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Where to stay in Bangkok

Where to stay in Bangkok, Thailand Broken Down By Neighborhood
Source: Wikipedia

Bangkok is constantly on the #1 spot for most visited city in the world.

It tops out at around 20 million foreign visitors each year for multiple reasons.

Apart from the fact it’s a major tourist destination itself, It happens to be a favorite base location for travel around Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.

The city has a lot to offer, so to narrow it down for you, we’re going to recommend some of the best areas where to stay in Bangkok.

Transportation, getting around Bangkok

One amazing thing about this city is its effective public transportation in the form of Metro.

Bkk masstransit 2020 clear version english wiki-01.png
Source: Wikipedia

Two main lines that overlap each other in the heart of the city are:

  • MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) – typical underground metro line you’ll find in major cities
  • BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) – also known as the Skytrain, this elevated railway makes for a unique experience and some nice views
Bangkok Skytrain 2011.jpg
The BTS Skytrain, source: Wikipedia

With that in mind, let’s look at our picks for best areas/neighborhoods to choose from:

  1. Siam area, Pathum Wan district – the best choice for first-timers
  2. West Sukhumvit, Metro stations – modern metropolitan area, great nightlife
  3. Chinatown, Old Bangkok – staying on a budget

Honorable mention: Khao San Road – highly recommended for short visits, but not as convenient as the other area.

Where to stay in Bangkok, Thailand

Best for first-timers

Siam area Siam area in Pathum Wan district is centrally located and easy to get around
Best for nightlife West Sukhumvit A trendy neighborhood with hip bars, shops, and markets
Best on a budget Chinatown

An affordable area located in Old Bangkok

Best for first-timers—Siam, Pathum Wan district

Siam is a centrally located, busy, metropolis area full of things to do and see.

The MRT and BTS metro lines overlap each other at Siam, making it well connected to the rest of the city.

Pros Cons
  • The epicenter of the city, within close range of everything
  • Metro lines intersect, making the rest of the city easily accessible.
  • Incredible shopping experience
  • On the more expensive side, things like food and entertainment can be noticeably cheaper closeby
  • It can get overcrowded with both locals and tourists, especially on the weekends.
  • Decent time passers, but a smaller pool of choices than other areas

Where to go and what to see in Siam?

Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC)

Stretching over 9 floors, the culture center has both art exhibitions and performances. At the right time of year, you might even be able to see one of the thematic film festivals that happen there. There’s plenty to see and do and the best part is, there is no entry fee.

Source: baccbangkok

Sea Life Bangkok – Ocean World (Siam Paragon)

Siam Paragon is an amazing shopping center and worthy to mention. However, the real attraction is the amazing aquarium underneath. You’ll get to enjoy walking around surrounded by thousands of species of fish and, for those who are daring, there are even diving events (yes, you can swim with the sharks).,f_auto,fl_strip_profile,h_600,q_auto,w_975/v1/images/photos/000/126/451/original/1542262668_shutterstock_1214592766.jpg.jpg?1542262668

Scala theater/cinema

A historic landmark and a source of entertainment in one, Scala is a blast from the past with its interior design. Although you can occasionally catch a play, it mostly serves as a cinema. Apart from showing worldwide trending film, sometimes it hosts events where enthusiasts can watch critically acclaimed movies and classics.

Source: Wikipedia

Where to stay in Siam, recommended accommodations

Affordable price range: Niras Bankoc Hostel – Situated in a historic house in the old city of Bangkok





Moderate price range: F04 Apartment – great view, pool and gym in the residential area






Luxury price range: Amara Bangkok hotel – very spacious, luxurious and centrally located with a beautiful view.





Where to stay for the nightlife—West Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit is an area with endless fun things to do. It’s full of life both throughout the day and night. People coming to Bangkok looking for busy, tourist areas will find everything they want in Sukhumvit.

Like Siam, the MRT and BTS metro lines overlap each other at Sukhumvit.

Pros Cons
  • The epicenter of the action, everything in one place
  • Amazing nightlife, many clubs, and bars
  • Local as well as global scenery and cuisine
  • The great shopping experience, both in big shopping centers and street vendors
  • Lots of cheap street food
  • Crowded and busy area
  • A bit farther from the riverside
  • Low traditional cultural experience
  • Vibrant nightlife may make it too loud for some

Where to go and what to see in Sukhumvit?

Terminal 21 shopping mall

There are many shopping malls across Sukhumvit, but we chose Terminal 21 for two very cool reasons:

  • It can be accessed (or left) through Skytrain
  • The interior has replicas of many world-famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel tower, etc.
Source: Flickr Stewie1980

Enjoy a night out at clubs and bars

As mentioned, Sukhumvit is known for a variety of things to do at night. One place to consider is the Vanilla Sky Rooftop, a restaurant/lounge during the day, and a bar/nightclub at night.

Source: Instagram @vanillaskybar

Explore the busy shopping streets (Soi)

The streets around the main Sukhumvit Road are called Soi. They don’t have individual names but are instead numbered. Explore them to find lots of street food, local and global, and shop around street vendors.

Sukhumvit Soi 38

Where to stay in Sukhumvit, recommended accommodations

Affordable price range: Siamaze Hostel – a four-story building located in a business/residential area of Bangkok (Ratchadapisek Road).




Moderate price range: Emporium w/ view – modern apartment with great city view and lots of natural light





Luxury: Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit – luxurious hotel with gym, pool, and sauna available






Where to stay on a budget—Chinatown, Old Bangkok

Chinatown in Bangkok known as the origin from which the city emerged. This area has been used by Chinese merchants for hundreds of years. It’s near the river bank, and just by looking at its surroundings, you can see the age difference between it and modern Bangkok.

Pros Cons
  • One of the cheaper areas
  • Plenty of street food and merchants
  • Near the riverbank
  • Lots of cultural attractions
  • Not as well connected, only one MRT metro line passes
  • Beware of pickpockets and street scammers
  • Not as versatile in terms of things to do

Where to go and what to see in Chinatown?

Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)

Inside the amazing temple is a 5.5-ton pure gold statue of Buddha.

The statue itself has been said to date back somewhere around the 13-14th century.

Golden buddha.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

Yaowarat Road

The street is known for glowing with a beautiful bright red at night. However, it is most famous for its large selection of street food. Stop by in the evening to get a taste of Thai cuisine.
Source: Bangkok Tourism Hub

Grand China Hotel

The Grand China hotel is equipped with many things you can explore: fitness center, spa, swimming pools, even some shops. However, the most interesting place to visit is the top floor restaurant – Sky View 360. As you can imagine, the name comes from the fact that the restaurant has a 360 view of the city AND it moves! As you enjoy your drink or meal, within the 2 hours it takes for it to complete the circle, you’ll be able to see the entire city. To top things off, it isn’t as pricey as it sounds.

Source: BK Magazine

Where to stay in Chinatown, recommended accommodations

Affordable price range: Luk Hostel – Staff are super friendly

Moderate price range: Corner Balcony Studio – modern, well equipped at a good price









Luxury price range: Shanghai Mansion Bangkok – Located in Bangkok’s Chinatown, it offers a restaurant and jazz bar, as well as free WiFi access.

Honorable Mention: Khao San Road

Often mentioned by both locals and Bangkok enthusiasts, the area around Khao San Road is recommended for a short-term stay.

The best tip is to pick a location next to the main road, as main Khao San can get crowded and quite loud, meaning it’s not the best choice if you aim to rest at night.

Pros Cons
  • Recommended experience on its own
  • Close to riverbank
  • Youthful, vibrant nightlife
  • A great stopping point for backpackers and short-term stay
  • Relatively isolated
  • Not close to metro line
  • Can get loud and overcrowded during day and night