It’s Hard To Believe This Koi Pond Was Once A Mall

Published January 1, 2015
Updated March 1, 2018

The New World mall was abandoned in 1990s. Now the mall's bottom floor is the most bizarre koi pond in all of Thailand.

What started as an attempt to get rid of pesky mosquitoes has now become one of the world’s most bizarre koi ponds to date. Abandoned after someone set the building on fire in 1999, the New World mall in Bangkok, Thailand is now home to hundreds of exotic koi and catfish.

Bangkok’s New World mall was built in the 1980s. Over the years, the building faced various disasters: the mall was forced to close in the 1990s because the top seven floors were never approved in the original construction permit; an arsonist set the building on fire in 1999; a person was killed by falling debris during demolition years later. After the building’s top floors were removed, the mall was left abandoned without a roof, inviting rainwater to fill up the bottom floor.

Enter the mosquitos. As water filled the abandoned mall—now just four stories tall—mosquitos began multiplying like crazy. Once the growing swarms of mosquitos started bothering vendors and residents in the area, locals decided that it was time to fix the problem. That’s when they started adding koi to the flooded building.

Koi are a type of common carp that are often kept in outdoor ponds and water gardens for ornamental purposes. Distinguished by their colors, patterns and scales, koi come in a variety of colors such as blue, yellow, black and red. Since these fish are able to adapt and survive in many environments, they have multiplied in the abandoned building, despite the dreary environment.

Before becoming a global sensation, locals fed and watched the mall’s koi pond, marking the entrance with a green tarp. Now that pictures of the abandoned koi pond have gone viral, tourists have begun showing up at the mall, hoping to sneak a peak of the bizarre setting. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has since declared the building off-limits for safety reasons.

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.
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