Bangkok, Thailand



Khao San Road

Stay Safe
Khao San Road is the worst district in Bangkok when it comes to scams and annoyances. Be skeptical of anyone telling you that your intended destination is closed. If someone offers you a free tuk-tuk ride, smile faintly and keep on walking. You will probably get a free tuk-tuk ride but the only thing you'll see are shops that will trick you into buying worthless items, while the driver gets a commission. Another example involves cheap offers for transport to discos, massage parlours, etc. late at night. The unwary accepting the offer will probably be dropped off at a quiet street, where accomplices wait to rob any gullible tourists. Better pull over a taxi yourself.

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 Tuk-tuks in Khao San Road by chadmoone

Beware of private bus companies around Khao San Road offering direct trips from Bangkok to other cities with "VIP buses". Some are reputable and will be able to provide you with a great deal but some are shopfronts for dodgy services. The so-called direct "VIP" trips may end up changing three or four uncomfortable minibuses to the destination and the 10-11 hour trip may as well turn into 17-18 hours. Also, you may be hit and charged extra for various dubious services along the way and many operators will intentionally slow down the journey so you arrive in the middle of the night and may be coaxed into choosing their guest house. Since you have paid in advance, you have no recourse of any kind when these things happen!

Crowd at Khao San Road by Stefan Heinrich

The local police station, located on the Western end of Khao San Road, could be a valuable resource for travellers in trouble. However, extreme caution should be exercised when asking them for advice with regards to booking tickets (anyway a police station is not the place to seek travel advice or information). They will often arrange a tuk-tuk to an "approved agency" for you but the prices offered by the agency may be 2-3 times the price you could get elsewhere. Often, the tuk-tuk driver, on seeing you come out of the first agency without purchasing a ticket, will take you to a second agency (for no extra charge) but only to have the same or a similar price quoted.

Khao San Road at night by m.a.r.c.

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