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posted by The Bangkok Consultant
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The Saphan Khwai neighbourhood is in the Greater Bangkok area just north of Phaya Thai. This area is slightly less touristy than places like Sukhumvit and Silom, which is nice if you want to see a bit of local Bangkok and practise some of your Thai phrases in some of the market areas.
Pradipat is the main vein of this area, and there are some good to decent hotels in and around this corner of the city. The Elizabeth Hotel is one of Bangkok’s cheapest luxury hotels, while the Condotel and Nice Palace Hotel offer budget rooms ranging from 500-900 baht a night.
Pradipat Road has dozens of Hawker stalls offering tasty street food which can be eaten by the side of the road or can be taken away and enjoyed in the comfort of your hotel room. Other great restaurants include the Condotel Restaurant, serving fresh fish and other Thai dishes. Ngow Kuiki, a Chinese-run restaurant serving the tastiest Spicy Pork Belly in Bangkok. If you like Wanton Soup, there's a great little street vendor on the corner of Pradipat Alley 20 outside Thong Thep Optical on Pradipat Road.
The area is littered with 7 Eleven stores, so you'll never be very far if you want to get some convenience food and drinks. The nearest post office is right next Saphan Khwai BTS station, which is the closest city transport link. The Kamphaeng Phet MRT subway station is also within walking distance allowing you, even more, access to the city. There is also an excellent Farmer’s Market right outside Exit 3 and is a great place to buy fresh and cooked foods.
For all your daily grocery needs, there's a Big C supermarket, which is handy for long stays allowing you to do a weekly shop. While you're there, you can try the food court and fast food outlets if you are little apprehensive about ordering food from the street markets.
There's not a great deal of bars in Saphan Khwai, but you're never far from the action via tha BTS Skytrain, however the Beer Park is the best place for a drink if you want to stay local.
You can get to Khao San Road by taking the No 3 or 524 bus from the bus stop outside Ngow Kuiki. The closest bus station from Saphan Khwai is Mo Chit, which can be reached from Mo Chit BTS, then take a taxi the rest of the way. Avoid a tuk-tuk here unless you are a dynamite at haggling. From here, you're just a hop, skip and a jump from Chatuchak Weekend Market, either by walking (15 minutes) or one stop on the BTS.
This area has easy access to the tollways, so it is an excellent location for getting a taxi to both airports while avoiding much of the Bangkok traffic. During regular hours expect to get to Don Mueang airport in 30 minutes (160 baht) and allow an hour to get to Suvarnabhumi (300 baht). Alternatively, you get to Suvarnabhumi via the ARL (airport rail link) by getting the BTS to Phaya Thai, then take the ARL to the airport (45 baht). You can also take the A1 and A2 bus to Don Mueang from Phahonyothin Road.