Terminal 21 - Shopping Mall at Asoke-Sukhumvit Intersection
Terminal 21 is a shopping mall, located on Sukhumvit Road, close to the Asoke-Sukhumvit Intersection, with easy access from both the MRT Sukhumvit subway station, and the Asoke BTS station. It opened in October 2011.
Terminal 21, as seen from the skytrain station platform.
Construction took about 3 years, and its progress was visible from the adjacent Asoke skytrain station. I remember the plot of land Terminal 21 is located on. It used to be a huge Volvo dealership up to a few years back.
The mall uses 'airport and destinations' themes. Different section and/or floors are named : Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood, and decorations when walking around match these locations. Fashion outlets, food courts and restaurants, entertainment venues and the like, are spread out over 9 different floors.
LG Floor (Caribbean theme) : Banks, Gourmet Supermarket, some eateries.
G Floor (Rome theme) : Fashion Brand names.
M Floor (Paris theme) : Fashion Brands by Thai designers. The M Floor is the floor you enter when coming from the skytrain platforms. One of the first 'shops' there is a really good located Starbucks with ample seating arrangements (though busy in the opening weeks).
1st Floor (Tokyo) : Ladies' boutique shops.
2nd Floor (London) : Mens' wear, T-shirts and jeans, sportswear.
3rd Floor (Istanbul theme) : Shoes, bags, fashion accessories, jewelry, gift and decorations.
4rd Floor (San Francisco theme) : Eateries and restaurants.
5th Floor (San Francisco theme) : Food court (named Pie r21-Food Terminal)
6th Floor (Hollywood theme) : SF Cinema City, Fitness Center, IT Terminal (mobile phones and gadgets).
'Golden Gate' bridge below the ceiling, Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, Bangkok.
The shopping mall has two entrances at ground level (for people walking along Sukhumvit Road) and there are two walkways connecting the Asoke skytrain station with Terminal 21.
These entrances are quite well done, with 2 ample walkways leading from the skytrain station towards Terminal 21. You enter the mall at the M (mezzanine level) from the skytrain platform.
The shopping center has a glass front wall, making the insides very visible from the skytrain platform.
One enters a large and spacious lobby area, with an impressive very long escalator that can take you right up to the third floor. This brings you instantly closer to the restaurants and food courts.
On the left side (when entering) things are moving. Lots of open space (2 atriums one after another), with an abundance of escalators. Our impression is that if you know were you are going, you can do it pretty fast at Terminal 21.
There are also elevators that can bring you to the higher floors. Our first impression are that the escalators work much more efficiently than the ones at Siam Paragon.
When you walk towards the far left corner and look up, you can see the 'Golden Gate' bridge close to the ceiling. Nice view!
Just one of the many boutique fashion outlets.
The shopping outlets on the mezzanine till 3rd floor are all located in 'alleys' towards the right (east) of the mall. Since the stress is so much on fashion outlets, it looks a bit like a very upmarket version of Platinum Fashion Mall.
There are lots of eateries and restaurants to choose from. In our opinion, the food court on the 5th floor, offers really cheap fare, just 10 or 15 baht more a plate, than you would pay 'on the street'. And of course that price includes aircondioning.
The restaurants a floor lower were quite busy during the first few days after opening day. There are quite a few 'open' places, that is restaurants that open just food, chairs and tables, but no walls or ceilings. Thai people seem to 'like' this type of restaurant, they want to look at a thousand people walking by, and be seen. Not exactly a place for a date!
Some features set this shopping mall apart from its competitors. First of all, there is no anchor standard department store (like at Centralworld, Siam Paragon or Emporium Shopping Complex). So Terminal 21 is rather a very large shopping plaza, with many smaller and larger outlets. Fashion outlets are the main feature. Not a place to go to buy a washing machine or refrigerator.
'Andy Warhol'-type decoration above one of the shops.
Of course there are many brand names present. But you will not find the likes of Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Cartier etc. Quite strikingly, most of the shops sell (we assume) locally made goods.
The overal decoration of the shopping mall, is the best we have seen around Bangkok. A lot of thought must have gone into presenting all the little shops in a most favorable way. There are a lot of colorful displays, and a lot of 'Thai' cuteness.
SF Cinema City will be gladly welcomed by the thousands of people who live within walking distance of Terminal 21. No doubt the theatres will be quite up to standard, but we found the lobby when entering the 6th floor a bit disappointing. I mean, it does not really compare to the more impressive lobby on top of Siam Paragon.
What is truly disappointing is the Gourmet Market at the basement level. The name suggests it has the same management as the Gourmet Markets at Siam Paragon and Emporium Shopping Complex. However the size is small, it is only about a quarter of the size at the other shopping centers. In the opening weeks the Gourmet Market was simply overrun by customers. There are only four cashier outlets, and long queues! Rearrangements seem to be necessary to keep customer flow steady.
Maybe it is doubtful that a lot of customers will come here especially to do their grocery shopping. Fortunately, there is a lot of space now occupied by some shops and food outlets, so maybe the Market can expand in the future.
It is doubtful that a lot of customers will especially come here to do their grocery shopping. On the other hand the subground level does contain quite a few shops and food outlets, so the place to make the Gourmet Market bigger certainly is available.
Looking down from the 3rd floor at Terminal 21, Bangkok.
Importantly, there is a Starbucks, and with a good view over a big chunk of the mall. Interesting to sit and observe things there, though it might be just a bit too noisy to do some work done on your laptop.
One final remark, under the theme 'Only in Thailand'. Usually I do not care too much about how cars enter and leave a shopping mall (we never use one), but we noticed something just a bit disturbing at Terminal 21.
Of course, cars can only enter coming down from Sukhumvit towards the Asoke intersection, turning left into Terminal 21. Now, there are the access stairs towards the skytrain station. It so happens that the entry/exit road for the cars, cuts right in front of the exit of one of the stairways. If either a pedestrian or car driver, is not mindful, accidents can happen. Not sure about a solution to this problem, maybe the stairways could be rebuild, crossing over the entry/exit for cars.
As for aesthetics, the mall is located adjacent to the skytrain station. The above ground skytrain station prevent anything to be beautiful and seen properly. Just the way it is.
1.Terminal 21 offers free Wi-Fi. Just go to the information desk on the M-floor, with some identification, and you will get a username and password, valid for one year. As far as we know, other major malls like Siam Paragon, Emporium, or CentralWorld do not offer this service.
2. If you wonder about the size of the Terminal 21 building, well, it also houses the Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit-Terminal 21 Hotel, which we think is operational.
3. Terminal 21 has been developed by L&H Property, a partnership between Land & Houses Public Co. Ltd. and the Singapore Investment Corporation.
At night, Terminal 21 shows a lot of transparency.