There are two sides to the coin of Silom. By day, this stretch of glittering skyscrapers is Bangkok’s answer to Wall Street, a centre of high finance and posh hotels. After sundown, however, a switch flips in Silom and the neighbourhood becomes one of the Thai capital’s centres of nightlife.
Finance high-rises make Silom one of the most significant slices of the skyline in Bangkok. The most popular thing to do in this neighbourhood is to have a drink at one of the many rooftop bars in the area. The State Tower and the Banyan Tree Hotel both offer spectacular views, for a drink before diving into the infamous Patpong district.
The BTS Skytrain has an entire Silom line. Sala Daeng is the central station, best for reaching the area’s nightlife. Surasak, Chong Nonsi, and Saphan Taksin also serve the area, and Siam Square is a five-minute connection away. The MRT Metro also stops at nearby Si Lom in front of Lumphini Park.
Formerly the trade area of Bang Rak, Silom’s modern status as a financial centre owes much to its merchant past. Before Thailand was industrialised, urban life relied on its rivers and canals. European envoys and merchant ships would dock here in the 19th century. It should be no wonder that as Bangkok modernised, and canals became roads, this remained an important district for business.