Bangkok is a huge city, with over 8.2 million people and spans 606 square miles. So when you are booking a trip to Bangkok, how do you know where to stay? Well this guide will explain all and give tips for each area.
Officially Bangkok is split into 50 districts (with a total of 169 sub districts) but for this article we will go over what most tourists will encounter (around a dozen areas).
If you had to pick the center of Bangkok, Siam is where you would mark it.
This is where you can find the best shopping malls and hotels, and is the entertainment center of Bangkok. It is also known as the as the "SoHo" or "Shinjuku of Thailand.
Siam Square includes the areas of Ratchaprasong and Phloen Chit Road.
Sukhumvit is an upmarket area with upmarket hotels and restaurants. You can also find nice nightclubs and great nightlife here here.
Soi Cowboy (little street full of around 40 'adult' bars) and Nana Entertainment Plaza (+ its gogo bars) can be found here.
There are no big tourist attractions (apart from its nightlife) in Sukhumvit, but you should still go for a wander in this area.
During the day this is Thailand's financial heart and is known as the "Thai Wall Street", however when the sun goes down it turns into Bangkok's main party district. It is here that you can find famous gogo bars like the Patpong district (also known as Thailand's Red Light District).
You can find some great street food here too.
This is in the "Old Town" part of Bangkok, and it is where you can find many famous landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
It is a royal island on the east bank of the main river that runs through Bangkok (Chao Phraya).
Lots of big festivals are celebrated in Sanam Luang Square.
Just north of Rattanakosin is where you can find Khao San Road (KSR), which is Bangkok's backpacker's hub!
The actual Khao San Road is only 400m long, but is famous all over the world.
This area is famous with backpackers and budget travellers.
If you have ever seen the film "The Beach", then you will recognise Khao San Road.
Yaowarat road is home to Bangkok's Chinatown
You can find many temples, shrines and street markets in chinatown. It is a bit of a crazy place, always a bit hectic, but that is part of its charm.
China is very close to Thailand, so their Chinatown is unlike any other Chinatowns elsewhere in the world!
Their main shopping street (Sampaeng Lane) is huge, and always very busy.
On the west bank of Chao Phraya River you can find Bangkok's Riverside. This area is quieter. You should go here to grab a canal tour and check out Wat Arun, the Royal Barges National Museum and its floating markets.
This is the fashion market (retail and wholesale) hub. You can find the second tallest building in Thailand here (Baiyoke Tower II) and Victory Monument (which is a transportaion hub - if you get a coach it'll probably be from here)
Ratchadaphisek is up in the northeastern part of Bangkok. It has in recent years become very popular entertainment district, with clubs, theatres, karaoke bars, bowling alleys, shopping complexes such as The Esplanade, cinema complexes, a night bazaar, and night markets.
There are also lots of seafood restaurants here, as well as massage parlours (brothels).
The nightlife is very good here. The "Royal City Avenue" (or RCA) is here, which is a pedestrian only street with lots of nice clubs, and because the licensing laws are a bit different here they can open until 2am (one hour later than other clubs in Bangkok). The clubs on RCA are generally very big, with many huge rooms.
This is the political heart and administrative centre of Thailand, and looks somewhat European. There are big green gardens, wide avenues and nice palaces here.
This district does have very good public transport links.
There are not many tourists staying in this area - budget travellers will stay in the nearby Khao San Road, and those who want a nicer hotel will stay in the also nearby Sukhumvit district.
Phahonyothin / Viphavadi Rangsit Road is in north Bangkok. This district is where you can find the huge Chatuchak Weekend Market and get some bargains. It has over 8,000 stalls selling absolutely everything you could ever think of.
This area is close to the BKK Bangkok Airport. You can find lots of hotels (from budget to expensive), but there isn't much to keep you entertained here.
Image sources: Siam Square.
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