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* 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 and shopping here isn't really recommended, as it will take you half an hour just to bargain down that 500 baht T-shirt to the 50 baht it would cost you elsewhere.
 
* 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 and shopping here isn't really recommended, as it will take you half an hour just to bargain down that 500 baht T-shirt to the 50 baht it would cost you elsewhere.
  
* The new '''Suan Lum Night Bazaar''' (Subway Lumphini) is a less chaotic option offering much the same fare and then some.  Try to find the stall of the guy who sculpts life-sized Aliens (and more easily portable items) out of scrap metal.  The bazaar is open nightly until midnight.
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* The new '''Suan Lum Night Bazaar''' (Subway Lumphini) is a less chaotic option offering much the same fare and then some. The good and displays are generally of higher quality than Chatuchak Weekend Market, but so are the prices. However, the stalls are modern, thoroughfares are wider, and there are many good dining options hereIf there is an official drink of Suan Lum, it's beer. The activities area is full of beer vendors, and there is a beer garden at the north end of the bazaar.  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 ther market does.
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Try to find the stall of the guy who sculpts life-sized Aliens (and more easily portable items) out of scrap metal.  The bazaar is open nightly until midnight.
  
 
===Department stores===
 
===Department stores===

Revision as of 02:34, 7 July 2004

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 of a good time, including the infamous short little alley of Patpong.

See

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, seats cost between 220 and 1100 baht depending on how close to the action you want to be.

Buy

The shopping around Silom is a little lackluster compared to Bangkok/Sukhumvit.

Markets

  • 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 and shopping here isn't really recommended, as it will take you half an hour just to bargain down that 500 baht T-shirt to the 50 baht it would cost you elsewhere.
  • The new Suan Lum Night Bazaar (Subway Lumphini) is a less chaotic option offering much the same fare and then some. The good and displays are generally of higher quality 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. If there is an official drink of Suan Lum, it's beer. The activities area is full of beer vendors, and there is a beer garden at the north end of the bazaar. 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 ther market does.

Try to find the stall of the guy who sculpts life-sized Aliens (and more easily portable items) out of scrap metal. The bazaar is open nightly until midnight.

Department stores

  • 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.
  • Across the street from Silom Complex, Robinson Silom (corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds) is similarly the only department store of significance in the area.

Eat

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 courts

  • Food Fusion (Robinson Silom 4F, corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds) is 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.

Restaurants

  • Nooddi (near BTS Sala Daeng) is a trendy chain of noodle eateries, offering a variety of styles (Thai, Chinese, Japanese) in air-conditioned surroundings for around B50 a bowl. Try the iced tea; the "glass" is big enough for two!

Drink

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?

Soi Patpong

You might want to take a deep breath and a few shots before heading into the insanity of Patpong, which in fact consists only of two small sois (Patpong 1 and Patpong 2) 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 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) is the place to go gawp at kathoeys (ladyboys) strutting their stuff -- and be amazed at how well some of them can transform. Prepare to tolerate a few invasions of personal space, but it's all in good fun. Drinks B70 and up, no surprises on the bill.
  • Lucifer (Patpong 1, left side) is 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 B120 on weekend (includes one drink), other drinks B90 and up. 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 required to enter.

  • Speed (80 Silom Soi 4) should be 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.

Soi Thaniya

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.

Other

  • The aptly-named Vertigo bar atop the Banyan Tree Hotel is actually located outside on the roof, giving you an absolutely staggering views of Bangkok at night. Drinks at the bar are fairly expensive (150B and up), 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.

Sleep

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.

Luxury

  • The Banyan Tree Bangkok (21/100 South Sathorn Rd) is 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.
  • The Dusit Thani (corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds; next to Subway Si Lom exit 2) is 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 many renovations for modern frills like broadband Internet. Rooms start at US$100.

Midrange

  • The Montien Hotel (54 Surawongse Rd) was 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.