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In this article we briefly describe the most popular neighborhoods of Bangkok. At each neighborhood we have placed a link of (our favorite) accommodations in this area. This way you will get a little insight in the megacity of Bangkok, so you can see where you want to sleep in Bangkok. Of course we also give you some handy saving tips!
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So many hostels and hotels in Bangkok!
Bangkok has a lot of choice when it comes to nice places to spend the night. Because of this, it can get a bit confusing. When choosing a neighborhood or area to sleep in, it’s important to decide on forehand what you would like to do or see. This way you avoid sleeping in a neighborhood that does not match with what you would like to vist when visiting Bangkok. You don’t want to travel unnecessarily, it will be a waste of your time and money.
Do you know where you want to sleep? Then you can look for a hotel or hostel that fits your budget. Because even though Bangkok is the city that never sleeps, sooner or later you will have to find one!
Tip when booking a hotel
Traffic in Bangkok is regularly completely stuck. A normally short taxi or tuk tuk ride can then take so long that walking would be faster. The sky train (BTS) and the subway (MRT) are ideal! It’s therefore nice if your accommodation is close to a BTS or MRT station. Some hotels in Bangkok offer a free shuttle service to the nearest BTS or MRT station. After a day of shopping or sightseeing, you will certainly appreciate this. This because you will walk a lot in Bangkok!
Our favourite accommodations in the centre of Bangkok are therefore always up to 15 minutes walking distance from a sky train station.
The accommodations selected by us are well regarded. Nevertheless, it may be the case that the quality of the location deteriorates as a result of new management, for example. We would love to hear from you! If you have a favorite place to sleep in Bangkok, please let us know via the Bangkok in Thailand Facebook group, Instagram and Facebook.
Which hotel in which neighborhood or district?
The center of Bangkok (Siam Square / Siam Center) is characterized by towering buildings, luxury hotels and shopping malls. Everything here seems to be sky high! Maybe because you will find sky trains, sky walks and even sky bars in this area! If you leave the main roads and explore the narrow streets you will still see old houses, small shops and canals (klongs). This combination makes Siam Center also nice for those who don’t like flashy buildings.
Siam Square has the BTS stations: National Stadium, Siam, Chit Lom and Ploen Chit. If you sleep near one of these BTS stations, you are never far away from the main shopping malls and the hippest spots.
Don’t you have anything to do with all the glitz and glamour of downtown? Then Old Town is a nicer place for you to sleep!
Siam Square is the center and modern part of Bangkok. Your hotel is often literally between the shopping malls MBK, Central World, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon. On top of the shopping mall Central World is the famous sky bar, Red Sky. There are two sky train stations close to each other, National Stadium station and Siam station. The difference is that at BTS station Siam you can switch to the other sky train line. A real important hub in Bangkok. Therefore this is the most practical and busiest BTS station in Siam Square.
For art and culture lovers, the Jim Thompson House Museum and Bangkok Art and Culture Center are within walking distance.
Besides all the tourist hotspots, Siam Center is also known for its traffic jams, fortunately the sky train goes above the road! The accommodations in the center are often very luxurious, with a few super luxurious 5 star hotels. Siam Square is one of the most expensive locations in Bangkok. Not crazy, because a lot is within walking distance of your hotel. If you don’t need luxury you can always go for a hostel in Siam Square.
You can save money on hotel costs if you sleep further away from the neighborhoods Siam and Chit Lom. Also a hotel near the sky train is often more expensive than one that is a bit further away. 10 to 15 minutes walk is a good option, there is often a free shuttle service from the hotel.
Chit Lom is only 1 BTS stop away from BTS Siam and Ploen Chit only 2 stops. Also here are the shopping malls in front of the BTS, so ideal! The shopping malls here include Gaysorn Village and Platinum Fashion Mall. The beautiful little Erawan Shrine is also located in this area. Whether you sleep near BTS station Chit Lom or Phloen Chit doesn’t matter. The distances are easy to cover with the sky train.
Also this part of Bangkok mainly has luxury 4 and 5 star hotels. There are also middle class and budget hotels but are often a bit further away from the BTS.
Nana is officially just outside Siam Square, but the distance between BTS Siam and BTS Nana with the sky train is only 10 to 15 minutes. We find no reason not to sleep in Nana.
Nana consists of a number of streets with the name Sukhumvit. All streets in Bangkok have a number. In Sukhumvit 11 are many good tourist facilities such as restaurants, clubs and some nice (sky) bars. In the evening you can choose from many restaurants and there is a nice modern market where you can eat good food.
Sukhumvit 3 is also called Arab street because of the many Arab shops and restaurants. If you are hungry for kebab or shawarma then this is the place to be. You would almost forget that you are in Thailand. When you walk on to Sukhumvit 4 you will arrive at Nana Plaza, the “red light district” of Bangkok. We think Nana isn’t an ideal place for families with young children. Although Sukhumvit 11 is great to do during the day.
The price-quality ratio of the hotels in this part of Bangkok is good. Looking for a rooftop pool with a nice view over Bangkok? In Nana it is still affordable! While in Siam Center you pay the top price for it.
Sukhumvit 11 | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
Asok is the district of the shopping mall Terminal 21, Korea Town (Sukhumvit Plaza) and Soi Cowboy. Terminal 21 is a shopping mall that has a different country theme on each floor. The mall has a food court that is known as one of the cheapest and best in Bangkok.
Korea Town is a small shopping mall where there are only Korean shops and restaurants. Soi Cowboy is the red light district of Asok. It is a street full of go go bars that you probably just walk by.
Asok is a modern part of Bangkok, there are some very nice hotels and very special tower blocks. Because of BTS station Asok you can easily reach the shopping malls in Siam Square. Right next to the BTS station is also a metro stop (MRT Sukhumvit). This metro stop has a connection with the Airport Railway Link which will take you to the airport. Very convenient!
For the most luxurious shopping malls in Bangkok go one stop in the other direction to Phromg Phong station. Here you will find the shopping malls EmQuartier and Emporium right next to the BTS station. For most mortals these shopping malls are priceless but very nice to see. And… you can always dream!
Our favourite luxury hotels in Asok: Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, The Westin Grande Sukhumvit and Grande Centre Point Hotel Terminal21. Fine affordable hotel in Asok: Red Planet Bangkok Asoke.
Silom is on the map below Siam Square but with the BTS and MRT stations nearby the distance is still good to do. In Silom are 4 sky train stations and also a metro stop. The BTS stations here are Sala Daeng, Chong Nonsi, Surasak and Saphin Taksin. BTS station Saphin Taksin is one to remember because it takes you to the Chao Phraya (river) of Bangkok. Here you can use the Chao Phraya River Express or the hop on / hop off tourist boat. Therefore Silom is also a good place to sleep if you want to easily explore the river of Bangkok.
In Silom is one of the biggest and highest attractions of Bangkok, the Mahanakon Sky Walk! A glass platform at a height of 310 meters where you can walk over it! In this neighborhood is also the sky bar (Sirocco @ Lebua) where the movie Hangover 2 was shot. If you like heights, Silom is the place to be.
The famous Patpong Night Market is just on the ground and the place for fake designer clothes. Special enough this rather normal (tourist) market is surrounded by go go bars. In Silom you have a wide choice of cheap hotels and hostels. Around the green oasis Lumpini Park are a number of beautiful luxury dream hotels with infinity pools and super nice views over Bangkok and the park.
On the river side of Bangkok you will find the enchantingly beautiful temple Wat Arun and the modern shopping center ICONSIAM. Both are highly recommended to visit! Besides more and more tower blocks there are also traditional houses to see at the river side.
Sleeping in a hotel at the Chao Phraya River is a fantastic experience. If you are looking for a romantic place to spend the night, the Chao Phraya is the place to be. If you want to be able to go out in the immediate vicinity, this is not the area for you. Instead there are nice romantic restaurants overlooking the river. There is no sky train or metro nearby but the luxury hotels often offer a free (boat) shuttle service to the other side or to the Sathorn Pier. There at BTS station Saphan Taksin you can take the sky train. Pay close attention on which side of the water your hotel is located and if there is a free shuttle service.
Despite the fact that luxury hotels along the river predominate, there are also a number of middle class hotels and hostels overlooking the river.
Our favorites riverside hotels/hostels: Bangkok Saran Poshtel and Hostel Urby with terrace at the river. Our favorites luxury hotels by the river: Millennium Hilton Bangkok and Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel.
You probably already understood this, Old Town is the old part of Bangkok with a lot of low buildings. There are traditional wooden houses and nice narrow streets and canals to explore. Small street kitchens still serve Thai dishes as they always have been. These authentic spots are interspersed with small hip innovative restaurants.
It is a nice neighborhood to just wander around. Old Town is also known for its many beautiful temples and of course the Grand Palace!
Old Town includes Chinatown, Rattanakosin and the two popular streets Khao San Road and Rambuttri Road. An indication: Chinatown and Rambuttri Road are about half an hour’s walk from each other. A short tuk tuk or taxi ride will get you there.
Old Town is a good place to sleep if you are interested in culture and would like to visit temples. There are cheap hotels. luxury hotels and everything in between. Because of this there is always a nice place to sleep. And if you want some hustle and bustle, Khao San and Rambuttri are not far away.
In Old Town there is no BTS, only in Chinatown you will find a MRT (metro) station. In the vicinity of Khao San Road and Rambuttri Road you depend on taxis, tuk tuks or buses. You also can use the boats on the river, the Chao Phraya Express. Good to know is that these do not sail after 20:30.
In Chinatown, everything revolves around food and gold. The neighborhood is dotted with shops selling gold. Besides gold shops you stumble across many food stalls in Chinatown, especially when the sun goes down it’s feasting frenzy here. There are even restaurants and food stalls that have a Michelin Award. You can recognize them by the long queues of people waiting!
Chinatown is a lively and chaotic neighborhood where there is a lot to see and discover. Getting lost here is the best you can do. You can get lost further on the Sampeng Market, which consists of an elongated narrow alley with many branches. The alley is packed on both sides with everything you can think of. By the way, they also have everything you couldn’t have imagined here. Make sure you have some space left in your bag for a lot of gadgets!
Chinatown has plenty of middle class and cheap hotels. There are a few luxury hotels. Compared to sleeping in Siam Square, sleeping in Chinatown is often much cheaper. Since the arrival of the subway (MRT Wat Mangkok Station) it’s easier to travel to/from China Town.
The Rattanakosin district is located between Khao San Road and Chinatown. Here you find the Grand Palace (Royal Palace), the Wat Phra Keaw (Emerald Buddha) and the Wat Suthat (Royal Temple). These can be reached on foot from China Town and Khao San Road / Rambuttri Road (Banglamphu).
DO YOU KNOW?
Old Town, Banglamphu and Rattanakosin, all those names! You’ll almost lose your way through it, no need! These 3 neighborhoods all represent a part of Old Town. So remember Old Town and you can forget the rest.
Khao San Road is the backpackers street of Bangkok. There are plenty of food stalls, restaurants, bars, hotels and hostels. This is the place to be if you like partying and crowds. If that is not for you, maybe you should not sleep in Khao San Road. Hotels in the backpacker street itself can be noisy because of the loud music. The advantage of sleeping at Khao San Road is that you are close to the Chao Phraya River and can use the Chao Phraya River Express. Also convenient of the neighborhood Khao San is that everything you need as a backpacker is nearby. It is also the place in Bangkok to meet other backpackers!
A disadvantage is that there is no BTS in the immediate vicinity. To the nearest subway station in Chinatown it is a half hour walk. You are therefore dependent on the taxi or tuk tuk. The National Museum is a 15-minute walk away.
Images: Asiacamera ( Flickr)
Rambuttri Road is a nice place to sleep if you like having fun, but Khao San Road is just too much for you. Rambutri Road runs largely parallel to Khao San Road. Rambuttri Road also has a lot of nice restaurants and bars, but is just a bit less exuberant. Therefore this street is more suitable if you travel with children and still want to sleep in the old part of Bangkok with everything nearby. Also here are many hostels, middle class and budget hotels. For families with children there are a number of good and affordable hotels.
- The shopping malls of Bangkok
Shop till you drop in Bangkok’s mega malls
- The most amazing temples in Bangkok
You can’t actually leave Bangkok without visiting a temple.
- Parks in Bangkok
Beautiful green parks in the middle of Bangkok, a green oasis to relax for a while.
- Markets in Bangkok
Take a look into local life and look for bargains among the colourful market stalls.
- Museums in Bangkok
Here you discover the cultural (art) treasures of Thailand
- Fun activities in Bangkok
Alone or with children, there are so many fun things to do in Bangkok. Look at them here!
This is how the public transpartion works in Bangkok:
- Tuk Tuk
A ride in the motorized rickshaw is a real experience!
- Taxi in Bangkok
Off-peak and with the meter of cheap and efficient
- BTS Sky Train
Dodge the traffic jams of Bangkok with the clean and fast sky train, your best friend during rush hour!
- Chao Phraya River Express
While avoiding the traffic jams you see a completely different Bangkok from the water.
Travelling further from Bangkok? You can easily arrange that yourself at 12GoAsia Check the prices and book quickly and easily.
Explore & Discover some amazing images from destinations and events in Thailand via our Picture This feature.
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