Bangkok is a city teeming with a multitude of accommodations. Whether you prefer upmarket hotels and resorts, the more homely feel of serviced apartments, or a guesthouse or cheap hotel, the choices are almost endless. When it comes to deciding where to stay in Bangkok aside from type of accommodation you would like, there are two important factors to consider; your budget, and your choice of activities.
Backpackers interested in seeking out their next paradise will enjoy the budget orientated Khao San Road and surrounding Banglumpoo area, where they can meet other like-minded travellers with whom they can share and gain knowledge on where best to travel.
While great for those on a budget there is currently no BTS or MRT link to Khao San Road, which makes it difficult to get to the more modern city center of Sukhumvit and the shopping districts of Siam and Pratunam. It is possible to travel from Khao San to these areas using the river canal, buses or taxis, just be prepared to cope with Bangkok traffic, and/or a little walking depending on how you chose to travel.
Siam, Chitlom (Central World) and Pratunam are generally considered the city's main inner shopping districts. Sukhumvit stretches east from Siam and is home to even more malls and street markets, endless restaurants and several nightlife spots. Silom just on the southwestern corner of Lumphini Park is also considered a tourist hotspot with many shops, bars, street stalls and a lively nightlife.
Linked to most of the city by the BTS or MRT, Sukhumvit, Siam and Silom are common places to stay for those on higher budget then the average backpacker, with Sukhumvit generally being the most popular location for those looking for exciting evenings.
More upmarket hotels are located along the river, south of the Grand Palace and north of Saphan Taksin. Part of Bangkok's large China town, this area is rather traffic prone, however river taxis and the MRT can help reduce the need for taxis or tuk tuks, but bear in mind they these public transport services do not run everywhere around this busy area. China town is also well known for it's shopping. Here you'll find lots of wholesalers, and suppliers of almost any product you can think of.
Bangkok is home to some of the best hotels in the world, 4-5 star establishments can be found in all areas of the city. The Marriot, Sheraton, Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La all have luxury hotels along the Chao Praya River with rooms boasting excellent river or city views.
Most of the upmarket inner city hotels are located around Siam, Chitlom, Pleonchit and Sukhumvit, (namely Asoke, Phrom Phong, Thong Lor and Ekamai) With these areas typically catering to travellers with money to burn, those on a tighter budget often head to the backpacker hostels and guesthouses around the Bamglumpoo and Khao San Road area.
Business travellers can find 4-5 start hotels and serviced apartments throughout the city with the most popular being located around Sathorn, Silom, Wireless Road, Chitlom, Ploentchit and all along Sukhumvit. However, no matter where you're scheduled to meet with your clients, you can guarantee there'll be a suitable hotel for you nearby.
Infamously known as a city with merciless traffic and an all-day ï¿½rush-hourï¿½ the addition of the BTS Skytrain and MRT underground, as well as the many changes to roads and junctions, have reduced the traffic in some areas. Nevertheless, the sheer number of people, growing middleclass purchasing cars, consistent building of new condosï¿½ and hotels and other renovations do have roads at a standstill in many areas during certain times of the day, and understanding when and where this happens can be crucial when it comes to planning your travels around the city. That's why determining where you're going to stay based on your choice of activities is so important.
Over the years Bangkok has developed into a modern metropolis that has managed to retain its traditional appearance in many areas of the city, whilst providing all modern conveniences for visitors. This makes the country's capital city a perfect destination for all travellers from businessmen and entrepreneurs to families and backpackers. Amongst the busy streets you'll find all kinds of businesses just waiting to cater to your needs whatever they may be.
Bangkok is a city known worldwide for its excellent cuisine, sacred temples, affordable accommodations, bustling streets, markets and a vibrant nightlife. Once called as the Venice of the east - before the city's network of canals were slowly converted into roads - the full name of Bangkok is actually longest in the world (when allowing for spaces).
Officially known as ï¿½Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasitï¿½, the name is often shortened to ï¿½Krung Thep Mahanakonï¿½, or simply ï¿½Krung Thepï¿½, when speaking or writing Thai.
Home to over 10 million people, not including the yearly influx of travellers and seasonal workers from neighboring countries, there are many things to do in Bangkok when it comes to keeping entertained.
Those looking to soak up a little culture can spend a day at one of the city's numerous sacred temples. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) at the Grand Palace, Wat Po and Wat Arun - to name a few - are all within walking distance from riverboat piers, not far from Khao San Road.
A visit to one of the city's museums or art galleries is another great way to take in some Thai history, and boat trips along the Chao Praya River and river through the old canals of Thonburi make for a perfect way to experience traditional Thai culture.
Thai massages are another must-do when in Bangkok. Traditional Thai massages have been shown to increase blood circulation, alleviate stress and reduce muscle pain. They are also known to be slightly uncomfortable so don't feel embarrassed to ask the masseuse to easy up if the pain is too much to bear. With Thai massages being so popular there are a wide range of establishments from high-class spa's to local massage palours offering hourly packages at varying prices.
Surprisingly, despite the amount of traffic, highways, skyscrapers and makeshift stalls, Bangkok is a city full of parks. Several inner city parks such as Lumphini and Chatuchak (J.J. Market), and the nearby Suan Rot Fai Park, which neighbors the famous weekend market, make for a pleasant break from the busy city streets.
Most parks rent out bicycles and peddle boats on the lakes, there are also many places selling refreshments. Thai parks are geared towards exercise, which means no picnics, drinking or smoking, instead you'll find swimming pools, tennis courts, 5 aside football pitches, basketball courts and nets for volleyball and the tradition Thai sport of Takraw.
Bangkok has some world class golf courses located around the city, and some excellent driving ranges downtown. Other popular sporting activities in and around the city include a round of paintball or BB-gunning, wake boarding, ice-skating, bowling, archery, football, snooker and pool.
For those who love to learn, many places offer massage courses, yoga, dance and cooking classes, and of course there are endless gyms providing training in the country's national sport of Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) - another must-see activity when in Thailand.
The famous Lumphini Stadium, which held most of the Muay Thai title bouts in previous years is due to move, however the Rachdanmeon Stadium near Khao San road, as well as the MBK fight night (high season only) regularly put on events with world-class Thai boxers.
Other interesting tourist attractions include the Thonburi Snake Farm, Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm, Ancient Siam (Muan Boran), Siam Water Park (Soon Siam), and Dreamworld.
Avid fishermen can enjoy a date out at one of the many lakes surround the city. Some of Bangkok's fishing parks are home to huge Mekong Catfish that can weigh as much as a human being. Reeling in one these beautiful fish is not just an exhilarating feeling, it's one you're unlikely to experience lake fishing anywhere else in the world.
Undoubtedly, Bangkok is best known for is shopping, food and nightlife. With many malls and markets all over the city, great food on almost every street, and numerous areas to party, Bangkok is a fantastic place for those who love to shop, eat and drink and or/stay out all night.
It's no secret that Bangkok has some of the most exciting and flamboyant nightlife in South East Asia. Home to everything from red-light districts and backpacker bars, to high-class hotel bars and clubs, the city really comes alive when the sun goes down.
Most travellers on a budget stick to the area around Khao San Road, where most bars, clubs and street vendors provide the necessary live music, DJs, alcohol and atmosphere to party on a shoestring.
Those on a more lenient budget often head towards the somewhat classier areas of downtown Bangkok such as Sukhumvit, where the famous red-light district of Nana Plaza, the Thai/Expat clubs and bars of Soi 11 and the up market areas of Thong Lor and Ekamai are all located.
Sports themed bars are extremely popular in Bangkok and can be found in most areas of the city. Be it British, American, Australian, Irish, there are a number of establishments all of which serve up great western food and show most live sports from football to golf.
Silom is the playground for travellers staying in the business district of Sathorn, and also attracts many tourists looking for a great night out. Just a short walk away from Lumphini Park and Sathorn, Silom is known for its Patpong red-light district and busy market, as well as Soi 2, which is popular with the gay and lesbian community.
Originally geared towards Thai partygoers, Royal City Avenue (RCA) has become an extremely popular place to party for Thai's tourists and expats. With so many clubs playing varying genres of music, and the odd international DJ event, RCA attracts thousands of visitorsï¿½ every night, with numbers soaring dramatically on Friday and Saturday.
Great food can be found all over the Bangkok. From 1-pound dishes available from street vendors, to first class restaurants serving excellent quality food at extremely affordable prices, the cuisine in the city is second to none. And that doesn't just apply to Thai food it also applies to the many other types of cuisine that are available.
Being such a melting pot of people from all over the world, Bangkok restaurants cater to all tastes, no matter what your preference. From European to Mexican, Korean to Japanese, Arab to Indian, and of course, classic Thai to Thai/Chinese dishes, there are mouthwatering dishes on offer everywhere you go.
Hotels also house great restaurants and bars, which are extremely affordable when compared to establishments of similar quality in other parts of the world. So wherever you find yourself staying in Bangkok, you can be sure that you're never too far away from a good restaurant.