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Language: Thai | Currency: Baht (฿) | Local time: ICT (UTC +7) | Avg. Flight time: 11.5 hrs
Budget travellers congregate at the now-legendary Khao San Road in Banglamphu, north of the old city, where cheap guesthouses are interspersed with street vendors, markets, restaurants and bars. Head there if you’re looking for something cheap at the last minute.
It’s also easy to arrange tours and transport from here, plus the Grand Palace monument and Wat Pho temple complex are close by. Inevitably, being in the heart of the action also means crowds and noise; Rambuttri Road, which runs parallel to the Khao San Road, is quieter.
The bohemian Phra Athit Road, next to the Chao Phraya River, has shops in colonial-style houses and a thriving music scene, as well as riverside hotels and restaurants. Banglamphu on the whole has gentrified in recent years and you’ll be able to find some stylish boutique hotels here too.
The Bangrak district includes the modern business hub of Silom, a tourist hotspot which boasts some excellent mid-range and high-end hotels and restaurants, as well as proximity to the infamous Patpong Road red-light district and night market. Transport links here are good - there’s an MRT (Metro) stop and BTS skytrain station, and express boats provide transport along the river. Close by is Lumphini Park, which offers an escape from the urban bustle.
Along the river, you’ll find the kind of hotels that feature spas, swimming pools and rooftop bars with city views, and nearby attractions include the Bangkok Folk Museum, as well as Knack Market, which has some of the best food vendors in the city.
If you want to take it up a notch, the central Siam Square area is the place to find luxury hotels and upscale guesthouses, as well as sleek shopping malls with top-of-the-range brands. A Skytrain station means easy access to the rest of the city, and attractions include Jim Thompson’s House, The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Siam Ocean World.
It’s a good idea to book online, even for the cheaper properties, as you’ll be able to take advantage of online discounts. It’s also worth asking for a special price when you check in – you’re less likely to get it in the high season (November-February), but good deals are plentiful in the low season.
Package deals, which include flights and a hotel, are often a good way to save money. Booking in advance is recommended in the high season, but outside of this time, particularly if you’re not set on a hotel or area, waiting until the last minute can result in a bargain.
Looking to visit Bangkok? Make sure to check out our Tips and Advice first.