For decades, Khao San Road has tempted travellers from around the world with its vibrant markets, crescendoing music and nightlife, pocket-friendly stays and markets. Stepping away from the shadier boulevards that line parts of the area, there is a life to the streets of Khao San that entices even the most sombre of travellers.
The neon-lit streets with their quaint cafes, book stores, massage parlours, tattoo shops, waves of music and whiffs of food and alcohol attract not just international crowds but also the locals. An essential part of any Thailand itinerary, Khao San Road is a destination steeped knee-deep in culture, diversity and electrifying party-life.
There are many things that make Khao San Road a unique stop when travelling through Thailand and here are just a few of those that make it ideal for a party lover.
Backpackers Shopping Paradise
What are a few things backpackers love?
Hostels, roadside eateries and budget shopping, irrespective of the authenticity of the so-called branded items. They are also known to excel at bargaining, which is a skill that is much needed when scrounging through the streets of Khao San. From funky beach-wear, junk jewellery, vintage and exotic clothing to phone accessories, pirated CDs, Thai movie posters to rows and rows of books shops – Khao San has it all. If you’re looking to quirk up your wardrobe on-trip, be prepared to haggle to get the best price possible, but be respectful at the same time.
All Things Local
Another aspect travellers love about exploring the nooks of Thailand is the seamless blend of local life with the emerging modernization and diversity. The streets of Khao San are proof of this blend with crowds thronging in from around the world, with locals selling their wares and local art students and hipsters making their purchases. It is not rare to see tourists grabbing a laugh and a drink with locals. The food along Khao San Road is an unusual mix of the weird and the obnoxious – fried scorpions, spiders, cockroaches, crickets, and the more popular international outlets like Mcdonalds. If you’re in the mood for adventure, you can ditch the regular restaurants and try out some local alcoholic drinks with a range of edible insects.
The Ultimate Party Street
Khao San Road promises to hit you with a wave of music as soon as you’re in its vicinity. The streets are popular for their live rock clubs where locals, and sometimes international rock bands perform.
For The Rock Lovers
Places like Shamrock, The Brick Bar and Adhere The 13th Blues Bar are some of the most popular spots to grab a few drinks and groove to live performances.
For The Dance Lovers
Khao San is also replete with dance bars and clubs like Superflow City Beach Club, Lava Club, The Club, where travellers can let their hair loose and dance till dawn.
For The Soul Lovers
For those looking for quieter and more relaxed places to dine and drink, restaurants like Hippie De Bar, Madame Musur, Oxxi’s Place and Gypsy’s Lips are ideal. Most of these pubs open onto the street taking the wild parties outside later into the night so make sure to reach early to be part of the magnificent transition.
The Sober Side of Khao San
Though Khao San does not have any sightseeing spots within its area, it is close to some of the most iconic spots in the city:
If you are a little drained with all the partying and hustling and wish to escape the crowd to more sombre experiences, you can head out to Wat Bowonniwet, a temple unique in its design and aura.
Bangkok National Gallery
Bangkok’s National Gallery is also a ride away from Khao San, an attraction valued for its representation of Thai art and culture. The ancient colonial building is an insta-worthy shot itself, having once served as King Rama V’s palace and what lies instead is sure to leave any art lover reeling for more.
Phra Sumen Fort
The last standing fort of the fourteen forts built by King Rama I, the Phra Sumen Fort is a vision at night with its sepia-lit observation decks, ancient canons, accompanied by a view of the Chao Phraya River. With more time at hand, Bangkok’s Ghost Tower, wat Chana Songkhram and the National Museum can also be visited if they aren’t already part of your itinerary.