12 Best Things to Do in Silom

What is Silom Most Famous For?

    Attractions in Silom are as diverse as the area’s polarising daytime and nighttime personalities. When the Thai sun is high, Silom is Bangkok’s answer to Wall Street, with high-rise office blocks full of workers spilling out into the streets at lunchtime and after work for their fill of local food. After sunset, Silom shows its true colors – bustling market stalls pop up, fine-dining restaurants open their doors and naughty nightclubs come alive.

    Silom is not just about shopping, bars and restaurants, though. From niche museums to quirky galleries and one of the few treasured green spaces in central Bangkok, there are plenty of interesting attractions and sights to see, too. This list helps you discover the area’s historical, cultural and generally better-behaved side.

    1

    Lumpini Park

    Lumpini Park has often been described as ‘a tranquil oasis, ‘a haven from Bangkok’s traffic’, and ‘an escape from the city’ – and they’re all spot on. Bangkok is not big on green spaces, so the park, which lies in the shadow of the towering Silom and Sathorn skyline around its perimeter, stands proud as one of the city’s largest and best-loved parks.

    Consisting of 57.6 hectares of grass, ponds and walkways, it draws in the locals and tourists morning, noon and night. Even so, most people tend to head here in the evenings for some exercise, when the heat of the day has subsided. If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch a glimpse of one of Lumpini Park’s famed monitor lizards, which occasionally slither out of the water for a curious look around.

    Location: Rama IV Rd, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 4.30am to 9pm

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    2

    Patpong

    Patpong is one of the world's most famous red-light districts and is where Thailand's go-go bar culture all started. It’s even been immortalized in a James Bond movie chase sequence. The 2 parallel side-streets between Silom and Surawongse Roads house dozens of neon-lit strip bars offering naughty shows and pole-dancing entertainment.

    Patpong has long since been usurped as the 'king of the scene' by Soi Cowboy, its counterpart around Sukhumvit. Even so, its reputation means it's still a huge attraction, mainly for sightseers more interested in seeing the famous spot for themselves. Alongside the adult entertainment is a sort of night market as the whole area teems with hawkers and humble stalls selling mostly touristy items.

    Location: Patpong 1, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

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    3

    Sky Bar

    The Sky Bar at the Lebua State Tower is more than another rooftop bar in Bangkok. It’s a vacation experience in itself, an iconic building (helped in no small part by the 2011 movie, The Hangover Part II) and a Bangkok must-see attraction etched firmly into the travel itinerates of visitors from all over the world.

    While now a little overcrowded – and, in the opinion of some, over-commercialised – the Sky Bar at Lebua State is still consistently named as one of the top rooftop bars, not just in Thailand or Asia, but in the whole world. So what sets it apart from the rest? Perched 63 storeys up, the views over downtown Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River and across to the suburbs are hard to beat.

    Location: 63rd Floor, Lebua at State Tower, 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 4pm to 1am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 624 9555

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    4

    Lalai Sap Market

    Lalai Sap Market is a hidden bazaar tucked in the narrow back alleys of the Silom area. While Bangkokians all know about this place, anyone new to town driving or walking by the market's discrete entrance will probably miss it, no matter how vast it actually is.

    This market is a complicated mix of shophouses and boutiques connected by stalls and sidewalk vendors to air-conditioned mini-malls and food courts. Located down the road from the famous Patpong market, Lalai Sap is more interesting and more real. It's a bazaar mixed with a market, selling less touristic stuff and offering an interesting window into Bangkok daily life.

    Location: Silom Soi 5, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7am to 5pm (closed on Saturday and Sunday)

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    5

    Snake Farm

    Silom’s Snake Farm has a wide and interesting range of slithery reptiles, from cobras to Malayan pit vipers, banded kraits to rare Russell’s vipers. The snakes here are all ‘milked’ (their venom extracted, which you can watch happening), which means that a bite from these poisonous animals would hurt but not kill their handlers. The extracted venom is then used to produce anti-venom serum for snakebite victims all over the country.

    There are lots of informative displays and educational resources available and the daily shows also offer a spectacle for the tourists that flock here. The snake farm is praised for its careful handling of the animals and their conservation attempts. Even so, this is still a show using wild and exotic animals to entertain a crowd, which will inevitably draw criticism from some.

    Location: Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, 1871 Thanon Rama IV, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9.30am to 1pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 252 0167

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    6

    Bangkokian Museum

    There are few better places than the Bangkokian Museum near Silom for a journey back in time… particularly to when teak houses stood proudly as Bangkok’s main form of accommodations (rather than glistening new condo blocks), and when jungles were of the green variety rather than concrete.

    Though not a prominent fixture in most Bangkok travel guides (probably due to its discrete location, tucked away in a small soi) this interesting museum is well worth a visit for its range of traditional Siamese artifacts, 2 beautiful wooden houses and lush tropical gardens. The Bangkokian Museum is sometimes referred to as the ‘Bangkok Folk Museum’, and is just off Charoen Krung (turn into soi 43, pass under the bridge, then look to your right for the main sign). Entry is free too!

    Location: 273 Saphan Yao Alley, Si Phraya, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9am to 4pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 233 7027

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    7

    Kathmandu Photo Gallery

    Kathmandu Photo Gallery shies away from those sterile, whitewashed and often uninspiring interiors you’d normally find in a more typical art gallery. Instead, the gallery space is a spectacle in itself. Bright green wooden ceiling and walls, a clashing black and white American diner-style floor and vintage furniture scattered about the place really bring this quirky little gallery to life.

    As for the art, which almost takes the second stage to the gallery’s bold and brash look, there are exhibitions every 2 months (6 per year) that showcase some of the best creative talents from around Bangkok and the rest of Thailand. Kathmandu is well worth a visit if you’re an art lover, antique enthusiast or just looking for unique Bangkok experience.

    Location: 87 Pan Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 11am to 6pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 234 6700

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    8

    Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Bangkok

    For a little taste of Indian architecture right in the heart of Bangkok, head to the impressive Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of the same name. The colorful and intricately designed temple was built by Tamil immigrants during the 1860s and is well-known by local worshippers for being able to protect against ill-health and even death.

    The tall central structure is plastered full of detailed, entwining Hindu deities and the shrines found inside the temple are dedicated to both Shiva's consort and also the elephant-headed Ganesha, with others paying homage to gods Vishnu and Krishna. This colorful and striking building presents a great photo-op from the outside, but no photos can be taken inside as this area is dedicated purely for worship.

    Location: 2 Pan Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 238 4007

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    photo by Adam Jones (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Bangkok CityCity Gallery

    Bangkok CityCity Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in the Sathorn district of Bangkok. It features artworks by local artists in various forms, including paintings, sculptures, videos and live performances.

    As one of Bangkok's only custom-built art galleries, the Bangkok CityCity Gallery is situated in the heart of the city's commercial area, in one of the few open spaces left in the city. The unique modern building stands out from its surroundings and has a welcoming presence, inviting visitors to enter and view the latest exhibitions.

    Location: 13/3 Soi Atthakan Prasit, Thung Maha Mek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 1pm to 7pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)83 087 2725

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    10

    Christ Church Bangkok

    Christ Church Bangkok is a lovely white Anglican Church on Convent Road, built in a simple gothic-meets-colonial style. After an influx of protestant missionaries in the early to mid-19th century, King Rama IV granted land for a church to be built to serve them in Charoenkrung Road. However, it wasn't long until the English Church (as it was then known, due its mainly English congregation) was overstretched. In 1904, King Rama V granted permission for a bigger and more centrally located church to be built.

    Today the church serves a congregation of around 500, lending spiritual shelter from Sathorn Road's traffic. The interior is painted white and contains stained glass windows, one of which depicts Christ's crucifixion. It also contains Thailand's only pipe organ. Services and sermons are given in both Thai and English.

    Location: 11 Convent Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 4.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 234 3634

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    photo by กสิณธร ราชโอรส (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    11

    Neilson Hays Library Bangkok

    Neilson Hays Library Bangkok is a cultural hub in Silom and is a great place to unplug from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Originally founded in 1869, the Neilson Hays Library boasts an impressive 20,000 volumes. There are 2 separate galleries displaying different types of art. Don’t worry, they also have a substantial number of books in English!

    As you are walking down Surawong Road, you cannot miss this breathtaking, colonial-style building. Enjoy a coffee or tea and simultaneously browse the art gallery in their low-key café. The Neilson Hays Library is a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute cab ride from both the Surasak and Chong Nonsi BTS Skytrain Stations.

    Location: 195 Thanon Surawong, Suriya Wong, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30am to 5pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 233 1731

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    photo by Bjoertvedt (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    12

    Patpong Night Market

    Patpong Night Market in Silom is always busy with all the commotion from the go-go bars nearby and the many foreign visitors that are drawn to its unique charm. This market in Bangkok's notorious nightlife district is often the first and easiest stop for many who’ve just arrived in Bangkok and are lodging at one of the mid-to-high-end hotels in Silom.

    The variety offered at the different stalls in Patpong can be fun to browse through. Be wary of the quality versus the prices of what you’re being offered, though, and always be prepared to bargain sensibly.

    Location: 1 Patpong Rd, Suriyawong, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5pm to midnight (some stalls open later)

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