Normally when I head to Bangkok, I go to the same places, eat at the same restaurants and spend a lot of time shopping. Because I had a bit more time on my last trip, I decided to explore an area I haven't spent much time in. Silom is home to Bangkok's financial district as well one of Bangkok's infamous red-light districts and so really hasn't held a huge appeal for me. But amidst the odd mix of tourists and office workers walking its streets, there are plenty of things to see and do that involve neither finance nor red-lights.
My first stop in Silom was Sri Mariamman Temple (or Wat Phra Si Maha Umathewi), a very cool Hindu temple built by Tamil immigrants in the 1860s. Located in the center of Silom on the corner of Silom and Pan Roads, it's a colorful and vibrant temple with an equally colorful and vibrant group of devotees who come to make offerings.
images from Kathmandu Photo Gallery
A little further down Pan Road is the Kathmandu Photo Gallery which is owned by Thai photo-artist Manit Sriwanichpoom. I'd been meaning to come here for ages and had never gotten around to it. As luck would have it they were between exhibitions, but I did get to browse the first floor where Manit displays photos from his own portfolio as well as a small collection of art and spirituality books and I'll definitely be back.
Another place I'd been meaning to visit is the Neilson Hays Library. The library was founded in 1869 and has been housed in its current location on Surawong Road since 1922. It's an English-language library with two galleries that display monthly exhibits featuring local and international artists. They also have a fabulous cafe overlooking the garden where I had lunch. Their mixed green salad with goat cheese, figs and pecans was super delicious. Honestly, I didn't look past that item on the menu so I really don't know what else they have to offer, but if the salad is anything to go by the rest must be good!
From there I wandered back to the skytrain taking a few more pictures along the way...
It was a short trip, but I'm keen to head back and explore a little more. Silom is full of fabulous cafes and restaurants as well as more galleries and there's a beautiful traditional Thai teak house that I've yet to see.