Bangkok has 50 districts or khet, which mark the administrative subdivisions under the authority of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. During the day traffic in Bangkok is congested and it can take from 2 hours to 5 hours by car just to go shopping locally. The rail systems alleviate much of the jam time and the system is very efficient. At night the city comes alive with bars and clubs everywhere catering for every taste.
The Khao San road is the famous backpacker district and it is here that plenty of budget accommodation is to be found along with plenty of night spots. The river is a very popular attraction with cruise boats offering a meal and a river trip that passes the lighted temples of Bangkok and the many well designed bridges. Depending upon your budget there are different class boats to choose from. During the high humid high season the river is an excellent place to escape the heat and the floating markets are an amazing attraction to witness.
Bangkok has grown from a city scattered along the river to a metro area that spans as many as six provinces. The city's main business districts and residential areas are continuously expanding. The most important business districts of Bangkok include Silom, Bangrak, Pinklao, Sathon, Phra Ram 2, Phetchaburi, Phra Nakhon, Pathumwan, Chatuchak (new central business district), and Phra Ram 3 (the new financial center).
As the city expanded on the outskirts, the inner city has nowhere to grow but up. The city has a registered 1,000 skyscrapers and ranks 17th as the world's tallest city. This does not include hundreds of new buildings predicted as part of the construction boom in 2007 and the coming years. Areas such as Silom-Sathon and Asok have for decades been Thailand's business center.
Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district alongside Dusit is where most governmental agencies and ministries have their offices. Most of the well-known tourist attractions are also in this particular area due its cultural & historical heritage. This part of Bangkok is perhaps the most popular for tourists as most notable attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, the Democracy Monument, the Giant Swing, Sanam Luang and other venues are located here. Thon Buri also has its fair share of historic monuments mainly located near the river, such as Wat Arun.
Ratchaprasong is at the forefront of Bangkok's shopping scene. The newly renovated Central World Plaza intends to serve as a square to Bangkokians. Just up the street is Siam Square, similar to Shinjuku in Tokyo and Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus in London. The Sukhumvit area also serves as a shopping district for foreigners. The popular Chatuchak Weekend Market in the north of the city is where many people head for cheap, used and high quality products.
The west of Bangkok in Thon Buri is another growing area, approaching the degree of development experienced by the north and east. Suvarnabhumi Airport in the east is seen as a jump start for the eastern expansion of Bangkok as Don Mueang was for the north.