Where to Stay in Bangkok (First Time + Rooftop Pool Hotels)

A complete guide to where to stay in Bangkok (+ the best places for first-timers, tourists, nightlife, street food and the best rooftop pool hotels).

With more than 10 million people, Bangkok is not only the biggest city in Thailand but also in Southeast Asia. It is a city of contrasts, where ancient temples and lively markets sit alongside modern skyscrapers and shopping malls. As the capital of Thailand, the city ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

Bangkok is located in central Thailand along the winding Chao Phraya River. The city is divided into 50 districts (khet in Thai), which are further divided into sub-districts. With so many districts, choosing where to stay in Bangkok can be challenging, especially for first-time visitors. In order to get the most out of your trip, I’ve put together this travel guide. It will guide you through the best neighbourhoods for first-timers, nightlife, shopping and street food. Also, I’ve listed hotel recommendations for each area, along with the best rooftop pool hotels in Bangkok.

Lastly, at the end of the blog post, I’ve included a brief section about Phuket and the amazing beach resort where I stayed. If you’re considering extending your trip, you might find it helpful.

Where I stayed in Bangkok

After quite a lot of research on my trip to Thailand, I chose to stay on Sukhumvit Road. I was looking for a central neighbourhood with convenient access to tourist attractions, shopping and nightlife. Sukhumvit Road ticked all the boxes. Plus, finding a great hotel was easy, as Sukhumvit Road boasts some of the coolest hotels in Bangkok.

My favourite place to stay in Bangkok: Carlton Hotel Sukhumvit
Why: ideal location, 8min walk to BTS Skytrain and MTR metro stations, rooftop pool
What I like: fantastic rooftop bar, a complimentary evening cocktail (if you book a club room)

I highly recommend staying on Sukhumvit Road if you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time. The area is super central and excellently connected to the rest of the city via the Skytrain and metro. The blue MTR metro line takes you to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. Meanwhile, you can reach some of the best shopping malls, including CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, and Siam Square One, via the Sukhumvit Skytrain Line.

Most popular hotel in Bangkok

Looking for a great hotel with a rooftop pool in an ideal location? Then check out Pathumwan Princess Hotel – with over 6,000 reviews, it is the most popular hotel in Bangkok.

Pathumwan Princess Hotel – Most popular hotel

Guest rating: 8.8 | 6,070+ reviews

Fantastic central location, about a 10-minute walk from National Stadium Station and Siam station (Silom and Sukhumvit Skytrain lines). The hotel is directly connected to MBK Shopping Mall and within walking distance to several more (including Siam Paragon and CentralWorld). You have a choice of six restaurants: Kongju Korean Restaurant, Ping’s Thai Teochew Seafood Restaurant (Thai-Chinese seafood), CiTi BiSTRo (classic Thai and Asian dishes), t@Lobby (great afternoon tea), The Secret Exclusive Club and Studio Bar (amazing cocktails).

Why book – 10min walk to 2 Skytrain stations, rooftop tennis courts and salt-water rooftop pool

bangkok old town grand palace
The Grand Palace is located in the heart of Bangkok’s Old Town

Tips for booking a hotel in Bangkok

Public transport proximity – Bangkok is huge, so even if you pick a central area, you’ll need to use public transportation to get around. Thus, I strongly suggest staying near a metro or Skytrain station. Ideally, book a hotel near the blue metro line, which conveniently connects you to landmarks like the Grand Palace and Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

Visiting Bangkok for the first time? Then check out my itinerary for 2 days in Bangkok, which includes the best temples to visit and how to explore the floating markets.

Opt for a 5-star hotel – Bangkok is an affordable destination, and 5-star hotel prices are surprisingly low. That’s why I recommend checking out some luxury hotels and comparing prices before booking. Additionally, some luxury hotels offer a complimentary evening cocktail with snacks (if you book a club room), which can suffice for a light dinner.

Where to stay in Bangkok (first time)

Sukhumvit – where to stay in Bangkok first time

Chao Phraya River divides Bangkok into two parts – east and west banks. The west bank, also known as Thonburi, served as the capital of Thonburi Kingdom from 1767 to 1782. The biggest attraction here is the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). The eastern bank includes Bangkok’s Old Town, as well as the modern city centre. The Old Town once served as the capital of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Here, you’ll find the city’s iconic attractions (the Grand Palace and Temple of the Reclining Buddha), shopping malls and rooftop bars. In general, you’ll want to base yourself on the eastern bank, as this is where you’ll be spending most of your time.

The best place to stay in Bangkok for the first time is Sukhumvit. Located in the eastern part of the city, Sukhumvit is a very central area, packed with shopping centres, restaurants, and nightlife spots. Moreover, the neighbourhood is very well-connected by the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway to the rest of the city, including the iconic Grand Palace and Wat Pho.

The area is named after the Sukhumvit Road, one of the longest roads in Thailand. In fact, it runs through the district, serving as its main artery. Sukhumvit Road is lined with countless restaurants (from high-end restaurants to local eateries), rooftop bars and modern shopping malls (such as Terminal 21, Emporium and EmQuartier). The side streets of Sukhumvit Road are named Sukhumvit Soi 1, Sukhumvit Soi 2 and so on. The lower the street number, the closer you’ll be to the city centre. Generally, I recommend staying between Soi Sukhumvit 1 and Soi Sukhumvit 30.

For easy access to public transportation, consider staying near the intersection of the blue metro line and the Skytrain line (Asok and Sukhumvit stations). Just be mindful not to be in immediate proximity to the red-light districts like Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza. Although they are perfectly safe, so there’s no need to worry.

A visit to the floating markets is a must while in Bangkok. I highly recommend taking this Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour (over 10,800 excellent reviews), which include also the famous railway market.

Why stay in Sukhumvit for the first time

  • perfect location – Sukhumvit is the best area to stay in Bangkok for first-timers, because of its convenient transportation options, numerous restaurants and excellent selection of hotels with rooftop bars
  • direct access to iconic attractions (the Grand Palace and Temple of the Reclining Buddha) – take the blue metro line from Sukhumvit station to Sanam Chai (20min journey)
  • easy access to Suvarnabhumi Airport – just take the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line to Phayathai station and then change to Airport Rail Link
where to stay in bangkok first time

In my opinion, Sukhumvit is the perfect place in Bangkok for first-time visitors, who want to be in a central location and enjoy a little bit of everything – shopping, trendy restaurants and rooftop bars. It’s my favourite area in the city, and I choose to stay here every time I am in Bangkok. Some of my favourite restaurants here are Breakfast Story Asok (best brunch in the city) and Benares (fine dining Indian restaurant).

Hotels in Sukhumvit (Best for couples)

Night Hotel – Most popular

Guest rating: 8.6 | 2,690+ reviews

Night Hotel is ideally situated on the quiet Sukhumvit Soi 15, steps away from the shopping mall Terminal 21, Asok SkyTrain station and Sukhumvit MRT station. The hotel offers a fantastic spa area with Thai massages and foot massages. Also, there is an excellent restaurant, Flava, serving both international and Thai cuisines.

Why book – 6min walk to Skytrain and metro stations, rooftop swimming pool and a bar, fantastic breakfast

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel – Best rated

Guest rating: 9.1 | 530+ reviews

Located on Sukhumvit Soi 14, the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel is the perfect place to stay in Bangkok for couples. The location is ideal, just a short walk from the shopping centre Terminal 21 and plenty of restaurants. Easy access to tourist attractions (via Sukhumvit station – for the Grand Palace) and shopping malls (via Asok SkyTrain station – for CentralWorld, the biggest mall in Thailand). Additionally, the hotel boasts an excellent Japanese restaurant, Umenohana.

Why book – next to Skytrain and metro stations, rooftop swimming pool and a bar

Hotels in Sukhumvit (Best for families)

Aira Hotel – Most popular

Guest rating: 8.5 | 3,860+ reviews

Aira Hotel is located on Sukhumvit Soi 11, the most famous side street of Sukhumvit Road. Ideal location for first-time visitors, with the Nana BTS SkyTrain station just a 5-minute walk away and the Terminal 21 shopping centre only 10 minutes away on foot. There is a great restaurant, ​​Pastel (Asian cuisine), a traditional Irish pub and even a Starbucks! Be sure to book a Jacuzzi Corner, Executive Studio, Premier Suite, or Aira Suite to enjoy club lounge access with free drinks and snacks.

Why book – 5min walk to Skytrain station, salt-water swimming pool, excellent breakfast

Gardina Asoke Hotel – Best rated

Guest rating: 9.1 | 760+ reviews

Situated on Sukhumvit Soi 16, across from Benchakitti Park, the Gardina Asoke Hotel is the perfect base for families. The location is central, close to numerous restaurants, yet quiet. Make sure to check out the Lazy Daisy Brunch and Bar, serving both Thai and Western cuisines. There is also a free tuk-tuk service to Asok BTS SkyTrain station and Queen Sirikit MRT station, both of which are a 15-minute walk away.

Why book – next to a park, spacious quiet rooms, outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi

Luxury hotels in Sukhumvit

SKYVIEW Hotel – Most popular

Guest rating: 8.7 | 5,680+ reviews

Situated on Sukhumvit Soi 24, SKYVIEW Hotel is only a few steps from Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station and Emporium and EmQuartier shopping centres. There are two restaurants on-site – Prime, which serves international cuisine, and Yankii, which offers Japanese cuisine. The Liquid pool bar features a relaxed tropical vibe with an infinity salt-water swimming pool. The 2 rooftop bars – Vanilla Sky Bar and Mojjo Rooftop Lounge Bar offer panoramic views over Benjasiri Park and the city skyline. Be sure to visit the Character Whiskey & Cigar Bar, where you can enjoy superior single malt whiskeys. In addition, you can choose from over 100 premium handmade cigars imported from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

Why book – next to Skytrain station and 2 malls, outdoor salt-water swimming pool, 2 rooftop bars

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit – Best rated

Guest rating: 9.2 | 1,860+ reviews

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is one of the best 5-star hotels on Sukhumvit Road. Ideal location, right across Terminal 21 shopping mall and Sukhumvit MRT station and next to Asok BTS SkyTrain station. You can choose from several restaurants – Orchid Café (international cuisine), Rossini’s (Italian), The Sala (fresh seafood), Le Petit Chef (Asian-Fusion), Basil (Thai), Barsu (gastro lounge) and The Living Room (live jazz lounge). I find their outdoor pool fantastic, surrounded by a lush tropical garden. You can also learn the art of lotus folding right here at the hotel by visiting the Sala every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2 PM.

Why book – next to Skytrain and metro stations, tropical outdoor pool, great Spa

Apartments in Sukhumvit

Oakwood Suites – Most popular

Guest rating: 8.9 | 840+ reviews

If you’re looking for an apartment for your stay in Bangkok, Oakwood Suites is one of the best options. The property is located on Sukhumvit Soi 24, a few steps away from Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station, Emporium and EmQuartier shopping centres. All apartments include a kitchenette and you can even enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and a sauna in the building.

Why book – next to Skytrain station and 2 malls, 24-hour front desk, outdoor swimming pool and restaurant

sukhumvit sunset
Sukhumvit – the best area to stay in Bangkok for first-timers

Bang Rak – best area to stay in Bangkok for tourists

If you look at a map, you’ll notice that Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions are situated along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. However, there are hardly any hotels near the Grand Palace or Wat Pho, that are also conveniently located near the metro or Skytrain lines. If you stay farther along the river, you’ll need to take a boat to reach these attractions, which can add significant travel time. Therefore, I don’t recommend staying near the riverside for sightseeing. In my opinion, the optimal choice is to stay next to a station on the blue metro line, giving you convenient access to all the sightseeing spots.

Having said this, both Sukhumvit Road and Bang Rak are perfect options to stay for sightseeing. The only difference is that you’ll travel longer if you stay on Sukhumvit Road, especially if your accommodation is not near the Sukhumvit metro station. That’s why I’d suggest choosing Bang Rak if you want to be as close as possible to the tourist attractions.

Bang Rak is a centrally located neighbourhood. It is bordered by the Chao Phraya River to the west, the blue metro line to the east, the Silom Skytrain line to the south, and Chinatown to the north. The neighbourhood offers easy access to the blue metro line, which takes you directly (only a 10-minute metro ride) to the three iconic attractions – the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Additionally, Bang Rak is home to the famous Patpong Night Market and King Power Mahanakhon, offering the best panoramic views of the City of Angels.

Here’s my general advice: If you’re visiting Bangkok for a day or two and focusing on sightseeing, consider staying in the Bang Rak neighbourhood. For stays ranging from 3 to 4 days up to a week, Sukhumvit Road is a better option, offering proximity to shopping malls, plenty of restaurants, and rooftop bars. On my first trip to Bangkok, I stayed on Sukhumvit Road because I was there for a week and wanted to be near the city’s famous shopping centres, not just for sightseeing.

Make sure to buy a skip-the-line ticket for King Power MahaNakhon (as tickets are timed entry and could be sold out).

Why stay in Bang Rak for tourists

  • direct access to all iconic attractions – the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Chinatown will be about a 10min metro ride (from Si Lom metro station)
  • easy access to the rest of the city – the Sala Daeng BTS Station provides convenient access to CentralWorld (one of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia), Siam Paragon and Siam Square One
  • direct access to Bangkok Sathorn Ferry Port (via the Silom Skytrain Line) for river cruises and Chao Phraya Express Boat

DusitD2 Samyan – Best mid-range

Guest rating: 9.2 | 1,460+ reviews

Located only a 10-minute walk from Samyan metro station, DusitD2 Samyan is a great base for sightseeing. The hotel features an infinity pool, a rooftop bar and a fantastic buffet breakfast, which offers American and Asian options. Visit Mimi’s (for American cuisine and city views), Bebidas (for Mexican dishes) and Dusit Gourmet (for your favourite Thai meals).

Why book – 10min walk to metro station, outdoor swimming pool, rooftop bar

Amara Hotel – Best luxury

Guest rating: 8.7 | 2,990+ reviews

Amara Hotel is conveniently situated on Surawong Road, about a 10min walk from Samyan metro station (blue metro line). The hotel’s restaurant Element serves authentic Thai, Asian and Western cuisines (I love their signature dishes – Hainanese Chicken Rice and Bak Kut Teh). The rooftop bar, AkaAza Bar, is the perfect palace to unwind, offering stunning views over Bangkok. Make sure to book a club room for a complimentary evening cocktail and the Club Lounge.

Why book – 10min walk to metro station, great Spa and outdoor swimming pool, rooftop bar

grand palace buddha
The Grand Palace is just a short metro ride away from Bang Rak

Best rooftop pool hotels in Bangkok

Bangkok is known for its rooftop pool hotels. Almost every nice hotel boasts a pool, often situated on the rooftop or high enough to offer stunning bird’s-eye views. I highly recommend booking a hotel with a rooftop pool, as the afternoons in Bangkok are often so hot that sightseeing can be nearly impossible. Plus, there’s nothing better than enjoying spectacular city views while relaxing in the water or lounging by the pool.

For an unforgettable experience with breathtaking views, I suggest booking a hotel that features an infinity rooftop pool. Here are the best rooftop pool hotels in Bangkok in my opinion.

Sindhorn Midtown Hotel – Most popular

Guest rating: 9.1 | 3,740+ reviews

If you’re looking for a hotel with an infinity rooftop pool, Sindhorn Midtown Hotel is one of the best options. The hotel is conveniently situated between the Siam neighbourhood and Sukhumvit Road, just a short walk from Chit Lom and Ratchadamri BTS Skytrain stations. The amazing rooftop infinity pool with skyline views is located on the 18th floor. Also, the hotel boasts the city’s highest Korean rooftop bar (Anju), a Thai whiskey bar called The Black Cat and an excellent Thai restaurant, Bangkok’78.

Why book – 7min walk to two BTS Skytrain stations, rooftop infinity pool and bar with skyline views, fantastic breakfast

Marriott Hotel The Surawongse – Second most popular

Guest rating: 9.1 | 1,900+ reviews

Situated in the Bang Rak district, Marriott Hotel The Surawongse is an excellent choice for first-time visitors to Bangkok who want to explore the city’s sights. Its outdoor infinity pool is located on the 18th floor and offers fantastic panoramic views of the city skyline. You can choose between 3 restaurants – Praya Kitchen (Thai cuisine), Yào Rooftop Bar (classic Chinese cuisine) and Kissuisen (Japanese). I’d recommend booking a M Club room to enjoy complimentary evening cocktails.

Why book – 15min walk to metro and Skytrain stations, rooftop infinity pool and bar

The Okura Prestige – Best rated

Guest rating: 9.2 | 1,400+ reviews

Located just a few steps away from Phloen Chit Skytrain station, the Okura Prestige is a slice of Tokyo in the heart of Bangkok. This luxury hotel features a fabulous 25-metre infinity swimming pool on the 25th floor. There is an authentic Japanese restaurant, Yamazato, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Elements (French cuisine with Japanese influences). Additionally, you can enjoy refreshing cocktails at Up & Above Restaurant and Bar and delicious homemade pastries at La Pâtisserie. In general, I recommend booking a club room, which comes with complimentary evening cocktails and snacks.

Why book – next to BTS Skytrain station, fantastic Spa, rooftop infinity pool and bar

carlton hotel sukhumvit pool
The rooftop pool at Carlton Hotel Sukhumvit

Silom – best place to stay in Bangkok for nightlife

The best area to stay in Bangkok for nightlife is Silom. This centrally located neighbourhood is famous for its rooftop bars, clubs, fantastic restaurants and night markets. In addition, it is well-connected via the BTS Skytrain (Silom Line) and the Blue MRT line (Silom Station) to the rest of the city.

Situated in the heart of Bangkok, the Silom neighbourhood is part of the bigger Bang Rak district. Silom is one of the city’s main business districts by day and transforms into a vibrant party hub at night. The neighbourhood offers a variety of nightlife options, from upscale rooftop bars and chic nightclubs to laid-back pubs and street-side bars. Also, it is home to the famous red-light areas, Patpong and Silom Soi 4 (which can be easily avoided if this is not your thing). You’ll find the Patpong Night Market here as well, selling everything from souvenirs and clothing to street food.

During the Thai New Year (from April 13th to 15th) Silom Road hosts one of the largest Songkran (Thai New Year) water festivals in Bangkok.

Thailand’s capital has no shortage of nightlife options with plenty of bars and clubs in every tourist neighbourhood, including Sukhumvit Road, Siam, Silom, Bang Rak and Khao San Road. However, I prefer Silom over Sukhumvit Road (also a popular nightlife area) because it has the city’s best rooftop bars and many authentic Thai restaurants.

Why stay in Silom for nightlife

  • central location – located in the heart of the city, Silom has an ideal location for nightlife, sightseeing and shopping
  • well-connected to the rest of the city – BTS Skytrain (Silom Line) provides access to Bangkok Sathorn Ferry Port and several shopping malls (CentralWorld, Siam Paragon and Siam Square One)
  • easy access to tourist attractions – the blue MRT Subway line (Silom Station) takes you directly to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun
  • make sure to visit the highest rooftop bar in Thailand, Sky Beach, or the Mahanakhon Skywalk (for the best views in the city)
  • my favourite restaurants and bars in SilomVesper (awesome cocktail bar), Yào Rooftop Bar (rooftop bar with stunning city views), The House on Sathorn (fantastic Thai restaurant) and Mimosa Bangkok (great Mediterranean restaurant)

The Quarter Silom by UHG – Best mid-range

Guest rating: 8.4 | 2,090+ reviews

Situated in the heart of Silom and only a few steps from Patpong Night Market, The Quarter is the perfect place to stay for nightlife. Plenty of bars and restaurants (Thai and Japanese cuisine) right outside your doorstep. Plus, Sala Daeng BTS Skytrain station and Si Lom MRT subway station are just a short walk away, providing easy access to the rest of the city.

Why book – 10min walk to metro and Skytrain stations, 24-hour front desk, large outdoor swimming pool

Ascott Embassy Sathorn – Best luxury

Guest rating: 8.9 | 2,220+ reviews

Located on Sathon Road, the Ascott Embassy Sathorn is less than a 10-minute walk from Silom and its vibrant nightlife. Moreover, Chong Nonsi BTS Skytrain station and Lumphini MRT subway station can be reached within about a 15-minute walk. The hotel features an infinity swimming pool, jacuzzi and a great Chinese restaurant on the 37th floor. Don’t miss the Happy Hour between 5-7 PM at the lounge.

Why book – 10min walk from Silom and nightlife, 24-hour front desk, outdoor swimming pool

silom night view
Night view of Bangkok from Mahanakhon Skywalk

Siam – where to stay in Bangkok for shopping

Siam is the best place to stay in Bangkok for shopping. This central neighbourhood is famous for its world-class shopping centres, featuring one of the largest malls in Southeast Asia. In addition, Siam is well-connected to the rest of Bangkok via the Siam BTS Skytrain station, where the Silom and Sukhumvit lines connect.

Part of the bigger Pathum Wan district, Siam is adjacent to Sukhumvit Road. The area is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts with five large shopping malls, including CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Square One and MBK Center. One of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia, CentralWorld offers a variety of international brands, designer boutiques, and local shops. Here, you’ll also find Apple Central World, Thailand’s largest flagship Apple store.

For high-end luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Prada, head to Siam Paragon. On its basement level, you’ll find the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, one of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia. Siam Square and Siam Center feature trendy fashion and Thai designers, while MBK Center is famous for its affordable shopping options, making it a haven for bargain hunters.

Why stay in Siam for shopping

  • Siam is home to 5 large shopping centres (CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Square One and MBK Center), making it the best area to stay in Bangkok for shopping enthusiasts
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of Bangkok’s most iconic markets, is only a 15-minute metro ride via the Sukhumvit line and Pratunam Market is just a 15-minute walk
  • convenient access to 3 more shopping centres (Terminal 21, Emporium and EmQuartier) via the Sukhumvit line
  • easy access to the rest of the city with the Siam BTS Skytrain station linking both the Sukhumvit and Silom lines

Holiday Inn – Best mid-range

Guest rating: 8.6 | 2,010+ reviews

Located next to CentralWorld and Chit Lom BTS Skytrain station, Holiday Inn is the perfect place for shopping enthusiasts. Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Square One are less than a 15-minute walk away. There are 3 restaurants to choose from – Ginger (Thai cuisine), Beer Republic (European and Thai food with great beer selection) and ConneXion (International cuisine).

Why book – 5min walk to CentralWorld shopping centre, outdoor swimming pool, fantastic breakfast

Siam Kempinski Hotel – Best luxury

Guest rating: 9.5 | 1,920+ reviews

If you want to treat yourself, Siam Kempinski Hotel is the perfect place. This fabulous hotel offers direct access to Siam Paragon and is just a 5-minute walk from CentralWorld, Siam Center, and Siam Square One. Siam Kempinski Hotel features 3 excellent restaurants – Sra Bua By Kiin Kiin (Thai-inspired fine dining), Pop Up Restaurant (modern Sichuan Cuisine) and ALATi (Mediterranean cuisine). Don’t miss the special Sunday brunch and Afternoon tea (daily).

Why book – 5min walk to 4 shopping malls and Siam BTS Skytrain station, great Spa with multiple outdoor pools

terminal21 shopping centre
Each floor of Terminal 21 shopping mall is themed after a different city

Chinatown – best area to stay in Bangkok for street food

Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat, is one of Bangkok’s oldest neighbourhoods, dating back over 200 years. It was established in the late 18th century by Chinese immigrants. Today, the area is a vibrant blend of Thai and Chinese cultures. However, it still retains much of its traditional charm with narrow alleys, old shophouses and ornate Chinese temples.

Chinatown is the best area to stay in Bangkok for street food. You can find a wide variety of street food and local specialties, including fresh seafood, roasted duck, dim sum, noodles, mango sticky rice, and even durian ice cream. You’ll find most of the street food stalls along Yaowarat Road and its surrounding alleys. Moreover, some famous eateries in the area have been operating for generations! I recommend trying the crispy pork belly (moo krob), seafood rice porridge (khao tom pla kimpo) and of course the famous mango sticky rice (khao niao mamuang).

During Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year and the Vegetarian Festival (Tesagan Gin Je), Chinatown becomes even livelier with colourful decorations and traditional performances.

One of the most famous attractions in Chinatown is Wat Traimit, also known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It is home to the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statue.

Note that Chinatown has fewer boutique hotels compared to other parts of Bangkok. In general, it can be challenging to find a decent hotel in this area. That’s why I recommend staying here only if you’re looking for an authentic cultural experience and excellent street food.

Why stay in ​​Chinatown for street food

  • with countless stalls offering delicious Thai and Chinese cuisine, ​​Chinatown is the best place to stay for street food
  • most popular street food tour (1,000+ excellent reviews) – join this Backstreets Food Tour with 15+ Tastings to experience the best of Thai cuisine
  • easy access to tourist attractions, including the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun via the Blue MTR metro line (5min ride from the Hua Lamphong station)
  • Chinatown is home to Sampeng Lane Market, one of the city’s oldest and most traditional marketplaces

ASAI Chinatown – Best rated

Guest rating: 8.9 | 1,720+ reviews

Situated just a block from Yaowarat Road, ASAI Chinatown has a fantastic location for street food enthusiasts. The Wat Mangkon MTR metro station is just a few steps away, providing quick access to the iconic Wat Pho and Wat Arun via the blue MTR line. The hotel’s restaurant, JAM JAM Eatery & Bar, offers a blend of Thai and Chinese flavours.

Why book – 3min walk to Yaowarat Road and MRT metro station, excellent restaurant

Shanghai Mansion – Most popular

Guest rating: 8.5 | 1,950+ reviews

Shanghai Mansion is situated in the heart of Chinatown, directly on Yaowarat Road with its many street food stalls. Occupying a historic building, this hotel takes you back to the charm of 1930s Shanghai. Be sure to visit the fantastic Chinese restaurant, Red Rose, and enjoy some cocktails at the Jazz Bar.

Why book – right on Yaowarat Road, 5min walk to MRT metro station, great Jazz Bar

phuket intercontinental resort
InterContinental Phuket Resort – the best luxury resort in Phuket

Bonus – Where to stay in Phuket, Thailand

If you plan to continue your journey to Phuket after Bangkok, keep reading, as I am gonna share the best beaches to stay in Phuket. The island is huge, so selecting a good location is crucial. That’s why when planning my trip to Thailand, I did quite a lot of research before booking my accommodation in Phuket.

Phuket boasts more than 30 beautiful beaches, but in my view, Surin and Kamala Beach are the best ones. After reviewing hotels on both beaches, I ultimately chose to stay at InterContinental Phuket Resort on Kamala Beach. And I was so happy with my decision, as Kamala Beach was absolutely stunning, with its soft white sand and crystal-clear waters.

My favourite place to stay in Phuket: InterContinental Phuket Resort
Why: perfect location, right on Kamala Beach, several excellent restaurants
What I like: amazing Asian and continental breakfast buffet, ocean views, lovely Spa

I reserved a Beachside suite with ocean view and club lounge access, featuring great ocean views and complimentary sunset evening cocktails. In addition, I’ve had a choice between two breakfast venues and access to an exclusive ocean-view infinity pool. In fact, I loved everything about the hotel, from the food (especially the Afternoon tea) to the spa treatments.

phuket intercontinental resort spa
The Spa centre at InterContinental Phuket Resort
phuket intercontinental resort afternoon tea
Afternoon tea at InterContinental Phuket Resort

Faqs about where to stay in Bangkok

Which area to stay in Bangkok?

Sukhumvit is the best area to stay in Bangkok for first-time visitors. It’s centrally located with plenty of restaurants and rooftop bars, and it’s excellently connected to the rest of the city via the Skytrain and metro.

Where to stay in Bangkok for one night?

For one night in Bangkok, Bang Rak is the best choice. It’s centrally located near the Chao Phraya River, with easy access to Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Patpong Night Market. Also, the area is well-connected by public transport (Skytrain and metro), making it convenient for a short stay.

Where to stay in Bangkok for 3 nights?

For a 3-night stay in Bangkok, Sukhumvit is the best option. It’s centrally located, packed with restaurants, shopping centres and excellent hotels with rooftop bars. Plus, the area is well-connected by Skytrain and metro, making it easy to explore the city.

Where is the best place to stay in Bangkok?

The best place to stay in Bangkok is Sindhorn Midtown Hotel. Situated conveniently between Siam and Sukhumvit Road, it’s within walking distance of two Skytrain stations. Moreover, the hotel boasts one of Bangkok’s best rooftop infinity pools and bars, offering stunning skyline views.

Is Sukhumvit a good area to stay in Bangkok?

Sukhumvit is the perfect area in Bangkok if you want easy access to restaurants, rooftop bars and shopping centres. Moreover, it provides convenient transportation to historic attractions like Wat Pho and the Grand Palace via the Skytrain and metro.

Which is better Sukhumvit or Siam?

Sukhumvit is better for first-time visitors due to its central location, plenty of restaurants and easy access to tourist attractions (such as Wat Pho and Wat Arun) via the Skytrain and metro. On the other hand, Siam is better for shopping because it’s home to major malls like Siam Paragon, Siam Square One and CentralWorld).

Best hotels to stay in Bangkok, Thailand

🔝 Most popular hotelPathumwan Princess Hotel8.8 | 6,070+ reviews
🏩 Best mid-range hotelDusitD2 Samyan9.2 | 1,460+ reviews
💎 Best luxury hotelSindhorn Midtown Hotel9.1 | 3,740+ reviews
💖 Best hotel for couplesNight Hotel8.6 | 2,690+ reviews
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best hotel for familiesAira Hotel8.5 | 3,860+ reviews

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About the author

Avatar Milena Yordanova
I am a full-time traveller and I have visited over 20 countries across 2 continents. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.

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