Khaotic Khao San; A Love/Hate Relationship


I could never really make up my mind about whether or not I liked Khao San Road; some days I loved it, and some days I hated it, but every day was an adventure. The base hotel for my Contiki tour was on the next road over, so I spent quite a bit of time in the area, as well as before and after the trip. I loved the options and prices for shopping, the abundance of cheap outdoor massages and, even more so, the food (my absolute favourite Pad Thai stand is in front of the middle 7-11). I hated the crowds, the drunken “bros” and the harassing salesmen that pester you every SINGLE time you pass by (no, I haven’t changed my mind since you asked me five minutes ago).

Khao San Road has managed to earn itself a bit of a reputation among travellers of all types. Young backpackers looking for a good time rave about the bars and all night parties, tourists love it for a good photo opp, and travel snobs wouldn’t dare step foot anywhere in the surrounding vicinity. Well, how about this? I’m not a beer-chugging backpacker (any more), but I enjoyed a drink or two on the street. I would never consider myself a tourist, but I was happily over-stimulated with photographic opportunities and finally didn’t feel bad for taking lots of photos. And, I am most definitely not a travel snob, so I had no problem with giving KSR a chance to begin with, and I feel like no less of a true traveller for going there.

I would like to point out that I was decidedly a fan of the neighbouring streets, particularly Soi Rambuttri, the street parallel KSR. All it takes is a quick stroll through one of the small alleys and you immediately leave behind the chaos of Khao San. It can still be a bit noisy at night, but it’s like a completely different place during the day.

I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about Khao San Road itself, but either way, I think that a visit to this controversial road is essential, at least once, on any trip to Bangkok.

Here are some of my favourite shots of Khao San Road;

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That’s a 1 hour Thai massage for about $7.


Fish spa; something I wouldn’t do myself.

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KSR is a place where you can try all the things you had never imagined. Like a friend scorpion.


Ryan from bravely tries one.






The night time crowds starting to grow.



I had two massages within the first 24 hours on KSR.


Charlie’s; the most popular massage parlour on the street.


I had sooo many fruit shakes, and KSR probably had the best ones.



I could eat here all day.


Too much chaos.



Soi Rambuttri


Cheap food–30 baht is about $1, for a plate full of Pad Thai.

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This trip was made possible by Contiki
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Visit Bangkok on your own Asian Adventure.

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One Response to “Khaotic Khao San; A Love/Hate Relationship”

  1. Karla
    February 19, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    I think I would love it. That food looks delicious!

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