The perfect place for your first taste of Bangkok's famous street food. Some of the best and cheapest smoothies, phad thai and mango and sticky rice I have had in Bangkok.
The start of Sukhumvit Soi 38, nearest Sky train/BTS: Thong Lor
Google map: bit.ly/yUwYlh
I spent two nights at the Siam Classic in Bangkok and couldn’t find fault with this stylish hostel. Handily, it’s located at Hua Lamphong (one end of the metro line), just five minutes from Bangkok Central Station and also on the edge of the old town.
For 4,500 Thai baht (about £9) I had a cosy, clean and sweet-smelling single room with free Wifi and a simple breakfast (egg and toast) in the morning. The shared showers were strong and hot and there was a lovely roof terrace - perfect for chilling out away from the city noise. There are also banks opposite and a launderette just round the corner.
I went on the recommendation of a friend who’d formed such a bond with the owners that they’d let him store some of his luggage while he went away for a month. While I’m obviously not guaranteeing they’ll provide this service for all their guests, hopefully this indicates what nice folk the guys at the Siam Classic are.
Lub D is a funky well-located well-appointed hotel in Silom district. The staff are young and hip with fair English and a helpful manner; the hotel is new and very clean; the other visitors are varied and well-travelled. Nice European breakfast, great bathrooms, free 24 hour internet, all very clean and secure. Email them if you want to stay seven nights or more, they'll do you a bespoke rate (I saved 33% with a single email this way). A local market with many fresh cheap eats is three streets away. You'll pay 500 baht taxi from the airport at 3am including tolls and tip; Lub D will email you a taxi map in Thai when you confirm your booking making it so easy. Note that some tour bookings can be achieved more cheaply from travel agent on Silom especially if there are two of you - we saved 250 Bt each on the floating market this way.
This website is useful for backpackers: it has a budget calculator so you can accurately work out the cost of travelling in every country. I found it reliable when travelling throughout Thailand.
HQ is the best hostel I've stayed in, in my entire life. The design is modern, minimal yet very functional. The hostel provided clean bedsheets, a large pillow and soft duvets. Gym facility and chill-out coffee and waffle bar are a plus. Breakfast and wifi are free. What more can I ask for for US$10/ night? The staff were super friendly and always helpful. Loved every second I spent there and will go back everytime I'm Bangkok.
The Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok is renowned, but fewer people know about the free performances that can be seen on weekend nights at the Studio 9 restaurant within the theatre compound. With stunning views across the Chao Phraya River to the illuminated Grand Palace and a good value menu of modern Thai dishes the restaurant is appealing in its own right.
But what really makes it a location for a night to remember are the free displays of contemporary Thai performing arts which are shown on Friday and Saturday evenings. With dining tables set around the performance area this is a unique opportunity to see innovative young artists displaying their skills while tucking in to a delicious meal. On the night of our visit we were mesmerised by lithe acrobats contorting themselves within swinging hoops, and seemingly magically suspended from fluid streams of silk, all to a background of haunting Thai music.
Studio 9, 69/1 Soi Wat Rakang, Arun Amarin Road
A short walk from Wat Rakang Pier. Cross river ferries run every 5 minutes until 10 pm (3 Baht) after which you will need to return by taxi.
It's a hidden gem in the heart of Bangkok. Tenface is a new boutique hotel with only 88 rooms but it makes me feel very impressed. Their well-trained staffs are perfect! The room is very big and clean, recommended!
If you're backpacking in Bangkok why pay for a dorm when you can get a private room for the same price?
The Roof View is a lovely guesthouse with dirt cheap private rooms, and free breakfast, linen and towels.
The rooms are all pretty stylish,there are comfy beds with fresh white decor and a private balcony.
It's a ten minute walk to the Khaosan Road and a short bus drive to the Grand Palace.
90/1 Samsean Rd Soi 6,, Banpanthom, Pranakorn, Bangkok, Thailand 10200
Just got back from a tour of Thailand and this was the best hostel we stayed in. It calls itself a 'boutique hostel' but it's far cheaper than what Europe charges for a boutique bed - around €9 a night!
There are seven rooms so it's got a real homely atmosphere, and the 100-year-old building is beautiful. Our room was tastefully furnished and there was a peaceful zen-like roof garden.
The staff should get a special mention - the smiliest and friendliest girls I've ever met! It's also a short walk from the center of town. All in all, ideal for backpackers in Bangkok!
204-206 Maha Chai Road, Samranrach Phra-Nakorn, Bangkok, Thailand 10200
I've stayed at Tenface for the last two weeks. It's located on Sukhumvit Road. Nice touches like a iPod in my room, sim card for local calls, Bangkok travel tips with BTS card and more. Plus excellent staffs who can speak English very well.
I love Bangkok but sometimes is a difficult city to navigate if you want to avoid tuk tuks. However, there is a great official tourist booth just by Khao San Road where they know everything. From the bus number you have to take to the train station, its price or where is the closest gym
West side of Khao San Road on the opposite side of the police station
I've used Excelsior twice in the past and I'm very happy. I thought they were a tad steep but for about $700 in summer 2006, I got a two piece woollen suit, seven all cotton shirts, and five pairs of pants. The work was excellent, the shirts are holding up very well, and everyone loves the suit.
For what it's worth, I wanted a dark pinstriped suit, and they had lots of material to offer. B
115/1 Siamheritage opposite the Le Meridien. I guess they are the first tailor shop on the area and its always best to get suits at business districts.
Few things about tailors in Thailand.
Tailors in the west will only tailor clothes for you from fabric that you purchased from them. In the east some tailors would accept fabrics. It is recommended you buy the whole suit from your tailor including the fabric.
You must ask them to recommend something that they would say would tailor nicely, not just blindly get the highest count that you can afford.
Get a wool suit while in Bangkok. Wool generally makes a good suit. It drapes nicely, tailors well and looks formal and nice. Contrary to popular belief, light weight wool is even good for the summer and in most cases better than polyester blended fabrics.
In Bangkok the famous among the local expats would be Excelsior tailor.
A must visit shop by the delegates and embassy staff in Bangkok.
115/1 Suriwongse Bangrak Bangkok 10500 Thailand
HQ Hostel is a hip, cool and centrally-located accommodation for backpackers and budget travellers. It's located in the middle of Silom Road, and near two skytrain stations. It offers friendly, English-fluent and helpful staff.
Address: 5/3-4 Soi Pipat, Silom Rd., Bangruk, Bangkok
Phone: 662 2331598/ 66(0)83 4960915
BTS Station: Saladaeng and Chong Nonsi
After visiting so many shops in downtown Bangkok with people harassing you to get in, this shop was much different from the others, with no harassment or pushy sales. The price was reasonable for the quality and they give professional fittings. The Shop owner Mr Sunny has had famous clients including Elijah Wood from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
You can call them for pickup for free from anywhere.
I recently spent three of the craziest days fishing I have ever experienced.
Bungsamran Fishing Resort is the only place I know where you can catch a 40lb fish a cast!
They now also provide fully catered facilities, air conditioned bungalows, restuarants, shops and cafe.
My tip is to visit before demand pushes the prices up.
Public transport is cheap. Planes, trains, buses, minibuses and taxis from town to town. If you’re in a minibus or taxi, tell the driver you’ll tip him if he keeps the speed below 90/100 kmph! National speed limit is 90kph (120 on motorways).
Around Bkk try to use meter taxis with the meter on - it’ll be cheaper than the tuk-tuks (take a tuk-tuk once for the experience then use meter taxis).
Don’t let the drivers take you out of your way...they’ll try to take you to some store where they get commission.
Bring a cell phone “unblocked” and buy a Thai SIM card for it on arrival, they’re cheap (apprx. 250 baht) and include some credit already on them (e.g. - International calls to UK are about 5 - 8baht per min). Internet access is everywhere – even on the beach… you can get all your photos copied to CD. If you have a laptop you can connect it (broadband) at most cafes.
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