Khao San Road - Thanon Khao San, Bangkok
shrimp paste is a generic thing in south east asia where it is used to flavor dishes or as a dipping sauce, it is only in thailand where it is added to the rice itself and made into a complete meal.
the fermented shrimp paste rice, where the fermented fish paste (Khao Kluk in thai and bagoong in the Philippines and balachan in malaysia and indonesia and ngouc man in vietnam) is added to jasmine rice.The flavor of shrimp paste is strong, and is complimented by the sour mango, sweet pork, chilies, shallots and fried shrimps and some pork bits are added to it. It is different from the fragrant thai fried rice as this has a pungent odor and sort of an acquired taste. it is a full meal in itself and you can buy this anywhere in bangkok and the cost is 50 baht if at the street food stalls and up to 100 baht at the thai restaurants. try to eat it as it is soo good!
Fondest memory: the khao kluk gapi, which is really popular in the thai restaurants in the philippines, unfortunately, nodody translated the name so that filipinos only know it as bagoong rice.
Finding a place to stay is not that difficult in Bangkok, If You want to have a no frills affair or you are on a tight budget or are you a backpacker? No problem! than go to Khao San Road! This is the backpacker's heaven of Bangkok and the whole of Southeast Asia! the place is filled with cheap hostels where you can spend the night for a couple of 100 bath. Make sure you see the room first though since some of them might be really bad but in general its a good place to stay for the budget traveler with cheap travel and other services widely available (although you would ne see me in a place like these as everyone knows, i don;t scrimp on the frills hehehe). A disadvantage however is that Khoa San is not really central and therefore has no access to the Skytrain or MRT stations. In order to get somewhere you have to take a bus or taxi. The accommodation varies from 'mattress in a box' style hostels, to full Western-standard luxury.
Fondest memory: Many tourists use Khaosan road as their base for exploring the rest of Thailand and Indochina in General (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, even going to Malaysia and Singapore) as there are many direct coaches from the street to virtually all major tourist destinations in Thailand and to the rest of Indo China! Plus, there is an abundance of relatively cheap travel agents to arrange visas and transport to these countries!
Khaosan Road is a famous backpackers area filled with wall to wall guesthouses.So this is the place to head if you are looking for a bed for the night,book tours ,look for deals on airline tickets or just wanting a meal and meeting other travellers.
Wonder down Khaosan's many little alley ways that are like mazes that leads you to more guesthouses,shops,bars.travel agents and then find yourself on a completly different Soi.
D&D Guesthouse- air-con rooms and a pool on the roof with a view.
Buddy Lodge -more up market than most on Khaosan Rd also with a pool.
Khaosan Center -good place to eat ,drink & people watch.
Gullivers Pub -nice bar with good food , pool tables ,free internet,friendly staff & air-con.
The Club- if your looking for some techno beats later in the night.
Roadside bars and street vendors
If you have just arrived in Bangkok and need a place to stay, just head for this touristy part of town. There are lots of options here and you won't have to rely on the taxi driver to take you some place where he gets commission.
It's a happening place with lots of markets and places to eat and drink. Just watch your belongings at night.
Soi is the small street in Bangkok and Thanon means the street. See big picture in my travelogues. So if you read Sukhumvit Soi 22, means: the small street 22 from Sukhumvit road
First Photo: Soi in Tonburi, Bangkok
Second Photo: Soi in the way from the pier to Royal Barges Museum in Bangkok
Third Photo: Soi in the way from the pier to Royal Barges Museum in Bangkok
Fourth Photo: Soi in the way from the pier to Royal Barges Museum in Bangkok
Fifth Photo: Soi in the way from the pier to Royal Barges Museum in Bangkok
Favorite thing: Khaosan road, Bangkok, a wide range of hotels, guesthouses and accommodation. Its restaurants and cafes serve international cuisine. There are bars, pubs and clubs which make up an exciting choice of nightlife, as well as a choice of travel agents and dive shops that work as your guide to Thailand. Fashion tailors and clothes shops are everywhere for those keen shoppers. Synonymous with backpacking in South East Asia, Khaosan Road along with Soi Rambuttri, Thanon Rambuttri, Phra Athit Road and Samsen Road is an area full of life and excitement. It is definitely the place to be when staying in Bangkok
"Best" is relative to your pocketbook and taste. If you are asking about Khao San Rd then I assume that you want budget along with that best? It may also depend on what you are wanting to be near and see.
There are some good budget hotels along the Sukuhumvit Rd area that are clean and well run. I think you may get a lot more specific answers if you can narrow down what part of the city you would like to saty in. The river area can be nice also and is closer to the Khao San rd area, and there is Chinatown, but a bit more congested and noisy. Let us know and someone should be able to direct you to something more specific.
You don't give very much info on your budget as far as what type of hotel that you are looking for.
If you are staying in the Khao San rd area (backpakers) it may be busy but you should still be able to get a room. And there are rooms around Bangkok but your 3-43-and 5 star places are going ot be busy. As John mentioned about the Gala dinners, it is compulsary and expect to pay double or more for that NYE night, in addition to the dinner fee, whether you eat there or not. The Thia's do celebrate NYE but they do have their own NY's celebration per their calandar. This will be the case all over Thailand, not just in Bangkok.
Again, don't know what you are looking for as far as entertainment, or how long you have, but no matter where you go you should be able to find some sort of celebrations going on. Are you looking to stay in the hotel and take advantage of their festivities that are going on or go out?
A trip to Bangkok wouldn't be complete without a visit to Khao San Rd.
We only managed to get here once, at night. There were people everywhere, eating, drinking and just wandering around checking out the shops and stalls.
Lots of food vendors means plenty of choice. Everything looked very yummy, but because we had already had dinner before we got there all we could fit in was a banana roti. It was very nice :) So was the Mai Tai I had further down the road.
This is the street that greets backpackers and travelers from around the world....there are lots of places to stay - some better than others - places to suit all budgets buts certainly nothing extravagant. People seem to stay for a day or two...maybe three....thats all you seem to need to see the sights, get sorted on your next destination and of course party till the wee hours of the morning.....note: the area directly on Kho San...we the road its self....actually shuts down about 12:30am....bars cant serve and neither do the variety stores for some road rockets....you can still hang around, enjoy a little food and people watch with a couple of road side brews.....Tip: at 12:15am, go to the 7/11 and buy a half dozens Singha's....you can then walk around well past the closing hours and chill out.....walk a few street away and everything seems to still be open. A rather fun time for a few nights....everyone coming and going AND if you put a little efforts into it, you'll see a good portion of the city. Price is still right - although food prices and beers at the bar are beginning to creep up to the 100B/beer ...tooo much especialy compared to the rest of Thailand. Kho San is what it is......some shopping for essentials and nto an averall bad place to start your travels. Good Luck.
Fondest memory: There are many thais hanging about on the street going to the bars and hanging out....going for walks we would come across different groups of partiers who were playing the guitar and singing or just sitting around....we had a good time interacting with them...of course we'd hav the traveler beers from the store and chillin in the late ngiht temps was cool...Usually out to 3 or so in the morning.
Favorite thing: Holidaying in Asia with the children for the first time required some accommodation for their wary palates. Our family made an almost daily trek to Khao San Road whilst in Bangkok, for food, shopping and massage. The most popular treat for us was the banana pancakes from this lady - and her protege(s). Great treat for 30 to 40Bt, depending on the amount of toppings - ie. with or without condensed milk and chocolate!
I'm walking down near Khaosan Road and I figure that I'm in desperate need of sandals. I go up to this stall and start looking at sandals and looked at the girl working there and gave her a price. She quoted a price back. So now we're in the typical haggling when I notice that she's getting really excited. Let's just say I've never seen that before when in the negotiations process. Eventually we agreed to a price and she starts clapping. What's going on here?
I must have looked confused because a man came up to me immediately after and told me that she had just started her stall that day and I was her first sale ever. Awwwww, how sweet!
Fondest memory: Not my fondest memory but definately a vivid one. I was in Bangkok three weeks after the Tsunami devestated the shores of SE Asia. This makeshift memorial was set up at the end of Khaosan Road. There were pictures of all the people still missing. People from all around the world. As well, there was a running total of those missing or dead. It was heart wrenching.
Go to Khao Sarn Road at night -- store
s named: VERY STRONG COCKTAILS...The cocktails were like the hawkers' name "VERY STRONG!" IF you wanna get drunk, please come to this store & get as many cup as u can cos it only cost 60 Baht (RM6) per cup.
The two Ronnies (a english comic double act) once said a couple wanted to have children of either sex - boy girl and hairdresser.
Whilst not wishing to be offensive (in our enlightened times) the 'third way' of the ladyboys are tolerated in Thailand.
'Farang' magazine (copyright accepted) recently suggested that Thai TV could do a 'reality' show based on the Ladyboy culture :
Synopsis foe 'Extreme make over' :
Contestants are given free sex changes - the hormones, the sbip, the lot...after the contestants are all healed up and functional they are cut loose at Gullivers Tavern on Khosan Road. The First one to seduce a backpacker without the fellow twigging that his 'beautiful' date was once a man wins a Volkswagen bus cocktail bar. Special bonus prize if they can snag the guy's wallet & passport at the same time.
Fondest memory: Watching ladyboys trying to get a reaction to their bodies and watching people studiously trying to ignore them !