Bangkok Neighborhood Guide
Bangkok is a huge city, and each of its neighborhoods has its own vibe, attractions, cuisine, accommodation options, and experiences. From sleek Sukhumvit and Siam to backpacker-central Banglamphu, here are our favorite Bangkok neighborhoods.
Banglamphu is Bangkok’s backpacker haven. While high rises and megamalls dominate much of Bangkok these days, Banglamphu retains an older feel. Also known as Old Bangkok, Banglamphu boasts traditional shop fronts, street-side markets, touches of greenery, and a healthy dose of Thai temples. It’s a place to wander, browse, and eat. It’s near Bangkok landmarks including the Grand Palace, Golden Mount, and Giant Swing.
Silom is Bangkok’s central business district, full of skyscrapers and upmarket hotels and malls. Amid all that modernity is the delightful Lumphini Park, a favorite playground of many Bangkok residents. Take a walk, join the locals in an open-air exercise class, admire the flora and fauna (including large monitor lizards), or just chill out in the shade with a book.
North of central Bangkok, Chatuchak is best known for its enormous weekend market. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the 15,000 stalls that set up every Saturday and Sunday, it’s probably not available in Bangkok. Other attractions in the area include the Queen Sikrit, Rod Fai, Wachirabenchatat Park, Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and the Children’s Discovery Museum.
The large Sukhumvit area is focused around Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok’s main arteries. Although there are few traditional tourist attractions, it’s an upmarket area with some of the best bars and dining options in the city. As well as Thai fare, you can find a wide range of international cuisine, from Japanese to Middle Eastern.
Siam is the old name for Thailand, and the Siam area is one of the most fashionable in the city. The focus here is on shopping—the large Siam Square is a landmark, and many malls, markets, and backstreets radiate out from the square. Other top attractions include Jim Thompson’s House and Sealife Ocean World.
The center of Bangkok’s Chinese community is an ideal place to take a guided or self-guided walking tour—on foot is preferred as it's difficult to get a vehicle down most of the congested streets. In Chinatown, find fascinating markets selling Chinese food and household items, and indulge in street food. Little India is also nearby.