Siam is situated in the very heart of Bangkok and is famous for its excellent shopping opportunities. Although this tends to be a very touristy area, Siam is also a popular hangout with art students, while the convenience of this neighbourhood also makes it popular with expats who are looking for a luxury condo in Bangkok.
This is one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods and the prices of condos for sale in Siam tend to be among the highest in Thailand. However, due to the number of universities and colleges that can be found here, it is also possible to find reasonably priced condos for rent in Siam.
Soi Somkid is one of the most popular areas for expats and students to find condos for rent in Siam. This long, shady lane is set with some enchanting condos as well as bookshops, arty cafes and restaurants, while the Central Chidlom Department Store is just a short stroll away.
Siam has perhaps the largest concentration of shopping malls in Bangkok, most of which are located conveniently close to the main Skytrain station. MBK shopping centre is one of the area’s most distinctive shopping centres, as it features a design that resembles the eye of an enormous insect. A sky bridge connects MBK to the Discovery Centre and Paragon, which can be found across the intersection. People who stay on the sky bridge can follow it to Central World, which is located at the end of the Siam district and boasts a large number of Western-style chain stores and other shops, while even more shopping can be found next door in Zen Tower.
The area features a large number of restaurants that serve mouth-watering dishes from around the world. People who want to savour a taste of home will find great fast food and a lively atmosphere at the Hard Rock Café in Siam Square, while the recently built Groove next to Central World offers an excellent selection of bistros and wine bars. Simply eating is also available in the food courts that can be found in each of Siam’s shopping malls.
People who are looking for a stylish place to hang out should head to the Red Sky rooftop bar at the Centara Grand Hotel. The Roof in the Siam@Siam Hotel also offers visitors a stylish atmosphere in which to unwind while sipping cool cocktails.
A number of cinemas in the Siam district such as the Scala and the Lido and the modern cinemas at Paragon and Central World regularly show films throughout the evening. The latest releases are shown in English with Thai subtitles, while some are also dubbed into Thai. Bowling is also a great alternative evening entertainment.
The Siam Skytrain station can be found in the heart of the district and provides quick and convenient transportation to the rest of the city. The Sukhumvit and Silom lines meet at Siam, while a nearby canal stop offers another great way to get around.
Siam is the hip and trendy side of downtown Bangkok. Located in the Pathumwan area, Siam is the ultimate destination for the seasoned shopper. Full of bustling shops and high-end malls, there is something here for everyone.
Shop and shop some more
Locals from all over Bangkok come to Siam for a day of shopping or entertainment. Here tourists – both local and international – mingle with the local crowd. People can be seen bargaining for goods on the street shops or in one of the upscale malls. Siam caters to all types of shoppers whether you want to buy street fare or shop for international brands or luxury designer ware, you find it in Siam.
MBK is a shopping mall spread over eight stories and the go-to place for wholesale goods. With more than 2000 shops selling everything from clothes to furniture to electronics, MBK is one of the oldest shopping centers in Bangkok and also very popular among tourists. Easily accessible through local transport such as the skytrain, MBK is very crowded during the weekends.
Siam is also home to the ultra-sleek Siam Center. Although it was first opened more than 40 years ago, it was launched again in 2013 after extreme renovations. Now this mall is the place to shop for major international brands along with Thai designer ware under the same roof. Locals use the Siam BTS to reach this mall and it is connected through walkways to other malls like Siam Paragon, which is for the high-end shopper. Siam Paragon is also the place to experience some of the world’s amazing sea life. The mall houses Siam Ocean World; just descend two stories below and be transported to a different world of marine life. Once there, it is easy to forget that you are still in the heart of downtown Bangkok.
For locals looking for hours or even a day of shopping and entertainment in Siam, there is Central World, the largest shopping mall in all of Thailand. It is also one of the largest malls in the world and deservedly so. Along with shops selling designer ware and international brands, it also houses salons, gourmet food places and even banks. Those who love ice-skating, there is a rink to enjoy some fun right here at Central World.
Hop to Siam Discovery for some slow-paced family fun or for hours of languorous shopping in its peaceful environs. It has everything for the urban shopper including a spa for some rejuvenation – perfect to end the day of weekend fun.
There is more to Siam than its luxury malls. After all, this is ‘the’ shopping haven in Bangkok. The streets are lined with shops selling all kinds of goods and are perfect for the seasoned haggler. T-shirts in all shapes, colors and sizes, footwear from shoes to colorful flip-flops to ware for your home, there is a stall here for all this and more. There are eateries alongside shops, which is perfect for those who love to gorge on street food after a tired day of shopping on the streets. These street snack stalls are also popular with the office crowd who love to spend their lunch hours shopping for some bargain ware while enjoying a bowl of delicious Thai noodles.
Siam Square is the area that is one big open-air shopping place. Boutiques to quaint little shops and banks to hotel and restaurants, this is a hit with the young; urban professional and the college crowd. But it can’t be devoid of a mall; after all this is Siam. Siam Square One has some interesting features other than the shops. There is a rooftop garden to enjoy the views of the city skyline, a number of café and restaurants serving international fare such as Japanese and Korean cuisine.
Siam is about not only shopping and malls. To define Siam just as the place for shopping is not doing justice to this vibrant slice of the Bangkok life. This is also the place to converge for art events and cultural activities. The hip Siam Square also hosts the Art Center, the hub for the city’s art and music lovers. Locals come here to enjoy concerts and art shows. For movie buffs who love indie films and international cinema, Scala is the place.
Siam also houses the oldest university in Thailand – the Chulalongkorn University. Named after a Thai king, the place offers modern education in an area surrounded by culture and arts.
Siam is well-connected to all of Bangkok through skytrains. Siam station sees footfall from all of Bangkok and the place is always full of crowds. Though not generally popular with the locals due to high road traffic, taxis and buses are also available for transport. On the streets of Siam one can see roads full of luxury cars, buses and taxis alongside two-wheelers in bright and vibrant colors.
Living in Siam
Siam is predominantly a commercial area in the downtown Bangkok, but its district area of Pathumwan offers great residential options for those who love to live near the hustle and bustle of the city center.
Pathumwan is a clean neighborhood and many of the city’s shrines are located in this area. The roads are always crowded as this is the commercial hub of the city what with its hotels, and malls and offices but turn a corner and you will find yourself in the quieter streets of the neighborhood where luxury condos share real estate space alongside apartments and villas.
A building like Baan Klang Krung offers residential condos and is just a walkabout from the Siam’s shopping center. There are many such housing options available here, but Siam is well connected to the city and you can live anywhere in Bangkok and Siam is just a skytrain ride away.