, leaving it without a roof.
The mall was forced to close in 1997 and was set ablaze in 1999, leading to its partial demolition. The fifth to eleventh floors were later dismantled so the empty shopping center was in line with the original construction plans, according to Daily Mail.
Mr. Rockwell, a chef, said: “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.”
The shopping mall became a trap basin for rainwater and infested with mosquitoes. Then, the Thai locals think of using freshwater tilapia fish as a pest control measure and was surprised as it quickly multiplied and swarm the 5,000 sqft-ground floor. The urban natatorium became a popular tourist attraction where locals started to sell fish food outside the shop.
According to a report from Daily Mail, a 30-year-old backpacker from California, USA, Jesse Rockwell, was able to see the now-tourist spot for himself while he was exploring Thailand.
“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.”
Jessie said that before tourists proceeded inside, there was a sign written in Thai that read ‘Do not throw anything into the water’ plastered outside, as locals want to protect the fish.
But, as the natatorium became known and tourists came to flock to the abandoned mall, Fisheries Department in Thailand suggested that it is best for the fishes to be removed and transported to provinces instead.
In a report from news.com.au in 2015, the school of fish would be transferred to reservoirs, canals, and rivers, according to the Samut Prakan center’s director, Veera Watcharagoneyotine.
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