In the world of backpacking, Khao San Road in Bangkok is considered the center of the backpacker’s universe! While there are many more beautifully landscaped places in Bangkok for those looking for something a bit more fancy, but thats definitely not my style.
Khao San Road is one road in the city where you’ll find every type of street food imaginable, an endless sea of souvenir shops, street performers, and a variety of foreign travelers from all over the world in one place.
Where is Khao San Road?
Everyone traveling to Bangkok typically goes to the Grand Palace and some of the surrounding temples so if thats on your list, then Khao San Road is just a few blocks away from that. While it’s walking distance from the Grand Palace, you can also get a cab there as well if it’s too far to walk for you.
You can use the below map to see the exact location of Khao San Road.
What Makes Khao San Road Special?
There are many great places to explore in Bangkok, but none that are designed similar to Khao San Road. The road is typically closed to vehicles so in front of all of the restaurants and hotels are lined up street vendors for almost a mile long.
These street vendors is where all of the madness happens. You’ll find every sort of food imaginable from fresh fruits, to barbecue, clothing, spices, and even some deep fried insects!
The other great part about Khao San Road is the surrounding streets are much smaller but just as wonderful as a backpacker to explore. While Khao San Road will have a bit higher prices, if you take the time to discover the side streets you can find some of the cheapest prices in all of Bangkok on clothing and souvenirs.
It’s also littered with visitors form all corners of the world and most of them are looking to meet new people so you’ll find yourself stumbling upon all sorts of new friends left and right!
Things to do on Khao San Road
Khao San Road is an every evolving street that will have some of the old classic food and gift vendors, but you’ll also find new and diverse things popping up all the time. You can also expect a few curve ball vendors offering free services for attention and entertainers here and there!
Clothes and more clothes!
One of my favorite things to do in Bangkok is to get new clothes. My favorite clothing in Bangkok are the Thai style pants which are those baggy free-flowing colorful bottoms. You can find them with pockets or without and some that are stationary or ones that you have wrap around and tie.
Make sure to haggle for prices on all clothing because usually you can get it for 1/4 less than what the starting price was.
Deep Fried Insects
Definitely this isn’t for everyone, but the deep fried insects and scorpions are one of Khao San Road’s tourist trap specialties. You can find any form of insect/bug including cockroaches, ants, worms, and even scorpions on a stick.
Although these vendors are there all night, I have yet to experience watching anyone eat them. To even take a photo of them you have to pay 10 baht. If you’re daring, give it a try!
Indoor, Outdoor, and Curbside Bars
The nightlife starts pretty early on Khao San Road and it only gets more exciting as the night goes on! You’ll find up and down the street there are bars to get local and international drinks at.
My favorite places to drink are the old VW vans that are converted into a curbside bar. Slide up on a stool and order from the bartender inside the van. You’l also find a whole bunch of indoor night clubs if you want a bit of EDM music with LED light shows.
Best Barbecue and Fruits Anywhere
No matter what your picky diet has on it’s agenda, you’ll find something perfect for you somewhere along Khao San Road with it’s endless street vendors. You can find almost any kind of fresh juices including fresh fruit juices, fresh sugar cane juice, coffees, coconut juice, and more.
Some of my favorite food to try is the pork barbecue and the grilled banana (a bit smaller banana than normal). Also be sure to check the restaurants on both sides of hte street up and down and search for some spicy Thai curry or Thai milk tea to cool you down.
Street Performers and Acts
Scattered throughout the street you’ll find all sorts of madness ensuing. There’s foreigners doing free haircuts for homeless, locals and travelers for free just to help out. There are plenty of performers dancing, massage therapists with a bed right on the curbside to get a quick massage, or my favorite being the chihuahua with it’s unforgettable lazy tongue sticking out.
Every day seemed to bring some sort of new entertainers offering something different to the wandering crowds walking by. Feel free to jump in and join if you’re so compelled!
Activities Nearby Khao San Road
With Khao San Road being so near to all of the palaces and temples, it’s a perfect location to situate your hotel so you’re always near great food options.
Here are all of the great activities nearby Khao San Road:
- The Grand Palace
- Wat Po, Temple of the Reclining Buddha
- Chao Phraya River
- Wat Arun Ratchawararam
- National Museum
- Democracy Monument
- Loha Prasat
- Mahakan Fort
- The Golden Mount
- Rommanlnat Park
- The Giant Swing
Here’s a few teaser photos to give you an idea of the different nearby activities:
Bangkok Travel Guide
If you want a more in-depth guide of the temples and palaces, check out our full guide here to walk you through each attraction.
Bangkok has so many great places to explore including hte nearby parks and zoos so keep exploring and share some of your favorite places in Bangkok as well so I can check them out as well!