If you only stay for a couple of days, try accommodations in Banghlampu or Sam Sen area near the river in Old Bangkok (also called Phra Nakhon or Rattanakosin on booking sites like Agoda). There’s something for every budget. Quiet Sam Sen area is my favorite to stay.
From Banghlampu/Sam Sen, you can reach most of the major attractions by taking the River Express Boat from Phra Athit Pier and metered taxis are also dirt cheap. You can even walk to some of the sights, if you can manage the heat.
Some sights to look into with their respective express boat stops:
- Dusit Throne Hall, Vimanmek Teak Palast and Wat Benchamabophit Marble
Temple (The Wet Pier)
- Grand Palace (Tha Chang Pier)
- Wat Pho and Wat Arun (Tha Tien Pier)
- Medical Museum and river temple (Wang Lang Pier)
- Little India and Chinatown (Memorial Bridge Pier)
- Asiatique upscale river market with ferris wheel (switch to free
shuttle boat at Saphan Taksin Pier)
Here’s a map I made for a friend. It’s called walking tour, but metered taxis are dirt cheap, if you don’t wanna walk.
Here’s another map, if you wanna visit sights by “Hop on Hop off” Bus Nr. 53 (It’s just a regular bus going in a circle around Old Bangkok, but you can use it as a hop on hop off bus, every ride is like 10 Cents)
Here’s a map with the locations of some of the most interesting sub culture districts such as Little India, Soi Arab, Chinatown, Sam Sen, Khao San Road and red light district Soi Cowboy
There are a gazillion of museums spread around Old Bangkok (Rattanakosin) and you can get a 200 Baht Museum pass to visit as many of them as you like. My favorite is Museum Siam near Wat Pho.
Banghlampu is also the area, where infamous Khao San road is located, but you never have to go there. It’s just a very small street, that makes for an interesting stroll, especially after dark.
Sukhumvit is a really bad idea to base yourself for travelers, unless you are really, really into shopping or red light districts. None of the major attractions are connected by Skytrain or Metro (yet) and traffic in New Bangkok is much worse than in Old Bangkok.
If you absolutely want to base yourself away from Old Bangkok, better try Silom near a river express boat stop rather than Sukhumvit.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t visit Sukhumvit. The whole Bangkok shopping mall experience is crazy, especially Terminal 21. Also Soi Arab (Soi Sukhumvit 3) is one of my favorite places to eat exotic food in town (esp. Ethiopian). Also the many seedy parts of Sukhumvit like Nana or Soi Cowboy make for an interesting stroll.
But half a day in Sukhumvit is enough as a traveler. You can take the Khlong canal boat from Banghlampu/Democracy Monument to Sukhumvit, which is a great experience in itself.
Hope you like your stay, Bangkok is my favorite place in the world!
This is awesome. Thank you!!!