“The first I heard of the beach was in Bangkok, on the Khao San Road. Khao San Road was backpacker land. ” – Bangkok, Bitch, p.5, Richard (source: bookrags)
Trip Asia The name “Khao San Road” is mentioned several times in the book “The Beach” by Alex Garland, which has been adapted into a film of the same name and starring Leonardo diCaprio (The Beach / 2000). In the book and the film, Khao San Road is described as a road that has become a paradise for backpackers from all over the world.
The opinion is not wrong, but also not entirely correct. Khao San Road is indeed known as a backpacker’s paradise that visits Bangkok. There, you can meet backpackers from all over the world, and all of them merge into the atmosphere of Khao San Road.
But today, along with the development of Khao San Road as one of the popular tourist destinations in Bangkok, this place is no longer known as a mere backpacker paradise. Today, you can find various types of tourists gathered at Khao San Road, ranging from backpackers, budget travelers, to travelers who are more accustomed to luggage than backpacks.
Khao San Road itself is the name of the road located in the Phra Nakhon District in Banglamphu. The history of Khao San Road began in 1892, when the road began to be built during the reign of Rama V. The name ‘Khaosan’ itself can be translated as ‘rice milling’, because it was once an area of rice trading.
The first business that stands around Khao San Road is an inn, whose initial purpose is to provide a place to stay for those who want to do business in the area. Then came a number of shops selling religious accessories and souvenirs, so Khao San Road was also known as “religious road”. Over time, other shops appeared that sold various things, as well as other commercial hotels, followed by the emergence of various other facilities such as restaurants, bars, and so on.
Rumors about Khao San Road which are often visited by many tourists because they have “fairly complete but inexpensive facilities” continue to grow, until finally in the last 20 years this Khao San Road became known as a backpacker’s paradise in Bangkok.
Khao San Road Attraction
“The Khao San Road is a decompression chamber between east and west. It’s where you learn to breathe car fumes and tropical water for the very first time, or else carefully rearrange your memories before you catch your flight home ”- taken from The Beach (movie) / 2000
At present, Khao San Road is indeed known as a backpacker’s paradise in Bangkok. But actually, what makes this 410-meter long road attract the attention of backpackers and other tourists in general? Let’s get to know Khao San Road from the overall situation on the road.
Khao San Road may not be along other streets in Bangkok. But this road is studded with everything sought by tourists, especially backpackers and budget travelers. There are various cheap lodging, middle class accommodation, various restaurants, massage places, book shops, tattoo shops, souvenir shops, you name it!
In other words, this area is studded with various facilities needed by backpackers and budget travelers. Interestingly, these various facilities can generally be found at very, very friendly prices with bags, or cheap.
On Khao San Road, you can also find various travel agents who can help you plan your travel agenda while in Bangkok and other cities in Thailand.
Even if you suddenly impulsively want to travel to another country, you also buy various tickets at the travel agent, as well as helping to arrange a visa (may not apply to all countries). Again, all that you can get with a fairly affordable service fee, and that is what makes Khao San Road very attractive for backpackers and budget travelers.
Another attraction of Khao San Road lies in its location. This road is only about 1 kilometer from the old city area of Bangkok. Automatically some of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok – such as the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and the Bangkok National Museum – are also within walking distance (if departing from Khao San Road).
That fact makes Khao San Road an ideal base camp for those who want to explore the old city, and if you want to visit various other attractions not far from the old city.
Last but not least, Khao San Road is also famous for its lively nightlife. This street has several night clubs and bars that can make party goers happy. Not only that, the atmosphere of the road on Khao San Road at night was quite lively.
Food vendors will flock to open kiosks on the street, and attract pedestrians to just sit and discuss with other travelers. Sometimes there are tourists who buy various alcoholic drinks from the local mini market, and then hold their own party on the streets; making the night atmosphere on Khao San Road never escape from the word ‘festive’.