Khao San Road, Bangkok
I arrived here just as the sun set. The bars and clubs had just turned the lights on and lit up the night sky. It was not yet as crowded as I have heard it gets on Khao San road at night. The street vendors seem to switch out. Day vendors packing up and the night vendors coming out.
I liked this area at this time of night. The crowds are not here yet and the party is just starting. The best part is the sun is down and you can really enjoy the sights and a relaxed walk checking out the clothing and souvenir vendors. Definitely an enjoyable evening. I left by 9:00pm and it was still a bit relaxed.
Dress Code: Very casual and good walking shoes.
Bangkok has a great nightlife. There is a lots of clubs, pubs, live music and Karaoke bars in many places in Bangkok.
First photo: Khao San Road
Second photo: Khao San Road
Third photo: Bangkok by night
Forth photo: Bangkok by night
Fifth photo: Bangkok by night
Dress Code: Anything
All over Khao San Road are drinkeries and eateries. The clientele are generally the youngish backpacker types but as I was with my two sons, Andrew 22 and Gabi 29 I felt quite at home.
Dress Code: Almost naked would be okay around here
Cheap Hotels Bangkok - Around the Khao San Road 'Backpacker' Area
Cheap hotels in Bangkok can easily be found in the Khao San Road area. The quality of guesthouses and hotels here is often not good though so I've done a review of the accommodation to help you choose somewhere nice. A better area for accommodation, I feel, is the Sam Sen Road area, just 5 minutes walk away. Slightly better accommodation than Khao San Road can be found just a minute or two walk away, around Soi Rambuttri and Phra Arthit Road.
Match the NUMBERS on the map below with the list of hotels and guesthouses below the map.
To see the map below larger and better quality and/or to print the map, head to this page. (opens in new window)
For the best quality printing, make sure you save it to your computer and print, rather than printing straight from the internet.
I haven't included my Navbar on this page, so that you can see the map larger. Click here to go to my Bangkok page..
On the Bangkok map, this area is on the left side, a little above the center. Look on the map for the number 13 on the river. Khao San Road and Chakrapong Road are marked nearby.
I've included a STAR RATING for the accommodation, from 1 to 5 STARS.
5 STAR is EXCELLENT 1 STAR is BAD
How did I decide what star rating to give?
Value for money. This is relation to other guesthouses and hotels in the area. For instance, I've given some hotels just a 2 star, but that same hotel in a city like London or even in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok would be good! So the actual quality of a 2 STAR hotel room might be higher than 2 STAR gives credit.
How the rooms and hotel looks and also the feel of the hotel.
A guesthouse might have moved from, for example, a 2.5 Star to 3 Star if there was a sociable feel to the place, perhaps the staff were really friendly.
1 US Dollar is equal to 30 Thai Baht
I've decided not to display on my website some of the places I didn't like so much (Some 2 star guesthouses/hotels and all the 1 stars). If you really want to know about these places, give me an email and I can send you the information.
The following numbers that are shown on my map above have been cut from the list:
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 44, 49, 50, 53, 54, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
From Si Sao Thewet were our hostel was located, we drive through a cab which is about 40 Baht a 10min dr to Khaosan. Always make sure you tell your driver your heading to Khaosan Road or you'll get lost but you don't have to worry about Thai Driver they are so kind and honest i can attest those.
Affordability and Quality options are one of the categories that you might wanna consider when shopping. Make sure to be good at haggling prices you can do as much as 40-50% from the given price. and one that i've learned when you ask for the price was "How Much" it means "Tawlay Kap/Ka" in Thai.
One of the best haggle that i got for a ket chain for an original price of 120 Baht were i had it for 55 Bath for 25 pcs. Quite a bargain right?
A little History about Khaosan:
"Khaosan" translates as "milled rice", a reminder that in former times the street was a major Bangkok rice market. In the last 20 years, however, Khaosan Road has developed into a world famous "backpacker ghetto". It offers cheap accommodation, ranging from 'mattress in a box' style hotels to reasonably priced 3-star hotels. In an essay on the backpacker culture of Khaosan Road, Susan Orlean called it "The Place to Disappear." It is also a base of travel: coaches leave daily for all major tourist destinations in Thailand, from Chiang Mai in the North to Ko Pha Ngan in the South, and there are many relatively inexpensive travel agents who can arrange visas and transportion to the neighboring countries of Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia, as well as Vietnam.
Khaosan shops sell handcrafts, paintings, clothes, pirated CDs, DVDs, and second-hand books, plus many useful backpacker items.
Khaosan Road in recent years has become popular with local residents, especially artists and art students. There are several pubs and bars, where backpackers meet to discuss their travels. The area is internationally known as a center of dancing, partying, and just prior to the traditional Thai New Year (Songkran festival) of April 13 to April 15, water splashing that usually turns into a huge water fight.
Dress Code: Come as you are, there are no restrictions! as long as it feels comfy for Bangkok still belongs to a tropical country, you don't wanna over sweat walking.
Welcome to the most exclusive budget Hotel on khaosan road, operated by the largest hotel chain management, Khaosan Palace Hotels Group www.KhaosanPalace.com. New Renovated Hotel is completed at 1 January 2010 and now opened for pre-Grand Opening of the new Furnished Hotel, http://inn.KhaosanPalace.com. Feel the luxury on the Historical area of Bangkok. Make the best out of your Vacation and Save a tons of money from your pocket.
Dress Code: No Naked
Bars on Khao San Road, Bangkok and its' surrounding area are continuously busy and pumping every night of the week, all year round. It's one of the liveliest places you can find anywhere in the world, there is never a dull night on Khaosan Road. Most of the bars have live music from DJ's & bands entertaining throughout the evening. There are also new bars near in area opening regularly because of the its' increasing popularity.
Thais are passionate about music and to see professional session musicians playing a set is commonplace, you can even catch live concerts and gigs at some venues. Bars on Khaosan also serve food so you can have a meal before hand and relax. Staying in one spot for the night and watching the world go by isn't unusual. Service is excellent and always with a smile.
Khao San road comes alive at night with various pub spots. One of these was this pub we went to called sunset cafe (I think?) which was jumbled among so many other pubs and eatries there. Usual food, but then we went there for the big screen tv showing the latest euro soccer match. lol
Dress Code: Khao San is a tourist spot unto itself. It has absolutely no trace of the real bangkok, if you know what I mean. Even the clothes sold there by the shops can't be found elsewhere in bangkok malls, the fashion is that catered to tourists. And the prices too - you can find stuff cheaper elsewhere.
It's like the patong road in Phuket transplanted here.
Khao San Road is a mecca for backpackers. It has everything a backpacker could want. Rip off dvd's and cd's, tons of street vendors, tattoos, hair braiders, massages, and so on and so on. There are tons of bars, cheap booze, and interesting people too meet. It's a fairly safe environment in that there's a ton of tourists there, but still be on gaurd. It's definately worth devoting a night for, but may not blow your mind for several nights in a row
WE FOUND KHAO SAN ROAD A GREAT PLACE TO HAVE A BITE TO EAT THEN WALK A FEW YARDS TO SPEND THE REST OF THE EVENING GOING FROM BAR TO BAR.
LETS BE HONEST KHAO SAN ROAD IS VERY MUCH GEARED TOWARD THE WESTERN TRAVELER WITH OUTLETS LIKE MACDONALDS AND STARBUCKS NOW OPEN ON THE ROAD BUT KHAO SAN IS STILL AS HARD NOSED AS IT WAS AND WE FOUND SOME OF THE BEST PLACES TO GET A SNACK TO BE THE LITTLE STALLS THAT LINE THIS BAR CROWED PEOPLE CROWED STREET,
AND IF FRIED INSECTS ARE YOUR THING BE MY GUEST THEY ARE THERE TO BE EATEN..
THERE ARE BARS GALORE HERE, SOME SCRUFFY SOME FANCY BUT NONE ARE REALLY OVERPRICED..AFTERALL THERE ARE SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM THEY REALLY CANT AFFORD TO PRICE THEMSELVES OUT..AND YES THERE IS EVEN AN IRISH BAR.
PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME TO KHAO SAN TO SOAK UP THE ATMOSPHERE
AND MINGLE WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE PLUS USE IT AS A BASE TO SEE THE MAJOR SITES OF BANGKOK, KHAO SAN ROAD HAS BECOME A MAJOR TOURIST DRAW IN ITS OWN RIGHT, AND AT THE END OF A CRACKING NIGHT BAR HOPPING WE LOVED NOTHING BETTER THAN JUMPING ONTO A TUK TUK AND HAVE ITS OWNER FLY US AT HIGH SPEED THROUGH THE STREETS OF BANGKOK WITH THE WIND IN OUR FACES BACK TO OUR HOTEL...PERFECT WAY TO END A GREAT NIGHT.
P.S QUICK UPDATE, JUST BACK FROM BANGKOK MARCH 2008..KHAO SAN IS STILL JUMPING AND IF YOU ASK ME I THINK ITS GOT EVEN BETTER....OH I LOV KHAO SAN !!!!!
Dress Code: DRESS CODE..ON KHAO SAN ANYTHING GOES.
PLUS YOU MUST HAVE FUN HERE.... ITS THE LAW !!!!!
Khao San is that stretch of road in Bangkok's old Banglamphu district that has for decades lured millions of backpacking tourists to its cheap hostels (debatable these days), lively bars (of the wholesome variety) and currently,cafés, including America's flagship coffee brand Starbucks.
While Khao San oldtimers whine about the commercialization of the whole place and the loss of that distinctive charm, it's still a good place to grab a drink and chat with fellow backpackers (or more like, package holidaymakers). The crowd varies from the hard core stinky backpackers, to the London City/NYC Wall St Prada-and-Hugo-Boss set to locals making friends with tourists (and ladies and not-so-real-ladies doing business with tanned westerners). Quite a spectacle.
All these come at a price, though; food and drinks are usually more expensive (easily by 25-50%) here than in other areas in Bangkok. I think the only missing element is that ultimate tourism status symbol: UNESCO's seal of approval as a world heritage site.
Dress Code: Anything goes.
So many travellers. Everyone seems to understand each other & blend well together. Tattoo parlours, Thai massages, Food stalls, Travel Agency etc. etc. are abandon here.
Khao San Road always seems crowded with people from all over the word. A lot of people say that this is a backpacker ghetto. If you haven't been to Khao San, take a stroll here & witness for yourself and decide whether you like it or not…From the guest house we stayed at Pra Athit Road…Khao San is just a few minutes walk & we were there almost every night! Wherever you are, just take some precaution & use common sense…Que sera sera!
Our family always spends a lot of time at Khao San Road at night when we're in BKK - as we stay in Chinatown, which is not the safest outside certain boundaries. We like the containment of Khao San, and the variety of restaurants closeby, the shopping, massage, banana pancakes etc.......
I was aware that there was an adult entertaintment industry at Khao San, which is much more discrete than Patpong - and, on subsequent trips, realise that it really kicks off a bit later in the night. So, if you are gone by about 9.00pm, you will miss out on the "action". Or, if you are looking for the action, turn up later!
Gents are not safe from approaches from touts even in Khao San, even accompanied by their spousal watchdogs!
Khao San Rd is lots of fun at night. Even you don't stay on this street, you must come to visit. It has bars (cheap and chic), shops, restaurants (street food or fine dining), shops, etc. In my opinion, Khao San Rd is more exciting than Patpong.
Dress Code: casual... very casual... just be yourself!
I really recommend staying on Khao San Road, as it's always busy so you won't have any problems at night. The street becomes pedestrian during the night and is filled with stalls: food, souvenirs, clothes, etc. There's a lively atmosphere here, and although it's full of backpackers from all over the world, there are loads of thais to meet.
Shops and restaurants remain open until around 12 pm.