Tag - banglampu

Khao San Road – An Overview

Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Situated in the area of Bangkok known as Banglampu, Khao San Road (or Khaosan, or Kaosarn, or a multitude of other spellings) is one of Bangkok’s most famous streets. While once this vibrant road was mainly a hangout for hippies and budget travellers, over the last few years people from all walks of live have discovered Khao San Road and it has become a real melting pot.

While Khao San Road has managed to retain much of its cheap and cheerful atmosphere with budget guesthouses lining the road, this is also a meeting place for Thai students, artists and even well heeled tourists and businessmen.

A large number of travellers use Khao San Road as a base to explore Bangkok and there are plenty of Khao San Road hotels to choose from, ranging from basic rooms with shared bathrooms to top end hotels that provide all the trimmings.

Khao San Road is the starting point for many visitors to Thailand and there are a large number of businesses geared towards helping travellers and tourists find their feet.

The travel agencies on Khao San Road offer a wide range of different trips and packages and travellers can book anything from a tour of Bangkok to diving trips to one of Thailand’s picturesque southern islands.

Market stalls line the sides of Khao San Road and it is possible to purchase just about anything here, from souvenir t-shirts to artwork and second hand books. The shops along the side of the road and down the winding alleyways that branch off Khao San Road also sell items such as silver jewellery, lanterns and handicrafts.

When it comes to dining, there is an excellent selection of restaurants and cafes located on Khao San Road. While many restaurants offer a selection of both Thai and Western favourites, there are also some excellent restaurants specializing in cuisine such as Italian, Japanese, Indian and Korean food. Vegetarians will find plenty to tickle their taste buds here are cheap bites and food carts on the street provide snacks such as pad thai and barbequed corn.

Khao San Road has gained a reputation as a party area over the last few years and once the sun sets people from all over the city come here to play. This is a good place to listen to live bands as a number of bars host Thai bands that play popular Thai and Western pop and rock songs. There are plenty of places to sit with a drink or two and watch the world go by and in the evening a number of stalls set up offering cheap yet surprisingly strong cocktails.

Khao San Road is also a good place for clubbing and many of the clubs located here hire international DJs, pumping out a range of music such as house, hip hop, trance and techno.

Whatever you are looking for, you are sure to find it on Khao San Road. The only difficulty might be leaving the vivacity of this interesting area behind in order to explore other parts of the city. Luckily, there are a wide range of transport options available including taxis, tuk-tuks, boats and buses, so getting here and around is simple.

The History of Khao San Road

The History of Khao San RoadWhen Bangkok was established in 1782, the center of the town was the Grand Palace area. For two centuries Khao San Road, which is 20 minutes’ walk from the Palace, remained a quiet residential area for the locals. Thailand’s most prominent lawyer/senator, Mr. Marute Bunnag and a billionaire medicine doctor/member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Decha Sukharom, started their careers in this prestigious area decades ago with small offices near the Police Station on Khao San Road.

How did the tranquil road turn out to be a Mecca for travelers? On the brink of Thailand’s economic boom in 1982, the Thai Government issued its policy to commemorate Bangkok’s bicentennial anniversary and celebrate the Buddhist calendar’s lucky year “2525”, by launching festive ceremonies in Bangkok to bring in tourist dollars. Tourists poured in from around the world, causing Bangkok’s hotels to overflow with bookings. The most spectacular festivities were performed in the Grand Palace.

Some backpackers, unable to get an overpriced room, successfully convinced local residents on Khao San Road to rent out vacant rooms in their houses, reasoning that, in return, the guest house owners could earn some extra income and it was convenient for them to travel to their destinations. The guest house business generated more profits than any amateur entrepreneur ever expected. Before long, more guesthouses, restaurants and souvenir shops sprouted along the road in full bloom.