Where to Stay in Bangkok?

I am sure this would be one of the very first questions coming up in your mind when planning your vacation in Bangkok. Your eyes will roll over when searching for hotels on those hotel online booking platforms. This blog is written to help you find the right hotel locations for you to stay. From years of experience being a tour guide, I went around the city to pickup my guests. Because of this part of my job, I can share my knowledge about my best areas for hotels in Bangkok to stay. In my opinion, the best areas to stay for hotels in Bangkok would be around Sathorn Pier, Phra Artit Road near Khao San road and hotels along sky trains and subway.

Sathorn Pier

This is a name of a boat pier along the Chao Phraya River. The pier is also known as central pier where “Chao Phraya Express Boats,” and Bangkok sky train (BTS) intersected. This intersection between the sky train and the ferry allows you to commute to both old and new town easily using the transports.

Surrounding the pier, there are many hotels situated nearby. These hotels have shuttle boat services transporting their guests from their hotels to the pier every 10-15 minutes. It’s so convenient for you to get around and avoid unexpected congestion in the city by these modes of transports.

Bangkok hotels along Chao Phraya River

Bangkok hotels along Chao Phraya RiverBangkok hotels along Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya Express Boat

The ferry starts servicing from 06.00-19.00 every day. The fares range from THB 15-60 per person. There are a few types of ferry services categorizing by flag color; orange, yellow, green and blue flag. To go to old town for the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun etc, you need to take the orange and blue flags.

Chao Phraya Express Boat and Wat ArunChao Phraya Express Boat and Wat Arun

BTS Sky Train

From the pier, you only need to walk for a few minutes to Saphan Taksin BTS Station. There you take a train heading to “National Stadium BTS Station.” The train will take you to the new town where you can explore the modernity of the city.

Beside the transportation convenience, you will get a beautiful scenery of the river while staying at these riverside Bangkok hotels as well.  Where to stay for hotels in Bangkok? Now you know one area to focus your search on “Sathorn Pier.”

Phra Athit Road : old Bangkok

Located in inner part of old Bangkok, Phra Athit Road is another favorite area of mine to stay for hotels in Bangkok. The area is surrounded by the main attractions such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddah, Wat Pho, Golden Mount etc. Along the road, there are several nice and affordable riverside hotels for you to choose from. These hotels are the ones that I prefer to stay.

Phra Arthit Road, BangkokPhra Arthit Road. Photo credit: crownproperty.or.th

Nearby historic attractions

Staying at a hotel here, what I like the most is the ability to easily walk to many important historic sites within 15-30 minutes. Furthermore, in the evening, you can entertain yourself by walking to Khao San Road, the largest Backpacker hub in the Southeast Asia for dinner and evening relaxation such as massage and drinks

Phra Sumen Fort on Phra Artit RoadPhra Sumen Fort on Phra Arthit Road. Photo credit: crownproperty.or.th

Grab is good to get around

Although this part of old Bangkok doesn’t have sky trains or subway yet, I do not think this is a problem. If you want to go to shopping areas like MBK Mall or Chatuchak Weekend Market, I suggest you use “Grab” transport service if you do not want to deal with Taxi meter drivers who refuse to turn on their meter system.

From my experience taking a taxi from this area to MBK Mall (shopping center) at different times of day, I found that the traffic is not congested at all. If you compare it with congested Sukhumvit area, this area is much better for me.

Boat pier nearby

Or if you would like to enjoy more of the city, take “Chao Phraya Express Boat” and transit to BTS Sky Train at Sathorn Pier to go to new Bangkok. There is “Phra Artit Pier” nearby these hotels where you can walk to within a few minutes. With this way of commuting, you can be sure that you will avoid unexpected Bangkok traffic.

Bangkok hotels along sky trains and subways

As I mentioned earlier in the blog about the use of the sky train, any hotels close to the sky train and subway would be my top choice. These hotels will allow you to get around the city using the transport system.

To get to old Bangkok from the area and avoid traffic. You can do the followings.

Take the sky train to Sathorn Pier and transit to the ferry heading to old Bangkok.

Take the sky train and then get off at National Stadium Station and get a taxi or Tuk Tuk to old town. If you do not want to take a taxi or Tuk Tuk, you can do “Saen Saep Boat Service.” You need to walk to “Saphan Hua Chang Pier” to take the boat to old town. From the station to the pier, it will take 10-15 minutes walking. But this way, I do not recommend because it’s more difficult to navigate for first time visitors. Unless, you have a local guide who know the city accompanying you.

Bangkok hotels along sky trainsBangkok hotels along sky trains

My favorite stations

To give you a better idea of where to stay in Bangkok for hotels in the area, I will give you my favorite BTS Stations that you can use to search for hotels nearby.

National Stadium Station

Siam

Rachathewi

Phloenchit

Ratchadumri

Nana

Asoke

Why my favorite stations for hotels to stay?

Beside its connection to the ferry, the stations are centrally located in new Bangkok. These stations are surrounded by shopping malls, various types of restaurants; Thai, Western, Chinese, and Japanese and Korea and other important sites etc. After a long day tour, you can conveniently go to shopping malls and restaurants to spend your evening close to your hotels.

With all these reasons mentioned above, Sathorn Pier, Phra Artit Road, and hotels along sky train and subway would be my choice to stay in Bangkok for hotels.

After reading this blog, I hope you can narrow your hotel search down and be able to focus on the areas that would suite you the most.

However, if you would like to save and maximize your time efficiently in a big city of Bangkok, getting a private guide and customize your itinerary would help you a lot. Check out our custom tour experience or email us at services@explorenique.com for more information.

 

Bangkok Tuk Tuk and Long-tail Boat Experiences

In Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, you will see these strange looking vehicles called “Tuk Tuk” on the street of Bangkok and long-tail boat along the Chao Phraya River. The Tuk Tuk is a 3 wheels opened-air vehicle that are fund to ride. Its local names is “Sam Lor”. The definition of Tuk Tuk is “a three-wheeled motorized vehicle used as taxis” in Thailand. Thai Tuk Tuks have been associated with the society and culture for a long time. Another eye caching vehicle along the Chao Phraya River in Bankgok is long-tail boat. The design of the boat as its name suggest, has a long shape design like Banana with a long propeller. The purpose of the design is to be able to go on shallow water.  The vehicles automatically became the way of life of the people living in Bangkok, and other parts of Thailand as their way of transportation. 

Bangkok Tuk Tuk

There are many different designs of Tuk Tuk vary by the region. The typical design for Bangkok Tuk Tuk looks like the picture below.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk

Bangkok Tuk Tuk 

For Tuk Tuk in other regions of Thailand, they could look like the pictures below.

Thailand Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in other regions of Thailand 

Long-tail boats

A yet iconic boat first created  around 1932-1933 by a civil servant. The boat in the past comparing to the modern day vehicle, is like public bus. When I was young, long-tail boat was used as public boats transporting people around town. Every time I got to take the boat, I was so excited because it was fun to take the boat viewing scenery of both sides of canal and rivers that I cruised along.

Long-tail boat in each region of the country looks different. This is because they have been modified to suite the local situation. For instance, the long-tail boat in the southern region looks like the one in the picture below.

Bangkok long-tail boat

Bangkok long-tail boats

Long-tail at in the southern region of Thailand

Long-tail boat in the southern region of Thailand

Best time to take Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Morning

For people with first time experience, this might not matter. First time experience is always excited for everyone right? I guess so. It was like me doing it for the first time when I was a kid  going out with mommy taking a Tuk Tuk. For me, my favorite time to take Tuk Tuk would be in the morning and evening. In the morning, the weather is not yet hot. So taking the Tuk Tuk which is an open-air vehicle, will not be hot comparing to afternoon period.

Evening

Doing Tuk Tuk in the evening after sun down would be my best time roaming the street at night on Tuk Tuk in Bangkok. Everything is perfect. No heat. No traffic. Bangkok traffic is horrible during rush hour. If you are struck in the traffics on Tuk Tuk, you can not avoid those pollution from the car. You need to inhale it while in your Tuk Tuk. I do not think this is not the experience you would like to have. I have been in this situation before and know it was not a pleasant experience to have.

You will also experience the beauty of Bangkok at night when the city is light up.

Best time to take long tail boats in Bangkok?

You can ride the boat any time of the day. Staring from sunrise to sundown. These long tail boats will take you along old canals of Bangkok which was once called the Chao Phraya River before the short cut was made. There are no traffic in the river and canals so you do not have to worry about congestion. All you need to do is enjoy the other side of Bangkok that can only be seen by taking the long tail boat only.

Late afternoon

If I have to choose my favorite time to do this long tail boat ride, I would do it in the late afternoon. Late afternoon cruise is my favorite because along those canals I cruise, I will see people hang out near the canal and river. Some are having dinner. Some are just siting, chatting or fishing. It’s a scenery of real local life that I really enjoy it.  However, other time of the day is also nice to cruise the canals and river. I also like it but the late evening would be my top choice.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tailed Night Light 

If you are looking for a Bangkok Tuk Tuk tour that has combined these two experiences into one, you might need to check out “Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tailed Night Light.” The tour offers you a mix experience of sunset, Tuk Tuk, long-tail boat, temples, food and market.

In short, I hope this blog about my Tuk Tuk and long-tail boat experience would be helpful for other travelers who plan to visit my hometown, Bangkok in the future. Sawasdee kub.