Often called the Soho or Shinjuku of Thailand, Siam Square is one of Bangkok’s premier shopping and entertainment districts. Boutique shops, restaurants, tutor schools, cinemas, and nightlife all populate the neighbourhood, owned by Chulalongkorn University.
Bargain outlets, independent boutiques, and brand-name chains all share the streets of Siam Square to make it one of Bangkok’s top shopping areas. Clothing, jewellery, books, and records are all well represented. A huge number of restaurants are on-site, from traditional Thai to Chinese and Western eateries. After hours, the Hard Rock Café hosts live bands, and the CM2 nightclub energises partiers under the Novotel Siam Square Hotel. Perhaps of greater interest are the area’s cinemas. The Scala is Bangkok’s oldest single screen movie theatre, having been built in 1967, while the Lido multiplex screens independent films not easily found elsewhere in the Thai capital.
Siam Square’s nearest public transport is the Siam station of Bangkok’s Skytrain. CentralWorld and the Ratchaprasong district are both within walking distance. The Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery Center lie just across Rama I Road.
Chulalongkorn University was constructed in Siam Square’s first buildings to generate rental income in the 1970s. Today, it’s still popular with students, but over the years many surrounding businesses have joined the party. An air-conditioned sky bridge connects Siam Square to the MBK Centre, driving traffic between the two.