In the late 19th century Silom became Bangkok’s first cosmopolitan district, owing primarily to its status as a business hub. Today, the subdistrict not only remains the city’s financial centre but also is site of major cultural and historical sites in addition to myriad dining, leisure and entertainment possibilities. Among many attractions around Silom area, the following three are highly recommended.
Also known as Wat Khaek and one of the city’s most striking Hindu temples. Architecturally in the Dravidian style, the temple features a colourful six-metre-wide façade decorated with numerous intertwined Hindu deities. Every day nearby stalls sell flowers and garlands used for worship by the local Tamil community as well some Thais. Well worth a visit for distinctive insights into Hinduism within the context of a predominantly Buddhist culture.
Another important religious attraction around Silom area. On the banks of the Chao Phraya River and the city’s main Roman Catholic church. Although the site dates to 1820 when a Siam mission was established, the cathedral as it stands today wasn’t consecrated until 1919. The building’s Renaissance-style architecture and red-brick exterior plainly distinguish it from the surrounding buildings of Assumption University. Interior elements include Romanesque decorative flourishes and neoclassic frescoes.
This residential compound on Charoen Krung Road allows visitors a glimpse into the home life of a prosperous Bangkok family around the time of the Second World War. The compound’s first building was constructed in 1937, and on display throughout the entire two-storey, four-building site are many carefully preserved furnishings and objects from the period. The family’s tastes reveal Western and particularly European influences in features such as a Western-style toilet and four-poster canopied bed, both rare in Bangkok homes at the time. Also within the grounds is a delightful garden with small pond.
All the above attractions around Silom area are free to enter.