Get off the BTS Skytrain at Chidlom and sightseeing might not be the first thing on your to do list; this whole area is jam-packed full of shopping malls, fine restaurants and luxurious hotels which all play their part in distracting visitors away from any attractions or cultural excursions in the area. However, amidst the towering skyscrapers and monstrous malls are a whole host of interesting and worthwhile things to do and see in Chidlom.
From weird penis shrines (yes, you read it correctly), to ultra-luxe cinemas and sports clubs, our Bangkok Experts have compiled a list of the Top 10 Attractions in Chidlom – all of which offer enough quality to lure you away from the gauntlet of malls, even if it is just for a few hours!
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Despite its compact size, the hugely popular Erawan Shrine opposite Central World attracts larger crowds than some of Bangkok’s temples. The shrine was built in the 1950s to honour the four-faced Brahma God, Than Tao Mahaprom - meaning it’s not strictly Buddhist - although the vast majority of visitors here are Buddhist worships coming to pay respect to the deities above. Now, the shrine sits on the site of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. People come to Erawan Shrine to ask for wishes to be granted and, if they are, worshippers are expected to return to the shrine and pay for a troop of Thai dancers to perform and entertain the spirit.
Nestled across the busy road from the mammoth Central World shopping mall and in the shadows of the huge concrete arches of the Skytrain route overhead, this really is a unique location for such a peaceful place of worship, right in the heart of Bangkok. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00 - 24:00
- Location: In front of Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, corner of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri Road
If you fancy seeing literally hundreds of penises (phalluses) in the centre of Bangkok, look no further than this odd shrine located in the grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel. The phallus shrine is in honour of Hao Mae Tubtim - a female fertility spirit. It’s supposed to bring good luck and fertility to women who visit the shrine, and many of the female visitors leave offerings of lotus flowers and jasmine in order to improve their chances of conceivement.
Ranking alongside the city’s most weird and wonderful attractions, the phallus shrine features numerous carvings of all shapes and sizes, each one depicting a gentleman’s manhood. Many are are brightly decorated, strewn in ribbons and some stand as high as ten feet tall. Read More...
- Location: Grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel, Chidlom-Ploench
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
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
Also known as ‘the lover’s shrine’ for its ability to bring worshipers luck in love, Trimutri Shine sits right outside the huge Central World shopping mall. The secret to finding true love here is all about multiples of nine; offer nine incense sticks, nine candles, or nine roses to the deities above and many believe that you’ll find your Mr or Mrs Right in the near future. Even if you’re not a believer, you can always head to Trimutri Shrine to find lots of love-struck singles longing to find their match!
The shrine is situated next to the huge mall and the relentless Bangkok traffic on the road just a few metres away, all make an unusual location for somewhere that is actually so peaceful. For a contrast of old-age Buddhist rituals against the backdrop of a 21st century city, this attraction is well worth a visit. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- BTS: Chidlom or Siam
- Address: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of CentralWorld
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
This stunning rooftop bar sits on top of Central World, making for the perfect post-shopping drinking spot as well as a great place to come and catch a glimpse of the city from above.
After browsing the shops, head up to the 17th floor to find Zense, which is comprised of various sections including a formal dining area, a bar, and seating options around the edge for a bird’s-eye-view of the streets below. The best time to visit for the sunset is between 18:00-19:00 all year round, and on a clear evening the views over Pratunam, Siam and Chidlom are stunning, especially as the sun sinks below the Bangkok skyline. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 17:30 - late
- Address: 17/F, Zen, CentralWorld, 999/9 Ratchadamri Rd., Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2 100 9898
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
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.
- Address: 123/19 Soi Ruam Rudi, Witthayu Road, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2 651 5251
Ganesha Shrine stands proudly adjacent to the popular Trimurti at Central World, so close in fact that the unsuspecting visitor may think that they’re both part of the same monument. Ganesha, however, is dedicated for Hindu worshippers, whilst the nearby Trimutri proves more popular due to its significance for Thai Buddhists.
Considered a master of intellect and wisdom, Hindu visitors here come to honour Ganesh and seek the blessing of artistic success and accomplishment. The shrine depicts the God’s famous and most recognizable elements such as his elephant head, large belly, numerous arms, and various depictions of serpents.
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- Address: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of CentralWorld