Topped and tailed by Lumpini Park and the Chao Phraya River respectively, the Silom area of Bangkok has much more to offer than tourist-magnet Patpong Night Market and copious office spaces.
Artist, sculptor and CEO of jewelry brand MCL Design, Matthew Campbell Laurenza has clocked around 25 years in this quirky lower Silom neighborhood. He first moved to the area to establish his showroom and workshop just a short walk from the Jewelry Trade Center. Since then, the whole area has undergone much development, with new venues constantly surfacing.
“Walking around the city keeps my creative juices flowing. I absorb the city vibe and it’s still inspiring, as it’s continually evolving!” Modern architectural marvels, including the vertigo-inducing Mahanakorn cube tower, sit comfortably alongside historic temples, such as Wat Sri Maha Mariamman Indian temple – known locally as Wat Khaek – in the perfect juxtaposition of old and new, both worthy of attention.
From his base on Decho Road, which straddles Surawong and Silom, the fast-talking, swift-walking Matthew ducks in and out of alleyways, knowing exactly where he’s going. Whether sourcing food, gems, production materials, or attending meetings, most of what he needs is within walking distance. “My days tend to revolve around food and work. I don’t cook, but I don’t need to, living here. There’s so much, across the entire social spectrum, from street food to fine dining,” shares Matthew.
Specialty coffee and street food
Early in the morning, Matthew stops by Monochrome, one of the area’s many craft coffeeshops, decked out in local black and white photography, on Decho Road. Open from 7.30am, it’s a great place to chill or start fielding calls and making plans, with a hot or cold brew.