Day 2 in Bangkok: Malls and Street Vendors

Bangkok, Thailand

Exploring Bangkok

 

June 2015

After an extremely exhausting day of temple hopping, and a night out at one of the world’s highest bars, we were given a free day in Bangkok to do whatever we wanted.

A lot of students went to Green Lung, the suburban island district of Bangkok, to explore the side of the city with more nature. I wasn’t interested in this, since I felt that I could experience this elsewhere, and this was my only chance to explore Bangkok as it truly is: a city.

The street outside our Bangkok hotel

The street outside our Bangkok hotel

I went with a group to a massage parlor, and wandered around the neighborhood while they got massages. I figured that I’d have plenty of opportunities to get cheaper massages, and I wasn’t a huge fan of massages as it is. You can read more about my experience with Thai massage here.

While I wandered around the area outside of the massage parlor, I stumbled across a street cart selling odd little crepe-like sweets.

A street vendor in the heart of Bangkok

A street vendor in the heart of Bangkok

The street that the cart was on was absolutely devoid of any white people, and I felt like I had found somewhere very local. The vendor poured a white-tan batter on a hot, flat surface. The batter spread out just like crepes, but the circles were much smaller. The sign said “25 baht” so I decided to give one a try.
The vender scooped up the cooked “crepes” and spread a white marshmallow fluff onto them. She then topped them with a shredded fruit/vegetable that was bright orange. To my delight, she filled up an entire box full of them! For less than a dollar, this was a huge deal.

Thai street food

Thai street food

The vendor spoke no english, and I felt very confident when I told her, “hello, thank you” and “delicious!” as she gave me a reassuring smile, saying “kah, aroy mak!” (Yes, very delicious!)
I bit into my first cookie, which was still warm from the griddle, and practically melted with delight. The “crepe” was actually more akin to a homebaked fortune cookie, which was flaky, crispy, but dissolved like french meringue. The marshmallow fluff was warm and gooey, and the orange fruit shredded on top was candied. At first, I thought it was candied orange peel, but now my guess is closer to tamarind. Definitely one of the best mystery foods I have had during all my time in Thailand! Any guesses as to what these are called would be much appreciated.


After my friends were done with their massage, we went across the street to a mall that I had read about: Terminal 21.

We entered Terminal 21 through an airport-themed TSA door.

Terminal 21: Bangkok's Around-The-World themed mega mall

Terminal 21: Bangkok’s Around-The-World themed mega mall

There was a security guard there that I wasn’t sure was for show or not. We were spit out on the Paris themed floor, which had cobble stone floors and faux wrought iron lampposts. We traveled up and down the escalators, entering all the different themed levels.

Exploring terminal 21

Exploring terminal 21

The Istanbul floor had stained glass lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and colorful textiles swooping above “alleyways.” The Rome floor had giant white statues and pillars.

The Rome floor of Bangkok's Terminal 21

The Rome floor of Bangkok’s Terminal 21

I think every single floor had its own themed fountain, since I saw at least four. There was a massive golden Oscar award that filled three stories, with it’s head at the Hollywood floor. The San Francisco floor had a giant model of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The San Francisco floor of Bangkok's Terminal 21

The San Francisco floor of Bangkok’s Terminal 21

We wandered up and down the escalators for a while, exploring each theme and peaking into shops. Prices were standard high-end mall prices, so we restrained ourselves from buying anything. It was really fun to see how a Bangkok mall operated, and it was absolutely the largest mall I have ever been in.

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