Where to stay in Bangkok
Deciding where to stay in Bangkok Thailand is a big decision for any traveler. With so much to choose from it is easy to become confused when deciding which area is best for you to stay. With thousands of hotels and guest houses of varying standards capable of catering to every travelers needs. Whether you are here for an overnight stop over, a weekend city break or longer let us guide you to where to stay in Bangkok.
Back in 2013 Bangkok officially became the most visited city in the world (wikipedia) and has remained there ever since. With around 16 million foreign visitors as well as the estimated 11 million Thai visitors it is no wonder, the hotel scene here is one of the best in the world. With hotels ranging from multi dorm hostels all the way through to ultra luxury world class hotels, spread across many different areas, deciding where is best to stay when your in Bangkok is a big challenge.
Over the years we have stayed all over the city in a wide range of properties and between us we have a wide range of experience from which to draw. Below we have split Bangkok’s main hotel areas up to try and help you decide on the best area for your Bangkok stay.
To say your hotel is on Sukhumvit road is not really a description of its location, as Bangkok’s main central artery this roads runs from one side of the city all the way through and beyond. In fact it runs all the way through several other towns to the Cambodia border. I read somewhere that this is the longest road in Asia, can’t seem to verify that but I can verify it is very long.
When somebody advising you mentions Sukhumvit road, they will more than likely be referring to the main central Sukhumvit between Soi 4 (Nana) and Soi 69 (Ekkami). Or to be more precise they are referring to the side soi’s that run off Sukhumvit. These Soi’s are numbered consecutively so navigating is around is fairly easy, even for first time visitors.
Bangkok’s Sukhumvit line of the BTS (sky-train) runs over head the length of this area, with stops every 500 meters or so. Making this area great for anyone who wishes to be centrally located with easy access to the other parts of the city. All over this area you will find amazing restaurants, bars and nightclubs making this area great for night owls.
The selection of hotels here range from 3 star budget properties, catering for those looking to enjoy the nightlife, through to 5 star international brands such as the Sofitel Bangkok.
There are some awesome hotels near Asoke and Soi Cowboy, with easy access to the transport system.
The Bangkok riverside area is pretty much self explanatory, It is the area directly adjacent to the river. If your looking for somewhere to stay in Bangkok with a little class then the riverside area is where you’ll want to be. Here you will find the large 5 star true luxury hotels in Bangkok.
If you do decide to book a hotel in the Riverside area then you may as well be right on the rivers edge. Most of the bigger more well known hotels occupy this prime real estate. However properties on the river edge are a fair walk from the BTS but most will offer you complimentary tuk tuk rides to the BTS.
The area here is not the best if you after the large shopping malls as the Siam area is a ten minute ride on the BTS. However a lot of the city’s main attractions are along the river making this a great place to stay if that’s what your after. Another benefit of staying here is most hotels will offer boat trips along the river either in the day or evening dinner cruises. Most of these boats can be boarded direct from your hotel.
This really is where to stay in Bangkok for the discerning traveler.
Nana is where you want to be if you’re after a party. The area referred to as Nana is really only Sukhumvit Soi 4 and possibly including Soi 3 (Soi Arab). Whilst not the biggest area, it is jam packed with a variety of nightlife to choose from.
Soi 4 (Soi Nana) is mostly known for the world famous adult entertainment complex Nana Plaza which is located on the left as you turn into the Soi from Sukhumvit road. Staying at this end of the Soi is pretty much only those who don’t mind the noise and craziness of it all. The hotels here are also only here to cater for theses party animals and their guests. However the further down the Soi you walk the quieter it becomes and the nicer the hotels.
Soi 3 (Soi Arab) mainly caters for the middle eastern traveler, and the choice of nightlife here reflects this. There are lots of Middle Eastern restaurants and cafes along here.
If your staying on either Soi 4 or Soi 3 you are perfectly located for access to the BTS and the rest of what Bangkok has to offer. Making this the perfect area in Bangkok for those who like to burn the candle at both ends.
Khao San Road
If your on a budget then Khao San road is the area for you. Although this famous backpacker area is named Khao San road it isn’t just limited to that road. If you are looking at staying and experiencing this area of Bangkok then any hotel on this road, and the road running parallel Ram Buttri road will put you in the thick of it.
Although this area made its name as a backpacker area with low budget hostels, it has now attracted more mid price hotels. Most of the establishments here are privately owned and standards can vary greatly. Back in it’s heyday you could just turn up with backpack and wander around until somewhere took your fancy, but due to it’s popularity pre-booking is advisable. Especially if you want to get a decent standard room for money.
The scene here is focused towards the younger or younger minded travelers. There are lots of cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from. Getting around Bangkok is not the easiest from here as public transport is limited. When wandering around the area you will be constantly approached by hawkers trying to get you to buy your tours and trips from them. We would recommend only purchasing tours from reputable agents in tour offices.
This is where to stay in Bangkok for those who like the more traditional backpacker style of traveling.
Although not geographically the center of Bangkok, the Siam / National stadium area is regarded as being the center. It is where the 2 BTS lines cross. This makes this one of the best locations to stay in for getting around.
Those looking to take advantage of the city’s shopping area will want to be here. The main large western style malls are located in Siam square. For those looking for shopping in markets these can be accessed by the skytrain.
The hotels here range from mid price to 5 star luxury.
Silom / Sathorn
If your visiting Bangkok on business and want to combine this with a little sightseeing and nightlife then this is probably the best side of the city for you. The area around here is great for exploring the rest of the city with easy access to both the BTS and the MRT.
The area itself is populated with large high rise office blocks and mid to high range hotels. The area also comes to life at night with a wide variety of restaurants, bars and street markets. The world famous Patpong night market is located in this part of the city.
We hope this guide has helped you in deciding which part of Bangkok is the best choice for your trip? If you have time why not look at a few nights in Pattaya.
Also check out our Bangkok foodies guide