Shopping in Bangkok – Terminal 21
Cosmopolitan Bangkok keeps building more malls to satiate the shopping appetite of an approximately 10 million population. With more than 150 shopping options, there’s simply too little time to shop! Thailand’s Grand Amazing Sale continues until 30 September. In this post, read about shopping at Terminal 21.
Peak hour in Bangkok city is not something you want to be caught in.
Land at Terminal 21
Terminal 21 is somewhat likened to ‘destination shopping’ where great cities of the world — London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Paris and Istanbul — converge here.
This lifestyle mall is fronted by a curvilinear see-through glass and steel façade, you feel like you’ve stepped into an international airport. It houses some 600 shops and takes on an airport theme with well-known cities — London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Rome, Paris and Istanbul — converging at one destination, Terminal 21.
The concierge is manned by receptionists dressed as air hostesses to guide ‘passenger-shoppers’ to the various metropolises located on different levels, accessible by escalators. Here, you can shop from city to city — London’s Carnaby Street to Paris’ Champs-Elysees and Tokyo’s Shibuya.
Nine storeys of shopping bliss! Fashion is the mainstay in Terminal Mall.
To depart from one city to another, the long 36-metre escalator will take you to the food court and restaurants! Tilt your head and glance upwards! The directional signage will tell you which departure gate you’re at.
Shop names are good clues to what is sold: Secretary (working attire), Monotone (autumn-tone clothing),I’m a Lady (feminine attire), Tee-Talk, Forget-Me-Not(Victorian-theme dresses), Bang Bang (Tees & Jeans, Sports wear), Sugar & Cream (ladies’ wear), Mr Buddy (mobile & gadgets), Higher Ground (men’s wear, shoes, bags), Let’s Relax (spa) give you an idea what to expect even before stepping into the boutique.
The electronic display boards simulate flight information notices to guide you to your desired shopping destination – the Caribbean, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood. The best part? No passport as you “jet-set” from one city to the next.
When you get up to level 4 and 5, you arrive at San Francisco (SF). The iconic landmark is the screaming red Golden Gate bridge of SF. Feeling peckish? Heat for Fisherman’s Wharf to chow down some fish and chips.
Next destination – Tokyo for oiishi Japanese cuisine. This is a favourite among many ladies: preserved Japanese snacks.
Easy access to this mall (situated on Sukhumvit Road), is either the BTS skytrain – Asoke station or via Sukhumvit subway station. Traveller’s tip: Take the BTS and get out at Exit 1, that’s directly connected to the mall. When you’re out from the skytrain, take the walkway and enter into the mezzanine level of the mall.
Bonus: There’s free Wi-Fi to help you stay connected. Approach the concierge on M-floor to get the username and password by presenting your passport. It’s valid for one year, so this means you can make subsequent trips and reuse the password!
Dress to Kill (1st floor) – Flowy dresses and evening gowns in bright, cheery, candy colours. Step out in spring looking sumptuously feminine and glowingly beautiful. Price: 3990-5890 Baht
Higher Ground – Raise the cool factor one notch up with shirts in crisp cotton or tees that are in a rainbow colours and shorts. Put the finishing touch with a vest. Prices: Prices: 100-7900 Baht Male tees
Russian Roulette – Short-sleeve shirts and shorts. Prices: 350-2000 Baht. Tip: 10-30% discount on selected tees, shirts and short pants.
Hat Man – You probably expect nothing but hats. Hats in different shapes and sizes, hats for numerous occasions and hats in various colours and design. Not exactly! There are shoes, shorts and even jumpers! Here, the shop assistant can help you to put together a full ensemble that will have you looking sharp and trendy. Prices: 290 -2990 Baht
I’m A Lady – Bags and shoes in a variety of leather, reptile skin and an assortment of colours that will make you looking like a lady! Prices: 590-1890 Baht
Tee Talk – Anticipate giggles when you purchase these as gifts, bearing tongue-in-cheek messages. “Selfie, Better Than Sex”; “Hey, You”; “No(w) Pain, No(w) Gain”; “I’m Single”; and “Internet Celebrity” etc. Prices: One price only @ 200 Baht.
Bunny Never Sad – You’ll go “awww, so cute and adorable” the moment you set eyes on the fluffy, most cuddly and huggble bears in assorted attire. Prices: 89-1300 Baht.
This is free! Yes, if you spend 5,000 Thai baht (S$196) and above at this mall.
Traveller’s Tip. VAT: Get your 7% refund when you spend at least 2,000 baht per store per day. Simply fill up a PP10 form given to you by the sales staff after you make your purchases.
In Bangkok, you can get a massage in unlikely places: hotel lobbies, street pavements and even at pasar malams (night market). Stay away from dodgy operators operating in the shadows of the law offering massages as cheap as 180 baht (S$7.30) per hour.
Stick to licensed establishments like Let’s Relax (www.letsrelaxspa.com. Tel: 66-2-6626935–37) located on the sixth floor. Traditional Thai massage techniques are weaved into Western spa technologies, it opens till midnight.
A back and shoulder massage costs 300 baht (S$12.20) for a half-hour knead. Believe me, you’ll need this rub down after all shuffling in and out of boutique after boutique.
The ultimate is the 3.5 hour ‘Bangkok Day Dream’, inclusive of either a body scrub or wrap, facial and aromatic hot stone massage for 4200 baht (S$170.00).
GRAND HYATT’S CONVENIENT LOCATION
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. 494 Rajdamri Road Bangkok 10330 Thailand
This resort-styled property on Rajdamri Road is conveniently tucked in Bangkok’s shopping district. Just minutes away from a BTS sky train station. From this hotel, walk 10 minutes to Platinum shopping complex for wholesale fashion and accessories. Or just hop over to Erawan shopping mall, linked to the hotel.
The atrium lobby in the evenings is warm and inviting. Perfect for cocktails!
I woke up to one of Bangkok’s best buffet breakfasts. Extravagant and substantial, premium breakfast staples and brunch items are worth getting up early for. My fluffy omelette with Thai Chinese lap-cheong (sausages), crisp bacon and salad were absolutely aroy (delicious). Served from 6:00am to 10:30am breakfast, it costs 1,118 Thai baht ($44.00) per adult.
FLYING TO BANGKOK
Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and budget airlines fly daily to Bangkok with departures as early as 7.00 am. Flight time takes approximately 80 to 90 minutes.
Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) rail systems are reliable and convenient. For riverside attractions, take river taxis.
Wanna beat the traffic? Local guide Khun Tom says the quickest way to get around in traffic-choked Bangkok is the motorcycle taxi. It navigates narrow sois (small lanes) for a flat rate of between 20 to 30 baht (SGD 80 cents to S$1.20).