Bangkok Stories and Tips

People-watching on Khao San Road

How many of you know a place, a street, which has its own website?


A place where Backpackers mingle easily with ladyboys?

A place where baby elephants wander the streets alongside the tourists?

A place where you can drink your alcohol from a bucket and eat fried maggots from street vendors?

How about buying a fake college education, press pass or Prada handbag?

WELCOME to Khao San Road.

Watch Leonardo Dicaprio in "the Beach" and see the very low end ($5 a night) accommodation where he stayed. This kind of hostel is readily available if you have the inkling to do so. Most people visit Khao San Road at some point during their stay in Bangkok and it's either loved or hated.

True, Khao San Road is a real backpacker Ghetto; where Europeans gather and spend their months mingling and exchanging travel stories. In the movie, Leonardo criticized these people as wanting to be different and see new cultures and yet they all gather together. Thinking they are being different and exciting... yet hardly leaving the area they feel safe in.

It’s easy to see that when you wander down K.S. Road and see all the blond, tall, dreadlocked backpackers congregating; but the road undoubtedly holds a charm of its own. I, personally, loved K. S. Road. I explored with my husband, and alone, at all times of the night and day. Something is going on 24 hours a day and people-watching here is a must ! Just grab a "bucket" of whisky, sit back, and enjoy the crazy world pass you by.

When jet lag strikes at 5am; it's nice to know there is a place you can wander to and buy $1 street noodles amongst other time displaced travelers. Another huge advantage of the road (well to me) is the lack of sex tourists. Khao San attracts the low budget, European travelers who baulk at paying $2 for dinner never mind buying a Thai girl for the night. It was a really welcome break after being around the Sukkhumvit for some time and having to witness the fat, old American or Japanese business man with a pretty young Thai girl on his arm.

Much of the accommodation is on the cheap and grungy side but in recent years Khao San Road is getting trendy and nicer hotels are popping up all over. It can be loud staying along the road but if you choose to stay a few streets back you can get the quiet nights without being too far from the action... and action is what Khao San Road is all about !

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