Khao San Road

This street/area is ridiculous. It’s wall-to-wall Westerners, and it’s crazy.  Loud, brash, commercial, crowded… but really, really fun. But I’m so glad I didn’t start out my time in Thailand here, because it really is its own unique neighborhood, heavily dominated by and catering to Western backpackers. It has little in common with the rest of Thailand. The food isn’t even authentic, but the shopping and people-watching is great. It came to be only about 20 years ago, but has grown beyond its couple of blocks into several streets around it. And of course it has all those lovely lights and lamps that attract me like a moth to a… well… lamp.

The Thai food in this area isn’t very good-it’s been changed and Westernized to a level that falls short - Thai food in Chicago is much better. But they have some unique things that are tasty (besides the insects, which I avoided). You can actually get cheese wontons- like crab rangoon, but without crab, and with real cheese instead of cream cheese. But the best are the crepes/pancakes/roti.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can accept one of the many frequent invitations to take part in the most bizarre stuff on this road.. Ping pong shows, insects as snack food, (see photo above) it’s crazy.  And seems to border on the questionably legal side of things, as well. But that may be half the fun of it.

Oh, and don’t worry if you’re away from home and think you’re going to miss the big game. You can always catch it in the middle of the street- on the back of a van. And you can order beer 5 litres at a time while you’re watching it. Just in case your team is doing poorly, 5 litres should be a sufficient quantity of beer to quite literally drown your sorrows. Enjoy!

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10 thoughts on “Khao San Road

  1. Sounds like lots of fun, even the “westernized” area. But I’ve learned that its just best to embrace it all, in all of its glorious chaos it still seems to work. Hope you have fun and safe travels in the future.

  2. love the pictures, captures the vibe well! “Viagra many type” and “golf bar cocktails very strong.” …the latter almost in a run on sentence with “we do not check ID card & restaurant.” There are so many things to love about this. P.S. I was cheering for Andy Murray for you. Federer can suck it.

    • Isn’t that funny- I found myself wondering how much it has changed year by year, and particularly which foods came into and out of fashion! Thanks for sharing about the milkshakes. :-)

  3. Oh the joy of Khao San Road. Such sweet memories. I will put it on my list for the fall when I return to Thailand. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Love, Kristi
    Of course, you read The Beach right? It starts on Khao San Road and ends in Samui. My fave so far place in Thailand.

    • KSR is so fun. :-) Didn’t make it to Samui- will have to take Brian there on the next trip out here! Or meet you there! I read the Beach, but so long ago that I need to read it again so that I can appreciate it anew. Also to add to the list because of travels: Beyond Rangoon and The Killing Fields movies.

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