Khao San road: Backpackers & nightlife

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Khao San road: World’s hub of backpackers, street shopping, nightlife

If you think old Bangkok is conservatively packed with temples and palaces and there’s no nightlife, then you’d better think again.  There’s nightlife here in Khao San road, a place where Leonardo Di Caprio also visited in the movie “The Beach.”

Khao San road is the hub of old Bangkok nightlife.  It is rated as one of the world’s top backpackers’ destinations, a station to plan their travel in Thailand, Southeast Asia, and Indo China.  Khao San Road is the budget travelers’ heaven.  The road was once a rice market and so named after in Thai meaning “rice road.”  Back in the old days, Khao San road was an accommodation spot for upcountry Thais upon their visit to the capital.  Many of these were civil servants because most government offices at that time were centered in old Bangkok.

To day, Khao San road leaves no trace of its past.  It has become a busy nightlife stuffed with chick pubs, fusion restaurants, guesthouses, travel agents, street vendors, etc.  Thais are here for nightlife, street shopping, food and drinks, and to celebrate the yearly Songkran water festival.

The street market in Khao San road has more than the others.  This is where you can find cheap hand-made items like beads, clothes, dolls, etc.  Many are made at home by the vendors themselves.  Meaning you’re likely won’t find them in other markets.

If you want to party after sunset, enjoy a lively dinner, and shop along the streets, Khao San road is a place not be missed.

Hours (recommended): 20:00-23:00 (for street shopping,) 20:00- 01:30 (for nightlife,) daily

Khao San road is busy with backpackers during the day.


Khao San road, daytime

Khao San road is busiest with backpackers and Thais during the night.  The road becomes a shopping street stuffed with lively pubs, bars, restaurants, and guesthouses.


Khao San road, night time


Pra Arthit road, 10 minutes walk from the lively Khao San road, caters people looking for more peaceful and quieter pubs.

Getting to Khao San road
Tourist boat: Phra Arthit pier