Khao San Road is a community of foreign tourists in Bangkok and a meeting place for young travelers from all around the world.
This road houses many cheap hotels and guesthouses, along with a walking-street market selling all sorts of goods.
The road is also used as a base for tourists visiting other parts of Thailand, since it is easily connected to most touristic places with ease.
For party-lovers, Khao San road transforms itself at night into a colorful and vibrant place with many clubs staying open until sunset.
When visiting the narrow road of Khao San, you will find that there is a little bit of everything for everybody here.
The place is crammed with restaurants, shops, hotels and guesthouses, and traditional old buildings and temples surrounding the area.
Due to the confluence of different tourists from around the world, Khao San has acquired a characteristic of its own and is known as the backpacker’s hub of Southeast Asia.
The place is dotted with Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and other communities.
If you are interested in sampling traditional Thai food this is the right place to be.
One of the most popular street-foods here are Pat Thai (fried noodles with dried shrimp and tofu) for 35 Baht and Spring Rolls for about 25 Baht for 3 pieces.
There are also many international restaurants offering great dishes to fair prices.
The famous night market
For shoppers, Khao San Road should definitely be on your checklist. The road stocks up upon plenty of various items mainly catered to the youth.
You will find here, T-shirts, ethnic clothing, beach attire, fisherman pants, pirated CDs and DVDs, fake IDss, silver jewelry, dresses and fake branded suits.
The place is also ideal for hand-crafted souvenirs which make an ideal gift from the Land of Smiles.
Markets and shops on this road abound in art and craft pieces, clothes, fake educational diplomas, fake driver’s licenses, second hand books and many such useful items that backpackers might need on the road.
Alcohol, party, and fun
Khao San Road also has plenty on offer as far as the after-dark scene is concerned.
At night, the street transforms itself into a vibrant and colorful area decorated with neon lights. Music can be heard all around the place and amazingly the people seem to lap it all up.
There’s no shortage alcohol and any other stuff you might fancy to fuel your night, as clubs, pubs and small stands selling alcoholic beverage along with head-banging music are spread all over the place.
Hotels and guesthouses
Most travelers to Thailand and South East Asia stop by here for its cheap accommodation as well as the fact that it is centrally located and most sight seeing places are easily accessible.
Since some twenty years now, this road has been a sort of base for most backpackers.
Countless budget hotels and guesthouses costing 80-600 Baht per night make it a tourist’s paradise. Triple rooms are available for as low as 180 Baht and dorm beds for 70 Baht per night.
Also, all necessities that make the life of the average tourist comfortable and enjoyable can be found here: internet cafes, massage parlors, restaurants, clubs, bars, bookshops, chemists, tattoo shops and myriad market stalls are the order of the day.
The Khao San Road has an atmosphere to it. Its carefree, multi ethnicity vibrant feel draws not only tourists but also local residents, many of whom are art lovers.
The road is distinctive in its quaint image of traditional feel and pottering people exchanging travel notes.
Like most other places in Bangkok, the Khao San Road has also seen changes throughout its inception.
Through the influx of fast-food joint, swanky bars, and modern hotels, the place may have acquired differences in its look, yet it still retains its original flavor of the bizarre and ethnic cultural diversity being deep rooted.
History of Khao San Road
The word khao sarn refers to milled rice. This name given to the road bears testimony to the fact that the street has a long history of rice trading done within its periphery.
Interestingly though, the first business on Khao San Road was a small hotel which aimed at housing civil servants from the various provinces visiting Bangkok for business. Soon the road had a shop which sold accessories for Buddhist monks.
As a result the road also came to be known as “religious road”.
Tit bits about Khao San Road
One can get to Khao San Road fairly easily. You will find taxis, buses, and the river ferry as popular options.
There is no train service though.
Try to find yourself a hotel, a little away from the main road. This will not only be cheap but much more peaceful too, far from the maddening crowd that is.
Khao San is one of the roads, which acts as a high point for splashing water on each other, dancing, partying during Thai New Year festival Songkran, which takes place from April 13th to April 15th every year.
Base your visit to Thailand around the Khao San Road, because it is a good central area, from where you will be able to visit other Thai places of interest.