Tackling Bangkok without a map can be a nightmare! We’ve produced this tourist-friendly map of Bangkok to help you better understand the geography of Bangkok and its maps.
Geography of Bangkok
Bangkok is a sprawling city with no apparent CBD and several clusters of high-rises scattered about its map. Furthermore, the meandering nature of the Chao Phraya River completely scrambles any north-south orientation. From a tourist or transportation perspective, Siam Square can be considered the focal point of the city and it is here you’ll have easiest access to shopping. It, too, is found more or less in the centre of most tourist maps of Bangkok.
Immediately south of the Siam Square area is Lumphini Park – the city’s main and only major green space. Beyond that is the Silom area, which is a locus for entertainment. The riverfront hotels are not far from this area. Following the BTS from Siam Square, you move southeast towards the popular Sukhumvit area, which has prominence on all Bangkok maps as the neighbourhood of choice for the expat and foreign community. Along the length of this major road are hotels, malls, restaurants, bars, and useful business services.
A 20-minute taxi ride west of Siam Square is the original part of the city, known as Banglamphu and Rattanakosin Isle, where the Grand Palace and many of the major attractions are located on the map. Neither the BTS nor the MRT reach into the heart of this royally protected area. Its character is more pleasant, with low-rise buildings, tree-lined roads and the original impression of Bangkok, when canals were the city’s streets. Here, too, is the famous backpacker magnet of Khao San Road; while northwards from here is the nicest part of the city, planned out at the turn of the 20th century. It is typified by grand boulevards and plenty of large state houses with private gardens.
The Chao Phraya River cuts an ox-box crescent to the west of Rattanakosin isle, in which sits Chinatown. West of the river is Thonburi, where the capital was originally located after the fall of Ayutthaya. Bangkok maps will reveal that this area still retains many of its canals and these offer the best way to explore this lesser-visited part of the Bangkok map.