Tag Archives: Silom

Best Bangkok Bargains

fruit

There is a growing perception that Bangkok and Thailand is becoming an expensive country. There has been a surge in inflation that has accompanied the continued expansion of the economy since the 1990s. Tourists often seem to get the brunt of the high prices as many hotels base their profit margins on inflated food and beverage prices. There is also a massive ‘middle-man’ sector to the economy that organise tours, tickets and rental vehicles for prices that include a 20% profit margin.

All is not bad, however. Thailand still remains a country with man fabulous bargains for shoppers, culture vultures and foodies. Here is a list of some of the best bargains in Bangkok

Bangkok Metered Taxis

If you make the effort to walk out of your hotel and around the corner you will soon find a taxi prepared to go on the meter. Don’t get a taxi on the main road in Khao San. Walk towards the river and you will soon secure the services of an honest taxi driver. The meter starts at 35 Thai Baht. If you share a taxi it is cheaper than the sky train or underground. For just a few dollars you can get to all the major shopping and tourist spots in Bangkok. If you speak a bit of Thai the drivers are often keen to chat; some turn out to be real characters. You could base a blog around the bizarre conversations to be had with Bangkok taxi drivers.

Street Food

There are thousands of small places to eat on the pavement. They vary in quality. Hygiene might be an issue for those with delicate stomachs. I have, however, never been poisoned by street food. You can get a great phad Thai for 40 Baht. I have also had some brilliant massaman curries from street vendors. They are a fraction of the price of restaurant dishes, and often just as good. For more information about street food in Bangkok see the articles on this page.

Shakes, Juices and Fruit

Thailand has some of the best fruit in the world. The tropical climate produces bumper crops of fruit that you can buy very cheaply from street vendors. For 10 Baht you can get a bag of pineapple. You can also get cold and freshly squeezed orange juice on the street. It is better than any juice in a carton you will get in a supermarket. Another great experience is coconut juice. It has a distinctive taste and is a great way to re-hydrate.

Software

Forget fake watches and replica football tops at night markets like Patpong. The real pirate bargains in Bangkok are found in MBK and Pantip Plaza. Don’t fancy giving Microsoft $300 for Office? Then pick up a copy for $10. For high –end professional software as well as PC games you can save yourself hundreds of dollars. You just have to read the installation instructions carefully. You could always get a knowledgeable friend or a computer shop back in your own country to help you with installation if you run into difficulties.

Hotels

At the budget end of the accommodation market you get few bargains in Bangkok. Cheap rooms are generally small and very basic. This is especially true around Khao San. For those prepared to spend $30 a night there are some real bargains to be found. Areas such as Silom and Sukhumvit have plenty of good mid-range hotels. The intense competition means they often offer discounts. For $30 a night you can get an air-con room with satellite TV and fridge in a hotel with a swimming pool.

If doing Bangkok on the smallest possible budget possible then you can find hostels near Khao San as well as along the river and in the suburbs where they have beds for as little as $4 a night. A good place to search for such dorm beds and cheap guesthouses have a browse of www.bangkokbudgethotel.info

Medical Procedures and Dentists

Bangkok is the number one destination in the world for medical tourism. For those who want a breast enlargement, eye improvement procedure, sex change etc. Bangkok is the place to go. There are several reputable clinics in the city as well as the excellent Bumrungrad Hospital in Sukhumvit. Bangkok also has a number of firsdt class dentists that offer implants at a fraction of the cost in Europe, the USA or Australia.

Getting a feel for Bargains

As you explore Bangkok you will discover the bargains to be found in this great city. You will also get a feeling for places that have inflated prices.

Silom Area Guide


Silom is a lively and exciting part of Bangkok. It is the financial centre of Bangkok with the stock exchange and head offices of Thailand’s major banks. Silom also has lots on offer for tourists.

Here is our run-down of some of the best bits.

Visitor attractions in Silom

Sri Mariammam Hindu Temple
Silom Road (corner of Pan Road). Open 6am 8pm. Free Admission.

Built in the 1860s by Tamil immigrants this lively and colorful temple is the main place of worship for Bangkok’s Hindu community. Well worth a visit.

Lumphini Boxing Stadium
Rama 4 Road by Silom MRT station. Open Tues and Fri (18.30) and Sat (16.30 and 20.30). 1,000 to 1,200 Baht entry

Thailand’s top boxing stadium. A must-see for Muay Thai fans. The best fights take place from 8pm on Friday nights.

Pat Pong Night Market
Soi Patpong on Silom Road. Open 19.00 to 24.00.

Lively night market in red light district. The place to buy fake watches, sunglasses and designer bags.

Lumphini Park
Junction of Rama 4 Road and Ratchadamri Road

140-acre park, popular with the local Thais. Popular with fitness enthusiasts who jog, cycle and do aerobics in the park. There are many food stalls and a good fresh food market at the weekends. This is a great place to experience a slice of Thai culture.

Great Restaurants in Silom Area

The Mango Tree, on Soi Tantawan, Surawong Road – Fantastic Thai food
Sanghai 38, on the 38th Floor of the Sofitel Hotel, 188 Silom Road ?Awesome Cantonese food

Great Bars

Vertigo Bar – Top floor of Banyan Tree Hotel, 21/100 South Sathorn Road
Sky Bar – Top floor of State Tower, 1055/111 Silom Road

Shopping

Jim Thompson Store, 9 Surawong Road – Thai silk shop
Silom Galleria, 919/1 Silom Road – Shopping mall with over a hundred shops and stalls selling art, antiques and gems

Hotels in Silom

Heritage Baan Silom – Soi 19, Silom Road
Triple Two Silom  – 222 Silom Road
Luxx – 6/11 Decho Road
Tower Club  – Lebua State Tower, 1055, 42 Silom Road

Quick Guide to Bangkok Accommodation

Bangkok Skyline

If you are visiting Bangkok for the first time, as with any city, it can be difficult to work out which part of the city to stay in. This article is designed to be a quick guide. Basically, for tourists the Bangkok city can be broken into five parts. Each has it pros and cons, which we have listed for you below.

Khao San Area

Khao San is the original backpacker area of Bangkok near the river and the tourist attractions of old Bangkok like Wat Po and the Grand Palace.

Pros of Khao San

  • Cheap accommodation and food
  • Lively with bars and clubs
  • Not far away from areas where people live in old fashion houses
  • Very accessible to tourists with English spoken widely and lots of amenities like ATMs and Internet shops

Cons of Khao San Area

  • If you are a bit older the young and exuberant backpackers might annoy you
  • The area isn’t connected to the skytrain or metro system making travel a bit more difficult
  • If it is luxury you are looking for, you won’t find it here

Hotels we recommend staying in the Khao San area (click on the links to read more about each place)

Baan Noppawong
Baan Tepa Boutique
Baiyoke Sky Hotel
Chakrabongse Villas
Navalai River Resort

Chinatown

Chinatown is a less touristy part of Bangkok with a noticeable Chinese influence. Near the river, the train station, and the major tourist attractions.

Pros of Chinatown

  • Authentic slice of Thai life
  • On the metro and skytrain system
  • Great restaurants
  • Great shopping

Cons of Chinatown

  • Bit off the beaten track with English not widely spoken
  • Not much nightlife which would appeal to the typical tourist
  • Not many amenities aimed at tourists

Hotels we recommend staying in the Chinatown area (click on the links to read more about each place)

Loy La Long Hotel
Shanghai Mansion Bangkok

Silom

Silom is the financial district of Bangkok popular with tourists near Lumphini park.

Pros of Silom

  • On the metro and skytrain system
  • Lots of great bars and restaurants
  • Near the lively Patpong night market

Cons of Silom

  • A bit touristy for some people with not much traditional Thai culture
  • A lot of the hotels and restaurants can seem a bit impersonal and ‘samey’
  • Very busy

Hotels we recommend staying in the Silom area (click on the links to read more about each place)

Baan Pra Nond
Heritage Baan Silom
Luxx
Triple Two Silom
The Metropolitan

Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit is a long road with many streets (known as ‘sois’ leading off it. This is the main area where expat residents live and it has the best amenities for tourists in the Bangkok.

Pros of Sukhumvit

  • Best hotels and restaurants in the city, the place to go if you want luxury
  • Great nightlife with lots of bars to suit all tastes
  • On the metro and skytrain systems
  • Some shopping opportunities

Cons of Sukhumvit

  • Not the place to go if you are on a budget
  • Very busy
  • Some people are put off by the blatant sex industry. There are two red light districts in this area and there are prostitutes on the street in some areas.

Hotels we recommend staying in the Sukhumvit area (click on the links to read more about each place)

Ariyasomvilla
Davis Hotel
Imm Fusion Sukhumvit
MaDuZi
Seven Hotel
The Eugenia Hotel

Siam Square/Chidlom

Siam Square and Chidlom are in the very centre of modern Bangkok.

Pros of Siam Square/Chidlom

  • By far the best shopping opportunities in the city
  • Lots of amenities like cinemas
  • Very accessible to tourists

Cons of Siam Square/Chidlom

  • In the evening this is not an area where you would go for a stroll on the street, not because it is dangerous, but because all the restaurants etc are in shopping centres.
  • The nightlife is centred around hotel bars, and most of the eateries are chain restaurants
  • Very busy at all hours

Hotels we recommend staying in the Siam Square/Chidlom area (click on the links to read more about each place)

Four Seasons
Hansar Bangkok
Hotel Muse Bangkok
Siam@Siam Design
Oriental Residence
Sukhothai Hotel
Tenface

As you can see, each of the 5 main areas has something to recommend it, and something to perhaps put you off. When I stay in Bangkok I often spend a couple of nights in one area and then move to another area.