Sam Yan to Silom MRT stations
Last month we started this new series on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines at the main Bangkok station Hualamphong.
The next underground station along the line is Sam Yan, which is located around the area of Rama IV Road, close by Chulalongkorn University. This is the oldest university of its kind in Thailand, established by King Vajiravudh in 1917 and named after his father, the much revered King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who reigned from 1868 to 1910.
Also, not far from Sam Yan station is Chamchuri Square, a commercial and residential area which began construction in 1994 but after delays was not completed until July 2008. Funds from Chulalongkorn University were used to complete the project.
Wat Hualamphong is right in front of the Rama IV road entrance to Sam Yan MRT. It is an unremarkable temple which was renovated extensively in 1996.
The most popular tourist attraction near Sam Yan MRT is the Snake Farm, more correctly known as the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute. Named after the mother of King Vajiravudh, it was originally designed to produce vaccine for rabies and opened in December 1922. That original reason for its existence was expanded to include extracting antivenom for snake bites and in November 1923 it was officially opened as possibly the second of its kind in the world, after one in Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The station after Sam Yan is Silom. Opened in July 2005, it is a gateway to one of the more popular districts of central Bangkok.
The well-known nightlife area of Patpong Road is nearby, although a more rustic attraction is Lumpini (or Lumphini) Park. This sprawling natural attraction is one of the few ‘green’ areas in the metropolis, covering 360 rai (or nearly 58 hectares). It was the first park in Bangkok and a statue of King Vajiravudh stands at the main entrance. That statue was erected in 1942, interestingly right at the time when Thailand was allied with Japan during the Second World War.
Named after the birthplace of the Buddha, at the time of its construction it was located on the outskirts of the city (similar to the Victory Monument which was erected around the same time). Of course, now it is virtually at the centre of the metropolis, and is popular with tourists and locals alike.
Silom MRT allows quick access to a variety of major department stores and office buildings, including such well-known names as Thaniya Plaza and Silom Complex as well as CP Tower, Robinson, and Chan Issara Tower. The plush Dusit Thani Hotel is also nearby.