Where to Stay and How to Navigate Bangkok, Thailand
Accommodation is in no short supply in this vast city; around every corner you will find a hostel or hotel in some shape or form. However, some areas will suit some people more than others. Here’s a breakdown of the four main areas that people stay and how to get around those areas.
First of all, consider Khao San Road and its surrounding area. Khao San is known around the world for its vibrant party atmosphere and is usually first on the itinerary for most backpackers. So, what awaits you here? The area is very touristy and this is often exploited by the local ‘business men’ with inflated taxi fares and exaggerated tour deals. However, this shouldn’t put you off; Khao San is also very close to many of the more famous cultural sights and activities in the city. (See the article: Getting the best out of Bangkok.)
-Easy to reach cultural attractions
-Easy to meet fellow travellers
-Locals trying to take advantage of tourists
-Very loud at night
-Away from the BTS/ MRT lines
The heartbeat of Bangkok, that provides a little something for everyone. The area is a mix of locals, expats and tourists; you will find streets bustling with backpackers making their way home from a night out, to business men on their way to work. Sukhumvit is a mix of old meets new as well as Thai meets the west. From traditional Thai street vendors to endless shopping malls, bars and restaurants; as well as a wide variety of accommodation catering to everyone.
-Anyone and everyone
-Excellent transport links
-Range of accommodations
-Shopping and restaurants
-Distance to the main cultural sights
-Things are spread out
Located along the Chao Phraya River you will find many historical and cultural sites that are high on most people’s to see list. The river is away from the major hustle and bustle of the city and here lurks an array of high end hotels and cultural hotspots. The closer to Saphan Thaksin BTS station, the better your transportation options are.
-Close to many cultural sights
-Transport can be excellent depending on location on the river
-Away from the centre
A compact area that combines office with wild nightlife. Silom has excellent transport links to the rest of the city which is helpful considering there’s not that much to do here in the day. Cue the night, where Silom comes to life. Patpong night market and the vibrant bars and restaurants are well known throughout Bangkok, an adult’s playground for fun and often sleaze.
-Excellent transport links
Get in, about and out
-Taxis are the norm; they’re air conditioned, available, and will take you anywhere. Always ask for the meter to be turned on as it is cheaper. However, you should note that most taxis particularly around tourist areas and at night will demand a fixed price. Nevertheless, if you are persistent and ask different drivers then eventually you should get the meter (Hopefully).
-Tuktuks are also common; they are always a fixed price that is higher than taxi fares. Tuktuks provide a bit of a gimmicky way to travel and aren’t the most comfortable way to get around, but they do the job.
-The BTS/MRT trains are the quickest and easiest way to get around and cover most areas. For Khao San and the Riverside your closest stop in Saphan Thaksin BTS which is also where you catch the Chao Phraya Express Boat.
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