Also Called: Nana
- There are always people out, so it feels quite safe.
- There are both a regular subway (MRT) stop and Skytrain (BTS) stops nearby, making transit easier. (That said, neither of those goes everywhere you’d want to go as a tourist.)
- We had trouble finding local food. The variety was great: Indian food, Halal food, and even a plaza with lots of Korean food. However, roadside stands were the only realistic way to get local food: many of them didn’t have seating, and most simply did not look appetizing to me personally.
- Moreover, all the food in this neighborhood – except maybe the roadside stands – is very overpriced. So was laundry. Pricing is just for tourists, basically, and it makes you feel like you’re being constantly ripped off.
- We also had trouble finding grocery stores – other than the ubiquitous 7/11. This made it almost impossible to cook.
- This is a party neighborhood, and it’s a bit seedy. If you stay in a high-rise apartment or hotel, the noise won’t disturb you. However, you will be approached or propositioned walking down the sidewalk to your place – especially if you’re male. You will see prostitutes and lady boys standing outside waiting for customers. You will see a lot of older white men with young local ladies (and ‘ladies’), and a lot of ‘masseuses’ sitting outside inviting you in for a rubdown. This isn’t inherently bad, but this is not a great place to have to explain to kids, it drains your energy, and it makes it hard to get a legit massage or to have a regular drink at a calm bar.
Should You Stay There?
Only if you’re into the party scene, and perhaps the paid-love party scene. Otherwise, no.
Where Else You Can Stay:
- Silom: Also a party neighborhood that we wouldn’t have chosen. Lots of bars for lady boys and for men who like ladies on poles (at the night market).
- Khao San Road: Seemingly less seediness, but more tourists and tourist stands. Also, reduced access to public transit, but closer to the most well-known tourist destinations.
Yaowarat Road/Chinatown: There are still authentic places and even affordable restaurants in this neighborhood, though I’d avoid the Gate/Golden Buddha Wat area. Not sure how many accommodations are here, but this is a fun neighborhood that’s fairly central, and close to one MRT stop.
- Wat Yanawa: Had we known when we booked what we know now, this is where we would have stayed. It is a local neighborhood, so it has fewer tourists and it is calmer. However, the Bangrok market is still fairly close, as are BTS stops and the boat pier that can take you to most of the big tourist destinations. The food is local and cheap, and it doesn’t feel seedy. This is where we would recommend.