Bangkok, Thailand





While Silom's skyline doesn't match Hong Kong or New York, the views are still worthwhile. Most of the towers in Silom are financial institutions and corporate office buildings. The best way to enjoy Silom's skyline is to take a trip up the Banyan Tree Hotel or State Tower. Situated on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel is the Vertigo and Moon Bar, where you can dine with a spectacular view of Bangkok. The State Tower is a few metres higher up than the Vertigo, making it the world's tallest rooftop restaurant. Due to its slightly off-centre location, the views from here are not quite as stunning though does offer a great view of the Chao Phraya River.

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Bangkok at night from State Tower by Alter

Most of Silom's buildings are office buildings not meant for visiting. Observing these buildings is only meant for those with a deep interest in modern architecture. Notable buildings here include CP Tower, Empire Tower, ITF Tower and the United Center Building. However, the Robot Building has to be the quirkiest of them all. Located at 191 Sathorn Tai Rd (BTS Surasak), it was designed in the mid-1980s and meant to look like a robot. An odd building with "antennas" and "eyes" but actually have practical functions. The building is best seen from the Skytrain between Chong Nonsi and Sala Daeng Stations. So look out from the window!

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute Snake Farm
1874 Rama IV Rd (BTS Sala Daeng or MRT Si Lom). Opening: Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This institute contains a collection of poisonous snakes which are "milked" daily for their venom in order to produce anti-snakebite serum. There is a venom extraction show, in which the announcer explains about the dangerous kinds of snakes living in Thailand and what to do when you run into one. Venom extraction shows are on Monday-Friday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (holidays at 11:00 a.m.). The animals are treated professionally and the whole show is safe. If you want a picture with a dangerous snake curling around you, this is your chance. There is also a slideshow presentation on Monday-Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (holidays at 10:30 a.m.).

Lumphini Park
(BTS Sala Daeng, MRT Si Lom and Lumphini). Opening: daily from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The park was once the property of King Rama VI, who issued a royal command to turn the area into a public park. A statue of King Rama VI stands at the main entrance on the park's southwestern corner (opposite MRT Si Lom Station). The park features a lake with boats for rent and a cycle track around it, popular among early-morning fitness enthusiasts. The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra conducts occasional performances at the park.

Lumphini Park by Caspar

East Asiatic Company Building
(Oriental Pier)
This Venetian-style building from the Danish East Asiatic Company is situated right on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The building was constructed in 1901 and once a large share of foreign trade had to go through this building before heading for Europe. No public entry is allowed.

Old Customs House
Charoen Krung Soi 36 (Oriental Pier).
Also situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Old Customs House is where the 19th-century port of Bangkok used to be. This grand colonial-style building was once the pride of the area but now a crumbling building in need of a lot of renovation. The building is not open to the public but you can walk around and try to grasp the atmosphere of Bangkok during the 19th century.

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