Khao San Road: The center of the backpacking universe is dense with hotels, hostels, massage parlors, stalls, stores, restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs that cater to the needs of its tourist residents, from cheap rubs to buckets of booze. With its crowded, narrow streets and fast-talking and unrelenting hawkers and tuktuk drivers, how does one survive this one of a kind location in Bangkok? Here are our 6 tips for surviving.
GET TO KHAO SAN ROAD LIKE A PRO
The first step to the Khao San Road experience is getting there. From Suvarnabhumi Airport, the most direct mode of transportation for 60THB is taking bus number S1, which operates from the first floor of the terminal from 6 AM to 8 PM. The quicker, less direct way would be taking the airport-link train which will take you to the city center in 30 minutes for 45THB. From its last station, Phaya Thai, you can either take a taxi which will take you to Khao San Road for 60THB or walk ten minutes to the bus stop on 393/2 Phetchaburi Road and take one of these buses: 2, 59, 60, 79, or 511 to Khao San Road. From Don Mueang Airport, take bus A4 for 50 Baht.
WATCH OUT FOR TUKTUK SCAMS
What’s great about staying in Khao San Road is that several main attractions of Bangkok are just 20 minutes away – like The Grand Palace, The Reclined Buddha, Wat Arun, and Wat Saket. So, if you plan on treating yourself to a tuktuk ride to save yourself from the summer heat, then expect to pay about 40THB to get to these locations from Khao San Road. Nothing more. To keep yourself from getting scammed, always agree the final price before getting on the tuktuk.
Finding your travel crew would probably be a good move if you are travelling alone. Not only will it make party plans more fun, it will also potentially keep you on the safe side. In terms of taxi rides out of Khao San Road to other parts of Bangkok, it will save you a lot of walking and wrestling with the Thai transportation system without breaking your budget on taxi rides. And, if you find people who have been in Khao San Road for some time, you can get some pretty good tips on where to go.
KEEP YOUR MONEY OUT OF SIGHT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Khao San Road is relatively safe, however, you may need to be watchful of scam artists and pickpockets. So, always be watchful. Keep your money in different locations – Perhaps a small amount in your pocket and a bigger amount in your hidden belt bag. That way, you wouldn’t have too much to lose. And, when it comes to bargaining, you can show that all you’ve got is a little Baht to spare and nothing more.
ALWAYS CARRY A HOSTEL BUSINESS CARD
Finding your way home can sometimes be tricky in Thailand. Not only do you have to negotiate the price, you may also struggle with telling the taxi driver the name of your street. Writing it down on paper may not work either as some of them can only read Thai script. So, always pick up a card from hotel reception as hotel business cards always tend to have the address written in Thai.
GOOD GRUB, BAD GRUB
As a rule of thumb, it is best to eat where the crowd is. This is how you know that the food is safe. After all, stalls and restaurants that have made people sick do not get comebacks. Also, taste your food before you put anything on it, then you’LL know if it tastes funny before it is masked by the sauce.
Any seasoned Khao San Road resident in the house? Share some of your wisdom by commenting below.