For such a large city, it's bizarre that much of the budget tourist accommodation is condensed around 4 small square blocks centred around Khaosan Road. With the diverse mix of nationalities walking the streets here, one could easily forget you were in Asia as at first glance, it's more of an Amsterdam cosmopolitan feel.
Most of the cheapest flights into and out of South East Asia start / stop here so it's backpacker central with a mix of pasty white people (many Irish) who obviously have never left home before and seasoned travelers eager to escape onto less crowded pastures. It's a party town and as you eat breakfast at 8am there are plenty of folks only getting home after a hard night of 'entertainment' and looking worse for wear.
It's a shoppers paradise with massive street markets and shopping malls (like the huge MBK mall) selling a mixture of high end legitimate wares and fake brands at bargain prices. Pirated and fake goods include clothes, electronics, software and documents (see below)
The other big draw here, as with many other parts of Thailand is SEX. The famous nightlife district of Patpong has everything from titty bars to ping pong shows where talented ladies project missiles such as ping pong balls, darts and bananas from certain orifices as crowds of onlookers cheer. Beware the scams in this district too as many people have reported being ripped off with extortionate drink bills of up to u$d500 where the bouncers descend like vultures to make sure you pay up. The local police are paid off so forget about getting 'justice'.
There are redeeming qualities to the city however, as a plethora of temples and palaces and museums more than make up for tacky, seedy side of the city. Like it or loathe it, I can honestly say there is nowhere else quite like Bangkok. More Photos below.