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Bangrak

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Bang Rak, or "Town of Love", stretches from the Chao Phraya River to Lumpini Park. It includes the Silom Road area, which is both the heart of Bangkok's business centre and a popular entertainment area. The world-renowned redlight district of Patpong is off Silom, as is Japanese favourite Soi Thaniya, hip Silom Soi 4 and eatery-packed Convent Road. The district is home to some of Bangkok's most exclusive hotels, including The Oriental Hotel, Shangri La and Dusit Thani. It was one of the main areas affected by the 2010 unrest, but damage here was fairly superficial.

You'll head to Bang Rak if you're an antiques fanatic -- long-time favourite River City is by the river -- or just wish to dine in style by the wind-cooled river. Do remember that typical backpacker attire is frowned upon in the more flashy hotels and the Oriental won't let you in at all if you're not dressed appropriately: That means no flip flops and no backpacks.

The BTS Skytrain and underground MRT both serve the Silom area, linking it to the rest of the city and making it an excellent base from which to explore Bangkok. New hotels and restaurants catering to Thais, expats, and foreigners alike have mushroomed here in recent years, while the nightlife has become more popular. Even if you're staying over on Khao San Road, these days you're likely to head down here for either some sightseeing or clubbing.

Weekdays the streets get absolutely clogged with traffic, but weekends can be relatively peaceful. If you're staying in the area, you can always retreat to Lumpini for a jog or some tai chi in the early hours of the morning, although most of Bangkok often has the same idea.

The Patpong street market is still immensely popular at night and you can get a load of shopping done here in one hit: Think everything from cheapie T-shirts and knock-off handbags to original designer lampshades and offbeat clothes.


World-famed Patpong is still going strong with its seedy bars and raunchy shows, while nearby Thaniya is home to a few more sedate bars and Silom Soi 4 is popular among the clubbing set (absolutely no Chiang Beer T-shirts here please). Convent Road still has the best fried chicken and som tam possibly in the world.

While the area is truly a must-visit for shopping, dining, and nightlife, it's best to always watch your wallet and keep your cool in the vibrant and bustling Silom/Patpong area.

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Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.

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