I had a few hours of rare free time today in Ubon while waiting for a flight so I thought I’d ride the motorbike around and check on some of the new construction. My first stop was the Ubon Square Mall (อุบลสแควร์). This is the McDonald’s which they seem to be working on faster than other parts of the project, or perhaps that’s my wishful thinking.
My next stop was Home Pro. I didn’t see an opening date but I have a hunch this will be ready to go in the next couple months. The sign is almost ready and most the walls are up. They have also started hiring already. Home Pro is almost all home decor (duh) but its a higher quality then what you’d find in a Lotus or Big C.
Behind the picture above you can see the Central Mall (เซ็นทรัลพลาซา) which is next to Home Pro. It’s a city of concrete in a hole of dirt at the moment. I still can’t believe how much land fill has been brought in. The project has a long way to go but I’m sure RITA and Central Pattana will meet the April 2013 deadline. It isn’t exactly your wife’s, brother’s, dog’s former owner’s, uncle’s construction crew if you know what I mean…
The next location just opened 4 days ago, Thai Watsadu (ไทวัสดุอุบล). This is on the ring road between the mall development and Home Hub. Think Do Home only cleaner and more organized with wider aisles. I’m a stereotypical dude so I love hardware stores and Ubon has plenty so I welcome this store. I honestly don’t know how Home Hub is going to survive next door. Thai Watsadu is a bigger company with more financial backing but nevertheless, Home Hub isn’t going down without a fight. There is a marketing war all over Ubon between the two and Home Hub was still packed today with loyal customers (I am not one of them, long story). We’ll see how long it lasts. I don’t think Do Home will have any trouble. It’s already known in Eastern Isan and Southern Laos as the place to go for the cheapest materials. Perhaps I’ll do a price comparison between the big 3 sometime.
The last new store I checked out was the TSF Furniture store near the Sisaket intersection. Staff say this new and much bigger store will open “sometime in 2013.” It looks like they’ve made a lot of progress so I was surprised when they said it wouldn’t open until next year. They have the widest selection of furniture in Ubon already and will likely expand that with this new store.
A couple last notes on construction. The Yasothon intersection of the ring road is being redone, likely as part of a project to improve roads near the new developments west of town like Central. It’s a real cluster of a problem right now. Also on the North side there is construction near the Amnat Charoen intersection. It looks like they are expanding it to 6 lanes heading East for a ways but I’m not certain. Perhaps its just drainage but they’ve moved all businesses back to the electrical lines. Anyone know?
That’s all for now. I’ll have another update in the coming months. My only question remaining is, when will there be an international school in Ubon? I’ll post an update in 20 years…
Update: Bangkok Post just gave this report a few days ago.