Best Places to Stay in Thailand

Best Places to Stay in Thailand

The Best Hotel Locations by City

Tongsai Bay, Phi Phi, Thailand

Whether you spend your holiday exploring some of Thailand's fascinating history in the ancient capital of Chiang Mai or prefer to head to one of the country's many beach resorts to relax in the sun it's wise to learn a little about each area before you choose your accommodation or you could waste valuable holiday time catching taxis or buses on a daily basis.

You may wish to be to be near nightlife and shopping or it could be that you want the opposite and prefer peace and quiet at a secluded beach resort. Whatever your preference, if you don't know an area then picking the ideal hotel can be difficult especially as some hotel advertising exaggerates the benefits of their location.

The following lists some of Thailand's most popular holiday spots along with information that may help you choose the best locations to suit your taste within each city, town or island. The hotels suggested are carefully chosen both for both location and reputation.

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Popular Areas to Stay in the Capital
Busy sukhumvhit Road in Bangkok

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 :

Where to Stay in Phuket

Find a Peaceful Location or Have the Nightlife on Your Doorstep
Kata beach on the island of Phuket

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).

Where to Stay in Pattaya

Stay Near or Far From the Party Noise
Pattaya Walking Street has cheap accommodation nearby

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.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

Some Convenient Areas to Stay in this Big City
Tuk Tuk near centally located Tha Pae Gate in Chiang Mai's "Old City" area

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.

Where to Stay in Krabi

Krabi Province Has Many Beautiful Beach Locations
Tongsai bay, Phi Phi islands, Thailand

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.

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