We didn’t rush getting out of town for Bangkok on this Thursday morning, day 13 — the final full day of the trip. We enjoyed another breakfast in the hotel. I made it downstairs as Kelvin and his parents were wrapping up their meal, so I had the iPad with me. And that would have been a nice source of reading during my meal, buuuuut the wi-fi stinks on the lower level of this hotel. Oh well. We eventually packed our bags and Sim met us in front of the hotel and off we went.
I remember passing by a large ferris wheel and a bunch of white buildings on the way down and now on the return trip we pulled into what I learned what was Sanorini Park — a, at my best guess, small Greek-themed sort of amusement park. I’m not entirely sure why we made the stop as all we really did was loop around the parking lot and then return to the highway; perhaps simply for a closer look. I wondered if somewhere in Greece there’s a Thai-themed amusement park.
A short while later we made a stop in what’s basically a small strip-mall, but really more of a rest stop. We stepped into an airy building with a couple display cases of prepared food and staff ready to help prepare a meal. I went for some rice and ginger chicken. And I liked it more than I was expecting — afraid of trying something new, blah blah. Kelvin and I had both become suckers for coconut ice cream and this place did not disappoint.
Ginger Chicken rice meal
We continued on our drive….drove on the same cool looking bridge, passed the same Ikea, but this time we (me, Kelvin, and his parents) were dropped off at BKK airport. This allowed the rest of the gang to make it back to their place in the suburbs without hitting a mess of traffic and we skipped out on the traffic as well thanks to public transit. There were a couple options on getting to our new Bangkok hotel, and we chose a mix of the BTS and the underground subway. The subway portion may not have been the speediest option, but we eventually made it to the Four Points Sheraton.
The first thing we did once settlined back in Bangkok? Hit the hotel pool. Kelvin, Kovot, and I made our way to the pool and splashed around a bit (and Kelvin’s dad enjoyed taking some more underwater photos). We were a bit peckish so I ordered something small tide us over until a real meal later in the day. The fry-wedge things I ordered took a while — so long that we were finished with the pool and ready to head back to the room before I checked on their status. We stood there awkwardly for a couple minutes as the staff fetched the order. While munching on the fries, we rested up abit and then walked over to the nearby Terminal 21 mall.
That mall is amazing. It’s incredibly large and each of the seven floors is themed to a different city of the world. We entered on the London floor, went by Tokyo, Istanbul, and went up to floor 6, or San Francisco. The food court area of floor 7 was actually San Francisco as well, but concentrated on the pier (Pier 21, a play on the tourist-famous Pier 39) , while the floor below was all about the city. The top level of this mega-mall, the Hollywood floor, was dominated by a movie theatre. It also had the most futuristic bathroom I’ve ever seen. I imagine the sort of toilets I found there are common in Japan (there ware even controls to adjust the bidet water temperature), but it was the first one I’d seen in Thailand. It was also my most awesome bathroom experience of Thailand (a far cry from the near-prehistoric stall of my Don Inthanon sickness incident a week prior!).
Is this were Screech shops?
A little bit of San Francisco in Thailand
Well, how about that
We ate in the Pier 21 food court area and I had two servings of delicious biryani chicken and rice. After this mall trip, we went to…another mall. I wanted to check out the Uniqlo — a store my buddy Aldis turned me on to during my 2010 New York City trip. It’s like a H&M from Japan. That was at the Paragon mall, a shot BTS ride away. It was a bit of a maze to find the place, but we eventually did. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was similar to the one I visited in NYC. The thing that struck me was the abundance of cold-weather clothing. I understand Uniqlo has an inventory of items similar in every store location and that <60 degree temperatures may hit harder to Thai locals, but come on…I can’t imagine all the sweaters and jackets and even HEATTECH thermals would sell well in Bangkok. Maybe people shopping at this mall have a lot of friends in cold weather climates and oh boy are they in luck for the holidays. We stopped at the Bon Au Pain on the way out, and at nearly closing time, to have some ice cream because, hey, ice cream. We exited the mall with the few remaining shoppers and headed back to the the metro.
On the way back to the hotel we wanted to check out some street vendors for souvenirs and maybe even some street food. The only place we could think of was the area near our first Bangkok hotel, near Sukhumvit 11. So we took the short ride over there (it was on the way to our new hotel anyway) and browsed the goods. Nothing much struck my fancy and I figured I ought to try again in the morning on the way out of town, to minimize carrying around extra items. We walked to where we dined on streetfood the first night in Bangkok and I, finally, had some Pad Thai. Thai Pad Thai. It was…okay. After that, and another short ride on the metro and a bit of walking along the street taking night photos, we called it a night. I was at the point where I knew my arrival back home was on the horizon and just wanted to speed through the journey and be home already, but a solid night of sleep stood in the way. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; I knew I wouldn’t be getting much sleep again until back home.