Where to Stay in Bangkok, Thailand (2021 Guide)

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The Best Places to Stay in Bangkok – Tips and Advice

  • Family: If you are thinking about booking accommodation in Bangkok it will depend largely on a couple of factors. One of the main considerations is whether you are traveling with a family or not — in which case there are certain areas best avoided. These are mainly the rather seedy red light sections of Silom (Patpong) and Sukhumvit (Nana). In the touristy hotspots like Sukhumvit, Silom, and Siam there is much liveliness and entertainment, as well as diversity. These districts contain all manner of malls, markets, entertainment and leisure facilities, bars, and restaurants, and some areas are much more upscale than others.
  • Budget: The other thing is budget. Bangkok is anything but limited in terms of available accommodation, and in recent years there has been something of a surge in the number of boutiques and themed hotels to suit all price ranges. This has increasingly come to include some impressive hostels, along with the usual top-range 4 and 5 star branded hotels that have become a fixture of Bangkok.
  • Getting Around: It would be wise to install the Grab application for easy pick-ups and drop-offs by cars and taxis (from any location). There is a distinct language barrier that will be compounded with regular taxis. Public transportation like the BTS Skytrain is OK if you don’t mind pushing and shoving crowds, overpriced tickets, and constant break-downs; the MRT subway is just slightly better although still very crowded, and buses are still on the unreliable side.
  • Which areas in Bangkok are best? This is largely a matter of preference, but the central ‘downtown’ regions of the city like Sukhumvit, Siam, and Silom offer the widest choice of amenities in modern terms. The ‘Old Town’ area is actually still largely untouched by too much modern development — but that is changing. This is where you will find many of the famed tourist attractions by way of temples and other historic buildings and monuments, as well as the capital’s ‘Chinatown’.
  • The Sukhumvit Road is great if you want vibrancy, shopping, eating, and nightlife. Between the Asok and the more upscale Thong Lor district, for instance (both found on the central BTS line) you will find everything from hi-so shopping malls, bars and restaurants, coffee shops, massage parlors, and an impressive park with a lake and kids’ playground.
  • Silom is the area right next to the Central Business District (Sathorn), which again boasts one of the most impressive green areas of the city by way of Lumpinee Park. This is also an area famed for leisure and entertainment and includes malls, bars and restaurants, and a late-night street market.
  • Siam is largely regarded as Bangkok Central by locals and is all about huge shopping complexes and crowds. The area is populated by teenagers and students, couples and families all out to do what the Thais love best — shopping. The malls in Siam are some of the best on the planet and include all manner of entertainment facilities.
  • The Old Town is something of a broad term that covers an area set quite away from the ‘downtown’ areas of the city. Close to the famous Chao Phraya River, the region is steeped in culture and offers something of a different take on the city. This comes by way of its temples, museums, river cruises and views, and some of the best cuisine in the city in Chinatown.
  • Staying in Bangkok on a budget: The key to saving money in Bangkok is to stay in any of the budget hotels, or hostels. There has definitely been more of a buzz around hostels recently, with innovative young Thais constantly trying to stay ahead of the competition. If you are staying for a bit longer, it may be worth shopping around for Airbnb apartments and condominium units. Making a few comparisons price-wise beforehand is the best option, but this is another type of accommodation in Bangkok that can be quite competitively priced.

The Thai capital Bangkok has increasingly featured on the ‘must visit destinations’ list of many a discerning traveler over the last decade or so. This has actually placed the city as one of the most visited in the world on several occasions.

Located in the central plains of the tropical SE Asian country, Bangkok often serves as something of an ideal travel hub from which to visit the more northern and southern regions of the country, which are somewhat less developed by comparison.

With its diverse cultural mix and somewhat startling contrasts, the city of Bangkok offers a wide array of attractions to suit all. Alongside the street markets and famed food stalls, you’ll encounter high-end luxury shopping malls and the lush, well-kept greenery of city center parks. Once armed with a little background information, Bangko can be an ideal getaway location for singles, couples, and families.

Bangkok Neighbourhood Guide

1. Sukhumvit

sukhumvit

The Sukhumvit Road is actually the longest in the whole country. However, if you are in Bangkok you can consider it to relate to the various districts somewhere between Chit Lom and Thong Lor which are both on the main BTS line running the length of this area.

Chit Lom is a reasonably upmarket region close to the old British Embassy on Wireless Road and is good for trendy shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes.

A bit further along is the somewhat seedy Nana district, which has its own adult entertainment plaza full of go-go bars. This stretch is also home to the city’s Arab Quarter, which offers some of the best Middle-Eastern cuisines around.

Topside of Nana and within walking distance is the somewhat more inspiring Asok, home to the massive Terminal 21 shopping complex.

Another 10 mins up the road and you’ll find yourself in the upmarket district of Phrom Pong, home to 2 of the city’s most famous h-so shopping malls (Emporium and Emquartier) situated right next to a reasonably sized park.

The next stop along is the trendy Thonglor district, a popular hangout for affluent young Thais. This is a constantly developing area that offers some of the best restaurants, bars, and nightlife in the city.

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2. Silom

silom

The Silom/Sathorn region of the city is the Central Business District and thus attracts both local and ex-pat workers to its many entertainment and leisure options.

Everything you could wish to find in a city is available in this area — from shopping malls and markets to trendy wine bars and international cuisines, although the area itself is less modern-looking than Sukhumvit.

Silom is home to one of Bangkok’s most famous adult-oriented nightlife spots, which is something of a throwback and these days is a fairly run-down affair.

The market outside of the strip of go-go bars still attracts attention from tourists, although is largely overpriced and doesn’t compare to places like Chinatown or even Siam for bargains.

Lumpini Park is a hotspot for joggers, cyclists, nature-lovers, and outdoor types, and is well worth spending at least half a day in. This is probably the second most impressive park in Bangkok after the 3 closely-knit together in Chatuchak (Chatuchak, Rot Fai, and Sirikit) which comprise the largest green area in the city

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3. Siam

siam

If you are a fan of shopping, then Siam is all of your birthdays come at once. With the highest concentration of the massive, super-shopping complexes that Bangkok seems to excel in, you’ll find everything that you could imagine in this commercial haven.

From the mega-complex CentralWorld to the super-trendy Paragon, here you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops, and all manner of both local and international brands that will be difficult to cover in a day.

Entertainment-wise there are some of the best cinema multiplexes in the world, as well as impressive aquariums and ice skating rinks, to name just a few of the options.

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4. The Old Town

the old town

If you head over to the Old Quarter of Bangkok you’ll encounter an entirely different scenario to the ones you might find in any of the other areas previously mentioned. Here is a region of the city near the river that is steeped in history and culture.

Many of the original shophouse buildings in the Chinatown district have been largely untouched by the onslaught of commercial development (although that is changing), and the famous backpacker destination Khao San Road is close by.

If you want famous temples like Wat Pho and the Grand Palace then this is the place to head. If you want breathtaking sunset river scenarios overlooking 15th-century temples you will find them in this region, along with one of the largest Chinatowns in the world.

Chinatown has always traditionally been the hub of the many settlers that made Bangkok their home hundreds of years back and contains legendary street food, as well as mazes of markets with the best prices in the city.

The area has started to become a bit more trendy and upmarket in recent years, with some of the old shophouses being converted into trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, apartments, and boutique hotels.

If you like the idea of authentic cuisine and riverboat cruises intertwined with some of Bangkok’s most visited temples and historic monuments, then this is the place to stay.

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Airbnb

  • ($$$) Sala Arun • 5-minute walk to Wat Arun, next to the Chao Phraya River
  • ($$) Alley Living Rama 8 • close to Wat Saket and Dusit Palace
  • ($) Thanabhumi • 21 km from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, a 10-minute drive to the Grand Palace

Conclusion

If a SE Asian capital city with a bit of diversity sounds up your street, then you’ll find that Bangkok is just the ticket. Here is a city in Thailand that offers pretty much something for everyone, although a little logical planning is definitely recommended beforehand — especially for those with families in tow. So here’s a brief summary of the highlights of all the various angles that might help you decide on the absolute best place to stay on your trip to Bangkok.

Best Hotels By Type

  • Emporium Suites Chatri the best luxury hotel in Bangkok for its location in one of the best stretches of the Sukhumvit Road
  • Novotel Siam Square is one of the best in Bangkok for its style, price, quality, and location
  • The Smile Inn in the Old Town area is undoubtedly one of the best cheap hotels in Bangkok in a location that adds authenticity to any Bangkok visit
  • The best family hotel in Bangkok could also be the Emporium Suites with its pools, location next to a park, and proximity to 2 of the city’s main malls and top-class cinemas
  • The best romantic hotel in Bangkok assuming you won’t be sparing any expense could well be the Novotel with its rooftop infinity pool and amazing skyline sunset views that go hand-in-hand with the romance