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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: 12.8, 99.9667
After breaky I went for a sleep, again. Mum was keen to go to Terminal 21, the shopping centre, again to take photos of all the different toilets based on the different cities. After going to the toilets on levels 7 to 1, I asked if the other toilet on each level could have different themes. Unfortunately for me they were totally different so up we went, again. Luckily for my ego we were amongst several others taking photos of the toilets. I know, it's sad, but they were like this: Terminal 21 shopping mall was opened in October 2011 and is an airport-themed shopping mall with each floor assigned to a different city around the world. The whole centre takes up 40,000m2, is 9 storeys high and has about 600 shops.
When you enter the shopping centre, you are greeted by security guards dressed as pilots who salutes 'passengers' before they enter the centre. You need to clear 'airport security'. No frisking
involved, just an airport-style scanner. The lobby is the arrival hall, with electronic display boards resembling flight information, and the receptionists at the information desk wearing air hostess uniforms.
There are screens
where you can locate stores etc – labelled as 'check-in information'. They had clocks where the times were displayed on each clock for a different country represented at Terminal 21. As you approached each floor on the escalator, you were told where you were arriving at, or departing from a country. All the cleaners were dressed to match the 'country' they worked in/on. LEVEL 6 - TOP FLOOR Los Angeles - Hollywood (Walk of fame)
This floor was decorated with a giant golden Oscar statue, movie posters and the famous 'walk of fame' stars. They even had 'people' filming a movie scene. There was an eight-screen Cineplex on this level with two screens having digital 3D screens.
Toilet 1. You walked along the 'red carpet' to get to the toilets, with screaming fans along the wall (you could hear the fans screaming as well as see the pictures of them). The men/women/handicap signs were surrounded by stars. The restroom was set up like an actors change room – with lights all around the large mirrors. There were famous quotes and hand/foot prints on the wall and the blackboard like used when making movies on the front of
the toilet doors. LEVEL 5 - San Francisco – Pier 21 (Wharf)
Pier 21 is based on Pier 39 - the Fisherman's Wharf of San Francisco which is known
for its seafood and bustling markets. This level has landmarks of the S.F. Bay Area including the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf signs and a street cable car. This level is decorated similar to a fisherman's village. There are 'men' holding tightly onto the wires that hold up the Golden Gate Bridge which has cars driving across.
Toilet 1 There was a large crab holding the entrance sign to these toilets. There was a 'fresh blue crab served here' sign on the wall – the Dungeness crab is a delicacy in San Francisco. Above the walkway to the toilets as well as in the toilets were crabs trapped in the fishermen's nets. Pictures of boats were inside the bathroom and the mirrors were surrounded by port-hole windows and life-rings. Walls were wrapped in rope.
LEVEL 4 San Francisco – City Street (Colourful bakery/traditional bakery)
'San Francisco's sourdough bread is world-famous for its distinctive taste with secret ingredients. Using bread "starters" – an ancient method of
making bread with a fermented mixture of flour, water and yeast, loaves of sourdough bread are baked uniquely, with sour tang, crispy-chewy on the outside, airy and light on the inside. It's the culture.'
The San Francisco Municipal Railway (SF Muni or Muni for short) has a large symbol on the floor as you enter this level. Here you will find the iconic San Francisco trams/cable cars. Toilets This one was called the Bakery Restroom with a sour-dough theme. The toilet signs have the man, woman and handicap people wearing baker's hats. There was a rolling pin at the entrance to the toilets. The arrow was pointing to the "Bistro – Serving Lunch and Dinner'. There was a 3D image of a basket full of bread on the wall which looked yummy, and, as you entered the toilets, bread making utensils were attached to the walls and a giant rolling pin was on the
ceiling. The wash basins and lights above were mixing bowls and, in case you wanted to cook some, everywhere the sourdough recipe was written
LEVEL 3 – Istanbul
Level 3 is based on an Istanbul Market Town theme. It looks
like a traditional medieval shopping bazaar complete with oriental looking shops, beads, lamps and rich jewel tones. The floor is covered in mosaics and the roof is decorated with hundreds of colourful glass lanterns. The shops look like they are market stalls with the colourful canopies fronts. Toilet 1. The Middle Eastern feel of this floor extends, of course, to the toilets – they are decorated with the typical Turkish blue tiles and lit up with mosaic looking lamps that reminded me of Aladdin's era. In here you could be forgiven for thinking you were in some Turkish Baths. The mirrors have a very oriental feel to them.
LEVEL 2 - London (Underground railway)
There is a sign saying "Welcome to 21 Brick Lane e.i.". This meant nothing to me at the time, but, once home, I googled it and, to my surprise, found it is actually a street in East London. Brick Lane has become famous as one of the curry centres of the city.
"Oxford Street" I recognised!! Here was a double-decker bus (that has shops on the inside), a red phone box, a red post box, a statue of the Queen's Palace Guard and the
underground tube station signs. There are also seats covered in the Union Jack. Toilets This toilet is based on the world-famous London Underground. The entry corridor to the toilet had a painting of a London train and on the walls were the underground train station logo. The toilet doors were covered in a large map of the London underground train system. On the middle of each door, a 'station' was labelled 'WC'. These toilets were a bit boring.
LEVEL 1 - Tokyo (first floor) (Old/traditional and modern Tokyo)
This floor is concept of Nakamise-Dori Market (a street on the approach to the Sensō-ji temple) and Harajuku Town. It has very convincing little streets of Tokyo, with suspended paper lanterns.
You will find giant figurines of Sumo Wrestlers, Torii (the traditional Japanese gate found in front of a Shinto shrine), a glass-cased Japanese warrior and an oversized Maneki Neko (the lucky cat).
Toilet 1. This toilet follows the old-school Japanese zen design with fake rocks and trees. The doors are made to look like a Japanese styled screen and there is Japanese writing on the walls. Each of the faucets are connected to a bamboo pole
and the mirrors are framed in bamboo. The toilet doors themselves are very narrow here – larger people would be better to find another country to use the loos in!! Toilet 2. This toilet is based on modern Japan and is decorated with anime characters from Harajuku which is known as Tokyo's teenager town. It is an entire district catering for the young and trendy Tokyoite. Harajuku is the best spot to see some the locals engaging in the popular youth pastime of cosplay. Cosplay is the term given to wearing a costume to try and look like your favourite anime character, movie or j-pop star. Cosplay is probably the next step on from some of the weird fashions you see on the street and is something rarely seen outside Japan. The mirrors in Toilet 2 were the shape of sunglasses, with no taps or wash basins visible. The taps were sensors found under the mirror and instead of having a basin there was a bench sloping down to help drain the water away. The doors were all coloured in very straight block-like shapes.
MEZZANINE FLOOR (M) – Paris
Welcome to Paris with the Champs-Élysées Boulevard and
Parisian Boutiques Streets concept. Paris is decorated with sculptures of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower as well as Parisian lamp posts. A ladies bike was tied to the Parisian street sign at 'Avenue Gustave Eiffel' The ‘Art Nouveau' theme is apparent here. (Taking inspiration from the unruly aspects of the natural world, Art Nouveau influenced art and architecture especially in the applied arts, graphic work, and illustration. At the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, Art Nouveau was established as the first new decorative style of the twentieth century).
Toilet 1 - Had a large boarding pass at the entrance showing that we were flying from BKK ( Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport ) to CDG (Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris). You enter the toilets through beautifully crafted wrought iron doors and walk into toilets lit by chandeliers.
Toilet 2. Modern Paris - The mirrors covered the wall and were all encased in large gilded frames with chandeliers for lighting
GROUND FLOOR - Rome (2) (ruins/water fountain)
There were various Roman marble statues of mythical characters as well as Roman "ruins" and murals. It was made to look like Rome's shopping streets, encircling
the marble piazza (city square) complete with Italian sculptures, architectural works and fresco paintings. There were lots of columns and paintings on the roof of this level. There were Vespas (Italian brand of scooter), marble statues and plaza fountains Toilet 1. Ancient Rome. Here there were ruins of buildings and the wash basic was in the centre of the room in the shape of a massive marble ancient fountain.
Toilet 2. This bathroom was more modern but the toilet doors still resembled Roman architecture with the straight lines and staggered look. There with great pillars supporting broad arches and domes. The wash basin here had a lions head where the water came from.
LOWER GROUND FLOOR - Caribbean
The lowest floor in Terminal 21 is based on the Caribbean. It is decorated with beach shacks, sea anchors and a massive red and white lighthouse. They used bright colours and palm trees – anything to make you want to go and relax at the beach!
Toilet 1.This toilet had a floor to ceiling image of a ship with fishing nets suspended from the roof. The children's mirror was inside a ships steering wheel. Old fashioned
lamps hung from the mirrors. The doors were painted with a map of the Caribbean. The mirrors were inserted into a ships (steering wheel/helm) Toilet 2. Had a real beach theme with the toilet signs wearing bathers and a sarong for the women and flowers on the clothes or in the hair - more like change room signs than toilet signs. There were signs of the Jamaican Reggae music – with the children's washbasin inside a drum and the singers on the wall. The mirrors were lined with beach shack shutters – what a fantastic view!! The bright colours looked fantastic.
(As I sit as home and write about this shopping centre, I google and find out more and more parts that were related to the country that, at the time, I did not pick up on. Street names, styles of dress, music, landmarks that I have never seen. It really is an amazingly detailed shopping centre. I can't wait to go back to Bangkok to be able to spend a whole day at Terminal 21)
While walking back to the hotel we decided to stop off at Tops and get some donuts
to share and 2 smoothies for ourselves, before waiting in the hotel lobby for Twain the taxi driver. I decided to go and take photos of the pool then remembered about the photo of me standing at the door that we get at every hotel so I took a quick seflfie to keep mum happy.
The taxi ride down took just over 2 hours, not including our stop halfway through. Mum had asked to go and see a railway market almost exactly on the halfway mark but for whatever reason that didn't happen, which didn't surprise me with the huge language barrier. We stopped at a service station and small shopping area for a stretch and toilet stop; I felt sick so Nana bought me a lemonade then Pa seized the opportunity to get an ice-cream even though when Nana asked he said he didn't want anything. He then proceeded to drop the chocolate coating on his pants - not a good look Pa! On the way down we passed lots of farming land, empty streets and huge billboards, making it look just like a poor version of Australia, which I guess Thailand is in a lot of ways.
At a toll booth our taxi went into the wrong lane so had to reverse backwards to get into the correct one - not easy with all the cars that quickly lined up behind the taxi!!
We missed the turn off to the road the Mountain View House, our new hotel, is off so had to do a 'u' turn - not easy on a very busy freeway, then followed the small windy road through the rice paddies until we arrived. At one section on the road heading to the house, there were lots of monkeys on the side of the road - they just sit there - not frightened by the cars. they were so cute!
Where we are staying is owned by Sassie, a Thai and David a Brit, in their Greek inspired home. We have access to the whole bottom level, 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and a rec. room which are all very spacious and of course the gardens. They have 2 full-time servants, Kampi the gardener and Seewan the housemaid and the property backs on to a huge cliff-like hill. Nana had told them that she was bringing
her grand-daughter - they assumed she would be little so bought Melissa a date board with Velcro balls - very sweet of them! We all went for a swim in the pool which was cool and I spent all my time looking into the hill in the hope that I would see the Gibbons that are meant to play in the trees on the hill. Every so often a gun shot could be heard quite close by. David told us it was to scare the birds from the rice paddies that are almost ready to harvest.
For dinner we all loaded into David's car and went off to Puktien Beach for dinner. Our restaurant backed right onto the beach with a calming eclectic feel. 30m out to see there was a big statue which I automatically thought was Buddha, a smaller Buddha thing, a turtle and a woman. Apparently the biggest statue was a sea monster that turned into a human when she came out of the water and married another human but when he found out what she really was he left her, which caused her to die of heartache on the hill behind our hotel. It
will make more sense when you see the photos. For dinner we all shared cashew chicken, pork salad and some seafood dishes and rice; one of the dishes was hard to make so usually reserved for royalty but looked like small pancakes of... spew (there's no nicer way to put it!). Dinner cost about $6.70 each (including 3 beer, 3 sprite and 1 smoothie)!! Out to sea a long way we could see 5 squid fishing boats, well rather their neon green lights to attract the squid. It seems like all I'm talking about today is toilets but I assure you the previous ones are to keep mum happy, the toilets at the restaurant only had 3 walls! There was no wall behind the toilet and nothing blocking people off from going behind there so I decided to wait until we came home-I don't know what failed attempt to be modern the restaurant was trying but I give it 0/10. (There was meant to be a waterfall behind the toilets where there was no wall but it was no longer working). On the way home we passed more rice paddies, shrimp farms, charcoal burners, which I didn't see and a
huge Army training venue.
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