Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok holds the title of the world's most visited tourist destination. From huge skyscrapers to authentic Chinese shophouses, Bangkok has something for everyone. The real allure of Bangkok lies in its fantastic street food, its hopping nightlife scene and its range of unique neighbourhoods. This guide to Bangkok neighbourhoods will help you find your way around, and get to know the most interesting areas in the city.
The Siam district is the true heart of Bangkok and is one of the most popular neighbourhoods with tourists and locals alike. Surrounded by five-star hotels and some of Asia's largest and best shopping malls, Siam district is an ideal destination for those seeking a modern metropolis experience.
Boasting exceptional transportation links, Siam can be easily accessed by three different BTS Skytrain stations (Chit Lom, Siam, and National Stadium). Arguably Bangkok's biggest and best mall, CentralWorld is a must visit for anyone looking to de-stress and relax in a mall that has hundreds of shops, numerous entertainment complexes and a vast abundance of food and beverage options. For a more upscale shopping experience, consider venturing to Central Embassy, which is Bangkok's ultra-luxury lifestyle mall.
Although Siam can feel slightly overwhelming, there’s plenty to see and explore – with an art museum, an aquarium, cinemas, local markets, and plenty more. Another exceptional attraction in Siam is the Jim Thompson House Museum, which is the Bangkok home and Asian art collection of the late James Thompson, also known as the 'Thai Silk King'. Built in the 1950s, this Thai-style teak house boasts some of Thailand's most renowned art pieces.
In recent times, the former commercial district of Thonglor has emerged as one of Bangkok's trendiest neighbourhoods. Particularly popular with Japanese expats and families, Thonglor features some of the city's most popular eateries and entertainment options. Filled with hip cafes, numerous local and international restaurants, clubs, markets and galleries, this is a great place for families, couples, and solo travellers to visit.
Easily accessible by the Skytrain and with so many exciting bars and restaurants to choose from, it would be a shame not to experience this haven for foodies and cocktail lovers.
Bangkok Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in the world. If you love food, then Chinatown is paradise. Head to the famous Yaowarat Road after sunset to experience some of the best food Bangkok has to offer. Fancy a cocktail or two? Take the time to visit Bangkok's other Soi Nana. Chinatown's hottest spot for drinking, art and more.
Chinatown is a fantastic place to experience the cultural melting pot that is Bangkok.
Khao San Road
A mecca for backpackers and tourists, Bangkok's Khao San Road was made famous by The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a young, hedonistic backpacker seeking the ultimate travel experience.
Easily accessible by the new underground MRT station of Sanam Chai, Khan San Road is jam-packed with pubs, restaurants, and markets stalls to keep you entertained while you soak up the lively atmosphere. For live music and great bands, we suggest you visit the appropriately named Roof Bar. Look out onto the road below as you sip a drink and listen to some of Bangkok's best cover bands. Khao San is also a great place to stay while exploring some of Bangkok's most popular tourist sites: The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Chinatown.
Full of highflying professionals and five-star hotels, the Sathorn area is a great place to base yourself for travelling around the city. Served by Skytrain, Sathorn has an abundance of classy bars, restaurants and shopping malls.
Experience the actual highest sky bar in Bangkok at the Mahanakhon Bangkok Skybar. Offering outstanding views on the 76th floor, this magnificent skybar and restaurant would be perfect for any special occasion.
Once a collection of paddy fields, the Silom area is one of the city's most interesting neighbourhoods. Take a leisurely stroll around Bangkok's famous Lumpini Park, while watching the famous friendly monitor lizards that stroll around on the grass.
Silom has a huge selection of bars and restaurants for those who have worked up an appetite from wandering around this fascinating area.
Easily accessible by both the BTS Skytrain (Asok) and the MRT underground (Sukhumvit), Asok will always feature as one of the best Bangkok neighbourhoods to experience during your travels.
The Terminal 21 mall is one of Asok's key attractions. Adjoined to the Skytrain, Terminal 21 has nine floors of shops, restaurants and entertainment options. With each floor themed according to different travel destinations, Terminal 21 is well worth a visit.
Thonburi, across the river from the main city centre, offers something different from other Bangkok neighbourhoods. You’ll find plenty of temples and other culturally important areas here, along with the distinctive newly-opened ICONSIAM mall. This is a particularly nice place to visit, because getting there can involve taking a scenic boat ride along the Chao Phraya River.
Of course, there are plenty of other neighbourhoods in Bangkok to discover as well. For your convenience, all of the neighbourhoods listed above are located near transport links, and offer a nice selection of restaurants and attractive shopping areas.