PHOTO GALLERY JANUARY 2, 2014
The most frequently Instagrammed place on the planet in 2013 wasn’t Times Square or the Eiffel Tower—it was a Thai shopping complex, the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok. Thailand, in fact, is responsible for both of the non-U.S. locations on Instagram’s top-ten list; the other is its international airport, Suvarnabhumi, which took first place in 2012. New York had three of the top sites, with Times Square, Central Park and the High Line.
Part of the reason for Thailand’s prominent place on the list may be the sheer volume of tourists: According to a study by MasterCard, Bangkok hosted more international visitors than any other city in 2013. And Siam Paragon is pretty impressive. Open since 2005, it spans over 20 acres and includes a movie theatre, a concert hall with 5,000 seats and the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia. Even as they're going out of fashion in the U.S., malls and mega-malls are taking off in the developing world, and Asia in particular: The continent is home to eight of the world’s ten biggest malls, and Bangkok and Beijing devote more space to malls than any other city.