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Bangkok, also known as “The City of Angels” is the capital of Thailand and it’s largest city. An extremely popular travel destination, it is a city of contrasts; polluted, chaotic, luxurious and vibrant – the magic of Bangkok will captivate and excite you. The layers of Bangkok reveal a cosmopolitan and vibrant city that is an amazing blend of East and Western culture, old and new. One thing about Bangkok is certain, you will never be bored.
There’s so much to see and do in Bangkok. From sightseeing, shopping, bars, clubs, street markets and exploring the amazing food on offer. When your senses are on overload, there’s always relaxing in your luxurious hotel and being pampered in the spa. Bangkok is known for it’s golden temples sitting right beside high rise buildings, the canals and it’s exotic red-light district.
First time in Bangkok? here is some really helpful information on which area you should stay in.
Choosing the right area for your hotel accommodation could be the difference between a great or miserable holiday. That’s why it’s worthwhile knowing about the different tourist areas that make up Bangkok.
Sukhumvit: Should I be staying here?
This is a well known area and if you decide to stay in the 18km long Sukhumvit area you will be close to all the shopping, nightlife and big shopping centres of Bangkok. The area has a really distinct cosmopolitan feel with all the trendy and very hip bars, restaurants, hotels and boutique shops. You can get around Sukhumvit easily enough with the elevated Skytrain. This is also known as the BTS.
It is ideal for:
- Party people who want a lot of action on their holiday
- Shoppers and foodie lovers
- Travellers who like to be in among all the action – all the cool places are here
Not ideal for:
- People who have come to Thailand to experience the Thai culture – the area is very developed
- There is not too much Thai culture here
- The traffic can be really bad, plus the distances between venues can be large. You might end up spending a good portion of your holiday time stuck in Bangkok traffic jams.
Riverside: what’s this place like?
Bangkok’s riverside is is the cultural heart of Bangkok and you can get a feel for the Thai culture here and the daily life of the Thai people. The area is however changing with the emergence of 5 star luxury hotels. Staying here you get to see the ever changing Thai river life scenery with massive rice barges, water taxis ferrying people and produce around. It’s a wonderful area to stay in as you are among the wonderful temples and historic buildings and well known Bangkok landmarks.
It’s great for:
- Travellers who want to stay in luxury 5 star resorts with magical river views as a backdrop to the Thai skyline.
- Families that want to stay in Bangkok in resort style accommodation
- People who love the vibe of Bangkok butr are able to escape to their own quiet retreat
Not ideal for
- Budget travellers
- Distances can be a problem especially if you want to go to the main part of Bangkok everyday – also depends on where your BTS stops as you probably will want to use this.
Silom area of Bangkok
The Silom area is fantastic. Bankers and well heeled business people by day who work in the high rise office towers along Silom Road, but at night the area draws a big crowd as it has some of Bangkok’s best restaurants. Plus there is the legendary Patpong area nearby.
This area is great for:
- Business people wanting to stay in a hotel close by their work if they are coming to Bangkok on business – they can also hit the red light district of Patpong at night.
- People who like the bars and the infamous Thai bar girls
- Everything is in one place. Hotels, bars, work. You never have to leave Silom.
It’s not so good for:
- No culture
- Huge traffic jams
Pratunam, should I stay here?
Pratunam has a 24 hour market where you can buy almost anything you can imagine. It is also the home of bargain fashion outlets where you can get fake handbags, wallets and watches. This is the place you come to if you want to spend a day grabbing a bargain. It’s got a mixed cosmopolitan feel due to the huge number of tourists who flock here.
It is ideal for:
- People who like the Asian buzz
- Young budget minded travellers who want cheap hotel accommodation for a few nights before they head off exploring Thailand.
Not so good for:
- Traffic and crowds
- The BTS is about a 10-15 minute walk away
- It is a little dilapidated
Siam, what’s this area like for a Bangkok holiday?
If you love shopping and want your hotel to be in the centre of the biggest and most modern shopping malls such as; MBK the Siam Centre and Paragon. The place is fast becoming a very cool and hip destination with students, young families and office people who all make Siam their home. Plus the BTS is here so getting in and out is very easy.
Siam is great for:
- Shoppers and the new cool trendy people
- Young families with kids
- People who like to be centrally located
- It’s a really good mix here where you get a bit of everything
Not so good for:
- If you are looking for authentic Thai culture
Old City area or what is known as Khaosan
All the old and very historic attractions are here. You will find the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. So it’s jam packed full of culture and Thailand’s historic past. Nearby Khao San Road is where you will fing back packer accommodation, cheap guest houses, lots of internet cafes, bars and clubs.
The area is great for:
- Backpackers and cheap accommodation in Bangkok
- People who want to explore temples.
- You get really great photos here of the famous temples.
Not ideal for:
Getting in and out can be hard as transport can be a tad unreliable. Best get taxis.