3 Khao San Road Hotels That Don’t Suck

If you’re visiting Thailand for the first time and have a strict budget, chances are pretty good you’ll end up on Khao San Road. Khao San is Bangkok’s main backpacker accommodation hub, with some of the cheapest hotels in the city — and some of the worst.

Although it has a reputation for cheap, low quality hotels, there are some surprisingly good places to stay around Khao San Road. Below, we’ve listed our three favorite Khao San Road hotels that don’t suck and are worth staying in if you’re visiting Bangkok and want to save your money to spend in North Thailand or on the islands.

#1: Dang Derm Hotel

The Dang Derm Hotel is one of the biggest hotels on Khao San Road, and with its bright yellow exterior it’s very hard to miss. Unlike most of Khao San’s hotels, it’s kept clean and aimed at mid-budget travelers instead of people looking for the cheapest rooms in the world.

Is it luxurious? Well, actually, it kind of is. It’s not the Ritz Carlton, but the Dang Derm has nice rooms that are clean and comfortable, some with balconies that face onto Khao San Road itself. With a rooftop pool, it’s also a good place to relax during the day, when you aren’t partying or visiting temples, of course.

#2: D&D Inn Bangkok

Another big property on Khao San Road (and another with a big rooftop pool), the D&D Inn is a local institution. It’s recently been renovated, so its once dated rooms feel much more comfortable and modern, and its rooftop pool is one of the best places on Khao San Road to hang out and escape the heat.

The D&D Inn is cheaper than the Dang Derm Hotel, making it a good option for budget travelers. The rooms are spacious enough and have comfortable beds with soft sheets and free Wi-Fi, giving it pretty much everything you could ask for in a budget hotel.

#3: Fortville Guesthouse Bangkok

This one is a bit of a cheat answer, since it technically isn’t located on Khao San Road. Fortville Guesthouse is a boutique guesthouse on Phrasumen Road, which is about five to 10 minutes from Khao San on foot. It’s a small but clean and modern guesthouse with a variety of cheap and decent rooms.

What separates Fortville Guesthouse from other guesthouses on Khao San is that it’s really clean. In an area that isn’t renowned for its hygiene (look at any of the disgusting budget hotels in and around Khao San for proof) Fortville Guesthouse is a welcome, well maintained alternative.

Bangkok’s Best Sky Bars

Bangkok’s hot and sunny weather makes it one of the world’s best cities for sky bars. Rainy season aside, the weather in Bangkok is warm all year, making it easy to enjoy the sunset without worrying about being rained on.

Add a great skyline and a population that loves to drink and you’ve got the perfect city for rooftop drinks and dining. Bangkok has many sky bars, ranging from cheap hangouts to ultra-expensive sky bars featured in famous movies.

Feel like a drink with a view? Below, we’ve cataloged three of Bangkok’s best sky bars, from iconic favorites to cheap and simple sky bars that are priced more in line with the city’s other nightlife options.

Sky Bar at Lebua

Best for: being seen.

Famous for its role in The Hangover II, Sky Bar at Lebua is a ritzy rooftop bar on top of the absolutely massive State Tower building in Silom. It’s arguably Bangkok’s fanciest rooftop bar, with extremely ornate decor and prices to match.

Sky Bar at Lebua has a great view of the Chao Phraya River, but it’s a bit too far from Bangkok’s main business district to have a perfect city view. You can still enjoy a good look over the city, but you aren’t right in the buildings like you are at other sky bars.

Drinks at Sky Bar at Lebua are very expensive (think 400-500 baht for a cocktail) but are strong and taste great. The bar has a moderately strict dress code and won’t let in men in shorts or open shoes.

Is it Bangkok’s best sky bar? If you like to be seen and be surrounded by tourists and hi-so locals, it’s a good choice. However, Sky Bar at Lebua’s stupid photo policy (you are only allowed to take photos in a small section of the bar) loses it a few points.

Vertigo and Moon Bar

Best for: taking your family.

Vertigo is a rooftop restaurant atop the Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathorn Road. Moon Bar, the adjoining bar, has the same view and a selection of seats and tables for guests to relax at and enjoy the truly stunning view of Bangkok.

Of all Bangkok’s sky bars, Vertigo has arguably the best view. It’s right in the city, so you can see plenty of other skyscrapers and interesting buildings. It’s also close to Lumpini Park, giving you a view over the city’s biggest central park. You can catch a glimpse of the river in the distance, but if you want to see the Chao Phraya it’s better to go to Lebua.

Drinks at Vertigo and Moon Bar are expensive, but not as ridiculous as Lebua. The whole place also has a much less pretentious and more welcoming attitude, making it more of a place to hang out and enjoy yourself than a fashionable spot to be seen.

Cloud 47

Best for: taking your friends.

Another Silom area rooftop bar, Cloud 47 is MUCH more laid back and casual than the two hotel bars listed above. This bar is located on top of the United Centre building on Silom Road, with simple terrace tables and a live band (or DJ on certain nights) making it feel more like a nightclub in the sky than a high-end rooftop bar.

Is it fancy? Nope. Is it fun? Definitely. The view isn’t quite as dramatic as Bangkok’s other rooftop bars, but it offers an incredible view of the city, cheap drinks and an exciting party atmosphere that makes it a more exciting option than the two hotel bars listed above.