Where to Stay in Bangkok
Popular Areas to Stay in the Capital
Bangkok is such a big city that its not possible to pick a hotel that's handy to everything but if you choose one near a Skytrain station it's the next best thing.
The Skytrain elevated rail system is an easy to use, cheap and quick way to get around the city and hotels located on its route generally advertise the fact as its an important drawcard for them. But be wary when booking as some do exaggerate their closeness !
If you wish to stay within walking distance of particular shopping or nightlife venues then the following is a list of some of the highest-rated by guest reviews :
Our Choice of Bangkok Hotels with High Guest Ratings
Sukhumvit Road - one of the most popular areas with overseas visitors. Lots of hotels to suit all budgets plus it has the Skytrain running its length allowing easy access to the rest of the city.
Siam Square – right in the the city centre, Siam Square is best known for its massive, modern shopping malls. Its also well placed to explore the rest of Bangkok.
Riverside – the city’s majestic river offers great sight-seeing and is home to some of the most luxurious hotels.
Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangkok's main international airport which is about 30 km from the city centre.
Silom - one of the busiest shopping and business areas. Handy to the Skytrain route and Patpong night life.
Soi Cowboy – busy adult oriented night-time street.
Nana Plaza – small area crammed with bars and GoGos.
Khao San Road – popular area with backpackers and has night life to suit them.
Where to Stay in Phuket
Find a Peaceful Location or Have the Nightlife on Your Doorstep
Phuket is a large island being roughly 50km long by 20km wide which means particular care has to be taken in choosing your hotel or you could end up staying at a resort miles from anywhere which may be fine for some but not for most people.
Most visitors elect to stay in or near the town of Patong. Located on the western coast of the island next to the huge Patong Beach, its packed with shops, markets, restaurants and bars. It is also home to most of the island's hotels so there is plenty of choice in all price ranges but, as the town is quite spread out, you need to look closely at where in Patong your hotel is located as local taxis (tuk tuks) are quite expensive even for short journeys.
Night-life lovers should look for accommodation within walking distance of Bangla Road which is the undoubted hub of the bar scene. Hotels near Bangla also have easy access to the beach and shopping.
For people who do not wish to be too near to the noise of the city centre there are other options such as up on the hill off Nanai Rd where many establishments have lovely sea views or at the quieter southern end of Patong Beach where you can still walk to the Bangla and the main shopping areas in about 15 to 20 minutes.
Although Patong attracts the majority of the island's visitors, Phuket has many alternatives for those who prefer a slower pace of life such as the smaller, quieter hamlets of Karon and Kata which have access to attractive beaches, shopping and night-life on a smaller scale than Patong. These towns are particularly popular with family groups who have young children.
There are many more resorts dotted around the island in stunning settings and with near exclusive access to their own small beaches that appeal to people looking to really "get away from it all". Some are incredibly luxurious such as Anantara Villas and Amanpuri while others offer similarly attractive settings for a lot less (try The Surin, Indigo Pearl).
Our Choice of Phuket Hotels with High Guest Ratings
Near Bangla Road - the nightlife centre of Patong. Also handy to the biggest shopping areas and Patong Beach.
On the Hill – hotels off Nanai Road often command excellent views of the sea and city.
South End of Patong Beach – quieter area of the beach but still only 15 to 20 minutes walk to the Bangla area.
Scenic Resorts – in more secluded and often stunningly beautiful settings on Phuket.
Most Luxurious Scenic Resorts – some of Phuket's most exclusive and luxurious hotels in breathtaking settings.
Where to Stay in Pattaya
Stay Near or Far From the Party Noise
Getting about in Pattaya is easier than in most cities of a similar size thanks to the cheap and efficient "baht buses" that operate throughout. However, as Pattaya is quite spread out, it really does pay to take note of a hotel's location before you book it or you could be wasting time each day sitting in the often gridlocked traffic.
Bars and nightlife are Pattaya's main attraction for foreign visitors with the beaches being the major daytime draw. The busiest and noisiest nightlife areas are on or near Pattaya Beach Road with Walking Street at the southern end being by far the most popular area.
This does not mean that its the only good night life area in Pattaya as bars can be found nearly everywhere. Some of the most popular locales and hotels to stay in are in the list below.
Our Choice of Pattaya Hotels with High Guest Ratings
South Pattaya near Walking Street– the heart of Pattaya's night life.
Soi 7 and 8 – another busy nightlife area near the beach.
2nd Road – easy access to nightlife and a still only a 10 minute walk to the beach.
Soi Bukhaow – crammed with bars and accommodation all at cheaper prices than most areas.
Naklua - in North Pattaya with its own bar areas and 15 minutes away from Walking Street on a baht bus.
Jomtien Beach – quieter seaside area with a nicer beach and quieter bar scene than Pattaya. 20 minutes from walking Street by baht bus.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
Some Convenient Areas to Stay in this Big City
Thailand's original capital, Chiang Mai, attracts visitors all year round who are drawn by the town's rich history, ancient architecture and its beautiful location amongst the hills of northern Thailand.
Being less commercialised for tourism than most other popular Thailand destinations allows visitors a more authentic thai experience but it does have its drawbacks. Getting around using public transport can be quite confusing and with the alternative taxis and tuk tuks being quite expensive by thai standards its, once again, important to choose the right part of town to stay in.
A hotel near Thapae Gate or the night markets is the best choice for the majority of people as there are many restaurants, bars and shopping areas nearby that cater specifically for foreigners with basic english being spoken by most of the Thais.
However, quite a lot of people go to Chiang mai to escape the typical tourist experience and for them there are plenty of resorts located outside the main tourist areas many of which are in very scenic settings. Included in this group are some of the most luxurious Chiang Mai has to offer such as The Four Seasons in the beautiful Mae Rim Valley or the The Chedi Chiang Mai on the banks of the Mae Ping river.
Our Choice of Chiang Mai Hotels with High Guest Ratings
Near Thapae Gate - handy to markets, restaurants and bars. Near the "old city" sights and the most popular area for tourists.
Riverside – a peaceful, pleasant setting within the city and not too far from restaurants and night life.
Mae Rim Valley – lovely green setting amongst the hills of Mae Rim about 20 minutes outside the main city.
Where to Stay in Krabi
Krabi Province Has Many Beautiful Beach Locations
Krabi Town is a working city and, although fairly handy to some of Thailand's most beautiful beaches, it is not in itself particularly attractive. To stay there does have the advantage of being cheaper but most visitors opt for one of several more scenic locations nearby.
Ao Nang Beach is in an absolutely beautiful location about 20 minutes drive from Krabi Town . Its a small seaside village aimed completely at foreign visitors with lots of shops, bars, restaurants and even a McDonalds lining the streets. Its small in size but if you stay too far from the main beach you might have trouble finding taxis or tuk tuks when you need them.
Railay and Tonsai Beaches to the east of Ao Nang are also attractive options and are accessed by water taxi. (Railay Bay Resort, Railay Village Resort)
Phi Phi islands which can be reached by launch from Krabi, Ao Nang or Phuket offer fabulous beaches and some great scuba diving. Several quality hotel resorts operate on the larger Phi Phi island.
Our Choice of Krabi Hotels with High Guest Ratings
Ao Nang Beach - a small seaside village 20 minutes drive from Krabi Town. A very popular tourist spot with plenty of shopping, bars and restaurants in a truly beautiful setting.
Railay Beach – just a couple of bays around from Ao Nang with access by water taxi only.
Phi Phi Islands – famous for beautiful beaches and a great base for scuba diving or day trips to explore the many surrounding islands.