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5 Things To Do on Khao San Road


Ever popular with backpackers looking for cheap accommodation and equally cheap street grub, Khao San Road is one of those Bangkok hotspots with more foreigners than locals. It's quiet and not very crowded when the sun is out, but quickly turns into a swarming pedestrian street of young travelers and local peddlers come night time. If only to see what the hype is about, try booking a room (or a bunk bed) on Khao San. This backpacker ghetto provides plenty to do no matter what time of the day. Here are some ideas:

1. Buy a shirton a Monday. Admit it. You want that tacky 'I love Bangkok' tee. Well, you can buy it for much less from a Khao San street vendor if you shop on a weekday. Avoid the brick-and-mortar clothing and souvenir shops on the side of the road and wait for the stalls that pop up in the middle of the street at night. Prices skyrocket on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as the vendors take advantage of tourists (no surprise there), so if you really have to shop, do so on a Monday.

2. Meet new awesome friends. It's easy to meet people on Khao San. Just grab a seat in any of the many bars that line the road and pretty soon, you'll be swapping stories and swigging cheap local brew. Don't be shy. Your fellow travelers are just as curious to know you.

3. Eat a scorpion. Khao San Road is littered with vendors selling everything from the usual fresh coconuts to more exotic dishes like deep fried scorpions on sticks. Without spending over 100baht, you can get yourself a full plate of noodles with vegetables and shrimp along with an ice cold Chang beer. Pad thai carts are up and selling till the wee hours. Don’t feel like experimenting? Fast food basics like Subway, Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s are also open 'til late.

4. Get some alone time. The charm of Khao San is that it brings everything touristy to your doorstep. The clubs, the bars, the souvenirs, and the massage parlors are all literally steps away. On the flip side, it's also an unrelenting mass of noise.  If you've had enough and feel like being alone, head to a massage parlour. Don’t feel like mingling with other travellers? Just hit up the 7-11 and buy your Singha, Leo, or Bacardi Breezer. Proceed to your hotel balcony or rooftop and enjoy your drinks in peace.

5. Watch people. One of the best things to do on Khao San Road is to sit and watch people go by. You will see someone amusing every five minutes, guaranteed. From the 90-year-old lady cooking banana pancakes to the tourist throwing up in the gutter, the reality show never ends. Plump yourself on the sidewalk and enjoy the show.

UPDATE: Watch this video of our complete Khao San Road walk-through:

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