Ratchadaphisek (Thai: รัชดาภิเษก) is the district that follows the northeastern portion of Ratchadaphisek Road. It is located north of Sukhumvit, east of Phahonyothin and west of Ramkhamhaeng. Since the completion of the metro line, Ratchadaphisek has developed into an entertainment mecca for the locals with dozens of clubs, theatres, karaoke bars, bowling alleys and even an ice skating rink. Foreign visitors (mostly Japanese and Chinese) are drawn to its seafood restaurants, cultural performances and "massage parlours" (brothels). The part of Ratchadaphisek Road that runs along the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre is dealt with under Sukhumvit.
Ratchadaphisek, generally shortened to just Ratchada, breathes entertainment. While Sukhumvit's clubbing scene is probably the most impressive, it is totally overrun by expats. Ratchada's clubs, bars, cinemas, massage parlours and shopping malls almost exclusively cater to a local Thai audience (foreigners are welcome though). Saturday nights are busiest, with Thai students in their late teens and early 20s flocking in great numbers to "RCA", a pedestrian-only road that stands for Royal City Avenue. Being a government-designated entertainment zone, clubs here stay open till 02:00, which is one hour longer than elsewhere in Bangkok. The bars and clubs have spilled over beyond RCA onto the many sois Ratchadaphisek is rich.
Meanwhile, Chinese and Japanese mass tourism has discovered Ratchadaphisek, and there are many hotels and seafood restaurants fulfilling this demand. Western tourists, however, still come in surprisingly few numbers. Besides clubbing and fine dining, don't expect to see anything particularly interesting on this long, rather soulless road.
Orientation is quite straightforward. Ratchdaphisek Road is the main road that crosses right through the district from north to south. It is the transportation hub of the district as the MRT metro runs right beneath it. Many of Ratchadaphisek's sois intersect with the main road, with the uneven numbers at the west side and the even numbers at the east side.
By public transit
Since 2004, Ratchadaphisek has been completely served by the MRT metro system. The line exactly follows Ratchadaphisek Road with plenty of stops on it. If you are coming from Silom, Sukhumvit, Siam Square or Yaowarat and Phahurat, the metro is definitely the most convenient way to get in. The stations are, from south to north, Phetchaburi, Phra Ram 9, Thailand Cultural Centre, Huai Khwang, Sutthisan and Ratchadaphisek. The metro ride from Sukhumvit station takes about five to ten minutes, while the ride from Si Lom station takes about ten to fifteen minutes. Trains leave every five to ten minutes for a fare of about 16 to 41 baht.
Ratchadaphisek is not easy to reach by boat, but the Saen Saep Express Boat service does have some stops at the south side of the district. It generally is the fastest way to get into Ratchadaphisek if coming from Rattanakosin, Khao San Road or Dusit. A single trip from Rattanakosin to the district takes about 30 minutes (including a transfer at Pratunam pier) and costs around 8 to 20 baht. The most important pier is Asoke-Petchaburi, which is at walking distance of Ratchadaphisek Road. From there it is possible to transfer to the metro at nearby Phetchaburi MRT station. If you're heading for Royal City Avenue (RCA), you can get out at Wat Mai Chonglom pier. Other piers that border the district are Prasanmit, Italthai, Soi Thonglor and Charn Issara. All of these piers are served by the NIDA Line, which starts at Pratunam pier and runs all the way northeast to Ramkhamhaeng.
There are about 20 bus lines covering Ratchadaphisek Road. Ordinary and air-conditioned bus 136 starts at the Khlong Toei Market (near Sukhumvit) and then follows the MRT northwards, along the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Asoke Road and Ratchadaphisek Road. It passes Sutthisan, Lat Phrao and Phahon Yothin MRT stations before heading for Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit). Ordinary and air-conditioned bus 206 also runs from Asoke Road north, along Ratchadaphisek Road to the intersection with Phahonyothin Road. Ordinary and air-conditioned bus 514 traverses Silom Road and drives along Ratchadamri Road, Ratchaprarop Road, Victory Monument and Din Daeng Road to the intersection with Asoke Road, where it heads north along Ratchadaphisek Road to the intersection with Lat Phrao Road.
You can also pull over a taxi — it's okay to say Ratchada ("RAHT-cha-dah" รัชดา), as everybody abbreviates it. Taxis are a comfortable way of getting around Ratchadaphisek, especially if you have to be in one of its sois, which can be complicated to navigate in. A ride from Sukhumvit should not cost you more than 50 baht, while a ride from Silom should not cost you more than 70 baht.
- Thai Life Permanent Exhibition Hall (หอไทยนิทัศน์), Thailand Cultural Centre, Walthana Tham Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 247-0028, . M-F 09:30-16:30. This venue displays the history of the Thai people and the different aspects of Thai culture, as developed from pre-historic times up to the present day. It mostly focuses on the struggle the Thai people have overcome throughout history to stay independent. The exhibition is divided into five topics covering the history of Thai culture, important archaeological sites in Thailand, world civilization, the origins of the Thais, and Thai language and literature. The information is told in a presentation using computer generated imagery, photography, slide-presentations and even puppets. Free.
RCA Plaza, with movies, go-karts and arcades
Ratchadaphisek is Bangkok's entertainment mecca, offering all the modern entertainment facilities you could expect from a large metropolis, including theatres, bowling, karaoke, go-karts and even an ice-skating rink. Most facilities are sparkling new, as they opened after the MRT line was finalised in 2002.
- Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl, 4F, Esplanade, 99 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 511-55443, . 10:00-23:00 daily. Kind of a weird entertainment venue as this complex combines karaoke rooms with bowling facilities, aimed at upper-middle class Thai ladies. Just the entrance is professional and neat in a glamorous blue, gold and white style. The karaoke rooms look much like living rooms with a DVD player and touch-screens. The 22-lane bowling alleys are world-class. After 17:00, bowlers play with a glow-in-the-dark ball in a dimly-lit environment. There are also DJs, lounge seats and you can have cocktails. 80-190 baht.
- BSC Bowl, 3F, RCA Plaza, 31/6-9 Royal City Avenue, ☎ +66 2 641-5870(-3). 10:00-01:00 daily. This is a bowling centre that does a fine job if you're looking for a night out with friends. It is really a huge place with dozens of bowling alleys lined up right next to each other.
- House RCA, 3F, RCA Plaza, 31/8 Royal City Avenue, ☎ +66 2 641-5177(-8), . 11:45-00:00 daily. This is a boutique art house cinema with two screens. No typical Hollywood films or Thai chick flicks here; expect Swedish art films and obscure Cantonese dramas. Foreign movies are subtitled both in Thai and in English. The cinema is not as luxurious as those in Siam Paragon, but good enough. Don't trust any listings, as they are often wrong. Just turn up and see what they have on offer. 100 baht.
- Muangthai Ratchadalai Theatre, 4F, Esplanade, 99 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 669-8288, . Opened in 2007, this 1,500-seat musical theatre has an extensive schedule of theatre productions and live shows. Most of them cater to the locals, so check before booking.
- PTT Speed Way, 2F, RCA Plaza, 31/11 Soi Soonvijai, ☎ +66 2 203-1205(-7), . M-Tu, Th 16:00-00:00, F 16:00-03:00, Sa-Su, hols 13:00-00:00. Opened in March 2004, with 7,000 sq m this is the largest indoor go-kart track in Asia. It has more than 100,000 visitors every year, most of them karting in the weekends. Formula 1 racer Nico Rosberg is known to have a membership here. But you don't have to be a good racer to do it; anybody can. 390 baht/8 mins.
- Spark Entertainment Center, BF, The Emerald Hotel, 99/1 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Huai Khwang), ☎ +66 2 276-4567, . 11:00-01:00 daily. Opened in April 2007, this is another one of Ratchada's entertainment meccas. This self-proclaimed "entertainment centre" has a game room, karaoke rooms and a snooker table. Also included in the complex is the Carnival Pub with a live band and the Sparks Discotheque dance floor.
- UMG RCA Cinema, RCA Plaza, 31-6/9 Royal City Avenue, ☎ +66 2 641-5913(-4). Formerly boasting five screens, now two of them on the third floor have been remodeled into the House RCA art cinema. Three screens remain with about 1,000 seats. It features recently released Hollywood and Thai mainstream films. 150 baht.
- Sub Zero Ice Skate Club, 4F, Esplanade, 99 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 354-2134. 11:00-17:00, 17:30-01:00 daily. Yeah, logical, it is 35 degrees outside, let's go to an ice skating club! It's a completely original experience though, as at daytime you can just skate around or take lessons, while at night, this turns into some swanky club complete with strobe lights, live DJs and bars made from ice. Just don't forget to bring jackets.
- Tailek's House Cooking School, 93 Thanon Pracha Suk, Din Daeng (MRT Sutthisan, at the mouth of the street Inthamara Soi 30), ☎ +66 8-8876-4398 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tailek's House Cooking School offers anyone who wants to learn about traditional Thai cuisine a chance to cook up a storm. The classes are taught by Bee, who is known for her fantastic culinary skills. This is not a typical cooking school with rigid classroom structure, instead, students here get to immerse themselves in a family-oriented environment and truly learn how to cook in a traditional manner. 1,000 baht/ US$35.
Saturday Couchsurfing Dinner
- Saturday Couchsurfing Dinner at Tailek's House, 93 Thanon Pracha Suk, Din Daeng (MRT Sutthisan, at the mouth of the street Inthamara Soi 30), ☎ +66 8-8876-4398 (email@example.com). 15:00 - 00:00. This weekly dinner is a wonderful chance for anyone and everyone who is interested in traditional Thai culture and cuisine to learn more about Thailand, and share travel stories and experience with like-minded travellers. A communal dinner experience that started off with the Couchsurfing community, it has now become an activity for travellers to do here in Bangkok. To those who are additionally interested in learning how to cook the dishes, the day begins at 3pm with a trip to the local wet market to shop for ingredients and then heading back for the cooking. The cost of the dinner is 150 baht, to cover the price of the ingredients and other expenses. Feel free to bring your own drinks (read alcohol) and be prepared to chill out after dinner. Find out more details about Tailek's House on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TailekBKK 150 baht.
The area around Thailand Cultural Centre is the place to go for cultural performances. Siam Niramit is one of the best traditional Thai shows in Bangkok.
- Golden Dome Cabaret, 252/5 Ratchadaphisek Soi 18 (MRT Sutthisan, then a short taxi-ride), ☎ +66 2 692-8202(-5). Showtime 17:00, 19:00 and 22:00 daily. Another one of Bangkok's typical ladyboy shows. Three shows are given every evening.
- Siam Niramit (สยามนิรมิต), 19 Tiamruammit Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre, it is diagonally across from the Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 649-9222, . Showtime 20:00 daily. This is a state-of-the-art cultural performances centre, which uses modern technology integrated with old fashioned drama to depict the history of each region of Thailand. The story also includes depictions of hells, the forest of Himmaphan, heavens and lands beyond imagination from Thai literature, all of which are influenced by Thai common beliefs. There is also a spectacular performance of Thailand's arts and cultural heritage. The show is staged by more than 150 performers. 1,500 baht.
- Thailand Cultural Centre (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมแห่งประเทศไทย), Walthana Tham Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 247-0028, . The Thailand Cultural Centre is a fully integrated venue for social education and cultural activities. There aren't many foreigners in this area, so most of the shows are aimed at local visitors. It is a world-class centre that has room for more than 2,000 visitors. There's always something on, most of the time (inter)national symphony orchestra performances, but most foreigners come over to see a traditional Thai cultural show. You might want to call in first and find out about the current programme before heading out.
- Esplanade (ดิเอสพลานาด), 99 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 642-2000, . 10:00-23:00 daily. Seven stories of phone shops and beauty stores with some cinemas, restaurants (mostly Japanese), cafés and gyms added in-between. The most stunning features here are the ice skating rink and the bowling alley, the only features that differentiate this mall from the others. It is quite unorganised and feels a bit chaotic (in that way, the atmosphere has some in common with Pantip Plaza). All in all, it lacks personality and the only real reason to visit is if you happen to be in the area.
- Fortune Town (ฟอร์จูนทาวน์), Fortune Town Bldg, 1 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Phra Ram 9, slight north of the intersection of Ratchadaphisek Rd and Rama IX Rd), ☎ +66 2 641-1884(-6), . 10:00-22:00 daily. Just like Pantip Plaza in Pratunam, but much less touristy, this is one of the best places in Bangkok to buy computer gear. It has an extensive mobile phone section on the second floor and computer sections on the third and fourth floors. The supermarket Tesco Lotus is incorporated in the complex, as are many barber shops, restaurants and a food court.
- Robinson (โรบินสัน), 139 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 248-2626(-35), . 10:00-22:00 daily.
Ratchadaphisek has plenty of seafood restaurants that cater to high-end Chinese and Japanese tourists (though are still quite affordable compared to Western countries). The Huai Khwang area has lots of restaurants, especially good for late night dining. If you happen to be in Royal City Avenue (RCA), south of the road is RCA Plaza with plenty of food outlets, a food court and a TOPS Supermarket.
Near MRT Phra Ram 9 lies Ratchada Soi 3 that is home to some excellent street food at low prices. You might want to try some khao man kai (chicken and rice with chili sauce) or moo yang (grilled pork) here. It won't cost you more than 80 baht.
- Nathong Restaurant, 569/1 Pracha Uthit Rd (MRT Huai Khwang, then continue by taxi), ☎ +66 2 691-0641, . 11:00-00:00 daily. This Thai restaurant is featured in the movie Bangkok Dangerous, where Nicolas Cage takes the deaf girl to dinner. It is not upper class by any means, but the seating area surrounding the pond looks nice. There's a large menu, making it hard to pick... but that's only good! 250 baht.
- Somboon Seafood (สมบูรณ์โภชนา), 167/9-12 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Huai Khwang exit 3), ☎ +66 2 692-6850(-3), . 16:00-23:30 daily. This place offers good Chinese and Thai-style seafood. Be sure to try the curry crab, one of their specialties. 500 baht.
If you are looking for entertainment the locals enjoy, Royal City Avenue and Ratchadaphisek Road are an interesting night out. These nightclubs are huge, and most of them boost stunning visual effects. Partying here is quite different from the usual tourist places. Instead of 40-year old tourists, expect local early 20-something university students. Ordering drinks goes by bottle, instead of per glass, and the locals dance while standing at their tables (not on the dance floor). The same are the ID checks; always bring identification papers as they will be checked upon entry.
Royal City Avenue (RCA)
Royal City Avenue, usually referred to as RCA, is a popular and trendy road open only to pedestrians. It has gone through some tough times. In 2002, the whole street was pretty much dead as it was known as a place where under-aged locals would sneak in for their alcohol needs. It had a reputation for having bad facilities and long queues for the toilets. After a heavy social order campaign, ID-checks have been introduced and heavily enforced, with only those 20 or older allowed entry.
RCA became hip and happening again, with many of the biggest nightclubs in Thailand. Many clubs have been refurbished with absolutely stunning interiors and special effects. To boost its image, especially a lot of dedication has gone in the design of toilets. Route 66 is said to have some of the fanciest toilets in the world, with live bands performing while you need to go. There's also racks of magazines in case you're taking your time and a make-up room for the ladies.
Foreigners aren't common, but aren't unwelcome either.
- LED Nightclub, Royal City Avenue Block C, Soi Sun Wichai (just a bit south of club Route 66). Tu-Su 21:00-02:00. Formerly known as 808 Nightclub, LED Club is one of the busiest clubs of RCA, this is the place to be for electro and house music. Many international DJs perform at the elevated stage, which makes the DJ stand out from the crowd. They are supported by stunning special effects, good sound systems and flashy lights. Admission fee varies.
- Baroque Bar, 559 Rama IX Soi 6 (near the Rama IX Road and RCA intersection), ☎ +66 2 245-8950. 22:00-03:30 daily. At the edge of RCA, this nightclub is a more elegant place that attracts a wealthier crowd (unlike the other clubs that mostly cater to university students). The interior is plush and absolutely overwhelming; it kind of feels like entering a giant Baroque-style residence. One room pumps up house and dance/trance music, while the other room puts up live performances. Often it stays open well beyond 02:00, stretching 03:30 or even later. Free.
- Cosmic Cafe, Royal City Avenue Block C (across Route 66), ☎ +66 8 9670-3720. 19:00-02:00 daily. This is a small chill-out lounge, not a large club like the others. Not a place for dancing or partying, but good if you want to have a conversation or play some pool. The music is a mixed bag, but it's generally mellow and relaxed. On Wednesdays Thai 1980s music is on. It's good for peoplewatching as you have a good view on the road, and there's free Wi-Fi available. Free.
- DuDe, 21/39-40 Royal City Avenue Block C (opposite the Route 66, behind the Hair Story salon), . 01:00-late daily. Formerly known as JazzIt, this club offers deep house music, electro, pop, rock and jazz performed by international DJs and live music bands. Great wine bar with a wide selection of international cocktails.
- Flix/Slim, Royal City Avenue Block D, ☎ +66 2 203-0377(-8). Tu-Sa 19:00-02:00. This is a colossal conglomerate of three large rooms and two fused clubs. Flix mostly focuses on house music, while Slim is separated in two "zones", one of them with hip hop music and the other with a live band performances (and is also a dining room with seats and tables). The interior is absolutely stunning, and can be seen from the outside through the glass. The crowd, as is usual on RCA, are mostly local twenty-somethings.
- H.O.B.B. (House of Bangkok Bar), 59-62 Soi Sun Wichai, Royal City Avenue (next to Route 66), ☎ +66 2 641-5959. 19:00-02:00 daily. One of the newest clubs, and yet another one with live music performances. Obviously catering to locals, expect Thai pop, rock, house and hip-hop.
- Overtone Music Cave, 29/70-72 Royal City Avenue Block C (near 808 Nightclub), ☎ +66 2 641-4283, . W-Su 17:00-02:00. Instead of a general nightclub, all the chairs here are aimed towards the stage, so visitors actually listen and watch the bands perform. The focus is not on drinking, but on listening., usually with jazz, rock or blues bands. A Singha or Corona sets you back 100 baht, a cocktail costs you around 150 baht. Free.
- Prop Bar, 23/51-53 Rama IX Rd, ☎ +66 2 203-0699. 20:00-02:00 daily. Not as ginormous as the big clubs, Prop Bar is more a place for relaxing than for hard partying. Usually there is a rock or ska group playing at the stage area. The only foreigners around RCA usually do not make it this far out, as it is completely at the northern side of RCA.
- Route 66, Royal City Avenue Block C, 29/33-48 Soi Soonvijai (northwest of 808 Nightclub), ☎ +66 2 203-0834, . 20:30-02:00 daily. Route 66 is one of the largest and most well-known clubs on RCA. It is terribly crowded with young, trendy Thais, especially on weekends. There are different wings, each having a different music genre or live band. All this is combined with beautiful light effects and animations on the walls and ceiling. 300 baht.
Ratchada Soi 4
Ratchada Soi 4 is a collection of several dozen music pubs very popular with 20-something Thais. Formerly a second-hand car lot, and with still some cars on sale at daytime, this soi gives kind of an insight in how young Thais like to have a good time out. The music is often way too loud, but that seems to be the main attraction. These clubs are not as impressive as those on RCA, they feel a bit run down and trashy, but are still good fun. The main clubs here include:
- Rad, 56/17 Ratchadaphisek Soi 4 (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 245-0789. 21:30-02:00 daily. As popular as it is loud, this music pub is a great place for a fun night out. The music here is a mix of hip-hop, dance and electronic music, with live bands performing. Free.
- Snop, 58/5 Ratchadaphisek Soi 4 (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 612-2459. 19:00-02:00 daily. The most popular of the Soi 4 clubs, and already stands out from the rest with its cool light effects outside. With two floors, connected by an escalator, it is certainly large and impressive. The interior is trendy and stylish with the tables neatly lined up. A great place to see local nightlife and hear Thai bands. Free.
- Zaleng, Ratchadaphisek Soi 4 (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre), ☎ +66 2 248-5404. 19:00-02:00 daily. The interesting red carpet entry gives you a choice between two rooms, one with house/trance, and the other with the usual Thai performance band. Like the others, it's crazy loud, so forget any verbal communication. You'll be walking out with a beep in your ear. Free.
Ratchada Soi 6 and 8
A hot spot of late for local teens. Not a single venue, but a collection of several dozen large clubs. Hollywood Awards is by far the largest and best known one.
- Dance Fever, Ratchadaphisek Soi 6 (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre, exit 2), ☎ +66 2 247-4295. 19:00-02:00 daily. Dance Fever has previously hosted concerts by Erasure and Bush. It is highly favoured among Japanese tourists.
- Hollywood Awards, 72/2 Ratchadaphisek Soi 8 (MRT Thailand Cultural Centre, exit 2), ☎ +66 2 246-4311(-3), . 19:00-02:00 daily. Hollywood is one of the largest clubs of Bangkok, and represents the Bangkok of yesteryear with flashy neon lights and corny stage performances. It has a large drinking hall (no dance floor) with sexy entertainers performing cover tunes on stage, a bit like a cabaret. Don't expect to sit down anywhere though, as there are no seats.
- Inch, 55/49-60 Ratchadaphisek Rd (not on Soi 6 or 8, but across Ratchadaphisek Road, close to Esplanade and Thailand Cultural Centre MRT station), ☎ +66 2 641-2963(-4). 19:30-01:00 daily. A massive club that has space for over 2,500 visitors. Most of the visitors are wealthy young Thais. The club has a modern appearance, a cool steel and glass look that's a pleasure to look at. It is split in two rooms; the futuristic room boasts hip-hop music, while the retro room has large disco balls and live band performances. Free.
For years, Bangkok's lesbian nightlife was almost non-existent, and the few bars that did exist were spread all over the city. Now a community of lesbian bars has started to emerge in Royal City Avenue, lead by Zeta and E-Fun.
- E-Fun, 21/135 RCA Block D (opposite Overture), ☎ +66 8 1777-8018, . 20:00-02:00 daily. This is Bangkok's newest lesbian-only venue, opened in 2008. This bar, however, might not be too appealing for most Western lesbians, as it caters to "tom-dees", Thais who don't like to be referred to as lesbians and follow strict gender roles.
- Zeta, RCA Block C (at the intersection with Tops Supermarket), ☎ +66 2 203-0994. 20:00-02:00 daily. Opened in the middle of 2006, this is the first lesbian-only bar in Bangkok. Only girls are allowed, no men (gay men and drag queens are also not allowed). As it's in the middle of RCA, it attracts quite a young public, and like other clubs in RCA, it is very crowded at weekends.
Ratchadaphisek Road features many types of massage parlours ranging from upscale spas specializing in traditional Thai massage to the so-called "soapy" massage parlours (that are quite famous in the area). These latter parlours are little more than a front for prostitution. They are indicated by big flashy yet windowless buildings with names like Emmanuelle, Poseidon, Caesar's, and further south, Mona Lisa. Most of these are in the area around Huai Khwang MRT station. Note that taking a taxi directly to one of these will often have the driver expecting a commission; this will be added to your bill if you're there for service, and potentially resulting in an annoyed driver if you are just stopping in.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under 1,000 baht
|| 1,000 baht to 2,500 baht
|| Over 2,500 baht
Not as popular as the Sukhumvit area for western tourists, but there are some big hotels here. Many cater to high-end Chinese and Japanese visitors.
- Tailek's House BKK, 93 Thanon Pracha Suk (directly opposite the mouth of Inthamara soi 30; access via Ratchadaphisek Soi 17) (map.tailek.com), ☎ +66 8 8876-4398 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A friendly 5-storey guest house run by Thai and American friends. It's clean with a relaxed atmosphere and shared A/C rooms. There is a main area for meals, relaxing and meeting other travelers. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, use of a huge kitchen, weekly Thai cooking lessons (Saturday 4pm, 1000B) and delicious meals from Ms. Bee in the café downstairs. Family/Thai style dinners every Saturday night around 18:00-20:00 for 150 baht/person. "Tailek" is the name of the three-year old boy that lives at the house. 300 baht/person. (13.78689,100.56713)
- Watana Mansion, 209 Ratchadaphisek Soi 17 (MRT Sutthisan), ☎ +66 2 275-0110. A 14-storey basic hotel offering clean, basic rooms with air-conditioning, bathroom, TV, fridge, water boiler, phone and room safe. Wattana Mansion has a small swimming pool, laundry service, 24 hour room service and an internet café with four computers and wireless access for 20 baht/30 minutes. Short walking distance to MRT Suttisan metro station. 650-700 baht.
- Bangkok Cha-Da (formerly Siam Beverly Hotel), 188 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Huai Khwang), ☎ +66 2 275-4397, . This 14-storey hotel has recently been refurbished (and renamed). Rooms are clean and spacious, and look new and modern. The size of the pool is a tad small, and the restaurant's dishes are bland and uninspired. And don't change money here, as the rates are awful. 1,500 baht.
- A-One Bangkok Hotel, 9 Sun Wichai Soi 4 (Thong Lo pier), ☎ +66 2 718-1030, . This is a decent hotel with a pool. It's quite far off from any public transportation networks, so you'll have to get by on taxi. Many people stay here for its location close to Bangkok Hospital. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby. 2,500 baht.
- Chaophya Park Hotel, 247 Ratchadaphisek Road (MRT Ratchadaphisek), ☎ +66 2 290-0125, . This is a good three-star hotel with big, spacious and clean rooms. The rooms might be a little old, but still good. The area is very quiet, there are no shops, but also no "massage parlours". It is close to the MRT, so you're in Chatuchak Weekend Market in no time. 4,400 baht.
- Emerald Hotel, 99/1 Ratchadapisek Rd (MRT Huai Khwang), ☎ +66 2 276-4567, . The Emerald is centrally located in the Ratchadaphisek area, with just a five-minutes walk to the nearest metro station. It also has very good Chinese food at an affordable price. Rooms are a little worn, though, but the beds are large and comfy and there is a good bathroom. 3,500 baht.
- Grand Mercure Hotel (Old Fortune Hotel), Fortune Town Bldg, 1 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Phra Ram 9), ☎ +66 2 641-1500, . A four-star hotel in the southern part of the Fortune Town Building, which is home to the IT Mall and the Tesco Lotus supermarket. The hotel is at the Rama IX Rd and Ratchadaphisek Rd intersection. 2,800-12,000 baht.
- Princeton Park, 3 Mitmaitri Rd, ☎ +66 2 617-4600, . Recently refurbished hotel that is far off in the sois of Ratchadaphisek, so not very convenient for going anywhere. Even an MRT metro station is far off, so you'll have to use the taxi for everything. It does have a pool, gym, café and a convenience store, though. 3,000-4,200 baht.
- Swissotel Le Concorde, 157-159 Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Huai Khwang), ☎ +66 2 694-2222, . Luxury hotel with spacious rooms. It starts with the lobby, which is huge and has an impressive chandelier. For a five-star hotel, the furniture does feel a little old and dull, but its still good. 3,000-4,500 baht.
Your best bet for free Wi-Fi is the Esplanade shopping mall. There are plenty of hotspots available from McDonald's, Coffee World and other cafés and restaurants. Just take a sit at one of the public benches at the ground floor and you won't have to worry about not finding a hotspot.
- If you like the seafood restaurants in Ratchadaphisek, then you should definitely check out the delicious seafood in Yaowarat. Just jump on the metro in southwards direction and get out at the last stop, Hua Lamphong.
- Take the MRT north to Kamphaeng Phet station and you'll reach the Chatuchak Weekend Market in no time. Keep in mind that this enormous market is only opened on Saturdays and Sundays, 6:00am to 6:00pm.
|This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!