I think each person's experience in Bangkok or Thailand for that matter depends on their age, gender, and if they are traveling alone. I, for example, am a 29 y/o male who was traveling alone. I'm sure my experience was far different than that of a couple or solo female. (As a youngish single male in Thailand I felt sorry for those who were traveling with a signifanct other ;)
I took a somewhat different, yet highly recommend approach in how I was able to meet people and subsequently see more of Thailand. I came across a recommend "dating site" called thaifriendly as a way to meet local thai girls. (non-working girls) As on sukhumvit area I was ONLY able to meet working girls as it turned out. Apparently local thai girls don't like to frequent that area so much as they will be looked down upon and perceived as a working/bar girl. Well through this site I was able to meet a few very respectable young ladies who showed me around differnent areas of the city. One girl took me around the Thonglor area which is the trendy/hip area where Thais with money hang out. Not somewhere a solo male farang would usually just go mosey around. So having a local thai girl with me gave me the "in" so to speak and I was able to experience some really interesting bars/clubs where I was basically the only farang. Super cool and unforgettable. I had someone to go to Skybar with and see the amazing views, someone to take me to the really good thai restaurants, and to show me some of the hotspots around Bangkok I didn't know about. We actually became really close friends and after I traveled to Chiang Mai and Samui, I returned to Bangkok a few days early and stayed with her at her condo and was able to see more of the REAL Thailand. I actually used this approach in Chiang Mai as well and had a similar experience. I met a local at a local bar called Warm Up and once again I was the only farang in a club of about 100 Thais getting to see live thai music with no English. Unforgettable.
So with that being said, I arrived in Bangkok about 1am and was driven to my hotel by a young lady I met online who actually worked at the airport. (Maybe a bit risky? Perhaps.) But after chatting for a few weeks prior to my trip I judged her to be an honest, sweet, super nice girl which she turned out to be. As were so many thai girls I met. Genuine, kind, unpretentious, wholesome woman. Well, being from America I go to get in her car and walk to the drivers seat..oops. The steering wheel being on the opposite side and driving on the other side of the street did throw me for a loop. After arriving at Adelphi suites I offered her a few 100 baht for her kindness but she declined to accept. However, I pushed the baht down in the cup holder, thanked her again, and bid her farewell.
After taking my bags to my room I knew I had to walk a few sois over and see in person this Nana Plaza area I've read so much about. SEE, not participate. Apparently it was closing time and all of the employees were getting off and just walking around ...given a variety of factors, you can only imagine what I saw, how many times I was approached, and the sheet shock of my new experience in such an environment. After politely declining, I made my way back to Adelphi, which is as great as the reviews suggest, and finally slept.
I will have to continue this report tomorrow as it is late now...I will add that during my 18 days in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Samui I saw rain for a grand total of 1 and 1/2 hour. Lucky I guess ..anyway to be continued .. Ah! And yes. I believe I have this Bangkokitis I read bout in another post...as soon as you leave you are immediately trying to figure out a way to get back..haha. Such an amazing place.