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8 Best Things to Do in Khao San Road

8 Best Things to Do in Khao San Road

A mecca for backpackers, Khao San Road offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere in the heart of Bangkok. From cheap eats to lively nightlife, this street is a must-visit for anyone looking for an authentic Thai experience.

Whether you’re a solo traveller looking to meet new people, a foodie searching for the best local eats, or a culture enthusiast keen on exploring the rich history of Bangkok, Khao San Road has something in store for you.

For this guide, we revisited Khao San Road, one of our favourite spots in Bangkok, to once again experience the vibrant culture and nightlife of this iconic street. With so many things to do in Khao San Road, you may feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry! 

To help you out, we listed the best ones you should check out. So, read on to discover the best things to do in this bustling Bangkok destination so you can make most of your trip!

Things to Do in Khao San Road
IMAGE SOURCE: Unsplash

1. Party all night in one of the vibrant clubs.

There are many things to do at Khao San Road at night, including visiting the numerous vibrant clubs in the area, dancing the night away to live music, and trying out delicious street food from the night markets. 

After all, Khao San Road is well known for its vibrant nightlife!

Simply put, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Khao San Road is home to some of the best clubs in the city, offering an exciting nightlife experience for visitors from all over the world.

From hip-hop clubs to rooftop ones with stunning views, the clubs on Khao San Road are not to be missed. So, we put on our dancing shoes and experienced the lively and energetic atmosphere of Bangkok’s most popular backpacker destination.

Clubs You Should Visit in Khao San Road

Visiting a night club in Khao San Road is a great way to experience the vibrant nightlife of the city. We had an amazing opportunity to dance, socialise, and have fun with locals and travellers from all around the world.

Rocco Club

AddressRocco Club
Highlights• Best for those who want to experience a themed parties and live performances
• Spacious dance floor, vibrant lighting, and state-of-the-art sound system
Insider TipsDine at the rooftop restaurant first before heading downstairs to enjoy late-night partying
Budget฿1000-1500

The Club

AddressThe Club
Highlights• Best for those who want to see internationally acclaimed DJs playing electronic dance music genres
• State-of-the-art lighting system that includes lasers creating stunning visual effects
Insider TipsArrive early to secure a good spot on the dance floor for the best views of the laser light shows.
Budget฿1000-1500

The One at Khao San

AddressThe ONE at Khaosan
HighlightsBest for groups who can take advantage of beer and cocktail towers
One of the most popular clubs in Bangkok
Insider TipsArrive early to avoid the long queue.
Budget฿1000-1500

2. Drink ‘til you drop!

Drink ‘til you drop's Homepage
From: The One at Khao San | Instagram

We went for a night out in several bars in Khao San Road and we weren’t disappointed with what we found. Each bar had its own unique atmosphere and vibe, and we enjoyed experiencing the different types of music, drinks, and crowds at each one.

Most travellers will never forget their nights spent on Khao San Road. There’s something for everyone because of the range of bars and clubs available.

We recommend taking advantage of the affordable drinks in Khao San Road’s bars. Despite their great atmosphere and quality, the prices were surprisingly reasonable.

Overall, a visit to Khao San Road is never complete without a night out! So, if you’re up for a challenge and want to drink until you drop, we listed some of the best bars to check out on Khao San Road.

Top Bars to Visit in Khao San Road

One of the things that we appreciated was the sense of community we felt on Khao San Road. Despite the crowds and the noise, we never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. 

The locals were friendly and welcoming, and we enjoyed chatting with other travellers and hearing their stories in each of the bars we went to.

Brick Bar

AddressBrick Bar
Highlights• Perfect for budget travelers because of their cheap drinks
• Multiple dance floors
• Comfortable seating 
Insider TipsGo on a Friday or Saturday night to watch live performances by top-notch bands
Budget฿300-500

Hippie De Bar

AddressHippie De Bar
Highlights• Perfect for those who want a quirky nightlife experience
• Groovy 60s, 70s, and 80s Reggae and Britpop music
• Retro-vintage furniture
Insider TipsTry their signature cocktail, the “Hippie Mojito”
Budget฿500-700

Molly Bar

AddressMolly Bar
HighlightsPerfect for people who intend to catch Thailand’s most prominent artists
Outdoor seating
Impressive cocktail selection
Insider TipsTest your skills at the pool table located on the second floor
Budget฿500-800

3. Try Thai street food.

Try Thai street food's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Unsplash

Another must-visit food spot in Khao San Road is the street food market. This market is located at the southern end of the street and offers an incredible selection of food stalls.

You can find street vendors scattered throughout the area, offering a wide variety of dishes at affordable prices. One thing to note is that some of the street food stalls may not have English menus, but don’t let that discourage you. 

The vendors are usually happy to explain what they are selling and help you make your selection. They are friendly and eager to share their food with you, so don’t be shy to ask for recommendations or to strike up a conversation.

The best thing about trying street food in Khao San Road is that it’s not just about the food, it’s about the experience. We loved wandering through the markets, seeing the vendors cooking up fresh and tasty dishes right in front of us. 

Khao San Road Street Foods You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re in the mood for trying out different foods like grilled meats on skewers, papaya salad, and crispy fried insects, Khao San Road’s street foods won’t let you down. 

The food stalls here are also a great place to try out some traditional Thai desserts like mango sticky rice, coconut ice cream, and fried bananas.

To give you a taste of some of the local cuisine, below are a few delectable snippets of what we keep coming back for!

Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Freepik

The first thing we looked for in the street food market was papaya salad. This spicy and tangy dish is a popular Thai street food that is made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, chilli peppers, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar.

It’s a perfect dish to start off your street food journey in Khao San Road.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay

Another one of our favourite street food experiences in Khao San Road is eating the delicious Pad Thai, a popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish. 

Pad Thai is made with a flavorful blend of noodles, eggs, vegetables, and peanuts, all seasoned with a mix of sweet, sour, and savoury sauces. It’s usually topped with fresh lime wedges and bean sprouts, adding a nice touch of freshness.

All over Thailand, Pad Thai is a staple street food fare, and it’s loved by locals and tourists alike. We loved how the noodles were cooked to perfection, and the flavour was enhanced with the addition of tamarind paste, fish sauce, and chilli flakes.

Moo Ping

Moo Ping's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Unsplash

Another must-try street food in Khao San Road is the grilled meat skewers, or “Moo Ping.” Vendors sell all sorts of meats, but our favourite is the pork on skewers. 

These succulent pork skewers are marinated in a flavorful blend of soy sauce, sugar, and spices, and then grilled over charcoal until they’re perfectly caramelised and juicy. 

The result was tender and juicy meat that was bursting with flavour. The aroma alone is enough to make our mouths water!

Thai-Style Fried Chicken

Thai-Style Fried Chicken's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Freepik

Khao San Road’s Thai-style fried chicken is another must-try! The chicken was marinated in a mixture of spices and then coated in a light batter before being deep-fried to crispy perfection. 

This Thai-style fried chicken is served with a sweet chilli sauce, which adds a delicious kick of heat!

Roti

Roti's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Pinterest

For those with a sweet tooth, Khao San Road offers plenty of options to indulge in. From sticky rice with mango to coconut ice cream, there’s something to satisfy any dessert craving.

One of our favourites is the colourful and Instagram-worthy “roti”. It’s a Thai-style pancake that’s made by kneading dough, frying it on a griddle, and then adding toppings such as bananas, Nutella, and condensed milk.

The Roti made us feel like we were indulging in a decadent dessert! It was also a fun and unique experience to watch the skilled vendors make the pancake right in front of us.

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Freepik

Of course, we can’t leave Khao San Road without eating the famous mango sticky rice. As its name suggests, this popular Thai dessert is made with sweet sticky rice, fresh mango, and coconut milk. 

The rice is cooked in coconut milk and then served with slices of fresh mango on top. It’s a perfect way to end the street food adventure in Khao San Road!

4. Go on a shopping spree.

Go on a shopping spree's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels

Khao San Road is also famous for its cheap shopping options. It’s a place where visitors can find a variety of souvenirs, clothing, and accessories at a reasonable price. 

But remember, the first rule of shopping in Khao San Road is to bargain. Vendors often inflate the prices of their products, knowing that tourists are willing to pay a premium. 

So, learn how to haggle! Always try to negotiate the price and settle on a reasonable amount. 

Don’t be afraid to walk away if the vendor is not willing to meet your price.

INSIDER TIP: Stay safe while shopping on Khao San Road. 

Another thing you need to remember is that Khao San Road can be very crowded, especially during peak tourist season. So, keep an eye on your belongings, especially your wallet and purse, as pickpockets often target tourists. 

Watch out for scams too! According to Thailand News Today, a recent scam being perpetrated in Khao San Road involves finding a lost wallet with 1,000 Baht inside. 

However, the supposed owner of the wallet will appear and then blame the visitor for stealing money since they claim that it used to have more than 5,000 Baht inside.

Finally, don’t rush through the shops and stalls. Take your time to explore the area, compare prices, and find the best deals!

For instance, we haggled with a vendor in one of the stalls selling shirts and souvenirs,  bringing the price down to almost half. When we went to another similar stall at the end of the row, the vendor there was selling the same items at the amount we got them!

With those essential tips out of the way, here are some of the great finds we got our hands on during our shopping spree in Khao San Road.

Khao San Road
IMAGE CREDIT: Khao San Road by Robert Brands on Flickr | Creative Commons License

Things to Buy in Khao San Road

Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, clothing, accessories, or unique items, Khao San Road has something for everyone. We were impressed with some of the boutique stores offering handmade jewellery and locally designed clothing.

1. Clothing 

You can find everything from t-shirts and dresses to shorts and swimwear. The street is lined with shops that sell trendy and fashionable clothing at reasonable prices.

2. Accessories

We found a wide range of items, including hats, sunglasses, bags, and jewellery. We also found unique items such as handcrafted bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.

3. Souvenirs

Khao San Road is a great place to buy souvenirs to take back home. You can find a variety of items such as keychains, magnets, postcards, and t-shirts with funny and witty sayings. 

4. Art and Decor

We were amazed with the many shops selling unique and beautiful art pieces, such as paintings, sculptures, and hand-carved wooden pieces. We also found home decor items such as colourful tapestries, lanterns, and Buddha statues.

5. Electronics

If you’re in need of electronics, Khao San Road has many shops selling affordable gadgets, such as phone chargers, power banks, and headphones. You can also find cameras, memory cards, and other photography accessories.

5. Relax with an authentic Thai massage.

Relax with an authentic Thai massage's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the vibrant Khao San Road, there’s also an opportunity to relax and unwind with a massage. Most traditional Thai massages last for an hour, and costs around ฿150 to ฿250, depending on the preferred services or add-ons.

Overall, we highly recommend trying out a massage at one of the many parlours on Khao San Road, especially if you’re looking to unwind after a day of exploring the city.

Here are the massage parlours worth checking out in Khao San Road:

Darin MassageAddress: Darin Massage
Phone: +66 88 252 4955
Shewa SpaAddress: Shewa Spa
Phone: +66 2 629 0701
Pai SpaAddress: Pai Spa
Phone: +66 2 629 5155
Ruamm Urban Spa RetreatAddress: Ruamm Spa
Phone: +66 2 280 2292
Charlie Massage & Beauty SalonAddress: Charlie Massage & Beauty Salon
Phone: +66 2 282 2348

6. Get a tattoo.

Get a tattoo's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay

Getting a tattoo in Thailand can be a great way to remember your trip, and Khao San Road offers several parlours for them. Just be sure to do your research beforehand, and make sure that you choose a reputable studio with experienced artists.

To help you out in selecting a reputable shop, here are some of the tattoo shops popular with tourists on Khao San Road:

Max Tattoo StudioAddress: MAX TATTOO Studio at Khaosan Road , Bangkok , Thailand
Phone: +66 2 629 1642
InkAddict Tattoo ThailandAddress: ink Addict Tattoo
Phone: +66 92 939 0559
Up2U Tattoo StudioAddress: Up2U Tattoo Studio Khaosan road, Bangkok Thailand
Phone: +66 81 829 5437
BKK Ink Tattoo StudioAddress: BKK Ink Tattoo Studio
Phone: +66 2 629 2475

7. Watch people amidst the chaos.

Watch people amidst the chaos' Homepage
FROM: Khaosanroadto at Instagram | Songkran at Khao San Road

With so many things to do in Khao San Road, people watching can be one of the most fascinating activities. Taking a seat at one of its many outdoor cafes is a great way to enjoy the street scene. 

At times, there are talented street performers that are quite entertaining to watch! Otherwise, we found ourselves enthralled by the street food vendors preparing their food products.

As the sun began to set, the street became even more lively, with bars and nightclubs lighting up the night. We suggest grabbing a drink or two while observing and immersing in the local scenery to fully take in the evening at Khao San Road.

8. Visit historical sites.

Visit historical sites' Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Royal Grand Palace

Khao San Road is a great starting point for exploring the many historical sites that Bangkok has to offer. This is a perfect activity if you want to learn about Thai’s culture. 

Historical Sites to Visit in Khao San Road

National Museum Bangkok• Bus Route: 3 : Klongsan – Mochit 2 towards Klongsan
• Alight at Sanamluang (Opposite Thammasat University )
Democracy Monument• 600m (8-min walk) from Khao San Road
The Grand Palace• Bus Route: 3 : Klongsan – Mochit 2 towards Klongsan
• Alight Opposite Wat Ratchapradit
The National Gallery• 500m (6-min walk) from Khao San Road
Phra Sumen Fort• 850m (10-min walk) from Khao San Road
Santi Chai Prakan Park• 15 : The Mall Thapra – Banglamphu towards Banglamphu
• Alight Opposite Ban Phra Athit
Wat Chana Songkhram Ratchaworamahawihan• 240m (3-min walk) from Khao San Road

Alternatively, you can hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to take you around to the different sites. Expect to spend around ฿200-500 per hour, depending on the length of the tour and of course, your charm and negotiation skills!  

If you prefer a more personalised experience, you can also hire a private tour guide. There are many licensed tour guides available in Bangkok who can provide a customised tour of the historical sites, tailored to your interests and preferences. 

No matter which option you choose, be sure to plan ahead. Also, be sure to dress appropriately when visiting these sites, as they are considered to be sacred places.

When’s the best time to visit Khao San Road?

When’s the best time to visit Khao San Road
IMAGE SOURCE: Pinterest

The best time to visit Khao San Road largely depends on personal  preference and travel style. Go during the peak tourist season, which typically runs from November to February, or the low season to enjoy a more relaxed experience.

Visiting Khao San Road during the peak season is a great time if you enjoy bustling crowds and lively atmosphere. The weather was cool and dry during this time, and there were plenty of events and festivals happening in the city.

However, for those who prefer to avoid the crowds, consider visiting Khao San Road from May to October. It is during this time that the crowds are thinner, plus, you can often find better deals on accommodations and travel.

Just keep in mind that the weather during the low season can be hot and humid, with occasional heavy rainfall, so be sure to pack accordingly.

How do I get to Khao San Road?

How do I get to Khao San Road
IMAGE SOURCE: Wikipedia Commons | Creative Commons License

There are several modes of transportation available to reach Khao San Road, including the Chao Phraya River Express boat, bus, taxi, and tuk-tuk. Unfortunately, there is no direct connection to the BTS skytrain.

ModeStops & RoutesCosts
Via Chao Phraya River Express Boat• Board the boat from Sathorn Pier
• Alight at Phra Arthit Pier 
• Follow the Phra Arthit Road to Ram Buttri Aly (10-min. walk) 
฿50 – single trip or ฿180 – one day pass
Via Bus• Look for Red Bus Route 15
• Alight at Ratchadamnoen Road parallel to Khaosan
฿6.50 flat rate (no air conditioning)
Via Taxi• Ask the driver for a metered fare to Khao San Road฿130 (depending on the traffic situation)
Via Tuk-Tuk• Haggle with the driver for a fixed fare to Khao San Road฿150++ (depending on your negotiation skills)
Via BTS SkyTrain• Alight at Saphan Taksin BTS station• Walk to Sathorn Pier
• Follow the instructions to Khao San Road via Boat
฿16++ (depending on the origin station) + additional fare for taxi or boat
Alight at National Stadium BTS station• Walk to the street along MBK (Mahboonkrong Mall)
• Follow the instructions to Khao San Road via Taxi

The fastest way to reach Khao San Road from the airport is by taxi or private transfer, which takes approximately 40 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.

For those on a budget, the bus is a more affordable option, with bus route 15 connecting to Khao San Road. The public bus is a good option for travellers who are comfortable with navigating the city’s public transportation system.

Another option to reach Khao San Road is by taking the Chao Phraya River Express boat, which is a scenic and unique way to travel. The boat stops at several piers along the river, including Phra Arthit Pier, which is within walking distance to Khao San Road.

Lastly, tuk-tuks are a fun and adventurous way to travel to Khao San Road, offering a unique and authentic Bangkok experience. However, it is important to negotiate the fare beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings or overcharging.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, arriving at Khao San Road is just the beginning of an exciting and vibrant experience in Bangkok.

Where can I stay at Khao San Road?

Where can I stay at Khao San Road
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay

There are numerous budget and middle-class hotels located near Khao San Road. Because of its central location and easy access to many of Bangkok’s top attractions, many travellers choose to stay close by. 

But remember, many of the hotels on this street can be quite noisy, due to the vibrant nightlife and bustling crowds. To avoid any disturbance, we highly recommend that you request a room at the back of the building, as these rooms tend to be quieter. 

However, it’s worth noting that rooms at the back of the hotel may fill up quickly. So, it’s always best to book in advance and confirm the room location upon check-in to ensure a peaceful stay.

D&D Inn Bangkok

D&D Inn Bangkok's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: D&D Inn Khaosan
Best for:Couples
Highlights:• Relaxed ambiance 
• 2-min walk from the nearest bus stop
• 10-min walk from the Phra Arthit ferry terminal
• 14-min walk from the Wat Phra Kaew temple
• Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs
• Rooftop pool and a bar.
Budget:฿1200+ (twin room per night)
Contact Details:Phone: +66 2 629 0526
Email: [email protected]
Address:D&D Inn Bangkok

We first stayed in the D&D Inn and were pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness and comfort of the rooms. The room service was also prompt and efficient!

D&D Inn also had a rooftop pool, which provided a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the street below. 

We also appreciated the hotel’s friendly and helpful staff, who were always available to answer our questions and provide recommendations for local restaurants and activities. 

While it may not be the most luxurious or spacious option out there, D&D Inn offers great value for its affordable price point. We like how it provides a welcoming and convenient home away from home for families on the go.

However, as with any budget hotel, there were some downsides, such as the lack of soundproofing. We could still hear the street noise and the occasional sounds of other guests in the hallway.

Despite this, we still found the hotel to be a great value for our money, especially considering its prime location in the heart of the city. We were able to explore Khao San Road on foot, without having to worry about transportation.

Bed Station Hostel Khaosan

Bed Station Hostel Khaosan's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Hostel World
Best for:Adult solo or group travelers
Backpackers
Highlights:• 4-min walk from the lively bars along Khao San Road
• 8-min walk from Phra Arthit ferry terminal
• Features unfussy mixed-gender or female-only dorms 
• Free Wi-Fi, lockers, reading lights and privacy curtains.
• Outdoor saltwater pool 
• Lounge with a pool table
Budget:฿900+ (twin room per night)
Contact Details:Phone: +66 64 589 9581
Email: [email protected]
Address:BED STATION HOSTEL KHAO SAN

During our trip, we met other backpackers who had the pleasure to stay at the Bed Station Hostel. 

According to some people we spoke with, the best aspects about Bed Station are its cleanliness and notable facilities. Its outdoor saltwater pool and common recreational areas provide a great place for guests to mingle.

There are even events like pub crawls and movie nights, which are interesting ways to immerse in Khao San and make new acquaintances!

On the downside, we found that this hostel is not suitable for families with children. It’s mostly geared towards backpackers and young travellers, so the social atmosphere here may be too boisterous for little ones.

Furthermore, Bed Station features shared dormitory rooms, which is not suitable for families.  

Ultimately, Bed Station Hostel offers affordable accommodations and a lively scene, perfect for backpackers and young travellers.

Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza

Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza's Homepage
IMAGE SOURCE: Khao San Hotels

Best for:Families travelling with children
Highlights:• A 7-min walk from lively Khao San Road
• Contemporary rooms with colourful accents
• Children age 5 and under stay at no charge
• Breakfast buffet 
• Massage services
• Rooftop pools surrounded by sundecks
Budget:฿1000+ (twin room per night)
Contact Details:Phone: +66 2 282 9162
Email: [email protected]
Address:Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza

What makes Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza great is its convenient location. It’s situated in the heart of Bangkok’s historic district, surrounded by charming shops, restaurants, and street vendors.

The hotel itself is clean, comfortable, and well-maintained. It’s spacious and has everything a traveller needs, including comfortable beds, air conditioning, and a private bathroom.

We think it’s worth mentioning that the staff here is known to be exceptional. They are friendly, welcoming, and went out of their way to make their guests’ stay comfortable and enjoyable.

However, according to some backpackers we spoke with, one downside to Rambuttri is that it can be quite noisy at night. They heard street noises in the rooms, which was quite disturbing for families with young children who need a quiet environment to sleep.

Additionally, while the hotel does have a swimming pool, we think it is relatively small and noticed that it becomes crowded during peak hours.

However, despite these minor flaws, we still recommend Rambuttri Village Hotel & Plaza to travellers seeking a comfortable place to stay. It’s a terrific option for a hotel in Bangkok because of its location, amenities, and friendly personnel.

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