Khaosan Road

in Bangkok, Thailand



Category: Attraction

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Address details

98 ซอย ดำเนินกลางเหนือ Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
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N13° 45' 32" E100° 29' 50"   (13.758888888889, 100.49722222222)
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Khaosan Road or Khao San Road (Thai: ถนนข้าวสาร) is a short (410 meter long) street in central Bangkok, Thailand constructed in 1892 during the reign of Rama V. It is in the Banglamphu area of (Phra Nakhon district) about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.
"Khaosan" translates as "milled rice", a reminder that in former times the street was a major Bangkok rice market. In the last 20 years, however, Khaosan Road has developed into a world-famous "backpacker ghetto". It offers cheap accommodation, ranging from "mattress in a box" style hotels to reasonably priced 3-star hotels. In an essay on the backpacker culture of Khaosan Road, Susan Orlean called it "the place to disappear".
Despite its reputation a diverse group of travellers can be found on Khao San Road.

In this small area one can observe the interactions and groupings of disparate characters such as well-educated young Westerners on extended leave from affluent society, high school graduates on gap year travels, Israelis fresh out of military service, university students on holiday or sabbatical leave, young Japanese in rite-of-passage attire, ordinary holidaymakers, (ex-) volunteers from various organizations, and the like.


It is also a base of travel: coaches leave daily for all major tourist destinations in Thailand, from Chiang Mai in the north to Ko Pha Ngan in the south, and there are many relatively inexpensive travel agents who can arrange visas and transportation to the neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Khaosan shops sell handicrafts, paintings, clothes, local fruits, unlicensed CDs, DVDs, a wide range of fake IDs, used books, plus many useful backpacker items.

During late evening, the streets turn into bars and music is played, food hawkers sell barbecued insects, exotic snacks for tourists, and there are also local people selling ping pong shows.
There are several cafes, pubs and bars where backpackers meet to discuss their travels. The area is internationally known as a center of dancing, partying, and just prior to the traditional Thai New Year (Songkran festival) of 13–15 April, water splashing that usually turns into a huge water fight. One Thai writer has described Khaosan as "...a short road that has the longest dream in the world".
A Buddhist temple under royal patronage, the centuries-old Wat Chana Songkram, is directly opposite Khaosan Road to the west, while the area to the northwest contains an Islamic community and several small mosques.

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Khaosan Road

Address: 98 ซอย ดำเนินกลางเหนือ Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
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