Help me find where to stay in Bangkok?
July 5, 2011 9:17 PM   Subscribe

I have 2 nights and 3 partial days in Bangkok before meeting up with family to head to Koh Samui. Where should I stay?

I like to take photos, so I'm wondering what part of this vibrant city would be best to stay in for a couple of days. Money's not an issue (I'm not looking to backpack) but like everyone, I do appreciate value for money, and I have a thing for boutique hotels. I know it's not possible to experience any city in two nights, but I'd like to stay somewhere with nightlife, lights, people, markets, anywhere that'll yield a taste of the flavour Bangkok in what little time I have. Any Thailand vets out there that can tell me the general area I should stay to get some fun pictures and a taste of the city? Thanks gang!
posted by BorgLove to Travel & Transportation around Thailand (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really enjoyed the Dream Hotel. It is very centrally located and near lots of nightlife. It is also a block away from the Nana stop of the sky train (which is the best way to explore different parts of the city). I remember the complimentary breakfast being excellent, with a made-to-order omelet station.
posted by 2ghouls at 9:27 PM on July 5, 2011

I've stayed at several places in Bangkok and Baan Dinso was far and away the nicest. They leave baskets of fruit in your room and serve you all different flavors of tea at check in. I believe they call themselves a hostel, as opposed to a hotel but it was waaay nicer than some of the actual hotels I had stayed in. It is located down a quiet, side street. They call it an oasis and I agree.
posted by Sylvia Plath's terrible fish at 9:43 PM on July 5, 2011

See if there's a room available at Arun Residence. Right on the river, RIGHT across from Wat Arun.

For high-rise views, the Peninsula and Millennium Hilton are great, also on the river.Of the 2, I prefer the Peninsula. The Oriental is lovely but trading on its rep a bit these days.
posted by cyndigo at 9:47 PM on July 5, 2011

Response by poster: Cyndigo & Silvia: Your solutions sound fabulous, but will I be finding myself near to Bangkok nightlife, people, colour and just generally somewhere 'happening' at night while I deign to take photographs the gods would envy? ;) I'm looking not just for a nice place to stay, but a location in which to experience Bangkok's night culture... inasmuch as it can be experienced in two nights!
posted by BorgLove at 10:00 PM on July 5, 2011

The best place we've ever stayed in Bangkok, in terms of easy access to nightlife, is around Lumphini (I think thats what it's called, where all the high end department stores like Central World are). The whole area is really busy at night and it's close to the night markets, which are a lot of fun. We ended up spending about two weeks in this area, albeit in cheap & shitty hotel rooms, last time we were there and found it easy to access everything and fantastic for people watching and night time wanders.
posted by Wantok at 11:45 PM on July 5, 2011

If money is not an issue try the Banyan Tree on South Sathon. Very nice.
posted by alonsoquijano at 2:16 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If I were you I'd be looking at staying somewhere with a BTS (Skytrain) or MRT (Metro) station within 500yards of the hotel (500yds because it's so hot to walk, any further and you'll need another shower before you've even got to the station). Travelling by either the BTS or MRT is far quicker than using a taxi/tuk-tuk/bus. The traffic jams in Bangkok are bad, especially from 7.30am-9am and 5pm-8pm.

I might suggest looking at Soi Kasem San 1 which has about a dozen hotels along it and is directly opposite MBK (the busiest shopping mall) and is also adjacent to a Skytrain station. Within easy walking distance is Siam Square (and more shopping malls = Centralworld, Siam Discovery, Paragon, Siam Centre). Also a few streets opposite is where the Thai kids go to buy their fashionable clothes and a small streetside market/snack stalls most nights. Around this area you won't find any 'lady bars' (hostess bars) or touts suggesting visiting a 'massage parlour'. There's also a very nice Temple, with much larger grounds/gardens than you'd ever guess, inbetween the Paragon and Centralworld shopping malls.

I've only ever stayed in one of the hotels on Soi Kasem San 1, although I looked at most of them before I picked and then later rented an apartment not far away because I liked the area. The nicest rooms were in Pathumwan House (which also rents rooms/suites by the month to ex-pats). This is going back a few years, I think it was about US$35-$45 per night. One thing to note, the Reno Hotel looks (from the outside) by far the nicest (and where I initially intended to stay), but the room I saw was small and nowhere near as well kept as you'd imagine given the reception area (this was a few years back though, things may have changed).

If you wanted to stay in the centre of noisy, bustling, manic humanity you could try Chinatown (locally known as Yaowarat): bigger than any other Chinatown I've ever seen. During the evening you'll find lots of large street food stalls pop up as some of the other businesses shut (Soi Texas has a famous seafood stall). Staying in Chinatown would give you plenty of opportunity for photographing nightlife/markets/people/temples/neon lights: I really like Yaowarat but I've never lived there. Also not far from Chinatown is Little India (Pahurat), which is a bit less manic and much smaller, but also worth wandering around.

A touristy photo option would be to take a night cruise along the river: you can eat and drink on the boat. There are a few different companies offering cruises, I don't remember which one I was on, but the boats we passed on the river all looked similar.
posted by selton at 5:32 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

If money is not a problem, I stayed at the Sheraton Grand in Sukhumvit and it was awesome. Right in the middle of all kinds of stuff, and allowed you to chill when you needed to.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:01 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I stayed at the Banyan Tree as well. It was cool, but the Sheraton Grand was a lot better and in a better location in my opinion.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:05 AM on July 6, 2011

I stayed at on8 near nana station. Came highly rated on tripadvisor, was central, cheap (not backpacker cheap though) and was very comfortable. I recommend it.
posted by mr_silver at 11:49 AM on July 6, 2011

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