Khao San Road Travel Guide

Khao San Road Bangkok

Khao San Road Bangkok

Khao San Road is a short road in central Bangkok. It is located in the Banglamphu area about 1 km north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

In the last 20 years, Khao San Road has developed into a world famous “backpacker district”.  Backpackers and budget tourists are drawn here by some of the cheapest accommodation and travel deals in Thailand.

Khao San Road in recent years has become popular with local residents, especially artists and art students. At night, it turns into a lively thoroughfare lined with street stalls selling cheap clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs and thousands of other items. The lights are on at the many bars where the travellers tell tales of the days adventures and discoveries and the plans for tomorrow. During April when Thais celebrate the Songkran Festival, Khao San Road becomes a fun-filled battleground as everyone, Thais and foreigners indulge in splashing each other with water.


Getting to Khao San Road

Khao San Road is fairly easy to get to from anywhere in Bangkok. Taxis and buses are your main options. While the metro and the skytrain are convenient ways of getting to many places in Bangkok, there is unfortunately no train (yet) that will take you near Khao San Road.


By Bus

The half hourly airport bus, A2, arrives and departs from the corner of Khao San Road, and now serves the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. Buy a ticket (150 baht) from the booth at the airport or on the bus. A metered taxi should cost no less than 300 baht, if using the toll roads (known to Thais as Toll way) which cost up to 65 baht. Traffic during the day can make the toll roads very worthwhile, as it will save time and money. The trip takes around an hour in good traffic, but allow considerable leeway during rush hour as the area around Khao San can get very congested.

Another, far cheaper (although more fiddly) option is to use a local bus to get to Khao San Road. To get from the Airport, catch the Shuttle Bus (free) from outside Door 5 (on both the upper and lower floors) to the Public Transport Interchange. From there, catch Bus number 556 (33 baht) which will drop you off about halfway between Khao San Road and The Democracy Monument. To get to the Airport catch Bus number 556 (33 baht), which departs from halfway between Khao San Rd and Democracy monument (look for the half-torn airplane sign on the bus stop sign). It will drop you at the Public Transport Interchange, where you can catch a Shuttle Bus (free) to the terminal. These buses may be “local”, but often they are just as fast as the “tourist” bus.


Khao San Road by night

Khao San Road by night

By taxi

Even the metered taxis will try to charge you a flat rate of about 200-300 baht to take you to Khao San Road, rather than use the meter (which would be no more than an 80 baht fare from the Silom district, or 100-150baht from Sukhumvit road). The drivers will claim that Khao San Road is “too far away” for the meter, but that’s not true; the fact is, they can get away with overcharging tourists, and if you don’t take it, the next sucker down the street might. You should refuse to pay that amount and find an honest taxi driver. There is no point trying to haggle, as the meter is always cheaper. There is certainly is no shortage of taxis in Bangkok. As a general rule, older drivers tend to be more amenable to the meters, while the younger ones tend to try for big fares from unsuspecting tourists.

The great majority of taxi drivers are reasonably honest. If they seek to ‘quote’ a fare, just smile and point at the meter. If they still don’t want to use the meter, just hail another taxi. As a general rule, avoid the parked taxis (dishonest drivers prefer to wait for gullible tourists) and hail a moving taxi (red light on dash board indicates available). The majority of taxis are new (less than two years old), and its best to avoid the older taxis as their air-conditioners function poorly, and these drivers tend to be less reliable.


Recommended Budget Guesthouses & Hotels in the Khao San Road Area

Khao San Road Map

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Updated: January 9, 2013 by admin

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