Bangkok, Thailand



Khao San Road

Khao San Road is a small road located about a block away from the Chao Phraya River on Rattanakosin's northern side. The word "khao san" means milled rice and the street once played a historical role in the city's rice trade. Today, backpackers and budget travellers are attracted to Khao San Road for the cheap accommodations and travel deals in Thailand.

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The first business to open on Khao San Road was a small hotel catering to civil servants and business people coming to Bangkok from the provinces. The hotel was followed by Sor Thambhakdi, a shop selling monks' accessories. Four similar businesses later moved here and Khao San became known as a "religious road". Word soon spread about the easy lifestyle and friendliness of the locals. Friends told friends, and before long, the owner of the house started to charge for food and lodging. The first commercial guest house (called Bonny) opened in 1982 with just six small bedrooms.

Khao San Road by Quince Blits

Today, there is a lot more than six small bedrooms in Khao San Road. In the span of just a couple of blocks, there are now food stalls, restaurants, convenience stores, pharmacies, internet cafes, money changing booths, tailors, travel agencies, laundry services and plenty of cheap accommodations. This is a very lively area of Bangkok with a chaotic ambiance and indeed a popular tourist destination, although it is also a little unsafe at night and instances of mugging and pick-pocketing do occur. The Bangkok Tourist Information Office is located nearby (under the Phra Pin Klao Bridge). It's a good idea to stop at the tourist office for some travel guides and maps of the city.

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

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