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Who doesn’t want to wear sweaters, mittens and scarves when you’ve grown up wearing shorts and flip-flops? Who doesn’t want to re-enact all of that ice skating that appears in every Hollywood film made around Christmas? Who will fill this ice rink in the tropics? Thai teenagers will. They are all over ice skating in Bangkok. After sweating through the rainy season, and then sweating straight through the "cool" season, I decided I wanted to be cold, too.
Central World Ice Rink is in the Central World mall at the corner of Ratchadamri Road and Rama 1 Road, next to Siam Paragon. It’s midway between Siam and Chit Lom on the BTS, and is connected by a pedestrian walkway from either station — just follow under the tracks until you see the sign on the north side of the tracks (it's the biggest mall in Thailand so pretty hard to miss). The skating rink is on the ground floor.
Check in with the front desk and pay 250 baht for 90 minutes of ice skating, skate rental included. They have large skate sizes for big-footed foreigners. Strap in, and seconds later you will either be twirling across the frozen surface like Michelle Kwan, or, more likely, sliding face down across the ice. I had forgotten that ice skating requires a modicum of balance.
I actually skated for more than two hours, as they don’t enforce the time limit when it’s not busy. It’s a bit pricey, but on a hot and humid day, it’s quite the treat to glide around the rink to the amusement of all around you. I was hoping for some teen-drama Mean Girls-style, but Thai teenagers are unflappably polite, much to my consternation.
So don’t worry if you’re bad at ice skating: there will definitely be someone worse than you, and if you fall down everyone will laugh and point. Not to make fun of you, oh no, but to make light of the situation and therefore allow you to save face. See? Teenagers aren’t jerks: they are laughing at you to help you.
By Brock Kuhlman
Last updated on 6th March, 2015.