If you are visiting Bangkok, than a shopping spree should be on your to-do list – there is just no place like Bangkok for it! From the very Asian markets, like Chatuchak weekend market, that sell everything on earth in little stalls outdoors, requiring you to haggle for a fair price, to luxury malls like Paragon on Sukhumvit, there is something for everybody. My favorite mall that is uniquely Thai is Terminal 21 near Asoke and here is why you should check it out…
I love the markets in Thailand, from the unique products to the boundless energy and bargain prices, they are something you won’t find in Europe or the US and they are lots of fun, even if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. I also love all the malls along Sukhumvit – you find one mall next to the other for miles and miles, containing every brand I’ve ever seen, and many you’ve never heard about, all of it with great service and at good prices! Yet my favorite place, Terminal 21, combines a little bit of both to something uniquely Bangkok. It is one of the more recent additions to the mall scene of Bangkok at the intersection of Sukhumvit and Asoke, conveniently linked to the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway. It has more than 600 shops on 9 floors, from a supermarket to fashion to countless food places and even a cinema and fitness center!
At the ground floor, you start with some Western brand shops to warm up. From the ground floor, you make your way up through unique levels of shopping and eating, each labeled and styled for the world favorite cities, like London, Tokyo or San Francisco. Each level features some touristy exhibits, think Disney Land, giving the visitors plenty of opportunity for selfies. The crowd favorites seem to be the London phone booth or double decker bus! What keeps bringing me back is the collection of small, independent, local stores offering clothes for women (mostly level 1), men (mostly level 2) and gifts, accessories, toys and home ware (level 3). A lot of these shops are run by local entrepreneurs and designers, featuring their own products and designs. It often is the only place you can buy them and are usually brand names you have never heard before! Many of the shops are not much bigger than a stall in the markets, but you do get a little bit wider hallways and nice air conditioning! What you won’t find are the knock-offs so common on the markets!
After some fun shopping (or window shopping), you can head to the ground floor for some take-out from the supermarket, to level 4 for some restaurants, mostly chains, or much better the food court on level 5! It has great quality of food at very reasonable prices in an atmosphere much better than most food courts and is quickly stealing the title of “hippest food court in town” from the Paragon! It’s worth a trip to Terminal 21 just for the food court, even if you hate shopping! Because so much of the social life in Bangkok happens in the malls, the people watching and food court offer plenty of entertainment without buying a single item! If all the food makes you feel guilty, you can go straight to the 8th floor by elevator and get a work out at the Fitness First!
You can find more information here. With all that, Terminal 21 should be on anybodies list for a trip to Bangkok!