luxe shopping - Terminal 21, Bangkok
Written by Kelvin Hayes
If you thought that airports were for airplanes with a shopping mall attached, then Terminal 21 reverses the trend, becoming a destination in its own right.
With over 600 stores, Terminal 21’s concept is to deliver floor-by-floor snapshots of world cities via familiar pop culture references. Expect to see red telephone booths on the London floor, a Parisian Metro sign, and even San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge traversing the upper echelons. Set in the heart of Bangkok’s busiest retail zone, what sets T21 apart is its attention to detail. Inside the mammoth terminal-cum-mall, there are glitzy departure boards with current and upcoming events, and information staff wearing stewardess uniforms. Of course, the food court contains a degree of global tastes. Terminal 21’s strength lies not only in its ingenious nod to air travel but also the way it includes a typically Asian quirkiness in stalls such as Dress Garden and Happy Corset on the ‘Tokyo’ floor alongside brand names such as Nike and Levi’s. Fashionistas can revel in ‘London’s’ mock Carnaby Street vibe of fresh T-shirts, jeans, and sportswear, while ‘Istanbul’ captures its maze-like Grand Bazaar in miniature, to which many local designers have gravitated from Chatuchak Market.
At T21’s summit is ‘Hollywood’, where you’ll find all the mobile telephone and gadget shops, but also a state-of-the-art eight-screen (including two 3D screens) SF Cinema, and a spa operated by ‘Let’s Relax’.
Amenities are very well thought-out, from the free Wi-Fi (register at reception), 36-metre escalator, and even ultra-modern Japanese toilets with temperature-controlled seats!