Khao San Road, Bangkok
Everyone is there, has been there and will continue to be there but that's it. It's fairly safe, there's plenty of shopping to do and the people watching is fantastic but alas, it is a tourist trap.
Unique Suggestions: Beware of the cab/Tuk Tuk/tour guides. Just know that they are all trying to survive on far less money than you could imagine or would be willing to live with. Be firm but polite. They don't deserve disrespect.
Fun Alternatives: This tourist trap is fun though. Just be careful. There are plenty other places around the city to visit for shopping as well. Try the floating markets, the Jim Thompson house is nice as well or any number of small streets and alleyways.
This is the main “backpacker” neighborhood found in Bangkok…and it’s loaded with cheap accommodations, a multitude of bars, restaurants, and travel companies, other businesses and loads of neon and cheap glitz…
I really didn’t enjoy this area too much and other than to see it there really isn’t much there of interest for me. It really is just a conglomeration of “Western” style businesses and people and has nothing to do with Thai culture or people. Given the amount of people hanging out at places along the street or walking through…it does seem to attract more than a few people for some reason or other.
I did however find a use for this area, a currency exchange at the corner of Soi Rambuttri and Samsen Rd which leads into the whole area ; I did use the exchange a couple of times at a cost of 30 baht to cover the transaction.
I ventured through here a few times mainly just to have a look at what was going on and once or twice I went through here to access Soi Rambuttri….where my favorite cashew chicken meal was to be found!@
Be aware that the fake clothing at Khao San Road is quite expensive - and on our last visit, a big resistance to bargaining was going on. We are Australians - home of surf brands such as Billabong - and the prices being asked for in the Khao San Road Market were close to the price of originals on sale in Australia!
Unique Suggestions: Shop around and bargain hard. Some of the goodies at the markets are quite reasonable quality - and my son has worn some of the boardies as well as the real ones - but pay fake prices!
Fun Alternatives: Know the prices before you leave home - and work on the 20-30% principle - remembering that they are knock-offs.
Behind the famous spot Khao San road, the street behind called RAMBUTTRI, you can find various type of restaurant and bars, is a very nice place, and less crowded then Khao San!! But there is a restaurant which is very dangerous!!! if you walk the Rambuttri street at some point you will find a curve, just in the curve there is a hotel with a restaurant underneath, they mostly play live music during the evening, the hotel is called SAKUL HOUSE!! I have seen few episodes of cruelty from the waiters and the boss as well!! what happens?? if you are drinking there and acidently you get into any sort of argument with the waiter or waitress they will turn in very angry people, I have seen 2 episodes which they made me feel scare, first time it was a girl who broke a ventilator, the boss wanted her to pay, but she said that she didn't do on purpose, so 2 waiters tried to get her behind in the kitchen but luckily 2 big black guys came after her and rescued her, she cried and ran away, second time some english people were drinking there, i don't know why they started to argue, I have heard that was a problem for 40 baht, so one girl who work there threw a beer bottle against one of the girl in the group, the group didn't want to get in trouble so they left, the boss not happy ran after them with a bucket and threw water on them, the group of people got mad and went back to the restaurant, but once they got back, 2 waiters were waiting for them with metal sticks in their hands!!! so they people decided to leave otherwise it would have been a big trouble!!!!
Unique Suggestions: One big advise, PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THE SAKUL HOUSE HOTEL RESTAURANT AND BAR, nearby is PLENTY of nice restaurant and bar where you can enjoy food and don't get beat up!!!!
If you can't find the place which I'm talking about just look the face of the waiters, you can actually see that are dangerous, mostly is 4 guys, 2 girls, 1 ladyboy and the owner which is half chinese half thai and he has long hair!!!
I have talked to a Swedish guys who beaten up from there, there is nothing to do, even if you are right they have friends in the police so if you call the police it will be never their fault!!!!!!
Fun Alternatives: the alternative is to go in any other place in rambuttri!! you will get a better welcome and service!!
Khao San Road? Bangkok? I heard people say the the famous (or infamous) Khao San Road is a huge tourist trap. Others simply love it. Basically it's where all tourists seem to go, to party with their neighbour form home. Anyway you can make up your own mind by checking their website. I think it's the only street in the world that has a website; which is kind of dodgy and perverse. In all fairness I did not go there to check it out but I have the feeling that KSR is just a trap within a larger trap: Bangkok. I dont pretend to know Bangkok well, far from it indeed, but it is without any doubt extremely touristy - thus a trap. And a smelly, sticky one, too
Unique Suggestions: don't be fooled in thinking it's the only place in town where you can get a budget room - there are alternatives
Fun Alternatives: bangkok is full of roads - just go to another one
Khao San Road. It's noisy, it's smelly and the vibe very grunge... On the other hand if you are under 25 and wanting to drink the night away and meet crazy young travellers... it might just be your thing.
Best thing to do is stay outside this area and just use it for the good nightlife. A 15 minute walk down that street in the day time was more than enough for me.....it must have the highest concentration of rip offs in South East Asia.
The people who stay here can be put into 2 groups.
1) Pale looking, fresh off the plane from Europe.
2) Scruffy, hippy looking types that look like they have been here 20 years!!!
Taking a cab to Khao San road is easy, but getting OUT ... is another matter altogether. Not that there are no cabs plying that road. In fact there are tons of them. But almost all the cab drivers tell you their meter is spoiled. And so you've just got to negotiate a price to travel to your destination.
Unique Suggestions: I'd suggest that you walk out of Khao San to a block down, and flag for a passing cab. The meters will miraculously work elsewhere, not along Khao San.