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Lily's Travel Guide - Siam Square, Bangkok

Siam Square

siam square fly over Bangkok is a very large and vibrant city that can be overwhelming at times. One spot to feel more at ease is in the sois (alleys) near Siam Square. It’s at a safe distance from the Greater Koh San Road Area and from the go-go-bars of Patpong and Nana Plaza.
There’s little traffic and noise, there’s the quiet of a Buddhist temple and the buzzing of the Erewan shrine, there’s people on street level, there’s a mix of foreign tourists and local Thai, there’s easy access to all of Bangkok, and most important: there’s enough to do and see locally. It’s the latter I want to share with you.

I'll concentrate on Kasemsan Soi 1, but Soi 2 and 3 are pretty similar (they have a northern pedestrian-only exit via the walkway along the canal). Kasemsan Soi 1 is in the northeast corner of the junction of Rama 1 rd and Phayathai rd, and connects to both of them.

Above the Rama 1 / Phayathai junction is an elevated walkway, connecting the BTS, the MBK, the BACC, Siam Discovery and the southeast corner. It's a great place to watch people and traffic.

Things to do and see

The Jim Thompson House in Kasemsan Soi 2 is a beautifully restored wooden Thai house. It hosts the Silk Museum.

The Suan Pakkad Palace museum is less famous but more authentic. The collection is housed in some old teak buildings in a garden setting. It's just around the corner from Phaya Thai station.

erewan shrine Erewan shrine is a small shrine that has become immensely popular. It’s simultaneously devout and peaceful, as well as lively. A gamelan orchestra enhances your prayers. It’s opposite the Central World shopping mall.

Every building in Thailand has a house shrine and here is an interesting Shrine walking route.

From Erewan walk 50 meters east to Amarin Plaza, here's the Phra Indra / Thao Thairat shrine.
Cross the street, at the Intercontinental is the Narayana shrine.
50 meters to the west, at Yasorn village is the Lakshmi shrine
250 meters to the north at the Big C is the Uma Devi shrine.
Across the street, in front of Central World, are Ganesha shrine and the Phra Timurati / Sadasiva shrine.

More peace and quiet can be found on the grounds of Wat Pathum Wanaram, a Buddhist temple just before the Central World shopping mall

BACC (Bangkok Art & Culture Centre) has ever changing exhibitions, often worthwhile and often free. Check out what's on.

At night there is live music in café's at CoCo walk and on the outside bypass at the 2nd floor of MBK.

canal walk A "river walk" along the north bank of the klang (canal) starting at Hua Chang bridge, going west until the Tesco Lotus (the walk ends at the parking garage entrance), will reveal a very different Bangkok. It feels like village life in the countryside.

Siam Square has some big shopping malls with all the expensive international brands, but much more interesting is MBK. It has countless stalls with things you’ve never seen and didn’t know you wanted. Or you can explore the many small shops in the sois south of Siam Square, where the Thai go.

A slightly longer walk (1 hour) is from Lumphini Park to Benchakiti Park via a footpath / bicycle path. There are some beautiful and quiet spots along the way. The eastern half of Benchakiti park has interesting wetlands with boardwalks and a skywalk. We saw turtles, water monitors and snakes.

If you're hungry by now, have lunch at Suda in Sukhumvit Soi 14. See the map below for the itinary. You can start at Sala Daeng BTS, finish at Asok BTS. Alternatively you can use metro stations Silom and Sukhumvit as start and finish. At the north east corner of Lumphini Park,opposite Sarasin Road, do take the stairs to the path overhead the canal rather than the path next to the canal.

For more suggestions for things to do in and around Bangkok, and how to get some fresh air, read these blogs.

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Vegetarian Food near Siam Square

There are lots and lots of restaurants around of all sorts. To name a few (all of these can make you something vegetarian, even if it isn’t on the menu):

The MBK food court on the 6th floor does cheap and tasteful dishes. There is a designated vegetarian stall (number 7)®.

MBK is especially recommanded for lunch. At night they have less choice.
To go to the MBK food court it is easiest to use the glass elevator from the 2nd floor, BTS level, on your right hand side just before the entrance of Don-Don-Donkey.
Buy coupons first, or use your Rabbit card.

Wang Mai café® on the stadium premises does hot and iced coffees. It’s right next to MBK and the BTS on street level. It's a small stall overlooking a soccer court. Despite the traffic noise it feels like an oasis.

Inter® and Koko both are in the Sois on the south side of Siam BTS. Both have a vegetarian section on the menu. Inter is a diner style restaurant. It is very popular with the locals. That says it all. Worth queueing up for.

Over Hua Chang bridge, east side of Phayathai road, is Co-Co Walk, a small strip of cafes and restaurants catering for local Thai. Grandmother's® is Lily's favorite for dinner.
A little, further on Petchaburi road is Jasmine Siam Kitchen, a midrange family-style restaurant with lots of veg options.

Somewhat to the south are three unpretentious but decent vegetarian restaurants.
Vegie House is off the end of Phaya Thay rd, a 20 minute walk or bus 47. Talalaks is near there on Chulalongkorn Soi 3, Block 28X. Ruyi® is a 25 minute walk or bus 73, it is close to exit 3 of Hua Lamphong MRT.

Down Sukhumvit are some more upmarket places, they are well worth the short trip on the BTS.
Veganerie Nana is in the lively Soi 11 near Nana BTS.

Other malls with popular food courts are Siam Paragon (Ground floor has lots of restaurants, the food court in the southeast corner has a excellent vegan stall, Talalaks®) and Terminal 21 (5th floor, stall 15, Asok BTS).


Kasemsan Soi 1 has a wide range of accomodation.

First is the large Chinese hotel Muangphol Mansion, rather dated and in dire need of renovation. But it has great views, is reasonably priced and may still have room when all others are fully booked.

The Reno hotel is a more pretentious midrange place, with a pool and a cafe.

In the middle of the soi is the White Lodge, a sort of budget place, considering the location.

The LiT Bangkok is the most upmarket place on the block, 4 star, swimming pool, the lot.

Patumwan House® at the very end of Soi 1, around the corner beyond Baan Saen Saep, is pleasant and quiet and good value for money. *Temporarily closed for renovation*

Other midrange options are Humble Abode in Kasemsan Soi 2, and S3 Siam or Happy3 in Soi 3.


Skytrain: BTS stop National Stadium is right in front of Soi 1. An easy transfer at Siam Square BTS "central" station takes you to all BTS stations.

Unfortunately BTS (=Skytrain) and MRT (=Underground) have separate stations and separate tickets. For BTS buy a Rabbit card for contactless check-in and check-out. For MRT use your credit card to do so.

Phayathai terminal, for the airport train to Suvarna Bhumi, is just a ten minute walk if you exit Soi 1 on the northwest end and cross the bridge. An easy way to cross the road is to pass under the bridge.

For Don Muang airport you can take the Red Line metro from Krung Thep Aphiwat. Or take the BTS to Mo Chit, use exit 3, and airportbus A1 from there. Or airportbus A2 from Victory Monument.

Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station, or "Bang Sue Grand Central train station" as it was called for a short while, is the hub for long distance and future high speed trains.

Please note that trains that pass through here from Hua Lamphong stop at ground floor Bang Sue Junction station, where as trains that originate here, depart from one of the higher levels.
Take the BTS to Mo Chit; follow the signs for "MRT"; transfer to Chatuchak Park MRT; take a train heading to Tha Phra; get off at Bang Sue. You are now underneath Krung Thep Aphiwat.

Hua Lamphong / Bangkok train station stopped operating long distance trains. Local, commuter and tourist trains still depart here.

From Siam Square it is two stops on the BTS and then two stops on the Underground (MRT). Unfortunately BTS and MRT have separate stations and separate tickets.
Take the BTS to Dala Daeng; BTS exit 5/6 on the elevated walkway (+1) has an elevator connection with Silom MRT exit 2 in the underground concourse (-1), you don't have to be on street level. Take a train heading to Lak Song; get off at Hua Lamphong.
City busses 21, 34, 73 and 529 serve Hua Lamphong station too.
If you travel light you can walk to Hua Lamphong in 30 minutes.

Hua Chang Pier canal boat stop The canal boat stop Hua Chang Pier (jetty) is this side of the bridge (sort of under it). The boats are an adventure in themselves and a good way to get closer to the Grand Palace area (though that is still a 30 minute walk from Phanfa bridge, the last stop).

Victory Monument is two stops on the BTS or half an hour walk. Beware this is no longer the terminal for minivans to towns around Bangkok.

The minivans now depart from Mochit New Van Terminal, on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, under the Si Rat expressway. To get there, take the BTS to Mo Chit, and bus 9 or A1 to the main bus station. Walk 5 minutes from there.


Click the map to go to a customized google-map, showing main public transport routes, walking tours, main sights and selected restaurants.
The walking routes allow lots of shortcuts.

On a small screen, tap the title to see key to map symbols. If you are signed in to google, you can use the map to navigate.

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® => Lily's recommendations

*last update March 2024*

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