Well, I had a chance to visit the Mall of Asia this week. As you know, Minnesotans are quite proud of the Mall of America, which we claim as the largest in the world. Imagine my disbelief when another Embassy person told me that Mall of Asia was larger. No! How could that be?? And so I set out to decide for myself. Here are the side-by-side comparisons:
Opening Dates- MOamerica 1992, MOasia 2006
Annual Traffic- MOamerica 40 million visits, MOasia 62 million visits
Size- MOamerica 390,000 square meters, MOasia 410,000 square meters
Location- MOamerica in the suburbs, MOasia sits on Manila Bay
The similarities: Both have bowling alleys, movie theaters, shops, restaurants
- Central feature: MOamerica has the theme park inside, MOasia has an ice-skating rink
- Other features: MOamerica has Underwater World and Legoland and the American Girl Store. MOasia has an IMAX, a science museum and an outdoor concert hall that faces the water.
The verdict: Although MOAsia wins on a pure stats basis, I didn’t find the complex very appealing. Yes, the location is ideal. It’s wonderful to be able to take a break from shopping and go look at the ocean. And there were also far more sit-down restaurants, which I also saw as a plus. The down side was that the store selection was poor and undifferentiated from anything else in Manila. I’d much prefer to shop at Greenbelt and most likely won’t go back there unless I’m taking visitors. And so there you have it folks, I’m sticking with the original MOA in Minnesota!