Where to Stay

Ko Ratanakosin & Thonburi

For

Bangkok’s most famous sights at your door; river views; (relatively) fresh air; old-school Bangkok feel.

Against

Difficult to reach; few budget options; touts.

Banglamphu

For

Close to main sights; proximity to classic Bangkok hood; numerous good-value budget beds; melting-pot feel; virtually interminable dining options; one of the city’s best nightlife areas.

Against

Getting to and from the area can be troublesome; Th Khao San can be noisy; budget places can have low standards; relentless touts.

Thewet & Dusit

For

Good budget options; riverside village feel; fresh air; close to a handful of visit-worthy sights.

Against

Few midrange and upscale options; not very convenient access to rest of Bangkok; relatively few dining and drinking options; comatose at night.

Chinatown

For

Some interesting budget and midrange options; off the beaten track; easy access to worthwhile sights and some of the city’s best food; close to Bangkok’s main train station.

Against

Noisy; polluted; hectic.

Siam Square, Pratunam, Phloen Chit & Ratchathewi

For

Wide spread of accommodation alternatives; megaconvenient access to shopping; steps away from BTS (Skytrain).

Against

Touts; unpristine environment; relative lack of dining and entertainment options in immediate area; lacks character.

Riverside, Silom & Lumphini

For

Some of the city’s best upscale accommodation; river boats and river views; superconvenient access to BTS and MRT (Metro); lots of dining and nightlife options; gay-friendly.

Against

Can be noisy and polluted; budget options can be pretty dire; hyperurban feel away from the river.

Sukhumvit

For

Some of the city’s most sophisticated hotels; lots of midrange options; easy access to BTS and MRT; international dining; easy access to some of the city’s best bars; home to several reputable spas and massage parlours.

Against

Annoying street vendors and sexpat vibe; noisy; hypertouristy.

Northern Bangkok

For

Less hectic setting; good value; convenient airport access.

Against

Transport can be inconvenient; lack of drinking and entertainment options.