Street shopping is fast disappearing in Bangkok as shopping malls proliferate. The principal exception to this phenomenon is the network of sois (alleys) collectively known as Siam Square, between Chulalongkorn University and the Siam Center.
The square is packed with independent shops and stalls selling, in particular, music, books, accessories, and clothing – much of it by enterprising young Thai designers.
Rama I Road, on one side of the square, is the showcase for Thailand’s movie industry. Three grand theaters – the Scala, the Lido, and the Siam – are located here. On the western edge of the square, on Phaya Thai Road, is the Mahboonkrong Center (MBK), which houses a department store and various shops and stalls. Beyond it is the National Stadium, Thailand’s main arena for major soccer and other sports events. However, the future of the entire district looks uncertain: it is feared that the land may be redeveloped when its lease expires.