Bangkok - Silom
The area between the roads of Silom and Sathorn is the closest Bangkok gets to Wall Street, with glistening skyscrapers all boasting the names of financial institutions. After nightfall the character of the place changes considerably though: the small sois between Silom and Surawong come alive with people out for a good time, including the infamous short little alley of Patpong.
Almost all of Silom can be handily reached by the Skytrain's Silom Line. The MRT's Si Lom station is an interchange with Skytrain Sala Daeng.
Tourist sights are rather rare on the ground in Silom.
- Catch a Thai kickboxing (Muay Thai) match at Lumphini Stadium (Rama IV Road; Subway Lumphini). Matches start at 18.30 on Tuesday and Friday and 16.30 and 20.30 on Saturday. Foreigners pay 2000/1500/1000 baht for ringside/near ring/tiered seating, while Thais can squeeze in for 230 baht.
- The Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre Company has performances each night from 19.30-20.45 in their theatre located in the midst of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar (Subway Lumphini). Admission is 300 baht for a regular seat and a little more for a V.I.P. seat, but there is not much difference between the two, and you can get a regular seat in the front if you buy your ticket early. The show is in Thai with translations into English, and there is a segment where the puppets interact with audience members that is popular with children.
- Lumpini Park (สวนลุมพิน Suan Lumphini), between Rama IV, Ratchadamri, Wireless (Wittayu) and Sarasin Rds. A rare expanse of public greenery in the heart of the city. The park's symbol, a statue of its creator Rama VI, stands at the main entrance at the southwestern corner, right opposite MRT Si Lom station. (MRT Lumphini is at the southeast corner.) The park has a lake with boats for rent and with a cycle track around it, and is popular among early-morning fitness enthusiasts, but there's little reason to wander in during the daytime heat. The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra does, however, put on occasional performances in the winter.
The shopping around Silom is a little lacklustre compared to Sukhumvit.
- The Patpong night market features all the usual Asian knock-offs and assorted tourist goods. Prices are considerably inflated compared to most any other market so be prepared to fight for a bargain.
- Suan Lum Night Bazaar (Subway Lumphini) is a less chaotic option offering much the same fare and then some, including alot of artsy pieces that might actually look good back home. The quality of goods and displays are generally higher than Chatuchak Weekend Market, but so are the prices. However, the stalls are modern, thoroughfares are wider, and there are many good dining options here (see Eat). A money changer and ATM is located right in the middle of the market area, but it closes two hours earlier than the rest of the market does. The bazaar is open nightly until midnight. Note: The market is presently under threat of demolition, and may be gone as soon as March 2008. Check locally.
- Klong Toey Market, Klong Toey (just south of Queen Sirikit Convention Center MRT). A huge and surprisingly centrally located definitely off the tourist trail: the stalls sell goods for Thais, at Thai prices. Open 24 hours, but best experienced in the early hours of the evening.
- Silom Village. Silom 21/1. A touristy theme market, but still a good place to look for handbags and furniture. Be mindful that many items are fakes.
- Jim Thompson. 9 Surawong Road (walk through Soi Thaniya from BTS Sala Daeng), 2632-8100. The flagship store of the famous Thai silk brand, offering well-designed pieces of high quality at equally high prices. Spread on four floors, unlike the small hotel shops this store offers the full range of Thompson's products, including lengths of raw silk.
- Silom Complex (Silom Rd, connected to BTS Sala Daeng) is Silom's only mall of any significance. A bit quiet, but the restaurants and TOPS supermarket in the basement aren't bad. Central (department store) is at the rear of the complex and is accessible at every level of the complex. The top floor of Silom Complex has a large electrical goods retailer and a well-stocked office supplies retailer.
- Across the street from Silom Complex, Robinson Silom (corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds) is one of two department stores of significance in the area (the other is Central, adjacent to Silom Complex).
Cafes, noodle shops, and fancy restaurants line the streets around Silom. For authentic Japanese food at reasonable prices, pop into one of the many eateries on Soi Thaniya.
- Food Fusion. 4F Robinson Silom (corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds). A modern food court with a twist, with stalls offering Thai, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Vietnamese food. On entry you receive a barcoded baton used to record your orders, and you pay the sum on exit. Prices are moderate at 50-100 baht for mains. Open daily from 10.30 AM to 10 PM.
- Suan Lum Night Bazaar. The stadium-sized beer garden here also offers reasonably priced Thai eats (most dishes 30-50B) and free concerts by Thai cover bands. If there is an official drink of Suan Lum, it's beer: the place is full of beer vendors (Erdinger, Paulaner, et al.) offering a wide selection of imported and local beers.
- Nooddi. Borth side of Silom Rd (near BTS Sala Daeng). A trendy chain of noodle eateries, offering a variety of styles (Thai, Chinese, Japanese) in air-conditioned surroundings for around B60 a bowl. Try the iced tea; the "glass" is big enough for two!
- Silom Village Trade Center. 286 Silom Rd. The last traditional Thai village on Silom Road. Silom Village is comprised of 15 teak houses as well as 3 buildings that were constructed in 1908. The compound has been converted to a restaurant and Thai handicraft shops. A great place to buy souvenirs. Recently an affordable hotel has also been constructed on the premises. The restaurant offers Thai as well as fresh seafood. Moreover, in the evenings you can catch an authentic performance of various forms of traditional Thai dance.
- Takoemon, (one soi down from Thaniya towards Rama IV). Specializes in amazingly good takoyaki (Japanese-style octopus dough balls), especially when given that they cost 30B per box of 6. Ramen and udon noodles in the 30-60B range also available.
- Ichimonji (一文字). 9/34 Soi Thaniya. Buried in the depths of the soi, this is a typical Japanese-style pub and eatery. Set meals in the 150-250B range are decent value, English menu available.
- Cafe India. 460/8 Surawongse Road (near Patpong). Has been serving up amazing Indian food since at least the war years. Many other old GI bars and restaurants in and around Patpong are still in business and worth visiting. Beware of some of the wraith-like vets who never made it home however. Some of these can be very disturbing to encounter.
- The Duke of Wellington. Silom Road, near Convent Road. For the truly surreal, try this authentic English style pub. The beers and food are a little pricey by Thai standards, but the place at least has free Wi-Fi.
There's more to Silom's nightlife than just Patpong, but can a visitor say they've been to Bangkok without at least a quick peek into the 'Pong?
You might want to take a deep breath and down a few shots before heading into the insanity of Patpong, which in fact consists only of two small sois (Patpong 1 and Patpong 2). It's a short walk from BTS Sala Daeng station, deserted by day but jam-packed and overflowing in all directions by night. The throngs of middle age tourists shopping for sarongs and chopsticks just makes the sex shows going on in every open door seem that much more surreal.
Prepare to be harassed by touts armed with laminated 'menus' of acts you can order up. If you follow the touts, you might end up spending a ton of money on drinks to watch sad looking girls perform unhygienic acts with various garden-party accessories (lawn darts, ping pongs, etc etc) in one of the upstairs bars.
If you instead try one of the bars on the lower level, you can safely watch girls dancing on stage, but will occasionally be asked by one of the girls if you could buy her a drink. She will get upwards of 50% of the drink price as a bonus and will join you at your table for some conversation in exchange. As a rule of thumb, only trust bars that already have a fair number of customers; a drink should not cost more than 100 baht or so.
- King's Castle III. Patpong 1 (left side). The place to go gawp at kathoeys (ladyboys) strutting their stuff. Prepare to tolerate a few invasions of personal space, but it's all in good fun. Drinks B100, no surprises on the bill.
- Lucifer. Patpong 1 (left side, above Radio City). A rarity in Patpong, a "real" nightclub without girls in bikinis. Decorated to look like Hell, most customers are partygoers here to listen to the club's brand of hard techno. Cover charge B150 on weekends, including one drink. Check out the Heat nights on Wednesday when leather-clad dancers whip it up. Open until (at least) 2 AM.
Note: All the go-go bars in Patpong close by 1 AM sharp!
Silom Soi 2 and 4
Sois 2 and 4 are the center of gay nightlife in Bangkok, although these days Soi 4 packs in a mixed crowd with plenty of bars that aren't gay by any stretch of the imagination. On weekends Soi 4 is cordoned off and valid ID is (theoretically) required to enter. Soi Surawong, across the street from Patpong, is Bangkok's largest gay go-go bar strip.
- DJ Station, at the end of Silom Soi 2 (just beside Sala Daeng BTS). The most famous gay nightclub in Bangkok and busy almost every night, starting with a reasonable ladyboy show at 11.30pm. Admission is between 100-200 baht which includes one or two drinks. Opening hours vary but usually closes around 03.30am.
- GOD Club. Short for Guyz on Display and there's many of them! Usually open until 5 am.
- Home. Silom Soi 4. Home is another famed hip-hop bar spread over three floors, yet somewhat small. For a first time visit or once-in-a-while visitor, this place is a good find. However, if you go there too often, you may find their repertoire of songs somewhat repetitive. Cocktails are not remarkably special and prices are about average for the area. Comfy seats downstairs as well as on the third floor. Or take a seat outside, where tables make a good spot to people watch.
- Speed. 80 Silom Soi 4. Put Speed on the top of your list if hip-hop is your scene; this is where you come to witness young Thais in baggy clothes getting down with 50 Cent and his ilk. Several floors but the ground floor is where the action is located.
- Tapas. 114/17 Silom Soi 4. On your left immediately as you enter the soi, this is more of a groovy club than a Spanish snack joint, with two stylishly decorated floors and a people-watching terrace. Entrance B100 (no drink), open 8 PM to 2 AM daily.
Soi Thaniya is Patpong for the Japanese; you might be excused for thinking you've ended up in Shinjuku when you see the plethora of signs in Japanese and kimono-clad girls beckoning you in. Most bars and clubs are off-limits to Westerners, but some of the restaurants aren't bad for a serve of Japanese food and some beer or sake to wash it down.
Note that fairly strictly applied dress codes apply to all of the following, so no flip-flops, shorts or sleeveless shirts.
- The Dome. 63F State Tower, 1055/111 Silom Road, 2624-9576 . The world's tallest rooftop bar/restaurant, a few meters higher up than Vertigo — but due to its slightly off-center location, the views are arguably not quite as stunning. This is in fact a complex of a number of expensive restaurants, including the Mediterranean-flavored Sirocco, but the cheapest option for just a drink is the fully outdoor Sky Bar (200B+/drink), complete with a live jazz band most nights.
- Hu'u. 1F Ascott Sathorn, 187 South Sathorn Rd (BTS Chong Nonsi; cross pedestrian bridge and turn right). The latest branch of the superhip bar-restaurant from Bali, offers Bangkok's tallest bottle rack and a 30-page menu of bizarrely named but well made cocktails. Expensive at over 200B for most drinks.
- Vertigo. Atop Banyan Tree Hotel, South Sathorn Rd . This aptly-named named bar and restaurant is actually located outside on the roof (61 stories high), giving you an absolutely staggering views of Bangkok at night. Drinks at the bar are fairly expensive (beer: 240 baht, cocktails: 300 baht, plus 10% service charge), but it's definitely worth the experience. Dinner at the restaurant, on the other hand, is not worth it — a course of pretentious European food will set you back around 4000B/head.
There are a number of hotels in the Silom area, although the cheaper ones tend to be the kind that rents rooms by the hour.
- HQ Hostel, 5/3-4 Silom Soi 3 Silom Road Bangruk Bangkok(Next to Bangkok Bank Headquarter), ☎ 662 2331598, . checkin: -; checkout: -. HQ Hostel Bangkok is a boutique accommodation for backpackers and budget travelers ideally located in the middle of Bangkok's city center, within a walking distance to all major attractions, and a super transport network. Staring price only 380 baht.
- Lub d Bangkok(Lub d Bangkok), 4 Decho Road, Suriyawong, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500(Lub d Bangkok hostel is within a short walking distance from the BTS skytrain station, Patpong area.), . Lub d Bangkok hostel is designed by famous hotel designers. It offers 8-bed dormitories, ladies-only dormitories, private rooms for 1-2 people, normal double bed hotel rooms with a private bathroom. All rooms have air conditioning. Safety, Friendly and fun atmosphere. Facilities are superbly clean, the rooms are comfortable. Free WIFI and free use of 9 internet terminals and luggage storage. Do-it-yourself laundry services (~60 baht). Modern bathroom, hot shower with soap and shampoo provided. Colorful bar offers breakfast, snacks, beverages until midnight (2 beers for 70 baht). DVD/TV Room. Hostel is cheaper if booked via the web compared to walk in.
- Take A Nap(Take A Nap), 920-926 Rama IV Road, Suriyawong, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500(Take A Nap hotel/hostel is within a short walking distance from the BTS skytrain station, Patpong area.), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Extremely clean and comfortable hotel/hostel. Located on main road, which can be noisy at night. Not a party hostel. Free WIFI and free use of 2 internet terminals. Laundry services (200 baht), luggage storage. Modern bathroom, hot shower. dorms 350 baht, single room 1000 baht, Double & Twin rooms 1150-1500 baht.
- Montien Hotel, 54 Surawongse Rd . Built at the same time as the Dusit and looks like it. Some rooms offer a clear view (and muffled noise) of Patpong, immediately opposite, a fact which seems to account for much of the clientele. Rooms somewhat overpriced at US$60 and up.
- Silom Village Inn, 286 Silom Road . Located in the Silom Village Trade Center. Convenient location for tourist on a budget. No breakfast or wifi included and in some rooms the smell is pretty nasty.
- Bossotel Inn, 55/8-14 Soi Charoenkrung 42/1 . Located close to Silom Road and the River it is only a short walk to the BTS Station Taksin and the Express Ferry. Rather quiet deadend street (ends at the Shangri-la Hotel). Nice clean rooms with A/C, fridge. Hotel has a pool and spa, and the prices include breakfast.
- Elegance Suites Bangkok, located at 88 North Sathorn Road, Silom Area, Soi Jaras-wiang, Bangrak 10500. Managed by The Quality Group having been in the hotel and tourism industry for more than 15 years. Bangkokbooking.org is its sister company help promoting via online channel to promote this boutique hotel in Central Business District.
- LUXX,  offers the holistic concept with it's 13 individually designed rooms and suites. Rooms are designed as studio units equipped with Cable TV, Coffee & Tea making facilities, mini bar and our signature heavenly beds. Suites are structures as one bed room units with stylish outdoor views, LCD TV, personalized DVD players, mini-kitchen and sofa corners. All rooms have wireless hi-fi internet, hot and cold water in unique Fun Bathroom concepts. 6/11 Decho, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
- Banyan Tree Bangkok, 21/100 South Sathorn Rd . A five-star spa resort in the middle of the city, worth visiting if only for the Vertigo bar and restaurant up top (see above). Rates US$160 and up.
- Dusit Thani. Corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds (next to Subway Si Lom exit 2) . One of Bangkok's grand old hotels, with an excellent location in Silom featuring both Skytrain and subway access. The 21-story tower with a distinctive golden spike was Bangkok's tallest when opened in 1968, and has aged gracefully with frequent restorations. Rooms start at US$150.
- Lebua at State Tower, . Formerly Meritus Suites, an all-suite hotel with rooms ranging from large (66 sq.m.) to huge (266 sq.m.). The spectacular Dome rooftop restaurant/bar (see #Drink) is in the same building.
- Sathorn Ville Serviced Apartments,  is a quality accommodation, providing studios and 1-3 bedrooms with built-in kitchen ("35 sq.m. 45 sq.m. to 140 sq.m") for business and leisure travel. Room starts at 10,000 Baht/per month. Sathorn Ville is at a very comfortable location. (just 1 minute walk from Surasak BTS skytrain station.") (Monthly rate only)
- Sofitel Silom Bangkok. Located on middle of Silom Roads (close to Skytrain Chong Nonsi station and 10 minutes away from Subway train,Silom station) . 38-story property on the lower reaches of Silom Rd. Rooms have a safe deposit box, minibar, satellite/cable TV and in-room highspeed internet with a fantastic view of Bangkok from ceiling to floor window. Rooms start at US$145.
- Triple Two Hotel,  is an innovative and unique boutique hotel of just 75 luxury rooms providing high quality, individual service in a relaxed atmosphere for both leisure travelers and business with 5 fully equipped 15 -20 seat conference rooms. Triple Two Silom is located at 222 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500.
This page was last edited at 07:15, on 20 December 2008 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Surachai, Jani Patokallio, Poonsin S., Carson Roen and Philipp Schäufele, Wikitravel user(s) MarinaK and Morph, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.