“ The hub for backpackers in the city of angels. „
Having spent a while travelling in Thailand I decided I just had to visit the infamous Khao San Road in Bangkok. I had heard of it's repuatation as THE party place to be and that was full of interesting people that you'd bond with over Chang beer and become life long friends. I'd say, generally speaking this is true of Thailand as a country, but NOT HERE.
Khao San Road is dirty, full of underage Thai teenagers out boozing, and the only interesting person I met was the bloke selling me fried insects from a cart in the street (surprisingly tasty in case you wondered). The restraunt we ate at was over priced (for Bangkok), and the toilet had about 5cm of water covering the floor. Considering I'd just come from a jungle hut with an outdoor shower I was prepared for anything but you'd be better finding a hole in the street!
Aside from restraunts there are lots of bars, shops, street food and market stalls selling your average rubbish like wallets, ashtrays, belts, bongs etc. Don't waste your money - go to Chatuchak at the weekend instead. The bars all play music and most serve cocktails that are average prices and taste good. We hung out at a place that seemed to be called 'We No Check ID Card,' which despite the obvious underagers had good service and friendly backpackers. We ended up hanging out with some American gap year students, which was tolerable only becuase I decided to just get wasted. After that we went to another bar where there was some live music, which was great fun. The partying seemed to stop at around 2am, early for other places we'd been to in Bangkok, but I was acutally qutie glad to be heading back to my nice clean(ish) hostel on the other side of town.
I'd say all in all I had an ok time there but was glad I wasn't staying there. Go and see Khao San Road for a party, for drinks and laughs. What it lacks in Thai culture and cleanliness it makes up for in stong drinks. I'd advise against staying there - it's dusty and loud and not very safe.
Overall I was disappointed as I'd had such an amazing time exploring the rest of Bangkok and Thailand as a country. Worth a look, just don't expect too much.
If you plan to backpack to some places around South East Asia, staying in Khao San Road at least 3 days is a must. Three days are even not enough for me. Khao San Road is located in the center of Bangkok city and is actually all backpackers' favorite place. The location of Khao San Road is strategic from which the most famous places of Bangkok like Grand Palace and Thai National Museum are reachable by walking. If you don't really feel like walking, you can go to those places by Taxi, tuk tuk (this is a very unique public transportation in Bangkok), or even river express. If you want to ride tuk tuk, you have to notice the price that is offered by the driver, because it can be way so expensive especially when they recognize us a tourist. Sometimes, using Taxi is far cheaper than tuk tuk, and river express can be the cheapest of all those transportations.
Along Khao San road, we can find many cheap accomodations to stay. This is one of reasons why all backpackers love to stay here. The price approximately starts from £4, you can definitely choose the one that is suitable with your budget. If you decide to choose the cheapest one, you must be fine with getting a bit grubby and stink room, but comfortable rooms with everything appropriate are very easy to get as well, and to get them, we only need to pay a little more.
I really love the crowd there. You can walk along the road since it only takes munites for you to walk from one end to the other one. Along the street, restaurants with different kind of foods (western or eastern foods) and very cheap drinks are available. We have plenty choices of Bars with an enchant atmosphere, and still, with a cheap price as well. It will be so easy for you to find many night clubs, but some night clubs require you to pay around 300 baht and they will check your ID card as well. For local people, it is free anyway.
If you want to feel the real athmosphere of Bangkok and feel its culture as well, Khao San Road is still a right choice to stay. Special souvenirs of Thailand are sold there just in the sides of the road. Sometimes local people will come to you to offer some unique souvenirs. Children who walk around the street to sell some souvenirs are able to speak english. It seems like she has learnt a lot from all tourist in Khao San Road. If you want to try an original Thai food, you are able to find a delcious noodle. They offer three kinds of noodle, and we can choose one of them. (like when we want to choose a pasta). It is served traditionally and quite delicious. You have to taste it at least once in a life time. But you have to be careful because it is quite spicy.
I felt so lucky because I had a chance to visit Khao San Road in the World Cup night, and I felt a very great crowd of the final of World Cup last year when Spain finally brought the cup home. It was awesome. Every restaurants with big screens are full already since 6 pm. I and my friends finally decided to sit in one of the restaurant which sold a very cheap beer. I only paid 50 baht for one small bottle of beer. One interesting drink that took my attention was a drink served in a bucket. It was for around four people, they usually give straws according to numbers of people that order. It costed only 200 baht. My favorite one was Sang Som, it is one of traditional alcohol of Thailand. They mix Sang Som with some soft drinks because it is too much strong. I could order over and over again and even I bought some Sang Som from Duty free back home.
I really love the crowd of Khao San Road. Many nationalities are there, and it seems like a place that never sleep. I could stay awake there until the morning when a sunshine finally came and I could find people were still staying there. I love the safety of this place as well. I had been assisted when I was kind of lost there by the Thai Tourist Police which is located around the road.
The facilities here are just awesome. You can easily find trustworthy money changers and if you need to contact your family of friends and need an internet connection, Internet Cafes are available along the street. If you are really craving for some foods like McD, KFC, Burger King and Pizaa Hut, just walk in minutes, and order them since they are also available around Khao San Road.
When you leave the airport in Bangkok, the first location and voices you hear will be saying "Tuk tuk- khao san". The khao san road is THE backpackers central. It is as Western as as the Greek islands have become, with 7 elevens every 100 meters and alcohol being drunk wherever you look. The street is a huge transport link for Bangkok; if you going to Cambodia or to the North of Thailand for example then you are usually met by a coach or dropped off by a coach from this road. There are many different interesting things to eat wherever you look like fried crickets and cockroaches and other odd things you wont find in Tesco.
The street restaurants are fantastic! You step 3 meters out of you guesthouse and you have an amazing Thai curry for as little as 55p. The heat in around this road is unbearable as well the odd and frequent smells that swarm past unfortunately often. This road in Bangkok is so hideously destroyed by tourism but is the heart of backpacking and where any travelers journey must begin in Thailand. Jump on a TUK TUK, grab a fruit shake and catch a film and relax from your flight before popping downstairs in your guesthouse to book your journey to the next excitement in Thailand.
The chaos on this road is somewhat intense and something travelers have to get used to for their time in Thailand. You are constantly rushed by Thai men trying to sell you suits and traditionally dressed up ladies trying to sell you rubbishy toys as you try to enjoy some authentic food on the street. It really is a wonderful experience stepping out of your guest house on to the Khao San road to pick up a bottle of rainwater for 10p and taking a heated stroll away from the center and past the temples. Khao San has to be experienced, very fun and amusing.
It drives me mad when I hear and see comments about Khoa San Road (KSR) like the review I read her. This is when people say KSR is not real Thailand and that its a smelly sleazy example of what has ruined backpacking. Let me tell you now that KSR is what it is and nothing will change the place, I have never been anywhere in my life with such energy as KSR. The place is amazing.
KSR is situated within inner Bangkok. It is basically the backpacking area of the city, and most people who visit South East Asia will normally pass through here at least one. I have been 7 times, and enjoyed it every time! The area is packed with budget guest houses, restaurants, bars, side stalls, shops, internet cafes and markets. The place is alive all day and night. There are a few bars that never close too!
Accommodation is cheap here, where you can get a room for anywhere between £3-10 , depending on your budget. A basic room will just be a small single room, normally you will share a shower/toilet with others. Guest houses are awesome because you meet alot of other like minded backpackers.
Beer is very cheap here. Again , depending on your budget, there are many different types of place to drink. The cheapest places are the side stalls which serve strong cocktails and have a cheap cd system blaring tunes! On the upper end of things, there are numerous amazing western bars. My favorite has to be 'Gulivers' , which is on the corner of KSR. Its prices aren't to bad, the DJ is normally out of this world, plus they have an upstairs bar with a few pool tables.
Food in KSR is very cheap. What ever you like you can find. Thai,Chinese,Western, Indian or what ever. It's all cheap. The cheapest place to eat would be the side stalls which serves things like fired rice and green curry. It's all really nice and healthy, and I am fussy with food so that's saying something!
With so many things keeping you busy, you can never get bored here. And like me, if you travel alone, it doesn't matter as you soon bump in to fellow backpackers who always are happy to welcome you.
Don't listen to people who try and out you off going to KSR. If you like fun, you will like it here.
Also you can check out the market stalls which sell anything from books to clothes.
Good luck with your travels!
If you are a backpacker and have arrived at BKK airport, you'll probably be heading for one place to start with - Khaosan Road.
Khaosan Road is a street in the centre of Bangkok which is full of bars, hostels, counterfeit goods, cheap food and westerners. This is the junction where backpackers meet up, drink themselves into oblivion and plan to visit Thailand and its surrounding areas but do not be mistaken. THIS IS NOT THAILAND! (Well technically speaking it is, i'm not going to go into semantics)
Khaosan road is rammed busy with tuc tuc drivers, suit salesmen, tatoo artists, street vendors and all types of different people. The place has character and is certainly somewhere that should be visited buy most backpackers in that are (and probably will be) but anyone who doesn't want to be hounded by suit salesmen, people asking if you want to see a ping-pong show or wants to get straight to the "real" Thailand may wish to give this place a miss.
One thing to also consider is that there is a lot of crime around there so if you do decide to go it may be an idea to take out as little as possible with you if you do go out drinking round there. I personally had money stolen from me out of my pocket while i was steaming.
If you are going to meet up with other backpackers then it is a great place to go. Its also got lots of cheap accomodation. Just don't be expecting the paradise type of image that springs to mind when thinking of Thailand.
Oh and the place stinks as well!
Bangkok is certainly no city of angels...that's if Khao San Road is anything to go by!
Some find the place grotesque, others like how it serves as a kind of decompression chamber between Asia and the West. I used to agree with the former but after having passed through Bangkok and inevitably finding my way to Khao San Road dozens of times transiting through the country I have warmed up to the latter!
Khao San Road is fun and not to be taken at all seriously. Everyone knows what it's all about, everyone knows it has zero 'culture' value and that most Thai's loath the place.
The street is packed with bars, clubs, stores selling counterfiet goods, extremely cheap pad thai vendors and guesthouses...Westerners outnumber Thai's by at least 8 to 1 and this is why it serves it's purpose as the gateway between east and west and a place to get over your culture shock and jet lag before heading into the 'real' south-east Asia, however you define that.
The Khao San Road in Bangkok is basically the Backpacker hub for Southeast Asia, lined with budget to mid-range guesthouses, market stalls, bars, street vendors and some other things you never expect - there is never a dull moment on the Khao San Road!
Some people dislike it because of the influx of backpackers each day, and thus avoid it, on the other hand, it is a great place to meet other travellers and backpackers from all over the world, trade stories, drink, and laugh!
When leaving Bangkok airport you will be approached by taxi vendors inside the building, these prices will be very high - just walk outside & get a taxi out front, it will be much cheaper, you probably won't feel like bartering just after a long flight, so the ones outside will offer you a cheaper price to start with.
I have stayed on Khao San Road many times, tucked away in a side alley (down by the 7-11) I can recommend the 'Rikka Inn' - 600 THB will get you a very clean, secure, air conditioned room with a TV and a hot shower, and a swimming pool on the roof too! (the same options are available at the end of the road for 2000THB) Rooms are available (although not very good quality, the room was actually terrible, but it's a bed & the lock works!) for 300 THB at the 'Khaosan Palace', and of course there is the famous 'D & D Inn' which is recently refurbished, rooms going for 550 THB for a single, and above.
Nearby attractions within walking distance are the Grand Palace, Wat Pho (reclining buddha) and may others, just ask around!
You can eat for as cheap or as expensive as you like - from the 50 THB street vendors to 500 THB fancy meals.
Nightlife usually revolves around drinking at one of the bars, the main one being 'Centre Khao San' and the irish bar above it, then either going to bed, or onto a nightclub, such as 'Club Spice' - my personal experience of club spice was good, people from Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Finland, Africa, Thailand and many other countries all parting in the same club - it was a fun night.
Overall, if you like to mingle with other travellers, it's ideal, but if you like to travel and only see locals, this isn't for you. It's worth seeing at least once though, just walk down it, you never know what will happen!
If you ever visit Thailand it is more than likely that your stay will include a few nights in and around the Khao San Road (KSR). The KSR is where most backpackers and budget travellers operate out of in Bangkok. It holds a legendary status amongst many and is perhaps the closest thing you'll get to a backpacker village in all of South East Asia. The first thing that strikes you about KSR is how short it is. You could quite easily walk from one end to the other and wonder what all the fuss was about. The thing you've got to understand is that the magic of the place takes place behind the scenes. The KSR exudes youthful endeavour, unbridled energy and a genuine feeling that life's great adventure begins there. The KSR and it's environs are neatly squeezed into the Banglamphu district of Bangkok and provides an excellent base from which to explore the rest of the city. In fact the city's greatest attraction, the Grand Palace, is within walking distance or a short trip by river express. The Thai National Museum is only around the corner and there are several Wats (monasteries) to explore in the area. Chinatown with its myriad of streets, markets and gourmet opportunities can also be easiy reached with the aid of a good map. The KSR is famous for its enormous selection of accommodation from stinkingly (quite literally in some cases) dirt cheap dorms to good value for money air conditioned rooms. Prices are incredibly low and it is easy to pick up a decent flophouse for around 300 baht (7 euro). Many of the hotels and guesthouses are quite noisy so it often makes sense to get a room on one of the surrounding streets. Thanon and Soi (laneway) Rambutri provide an excellent selection, each resembling mini KSR's in their own right. Many people get their first taste of Thailand on the KSR It's not exactly flush with authenticity but it provides a neat, i
f a little coined, introduction into the Asian way of life. All the western conveniences you have become accustomed to (Boots chemist!) stand beside uniquely South East Asian compromises (the squat toilets!). There are normally more foreigners than Thai's drifting about, thanks to a large extent to those scenes from 'The Beach' where Leonardo Di Caprio was seen wandering hazily through the maddening crowd. The street traders and hawkers on both sides of the road sell everything you'd ever need at the cheapest of prices. T-shirts, remarkably good CD copies (although Hanoi in Vietnam has the cheapest), jewellery, beach attire, tattooing, fake journalist/student cards, roasted insects and banana pancakes are in plentiful supply. Avoid the latter if you're striving for a trim waistline, but I guess the intense heat will beat it out of you soon enough so who cares? There is an endless selection of places to eat on KSR offering Thai and western dishes. If you feel that's not enough, McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut are within easy reach. There is a good mix of late night entertainment also. Some of the pubs show movies (Oi Hungry!), others dazzle with beer promotions and loud music (Gulliver's Traveller's Tavern), the choises are almost unlimited. It is just so enjoyable to sit at a bar and watch the kaleidoscope of life drift by. As you'd expect where large, sometimes naive, crowds of young people gather there are quite a few scam merchants operating. The more common scams involve you buying cheap jewellery that you can supposedly sell for 10 times the price back home. When you get home the stuff turns out to be worthless and there is absolutely no come back. Thankfully the Thai Tourist Police (TAT) are there to protect farangs (us). They are incredibly helpful and have an office just off the KSR You can find every conceivable service in
Banglamphu. Internet cafes proliferate and the rates are a fraction of the cost at home. International call rates are the cheapest in South East Asia as are the transport facilities. To reach the fabled island of Ko Pha Ngan should only cost 450 baht (12 euro) with a VIP bus and boat joint ticket. Where else could you travel so cheaply (well Malaysia actually!)?. If you are arriving at Bangkok International Airport getting to the Khao San couldn't be easier. If you have money to burn then take a taxi but then again if you are going to stay KSR that's highly unlikely. The best way to reach KSR is to take the public bus (A2) that departs from just outside the arrival terminal. The cost is negligible and the 30 minutes journey provides an eye opener into what makes Bangkok tick. KSR has its detractors but even if you are staying elsewhere you'll find enough to keep your senses amused to make the journey worthwhile (take a tuk tuk). If you are about to begin your South East Asian adventure soak up the atmosphere, the heat, the bedlam and prepare yourself for the journey of a lifetime.
The hub for backpackers in the city of angels.