Maps

From the moment you enter Bangkok - literally right after you've passed immigration - you'll see your first free maps. Quality varies between useful and utter rubbish, but the Official Airport Bangkok Map and the City Map of Bangkok, both usually available at the airport, will get you around the major sights, transport routes and hotels.

Maps for sale in bookshops and some 7-Elevens are better. Lonely Planet's comprehensive Bangkok City Map, in a handy, laminated, fold-out form, includes a walking tour and is fully indexed. One map that is often imitated but never equalled is Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok (www.nancychandler.net), a colourful hand-drawn map with useful inset panels for Chinatown, Th Sukhumvit and Chatuchak Weekend Market.

To master the city's bus system, purchase Roadway's Bangkok Bus Map. For visitors who consider eating to be sightseeing, check out Ideal Map's Good Eats series, which has mapped mom-and-pop restaurants in three of Bangkok's noshing neighbourhoods - Chinatown, Ko Ratanakosin and Sukhumvit. Groovy Map's Groovy Bangkok combines up-to-date bus and transport routes and sights with a short selection of restaurant and bar reviews. Groovy Map also publishes Roadway Bangkok, a GPS-derived 1:40,000 driving map of the city that includes all tollways, expressways, roads and lanes labelled in Thai and English. If travelling to districts outside central Bangkok, Thinknet's Bangkok City Atlas is a wise way to spend 250B.

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