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KHAO SAN ROAD
Khao San Road, the backpacker street in the old part of Bangkok is where people from all over the world gather! Young, old, hippies, hipsters, world travelers, first-timers and whole families. Here tough travel stories are exchanged and the best insider travel tips are shared. At Khaosan you’ll meet travel buddies, one night stands and friends for life. This street in Bangkok is perfect if you like a party in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s Old Town also known as Banglamphu. The atmosphere is relaxed, going out is mainly easy in your shorts or summer dress. But if you fancy a party outfit, that is also totally okay!
Scorpions on a stick!
If you just arrived in Bangkok, Khao San Road is probably the place where you will eat a scorpion on a stick, mealworm or other insect for the first time. When the sun sets all kinds of food stalls appear; coconut ice cream, kebab, banana roti, mango sticky rice and insects, for those who dare! Drink some (fu*king strong) buckets with all kinds of alcohol mixed inside. Stalls with clothes and all kinds of gadgets are displayed next to the massage parlours. Let the day turn into night!
DID YOU KNOW?
The fried silkworms don’t taste that bad at all? The taste is best described as nutty! We weren’t heroic enough for the scorpions and spiders, were you?
Later in the evening, the volume increases everywhere and there is plenty of dancing in the clubs, bars and on the streets. Besides the latest EDM and pop songs, everyone still dances the Macarena exuberantly. A little further on, a live band tries to rise above the party crowd in a small bar. Something for everyone so you could say, but that’s not entirely true…
Hey Macarena | Image: Thailand Magazine
Love it or hate it!
Khao San Road is noisy and crowded, you won’t encounter much Thai culture here. Khaosan is not comparable to the rest of Bangkok or Thailand. Some people therefore don’t like it at all. But Bangkok’s infamous backpacker street also has such a reputation, that it has become part of a visit to Bangkok. Something you might have seen at least once, love it or hate it! Fortunately, very close by is also the cosy but cosy Soi Rambuttri, a welcome retreat if Khaosan has become too much for you!
Difference of day and night
During the day Khao San Road is a lot quieter, there are some shops, bars and eateries in all shapes and sizes. People stroll down the street looking for a sarong, selfie stick or a (late) breakfast. The rest sleeps it off by the pool or cool off in the shopping malls of Bangkok. Others are perhaps witnessed in Bangkok’s most infamous scam and drive for 20 bath in a Tuk Tuk past jewelry shops. With a bit of luck they will also visit one of the beautiful temples of Bangkok. A very normal day on Khaosan!
Eating and going out – where should you be in Khao San Road?
The backpacker street has many food stalls, eateries and bars where you can go to. But which bar or club has the best atmosphere and where do you eat the tastiest fried rice, pad thai, massaman or green curry? Tastes differ of course, but the following restaurants, bars and clubs at Khao San Road have a good reputation.
Restaurants – where to eat good food?
Yam Yum is a nice restaurant that is mainly known for its delicious fresh sushi! There is also a wide range of western, Thai and Israeli dishes. You can even go there for a schnitzel. Therefore, the restaurant is ideal for groups if you want to keep everyone happy. For a main course you pay about 200 bath, the portions are large by Thai standards. There are regular live performances in the evenings.
Website: Yam Yum
Ethos Vegetarian Restaurant
Ethos is a small atmospheric vegetarian restaurant with Thai, Indian, oriental and western dishes on the menu. The restaurant does not use refined sugars, msg and preservatives, so everything is super! So also for non-vegetarians with a need for vitamins a good option. You can sit on cushions on the floor or at a normal table, take off your shoes at the front door.
Website: Ethos Vegetarian Restaurant
Going out at Khao San Road – where?
Much of the partying on Khao San Road just takes place in the streets, not surprisingly with those lovely evening temperatures in Thailand! But tucked away in narrow streets, there are also a number of great clubs to party till late in the evening.
The Club KhaoSan Bangkok
The Club on Khao San Road is one of the most famous nightclubs in Khaosan. Regularly there are international DJ’s behind the turntables. It is a good club to entertain you all night long. Regularly there are themed parties.
Open: Daily from 21:00 – 02:00
Website: The Club KhaoSan Bangkok
The Brick Bar is popular among the local young Thai. Don’t expect to be able to sing along to all the music because the live band also plays Thai reggae & ska. Dancing on the table is encouraged!
Entrance: 300 baht in the weekend, rest of the week is free.
Open: Daily from 19:00 – 01:30
Website: Brick Bar
Susie Q = Tha Chang Cafe
UPDATE November 2020
We just heard that Susie Q is permanently closed. It will now be the Tha Chang Cafe. Tha Chang is a well know hot spot in Chiang Mai. We wish them good luck in Bangkok!
You’ll find Susie Q in an alley on Khao San Road. Here you can dance till late between the locals. A small but cozy club where there is good partying! Here the DJ plays different kinds of music like Urban, Hip Hop and Dance.
Open: Daily from 21:00 – 02:00
Facebook: Susie Q
Mulligans Irish Bar
For the pub lovers, there’s Mulligans. A cozy bar where you can have a beer between the locals and listen to different bands. The nice thing about Mulligans is that there are often performances by famous Thai bands and singer songwrites. You can find this Irish bar on Khao San Road.
Open: Daily from 14:00 – 00:00
Facebook: Mulligans Irish Bar
Sleeping around Khao San Road – which hotel
On and around Khao San Road are quite a few budget and middle class hotels. Important to know is that almost all hotels or hostels on this street can have noise nuisance. It pays to ask for a room at the back of the building. These rooms usually have less noise nuisance. For example, we ourselves slept well for a couple of nights at D&D Inn without noise nuisance, while this hotel is in the middle of the party noise. But you can have the bad luck that these are full.
D&D Inn has a nice swimming pool with a bar on the roof of the hotel. We stayed in the Superior Double, an affordable neat room with a very well maintained bathroom. The room does not really have a view, there is only a narrow door to a tiny balcony (1 person can stand) overlooking a quiet courtyard. We had no noise here, while we were in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Khaosan!
Bed Station is a brand new hostel. The hostel has single beds as well as double beds, ideal for couples. Some beds have a window overlooking Bangkok. In addition, the hostel has a small swimming pool and you can use the pool table for free. Bed Station Hostel Khaosan is a few minutes walk from Khao San Road and Rambuttri Road. What more could you ask for?
Rambutrri Village is a big favorite among many travelers because of its affordability, good location and two swimming pools on the roof! You sleep in the quiet but cozy Rambuttri Road and in two minutes you are in the hectic Khao San Road. Don’t wait too long to book if you want to sleep here because the Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza is often fully booked!
Avoid disappointment, in the high season from December to February it is very busy! If you have a particular hostel or hotel in mind it is wise to book it in advance, many accommodations are fully booked in this period.
How to get to Khao San Road?
Khao San Road can be reached by Chao Phraya River Express boat, bus, taxi and tuk tuk. Khao San Road has no direct connection to the BTS skytrain. However, you can transfer to the Taksin Pier via BTS station Saphin Taksin, which is a 2 minutes walk from each other. During rush hour this is the quickest and perhaps also the nicest way to go to/from Khao San Road. Outside rush hour a taxi and tuk tuk is the quickest option, always ask the driver to turn on the meter and discuss a price with the tuk tuk driver in advance. The city bus is the most adventurous, (very) slowest and cheapest option. The red bus 15 (no air conditioning) has a stop at the Ratchadamnoen Road parallel to Khaosan and costs 6.5 bath. This bus runs between BTS station National Stadium and Khao San Road.
Discover the rest of Bangkok
Bangkok is of course much more than just Khao San Road and Soi Rambutrri. It would be a shame if you don’t visit one of Bangkok’s many other highlights!
Discover these popular neighborhoods in Bangkok
From the airport to Khao San Road
From Suvarnabhumi (BKK) Airport in Bangkok special airport buses depart from the first floor to Khao San Road. The bus takes you fast through the toll roads to Khao San Road. The buses have air conditioning.
Bus number: S1, bus company BMTA
Boarding: Gate 7, Gate 7, passenger terminal, first floor.
Departure: Every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Price: 60 baht p.p.
Arrival: Tanao Road, 5 to 10 minutes walk to Khao San Road
From the Don Muang (DMK) airport in Bangkok air-conditioned buses leave directly in front of the door at the terminals. The buses make a few stops before you arrive at Khao San Road: Wat Ratchanatdaram – Wat Bowonniwet – Khaosan Road.
Bus number: A4, bus company BMTA
Boarding: Terminal 1, Gate 6, first floor | Terminal 2, Gate 12, first floor.
Departure: Every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. | After 5 p.m. 1 time per hour until 11 p.m.
Price: 50 baht p.p.
Arrival: Tanao Road, 5 to 10 minutes walk to Khao San Road
From Khao San Road you can travel further to every corner of Thailand and the surrounding countries. At the many travel agencies on Khao San Road you can buy bus and train tickets to the islands in the south or to places in the north such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It is also possible to buy bus tickets to Laos and Cambodia. You can also arrange your own train, bus or plane ticket online via 12GoAsia. We have good experiences with this!