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Khao San Road
Wikitravel. Bangkok. 01.2008.

Bangkok (Thai: กรุงเทพฯ Krung Thep) [1] is the capital of Thailand and by far its largest city with an estimated population of over 10 million.
Bangkok is a large city, rising vertically and growing horizontally. Administratively it is split up into 50 khet (districts), but these are more often used in official business and for addresses. Visitors will find the conceptual division below more useful.
1. Sukhumvit – The long Sukhumvit Road, changing name to Ploenchit Road and Rama I Road going west, is Bangkok's modern commercial core, full of glitzy malls and hotels. The Skytrain intersection at Siam Square is the closest thing Bangkok has to a centre.
2. Silom – To the south of Sukhumvit, the area around Silom Road and Sathorn Road is Thailand's sober financial center by day, but Bangkok's primary party district by night when quarters like the infamous Patpong come alive. Suriwongse Road - The Entrance to Patpong road and the gay paradise opposite to it.
3. Rattanakosin – Between the river and Sukhumvit lies the densely packed "Old Bangkok", home to Bangkok's best-known wats. Yaowarat (Chinatown) and sights around the Chao Phraya River are also included here. Bangkok's backpacker mecca Khao San Road and the surrounding district of Banglamphu are located on the northern part of Rattanakosin.
4. Thonburi – The quieter west bank of the Chao Phraya River, with many small canals and some offbeat attractions.
5. Phahonyothin – The area around Phahonyothin Road and Viphavadi Rangsit Road is best known for the Chatuchak Weekend Market and Don Muang Airport.
6. Ratchadaphisek – The district north of Sukhumvit centered around Ratchadaphisek Road (part of which is called Asoke) and reaching from Phetchaburi Road to Lat Phrao. This area has really opened up recently as the new metro line follows Ratchadaphisek Road.
 Addresses & Navigation
Addresses in Bangkok use the Thai addressing system, which may be a little confusing to the uninitiated. Large roads such as Silom or Sukhumvit are thanon (ถนน), often abbreviated Th or glossed "Road/Avenue", while the side streets branching off from them are called soi (ซอย). Sois are numbered, with even numbers on one side and odd ones on the other. Thus, an address like "25 Soi Sukhumvit 3" means the 25th building on the 3rd soi of Sukhumvit Road. While the soi numbers on each side will always advance upward, the numbers often do not advance evenly between sides - for example, Soi 55 could be across from soi 36. Many well-known sois have an additional name, which can be used instead of the number. Soi 3 is also known as "Soi Nana", so the address above might thus also be expressed as "25 Soi Nana". The extension /x is used for new streets created between existing streets, as seen in Sukhumvit's soi pattern 7, 7/1, 7/2, 9, 11. Note that some short alleys are called trok (ตรอก) instead of soi.
To make things a little more complex, some large sois like Soi Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) and Soi Ari (Phahonyothin Soi 7) have their own sois. In these cases an address like "Soi Ari 3" means "the 3rd soi off Soi Ari", and you may even spot addresses like "68/2 Soi Ekamai 4, Sukhumvit 63 Road", meaning "2nd house beside house 68, 4th soi off Ekamai, the 63rd soi of Sukhumvit". In many sois the house numbers are not simply increasing, but may spread around.
To further bewilder the tourist who doesn't read Thai, the renderings of Thai street names in the Latin alphabet are not consistent. The road running towards the (former) airport from the Victory Monument may be spelled Phahon Yothin or Pahon Yothin or Phahonyothin or Phaholyothin depending on which street sign or map you consult. It's all the same in Thai, of course -- only the romanisation varies.
And if that's not confusing enough, most of the larger streets tend to change names altogether every few kilometers. Sukhumvit is called Sukhumvit on one side of the tollway (roughly east), but it becomes Ploenchit just before you cross Thanon Witthayu (aka Wireless) going towards the river. Keep going just a few more streets and it becomes Thanon PraRam Neung (usually said as just Rama I) after you pass Thanon Ratchadamri. But if you were to turn right onto Ratchadamri, in just a few blocks you'll find yourself on Thanon Ratchaprarop (past Petchaburi, aka New Phetburi, which is called Phitsanulok closer to the river). Got it?
But wait, there's logic to these name changes: most of them are neighborhoods. It wouldn't make sense to call the road Sukhumvit if it's no longer running through the Sukhumvit area, would it? Thus, Sukhumvit becomes Ploenchit where it runs though the Ploenchit area. It's when you're able to grasp the city in terms of its neighborhoods that it both becomes more navigable and more charming. Likewise, Pratunam and Chatuchak are much more than just markets; they're boroughs, each with its own distinct character.
Related to this last point, compass directions are not widely used by Thais to navigate in Bangkok. That's probably because they aren't very useful: the city's darwinistic layout, the changing street names, the winding river, and the lack of obvious landmarks all conspire to confuse your internal compass. Thus, asking for directions in terms of "is that west from here?" will probably earn you little more than a confused look from a local. You're better off to familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods and navigate to and from them. "How do I get to Thonglor?" will get you there faster than asking for directions to Sukhumvit Soi 55.
One exception: the Chao Phyra River is THE landmark in Bangkok, and many directional references can be made as "toward the river" or "away from the river". If you aren't TOO close, that is: since the river winds around the most popular tourist areas, river references tend to be most helpful when you're wandering farther afield than Banglamphoo or Sanam Luang or Rattana. And wander you should.
 Get in
 By plane
Bangkok now has two airports operating. Allow at least three hours to connect between them.
 Suvarnabhumi Airport
Located 30 kilometres (19 miles) to the east of Bangkok, space-age Suvarnabhumi Airport (สุวรรณภูมิ, pronounced "soo-wanna-poom", (IATA: BKK) (ICAO: VTBS), [2] started operations in September 2006 and is now Bangkok's main airport, used by all international flights as well as all Bangkok Airways (PG), Air Asia (FD), SGA Airline (5E), PBair (9Q) and some Thai Airways domestic flights. There is only one terminal building, which covers both domestic and international flights, but it's huge (by some measures the world's largest) so allow time for getting around.
Suvarnabhumi offers all facilities expected of a major international airport (transit hotel, ATMs, money exchange). Please note that there is NO ATM machine beyond immigration checkpoint. The cheapest place to eat is the Magic food court on the 1st floor, while perhaps the most comfortable and relaxing of the airport's restaurants and cafes is the Sky Lounge on the 6th floor. Here you can have your latte while sitting in plush leather sofas and enjoying a panoramic view over the runways - prices are also quite reasonable with coffee around 70 baht a cup. The observation on 7th is not much to see since the steel structure of the roof block most of the airport view. There are a few stores in the check-in area including a convenience store and a post office; however, the real shopping experience awaits travelers on the other side of immigration in the departure lounge area where the number of shops and duty free outlets leaves you wondering if you are in a mall or an airport. Beware, though, that past security in the gate waiting area there is practically nothing except steel chairs.
Limousine taxis (which charge by distance, e.g. around 800 baht to central Sukhumvit) can be reserved at the limousine hire counter on the 2nd floor (just outside Arrivals), and aggressive touts will try to entice you on board. A better option are the ordinary metered taxis available on the 2nd floor: queue up and state your destination at the desk, and you'll get a slip with your destination written in Thai on it. There is a 50 baht surcharge on the meter, meaning that trips to the city will cost 300-400 baht (plus 65 baht express way tolls) and take 40-60 minutes depending on traffic. (Beware of taxi drivers who claimed that the 50 baht surcharge is applied to each passenger as opposed to per taxi.) If there is a huge taxi queue, consider taking a free shuttle bus to the Public Transport Center, which has more taxis. Go straight to the official "Taxi Stand" and wait there. If you allow yourself to be waylaid by one of the taxi touts they might quote you more than double the fare (900 baht instead of 400 for example).
There is also a stop outside the 1st floor exit for airport express buses [3], which charge a flat 150 baht and operate hourly until midnight, covering four routes, each taking about 60 to 90 minutes:
The BMTA public bus lines are:
  • 549: Suvarnabhumi-Bangkapi
  • 550: Suvarnabhumi-Happy Land
  • 551: Suvarnabhumi-Victory Monument (BTS)
  • 552: Suvarnabhumi-On Nut (BTS)-Klong Toei
  • 552A: Suvarnabhumi - Sam Rong
  • 553: Suvarnabhumi-Samut Phrakan
  • 554: Suvarnabhumi-Don Muang Airport
  • 555: Suvarnabhumi-Rangsit (Expressway)
  • 556: Suvarnabhumi-Southern Bus Terminal (Expressway)
  • 557: merged with 558
  • 558: Suvarnabhumi-Central Rama II-Wong Wien Yai
  • 559: Suvarnabhumi-Rangsit (Outer Ring Road)
There are also privately-owned BMTA minivans to many parts of Bangkok, such as Don Muang Airport, Bang Kapi, Rangsit, Samut Prakarn, etc. They charge in flat rate 50 baht.
To take a minivan or a public bus, you must first take a free shuttle bus ride (from the outside 2nd floor) to the separate terminal (Public Transport Center). The minivans go directly to the destination, so they are faster than the public buses, which stop frequently along the way.
These services take about 1 hour to 2 hours depending on Bangkok traffic and frequency is usually every 20 mins during daytime and night time ranges from 20 mins to 1 hour depending on route. Long-distance 1st class bus services connect Suvarnabhumi directly with Chachoengsao, Hua Hin, Nong Khai, Pattaya, Rayong, and Trat.
An airport express train to the future City Air Terminal at Makkasan (connecting to MRT Phetchaburi) and onward to Phaya Thai (connecting to BTS Phaya Thai) is under construction, but is not expected to be ready before the end of 2008 at the earliest. Die-hard rail fans with lots of time to kill can take bus 517 to Hua Takhe station (15 baht), a few km from the airport, and continue on any 3rd class train to Asok or Hualamphong (7 baht).
At present, there are only a few hotels located near Suvarnabhumi Airport, though with huge construction projects planned for the area this will change over the next few years. Day room facilities for transit passengers are now available at the 'Miracle Grand Louis Tavern' on floor 4, Concourse G (Tel+66 6 317-2211, 2000 baht per 4-hour block, no reservations accepted). Cheapskate travelers looking for a free quiet place to doze undisturbed at night should head for the prayer rooms.
The Tourist Authority of Thailand and other hotel and tourist agencies have counters on the second floor of the main terminal. These agencies offer hotel reservation service. Check for special promotions and also whether the hotel offers airport pick up and drop off service - especially useful for late night arrivals and early morning departures.
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, Suvarnabhumi Airport., +66 2 131-1111 (res@novotelsuvarnabhumi.com), [4]. The only hotel in the airport itself, connected to the main airport terminal by a pedestrian bridge. (As of Dec 2007, the pedestrian bridge is still not ready for use and passengers are taken to the hotel via a free shuttle bus service which takes less than 5 mins.) 3,500+ baht.
Thong Ta Resort, On Nut, Suvarnabhumi, Lat Krabang.e-mail info@siamairportmotel.com, [5]. The resort is only 10 minutes from Suvarnabhumi Airport.Situated near a vibrant restaurant/bar parade. Rooms 800Bt+ (inclusive of American Breakfast)+
Queen's Garden Resort, 44 Soi 7, Suvarnabhumi, Lat Krabang. Fax: +66 2 172 6114, e-mail info@queensgardenresort.net,[6]. The hotel is just 5-10 minutes from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Located on the banks of a sleepy river, the Resort has views towards Lat Krabang Temple. Wireless High Speed internet, big Screen Tv, Pool Table, restaurant and bear garden. Rooms 900+ baht.
Royal Princess Srinakarin, 905 Moo 6, Srinakarin Road, Nongbon, Pravet. Tel:+66 2 728-400. Fax:721- 8432 - a 20-30 minute drive from airport. Rooms 3,500+ baht.
Sananwan Palace, 18/11 moo 11. Sukapibarn Road 5 , Bangpli Yai. Tel:+66 2 752-1658 ,(Mobile) +66 818644615. Family-owned budget accommodation with swimming pool, TV and high speed internet about 20 minutes drive from the airport. Rooms with A/C: 600 baht.
Grand Inn Come Hotel, 99 Moo 6, Kingkaew Road, Rachataeva, Bangplee, Samutprakan., +66 2 738-8191-3. about a 15-20 minute drive from the airport. Bus 553 stops here. 1,200 - 2,000 baht.
Avana Hotel, 23/1 Moo 12 Soi 14/1, Bangna-Trad Road. Tel:+66 2 763-2900. 3-star hotel about 30 minutes drive from the airport. Rooms 1,200 to 3,000 baht.
Nasa Vegas Hotel[7]. 44 Ramkhamhaeng Road. Tel :+66 2 719-9888 Fax:+66 2 719-9899 - about 15 mins drive from the new airport. Rooms from 590 + baht.
Ratchana Place[8]. 199 Moo 4, Soi Wat Sirisaothong, Bangna Trad Highway KM 26, Bangbo, Samutprakan 10540 Tel:+66 2 313-4480~9 booking@ratchanaplace.com - about 15-20 mins drive from the airport. Rooms between 350 - 700 baht.
Bansabai Hostel[9]. 8/137 Moo 3, Soi Sahakon 15, Latphrao 71, Latphrao Rd, Bangkok 10230, Thailand+66 2 932-9200 [10] - about 30-40 mins drive from the airport. Rooms rate between 600 - 800 baht.
Unico Grande Sukhumvit[11]. 27 Sukhumvit Soi1, Sukhumvit Rd, Klongtoey-Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110, Thailand+66 2 655 3993 [12] - about 30-40 mins drive from the airport. Rooms rate between 2,500 - 5,000 baht.
 Don Muang Airport
Don Muang Airport (IATA: DMK) (ICAO: VTBD)(or Don Mueang), 20 km north of downtown, was Bangkok's main airport until 2006. The airport handles Nok Air, 1-2-Go domestic flights and most Thai Airways domestic flights, but the former international terminal is now limited to charters and general aviation.
The public taxi stand is located on the sidewalk outside the arrivals area (don't be fooled by all the taxi service booths in the main hall), and is probably your best bet for getting into town — it's also your only option after 11 PM. Give your destination (English is understood) and you will receive a two-part ticket at the booth. The charge into town will be the meter + 50 baht + toll if you take the expressway (recommended, 30-70 baht), for a usual total of 200-300 baht. The small part is for your driver, the large part is for you. This ticket is for complaints and is how the system is enforced: hold on to it to help avoid arguments later. The trip into town takes 30 minutes and up depending on traffic conditions.
If the line at the taxi stand is long or you need a more spacious car, you may want to book a (so-called) limousine from the desks in the terminal. This will get you a slightly nicer car at about twice the price (500-600 baht). Ignore any touts outside and do not get into any car with white license plates, as these are not licensed to carry passengers.
Across a covered overpass from the airport is the train station. Tickets to Hualamphong station cost 5 baht at the ticket booth. While taking the train is the cheapest way to get from the airport to Bangkok, it is not for the faint-of-heart: schedules are erratic, the run-down passenger cars often have beggars roaming through them, and are relatively empty late at night.
There are also a number of public transport buses going by the airport. Just take a overpass to the real road bypassing the airport and stop the bus of your choice. For example the air-con bus 504 will take you to the Central World Center (World Trade Center-old name), from where you'll have access to the Skytrain as well as many other buses, or Lumpini Park, from where you get access to the subway, for 22 baht. Note that large baggage is not allowed.
If you're flying Thai Airways, you can do a city check-in at Lad Phrao MRT station, from where free shuttle buses leave 1:50 before each Thai flight. The same buses also run in the reverse direction from the airport.
 By bus
Bangkok's three official long haul bus terminals are:
Eastern Bus Terminal - also known as Ekamai, this relatively compact terminal is located right next to Ekamai BTS station on Sukhumvit (E7). Ekamai serves Eastern Thailand destinations, including Pattaya, Rayong, Ban Phe, Chanthaburi and Trat.
North & North Eastern Bus Terminal - also known as Moh Chit (or Mor Chit or Morchit), this is the largest, busiest, and most modern terminal. The upper floor serves the North-East (Isaan); the ground floor serves the North, as well as sharing some destinations with Ekamai (including Pattaya, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat). It's a 30-baht moto hop (or a lengthy hike across Chatuchak Park) from BTS Moh Chit/Metro Chatuchak stations (N8/18), or take the 77 bus and pay the 7-baht flat fare on board.
See the Phahonyothin District guide for more details.
Southern Bus Terminal - also known as Sai Tai Mai, this older and relatively chaotic sprawling terminal serves all points west and south from its somewhat inconvenient location on the "wrong" side of the river. The terminal has been moved to a new, even more remote location in Phutthamonthon Sai 1 — enquire locally.
See the Thonburi District guide for more details.
when arriving in Bangkok...
...late at night, the easiest way from Northern or Southern terminal to your final destination will be by metered-taxi.
...by tourist bus you may find yourself delivered to their favorite hotel or guest-house, otherwise you'll probably be dropped off in the vicinity of one of the long haul terminals, or if it's a service catering primarily for backpackers, somewhere near Khao San Road.
 By train
The three main stations in Bangkok are:
 Hualamphong Train Station
The main station and the terminus of the Bangkok Metro line. Located right in the middle of downtown Bangkok, it is a huge and surprisingly nice station, built during the reign of King Rama VI and spared bombing in world War II at the request of the Free Thai underground. The station has a good tourist office. (Only listen to the people at the Info desk - anyone walking around offering to help you 'find' a hotel or taxi is just a tout, even if they are wearing very official looking badges).
Tickets for trains leaving the same or next day can be bought on the counters under the red/orange/green screens (see photo). The Advance Booking Office is located to the right of the platforms as you walk towards them and is quite well organised. You can select your seat/berth from a plan of the train, and payments by credit card are accepted.
The taxi pick up and drop off point is to the left of the platforms as you walk towards them, and is generally chaotic at busy periods with scant regard for any queue.
The left luggage facility is at the opposite end of the concourse, on the far right as you walk away from the platforms.
WARNING: The TAT Authorized Tourism Information offices in the second floor sell you a private "VIP bus" ticket if there is no place in first and second class trains. They offer a direct trip to the destination with a VIP bus faster than the train. Although the trip starts with a VIP bus, it ends up with a "surprise" transfer to a minibus and extremely long journeys. Just refuse the offered private bus ticket and buy public bus tickets from the main bus terminals if you cannot find ticket for train.
 Bang Sue Train Station
If coming from the north or north-east, connecting to the Metro here can shave the last half-hour off your train trip. This is not a very good place to board trains though, as there is practically no information or signage in English. However, this situation will doubtless improve as more and more long-distance departures are switched to here from Hualamphong.
See Phahonyothin District for more details.
 Thonburi Train Station
Also known as Bangkok Noi, this station is located on the "wrong" side of the river in Thonburi District and is the starting point for services to Kanchanaburi (via Nakhon Pathom), River Kwai Bridge and Nam Tok.
There are two daily 3rd class trains: [13]
  • depart Thonburi 07:45, arrive Nam Tok 12:20, return 13:00, terminate Thonburi at 17:36
  • depart Nam Tok 05:25, arrive Thonburi 10:05, return 13:50, terminate Nam Tok at 18:20
Note that the weekend-only 2nd class air-con Kanchanaburi/Nam Tok "tourist" trains depart from Hualamphong. [14]
 By ship
Cruise ships visiting Bangkok arrive at Laem Chabang, about 90 minutes south-east of Bangkok and about 30 minutes north of Pattaya.
A taxi service desk is available on the wharf, but charges extortionate prices - a whopping 2600 baht to charter a taxi (4 passengers), or about 5000 baht to charter a minibus (usually 11 passenger seats), for a trip into Bangkok. Slightly lower prices can be found by walking out to the main road (about 4000 baht for a minibus), however even these rates are almost double the typical rate in the opposite direction. Better deals may be possible for round trips (even if returning the following day).
Frequent first and second class bus services directly connect Laem Chabang with Ekamai (Bangkok's Eastern Bus Terminal, on Sukhumvit); less frequent direct services run to Moh Chit (Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal). A first class air-con bus (blue and white) to either will usually take 90 minutes or less; the fare is around 100 baht. A good way to make the most of a quick visit is to board an Ekamai bus and then disembark early at the On Nut Skytrain Station on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok (the bus will always pause here provided a passenger requests it); in the opposite direction, use the Ekamai Skytrain Station and board the bus at the terminus. To get to or return from the Chatuchak Weekend Market, use the Moh Chit bus instead.
Buses en route to Pattaya (southbound) can be boarded at the traffic lights on Sukhumvit Road in Laem Chabang, are extremely frequent (at least 10 per hour), and charge less than 50 baht.
 Get around
Bangkok has the full spectrum of public transportation methods. Buses and taxis operate everywhere in the city. The Sky Train (BTS) and metro are available only in the city centre. And vans generally operate only in more out-lying areas.
The Bangkok Skytrain (BTS, pronunced bee-tee-et in Thai but also rót fai fáa or just skytrain) deserves a visit simply for the Disneyland space-ageness of it. Built in a desperate effort to ease Bangkok's insane traffic and pollution, the Skytrain covers most of downtown and is especially convenient for visiting the Siam Square area. There are two lines: the light green Sukhumvit line which travels along Sukhumvit road and then goes up Phayonyothin to northern Bangkok, where it terminates near the Chatuchak Weekend Market (N8), and the dark green Silom line, which travels from the Silom area, interchanges with the Sukhumvit line at Siam Square (C) and ends at National Stadium, right next to MBK. There isn't, unfortunately, a station near Banglampu District (aka the Khao San Road area), but the river ferry connects between Tha Banglampu and Tha Sathorn, which is under the Silom line terminus at Saphan Taksin (S6).
You must have 5 or 10 baht coins to purchase Skytrain tickets from the vending machines near the entrance, so hold on to them. Fares range from 15 to 40 baht depending upon how many zones you are travelling. Consult the map (in English) near each ticket machine. If you do not have coins, queue for change from the staff at the booth. If you are in town for several days, weigh your options and consider a rechargable stored-value card (from 100 baht, with a 30-baht refundable deposit and a 30 baht non-refundable card cost, as of Nov 2007), a "ride all you like" tourist pass (from 120 baht/day) or a multiple ride pass of 10 trips or more. They will certainly save you time, scrambling for coins, and maybe even money. Check for information with the English speaking staff.
Four stations are fully accessible to wheelchair users, plus one station, On Nut is accessible only on the arrival side. The other fully accessible stations are Asok/Sukhumvit, Siam, Chong Nonsi and Mo Chit. To acceed to concourse level in these stations, you can use the lift - press the call button and an attendant will come and get you. At On Nut stations on the departures side, the attendant will help you also to get to platform level through the escalator since the elevator can be used only to get to intercourse level. Siam Station is also accessible independently through the linked Siam Paragon department store.
Bangkok Metro (MRT, pronunced em-ar-tee in Thai but also rót tai din)finally opened in July 2004. The Blue Line connects the central Hualamphong railway station (1) to the northern Bang Sue station (18), with interchanges to the Skytrain at Silom/Sala Daeng (3/S2), Sukhumvit/Asok (7/E4) and Chatuchak/Mo Chit (15/N8). You can also transfer to north/northeast-bound SRT trains at the northern terminus Bang Sue.
Metro tickets are not interchangeable with Skytrain tickets. Rides cost from 15 to 39 baht depending on distance; pre-paid cards of up to 1000 baht are also available. For single ride fares, a round plastic token is used.
The subway stop for the Chatuchak Weekend Market is not Chatuchak Park, but one stop further at Kamphaeng Phet (16). The latter drops you right inside the market.
All metro stations are fully accessible to wheelchair users. If the elevator has been put out of service, just ask the security staff present at every station and an attendant will come and get you to help you to deal with all the process of buying tickets and get to the train platform level.
 By boat
A ride on the Chao Phraya River should be high on any tourist's agenda. The cheapest and most popular option is the Chao Phraya Express Boat, basically an aquatic bus plying up and down the river. The basic service plies from Wat Rajsingkorn (S4) all the way to Nonthaburi (N30) is now 13 baht, with stops at most of Rattanakosin's major attractions including the Grand Palace, the Temple of Dawn, etc. Board at piers with a sign showing the route and pay the ticket collector who will approach you bearing a long metal cylinder. In addition to the basic service, there are express services flagged with yellow or orange flags, which stop only at major piers and should be avoided unless you're sure where you're going. The new signposting of the piers is quite clear, with numbered piers and English route maps, and the Central station offers easy interchange to the BTS Saphan Taksin station.
In addition to the workaday express boat, there is also a Tourist Boat which stops at a different subset of piers, offers commentary in English and charges twice the price. The boats are slightly more comfortable and not a bad option for a hop or two, but don't get bullied into buying the overpriced day pass.
Canal boats also serve some of Bangkok's many canals (khlong). They're cheap and immune to Bangkok's notorious traffic jams, but mostly used by locals who use these water taxis to commute to work and school and shopping, so you get to see the 'backside' of the neighborhoods, so to speak. They're also comparatively safe -- just watch your step when boarding and disembarking (they don't stop at the pier for long) and be wary of the water as it can be quite polluted, do not let it get in your eyes. Pay the fare (8-20 baht) to the crazy helmet-wearing ticket collectors who hang onto the outside of the boat, ducking at bridges, as it barrels down the canal. One particularly useful line runs up and down Khlong Saen Saep, parallel to Petchaburi Road, and provides the easiest access from the city center to the Golden Mount. There's a boarding pier across from the WTC under the bridge where Ratchadamri crosses the khlong near Petchburi, and piers now even have (tiny) signs in English.
Finally, for trips outside the set routes, you can hire a long-tail river taxi at any major pier. These are fairly expensive and will attempt to charge as much as 500 baht/hour, but with haggling may be suitable for small groups. To circumvent the mafia-like touts who attempt to get a (large) cut for every ride, agree for the price of the shortest possible ride (half an hour etc), then negotiate directly with the captain when on board.
 By bus
Local buses, mostly operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), are cheapest but also the most challenging way of getting around, as there is a bewildering plethora of routes, usually marked only in Thai. If you can speak Thai you can call 184 Bus Route Hotline. Bus stops usually list only the bus numbers that stop there and nothing more. They are also subject to Bangkok's notorious traffic, often terribly crowded, and many are not air-conditioned. Honestly, unless you're terribly strapped for cash, or are staying in Bangkok for a while, it is not worth figuring out the buses! Take a taxi. The hierarchy of Bangkok's buses from cheapest to best can be ranked as follows:
Small green bus, 7.50 baht flat fare. Cramped, no air-con, no fan, famously suicidal drivers, not advisable for more than short hops.
Red bus, 7 baht flat fare. More spacious and fan-cooled (in theory). Unlike other buses, some of these run through the night (1.50 baht surcharge). These buses are BMTA run.
White/blue bus, 8 baht flat fare. Exactly the same as the red buses, but cost one baht more. These buses are owned by private entities operated in conjunction with BMTA.
Blue/Yellow and Cream/Blue air-con, 11 baht for the first 8 kilometers, up to 18 baht max. These buses are quite comfy. The blue/yellow striped buses are privately owned while the Blue/Cream buses are BMTA owned.
Orange air-con (Euro II), 13 baht for the first few kilometers, up to 22 baht max. These are all BMTA-run, newer, and more comfortable.
Purple Microbus, 20 baht flat fare. Skytrain feeder services used to use these, but the service has been terminated.
Buses stop only when needed, so wave them down (arm out, palm down) when you see one barreling your way. In all buses except the Microbus, pay the roaming collector after you board; on Microbuses, drop the money into a slot next to the driver as you board. In all buses, keep the ticket as there are occasional spot-checks, and press the signal buzzer (usually near the door) when you want to get off.
Two further pitfalls are that buses of the same number may run slightly different routes depending on the color, and there are also express services (mostly indicated by yellow signs) that skip some stops and may take the expressway (2 baht extra).
The best online resource for decrypting bus routes is the official BMTA homepage, which has up-to-date if slightly incomplete listings of bus routes in English but no maps. As a printed reference, the Bus Routes & Map guide (50 baht) by Bangkok Guides is another option.
Recently they have changed the rules regarding luggage on local buses within Bangkok, with the exception of airport buses you cannot take large amounts of luggage (ie. backpacks or suitcases) on the local buses.
Useful bus lines include the following:
Red Bus No. 2 can bring people from Sanam Luang (very close to Khao San Road) to Sukhumvit Road. It's a good way to get from the Khao San Road area to connections with the Skytrain or MRT. It passes Pantip Plaza(computer hardware and software center) on the way.
'Air Con Bus 511 takes people from Sukhumvit and the Democracy Monument to the Southern Bus Terminal. If you want to go to Sukhumvit from Khao San Road, be sure to take the bus WITHOUT the yellow sign in front, as this will take you to Rangsit.
Red Bus No. 15 will take you from Khao San Road to Siam Square.
 By taxi
Taxis are a quick and comfortable way to get around town, at least if the traffic is flowing your way. All taxis are now metered and air-conditioned: the hailing fee is 35 baht and most trips within Bangkok cost less than 100 baht. There are no surcharges (except from the airport), even at night; don't believe drivers who try to tell you otherwise. A red lit sign on the front window means that the taxi is available.
When the meter is switched on you will see a red '35' somewhere on the dashboard or between the driver and you. Be sure to check for this at the start of the ride, as many drivers will "forget" to start the meter in order to overcharge you at the end of your trip. Most will start the meter when asked politely to do so (meter na khrap (male) / kha (female)); if the driver refuses to use the meter after a couple of attempts, simply exit the taxi. In some cases, late at night and especially near major tourist districts like Khao San or Patpong, you will need to walk a block away to catch a meter cab. The effort can save you as much as 150 baht. This is often also the case for taxis that park all day in front of your hotel. The only two reasons that they are there: 1) To take you places where they can get their commissions (Jewelry stores, massage parlors, etc) and 2) To overcharge you by not using the meter. Your best bet is to walk to the road and catch an unoccupied metered taxi in motion (easier than it sounds, as Bangkok traffic tends to crawl the majority of the time, and one car out of four is a taxi). Be sure to either know the correct pronunciation of your destination, or have it written in Thai; taxi drivers in Bangkok are notoriously bad at reading maps. Most hotels and guesthouses will happily write out addresses in Thai for you. While most drivers will recognize the names of tourist hot spots, even if grossly mispronounced, it is often difficult to properly pronounce addresses in Thai, a tonal language. If your mobile phone works in Thailand, it is sometimes useful to phone your hotel and ask the staff to speak to your driver in Thai.
If you're pinching pennies or fussy about your means of transportation, you may wish to think twice before getting into one of the (very common) yellow-green taxis. They are owner-operated and of highly variable quality, and occasionally they have rigged meters. All other colors belong to large taxi companies, which usually enforce their standards better.
From the airport and on some routes in the city the driver will ask if he should use the Tollway. You should affirm this, it will save a lot of time. You have to pay the cost (20/40 baht) immediately. Watch how much the driver really pays, they may try to keep the change.
When getting out, try to have small bills (100 baht or less) or expect problems with change. Tips are not necessary, but are certainly welcome (especially considering that taxi fares have not risen in well over 5 years, despite rising gas prices!). Note that most local passengers will round up, or leave any coin change as tip.
 By motorbike
When traffic slows to a crawl and there are no mass-transit alternatives for your destination, by far the fastest mode of transport is a motorbike taxi (or in Thai, "motosai lapjang"). No, those guys in the pink smocks aren't biker gangs; they're motosai cabbies. They typically wear colorful fluorescent yellow-orange vests and wait for passengers at street corners and near shopping malls. Prices are negotiable; negotiate before you ride.
WARNING: Motorcycle accidents are brutally common, and many (tourists and Thai alike) consider transportation of this sort to be inherently hazardous. Motorcycle taxis in Bangkok should generally be avoided except as a last resort.
For the unfaint-of-heart, a wild motosai ride can provide a fantastic rush. Imagine weaving through rows of stopped vehicles at 50km/h with mere centimetres to spare on each side, dodging pedestrians, other motorbikes, tuk-tuks, stray dogs and the occasional elephant while the driver blithely ignores all traffic laws and defies even some laws of physics. Now, do the same ride while facing backwards on the bike and balancing a large television on your lap — then you can qualify as a local.
The overwhelming majority of motorcycle taxis do not travel long distances, but simply shuttle up and down long sois (side-streets) not serviced by other transport for a fixed 5-20 baht fare. These are marginally less dangerous, especially if you happen to travel with the flow on a one-way street.
The law requires that both driver and passenger must wear a helmet. It is the driver's responsibility to provide you with one, so if you are stopped by police, any fine is also the driver's responsibility. This is worth bearing in mind when you hire a motorbike or moped. Make sure that if there are two of you, the hirer provides two helmets not one. When riding, keep a firm grasp on the seat handle and watch out for your knees.
 By tuk-tuk
Finally, what would Bangkok be without the much-loathed and much-loved tuk-tuks? You'll know them when you hear them, and you'll hate them when you smell them — these three-wheeled contraptions blaze around Bangkok leaving a black cloud of smog in their wake. For anything more than a 5-10 minute jaunt or just the experience, they really are not worth the price — and, if you let them get away with it, the price will usually be 4 or 5 times what it should be anyway (which, for Thais, is around 30% less than the equivalent metered taxi fare). On the other hand, you can sometimes ride for free if you agree to visit touristy clothing or jewelry shops (which give the tuk-tuk driver gas coupons and commissions for bringing customers). The shops' salesmen are pushy, but you are free to leave after five to ten minutes of browsing. Visitors should beware though, sometimes one stop can turn in to three, and your tuk-tuk driver may not be interested in taking you where you need to go once he has his gas coupons. Also, with Bangkok's densly congested traffic it is sure to spend hours of your time.
In case you actually want to get somewhere, and you're an all-male party, be careful with the tuk-tuk drivers, they will usually just ignore your destination and start driving you to some bordello ("beautiful girls"). Insist continually and forcefully on going only to your destination.
There's also a less-heralded, less-colourful and less-touristy version of the tuk-tuk that usually serves the back sois in residential neighborhoods. They usually have four wheels instead of three and resemble a tiny truck / ute / lorry, and they run on petrol instead of LP. The maids and locals tend to use them to return home from market with loads of groceries, or for quick trips if they're available. Negotiate before you get in, but don't expect to go much beyond the edge of that particular neighborhood.
Most of Bangkok's sights are concentrated in the "Old City" on Rattanakosin Island. Out of Bangkok's many temples, the following usually make the top 3:
Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
The Grand Palace, featuring Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Wat Pho, home of the world's largest reclining Buddha and a famed massage school
Bangkok's many markets are an experience in themselves, see Buy for some suggestions.
Go cycling! It may sound crazy, but it certainly is not. Away from the main roads there is a fast system of small streets and alleys. Cyclists are treated as pedestrians, so you can use your bicycle to explore parks, temple complexes, markets and the more quiet residential areas of eastern Bangkok. In more crowded places you can cycle on the sidewalk. Exploring the town by bicycle has all the advantages of going by foot combined with a much greater action radius and a cooling breeze when cycling.
For those who don't want to cycle alone dutch expat Co van Kessel organizes highly recommended all inclusive half day cycling tours for 950 bath. Co van Kessel Bangkok tours, Office: 02 - 322 9481 or: 02 - 752 6818 - 9 Mr. Co's mobile: 0 87 - 824 1931 Miss Nong's mobile: 0 87 - 054 9878 (covankessel@yahoo.com), [15]. 950 Bath.
Bangkok is an extremely popular place for all sorts of pampering. The options available range from massages and spa treatments to haircuts and manicures and even cosmetic surgery, all at prices far lower than in the West.
All self-respecting hotels in Bangkok will have a spa operating on premises offering at least traditional massage services. These tend to charge a premium but also offer some the best treatments in town. Particularly well-regarded spas include Deverana [16] at the Dusit Thani and the eponymous operations at Banyan Tree [17] and the legendary Oriental [18] — the last of these being probably the most expensive in town, offering (among other things) a 6-hour Oriental Romance package for two costing a whopping US$535.
Independent spas offer much the same experience but are a little more competitive due to the lack of a captive customer base. Figure on 1000 baht and up per hour for most treatments.
The ubiquitous little massage shops found on every street corner in town offer the best value for money but the smallest range of services, with offerings usually limited to massage only. It is fairly easy to distinguish legitimate massage shops from more dubious places: the real deal will charge 250-400 baht for a typical two-hour massage and will often have a row of beefy farmers' daughters in white coats working on customers' feet in public view, while the other kind has wispy things in evening dresses and too much makeup yelling "hello handsome" at every passing male.
Bangkok's hospitals offer generally high quality services at a fraction of the cost of a Western hospital. Probably the best-regarded (and most expensive) is Bumrungrad [19], which (for example) charges 60,000 baht for an all-inclusive breast implant package. Bangkok is also well known as a center for sexual reassignment surgery for people wishing to change their physical sex, although this falls out of the scope of a casual vacation.
A cruise down the Chao Praya River is a nice way to spend a day here in Bangkok. A tour called Five Temples, Five Era Chao Praya River Cruise [20] offer by Truly Yours Tour [21] will take you to explore the history of Thai temples around the river each last Sunday of the Month. The tour mainly visite 5 temples and explain the historical significant by a lecturer.
The International Buddhist Meditation Centre. Wat Mahathat, 3 Maharat Road, Phraborommaharatchawang, tel. 2623-6325, [24]. Meditation classes in English are held at 7-10AM, 1-4PM and 6-8PM everyday in section 5 of the temple. Attendance is free of charge, but donations are welcome. Getting there: Take the river taxi to Chang Pier (between Silpakorn University and the Thammasat University). From there the center is a short walk.
The World Fellowship of Buddhists. 2nd Floor, No.616 Benjasiri Park, Soi Medhinivet (off Soi Sukhumvit 24), tel:2661-1284(-90), [25]. Offers meditation classes in English from 2 to 5:30PM on the first Sunday of every month. The office also provides information on places to learn and practice meditation in Thailand. Classes and information are free.
Bangkok not only has plenty of Thai restaurants, but a wide-selection of world-class international cuisine too. Prices are generally high by Thai standards, but cheap by international standards; a good meal is unlikely to cost more than 300 baht, although there are a few restaurants (primarily in hotels) where you can easily spend 10 times this. Of course, for those on a budget street stalls abound with noodle & meals at around 30 baht.
Phad Thai and curry shops everywhere
Tom Yum Goong, don't miss to try one of the most famous soup
Street vendors selling satay with hot sauce (for 5-10 baht a piece)
Bugs - yes, insects. They are deep fried, nutritious and quite tasty with the soy sauce that is sprayed on them. Types available: scorpions, water beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, bamboo larvae, mealworms, and some more seasonal specialties. Note: break off the legs from grasshoppers and crickets or they will get stuck in your throat.
Chinatown has a range of street stalls and cheap restaurants selling food (try 1kg of huge barbecued prawns or tom yam with prawns for 300 baht) to the discerning local population
All the Thai restaurant chains covered in the main Thailand article
Restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world on Sukhumvit Road and Khao San Road
Bangkok's nightlife is notorious, although recent social order campaigns have put a bit of a clamp on things: in particular, nearly all restaurants, bars and clubs are now forced to close before 1 AM, a few are allowed to stay open till 2 AM. (Informal sidewalk bars do stay open all night, particularly in lower Sukhumvit.) You must carry your passport for ID checks and police occasionally raid bars, subjecting all customers to drug tests.
One of Bangkok's main party districts is Silom, home not only to perhaps the world's most famous go-go bar strip Patpong, but plenty of more legitimate establishments catering to all tastes. For a drink with a view, the open-air rooftop bar/restaurants of Vertigo and Sirocco are particularly impressive. Similar bars to the ones at Patpong can be found in the lower Sukhumvit area, at Nana Entertainment Plaza (soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (soi 23), while a large number of more trendy and more expensive bars and nightclubs can be found in the higher sois as well, eg. Thong Lor (soi 55), Bed Supperclub, Q Bar, or Met bar. Hippie hangout Khao San Road is also slowly gentrifying and there are even some Thais venturing into what were once mere backpacker bars, but most Thais still prefer to congregate around Ratchadaphisek.
 Go-go and beer bars
Behaving while misbehavin'
Some simple rules of etiquette to follow in a go-go bar:
A drink in your hand is required at all times. Most places charge around 100 baht for most drinks.
Lady drinks cost a little more and earn you the privilege of chatting with the lady/gent of your choice for a while.
Taking a dancer out of his/her place of employment before closing time will cost you a bar fine of around 500 baht. This is the bar's share, the rest is up to you two.
No photos inside. If you're lucky, you'll merely have your camera confiscated, but you also stand a fair chance of getting beaten up for your trouble.
Look, but don't touch (unless invited to). Getting too frisky will get you kicked out.
Bring along your passport. Police raids are not uncommon and you're off to the brig for the night if you can't produce one on demand.
The go-go bar is an institution of Bangkok's "naughty nightlife". In a typical go-go, several dozen dancers in bikinis (or less) crowd the stage, shuffling back and forth to loud music and trying to catch the eye of punters in the audience. Some (but not all) also put on shows where girls perform on stage, but these are generally tamer than you'd expect — nudity, for example, is technically forbidden. In a beer bar, there are no stages and the girls are wearing street clothes.
If this sounds like a thinly veiled veneer for prostitution, it is. Though some point to the large number of American GIs during the Vietnam War as the point of origin of the Thai sex trade, others have claimed that Thai lax attitudes towards sexuality have deeper roots in Thai history. Both Go-go and Beer Bars are squarely aimed at the farang and it's fairly safe to assume that most if not all Thais in them are on the take. That said, it's perfectly OK to check out these shows without actually partaking, and there are more and more curious couples and even the occasional tour group attending. The main areas are around Patpong, Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy.
See also the Stay safe|Prostitution section.
 Gay nightlife
Thais are generally accepting of homosexuality and Bangkok has a very active gay nightlife scene, concentrated in Silom Sois 2 & 4 and a short strip of gay go-gos bars off nearby Th Surawong. Most of these bars, however, are aimed at gay men and the lesbian scene is much more low-key. However, there are two full-time lesbian bars are Zeta and Shela and one open Saturday-night only is Lesla. The most popular gay bars are Balcony and Telephone bar at Silom soi 4 and for the disco club is DJ Station and its late-night neighbour G.O.D.which are located at Silom soi 2 (packed every night beginning around 11 p.m.). Bring along your passport for entrance age checking (they do not allow people under 20 years old). Closing time is 2-3 a.m.
In a league of their own are Bangkok's numerous transsexuals (kathoey), both pre- and post-operative, popularly known as ladyboys. Some work in the famed transvestite cabarets and there are some dedicated kathoey bars as well, but most do their best to blend in and many have the art of deception down pat. Telltale signs to look out for include tall height, large hands and an Adam's apple.
Note that some Thai regulars in the gay nightlife scene skirt the fine line between partying and prostitution, and the Western visitor, being considered richer, is expected to pay any food and drink expenses and perhaps provide some "taxi money" in the morning. It's usually wise to ask a boy you pick up in a bar or club if he is after money, as it's not uncommon for them to start demanding money after sex.
Bangkok is full of shopping malls and street markets of all types, especially in the Sukhumvit area; see the section for details. Prices can be cheap by Western standards, especially for locally produced items such as clothes, although bargaining is expected and required. Dump a teenager in Siam Center, Siam Square, Siam Paragon, MBK or The Emporium with a few thousand baht and they'll stay occupied for the rest of the week! Most malls tend to have excellent food courts.
Weekend Market: A major attraction on weekends is the gigantic Chatuchak Weekend Market (also a.k.a. JJ Market), in northern Bangkok but easily accessible by Skytrain and Metro. Take the MRT/Subway and get off Kamphaeng Phet station which opens right into the market. Takes around an hour on the bus from Khao San Road area. If you're staying in Pratunam, metered fare should not go beyond 100 baht. Has 20,000 stalls selling everything from counterfeit goods, animals, art, furniture and probably anything else you can think of. Definitely worth a visit for the sheer size of it. There are food stalls everywhere. Forego the cutesy cafes for the humbler stalls. Flavored iced and fried wontons will provide fuel for the whole day. Closes at around 6PM.
Night Market: Hugely popular with tourists & locals alike is the open air Suan Lum Night Bazaar. This is a large and colourful market offering bargains on everything from clothes, bags, crockery to organic foods. A smaller, cooler and cleaner version of Chatuchak - same wares sold for 20% more. There is a large food court with a live band every night. Beer seems to be the official beverage of this place - lots of beer gardens here. Covered in more detail in the Silom section. Note that as of March of 2007 there is a current worry that the Night Bazaar may be evicted from its premises and replaced by real estate development. The current management of the thriving bazaar, as well as the vendors in its stalls, are resisting eviction, but the owners of the land -- namely the property management company owned by Thailand's king -- is planning the eviction, which may happen as soon as April 2007.
Patpong Night Market: Between the strip clubs and bars along Patpong Road is the Patpong night market. This market is designed for tourists and is not frequented by locals. These markets are home to a variety of counterfeit merchandise including watches, clothes, bags, and cosmetics as well as Thai tourist products such as model tuk-tuks and kick-boxing shorts. The prices at this market are exorbitant and anyone brave enough to buy anything here should bargain extensively. Most items available at Patpong Night Market are available for less than half the price at other locations in Bangkok.
Computer Mall: Pantip Plaza is a multi level computer mall selling everything from branded laptops to cheap VOIP phones and pirated DVDs. A must for any computer & electronics buff.
Bangkok's pharmacies (drugstores) tend to offer a very wide range of (wholly legal and legitimate) medicines and herbal remedies at a fraction of Western prices, including many drugs that would require a doctor's prescription in other countries. Thai pharmacists tend to be exceptionally helpful, and most speak excellent English. There are small, independent pharmacists on almost every corner, and you'll find bigger (and more expensive) chains on the major streets and in shopping centers. Boots is probably the most ubiquitous chain; they're also a reliable source for traveler's toiletries.
Books: B2S on the the 3rd floor of the Central World Plaza is Bangkok's largest bookstore, holding around 30,000 titles (many in English) and a large selection of magazines. Japanese chain Kinokuniya [26] also has a large outlet in Siam Paragon (Level 3 South) and one in Emporium, both with a very large selection of books in English (the Paragon branch also has a limited selection of books in German and French). The Asia Books [27] chain has several outlets all over Bangkok (see their web site); they have a good selection of books on Asia as well as books on architecture, interior design and decoration.
Clothing: Bangkok is well-known for it's plethora of tailors and high-quality fabric available locally. As a rule of thumb, avoid ANY tailor that you're taken to since many are frequent bribers of tuktuk drivers and others. Generally Sukhumvit-area tailors and Suriwongse tailors are western-oriented. For women, the lingerie salons in the department stores are must-sees. Wacoal is locally produced and are half the price in Bangkok.
Individual listings can be found in Bangkok's district articles
Bangkok has a vast range of accommodation, including some of the best hotels in the world — and some of the worst dives too. Broadly speaking, Khao San Road is backpacker city; the riverside by Rattanakosin is home to The Oriental and The Peninsula, often ranked among the best in the world (and priced to match); and Sukhumvit Road has hotels (and hostels) for all budgets.
When choosing your digs, pay careful attention to Skytrain and Metro access; a well-placed station will make your stay in Bangkok much more comfortable.
 Stay safe
Given its size and poverty level Bangkok is surprisingly safe, with violent crimes like mugging and robbery unusual. However, Bangkok does have more than its fair share of touting and scams, and quite a few individuals in the tourist business think nothing of overcharging visitors.
Make a photocopy of your passport and the page with your visa stamp. Always keep your passport or the photocopy with you (the law requires that you carry your actual passport at all times, however in practice a photocopy will usually suffice). Many night clubs insist on a passport (and ONLY a passport) as proof of age. It is not required that you leave your passport with a hotel when you check in.
Carrying your own padlock is a good idea, as budget rooms sometimes use them instead of (or as well as) normal door locks; carry a spare key someplace safe, like your money belt, otherwise considerable expense as well as inconvenience may result should you lose the original. Also consider some type of cable to lock your bag to something too big to fit through the door or window.
Some common scams and guidelines for avoiding them:
Beware of all offers of gems and (supposedly) precious stones. These sophisticated and highly professional "special discount" scams, often involving promises of high resale value back home at a supposedly huge profit, sometimes even employ foreigners to act as satisfied customers.
Beware of tuk-tuk drivers offering all-day tours for prices as low as 10 baht. You may indeed be taken on a full-day tour, but you will only end up visiting one gem and souvenir shop after another. The driver gets a commission if you buy something and gas coupons even if you don't.
Insist on the meter for taxis, and agree on a price in advance for tuk-tuks. If they refuse, or quote silly prices, just walk out and get a different one, they're rarely in short supply.
Be highly skeptical of anyone telling you that your intended destination is currently closed (including skytrain and subway stations), or offering discount admissions. Temples are almost always free (the main exceptions are Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho) and open just about every day of the year. Anyone telling you otherwise is most likely out to scam you.
There is no such thing as a Lucky Buddha or Lucky Buddha day! Touts are out to trick you into getting a tuk-tuk to visit several souvenir shops or a gem scam shop.
At popular tourist sites, if an English-speaking Thai approaches you out of the blue and strikes up a conversation, be wary: they are almost certainly selling something. If they ask you if it's your first time in Thailand, it's probably best to answer 'no' and walk away.
In the go-go bar zones, beware of touts who try to drag you into the upstairs bars with offers of ping-pong shows and 100-baht beer. The beer may well be 100 baht, but the "show" you'll be treated to will be 1000 baht or more. Rule of thumb is, if you can't see inside from street level, the establishment is best avoided.
Beware of private bus companies offering direct trips from Bangkok to other cities with VIP buses. There are a lot of scams performed by some private bus companies. The so-called direct VIP trips may end up changing three or four uncomfortable minibuses to the destination, the 10-11 hours trip may be 17-18 hours. Try to book public BKS buses from the main bus terminals.
 Get out
If you want to get out of the city for a while, there are plenty of day trip options from Bangkok.
  • Ayutthaya - ancient capital and its many ruins, 1.5 hours away by bus or train
  • Bang Pa-In - magnificent royal palace makes for a pleasant day trip
  • Ko Samet - the closest Thai beach island; direct bus (from Ekamai) + ferry (from Ban Phe) takes about 4 hours
  • Pattaya - seaside resort and naughty nightlife 2-2.5 hours away by bus, an hour or so more by train
Bangkok / Sukhumvit
Sukhumvit Road is Bangkok's main shopping drag.
Sukhumvit is, in many ways, the center of modern Bangkok and not only one of the longest roads in Thailand, but one of the longest roads in the world. Towards the west end you have Ploenchit Road and Rama I Road, but to the east it runs most of the way to the Cambodian border!
The lowered-numbered sois are densely packed with shopping centers and hotels, including the gigantic Siam Paragon and the dense warren of Siam Square opposite it, while the upper sois are a popular residential area for resident expats.
The fleshpots of Nana (in Soi 4 Nana Tai) and Soi Cowboy (between Sois 21 & 23) are also just off Sukhumvit, as are plenty of more (and less) salubrious bars. Also, the sidewalks of Sukhumvit itself become a huge market carrying everything from luggage to fake Rolex watches, and then after midnight they turn into sidewalk cafes and bars.
Sukhumvit offers some of the best dining in Bangkok, From 5 star dining to street carts, The variety of choices and taste are almost overwheming.
 Get in
With the opening of the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Sukhumvit has become a far more central location. However, taking a taxi via Rama IX Road maybe be a faster way of getting into the area, rather than fighting your way through the traffic on Sukhumvit itself.
From other parts of Bangkok the area is easily accessible on the BTS Skytrain's Sukhumvit line, which runs from the National Stadium through the Silom line interchange at Siam Square up to On Nut on Soi 71, and the subway's Sukhumvit Station interchanges with the Skytrain at Asoke.
From the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport you can take the AE3 Airport Bus (150 baht) that runs up Bangna-Trad and along Sukhumvit all the way down Ploenchit to Central World Plaza (formerly World Trade Center) then loops back around to Nana and then back out to the Airport, or a number 552 bus to On Nut BTS Station. There are many stops and depending on traffic can take 1 to 3 hours to get to Ploenchit.
The canal boats running on the Saen Saeb Canal, initially parallel to Sukhumvit but diverging northward as it goes east, provides a cheap alternative means of escaping the traffic jams, particularly if heading west towards Wat Saket (the Golden Mount) and the rest of the Rattanakosin area.
Note that the sois on the north and south sides of Sukhumvit don't line up; for example, Soi 33 is opposite Soi 24.
Siam Square (Siam BTS Station) would like to be the Times Square of Bangkok, and it does a pretty good job. Despite the name this is in fact a warren of small sois filled with tiny shops and restaurants, mostly catering to upper class Thais, shopping-spree Malaysians, and working ex-pats (as opposed to your usual lay-about ex-pats). If you're not up for a trip to the Gap or a pink martini, it's still worth a visit just to see Bangkok-of-the-Future. The four movie theaters in the area are a good night out. You get a few hours in a plush theater house - complete with air-con and assigned seats (170/190 baht). Hollywood and Asian blockbusters are featured nightly, all with the mandatory standing ovation to the king.
Jim Thompson's House [1]. Soi Kasemsan 2 (near National Stadium BTS Station). Full of silk and mystery as well as a good dose of Thai history. The infamous OSS/CIA operative and father of the modern Thai silk industry had this house assembled from six traditional Thai-style houses. The tour costs 100 baht a head, but it's the only way to see the complex. Open 09:00-17:00 daily, get there early to beat the heat.
Erawan Shrine is at the intersection of Ploenchit and Ratchaprarop. Built to appease the spirits after a series of construction accidents occurred when the nearby Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel was being built, it's a small but photogenic and perennially packed shrine dedicated to Brahma (Phra Phrom) and named after his elephant, teak models of which are a popular donation. During the day you can see traditional Thai dancing.
Massage joints abound around Sukhumvit. Some of the better ones include:
BODY Tune, Sukhumvit Soi 24 (10 mins walk from Phrom Pong BTS Station), [2]. Well-respected small chain offering an excellent traditional Thai massage for 350 baht/hour.
BODY Tune, 56 Yada Building, Silom Road (next to Sala Daeng BTS Station), [3]. Well-respected small chain offering an excellent traditional Thai massage for 350 baht/hour.
Center Point Massage, Between Sukhukvit Soi 29 and 31, [4]. Worth seeking out - they do nice, reasonably priced Thai, herbal, oil and foot massage, as well as aromatherapy.
Center Point Massage, 2nd floor, 266/3 Siam Square Soi 3 (across from Siam Paragon), [5]. Worth seeking out - they do nice, reasonably priced Thai, herbal, oil and foot massage, as well as aromatherapy.
Praiphana, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 7 and 9, +66-2-392-6518. 10:00-23:00 daily. Offers traditional Thai massage, oil massage and aromatherapy, nail care. No funny stuff or happy endings here. 15 minute neck and shoulder massage just 50 baht.
I.Sawan Residential Spa & Club, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Hotel, 494 Rajdamri Road,, +66 2 254 1234 (reservation.ghbangkok@hyattintl.com), [6].
Sukhumvit is the place to shop in Bangkok.
Central World Plaza, corner of Rama I and Ratchaprarop (Chidlom BTS Station) [7]. Formerly the World Trade Center, this reopened in 2006 after a massive expansion and renovation, and is now the only mall in Bangkok that can give the Paragon a run for the money in both swank and size. Ice skating rink and a multiplex on the top floor, and contains large Isetan and Zen department stores.
Emporium Shopping Center , Sukhumvit Soi 24 (Phrom Phong BTS Station) is the top competitor to Gaysorn Plaza, with lower floors dedicated to brands like Louis Vuitton and Rolex, but (unlike Gaysorn) it has more affordably priced goods on the upper levels. Emporium also has a popular food court and a good selection of restaurants on the 5th floor. Go to the cinema on the top floor and you will find an amazing private library centered around design. You can get a free day pass. Spend the day reading amazing books, or just using the internet. Bring your passport.
Gaysorn Plaza, corner of Phloen Chit Road and Ratchadamri Road (Chidlom BTS Station) [8] positions itself as Bangkok's premier luxury shopping mall: this is where you can get your fill of Armani, Gucci and Tiffany. The top floors have a good selection of antiques and Thai handicrafts, of high quality but fairly high prices too.
Mahboonkrong, or just MBK (National Stadium BTS Station) [9] is a vast and always packed mall full of tiny stalls (2500 of them, to be exact) selling, well, everything. There's a heavy emphasis on clothing, especially the cheap and trendy teen type, but the floor devoted to electronics is Bangkok's best place to buy a mobile phone. Gold, furniture and Thai food are also well represented, and a section of the 6th floor has been dedicated to handicrafts and souvenirs. The top floor has movie theatres and restaurants, and there's a large Tokyu department store bolted on the north side facing the BTS station. It's just across the street from Siam Square and connecting walkway through the perennially crowded Bonanza Center offers more of the same.
Champ (4th floor - near central escalator) is known for its excellent dried fruits and Chinese-style snacks like pork floss. Prices start under 100 baht.
Narayana Phand, 127 Ratchadamri Road, between Gaysorn Plaza and Big C. A Thai handicraft center run by the government, offering a wide array of traditional crafts. Prices are fairly high and not negotiable, but clearly marked. A good place to see what's on offer and find out baseline prices before hitting the markets. Open daily 10:00-21:00.
Pantip Plaza, 604/3 Phetchaburi Road. A six-floor shopping mall devoted to computer gear, and famous for its pirated media (the bootleg trade is much more low-key than it used to be, but software and DVDs are still widely available). Opens at 10:00. Closes at 20:00.
Siam Center (Siam BTS Station) [10] is one of the older malls in these parts, and has a good range of eating options.
Siam Discovery Center (National Stadium BTS Station) [11] is a newer, more upmarket addition to Siam Center.
Loft [12] (on the 3rd floor) is a large and quirky Japanese home decoration store, with among many other things, an array of bizarre plush toys on offer. Worth a browse.
Siam Paragon (Siam BTS Station) [13]. Incredibly massive shopping mall right at the heart of Bangkok, anchored by the Paragon department store and also featuring the Siam Ocean World aquarium, the largest in South-East Asia. The fourth floor has a very good (if pricy) selection of modern Thai arts and crafts, as well as a large Kinokuniya bookstore. Great eating options in the basement, including a gourmet supermarket, two food courts and a canal-lined strip of fancy restaurants.
 Department stores
Central Chidlom (Chit Lom BTS Station) [14]. Upmarket department store, with good selections of pricy watches, cosmetics and clothes. Numerous eating options too.
Robinson's Department Store, Sukhumvit Soi 19.
Playground!, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 18, [15]. So hip it hurts, this cool black three-level cube calls itself an "inspiration store" and has artsy clothes, records, books, furniture, restaurants and (of course) a Starbucks. Note that it's a fair hike (15-20 min) from Thong Lo BTS Station, so consider a cab or the red bus (6 baht) during the day or the free electric Red Limo in the evening.
Pratunam Wholesale Garment District. (corner of Phetchaburi and Ratchadamri). An amazing place to shop for clothes. Although it is geared towards exporters, anyone can shop there. Everything is cheap but cheaper still if you buy in bulk. Finding it is tricky, it is more a section of alleys all selling clothes than a real market area. Start at the North-West corner of Phetchaburi Road and Ratchadamri Road. Then walk west on Phetchaburi, you will see some clothing stores just go inside and start wandering, instead of exiting the way you came in, exit to the left and you should be in one of the alleys. You can also start at the Baiyoke Sky Hotel and wander south and east. The stores start closing around 17:00. The shiny new Pratunam center on the East side of Ratchadamri Road is mostly unoccupied.
Street market on Sukhumvit, between Sois 1 and 20, offers many of the same items as the Patpong night market (although usually at somewhat better prices). Haggling is generally expected. Many tailor shops can be found here. The most trusted one to head to is probably Crown Tailors inside of sukhumvit soi 8.
Foodland supermarket, Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station, opposite Amari Boulevard) has everything you'd expect to find in a supermarket at reasonable prices. Open 24 hours a day. You can also find a Foodland on Sukhumvit Soi 16, close to Asoke BTS Station.
Fuji Supermarket, Sukhumvit Sois 33 & 39, is a Japanese supermarket specialising in imported foods and snacks that cannot be found in other supermarkets. Also has a small baker, Sushi restaurant, photo shop, and Takoyaki stand.
There is a huge selection of places to eat in and around Sukhumvit and its side sois, although prices tend to be on the high side by Thai standards. With practically every cuisine in the world represented, this is the place to break your phad thai diet and sample some of the best Japanese, Lebanese, or Indian food you will ever eat.
 Budget eateries
Took Lae Dee, inside the Foodland Supermarket, Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station) is a Bangkok institution: imagine a long bar counter, only with chefs and food instead of bartenders and drinks, and a colorful cast of characters thanks to Nana Plaza across the street. The name literally means Cheap and Good and indeed basic fried rice starts at 40 baht, but the cheap Western dishes, many less than 100 baht, are what makes this place popular. The American breakfast (two eggs, ham, bacon or sausage, juice, toast, coffee) in particular is a steal at 39 baht between 06:00-09:00, or 55 baht at any other time.
Hong Kong Noodle, Soi 10 Siam Square. Serves up cheap and tasty wonton noodles (30 baht), a selection of dim sum (20-30 baht) and more Cantonese favorites in modern if utilitarian surroundings complete with air con, table service, etc. Excellent value. Open 10:00-22:00.
Soi 38. Under Thong Lo BTS Station, opposite Sukhumvit Soi 55. Not a restaurant in itself, but you'll get the best street food in Bangkok. Just sit at a table and order whatever you like from the numerous foodstalls (they'll figure out the bill for you). You can find the most delicious mango & sticky rice (khao niow ma muang) in town.
Between Soi 1 and Soi 3 A set of street food stalls with the best one furthest from the street. Good things to order include "Crispy fish in Chili Sauce", Tom Yum Soup and any of their Thai salads (such as mixed seafood salad). Also any Chinese-style fried vegetables is also good.
 Food courts
If you want cheap food and air-conditioning, head into the upper-floor food court of most any department store. Most food courts use some variation of a coupon system; unused coupons are always refunded. Some of the better ones include:
Big C, Ratchadamri, next to Narayana Phand, 5th floor. New, bright, airy and very cheap with mostly Thai dishes as low as 20 baht. Payment with a stored-value card.
MBK - spacious fifth floor "Fifth Avenue" food court was recently refurbished, has an assortment of Western, Asian, halal, and vegetarian dishes from 50 baht (electronic card system, pay as you leave); sixth floor food court is cheap (less than 50 baht per serving) and popular but noisy, mostly Thai food (pay by coupon).
FoodLoft, 7F Central Chidlom (connected to Chidlom BTS Station) [16]. Large and popular, a wide selection of food (Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Vietnamese) but fairly expensive with most dishes closer to 100 baht. You receive a 1000 baht token on entry and pay for what you've used on exiting.
Garden Kitchen, 1F Central Chidlom. Hidden behind the TOPS Supermarket in the same building as the FoodLoft, offers Thai fare (and English menus!) at much cheaper prices (20-30 baht).
Emporium, 5F. Comparatively small and hidden behind the other restaurants, but cheap and often packed - at peak hours it's difficult to get a seat if you're alone. Pay by coupon, but the prices have been increasing over the past year.
 Thai restaurants
Once Upon A Time, 32 Petchaburi Soi 17, tel. 02-252-8629. In a dubious-looking alley opposite Pantip Plaza, but worth hunting down despite the unlikely location. The restaurant is in an old Thai house with a garden, filled with photos of classical Thai film stars, and serves very good Thai food. Check out the special rooms upstairs on your way to the bathroom. Mains 100-200 baht.
Lan Som Tam Nua, also known as Som Tam Paradise, Siam Square Soi 4. If Thai food isn't spicy enough or you have yet to sample som tam (raw papaya salad), check out this trendy yet very friendly and very Thai restaurant specializing in northern Isaan food. For the full-on Isaan experience, order raw mango salad (ตำมะม่วง tam ma-muang), spicy pork salad (ลาบหมู laap muu ), grilled chicken (ไก่ทอด kai thot) and sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียว khao nio) - which will cost less than 150 baht per head. No English menu, but the staff are glad to help. Warning: This is real Isaan food and thus very spicy!
Baan Khanitha, at 36/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (Asoke BTS Station). Well-known if mildly touristy restaurant in an old Thai house, the primary concession to Western tastes being the lack of chili. On the expensive side with most mains (esp. seafood) in the 200-400 baht range, but the food is generally excellent and the presentation spot-on. Best known for their pomelo salad (ยำส้มโอ yam som-o) and red curry with duck (แกงแดงเป็ด kaeng daeng pet).
Cabbages and Condoms, 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (between Nana & Asoke BTS Stations). Run by Thailand's Population and Community Development Association, the odd name referring to the founder's belief that condoms should be as cheap as veggies; and no prizes for guessing what you'll get after dinner instead of an after-dinner mint. The food is competent but toned down for the foreign palate, expect to pay around 300 baht for a full meal.
Lemongrass, 5 Sukhumvit Soi 24. A very good if slightly expat-oriented Thai restaurant. Pomelo salad and tom yam kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง) are both excellent.
Food Centre Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station). Simple, well visited restaurant serving Thai and western food. Thai dishes are reasonably original, with little concession to the western taste. Rapid service. Main dishes around 100 baht.
Ruen Mallika, 189 Sukhumvit Soi 22. A very good in an "antique" Thai house with a leafy outdoor section. The menu is a huge picture book which should help in ordering. One thing to watch out is that it is actually NOT on Soi 22, it is in a little street off 22, take a right at the 7/11 when you are heading from Sukhumvit towards Rama IV and it is about 200-300m on your right. The staff is very friendly and wear traditional Thai outfits to complete the ambience.
 Fusion restaurants
For Thai food with a twist, the hip districts of Siam Square (See earlier) and the H1 complex on Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) are the best places to go hunting.
Bed Supperclub, 26 Soi 11 Sukhumvit, tel. 2651 3537, [17]. One of Bangkok's trendiest bar/club/restaurants with sparsely minimalistic yet jaw-dropping decor. Visiting on weekends is recommended, as you'll be treated to a 4-course surprise meal and a weekly-changing floor show. Reservations are essential (by telephone or online), as only a single serving is served nightly at 21:00; be sure to request a bed and arrive at least 30 minutes early. Dietary restrictions can be catered for if informed in advance. But the bill for all this is steep: the 4-course meal will set you back 1000 baht plus drinks at around 200 baht a pop.
Greyhound Cafe, Emporium 2F (Phrom Phong BTS Station) and also Central Chidlom 2F (Chid Lom BTS Station). An extremely modern restaurant of concrete and brushed steel, offering a fusionesque menu of food ranging from authentic Thai to Italian pasta to Elvis burgers. Mains usually 100 baht+, although lunch sets are quite cheap.
Holy Pizza, Soi 7 Siam Square, tel. 2654 6373. Siam Square at its best: hip, irreverent and innovative, with Thai pop art on the walls and thin-crust Italian pizza married to ingredients that would make the Pope blanch. Try the fairly conservative Vatican's Choice (mozzarella, Parma ham, rocket leaves; 240 baht), or get more experimental with chicken larb pizza.
 Italian restaurants
Bangkok has a surprisingly large number of Italian restaurants, and the best are both very good and affordably priced (at least by Western standards).
Gianni, 34/1 Soi Tonson, off Ploenchit. One of Bangkok's best and most authentic Italian places. Formal but romantic atmosphere with shared couches and such, you'll want to dress up a little. Try the lunch sets at 270/320 baht, as dinners are considerably more expensive (figure on 1000 baht per head).
La Buca, Soi 1 Sukhumvit. This little Italian restaurant is possibly the most authentic in Bangkok. The Italian owner changes the Menu weekly, and a good selection of wine is available. Romantic, but on the expensive side, ranging 400-800 baht per person, without wine.
L'Opera, 53/1 Soi 39, Sukhumvit Road, +66-2-258-5606 (contact@lopera-bangkok.com, fax: +66-2-258-5599), [18]. 11.30AM-2.30PM, 5PM-23PM. Established 1984, this is the oldest genuine Italian restaurant in Bangkok, and most likely also in Thailand. Though long established as THE Italian place to eat amongst the Thai stars, politicians and local business elite, the atmosphere is relaxed and caters as much to the tourists and middle class. The food prepared by the Italian chef is top class and they stock a wine selection to match it.
No. 43, At Cape House, Langsuan. A lovely Italian bistro that serves an a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. With quiet white wood floors, black and gold walls, and an illuminated open bar, the items are pleasantly affordable considering the restaurants elegant ambiance, and range from 120-220 baht for a main course dish. Quiet, reserved and gentle on the senses, this reataurant also offers great Thai food on request.
 Japanese restaurants
Bangkok's Little Japan is located near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and across the street at Soi 24, with Phrom Phong BTS Station straddling the two. There is also a smaller concentration along Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55), notably the Nihonmura ("Japan Village") in Thong Lo Soi 13. (The other major outpost of Nippon is Soi Thaniya in Silom.)
Ichiban Ramen, Soi 24 Sukhumvit. An authentically Japanese greasy-spoon noodle joint specializing in ramen soup. A large bowl starts at 80 baht.
Grande Teppanyaki and Grande Ramen. Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55 - on the left, a short walk from Thong Lo BTS Station). Two small Japanese restaurants facing each other, popular with Thais and Japanese alike. Sub-100 baht Lunch menus particularly good value, but the beef curry with real steak (130 baht) is a deal at any time of the day.
Fuji. This Japanese restaurant chain can be found in Emporium, Siam Center, Central World Plaze, and Siam Paragon. A meal for two costs about 500-600 baht.
 Korean restaurants
While Korean restaurants can be found scattered throughout town, a particularly heavy concentration lurks in Korea Town, the informal name of Sukhumvit Soi 12's Sukhumvit Plaza (a short walk from Asoke BTS Station). These are extremely authentic though and you may have a little trouble ordering if not familiar with Korean food.
Shilla. 4/10-16 Sukhumvit Soi 22, tel. 26634296. A Korean barbeque place aimed for Koreans, with self-service bulgogi grilled at your table and a large menu featuring all the Korean favorites.
 Middle Eastern restaurants
Soi 3, a short walk from Nana BTS Station, is known as Soi Arab for the heavy concentration of Middle Eastern businesses in the area; in some spots you will see more signs in Arabic than in Thai! Thanks to a demanding clientele and heavy competition, the food here is some of the best this side of Lebanon.
Al Ferdoss, 1F Schiller's Inn, 77/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1. It may have the ambience of a motel lobby (which it pretty much is), but the food here is amazing. Dips and salads (hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, etc) 80 baht a pop, kebabs 130 baht and up, and best of all is the excellent oven-fresh naan. Air-con indoors, but move outside for mint tea and some puffs of the shisha (water pipe).
Beirut Restaurant, Ploenchit Center B1F, Soi 2 Sukhumvit. In an unlikely location next to a supermarket in an otherwise nearly desolate shopping mall, Beirut gets negative points for ambience but serves up very good Middle Eastern fare. Basic shwarma in a pita less than 100 baht, set meals 220 baht and up.
 Vietnamese restaurants
Le Dalat, Sukhumvit Soi 23. Two locations about a block apart and across the street from each other.
 Other restaurants
Bei Otto, Sukhumvit Soi 20 [19]. Well-known German restaurant.
Bourbon Street, 29/4-6 Sukhumvit Soi 22 +66 2-259-0328, [20]. Surprisingly authentic Cajun food. Premium prices charged for dinner but the 2/3-course lunches at 230/290 baht are very good value. Second branch on Soi Tonson.
Check Inn 99, Sukhumvit. This place is straight out of a James Bond movie - dark and seedy with a midget doorman.
Charlie Brown's, off Sukhumvit Soi 11. Excellent Mexican food, maybe the best in Bangkok. Native English is available here, but you have to find the place first. Just down Soi 11, turn left at the first tailor shop, go past Cheap Charlies bar and around the corner and you will see it. 300-500 baht.
Great American Rib Company, 32 Sukhumvit Soi 36 +66 2-661-3801. Great southern style ribs and Mexican food. Best ribs in town and at a moderate price.
Larry's Dive Restaurant, Bar & Grill, Sukjumvit Soi 22 +66 2-663-4563. North American Style Gourmet Burgers, Mexican Food, Steaks and Barbeque Pork Ribs. All Day Breakfast.
Rang Mahal, 26F Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 +66 2-261-7100. Bangkok's best Indian restaurant, offering world-class Mughal (North Indian) food in surroundings fit for a maharaja. Fairly expensive (well over 500 baht per head), but the all-you-can-eat Sunday champagne brunch buffet at 499 baht is a steal. This 26th floor restaurant also offers great views of Bangkok, call ahead for reservations and request a window view.
Senor Pico's, Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18. Mexican restaurant.
Ronnys New York Pizza, Sukhumvit Soi 4, tel. +66-2-255-2626. Self-proclaimed as the first New York-style pizza place in Bangkok (thin crust, like in Europe, contrary to the pan pizza of the rest of America). Bring your laptop for free wi-fi.
Crepes & Co., Sukhumvit Soi 12, further down the street from Cabbages & Condoms. You can take the BTS, get off Asok station and walk a little. A French-Mediterranean crepes place. Average of 250 per crepe, both sweet and savory.
The Sukhumvit area contains more watering holes than can easily be counted, and touts are not as big of a problem here as in Patpong. However, the scene is oriented towards tourists and wealthy high-society Thais, for more of a local ambience (and local prices) head a bit north to Ratchadaphisek instead.
 Wine bars
With a growing interest in foreign as well as local wines, there is a growing number of Wine Bars in Bangkok and many of these in the Sukhumvit area. Most of these are trendy establishments with selections of exclusive French, Italian, Spanish and other international wines.
Opera Riserva Wineteque, 53/3 Soi 39, Sukhumvit Road, +662-2585601 (contact@operariserva.com, fax: +662-258-5599), [21]. 5.30PM-12PM.
Opera Riserva is located in conjunction with L'Opera Italian Restaurant, fairly deep down Sukhumvit Soi 39, and can be a bit difficult to find for the first time visitor, however those who do are rewarded with a large selection of wine, ranging from the affordable to the very exclusive of mainly Italian and French wines, but also from other countries. The Opera Riserva wine bar is in two levels with a dozen or so tables and a large bar on ground floor, and on the second floor a more relaxed setting with several groups leather sofas, and some private rooms - one with a separate entrance for those who prefer to come and go unnoticed. Clientèle is equal part local and foreign, and local stars are often spotted here.
 Beer gardens
In wintertime (recursively defined in Thailand as 'beer season'), very popular beer gardens pop up in front of Central World Plaza, serving up cold beer, hot food and loud Thai pop.
Beergarden, Sukhumvit Soi 7, is a nice place to relax from the trouble with moderate Western music and German and other beer including wheat beer (Franziskaner). You can eat European food at the tables or just have a drink at the bar.
Cheap Charlie's, Soi 11, is an outdoor beer bar that looks like it grew out of the side of the building. Pull up a stool anywhere on the Soi and enjoy a cold one.
Coliseum Brew Arena, between Soi 40 & 38, (near Thong Lo BTS Station) is a large micro brewery with full stage show (costume changes, katoeys and midgets). Mostly Thai clientele, but the most flamboyant of all the brew pubs. (Unfortunately, now closed.)
The Londoner, Soi 33 [22] is a popular expat hang out, sports bar and occasional live music in an English pub setting. Buy one, get one free on Wednesday.
 Clubs and bars
Thong Lo (Soi 55) and Ekamai (Soi 63) are full of trendy bars and night clubs. Mostly catering to the Thai and expat crowd.
Witch's Tavern Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Between Soi 8 & Soi 10 - Bangkok's original English Pub. Live music every night. Free drinks for ladies Wednesday 17:00-21:00. At least 5 English/Irish brews on tap.
Escudo Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - just past Soi 13
Booze Thong Lo Soi 10 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - near Ekkamai
Jet Thong Lo Soi 10 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - next to Booze
Gigabyte Thong Lo Soi 10 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - next to Jet
RAZBar Thong Lo 50m on the right (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - New Very Cool Club
Ana Garden Thonglor Soi 3 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - Lovely garden restaurant and cool and cozy club hidden at the rear.
Escobar, Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) - just past Soi 5
DuDe, RCA (Royal City Avenue), [23] open from 1am till very late just opposite to Route66
Remix Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - just past Soi 18 in The Playground
Santika Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) - just past Soi 9 - Bangkok's hip hop club. Open until 02:00. No cover charge.
WeZa Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 56) Just past Soi 21
Narcissus Club, 112 Sukhumvit Soi 23, narcissusbangkok@hotmail.com[24]. A dance club with far too many disco balls. Paul Oakenfold's venue of choice.
Q Bar, 34 Sukhumvit Soi 11, [25] is a hip if rather un-Thai bar often likened to a New York cocktail lounge, renowned for its massive drinks list and always packed dance floor. Cover charge. Filled with middle-aged business men and expensive freelancers.
 Go-go bars
Soi Cowboy (off Soi 21 Asoke) and Nana Entertainment Plaza (Soi 4) are packed full of go-go bars much like those in Patpong. Soi 33 is packed with hostess bars, which are more upscale than the Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza bars and do not feature go-go dancing. While the places all operate with more or less the same concept, the following two have been around for a while and are unlikely to rip you off.
Rainbow 4, Nana Entertainment Plaza 2F, Soi 4. Squeezes two stages into a small space, and is always packed with girls and punters. Beer 125 baht.
Suzie Wong, Soi Cowboy. Small and unprepossessing at first sight, the only hint of a Chinese theme are the cheongsams of the waitresses, but this gogo and its sister operation Sheba's across the street are famed for putting on some of the best shows in Bangkok. Beer 130 baht.
Accommodation in almost all price ranges can be found within this area.
Not far from Siam Square proper is Soi Kasemsan 1. About ten minutes walk from Siam BTS Station, or just at the foot of the National Stadium BTS Station, directly across from the stadium itself, Soi Kasemsan 1 is very convenient and quiet. Jim Thompson House is on the sidestreet one block further down Rama I Road. There are several hotels, mainly down the left side of the street as you walk from Rama I.
A-One, Soi Kasemsan 1 (on the right). A-One also offers wi-fi access for anyone toting their laptop - 24 hours of access at 100 baht for guests, 150 baht for walk-ins. The rooms hover around 600-700 baht, and are functional, if less than inspiring.
Reno Hotel, 40 Soi Kasemsan 1, t: (662) 215-0026-7, 612-3096-7, f: (662) 215-3430 renohotel@clickta.com - breakfast is included at this clean, remodeled hotel. There is a nice pool in the nothing-fancy patio area. The rooms on the front are dark and a bit noisy. Rooms by the back or pool are very pleasant. The friendly staff provide laundry, checked luggage, and a travel desk. 780-1100 baht (980 baht will get you a nice air-con double with TV and balcony).
Muangphol Mansion, 931/9 Soi Kasemsan 1, t: (662) 219-4445, f: (662) 216-8053 mpmbkk@loxinfo.co.th faces onto Rama I, but enter from Soi Kasemsan 1. Internet and a 24 hour restaurant on the ground floor.
Patumwan House, Soi Kasemsan 1 (the high-rise to your left as you reach the bend in the road), t: (662) 612-3580-99, f: (662) 216-0180 patumwan_house@hotmail.com - this is mainly a residential apartment building with some studios or one-bedrooms for rent. There is a security card entry and elevator. Definitely not a backpacker place. 1000-1200 baht for a studio with air-con, TV, and full-size fridge. (300 baht weekly discount and larger rooms/suites available).
Wendy House, Soi Kasemsan 1. t: (662)-214-1149, (662)-214-1150. A bit cheaper, this hotel is very popular and seems to fill up quickly. International phones and phone cards and Internet are available in the lobby. The PCs are configured for English, Swedish, and Japanese.
White Lodge, 36/8 Soi Kasemsan 1, t: (662) 216-8867, 215-3041.
A few cheapie hotels can be found elsewhere along Sukhumvit.
Atlanta Hotel, 78 Sukhumvit Soi 2 (Tel. 02-2521650, 02-252-6069) [26] A dream from 1930s Los Angeles that appeared in Bangkok in the 1950s, The Atlanta never quite loses the quality of a mirage, but the beds are solid enough. The rooms aren't in great condition, it's a long walk up to the third and fourth floors, and the cleaning staff have sticky fingers, but every time you walk into the grand lobby or take a dip in the overgrown jungle pool (24 hours) out back, you'll be glad you're there. (And if you've spent any time on Sukhumvit, you'll appreciate the "NO SEX TOURISTS" sign out front.) Rooms with a/c from 550 baht; amenities include two computers with internet (and free wifi if you've brought your own), a helpful travel desk, decent restaurant and plenty of room for left-luggage.
Bangkok City Inn, 43/5 Rajdamri Road [27]. A comfortable 2 star hotel, has air-con, 24 hour reception, cable tv, etc. Located in the back streets near the Central World Plaza. 900-1350 baht.
Big John's, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 9 +66 (0)870128720 bigjohn@bigjohnsworld.com[28] is an Australian run budget hostel. Restaurant specialities are "home-made" Aussie pies, pasties, sausages, burgers, pasta, pizza, etc; bar has satellite sports. Free Internet for guests, free Wi-Fi for all. Roof-top hammocks from 80 baht, air-con dorm beds from 240 baht, private fan rooms from 490 baht.
Royal Nana, 21/4 Sukhumvit Soi 4, (02)656-7577-9. Standard double room with A/C runs 660 baht per night. Turn into a small alley off Soi 4, across from 7-11. The rooms are quiet, clean, pleasantly decorated, and serviced daily. Decent bathroom with hot water, refrigerator, in-room safe, & tv. Wood and tile floors. A good budget option, centrally located near Nana station, especially if you are not bothered by nearby hotspots for sex tourism, and staying in a hotel that does also offer an hourly rate.
Soi 1 Guesthouse, 220/7 Sukhumvit Soi 1 +66 2-655-0604 soi1guesthouse@hotmail.com[29] is a budget hostel with Thai/Western restaurant, air-con rooms and bar, pool table, Internet (1 baht/min), free wi-fi, clean, no curfew. Beds 300 baht Sun-Thu, 350 baht Fri-Sat.
YHA Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Soi 38, is very clean, has beautiful chill out areas and friendly staff. Mixed dorm 250 baht, girls/boys only 300 baht, single 600 baht, double or twin 800 baht, ensuite double 850 baht. All with air-con 18:00-08:00.
There are many good quality but cheaper places on Sukhumvit. It is possible to book on a weekly basis and get a large discount at many places.
Ever Rich Inn (sometimes spelt Everich Inn), 113 Sukhumvit (between Soi 5 and Soi 7 across the road from the Landmark Hotel) Phone: +66 2253 4250. A nice, small, quiet and clean hotel only metres from the Nana BTS Station escalator. The best and largest rooms are at either end of the building (either facing Sukhumvit or facing north) as these have windows. Rooms with window are about 1500 baht, rooms without window are 200 baht cheaper.
Grace Hotel, 12 Soi Sukhumvit 3 (Nana), tel. 2254-9021. Located in Soi Arab, excellent Middle Eastern and Indian food can be found nearby.
Majestic Suites, 110-110/1 Sukhumvit (corner with Soi 4) bob@majesticsuites.com[30] from 1250-1950 baht/night. This hotel is directly around the corner from Nana Entertainment Plaza and one of the very nearest to Nana BTS Station. Hotel is modern and facilities and service are first rate and a bargain, but larger people may find the "single studio" 1250 baht rooms are small. There is ample space for 100 baht more in the "single superior" rooms. The hotel rooms are very well maintained and have in-room safes. Not to be confused with the newer/pricier (beginning at 2990 baht) Majestic Grande nearby on Soi 2.
Royal Asia Lodge, 91 Sukhumvit Soi 8, [31] 1170 baht/night. About 800m from Sukhumvit, so a little quieter and cheaper than others, however there is a complimentary tuk-tuk service that runs to Sukhumvit 24 hours a day.
The Davis, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 24 [32]. Run by massage parlour magnate-cum-politician Chuwit Kamolsivit, this is one of the best deals in Bangkok: a new fully equipped luxury boutique hotel at midrange prices, as low as 1400 baht/night for a month's stay (although shorter stays will set you back more). Each room is furnished differently yet tastefully. The primary negative is the location deep down Soi 24, quite a hike (15-20 min) from Sukhumvit itself.
Unico Grande Sukhumvit, 27 Sukhumvit Soi 1 [33].[34] The newest boutique hotel under Unico Grande Hotels & Residences [35], good location and valued for money in Bangkok: the Hotel closed back to Bumrungd International Hospital walkable to popular area for Tourism "Nana". Room is combine between European and Contemporary with new furniture and facilities. From 2,000 baht.
Sukhumvit is packed with Internet cafes offering access at rates as low as 1 baht/minute, but the following stand out from the crowd.
TNET, Ploenchit Road (Chid Lom BTS Station). Squeaky-new clean and airy Internet cafe offering exceptionally fast broadband Internet access for 40 baht/hour, 70 baht for 2 hours.
True Urban Park, Siam Paragon 3F (Siam BTS Station), tel. +66-2-610-8888. Built by Internet-mobile-cable conglomerate True at a cost of US$1 million, this is not just an Internet cafe, but also a flower shop and bookstore, complete with iPod listening stations with sonic bubbles hanging over your head and a live DJ. Try the Iced Cafe Mocha. Connection on the slow side.
True Thonglor, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 10. Also built by Internet-mobile-cable conglomerate True this is no joke Internet cafe either.
Bangkok / Silom
The area between the roads of Silom and Sathorn is the closest Bangkok gets to Wall Street, with glistening skyscrapers all boasting the names of financial institutions. After nightfall the character of the place changes considerably though: the small sois between Silom and Surawong come alive with people out for a good time, including the infamous short little alley of Patpong.
Tourist sights are rather rare on the ground in Silom.
Catch a Thai kickboxing (Muay Thai) match at Lumphini Stadium (Rama IV Road; Subway Lumphini). Matches start at 18.30 on Tuesday and Friday and 16.30 and 20.30 on Saturday, seats are 1500 baht for 2nd class and 2000 baht for 1st class (there is said to be a 3rd class too, but it was not available when I visited; someone should confirm this). Take note that this are foreigner prices.
The Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre Company has performances each night from 19.30-20.45 in their theatre located in the midst of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar (Subway Lumphini). Admission is 300 baht for a regular seat and a little more for a V.I.P. seat, but there is not much difference between the two, and you can get a regular seat in the front if you buy your ticket early. The show is in Thai with translations into English, and there is a segment where the puppets interact with audience members that is popular with children.
The gay bars and discos of Silom soi 2 and Silom soi 4
The shopping around Silom is a little lacklustre compared to Sukhumvit.
The Patpong night market features all the usual Asian knock-offs and assorted tourist goods. Prices are considerably inflated compared to most any other market and shopping here isn't really recommended, as it will take you half an hour just to bargain down that 500 baht T-shirt to the 50 baht it would cost you elsewhere.
The new Suan Lum Night Bazaar (Subway Lumphini) is a less chaotic option offering much the same fare and then some, including a lot of artsy pieces that might actually look good back home. The quality of goods and displays are generally higher than Chatuchak Weekend Market, but so are the prices. However, the stalls are modern, thoroughfares are wider, and there are many good dining options here (see Eat). A money changer and ATM is located right in the middle of the market area, but it closes two hours earlier than the rest of the market does. Try to find the stall of the guy who sculpts life-sized Aliens (and more easily portable items) out of scrap metal. The bazaar is open nightly until midnight.
Klong Toey Market, Klong Toey (just south of Queen Sirikit Convention Center MRT). A huge and surprisingly centrally located definitely off the tourist trail: the stalls sell goods for Thais, at Thai prices. Open 24 hours, but best experienced in the early hours of the evening.
Silom Village. Silom 21/1. A Touristy theme market, but still a good place to look for handbags and furniture. Be mindful that many items are fakes.
Jim Thompson. 9 Surawong Road (walk through Soi Thaniya from BTS Sala Daeng), tel. 2632-8100. The flagship store of the famous Thai silk brand, offering well-designed pieces of high quality at equally high prices. Spread on four floors, unlike the small hotel shops this store offers the full range of Thompson's products, including lengths of raw silk.
Silom Complex (Silom Rd, connected to BTS Sala Daeng) is Silom's only mall of any significance. A bit quiet, but the restaurants and TOPS supermarket in the basement aren't bad. Central (department store) is at the rear of the complex and is accessible at every level of the complex. The top floor of Silom Complex has a large electrical goods retailer and a well-stocked office supplies retailer.
Across the street from Silom Complex, Robinson Silom (corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds) is one of two department stores of significance in the area. (The other is Central, adjacent to Silom Complex)
Cafes, noodle shops, and fancy restaurants line the streets around Silom. For authentic Japanese food at reasonable prices, pop into one of the many eateries on Soi Thaniya.
Food Fusion. 4F Robinson Silom (corner of Silom and Rama IV Rds). A modern food court with a twist, with stalls offering Thai, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Vietnamese food. On entry you receive a barcoded baton used to record your orders, and you pay the sum on exit. Prices are moderate at 50-100 baht for mains. Open daily from 10.30 AM to 10 PM.
Suan Lum Night Bazaar. The stadium-sized beer garden here also offers reasonably priced Thai eats (most dishes 30-50B) and free concerts by Thai cover bands. If there is an official drink of Suan Lum, it's beer: the place is full of beer vendors (Erdinger, Paulaner, et al.) offering a wide selection of imported and local beers.
Nooddi. Borth side of Silom Rd (near BTS Sala Daeng). A trendy chain of noodle eateries, offering a variety of styles (Thai, Chinese, Japanese) in air-conditioned surroundings for around B60 a bowl. Try the iced tea; the "glass" is big enough for two!
Silom Village Trade Center. 286 Silom Rd. The last traditional Thai village on Silom Road. Silom Village is comprised of 15 teak houses as well as 3 buildings that were constructed in 1908. The compound has been converted to a restaurant and Thai handicraft shops. A great place to buy souvenirs. Recently an affordable hotel has also been constructed on the premises. The restaurant offers Thai as well as fresh seafood. Moreover, in the evenings you can catch an authentic performance of various forms of traditional Thai dance.
Takoemon, (one soi down from Thaniya towards Rama IV). Specializes in amazingly good takoyaki (Japanese-style octopus dough balls), especially when given that they cost 30B per box of 6. Ramen and udon noodles in the 30-60B range also available.
Ichimonji (一文字). 9/34 Soi Thaniya. Buried in the depths of the soi, this is a typical Japanese-style pub and eatery. Set meals in the 150-250B range are decent value, English menu available.
Cafe India. 460/8 Surawongse Road (near Patpong). Has been serving up amazing Indian food since at least the war years. Many other old GI bars and restaurants in and around Patpong are still in business and worth visiting. Beware of some of the wraith-like vets who never made it home however. Some of these can be very disturbing to encounter.
The Duke of Wellington. Silom Road, near Convent Road. For the truly surreal, try this authentic English style pub. The beers and food are a little pricey by Thai standards, but the place at least has free Wi-Fi.
There's more to Silom's nightlife than just Patpong, but can a visitor say they've been to Bangkok without at least a quick peek into the 'Pong?
 Soi Patpong
You might want to take a deep breath and a few shots before heading into the insanity of Patpong, which in fact consists only of two small sois (Patpong 1 and Patpong 2) a short walk from BTS Sala Daeng station, deserted by day but jam-packed and overflowing in all directions by night. The throngs of middle age tourists shopping for sarongs and chopsticks just makes the sex shows going on in every open door that much more surreal.
Prepare to be harassed by touts armed with laminated 'menus' of acts you can order up. If you follow the touts, you might end up spending a ton of money on drinks to watch sad looking girls perform unhygienic acts with various garden-party accessories (lawn darts, ping pongs, etc etc) in one of the upstairs bars.
If you instead try one of the bars on the lower level, you can safely watch girls dancing on stage, but will occasionally be asked by one of the girls if you could buy her a drink. She will get upwards of 50% of the drink price as a bonus and will join you at your table for some conversation in exchange. As a rule of thumb, only trust bars that already have a fair number of customers; a drink should not cost more than 100 baht or so.
King's Castle III. Patpong 1 (left side). The place to go gawp at kathoeys (ladyboys) strutting their stuff — they are good friend and stunning girl , you will have your new experiece there , when you can not find honestly girl ,therefore they can be your good sincere!!!! Prepare to tolerate a few invasions of personal space, but it's all in good fun. Drinks B100, no surprises on the bill.
Lucifer. Patpong 1 (left side, above Radio City). A rarity in Patpong, a "real" nightclub without girls in bikinis. Decorated to look like Hell, most customers are partygoers here to listen to the club's brand of hard techno. Cover charge B150 on weekends, including one drink. Check out the Heat nights on Wednesday when leather-clad dancers whip it up. Open until (at least) 2 AM.
Note: All the go-go bars in Patpong close by 1 AM sharp!
 Silom Soi 2 and 4
Sois 2 and 4 are the center of gay nightlife in Bangkok, although these days Soi 4 packs in a mixed crowd with plenty of bars that aren't gay by any stretch of the imagination. On weekends Soi 4 is cordoned off and valid ID is (theoretically) required to enter.
DJ Station, at the end of Silom Soi 2 (just beside Sala Daeng BTS). The most famous gay nightclub in Bangkok and busy almost every night, starting with a reasonable Ladyboy show at 11.30pm. Admission is between 100-200 baht which includes one or two drinks. Opening hours vary but usually closes around 03.30am.
GOD Club. Short for Guyz on Display. Usually open until 5 AM.
Home. Silom Soi 4. Home is another famed hip-hop bar spread over three floors, yet somewhat small. For a first time visit or once-in-a-while visitor, this place is a good find. However, if you go there too often, you may find their repertoire of songs somewhat repetitive. Cocktails are not remarkably special and prices are about average for the area. People who come here are typically in their 20's. Comfy seats downstairs as well as on the third floor. Or take a seat outside, where tables make a good spot to check out the cuties walking past
Speed. 80 Silom Soi 4. Put Speed on the top of your list if hip-hop is your scene; this is where you come to witness young Thais in baggy clothes getting down with 50 Cent and his ilk. Several floors but the ground floor is where the action is.
Tapas. 114/17 Silom Soi 4. On your left immediately as you enter the soi, this is more of a groovy club than a Spanish snack joint, with two stylishly decorated floors and a people-watching terrace. Entrance B100 (no drink), open 8 PM to 2 AM daily.
 Soi Thaniya
Soi Thaniya is Patpong for the Japanese; you might be excused for thinking you've ended up in Shinjuku when you see the plethora of signs in Japanese and kimono-clad girls beckoning you in. Most bars and clubs are off-limits to Westerners, but some of the restaurants aren't bad for a serve of Japanese food and some beer or sake to wash it down.
Note that fairly strictly applied dress codes apply to all of the following, so no flip-flops, shorts or sleeveless shirts.
The Dome. 63F State Tower, 1055/111 Silom Road, tel. 2624-9576, [1]. The world's tallest rooftop bar/restaurant, a few meters higher up than Vertigo — but due to its slightly off-center location the views are arguably not quite as stunning. This is in fact a complex of a number of expensive restaurants, including the Mediterranean-flavored Sirocco, but the cheapest option for just a drink is the fully outdoor Sky Bar (200B+/drink), complete with a live jazz band most nights.
Hu'u. 1F Ascott Sathorn, 187 South Sathorn Rd (BTS Chong Nonsi; cross pedestrian bridge and turn right). The latest branch of the superhip bar-restaurant from Bali, offers Bangkok's tallest bottle rack and a 30-page menu of bizarrely named but well made cocktails. (Also check out the bathrooms!) Expensive at over 200B for most drinks.
Vertigo. Atop Banyan Tree Hotel, South Sathorn Rd, [2]. This aptly-named named bar and restaurant is actually located outside on the roof, giving you an absolutely staggering views of Bangkok at night. Drinks at the bar are fairly expensive (150B and up), but it's definitely worth the experience. Dinner at the restaurant, on the other hand, is not worth it — a course of pretentious European food will set you back around 4000B/head.
There are a number of hotels in the Silom area, although the cheaper ones tend to be the kind that rents rooms by the hour.
Montien Hotel, 54 Surawongse Rd, [3]. Built at the same time as the Dusit... and looks like it. Some rooms offer a clear view (and muffled noise) of Patpong, immediately opposite, a fact which seems to account for much of the clientele. Rooms somewhat overpriced at US$60 and up.
Silom Village Inn, 286 Silom Road. [4] Located in the Silom Village Trade Center. Convenient location for tourist on a budget.
Bossotel Inn, 55/8-14 Soi Charoenkrung 42/1. [5] Located close to Silom Road and the River it is only a short walk to the BTS Station Taksin and the Express Ferry. Rather quiet deadend street (ends at the Shangri-la Hotel). Nice clean rooms with A/C, Fridge, part. Bathtub etc. Pool and Spa, prices include breakfast.
Unico Grande Sathorn, 59 Silom Soi 3(Pipat2), Silom Rd., Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. [6] Located between Silom Road and Sathorn it is only a short walk to the BTS Station Chong Nonsi and 2 station to the river or Shopping Mall. 5 minute walk to Patpong and Silom Soi2-4, Nice clean rooms with Serviced Apartment style A/C, Fridge, part. Bathtub etc. Pool and Spa, prices include breakfast.
Bangkok / Rattanakosin
Rattanakosin Island is the core of historical Bangkok.
Rattanakosin is where King Rama I built his new capital in 1782. The seat of power to this day, this is where most of Bangkok's "must see" sights can be found. The district borders the Chao Phraya River on the west, but land reclamation has long since joined the eastern bank to the mainland. The focal point of the area is the wide open field of the Royal Ground (Sanam Luang), the site of many ceremonies and festivals associated with the royalty.
There is an excellent Government tourist information office near the river under Pinklao Bridge.
 Get in
 By train
There are no Skytrain or subway stations in the area yet, although several extensions are planned.
 By boat
The best way to access most of the sights in Rattanakosin is to take the Chao Phraya River Express, which run from the BTS Saphan Taksin station up and down the river. The most important pier is Tha Tien, from where you can walk to Wat Pho or the Grand Palace, or take a 2-baht shuttle ferry across the river to Wat Arun. Alternatively, you can take the Saen Saep canal boat to its western terminus near the Golden Mount (Wat Saket), from where the big temples are a brisk stroll or short tuk-tuk hop away.
 On foot
The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are a 20 minute walk from Khao San Road, but a confusing and hot one if you aren't familiar with the area.
Rattanakosin has a lot to see and the top three attractions are conveniently clustered right next to each other. For all temples, bear in mind that you must be dressed appropriately (no shorts, no flipflops, no sleeveless shirts) or risk being denied entry, although some places will offer rental parachute pants for a small (refundable) deposit.
Whether you walk or take a tuk-tuk, don't listen to anyone telling you the temples are closed for a 'Buddhist holiday', that they're only open in the afternoon because the monks are praying, or anything else along those lines. The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are open every day, pretty much all day (dawn till dusk). It's worth giving both the Grand Palace and Wat Pho each a full day since the heat and glare are very wearing and there is a lot to take in.
Grand Palace. The former residence of the King is built adjacent to and more or less integrated with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Combined entry is a steep 250 baht; Thais get in for free. This also includes entry into the Vimanmek Mansion and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall (outside the compound), the Coin Museum, and a 'free' guidebook of limited use. The palace is open daily from 8:00am to 3:30pm.
The temple houses a diminutive jade statue, the Emerald Buddha, of uncertain but long provenance and revered as the symbol of the Thai state. It originally surfaced in northern Thailand, was taken to Vientiane for a while, and was returned to Bangkok after the Thais sacked the city in 1828. Visitors line up around the building for a chance to walk by the Emerald Buddha with offerings of lilies and incense. The wat is actually series of courtyards full of chedi towers in gold and broken porcelain and smaller wats containing Buddhas of various poise and size. Also check out the enormous mural of the Ramayana decorating the exterior wall of the Wat Phra Kaew (part of the Grand Palace compound).
The Grand Palace is built in a European style, but with Thai roofs somewhat incongruously plopped on top. Only small parts are open to the public: the reception room of the Grand Palace Hall (Chakri Maha Prasat) is probably the highlight. There is also a lacklustre but free museum of ancient to merely old weaponry on the ground floor.
Wat Pho (Tel. 02-225-9595) [1]. One (long) block to the south of the Grand Palace, the largest reclining Buddha in Asia is a mind blowing sight. There's plenty of other stuff to see inside the large temple complex; above all, try a massage or sign up for a course in the massage school at the back (see Do). Entry is now 50 baht and it is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). Across the river from Wat Po on the Thonburi side, this is a distinctive single spike of white intricately inlaid with broken porcelain. At 88 meters it was also the tallest structure in Bangkok until the advent of the modern skyscraper. Take the 2-baht ferry from Tha Tien, right next to the River Express dock.
Wat Rajanadda. Somewhat off the beaten track but well worth a visit, very close to the Saen Saep canal boat terminus and the Golden Mount, and easily spotted since its spires are of black iron, not the usual glittery gold. The wat itself is a 5-storied gleaming white structure with rows of Buddhas and nice views from up top, very elegant, calm and relaxing after the crowds at the big temples. Entrance is free; also check out the Buddhist amulet market nearby.
The Golden Mount [2] is a distinctive and prominent feature on the Rattanakosin landscape located in the compound of Wat Srakes. The original structure was built in the reign of King Rama III during the early 19th century, but was enhanced at the end of that century in order to accommodate relics of the Buddha presented to the King of Thailand by the British Viceroy in India. A spiral staircase of 318 steps leads from the ground to a terrace and shrine-room - the Buddha's relics are housed in a gold-leaf covered shrine at the center of this area. Note that while the shrine itself is an ancient structure that creates an atmosphere worthy of respect, the area just below is more akin to a tacky fair ground than one that leads to one of the nation's most sacred sites. Also, the harsh way of requsting the entrance fee does little to inspire the worthy pilgrim or traveler. In short, the shrine is definitely worth including in a travel itinerary, but do not expect a quiet and respectful environment. There is a 10 baht admission fee.
National Gallery. Th Chao Fa (north of Sanam Luang), [3]. Fairly small and compact, the permanent displays here are quite unimpressive, but the ever-changing modern art exhibitions can be considerably more interesting. Entry 30B, open 9:00am to 4:00pm Wed-Sun, closed national holidays.
National Museum Naphra That (between Thammasart University and the National Theatre, opp. Sanam Luang), [4]. The grounds are attractive in parts, but a bit sprawling and difficult to navigate without a guide. The permanent exhibits are a mixed bag - there are some terrific new displays and dioramas on Thai history, but many other buildings are dusty collections of artifacts without much by way of explanation. Entry 40B, open 9:00am to 4:00pm Wed-Sun, closed national holidays.
Yaowarat (also Yaowaraj). Bangkok's Chinatown, centered on Th Yaowarat and Th Charoenkrung, an easy walk from Hualamphong Station. By day it doesn't look much different from any other part of Bangkok, but at night the neon signs blazing with Chinese characters are turned on and crowds from the restaurants spill out onto the streets, turning the area into a miniature Hong Kong (minus the skyscrapers).
Saranrom Park, Sanam Chai Road (across from the Grand Palace). A lush garden created around a lake and home to glasshouses, ancient trees and wooden pagodas. A great place to relax and escape the heat.
Silpakorn University, 31 Na Phralan Road (across the street from Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace). As Thailand's foremost institution in the fine arts, there are many buildings and small museums dedicated to showcasing artworks by students. official site
Thammasat University, 2 Phrachan Road (next to the National Museum). The main campus of one of Thailand's most prestigious universities, alma mater of many of the nation's politicians and businessmen. It is noticeably more modern than neighboring Silpakorn University and is worth a walk around campus, particularly on a school day. official site
River City, 23 Trok Rongnamkhaeng (pier N3 Si Phaya), [5]. Easily accessible from its own pier for the River Express boat, this center has Bangkok's best collection of antique shops — but these are (for most part) the real thing and priced to match. Note that real antiques and any religious images will require export licenses, although the shops can arrange this for you (for a fee).
Old Maps & Prints. Shop 412, 4F. Has a fascinating collection of (surprise surprise) old maps with an emphasis on Thailand and South-East Asia, but anything over a century old will set you back several thousand baht.
Compared to the profusion elsewhere in the city, places to eat in the Old City are a little limited.
Yaowarat (Chinatown) has the city's best selection of Chinese places, many of which specialize in expensive delicacies like shark fin, bird nest or fresh seafood (often still swimming in tanks near the entrance). Gather the biggest group you can, preferably with a Chinese speaker or two, and head down for some ren'ao ("hot and noisy") banqueting.
Nam Sing, 39-47 Soi Texas, Th Phadung Dao (off Yaowarat Rd). A typical large and functional restaurant, best known for its bird nest but there's plenty of other fare on offer. Try the chilli crab and pork neck. English menu with pictures available, most (large) dishes B200-300. Unfortunately they only accept Visa, Mastercard or Cash.
Bamboo Bar. 48 Th Oriental (Oriental Hotel). Jazz lovers will want to stop by the Oriental's famous bar, which is surprisingly small and intimate, for classy colonial surroundings, live music and a Cuban cigar. Needless to say, at B250 a Singha here will be the most expensive beer you'll find in Bangkok.
Ta Chang a one minute walk to the left (when looking at the building) of the tourist office under Pinklao Bridge - good coffee with relaxing view over small garden - alcohol also served.
Coffee and More. 102/1 Phra-Arthit Road, Chanasongkram (between Khaosan Road and river). Tel: 280-7887. A pleasant cafe overlooking garden - modern, but cosy decor. Wide selection of coffees and teas and great cakes. Breakfast options limited. Popular with young up-and-coming Thais. Open: 10AM-9:30PM (11PM at weekends)
Budget guesthouses and such are clustered on Khao San Road, covered on a separate page.
Bhiman Inn, [7]. Sister hotel of the Viengtai and is a bit cheaper. About a 5 minute walk North of Khaosan Road. Staff friendly, good swimming pool, but poor breakfast offering very little choice.
Viengtai Hotel, [8]. The breakfast is superb, offering most choices in cuisine and they have a swimming pool. I paid 1300BHT per night and had a large room with air conditioning. This hotel is a popular destination for Thais visiting Bangkok. Staff are superbly efficient and friendly as they are in most hotels. 1300 baht.
Boonsiri Place, [9]. Located about 5 minutes walk south of Khaosan Road, this hotel is hidden in the back alleys of the area. The rooms are very clean, as are the bathrooms. Breakfast selection is very poor, but adequate. Conveniently has a 711 on the ground floor. 1000 baht.
Unico Grande Sukhumvit, 27 Sukhumvit Soi1, Sukhumvit Rd., Wattana, Bangkok 10110, +66 2 6553993 (crs@unicoproperty.co.th, fax: +66 2 6553992), [10]. Check in: 1400; Check out: 12. Located closed to Bumrungrad International Hospital about 3 minutes walk to Nana and 8 minutes to Skytrain Ploenchit Station, this hotel is boutique style. The rooms are very clean, as are the bathrooms. Breakfast is good. Staff are pleasent to help. Conveniently has a pharmarcy, massage and 7-11 around the place. 2,200-5000 baht.
Bangkok / Khao San Road
Khao San Road (ถนนข้าวสาร Thanon Khao Saan; also spelled Khaosan, Kao Sarn, Koh Sarn and many other variations) is, technically speaking, a small street about three blocks long located about a block from the Chao Phraya River in the Banglamphu district northwest of downtown Bangkok. Backpackers and budget tourists are drawn by some of the cheapest accommodation and travel deals in Thailand.
The word khao san itself means milled rice and is an attribution to the historical role of this street in the rice trade. The first business to open on Khao San Road was a small hotel aimed at serving civil servants from the provinces who came to Bangkok on business. The hotel was followed by Sor Thambhakdi, a shop selling monks' accessories. It was followed by four similar businesses, and Khao San became known as a "religious road".
Word soon spread about the easy lifestyle and friendliness of the locals. Friends told friends, and before long, the owner of the house started to charge 20 baht for food and lodging. The first commercial guesthouse, called Bonny, opened with six small bedrooms.
Today, there's a lot more than six small bedrooms on offer: in the span of just a couple of blocks, there are bars, food stalls, restaurants, convenience stores, pharmacies, Internet cafés, money changing booths, ATMs, shoe stores, massage parlors, tailors, travel agencies, laundry, boxing gyms, optometrists, endless warrens of suspiciously discounted designer clothes and, oh, rooms for the night.
 Get in
Khao San Road is fairly easy to get to from anywhere in Bangkok. Taxis, buses, and river ferry are your main options. While the metro and the skytrain are convenient ways of getting to many places in Bangkok, there is unfortunately no train (yet) that will take you near Khao San Road (or anywhere else on Rattanakosin Island, for that matter).
 By plane
The half hourly airport bus, A2, arrives and departs from the corner of Khao San Road, and now serves the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. Buy a ticket (150 baht) from the booth at the airport or on the bus. A meter taxi should cost no less than 300 baht, if using the toll roads (known to Thais as Toll way) which cost up to 65 baht. Traffic during the day can make the toll roads very worthwhile, as it will save time and money. The trip takes around an hour in good traffic, but allow considerable leeway during rush hour as the area around Khao San can get very congested.
See the Bangkok section for info on arriving in town.
 By taxi
Even the metered taxis will try to charge you a flat rate of about 200-300 baht to take you to Khao San Road, rather than use the meter (which would mean no more than an 80 baht fare from the Silom district). The drivers will claim that Khao San Road is "too far away" for the meter, but that's not true; the fact is, they can get away with overcharging tourists, and if you don't take it, the next schmuck down the street will. You can refuse to pay that amount and try to find an honest taxi, or try to haggle (which may be just as difficult). There is certainly no shortage of taxi drivers anywhere in Bangkok. As a general rule, older drivers tend to be more amenable to the meters, while the younger ones tend to gun for big fares from tourists.
If for some reason there aren't many taxis around, one trick that appears to work is telling the driver to take you to a location near Khao San Road, such as Tanao Road. If you don't mind a short walk, memorize a few landmarks in the Banglamphu area and see if the driver will take you there using the meter and then hike the rest of the way to the road.
The majority of taxi drivers are reasonably honest. If they seek to 'quote' a fare, just smile and point at the meter. If they still don't want to use the meter, just hail another taxi. As a general rule, avoid the parked taxis (dishonest drivers prefer to wait for gullible tourists) and hail a moving taxi (red light on dash board indicates available). The majority of taxis are new (less than two years old), and its best to avoid the older taxis as their air-conditioners function poorly, and these drivers tend to be less reliable.
 By ferry
Boats on the Chao Phraya River are the cheapest and most scenic way of getting to Rattanakosin Island from the rest of the city. The Central Pier is just outside the BTS Saphan Taksin station; you can take a Chao Phraya Tourist Boat for 13 baht or the Chao Phraya River Express for 18 baht to Phra Arthit (pier number N.13). From there, it's a short but confusing walk to Khao San Road. A map, a good sense of direction, or help from a local is usually required.
The ferries stop running at around 5pm, or will run but stop at fewer locations (and Phra Arthit is not one of them).
 By bus
From Moh Chit (the Northern Bus Terminal), catch bus 3 which will drop you right on Khao San Road. 7 baht, approx. 30 minutes.
From Ekamai (the Eastern Bus Terminal), catch bus number 2 (non-ac, 7 baht) which will stop at the Ratchdamnoen Klang road where a short walk across the road will take you to Khao San Road.
Pronunciation tip
The syllable "khao" is pronounced similarly to the English word "cow", but since the late 1990s backpackers have often been mispronouncing it as "coe" (perhaps confusing it with "koh", meaning "island"; perhaps influenced by the book/movie The Beach). Please help re-introduce the correct pronunciation into the backpacker community by pronouncing it properly.
Although there aren't any famous historical sites to speak of on the road itself, Khao San is on the Rattanakosin island. Around the street, there are a number of old buildings and temples, some of which have been transformed into restaurants and even tattoo parlours, although you will still find quiet family homes if you look deep enough. Aside from some interesting architecture, Banglampoo shows the mix of peoples and heritages that is the character of Bangkok. There are Muslims, Buddhists, Mons, and of course a great number of foreigners in this small area. All of this makes the area an interesting place for a glimpse of Thai life. Thais also appreciate the area for the many types of traditional kanom or Thai snacks and desserts available and the cheap clothing available in the Banglampoo Market (see below).
At the bottom of Khao San is Wat Chana Songkram, which translates as "War Victory Temple". This area was formally given to the Mon peoples who helped the Thai fight off the Burmese centuries ago. The Mon set up a community here and built this temple as well. Many travelers use the temple grounds to connect between Khao San and Phra Athit Rd where the ferry pier is located. The temple is worth a visit, though, with nice murals, crisp sounding temple bells hanging from the eves, Bougainvillea vines and beautiful trees. There is no charge for admission and you are welcome to pay respect to the Buddha images or just find a little tranquility away from the throngs of backpackers on Khao San proper.
Famous sites within walking distance from Khao San Road include The Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaew), Wat Pho, Sanam Luang Park, Chao Phraya river, Democracy Monument and The Golden Mount (Phu Khao Thong). See Rattanakosin for details.
Sor. Vorapin Gym (13 Trok Kasap, Jakapong Rd., Panakorn, Bangkok 10200; tel. 662 282-3551) [1] offers morning (7:30am-9:30am) and afternoon (3:00-5:00pm) training in Muay Thai (Thai boxing) for 400 baht. Beginners and walk-ins are welcome. Shorts and gloves are provided. The English instruction may not be detailed, but key phrases like "punch", "kick", and "one-two" are in place. It's at the end of a dusty alley off Soi Rambuttri.
Suan Santichaiprakarn Park, just beyond Khao San Road, has a great view of the Chao Phraya river and the ultra-modern Rama VIII suspension bridge. In the evening, there are many activities going on in the park such as free aerobic exercise, the performing of Thai classical music, juggling, etc. The park has become a gathering place for new breakdancers to exchange their techniques. The park has one of the towers of the historical city wall of Rattanakosin. The canal on the otherside was part of the city moat. The park is on Pra Athit Rd, which has many old town houses that are now restaurants and cafés and near the river are a number of old smaller palaces now used by the likes of the FAO and Unicef.
The Banglamphu market is a good place to pick up cheap Thai knock-offs of everything from jeans to Italian sneakers, as well as a few posh Thai silk stores. (Not on Khao San but nearby, you can go to the bottom of Khao San, turn right and walk about 50 meters.) Food stalls also abound in this area. Khao San road is also home to many wholesale silver jewelry stores.
Aporia Books, 131 Tanao Road (road that runs at 'T' junction with Kao San Road - opposite end to the road with the stop for airport bus). Tel:+66-3-6292919. Has a good selection of both new and second-hand English titles, and offers a much more pleasant and organized environment for browsing than the other second-hand book shops on Khao San Road.
Khao San Road offers one of the most diverse food selections anywhere in Bangkok. Since the street sees such a varied nationality of travelers, several ethnic foods can be found here. Street carts that line Khao San Road sell decent phat thai (fried noodles), quail eggs, roti (like a pancake), falafel, hummus, various bugs and some sell just cocktails.
However, it's worth noting that much of it is specifically geared for backpackers — even the local phat thai, especially the 10 baht variety, economizes on the ingredients and uses soy instead of the traditional tamarind sauce. Those looking for truly good food would be advised to head elsewhere, such as to Sukhumvit.
As Khao San leaves its backpacker roots, standards (and prices) are rising. International outlets Burger King and Starbucks moved in during 2004.
Siam Oriental Restaurant, lively atmosphere, serve international and Thai foods. "Chicken satay" is recommended to try.
Tom Yum Gung, the restaurant, is highly rated and great place to try some tom yum gung (spicy shrimp soup).
Gulliver’s, on the west end of the road, is a decent sports bar with mid range pricing a good offering of Western food.
Sidewalk Café 1, a great outdoor people watching spot with a large menu.
May Kaidee's 1 [2], on the road behind Aporia Books on Tanao Road (There are two 'T' junction roads at either end of Khao San Road; Tanao Road is the one at the other end to the road where the stop for the airport bus is located). This is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the area and has been serving foreigners and hippie-types since 1988. May also runs a cooking class for 1200 baht/day; those interested need to give at least a day or so advance notice.
May Kaidee's 2, Samsen Road near Soi 1 [3]. An indoor air conditioned vegetarian restaurant with attached guesthouse - cheaper and cooler than May Kaidee's 1.
Number One. located behind Aporia Books on Tanao Road. The restaurant offers a wide selection of vegetarian dishes.
Ethos International Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant, on road behind Aporia Books on Tanao Road. [4]. A unique place with an attitude! No MSG, preservatives or artificial colours and flavours. Some organic dishes. Menu consists of Thai, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern dishes. Excellent coffee and deserts. A comfortable place that attracts the spiritualist - yoga - conservation crowd. The restaurant also offers a public notice board for travelers use, Thai massage, Internet café and free Wi-Fi hotspot.
Popiang House A "classic Khao San Road" Restaurant, which isnt really on Khao San Road, But on Soi Rambuttri, which is on the northern side of the Chana Songhkram Temple. You will find it by looking for the red plastic chairs and the yellow cheap tables. Its a great place to sip cheap beer too. Can be very busy in the night time. Good place to meet other backpackers. A good selection of thai food, and wonderful staff.
Wild Orchid is a clean option that offers great green and red curries and delicious tom yum soups at low prices.
Oh My Cod!, A British Café cum Fish and Chips Shop just around the corner on Soi Rambuttri ( In Rambuttri Village - A great location and the best breakfasts in the area.Excellent Thai Food too!
Prakorb's House, 52 Khao San Road (right side when walking from airport bus stop) - excellent food in this very friendly, family run hotel and restaurant - especially recommended are the vegetarian noodles.
Mr Yim's 2 Soi Chanasongkram. A small restaurant up a flight of stairs overlooking the wat. A wide selection of good quality food at good prices, including veggie options. The big baguettes are excellent value. 30B-70B.
147, 147 Tanao Road (next to the Burger King), is an old standby serving excellent, cheap Thai dishes including vegetarian.
Khao San Road has some of the cheapest bars in town, and these days even some Thais head down to knock back a few. A can of Beer Chang is 25 baht at 7-11. Worth a look are a few street side VW vans converted to mobile bars, serving cocktails made from cheap liquor.
Lava, Middle of Khao San. Go down the steps to one of the more modern and western own bars on the Road. Sunday nights are good.
Bangkok Bar,
Susies Pub, The pub that started it all. Owners of the is pub have branched out to owning Austin Pub, Tom Yung Gung, and The Club. Usually packed playing top 40s tunes.
Gullivers, A sports pub.
The Club, With a huge neon sign, you can't miss it. Interesting open design.
Most restaurants on Khao San serve freshly brewed coffee.
There is a branch of the chain Coffee World (great brownies!) across from the Mc Donald's in Buddy's shopping center.
There is a very nice Starbucks in a converted house around the middle of the street.
Prakorb's House, 52 Khao San Road (see eat section) has good coffee, a selection of herbal drinks and a peaceful atmosphere in which to enjoy them
Iced drinks:
Coconut milk, iced and drunk directly from a fresh coconut is a cheap and good way to cool the body. Coconuts are available at all the restaurants on Khao San Road.
Khao San Road is Bangkok's main backpacker guesthouse centre. Since places spring up and disappear on a monthly basis, accommodation and restaurants are hard to recommend. Before checking into an unfamiliar place, always ask to see a room first, and don't be afraid to test the fan or the air-con if you think you'll need it.
Note that some Khao San Road guesthouses don't accept Thai guests.
Keep in mind that anything on the main drag will be loud, and anything with exterior windows will get hot. Try walking a block or two off Khao San proper to find something a little quieter. The street past the police station end of the block (Soi Rambuttri) has reasonable little bars and restaurants that are starting to spill out onto the sidewalk. The road gets darker and quieter as it wraps around the wat (temple) grounds. The post office end also has a few original spots - including a great veggie restaurant and cooking school; the area just beyond the park has a number of small river-front guesthouses which can be an escape from the noise and chaos.
Bella Bella Five minute walk from K.S. Guest House and ten from Khao San, near the river. Very clean and new with rooms starting at 200 baht. Internet access, food and beer.
Central Guest House Soi Bowanlungsri, off Khao San Road, Basic rooms, free Internet access, Phone 02-2820667, rooms from 100 baht (single w/o window).
Green Guesthouse right next to New Merry V Guesthouse, rooms from 150 baht.
K.S. House Guest House 133 Phrasumen Road +66 2 629-1763, [5]. 50+ rooms, from 290 baht. Restaurant/café with great food set on the roof top. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public spaces. 5 minutes walk from Khao San Road.
My House Guest House has clean rooms and good food; singles from around 180 baht.
New Joe Guest House 81 Trokmayom Charakpongse Rd. +66 2 2812948 http://www.newjoeguesthouse.com 50 something rooms, starting at 300 baht a night, restaurant/café with great food set in the garden. Internet, bar. everything you need, value for money, worth a look.
New Merry V is a good low budget option; clean rooms with window from 180 baht (singles w/o window from 140 baht), left luggage 10 baht/item/day.
New Siam Guest House 21 Soi Chanasongkram, +66 281 7461 [6] is just enough off the main drag to be quiet. They advertise having the largest rooms for the price, and they do seem that way. Clean and well maintained with friendly staff and safe boxes in some rooms and lockers downstairs. The restaurant menu is basic and the food none too exciting. 220-570 baht.
Prakorb's House, 52 Khao San Road. Tel: +66 2 281-1345 - an old guest house with simple but clean rooms.
Rambuttri Village Inn (95 Soi Ram Buttri, Chakkra Phong Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok; tel. 66 2-282-9162) [7]. Five compact buildings of squeaky-clean rooms - and yes, it is true that they clean between the tiles with a toothbrush. In theory, the most basic fan rooms are only 290 baht, but these never seem to be available; 400-590 baht deluxe fan or air-con rooms are more common, with 1000 baht refundable deposit. Left luggage is 20 baht per day. The two rooftop pools are a great bonus. (If you can choose, the pool on top of building 'E' is the better of the two.) The only drawback is having to walk through a gauntlet of two irritating tailor shops to reach reception.
Siam Oriental Inn, +66 2 629-0312 [8] has nice, clean and quiet rooms (both fan and air-con), all with private bathroom, plus a lively restaurant and a quiet Internet café and photo-processing facilities. From 280 baht.
Wally's House is very basic with little facilities that are shared, but for the traveler on a very tight budget, it's ideal. Twin rooms for just 180 baht, and Internet access for 30 baht/hour.
There are several better class hotels in the area, with swimming pools, minibars, etc. The better one is the Royal Hotel, while the Vieng Tai is also a popular choice.
Buddy Lodge, tel. +66-26294477 [9]. Right on The Road, prices 1600-2500 baht.
D&D Inn, tel. +66-62905268 [10]. A huge (by KSR standards) hotel with a roof-top swimming pool, massage facilities, and a very clean and efficient 24 hour internet café. All rooms have attached bathrooms, air-con and TV; rates include breakfast and use of the pool. Singles 550/450 baht (with/without window), doubles and twins 750 baht, triples (one double and one single) 1000 baht, family/VIP 1,350 baht. NB: This hotel is not convienient for travelers arriving early in the morning as they do not allow check-in until after 1PM.
Khao San Palace - a large new guest house - rooms overlooking Khao San are noisy at night.
Rikka Inn - new hotel on Khao San with basic modern-style rooms, 800 baht gets a double room with A/C and en-suite but not much more. 1000 baht deposit. Swimming pool on roof is an attraction, but only open from 10am. Small and large safe deposit boxes available at 20/40 baht per day.
Sawasdee Bangkok Inn [11] Unique colonial architecture and the charm of the old Siam. 520-1200 baht.
Sawasdee Banglumpoo Inn [12] Thai-Style accommodation and a carefully decorated lobby/restaurant area. 620-750 baht.
Thai cozy house +66-26295870-4 [13] - family run guesthouse with restaurant which also provides travel agent, tailor shop, Internet, massage & spa services.
Internet cafés are rivaled only by tuk-tuks for sheer ubiquity on Khao San Road. The standard rate is 10 baht / 15 minutes. Virtually all are set up for Skype and plain old international phone calls.
 Stay safe
Astounded at how delicious that 20 baht pad thai was? Keep an eye on the chef - you may see them shake a certain spice out of a canister before they hand it over. That's MSG, aka monosodium glutamate, the notorious flavor enhancer. While basically harmless for most people, some may have reactions, including swelling of the throat, chest pain and headaches.
As everywhere else in Bangkok, if someone offers you a great one-day-only sale on gems, smile faintly and keep on walking.
 Get out
Cheap tourist bus, mini-van, and airline tickets are available at any of the dozens of travel agents in the area.
Popular day-trip destinations include Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi. The cost of the tour - usually 450-600 baht - will include transportation to and from the destinations and one meal. Shop around, because prices do vary, and are not necessarily connected to the quality of the service you'll receive. The travel agents are simply passing you on to another company that will conduct the tour, so you may be in a van with five other people who booked through five different travel agents at five different prices. Although these trips are cheap and require no planning on your part, they offer plenty of frustration as well. The other people in your van may all have booked slightly different itineraries, so you may find yourself spending the morning somewhere that's not of interest to you, only to be rushed along with half an hour in the afternoon at the one place you really wanted to see. Although the travel agent will show you a meticulously planned minute-by-minute itinerary, the day will inevitably feature at least one (long) stop at a commission-paying handicrafts shop, and the schedule will never recover. The day-trips are a decent way to pass some time, but if the destination is somewhere you've been looking forward to seeing, you're much, much better off doing it independently.
Visas for other Southeast Asian countries can also be obtained on your behalf from the Khao San travel agencies. Popular destinations include Chiang Mai in the north, Phuket in the south, Angkor Wat in the east (in Cambodia), and various islands off the coast. See also the One month in Southeast Asia itinerary.
WARNING: While convenient, honest to a certain extent (ie. if sold a ticket to Siem Reap, you eventually will probably get to Siem Reap) and seemingly cheap, many of the agencies operating here have turned scamming into an art form. The "VIP buses" you are promised turn into clapped-out minibuses, you are likely to be hit for extra charges for various dubious services along the way and many operators will intentionally slow down the journey so you arrive in the middle of the night and can be coaxed into choosing their guesthouse — invariably the crappiest place in town which just happens to pay the agency the highest commissions. Worst of all, since you have paid in advance, you have no recourse of any kind when this happens! It will generally be faster and cheaper to use regular public BKS buses from the main bus terminals.
Bangkok / Thonburi
Thonburi (ธนบุรี) is the west bank of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand.
Thonburi was briefly the capital of Siam after the sack of Ayutthaya in 1767. However, King Rama the first established his new capital Krung Thep (the Thai name for Bangkok) on the east side of the river in 1782., Thonburi remained a separate town before being incorporated into the Bangkok metropolitan area in 1972
 Get in
 By metro
An extension of the Skytrain across to Thonburi is half-complete, but caught in political squabbles and unlikely to open before December 2006 at the earliest. It is now scheduled to open Dec 2007.
 By train
There are two train stations in Thonburi, both comparatively quiet.
Thonburi Train Station, formerly known as Bangkok Noi, is the terminus for twice-daily trains to Kanchanaburi. Just to keep things confusing, the previous Thonburi Station right next to the river (accessible by River Express) is now mothballed, but it's only 800 meters away from the new Thonburi, on the east side of Th Arun Amarin.
Wong Wien Yai station serves only the rustic Mahachai/Maeklong commuter line [1], an experience for railfans but of little interest to most visitors.
 By ferry
The Chao Phraya River Express stops at a few points on the Thonburi side, notably at Wat Arun and near the old Thonburi railway station.
 By bus
After missing numerous deadlines, the Southern Bus Terminal is now scheduled to move to a new, even more remote location in Phutthamonthon Soi 1 on December 3, 2007, with some services starting November 1st. The terminal is reachable on buses 515 and 549 and from Suvarnbhumi Airport with bus 556. Enquire locally.
The Southern Bus Terminal (sathanii sai tai mai) is on Boromratchchonnani Rd in northern Thonburi. Long-distance buses leave from here to destinations throughout western Thailand (including Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi) and southern Thailand (including Krabi, Phuket, Surat Thani, Hat Yai, and many others). Easily the grungiest and most overcrowded of Bangkok's Big 3 bus terminals, first-class tickets are sold in the circular building in the center of the maelstrom, while buses depart from the piers next to it. If you want air-con or clean toilets, head to the KFC just left (north) of the terminal entrance.
Getting to the terminal is a bit of headache, as public transport is limited and the surrounding streets tend to be jammed. The easiest option is to take a taxi, but bus 503 from BTS Victory Monument and bus 511 from the Democracy Monument also terminate at the terminal.
WARNING: Overnight tourist buses to southern destinations have a very bad reputation for theft. If using such a service (usually booked via a Khao San Road agency; carries no Thai passengers, only foreigners; does not depart from the Southern Bus Terminal) be sure to guard your belongings, do not leave valuables in your backpack if you stow it below, and do not accept food or drinks from strangers.
The good news is that these problems can easily be avoided by simply using a normal government licensed public bus service, exactly as many thousands of Thai people do every day. For southern destinations, tickets are sold at the Southern Bus Terminal, which is also where the bus will depart from.
Thonburi's top sight is the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), usually visited by a short ferry hop from the Rattanakosin side and hence covered in the Rattanakosin article.
Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum, Siriraj Hospital, Adulayadejvikrom Building 2nd Floor (a short walk from Chao Phraya pier N10 Tha Wang Lang) [2] offers a creepy collection of medical oddities similar to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, USA.
Sivalai Place: 168 Soi Isaraphab 33 Isaraphab rd, Thra Pra, Bangkok-Yai, Bangkok 10600 Thailand. tel: +662 412-4000 ext 201, 222 or +662 864 1251-2 fax: +662 418-5184 For reservation: sivalai.place@hotmail.com[4] Full-furnished apartment for RENT for short term and long term stay.
Bangkok / Phahonyothin
The Phahonyothin area of Bangkok is centered around Phahonyothin road, starting from the Victory Monument, a major bus/Skytrain interchange. It is sided by Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, both stretching northward all the way past the old Don Muang Airport (now replaced by Suvarnabhumi) towards Rangsit and Highway 1 to Ayutthaya and (if you keep driving long enough) Chiang Mai.
 Get in
 By train
The Skytrain's Sukhumvit line runs north from Victory Monument to Chatuchak/Mo Chit, where it intersects with the Metro Blue Line. SRT's Bang Sue Train Station is also accessible by the Metro, and may be an option if heading north or northeast.
 By bus
Many visitors also arrive (or leave) via the massive Moh Chit Northern Bus Terminal (sathanii Mo Chit), also known as Mo Chit Mai ("new Mo Chit") or simply Mo Chit as the old version has ceased to exist. This is the largest terminal in Bangkok and buses to all points throughout central, northern and northeastern Thailand, including Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, all of Isaan and Aranyaprathet (for Cambodia) leave from here.
Buying tickets here is reasonably easy: find a window with your destination written on it (in friendly Roman letters), pay the fare in big numbers on the same window, and you'll get a ticket on the next available departure. Note that blue writing means 1st class, red means 2nd class (avoid on longer trips), and tickets for northeastern destinations are sold from the 3rd floor. Ask the information desk on the 1st floor if you need help, or any of the BKS staff, easily identifiable thanks to their natty white shirts with gold buttons. Now just find the departure stall and you're on your way. If you have time to kill, there are two fairly decent air-con food courts at both ends of the main terminal building, plus KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and lots of 7-Eleven outlets.
The bus terminal is fair hike from the Skytrain or subway stations across Chatuchak Park. Motorbike taxis do the trip for a fixed 30 baht fare (bargaining is pointless), while tuk-tuks charge what they feel like - just remember that a real taxi with air-con and all will cost you 35 baht (albeit not including sitting around in traffic jams). If you have a considerable amount of luggage the easiest, if not necessarily fastest, option is to take a taxi directly to/from the bus terminal.
 See & Do
There are few sights as such in the area, and most tourists make a beeline for the Weekend Market (see Buy).
Victory Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูม anutsawarii chaisamorraphuum). Constructed in 1941 after the French Indochina War to commemorate those who lost their lives, this spiky Bangkok landmark is now better known as Bangkok's largest local bus hub. If traveling north by Skytrain, you'll be treated to a 180-degree curving panorama of the Monument, and this is the best view you can get as actually reaching the base of the monument would require passing through a triple-laned traffic circle maelstrom of buses.
Chatuchak Weekend Market (จตุจักร, also Jatujak or even JJ). BTS Mo Chit, Metro Kampaeng Phet. Northern Bangkok's biggest draw, this incomprehensibly vast 35-acre outdoor market has over 8,000 vendors selling anything and everything under the sun - to put that number in perspective, if you browsed each stall each one minute, non-stop for 8 hours on both Saturday and Sunday, it would take you around two months to visit them all! A good rule of thumb is to buy immediately if you spot something interesting, because you will never find the same stall again. The market opens at 7 AM, so get there early to beat the crowds and the heat. Keep an eye on your belongings here as pickpockets work in the crowds, and avoid Chatuchak on rainy days as the roofs and drains here aren't quite up to a tropical downpour. Silom's Suan Lum Night Bazaar is worth considering as an alternative to Chatuchak: it's more centrally located, it's open at night when it's cooler and there are a number of restaurants where cold beer and decent food is available. The range of goods on offer is, however, not quite as immense at at Chatuchak.
Or Tor Kor Market. Right next to Chatuchak, far fewer tourists make it to the best place in Bangkok to buy high-quality plants and produce straight off the farm at Thai prices.
Northern Bangkok's hippest place to eat is the area around Phahonyothin Soi 7, better known as Soi Ari (or Aree), and Soi 5, Soi Ari Samphan. Just off BTS Ari station, these busy streets are divided into their own sois, with Ari Soi 1 featuring a bustling market packed with food stalls and the trendier/more expensive joints around Sois 2 and 3.
Victory Monument has the usual collection of Western & Thai fast-food favorites and a busy street market as well, especially in the evenings.
Jud Leeo, Phahonyothin Soi 19 (Around the Corner from the British Council and Index). Exceptional Thai curries and other dishes with a friendly, English speaking staff. Shady trees and a fairly subdued side soi make evening outside dining pleasant. Closed Sundays.
Khrob Khreung (ครบเครื่อง), Ari Samphan Soi 10. Famous for its kuay tiow yam bok rice noodles with fresh vegetables, topped with pork or shrimp (30 baht). Also serves up Thai-Chinese dim sum, muu stek pork satay with peanut sauce, and a wide range of other side dishes. No English sign or menu, but pointing should do the trick.
Pad Thai Aree, Phahonyothin Soi 7 (Soi Aree). This small, unassuming shophouse, located on the right side of the street as you turn down Soi 7 from Paholyothin, is actually owned by a friend of the royal family (note the picture of the Princess on the wall!) and serves up some delectable pad thai (and many variations) at slightly more than street stall prices (around 40-60 baht).
Pathe, Corner of Lat Prao and Vipawadi, tel. +66-29384995. The atmosphere is great with a classic record player providing the music. There is food as well.
Som-Tum Bangkok, Ari Soi 3, tel. +66-26198659. Tucked down a leafy soi further down the street, this place is named after its showpiece som tum (green papaya salad, 45 baht and up) but features all your other Isaan favorites too, with mains in the 50-70 baht range. Seating indoors and outdoors, open from 11 AM to 11 PM.
Street food, Phahonyothin Soi 7 (Soi Aree). Just off the BTS and around the corner on Soi Aree are a multitude of street stalls selling some of Bangkok's best street food, from Chinese-style wonton noodles, Isaan specialities such as som tom, larb, gai yaang, as well as pad thai, Thai deserts and stands that can whip up basically the entire repetoire of Thai cuisine, all for around 20-30 baht per dish.
Wake Up Cafe, Phahonyothin Soi 9. In an unlikely location down a soi near Shinawatra Tower 2, this is a surprising little oasis of greenery (outside) and clean white lines (inside). Mains around 50 baht, a fancy cup of coffee around the same amount.
Arancini, BTS Stop Ari - Soi Ari (Phaholyothin Soi 7). Italian food, with especially enticing pizzas (try the Rianata) and a good selection of decently priced wines (glass and bottle) to help you get rid of that leftover Chang taste from the afternoon.
Baan Mae Yui (บ้านแม่ยุ้ย), 53/1 Soi AreeSumpan 1, Paholyothin Road, Phaya Thai (10-15 minute walk from BTS Ari or short motorbike/tuk tuk ride), 02 619 9952. Tucked away in a quiet, narrow residential soi, this tiny gem has become a neighbourhood favourite (you may have to wait for a seat on weekends). Features a small menu of home-style Thai favourites (including some more old-fashioned dishes that are harder to find these days), and a daily specials menu. Dinner menu and Sunday lunch also features some quite good Western dishes as steaks, pastas and roasts, and the bakery items and home-made ice creams are worth bringing home.
Bale (บาเล่), 67/19 Lad Phrao Soi 35, 02 938-1518-9. Just inside the soi, this restaurant is a huge refurbished house and quite popular with young mobile Thai professionals. Features full band with 8 violinists, wine glass chandelier and several international beers.
Chlorophyll, Lad Phrao Soi 64. Just inside the soi, this Bali inspired restaurant features outdoor dining in a quaint garden setting. Thai and Japanese fair with an occasional musician.
Lao Lao, Phahonyothin Rd (Between Sois 7 and 9). Chinese-style seafood restaurant that is always bustling well into the wee hours of night. Not much on atmosphere or service, but the crowds can attest that the food is terrific and the price is right. English menus available, but very local--may help to go with a Thai friend.
The new La Villa Shopping Complex, Phahonyothin Rd (at Ari BTS) houses several mid-range dining options, from the Japanese chain favourite Fuji to Korean barbecue, steakhouse, Thai and other dining venues. Also a Starbucks here and a Villa Market.
Pickle Factory, 55 Ratchawithi Soi 2 (10-15 min from Victory Monument by tuk-tuk), tel. 22463036. Deep down a small soi in Din Daeng, this hip but relaxed lounge-cum-restaurant is neither factory nor has any pickles on their menu: instead, it's a modern residential house (complete with swimming pool) offering competent pizza (160/300 baht small/large), pasta and Thai favorites (90-150 baht).
PizZanotti, Soi Ari, tel. 1344. Authentic Italian pizza made with imported ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Pizzas from 220 baht, free delivery in northern Bangkok.
Pla Dip (ปลาดิบ), Soi Areesamphan, 02 279-8185. 18.00-24.00. 20 min walk from BTS Ari or short motorbike/tuk-tuk ride, at the corner of Areesamphan 7. Surprisingly chic setting and menu, drawing in a constant crowd of Bangkok hipsters and "Indie" music fanatics, this restaurant cum bar features live bands on weekends, a happening bar and a creative menu focusing on fresh fish prepared in some creative fusion styles. A bit more of a splurge for this neighborhood, with dishes easily topping 200-300 baht.
Reflections, Ari Soi 3, tel. +66-22703344, [1]. This happening two-floor restaurant decorated in kitschy primary colors packs in a good crowd nightly with its excellent Thai food. Dishes from 50 baht, although live seafood costs considerably more. Note that Reflections has moved from its previous location to a new location around the corner, about 300 meters down Ari Soi 3.
Suan Gularb, Soi Areesamphan, (10-15 minute walk from BTS Ari or short motorbike/tuk tuk ride). An Ari neighborhood institution, hugely popular with both neighbourhood locals and downtown dwellers in the know. Features a surprisingly vast menu of Thai and Chinese favourites, all terrific and priced at approximately 80-150 baht per dish (seafood more expensive).
Several bars aimed at young Thai socializers have sprung up at the Aw Toh Goh market area, nearby Chatuchak. A stone's throw from the Kamphaeng Phet MRT station (exit #1), are at least 20 small pubs, bars and restaurants operate every day of the week.
There are many accommodation options within a fifteen minute drive of the old Don Muang airport.
Comfort Suites Airport, 88/110 Viphavadi-Rangsit Road., +66-2 5528-9219 (airport@pinnaclehotels.com, fax: +66-2 5528-920), [2]. A rather basic and drab business hotel. Standard rooms 1200 baht (pre-Suvarnabhumi price).
Louis Tavern Dayrooms. Located within Don Muang itself.
Princeton Park, 3 Mitmaitri Road, Din Daeng., +66 2 617-4600, [3]. Recently refurbished hotel/service apartment easily accessible from Don Muang but not very convenient to anywhere else, even the nearest BTS/subway station. Pool, gym, cafe, convenience store. Online rates from 2600 baht (pre-Suvarnabhumi price).
Quality Suites Airport, 99/401-486 Soi Benjamitr, Chaeng Wattana Road., +66 2 982-2022 (reservation@qualitybangkok.com, fax: +66 2 982-2036), [4]. Spacious rooms but meagre facilities. The hotel's restaurant has excellent quality Thai cuisine; despite catering to travellers they don't tone it down too much. One bedroom suites from 1500 baht, two bedroom suites from 2500 baht (pre-Suvarnabhumi prices)
Rama Gardens, 9/9 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Laksi., +66 2 561-0022 (fax: +66 2 561-1025), [5]. A large and pleasant hotel located in spacious grounds with great facilities and courteous staff.
Reflections (about 300 meters down Ari Soi 3), +66-22703344, [6]. Far and away the wackiest place to stay in north Bangkok, Reflections is a super-kitschy hotel. Each of the guest rooms has been designed by a different interior designer. There is also a pool side bistro, gift shop and full restaurant. Expect a full dose of clashing colors, bright plastic furniture and colorful mood lighting. Rooms from 2050 baht with breakfast, excellent value - but beware of the mosquitoes on the second floor. Note that Reflections is undergoing renovations and has opened a second outlet nearby -- check the website for the current situation. from 2050 baht.
Bangkok / Ratchadaphisek
Ratchadaphisek (รัชดาภิเษก, IPA [ratɕʰadaːpʰiseːk]) is the district centered around Ratchadaphisek Road, north of Sukhumvit in Bangkok. If you look at a map for the Metro subway system you will see that North/South portion follows Ratchadaphisek Road.
 Get in
Use the metro or a taxi - it's okay to say Ratchada ("RAHT-cha-dah") for Ratchadaphisek Road, everybody abbreviates it.
 See & Do
Touristy sights are basically non-existent in this neck of woods.
Thai Cultural Center, Ratchadaphisek Soi 4 (Metro Thai Cultural Center) [1] hosts various cultural events
Fortune Town, 1 Fortune Town Bldg. Rachadaphisek Rd., Dindang , Bangkok 10320 (corner of Ratchadaphisek and Rama IX), +66 2 641-1884-6, [2]. next to Phra Ram 9 MRT. One of the best places in Bangkok to buy computer gear, and has an extensive mobile phone on 2nd fl and computer section on the 3rd and 4th floors. This large shopping complex also has a huge supermarket/department store Tesco Lotus, many barber shops, many restaurants and a food court.
Esplanade (exit 3 at Thailand Cultural Centre MRT), 02-642-2000 (esplanade@siamfuture.com), [3]. 7 stories of Premium shop and cinemas
Nearby are shops like Jusco, Carrefour, and Robinson
Ratchada Night Bazzar, Lat Phrao intersection, is a new night bazaar similar to Silom's better-known Lumpini Night Bazaar, with open air shopping, eating and drinking
 Travel agents
Manida Travel Bangkok [4] is on Soi Udomsuk off Ratchadapisek Road, just behind the MRT Sutthisan station
Huai Khwang lots of restaurants, especially good for late night dining.
Somboon Seafood (สมบูรณ์โภชนา) (167/9-12 Ratchadaphisel Rd.), 02-692-6850-3, [5]. 4pm - 11.30pm. Use Huai Khwang MRT. Limited car parking. Offers good Chinese/Thai style Seafood. Try the curry crab.
Emerald Hotel has very good chinese food.
Bali Seafood Soi 6.
 Clubs and bars
If you are looking for entertainment locals enjoy, Ratchadaphisek Road is a must visit.
Royal City Avenue (RCA) is a popular and trendy road open only to pedestrians, which has been through tough times but as of Nov 2007 is hip and happening again, with many of the biggest dance clubs in Thailand. Bring your passport. Farang aren't common but aren't unwelcome either.
Slim. A conglomerate of 3 large clubs playing house, hiphop and pop/rock, to a mostly local crowd.
Jazz it, 21/39-40 RCA Block C [6] offers Deep house music and electro jazz played by international DJs, pop/rock live music bands, Italian tapas, wine bar and international cocktails.
Ratchada Soi 4 is a collection of several dozen music pubs very popular with 20-something Thais. The music is often too loud, but that seems to be the main attraction. The main clubs here include:
Snop - The largest and most popular of the Soi 4 clubs. A great place to see local nightlife and hear Thai bands.
Rad - Very Popular. Very Loud.
Ratchada Soi 6 is a hot spot of late for local teens. Not a single venue, but a collection of several dozen large clubs.
Dance Fever - has previously hosted concerts by Erasure and Bush
Hollywood - a large drinking hall (no dance floor) with sexy entertainers performing cover tunes on stage
Ratchada Cabaret - a ladyboy cabaret show
 Massage parlors
Ratchadaphisek Road features many massage parlors that actually specialize in other services. Look for big flashy yet windowless buildings with names like Emmanuelle, Poseidon, Caesar's Palace and further south, Mona Lisa.
Ratchadahatthawet, Metro Huai Khwang, is a Thai traditional massage parlour (in front of Emmanuelle to the right), a dependable address for 'straight' massages at 300 baht per session of two hours, in clean private rooms without pressure for additional services.
Not as popular as the Sukhumvit area for western tourists, but there are some big hotels here. Many cater to Chinese and Japanese visitors.
Watana Mansion, 209 Ratchadapisek Rd Soi 17, Bangkok, +66 2 275-0110, [7]. 500m from Sutthisan MRT station. A 14-story hotel offering clean, basic rooms with air conditioning for 600-650 baht. Wattana Mansion has a small swimming pool, 24 hour room service and restaurant with reasonable prices and an internet cafe with 4 computers and wireless access (if you have your laptop with you) for 20 baht per 1/2 hour.
The Emerald Hotel, 99/1 Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400 Thailand, +66 2 276-4567 (info@emeraldhotel.com, fax: +66 2 276-4555-6), [8]. 5 minutes walk from Huai Khwang MRT
Chaophya Park Hotel, 247 Rachadapisek Road,Huay Kwang, Bangkok 10310, +66 2 290-0125 (info@chaophyapark.com, fax: +66 2 290-0167-8), [9]. 5 minute walk from Ratchadaphisek MRT station. Spa and 247-yard driving range.
© Wikitravel, 01.2008.
Текст взят с сайта Wikitravel.org


Districts of Bangkok Bangkok Subway & Skytrain Map of Soi Ari (Phahonyothin)
1) Reflections hotel/restaurant
2) Ari Bar
3) Deli House
4) Som Tum Bangkok
5) dbaa
6) Banana Family Park/Coffee Garden
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