Siam Square is the shopping heart of Bangkok, home to the MBK Centre, the Siam Discovery Centre, the Siam Paragon, Pantip Plaza, Pratunam Market, Ratchaprasong shopping district and Sukhumvit Road shopping district. You could spend a week in Siam Square and still be finding shops you’ve not seen before.
It’s truly an amazing experience. In fact, we took our late teen twin daughters to Thailand a couple of years ago for three weeks and they spent almost the entire first week shopping around Siam Square, then declared themselves shopped out and bought tickets back to Australia so they could show off what they’d bought to their friends! We spent the last two weeks of the holiday on our own!
Siam Square is actually part of Pathum Wan district, bounded more or less by Rama 1 Road, Thanon Phaya Road and Thanon Henri Dunant Road. The easiest way into Siam Square is by Bangkok Skytrain, getting off at Siam Station which is right outside the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre. As you exit the station you’ll see the Siam Discovery Centre off to your left and the MBK Centre just a bit further up in the same direction, but over the intersection on the opposite corner. If you want to start out at MBK Centre, just get off the BTS at National Stadium Station instead. Don’t try to go to this area by tuktuk or taxi as at most times of the day or night the traffic is just stupidly dense. In fact you’ll want to stand on the overpass outside the train station and just watch a few traffic cycles pass through – it’s a sight in itself!
If you’re in Bangkok mainly to shop, then Siam Square area is the place for you to stay. There are apparently over 200 hotels in this area, but we’ve never stayed in any of them. My brother and his wife stayed at the Novotel Siam Square and said it was very good, but maybe he’s a bit biased because he was working for them at the time.
For Bangkok locals, Siam Square is the trendy, hip place to live and work and for this reason it’s also full of designer clothing boutiques, quirky music stores, eclectic book shops, cafes and restaurants. In the late afternoons and early evenings you’ll see the streets full of school-age kids and university students trying on clothes, listening to music or just sitting around laughing over a cup of coffee.
The only real nightlife in Siam Square is at the Hard Rock Cafe, a franchise of the famous American chain, which often has live music late into the evenings. You could also try the CM2 nightclub which is located underneath the Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square hotel.