Chidlom - Ploenchit Attractions
What to See in Chidlom - Ploenchit
Straddling both Wireless Road and Sarasin Road, the tranquility of Lumpini Park is recommended for those wanting a natural tonic to counteract the sometimes overwhelming chorus of traffic and commerce that is the city's soundtrack. The best time to come is in the morning or at dusk - when the sticky heat of day is absent.
Tourist attractions are thin on the ground in Ploenchit and the roads that traverse it. Still, those that are here - namely shrines - draw steady streams of locals from dawn till dusk, and are well worth seeing if you want to witness the city's Buddhist faithful receiving spiritual succor in the midst of dynamic, free-wheeling commerce.
All Attractions in Chidlom
Embassy Diplomat Screens
Central Embassy shopping mall at Chidlom opened its doors in 2014, and at the top of the luxury-lifestyle malls sits an equally luxurious cinema: Embassay Diplomat Screens.
Unlike other cinemas in Bangkok where you sometimes feel like part of a heard (particularly at the weekends), Embassy Diplomat Cinema is small and every guest is treated like a VIP from the moment they arrive. Starting from 1,200 baht a ticket, this inflated price gets you plenty of extras, such as entry into their private lounge before the movie starts, ultra-luxe cocooned booths to watch the movie, a mini bar with a selection of drinks and snacks and an on-call butler just the press of a button away.
- Opening Hours: 10:00-24:00 (depends on show times)
- Location: 6th Floor, Central Embassy Ploenchit Road, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2 160 5999
Erawan Shrine in Bangkok is Brahman, not strictly Buddhist. And yet, this famous shrine attracts more visitors than many of the city's temples. It was erected during the mid 1950s, after the Thai government had decided to build the luxury Erawan Hotel on this location. However, the first stages of the construction were beset with so many problems that superstitious labourers refused to continue unless the land spirits were appeased. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00-24:00
- Location: In front of Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, corner of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri Road
- BTS: Chidlom
Directly adjacent to Trimurti stands another important Hindu shrine, this time for Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is considered a master of intellect and wisdom, and visitors here seek to be blessed with artistic success and accomplishment. The deity is one of the more recognizable (at least for non-Hindus) because of his elephant head, human components (many arms), elements of serpents, and the big belly that it is depicted with. His attendant is a mouse. Ganesha is often linked to the field of arts, but is, in fact, the Destroyer of Obstacles. Craftsmen would invoke Ganesha before embarking on a delicate process like stone carving, hence the link with the arts. He is also believed to be the god of good fortune, and revered by businessmen who wish for success in their ventures. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- Location: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of CentralWorld
- BTS: Chidlom
Gambling is technically illegal in Thailand, although if you head to see the horseracing at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (one Sunday per month) you might think otherwise. Thailand’s few horseracing circuits present a one-off exception to the gambling laws and each event is well monitored with punters only being allowed to place small bets (50 baht – less than $2) on each race.
Aside from the betting, the whole club stands out like a sore thumb in the centre of Bangkok. Many will have seen the horse racing track as they whizz by on the overhead Skytrain heading to Siam, but few actually make it inside, as events are only staged here one Sunday per month. That said, if you’re in town on the right day and fancy doing something a bit out of the ordinary – especially in a city like Bangkok - then this could be what you’re looking for. Read More...
- Location: Henri Dunant Road, north of Rama IV Road. Horse racing one Sunday per month
- Tel: +66 (0)2 251 0181
Ice Skating at Central World (The Rink)
Central World is not only the largest mall in Thailand, but also one of the biggest in the whole world, so it’s no surprise that there’s a whole host of fun, family-friendly activities to do - other than shopping. One of the best is the ice-skating rink, which can be found in the Forum Zone.
Unlike other slightly claustrophobic-feeling rinks in Bangkok, this one sits on the ground floor and has a large atrium overhead, making the skating experience all the more pleasant. The Rink (its actual name) is open every day from 10:00-22:00 but they do have brief pauses every hour or so to resurface the ice. 210 baht gets you equipment and 60 minutes on the ice or 260 baht for 90 minutes (prices subject to change)
- Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (daily)
- Location: Forum Zone (1st Floor) Central World Shopping Mall (Chidlom BTS)
- Tel: +66 (0)81-875-1212
The Holy Redeemer Church Bangkok
Although at first glance Bangkok’s Holy Redeemer Church just looks like your typical Thai-Buddhist-style temple, if you enter you’ll find worshippers praying to another God. Inside is actually a Christian chapel, with a fine golden statue of The Lord Jesus Christ – rather than Buddha - at the end.
The impressive church has stood on Soi Ruam Rudi, (entrances from both Sukhumvit and Wireless Road) since 1954 and they still hold mass every day (although most popular on Sundays) in both English and Thai language. The church is also a popular spot for inter-cultural weddings too.
- Location: 123/19 Soi Ruam Rudi, Witthayu Road, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2651 5251
Literally hundreds of penises (phalluses) - from small wooden carvings to big stone sculptures that stand ten feet tall and decorated with ribbons - make this shrine quite unique. It honors Chao Mae Tubtim, a female fertility spirit. Women visit this shrine when they are trying to conceive, leaving offerings of lotus and jasmine. And if rumours can be believed, the shrine has a good success rate. Read More...
- Location: Grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel, Chidlom-Ploenchit
- BTS: Chitlom
On Thursday evening at 21:30 is when lovelorn singles wearing red turn to Trimurti, the god of love, with offerings of red roses - all in the name of love, and in the hope that they will meet their eternal sweethearts. The shrine is a landmark in front of CentralWorld, and was recently slightly moved (at great expense) to make way for recent renovations. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- BTS: Chidlom or Siam
- Address: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of CentralWorld
Wat Pathum Wanaram
Wat Pathum Wanaram in central Bangkok, walking distance from Siam and Chidlom BTS Stations, was built at a time when the area was only accessible by khlongs (canals) and rice fields were the surrounding views rather than skyscrapers and shopping malls. The temple presents traditional Thai-Buddhist architecture in all of its glory, with the large main temple building and a brilliant white pagoda both within the complex.
Pathum Wanaram temple is the perfect cultural escape if you’re doing your shopping in the Chidlom or Siam area and makes a great contrast to the surrounding city. You can find it sandwiched between the huge Siam Paragon to the west and even bigger Central World to the east.
- Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00
- Location: Rama 1 Road, PathumWan