Places To Visit In Bangkok: Khaosan Road
About Khaosan Road
Khaosan Road is an incredibly eclectic, bizarre and interesting area of Bangkok. Although it’s only a short street, the area has come to be known as a “backpackers’ ghetto” and the base of many independent Bangkok travel tours. Accommodation on this road is far cheaper than in the rest of Bangkok. Some prices are still as low as $3 USD per person per night (but you do tend to get what you pay for!).
This area is full of international bars and cafés where backpackers often meet to trade travel stories. Consequently, the street is full of interesting (and some crazy) people who originate from all over the world.
The street doubles as a market selling crafts, artwork, clothes, traditional Thai foods, reduced airfare and black market items such as fake IDs and driver’s licenses. Recently, the area has become more popular with trendy Bangkok locals such as art students.
Khaosan and neighbouring streets also form the annual party centre of Bangkok. During the Thai New Year which occurs from April 13-15, activities include dancing, partying and public water splashing. This is a must see street for tourists or anyone who enjoys adventure or people watching. Eccentric characters form the general make-up of the Khaosan population.
Brief History Of Khaosan Road
Khao San means “Raw Rice” in Thai, and Khaosan Road was one of Bangkok’s most important rice markets before becoming dominated by foreigners. In 1982, the government issued a policy to increase the number of festivals in Bangkok annually to attract more tourists.
Consequently, Bangkok’s hotels soon became overbooked. Some tourists who were eager to stay in Bangkok managed to convince locals to rent them spare rooms. This began to occur more often, particularly on Khaosan Road. Surprisingly, these amateur hotels began to enjoy larger than expected profits so they remained in business. Shops, stalls and other businesses sprang up where Western money was to be found and the sprawling bohemian layout of Khaosan Road was slowly built.
Tips for visitors to Khaosan Road
Khaosan Road is best experienced from within. You will find a wide variety of accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to single rooms containing only a mattress. Therefore, Khaosan offers accommodation to suit every budget.