Terminal 21, not Area 51
When I first heard the name I got all excited. A strong believer in UFO conspiracy, Terminal 21 sounded exciting to me. Like maybe a warehouse with secrets or such. Well let me tell you, conspiracy here is that it is a mall. Yes, I know, not as exciting as little green or gray beings running around, but still something to be checked out if you happen to be in Bangkok, Thailand.
No Need to Shop, but Let’s Go!
If you’re like me, then you were well packed and don’t need to shop on vacation. If you’re like Kat, you’ve got a long list to ensure you didn’t forget anything. Still we like to stop and shop with our eyes. And of course the occasional souvenir.
Usually it’s not the mall that we stop at, but the grocery stores. We like to see what’s available to the masses and usually it’s an experience in itself. The layout of the shelves, exotic fruits and vegetables, strange meats and cheeses are all new and exciting to us. And let’s not forget about the checkout line. The checkout procedure can be confusing or even seem a bit chaotic sometimes (Quito).
So…. we heard about Terminal 21. Kat looked it up and it was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel, so off we went. Our 10 minute walk was interesting as usual. We passed a little food bar named ‘WE FOR YOU’. We also passed a McDonald’s with Ronald McDonald greeting customers with the wai (the wai is the customary Thai greeting). Next we ran into a few small clothing stores. One of them always tried to put me in a suit, no matter how many times I walked by in my shorts, flip-flops and a t-shirt. Guess he thought I was under dressed.
As you arrive at the entrance and walk in past the armed guard, you tend to get that feeling of being at the airport. Not only it is packed with people, but the design was meant to create that illusion, hence the name.
There are 9 floors to explore. Each floor has the theme of a different foreign city. In the center you see this maze of crisscrossing escalators that will take you all the way to top. Labeled different from what we are used to, 6 floors on top of M (main floor), G (ground floor), and LG (basement floor).
The basement floor was not in any particular city style as it was in general Caribbean décor. There was a food supermarket down there, as well as a bookstore that we gave a quick look over. The supermarket had a take out section, kind of like the deli section in the States, but with Thai food.
Terminal 21 Fashion Hub
The ground floor (Rome theme) and the main floor (Paris theme) are loaded with shops of fashion labels like Levi’s, Adidas, and such. Since Kat and I don’t necessarily were those, these were not our floors. We just looked around at a few statue replicas that we had seen in Paris and moved on.
We had to stop in the bathrooms first and let me tell you people, first class and sophisticated. Kat took a picture of a toilet seat that is short only of a pilot’s license and the manual you need to operate. This thing has every button you can imagine. You can even adjust the splash water pressure and temp, as well as the seat temperature. (Not to mention an air dryer for your rear.)
Ladies fashions are on the 1st floor, Tokyo style. With paper lanterns, sumo wrestlers, and the Lucky Cat, the mood is set. Men need to go one floor up to level 2 where they can shop like the British in London. A big replica of a double-decker bus and the queens guard have got you covered. If jewelry or souvenirs are your thing, then head to Istanbul on the third floor.
The next two floors are San Francisco style and dedicated to food and drinks. The fourth floor has all types of restaurants and cuisines, while the 5th is more of a food court. It’s not to be missed, as the variety of food stations is amazing. The food court operates through use of a prepaid card. You do not pay cash at any of the stands. Instead, you load money onto the card via the card station. Your card then gets scanned at each stand you purchase food. Whatever money still remains on the card you can either save towards future purchases, or have refunded to you at the card stations.
The top floor is Cinema City, based on Hollywood. There are 8 screens to choose from and an assortment of games. We weren’t in Thailand for movies or games, so we didn’t spend much time up there.
Overall, it was fun to see all the different themes, walk around, and have a few drinks and meals there. Proximity of the Terminal 21 and variety of food choices there made this place an easy stop while we were in Bangkok.
Now pack and get out there! Terminal 21 is waiting for you