The best neighbourhoods to stay in Bangkok for first timers are Ari, Ratchathewi & On Nut. They have some of the best hotels, nightlife & easy public transport access to the main areas.
If you’re a first timer in the city, you may have seen Khao San Road in Banglamphu and Sukhumvit mentioned many times as the best places to stay. These areas are near the crazy and intense nightlife and will be full of tourists. For this reason, expect prices to be hiked up and not to have a local experience.
If you’ve landed on this blog, you will know that we are all about finding the undiscovered places in cities around the world. Below you will find our recommendations which most likely you probably have not seen listed regularly. But trust us, they are great locations to base yourself to experience a more authentic Bangkok.
1. Ari Neighbourhood
Ari is one of our favourite areas to stay in Bangkok and is located north of the city, in the Phaya Thai area.
The area is home to middle class locals and expats. Here you will find a lot of laid back coffee shops, jazz bars, street food dining and some delicious restaurants.
Ari is one of the best areas in Bangkok, but is quite undiscovered for people who don’t live in the city.
Ari is located on the BTS Sky Train, Sukhumvit line and only 5 stops away to Siam. This is home to the famous MBK mall and other well known shopping malls. If you’re looking for the nightlife, it’s a short journey away. It will take you 15 mins to get to Nana and the famous Sukhumvit area where all the bars and clubs are. These journeys should cost you around 60-80 THB.
Where to stay
We loved this area so much we stayed in two different places here! You’ll see why when you get to Ari!
฿฿ – The Yard Hostel
This hostel deserves 10/10 for the cleanliness, community vibes, and eco-friendly nature and really feels like a home away from home. You don’t need to be a backpacker to stay here as their duplex double bed rooms are beautiful! They are newly refurbished and have two floors with a ladder which leads up to the comfortable bed on the upper floor. The only thing we would say is because The Yard has a beautiful garden courtyard to hang out, there are quite a few mosquitoes and insects. Make sure you spray yourself well if you’re sitting outside in their lounging areas.
You’ll also find an electric buzz around the hostel as it is not just a place to stay but also a community space. You’ll find a small cocktail bar with outdoor seating, a delicious burger shack, a nail salon, a suit tailor and a coffee shop. The area is always buzzing not just with people who are staying at the hostel but with locals and expats who also visit.
A must stay place in Bangkok.
฿฿ – Airbnb
We absolutely LOVED this studio we found on Airbnb and it was probably the most reasonably priced accomodation we stayed in whilst in Bangkok.
The room is clean, with a big comfortable bed, fluffy pillows and a really good shower (we all know how important that is!). There is also a dividing wall in the room as you even have your own little living room and last but not least a balcony with table & chairs.
The host was really easy to speak to and replied super quickly, and the apartment is located in a building with a concierge.
A great place to stay in the Ari neighbourhood.
A bustling local neighbourhood home to Victory Monument, rows of malls down Phetchaburi Road and the city’s main interconnecting link for buses to Pattaya, Hua Hin and Ayutthaya and an airport rail link to Suvarnabhumi Airport. But besides all of this, the area seems very local and you definitely get away from the feel of being surrounded by tourists despite being in one of the city’s main hubs (that’s because they haven’t read this blog and all ended up in Khao San Road ;))
It is a vibrant area which attracts people from everywhere and provides some of the best local street food and one of the most buzzing areas in the city; Co-Co Walk. Full of bars and restaurants making it a great place to hang out in Bangkok with friends or to meet new people (visit Co-Co Walk on a weekend, it’s the busiest then!)
Where to stay
฿฿฿ – An Oasis In Bangkok – GalileOasis
Wander down the small local village streets, past local houses with children playing and venture down a secret alleyway. Here you will find the beautiful GalileOasis Hotel which sits within GalileOasis courtyard. A little confusing, but we’re here to clear that up for you!
The hotel is a creative space with a café (Piccolo Vicolo), art gallery, hotel, pop-up shops and restaurants with an aim to connect art, community and people.
The area has been recently renovated and you will feel a sense of calm, stillness and inclusivity, which is incredible in such a busy city.
The sense of community is given off by the co-working spaces in the centre of the courtyard. This allows everyone and anyone to interact with each other.
The rooms are simple, with an art deco feel; exposed brick, crates for sofas – and to be honest, it’s genius. Despite being so simple, the hotel exudes luxury without being over the top. The beds are comfortable, pillows are fluffy (are you noticing how important this is to us!), and the rooms are clean. One of our favourite features is the foot pedal sink to minimise water waste, which ties into the eco-friendly theme of the whole area.
You can’t miss this place. Staying here is the dream, but if you can’t get a room (there are only 19 rooms), definitely come here to hang out, grab lunch, coffee or even just to see how beautiful this place is!
3. On Nut
On Nut area is one of the most ‘homey’ neighbourhoods in Bangkok, with it’s peace and quiet & cheap food! It’s definitely not near all the bustle of Bangkok, but the BTS Sky Train takes you from On Nut directly to Thong Lo within 3 stops. Thong Lo is where all the BEST speakeasy bars in Bangkok are. Nana is also within 6 stops (where all the buzzing nightlife is).
It is an area which is quite undiscovered, and whilst it isn’t swarming with things to do, it is an upcoming place for expats who are starting to crave a break from the busyness of Bangkok.
Where to stay
฿฿฿ – Shan Villas
Shan Villas will transport you to South Thailand to one of the islands. With a long pool running through the centre of their hotel shaded by trees, you’ll feel engulfed into a city escape the moment you enter. In the morning you are greeted with a Bali style floating breakfast in the pool from the moment you wake up.
The rooms are clean, beds are comfortable and they have a range of rooms to suit everyone from double rooms to the most beautiful private villas (with 2 floors, private pool, private jacuzzi, fully serviced kitchen).
They also have a rooftop with peaceful views of the city skyline from a distance and host Bangkok’s 1st ever dining igloos.
If you want to escape the city but also be near Bangkok’s hotspots, this hotel is for you!
Here’s a little about us and why we do what we do!
We’re Serena & Anish, from London and like many of you out there, we love travelling, exploring & experiencing the local & less touristy corners of the world.
Finding undiscovered places is something we love. Whether that is a local restaurant serving the best home cooked food, or an unheard of immersive experience and you can trust us to find it all for you!
We’ve decided to bring you a brand which is more personal. We don’t want to be strangers telling you what we think is best. We want you to get to know us & through us, find the real ‘off the beaten path’ places.
Have you ever landed in an airport with no access to data or wifi? And unsure of the safest and cheapest way to get into the city?
On our website, you will find restaurants where the locals dine, pop-up bars & hidden speakeasies which we’ve found & tried but alongside all of that, we are also providing you with the top local tips to make travelling easier.
Our content is digestible, trusted and definitely not mainstream.
You won’t find restaurant chains & the most popular bars in town here, you can visit Timeout and Tripadvisor for that. We want to be with you from the start to the end. And helping you travel like a local and exploring the world differently is our goal.
UNDISCVERED is where you’ll find everything in one place.
Whether you’re after a quick bite to eat, a cozy cocktail bar or a boozy brunch, the amount of blogs and articles on google is suffocating. We want to make your trip easier to plan. You won’t find an endless list of places here because every recommendation on our website is personal. There’s no wasting time here because we know your time is valuable. You don’t want to spend the rest of your day finding somewhere to go.
Finding out you missed out on an underground speakeasy or a pop-up after you’ve left a city is the worst! Don’t get fomo. Discovering ‘off the beaten path’ places is what we do and we want to share these hidden gems with you!r
Get In Touch
Let us know whether you liked the suggestions in the comments and if you want info on anything else. We’re always happy to help with recommendations in any city around the world!
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Serena & Anish