Bangkok Thailand – Where to Stay in the Thai Capital

The accommodation options in Bangkok are as extensive and diverse as the travellers who visit the lively and chaotic city. Divided into various districts, the city frequently perplexes first-comers and deciding where to stay can oftentimes be overwhelming and bewildering.

How to choose the area for your stay in Bangkok

When planning your trip to the vibrant capital it is recommended that visitors know what itinerary and attractions are at the top of their to-do and must-see lists prior to booking a spot to crash for the night. Although all the Bangkok sights and attractions are relatively easy to navigate on public or private transport, staying nearby to one’s ideal activities can assist in making a holiday all that more enjoyable and stress-free.

For the sake of convenience and clarity, this article will focus on Bangkok’s most popular accommodation areas for travellers; namely, Sukumvit, Siam, Silom, Riverside (a popular choice with honeymooners or travellers with generous budgets) and Old City with its famous Khao San Road. Fortunately Thailand’s capital is an ideal destination for every type of traveller and every type of bank balance. Whether you’re lugging around a scruffy backpack with dirt-encrusted shoes tied onto the front, or wheeling a matching set of Louis Vuitton’s straight out of first-class; the city has accommodation options suited for everyone.

Sukhumvit

Recognized for its glitzy and extravagant nightlife and party scene, Sukhumvit is a popular district for those who are looking for trendy nightclubs, fashionable shopping malls, beauty spas and superb restaurants and bars.

Situated in the heart of Bangkok, the contemporary and cosmopolitan air of Sukhumvit is a good spot for travellers wanting to be at the epicentre of the city’s hullabaloo. While this area may lack the traditional tourist attractions, staying within this area fortunately means easy access to public transport via the Skytrain and MRT (subway) and visitors will have no problem at all exploring the capital.

Travellers on a budget in Sukhumvit need not look further than the excellently located, Matchbox Hostel which is a unique dormitory where the individual dorms are divided into separate, modern pods. Situated on Soi 33, four minutes from the BTS Station (Skytrain), each pod has their own LCD TV, air-conditioning, complimentary water, coffee and tea and privacy curtains. The communal room on the roof and 5th floor make this spot the ideal dorm to meet other backpackers. Prices range between THB 400 to THB 750 per night making this a bit hit with travellers looking to stretch their funds.

For travellers looking for contemporary elegance and exceptional service, the 5-star Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit is a tried and trusted brand that the world has come to trust and rely on for quality, luxury and first-class panache. The high-end hotel boasts a stunning rooftop swimming pool with breathtaking views, a fitness centre, beauty spa and a buffet breakfast fit for royalty. Room prices start around THB 5,000 per night.

Siam

Next up is Siam, a hotspot for families and travellers wanting to be well located for exploring the city’s other areas. Siam is also a top destination for those wanting to shop, dine out in style; visit the cinemas, Siam Ocean World and Jim Thompson’s House. Siam also boasts an ice-rink inside Central World shopping mall making it a hit for those with young families. A huge plus of Siam is the free Muay Thai (Thai boxing) fights that take place every Wednesday evening outside MBK shopping mall.

Travellers looking for a delightful gem within a very affordable price bracket should drag their backpacks to Chao Hostel on the 8th floor of the Siam Building. Prime location to Siam’s shopping malls, Chao Hostel is trendy, bright and has a somewhat ‘hipster’ atmosphere and dubs itself as a ‘luxurious boutique hostel’. Merging a rustic, authentic Thai feel with fresh, modern comforts, room rates start from THB 600 a night.

For visitors looking for mid-range accommodation within Siam, Happy 3 on 33 Rama I Road is neighbours to the famous Jim Thompson House in a quaint, secluded ally, near to the ‘National Stadium’ subway station. Room rates start at TBH 2,300 including a delicious breakfast that guests rave about. Small, immaculate and cosy, Happy 3 gets an enthusiastic vote of confidence from its delighted guests.

Silom

Being the Central Business District, Silom is the very best area for those in Bangkok on business. It’s not all work and no play, however, as Silom transforms into a foodie haven after sunset and many travellers swap business suits for cocktail dresses and let their hair down come dusk. The infamous and notorious red light district and Patpong night market are also located in Silom and with the area’s very affordable prices, Silom attracts professionals and party-people alike. Lumphini Park – Bangkok’s biggest park is also located here and is the ideal reprieve from the smoke billowing from faulty car exhausts and honking of the bustling city.

For those on a budget in Silom who want the experience of staying in an authentic Thai neighbourhood rather than on a busy tourist strip, Pas Cher Hotel de Bangkok offers great value for money with its spacious, airy and clean rooms. Within walking distance of fast-food chains, a 7/11 and Robinson’s department store, this hotel is an excellent choice for those looking to save money without skimping on comfort and convenience. Room rates start at around THB 1,300.

For travellers looking for the epitome of luxury and elegance, Sofitel Bangkok is a 5-star urban-design hotel that overlooks the city’s picturesque Lumpini Park. With its two restaurants and 3 bars, including an open-air rooftop bar with jaw-dropping views of the iconic skyline, Sofitel is as exquisite and as stylish as they come. Located on the corner of North Sathorn and Rama IV Road, prices start at around TBH 5,500 and go up to a hefty 48, 000 for the VIP 2-bedroomed duplex.

The Riverside

Romantic, scenic and relaxing, the origins of Bangkok are the beautiful Riverside area. With the tranquil Chao Praya River on your doorstep and the delightful Asiatique Night Market, this upscale area is well suited for travellers wanting to escape the city life or for honeymooners looking for a dreamy location in the capital. Very nearby to the historical attractions in the Old City, Riverside at night with the twinkling temples and shrines creates a very scenic stay in Bangkok. This area has the majority of the 5-star hotels in the city and is best suited to visitors with bigger budgets.

Empty your piggy-banks, ladies and gentlemen. For recent lottery winners or for those celebrating with plenty of zeros in their bank accounts, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Over 140 years old, the old world opulence of this hotel blends with cutting-edge and contemporary comforts making it legendary throughout the country and even the world. Mandarin Oriental has hosted royalty and presidents from all over the world; and with its prime location right on the Chao Phraya riverbank and magical views this hotel is quite literally fit for a king. Nine restaurants, two outdoor pools, tennis courts, and a spa and wellness centre, are only a couple of the highlights of this hotel. Rates start at THB 16,000 and can go up to a whopping TBH 160,000 for one night.

The Old City

Lastly, the Old City of Bangkok and home to the famous Khao San Road which is quoted in ‘The Beach’ as being the centre of the backpacking universe, is the ideal spot for Bangkok travellers on a shoe-string budget. In Khao San Road you won’t find any 5-star hotels or facilities and budget guesthouses, hostels and a couple of mid-range hotels dominate the accommodation scene. ‘Happy Hour’ is somewhat of an oxymoron here in Khao San with cheap drinks being on offer 24 hours a day, raucous bucket-bars and the rowdy nightlife is world-renowned for a reason. For travellers who are adverse to non-stop party music throughout all hours of the night and morning, we’d recommended staying off Khao San Road itself and finding a quieter spot away from the eye of the storm.

Offering wonderful value for your baht is Thanabhumi Guesthouse, located in a peaceful neighbourhood at 365/15 Phra Sumen Road with pretty views of the river. Clean, spacious bedrooms with complimentary coffee, fruit and snacks, Thanabhumi Guesthouse even has a communal area which is a wonderful means of socializing and meeting other likeminded travellers during your stay. Free Wi-Fi, friendly, informative staff and only a ten minute walk from Khao San Road makes this guesthouse a favourite of travellers. Rates start from around THB 1000 for the night.

At the more mid-range price option, Chillax Resort is a wonderful choice for those wishing for the close proximity of Khao San Road with none of the noise. Situated at 272 Sansen Soi2, only 600 meters from the madness, Chillax Resort offers lavish, sophisticated rooms all equipped with air-conn, free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. This is a great resort for couples wanting a romantic getaway or families looking for bit of comfort and luxury. An added bonus of this spot is the wonderful rooftop diner, bar and gorgeous swimming pool; plus a hot tub in each room! Room rates start at around THB 2600.

Bangkok station guide

Hua Lamphong - train

To get to this station the easiest way is to take the MRT subway to Hua Lamphong. It's the last station down the line (opposite to Bang Sue).

Once you arrive just follow the signs to the railway station. It is about 5 minutes walk underground and you will get back to the surface right in front of the station.

  • From Khao San Road or the Southern Bus Terminal you need to take a taxi.
  • From Mo Chit Bus Terminal you should take a taxi to the MRT station Khamphaeng Phet
  • From Ekkamai Bus Terminal you can take BTS Skytrain to Sukhumvit, then change to MRT. 40 min.
  • From Don Mueang Airport the easiest way is to take a taxi. Mind the tolls.
  • From Suvarnabhum Airport you can take the Airport Link to Petchaburi station, then walk a few minutes to MRT. Takes 1-1.5 hr.

You can search Bangkok MRT, BTS and Airport Link connections in 12Go system, with fares and times.

Hua Lamphong Station is also a walk away to Bangkok's Chinatown. Around Yaowarat Road you will see many shops that sell almost everything.

Hua Lamphong station or more familiar as Bangkok Railway Station to foreigners, is the main railway station in Thailand. It was first opened on June 25, 1916 after six years of construction and was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance inspired architecture.

The Station is mother to Thailand's four railway lines: Northern, Northeastern, Southern, Eastern. The establishment has 14 platforms, 26 ticket booths and serves over 130 trains each day.

Mind the "helpers" without uniform trying to "help" you find a hotel. However station staff is very helpful. There are no lounges inside but the air is usually fresh enough and food is abundant so just grab a coffee while you waiting. Backside from the station there are a few massage salons and internet cafes, well, just like anywhere else.

Please keep in mind that trains in Thailand are subjects to delays. Really. If you plan a connecting train+bus or ferry - allow some time for the train being late.

You can choose from

  • 1st class VIP (that will normally be a compartment)
  • 2nd class aircon (very cold! but they give blankets and fresh linen)
  • 2nd non-aircon (same, but fans instead of aircons - 12go choice!)
  • 3rd class aircon (don't. seriously, don't. you will turn into a icicle)
  • 3rd class nonaircon (take the bus instead. only plus is that you can walk).

Best resource on train in Thailand is Mark Smith, the guy at the seat 61.

12Go suggestion: take the train if you can book in advance. You will be able to sleep and have great experience of good old 70's. But please do keep in mind that we book train berths manually for you, unlike buses, so allow us and yourself some space for changes. Like, if you must catch the flight from the destination - take the bus.

PS Do not forget to share your experience with fellow travelers. You'll get your link by email.

Morchit - Bus

Morchit Bus Terminal Bangkok is the gateway to Northern Thailand and its largest city, Chiang Mai. The complex also serves several northeastern and northwestern destinations and a few routes to southern resort destinations including Phuket and Koh Samui. Located north of downtown close by Chatuchak Market, the recently-built complex is Bangkok’s largest hub for bus transportation, offering comprehensive city bus routes in addition to long distance trips.

From Morchit Bus Terminal, air-conditioned buses run to Chiang Mai around the clock, taking an average of nine hours at a cost of between 469 baht and 907 baht for the VIP service. Pre-booking online is recommended due to high demand, especially in the high season between November and February and on public holidays. The service continues on to Chiang Rai in the far north, adding up to four hours’ travel time and costing around 100 baht more.

Other northern long-distance routes from Morchit Terminal 1 include Bangkok to Uttaradit, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Lampang and Lamphun, Phrae, Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle and Nan. Buses run to the northeastern cities of Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et, Nong Kai, Si Saket and Buriram. Morchit’s Terminal 2 serves southerly beach destinations such as Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket and Hat Yai, with all except Pattaya some 12 hours by VIP bus from Bangkok.

The new, air-conditioned complex offers comfortable seating, food courts and stalls selling snacks and drinks. Ground floor ticket offices serve the northern region, with the two upper floors taking care of the rest of the long-distance routes. The complex is easily accessible via the Skytrain to Morchit station followed by a 10-minute taxi ride.

For arrivals, there’s a wide choice of public buses heading to all districts including the downtown areas home to the majority of Bangkok hotels and guesthouses. Alternatives include motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks as well as metered taxis for those with considerable amounts of luggage.

Morchit - Bus

Morchit Bus Terminal Bangkok is the gateway to Northern Thailand and its largest city, Chiang Mai. The complex also serves several northeastern and northwestern destinations and a few routes to southern resort destinations including Phuket and Koh Samui. Located north of downtown close by Chatuchak Market, the recently-built complex is Bangkok’s largest hub for bus transportation, offering comprehensive city bus routes in addition to long distance trips.

From Morchit Bus Terminal, air-conditioned buses run to Chiang Mai around the clock, taking an average of nine hours at a cost of between 469 baht and 907 baht for the VIP service. Pre-booking online is recommended due to high demand, especially in the high season between November and February and on public holidays. The service continues on to Chiang Rai in the far north, adding up to four hours’ travel time and costing around 100 baht more.

Other northern long-distance routes from Morchit Terminal 1 include Bangkok to Uttaradit, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Lampang and Lamphun, Phrae, Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle and Nan. Buses run to the northeastern cities of Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et, Nong Kai, Si Saket and Buriram. Morchit’s Terminal 2 serves southerly beach destinations such as Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket and Hat Yai, with all except Pattaya some 12 hours by VIP bus from Bangkok.

The new, air-conditioned complex offers comfortable seating, food courts and stalls selling snacks and drinks. Ground floor ticket offices serve the northern region, with the two upper floors taking care of the rest of the long-distance routes. The complex is easily accessible via the Skytrain to Morchit station followed by a 10-minute taxi ride.

For arrivals, there’s a wide choice of public buses heading to all districts including the downtown areas home to the majority of Bangkok hotels and guesthouses. Alternatives include motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks as well as metered taxis for those with considerable amounts of luggage.

Southern Terminal - Bus

The Southern Bus Terminal Bangkok is found on Phutthamonthon Sai Road in the city’s Thonburi district on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. Although it’s between 30 minutes and an hour’s taxi trip from downtown dependent on traffic, all taxis and songthaews know its location.

Buses leave from the complex to all western and southern provincial towns and resorts, including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani and Kanchanaburi. The complex is air-conditioned, comfortable and has English language destination boards and timetables, a KFC and several bank outlets.

Public VIP buses run long-distance from the terminal to all favourite tourist destinations in the far south and west of the city, giving reliable, regulated and safe travel. Although bus companies located in Bangkok’s Khao San Road may quote lower prices, they’re not recommended, as thefts have occurred during the journey and the buses are less well maintained.

Booking online in advance is the best way forward, especially in the high season if you’re heading to southerly destinations such as Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Hat Yai, Trang, Phuket, Krabi or remote offshore islands. Travel time to Phuket, for example, is 12 hours, with buses leaving in the evening or early morning.

For arrivals, getting from the Southern Bus Terminal to Bangkok’s Old City district is easiest by metered taxi, although the local air-conditioned bus 511 runs to Khao San Road and on to Rachatewi BTS station and Pratunam district. Bus 515 runs to Victory Monument in the downtown district, and average bus fares are 17 baht. Local white minibuses leave for downtown when full, every 30 minutes or so, and charge around 30 baht.

The Southern Bus Terminal, converted from a shopping mall in 2007, offers modern facilities as well as a good number of shops, stalls, restaurants and fast-food outlets. The ticket counters are located on the first floor to the right of the main retail and refreshment area.

Rom Klao - Bus

Rom Klao is situated in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district in the east end of the city. It is just north of Suvarnabhumi Airport and less the two kilometres from the Lad Krabang airport link into the city centre. Many buses that depart the airport for the city make a stop at Rom Klao’s bus station.

The bus station in Rom Klao sits off of ICD Alley just north of Motorway 7 and there is an ATM close by as well as two 7-Eleven stores on Lat Krabang Road. Places of interest in the area include The Royal Golf and Country Club, Prasat Museum and Pattaya Pak Pet Fishing Park. Due to its proximity to Bangkok’s main air hub there are a number of places to stay, such as Queen’s Garden, Convenient Resort and Mariya Boutique Residence.

Chatuchak Bus Park - Bus

Chatuchak Bus Park sits in the Chatuchak area of Bangkok, north of the city centre and less than one kilometre from Bangkok’s Mochit bus station. A plethora of buses depart from Bangkok Mochit to destinations north of the city, while buses in and around Bangkok leave from the Chatuchak Bus Park.

Don Mueang International Airport is connected by public transport or a taxi to Chatuchak Bus Park, which is only a 10-minute drive away. The Bangkok Metro’s Chatuchak Park MRT station makes arriving in the area by metro simple, with tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis and regular taxis available to take you to the bus park.

Chatuchak Bus Park is situated on Kham Phaeng Phet 6 right under the Sirat Expressway at the eastern end of Chatuchak district. It is an open air bus station with a snack vendor who also acts as a ticket agent.

There are a number of places of interest close to Chatuchak Bus Park, such as the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market, Chatuchak Park, Queen Sirikit Park and Elephant Tower. There is also a good selection of accommodations, including the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok, Elizabeth Hotel, G9 Bangkok and Lat Phrao Hotel.

Thon Buri - train

Thonburi Rail is the main departure point for trains bound to Kanchanaburi Province, all other trains going beyond on the southern route should leave from the Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok.

Southern Thais used to occupy nearby lands along the train station's vicinity and then settle down permanently as trains coming from the South used to arrive here constantly.

The Wang Lang Market, a destination for cheap local food, is the most popular landmark to get to Thonburi Station.

Bang Khae BMT 6 - Bus

Bang Khae BMT 6 is a bus station in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district, west of the Chao Phraya River and just a stone’s throw away from the Bang Waek Canal. Over 10 local bus lines connect Bang Khae BMT 6 with the rest of the city.

Bus 79 connects Bang Khae BMT 6 with the Bangkok Sai Tai Taling Chan Southern bus terminal, with departures every 10 minutes. The nearby Bang Wa BTS station makes it easy to arrive in the area by Skytrain, and there are three bus lines that run from the station to Bang Khae BMT 6 every 5 to 10 minutes.

Bang Khae BMT 6 is on Thanon Bang Pnai, which runs between Motorway 9 and Thanon Phuttha Monthon Sai 2. There is a 7-Eleven within short walking distance or a motorbike taxi ride away, while Big C Supercentre and Future Park Bang Khae are great options in the area for shopping and dining.

Wat Bunya Pra Dit is within walking distance of Bang Khae BMT 6, while other places of interest close by include Wat Pai Liang, Samphran Crocodile Farm and Wat Wisit Bun Ya Wat. There are a few good places to stay, such as Chakrabongse Villas, Sandra Inn and Diamond Sweet Home.

Sun Bus Vibhavadi Soi 17 - Bus

Vibhavadi Soi 17, also known as 17 Vibhavadi Rangsit, is situated north of central Bangkok in the lively district of Chatuchak, best known for its namesake park and weekend market, which is the biggest weekend market in both Bangkok and the entire country. The Mochit BTS station, conveniently located next to Chatuchak Park, is among Thailand's biggest and busiest bus stations and is also the Bangkok Skytrain's northern terminus.

Bus connections to all northern Thai provinces begin at the Northern Bus Terminal.
Chatuchak also contains four Bangkok Subway (MRT) stations and a variety of hotels ranging from the five-star Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok to the unique boutique penthouse of Sasha House. Pannapat Place is a more modest three-star option on Ratchadapisek Road.

Khlong Rangsit - train

Rangsit is a suburb in the north of Bangkok along Phahonyothin Road. The distance to Don Muang Airport is about 20 km. Near the train station you will find several boat noodle shops in stationary boats floating in the canal along the road.And there is the Future Park Shopping Mall, one of the biggest shopping centers in Asia. You won't find any tourists here, but maybe some expats who live nearby. There is also Talad Thai, one оf Asia's largest fresh produce markets. This market іs quite different to other markets and it sells about 15,000 tons of produce frоm farmers frоm аll оver the country. The market іs а place to buy all kind оf food (vegetables, fruits, beef, pork, duck, chicken, fish, seafood), flowers and OTOP handcrafted products.

Bang Sue - train

Bang sue Junction is located at Thoet Damri Road, Chatuchak District.The junction has 2 station buildings with 3 railway lines: North line, Northeast line and South line. About 1.5 kilometers away from the junction is Phahonyothin Cargo Yard, the largest rail yard in Thailand.

Northern line is bound to Chiang Mai while the Northeastern is toward Ubon Ratchathani or Thanaleng. Southern line is off to Su-ngai Kolok Railway Station.

Bang sue Junction transport links also include Bangkok MRT and BMTA transit. Bang sue MRT station is the subway terminal station opposite Hua Lamphong.

Bus routes from Bang sue Junction:

50 Rama VII - Lumphini Park
52 Pak Kret - Bang sue
65 Wat Pak Naom - Sanam Luang
70 Prachaniwet 3 - Sanam Luang
97Ministry of Public Health - Buddhist Monks' Hospital

Lak Si - train

Lak Si Railway Station is located at the northern part of Bangkok City and is near the Immigration Office at Chaeng Wattana. From Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, there are over 30 trains that would do stops in Lak Si.

Bang Khae BMT - Bus

Bang Khae BMT is a Bangkok Mass Transit stop that, when completed in 2016, will be along Bangkok’s Blue Line. The area sits on the west side of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok and is accessible by local bus from numerous points throughout the city. Buses also depart from Bangkok’s Taling Chan railway station for Bang Khae BMT every 10 minutes.

The Southern bus terminal is around nine kilometres away, making it easy to arrive at Bang Khae BMT from a destination in southern Thailand. From the bus terminal local buses and taxis make the trip to the area, as do local tuk-tuks. Both Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports are just a taxi ride away, making flying another option.

The Bang Khae BMT stop will be on Thanon Phetkasem Road between Future Park Mall Bang Khae and Big C Supercentre. There are a number of ATMs and restaurants in the area as well as in the nearby shopping malls where passengers can grab a snack or a meal.

Places of interest in and around Bang Khae BMT include the Thai Boat Museum Taling Chan, Wat Bang Bon, Samphran Crocodile Farm and Wat Nimmanaradi. There are a few places to stay in the area, including Sandra Inn, Diamond Sweet Home and Venezia Resort & Hotel.

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