We stayed almost 3 nights in Khao San Road and I tell you, we would love to go back there. In fact, we just might!
We got there really late (or early depends on how you look at it) at an hour past midnight. The road was packed, and closed for any vehicle since the people there party too hard they can’t contain the fun in the bars. Define street dancing to me again.
Khao San Road is a short road filled with vendors in the afternoon till night, hostels on the main road and in the inner alleys, food stalls and restaurants, and pretty much everything. You can walk from one end to the other without getting lost because it’s only about 400 meters long. At one end, there is even a police station. Most buses from Siem Reap will also drop you there as its final destination.
If you ever are in Bangkok, stay in Khao San Road for at least 2 nights. Let me know if you were able to do everything in this list:
1.Street Dance at 3am – I am not exaggerating. When booze gets to the tourists, they don’t care about the road anymore. Some pass out, make out, dance to Gangnam Style, dance without music, bring their bucket of beer (it’s literally in a bucket instead of bottles in a bucket), and sometimes even throw up. If this is not your thing, it’s okay because you head back to your hotel at around 10pm while everyone else is still sober. You can watch the video of the whole Thailand-Cambodia trip below:
2. Shop without breaking the bank – okay, I am not going to tell you all the prices of the merchandises there because we brought some back home for business. You know what they say, keep your trade secrets a secret. **wink** But it’s so affordable, you can get a shirt for every member of your family if you had extra. Compared to buying “pasalubong” when in Japan, China, or Taiwan, here’s it’s pretty affordable. You can buy shirts, light weight pants, accessories, bags, shoes, trinkets, ref magnets, you get the picture, right? It would be much cheaper if you buy in large quantities, or if you’re going to be in Sukhumvit area anyway, the malls there offer cheaper prices. As always, use your bargaining techniques. You’d be surprised how low the price can get.
3. Get a tattoo or get your hair braided / dread-locked – Most of the people you see in Khao San are Caucasian. Most of them want to get tattooed, albeit temporarily. Everyone also wants to get hair extensions or dread locks. Just remember not to soil the linen in your hotel room to avoid paying extra costs. We didn’t try this but almost every other tourist did.
4. Get that authentic Thai massage you’ve been yearning for – you would feel like your bones would break anytime. But that’s the point – it’s authentic Thai massage. But you have to be warned, they massage everyone in a very big room without dimming the lights nor putting some curtains in between patrons. Male and female, together in one room. Only foot and back massage can be done outside the establishment as you can see below, right there, along the road while sipping your beer. If you think that’s cool, go for it. Mary and I went for the full body massage without knowing it would be done in a roomful of tourists. Lol
5. Eat their street food – from pad thai, to noodles, to coconut ice cream, you can find all the expensive Thai food you eat in Manila here – authentic and cheap. Mary had two servings (on separate occasions) of the famous coconut ice cream. You can also try their exotic street food – scorpions! Oh and, since you’re a foreigner – as long as you can’t speak Thai, even if you look Thai, you’re a foreigner – remember to eat where the prices are displayed prominently. Some vendors take advantage of the influx of tourists by charging a different price depending on your skin color. Yup, it’s bad but that’s how some of them do business. Remember, look for the menu. I especially loved the mango sticky rice by the way. It’s like biko with milk and mango – why don’t we have that here in the Philippines?
6. Lodge – if you want to visit the temples nearby (70 baht by cab), this is the best place to book a hostel / hotel. You can get as low as 500 baht per bunk bed, or in our case we got a hotel room from Khao San Palace for PhP 4,134 for two nights. Although it was along Khao San Road, we still drifted to sleep without a problem. It doesn’t look as shady as other hotels, but you might chance upon a foreigner bringing a lady or two to his bedroom. The front desk will charge them “extra” for the additional person.
7. People-watch – this is Mary’s favorite pastime. While waiting for our order to arrive, while walking the street, sitting inside a cab while stuck in traffic or listening to music while sipping her tea or beer, that’s her thing. Me, my thoughts fly out to what my next blog article would be, next destination, what I learned in this trip and how we can avoid it in the future. Of course we talk, but the beauty of traveling with your partner is that there is no awkward silence – unless she thinks I have been checking someone out (which has never been true by the way – insert humor). Seriously, when we have time to spare, it’s amazing how much she’s observed from the couple on the other table, the guy who’s talking to another guy, the girls who are out having fun, the solo traveler, the local, and yup, she also has time to observe me.
8. Visit their world-renowned temples – okay so this is not IN Khao San Road but it’s 5 minutes away. Because it was so hot and humid and the queue was ridiculously long when we went there, we promised ourselves that we will return for the Grand Palace. But we were able to visit the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho and the temple across the Chao Phraya River – Wat Arun. You can read more of these in the #MandMinBangkok Wat Arun and Wat Pho Edition blog.
If you ever are in Bangkok, while we recommend you stay in Khao San Road, don’t forget to explore other places like Ayutthaya and Pattaya. Because when we get the chance to come back, we’d probably be going there too!