Terminal 21: A Bangkok mall with bathrooms that won’t disappoint

  • Opinion
  • August 1, 2016
Terminal 21: A Bangkok mall with bathrooms that won’t disappoint

This story begins with a disclaimer: I don’t usually photograph bathrooms – ok?

Yet, there I was, in one of Bangkok’s mega-malls Terminal 21, last Thursday and I felt compelled to do just that.

Why, you ask? Fair question. Well, you won’t find any standard, off-white sinks with boring grey cubicles in Terminal 21.

Indeed, each of the nine floors of the 55,000 square-metre mall is themed around a major city in the world, namely Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood - and they haven’t skimped on continuing those themes in the toilets. Talk about commitment!

It is in the Grande Centre Point in Sukhumvit, and resembles an airport. Once inside there are electronic display boards designed like information displays at an airport terminal.

I have another confession – I went to the mall at the end of a busy work trip to Thailand, and didn’t quite manage to photograph all the toilets but you will get the idea.

We went for a beautiful lunch in a restaurant on the 4th floor, with a San Francisco theme, where I had pad thai with shrimp, and an iced lemon tea. More than 50 independent and chain restaurants are on the 4th and 5th floor.

After lunch, I set off merrily on my toilet-photograph mission. And to shop, of course.

One of our guides for the trip had recommended going to see the Tokyo toilet. Well, it didn’t disappoint.

Upon entering the corridor, I passed a rock pillar with Japanese letters and in the female toilets was a major wall featuring a collage of young, fashion-savvy (presumably) Tokyo women.

The Tokyo floor has women’s fashion boutique stores, which I perused, yet didn’t buy anything as most of the clothes were too small for me.

Some of the shops had mannequins with roses instead of a head, which sounds peculiar but worked.

A major sculpture of Samurai wrestlers and a cat was a favourite spot for shoppers to take photos of themselves.

I then went to Hollywood, on the sixth floor, where a large collage of Hollywood paparazzi taking photos adorned the walls leading in to the toilet cubicles.

It was an intriguing placement for this image, giving the impression that a scrum of photographers were capturing you as you were about to go to the toilet.

I also managed to get to London, on the second floor, where in the hall leading to the toilets was a sculpture of a London underground train.

The floor features London’s iconic red telephone boxes and London’s double-decker buses, among other things, and the shops are mainly menswear, and sporting goods shops.

I was growing weary of going to the toilets by this point, and spent most of the rest of the time wandering around the floors, and looking for last-minute presents for family back home.

While many of the goods on sale weren’t much cheaper than New Zealand -there was, of course, plenty of things that you can’t find here, such as artisan jewellery, clothes, sports gear and accessories.

I’d recommend it as a good place to get rid of the last of your baht on your way to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

And, meanwhile, I think my days as a toilet photographer are over.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Stock it like it's hot

The ecosystem behind stocking systems is becoming more and more complex. Jai Breitnauer explores.


A story of yearning, drama and a dryer from The Warehouse

  • Opinion
  • June 14, 2018
  • Aden Bushell
A story of yearning, drama and a dryer from The Warehouse

KFC may have put out a range of erotic novels in 2017, but for sheer sensuality and enthusiasm, The Warehouse's recent Facebook response to a woman desperately seeking a dryer may have the Colonel beaten. Isentia's client services director, Aden Bushell explains what the Red Sheds did right in this scenario.

Read more
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

What a stack

  • In association with eStar
  • June 14, 2018
  • Andrew Buxton
What a stack

eStar CEO, Andrew Buxton, defines retail system building blocks and the importance of getting them right.

Read more

Karen Walker turns her Newmarket store into a charity shop

  • Design
  • June 13, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
Karen Walker turns her Newmarket store into a charity shop

A mini pop-up located in Karen Walker’s ‘Playpark’ Newmarket store will offer not premium fashion, but a selection of vintage hand-knitted garments from the Dove Hospice charity shop. All money raised from sales of the handknits will go to Dove Hospice.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit