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The center of Bangkok’s vast and continually expanding downtown is the area spanning Silom and Ploenchit roads. The business district originated in the 19th century in the Old Farang quarter of Charoen Krung Road, where charming colonial buildings have been conserved around the Oriental Hotel. The concrete canyon of Silom is the preserve of business people by day, but after dark its northern end is the heart of city nightlife. Farther north, showcase stores line Ploenchit and Rama I roads, while the stalls of Silom Road and Siam Square provide cheaper shopping. Amid the tower blocks, Lumphini Park provides green relief, and a few traditional Thai buildings remain, such as Jim Thompson House and Suan Pakkad Palace.

Sights at a Glance

Wats, Shrines, and Churches

Assumption Cathedral
Maha Uma Devi Temple
Erawan Shrine
Wat Pathum Wanaram
Museums and Libraries
Neilson-Hays Library
Bangkok Art and Culture Center
Jim Thompson House pp124–5
Suan Pakkad Palace
Notable Roads and Districts
Charoen Krung (New) Road
Silom Road
Siam Square

Parks and Sports Grounds
Lumphini Park
Royal Bangkok Sports Club
Historic Buildings
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Chulalongkorn University
Snake Farm


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