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Bangkok - Thailand

Bangkok offers a wide variety of accommodations to suit every taste and budget. A visitor can live royally in an elegant five star hotel or stay comfortably in a guest house on a modest budget. Since many hotels are often fully booked during the peak season from November to March, it is recommended that visitors make advance reservations if they plan to visit during this time.

The main hotel districts are around Siam Square and Ploenchit Road, next to the Chao Phraya River, along Silom Road and Suriwong Road, and along Sukhumvit Road. There are other areas such as Banglampoo where backpackers favor inexpensive guesthouses. More inexpensive accommodation is available across the river where some modern high-rise hotels are planned and in Chinatown, which is one of the most vibrant and typically Asian parts of Bangkok.

Siam Square & Ploenchit Road
In the area around Siam Square, you will find some very nice places to stay, along with a whole variety of shops, restaurants and nightspots. The less expensive places are concentrated on Soi Kasemann 1 and near Jim Thompson's House and Museum. These places, such as Wendy House, offer a guesthouse atmosphere with hotel comfort.

In a quiet enclave opposite Siam Square stands an elegant low-rise modern Thai building, the classy five-star Siam InterContinental. Another nearby luxury hotel is the Amari Watergate Hotel, near the World Trade Center. The Grand President Bangkok is a 30-year-old landmark aimed primarily at business travelers. Next to the Erawan Shrine and across from the Central World Plaza, you will find the Grand Hyatt Erawan, another stylish five-star hotel. Reputation precedes itself at Four Seasons Bangkok while less expensive accommodation can be found at the well known Indra Regent and Bangkok Palace.

Chao Phraya River, Silom Road & Suriwong Road
This district encompasses some of the older sections of Bangkok. The area around Silom Road and Suriwong Road is considered the financial district, and has a number of hotels and restaurants not far from the Patpong Night Market with its easy shopping and entertainment. For a centrally located top-class hotel geared for both business and leisure, try the Dusit Thani on the corner of Silom Road. Then there are two luxury establishments, the Montien Bangkok features a distinctly Thai character, and the Sukhothai, which boasts an elegant decor inspired by the walled city of Sukhothai.

Continue farther west, and you will reach the riverbank, where some of the leading hotels in Bangkok are to be found. The Royal Orchid Sheraton offers riverfront luxury oriented toward tour groups. For decades, the Shangri-La has claimed to be Bangkok's finest hotel, though there are now many others in its class. The Oriental, another stylish riverside hotel, is often voted as one of the world's top hotels. The Peninsula and Marriott Spa Resort are two other plush hotels overlooking the Chao Praya River.

Sukhumvit Road
This is another area well known for shops and nightspots, including the seamy bars of Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy. There are some mid-range hotels and inns here, including the Atlanta Hotel and the Bangkok Inn, but the better four-star and five-star hotels tend to be more oriented toward business travelers than tourists. However, what they may lack in character is made up for in facilities. The brand-new JW Marriott Bangkok is a deluxe hotel geared toward business travelers and boasts one of the most modern fitness centers in the city. The Landmark and the Westin Grande Sukhumvit are two of the most luxurious hotels on Sukhumvit, while the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is an old mainstay with business travelers. Novotel Lotus caters to business clientele. For modern-sized, unpretentious topnotch accommodation, try the Amari Boulevard, where all the rooms have nice views of the Bangkok skyline. More budget oriented options can be found at Zenith Hotel and the Danish style Stable Lodge.

Wherever you decide to stay in Bangkok, the friendly people here in the "Land of Smiles" will make it easy to relax and enjoy your time in this hospitable city.

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