Khao San Road
Khao San Road
Khao San Rd, Khet Phra Nakhon - Bangkok ( Khao San Road )
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Khao San Road

Khao San Road is a short street, 410 meters long, in the Banglamphu area of the Khet Phra Nakhon, the riverside district of Bangkok. Located in the northern side of Rattanakosin Island in the heart of the Old City, the street is about 1 km north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, and close to the capital's main waterways, the majestic Chao Phraya River and its canals Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem and Khlong Saen Saep. In ancient times, due to its privileged position, it was a major Bangkok rice market, in fact its Thai name can be translated into "milled rice". In the last decades, Khao San Road has developed into a world-famous "backpacker mecca", with some of the cheapest accommodation and travel options in Thailand. The street itself and the surrounding area offer a wide range of cheap guest houses, 3-star hotels with reasonably priced, restaurants, internet cafes, coffee shops, massage centers, travel agents, shops and entertainment, especially during the night when the entire neighborhood comes alive. Even more famous since Khao San Road was used as a setting for the first scene of cult movie "The Beach", starring Leonardo DiCaprio, it has become very popular also among the local residents, especially artists and art students coming here to perform or sell their artworks. Originally dedicated only to backpackers, currently the street is one of Bangkok's most famous attractions and it is visited by a wide variety of tourists, most of whom are not backpackers. Relatively quiet during the day, Khao San is not so much different from other shopping areas in the capital. Here, as other Thai markets, you can find all kind of merchandise; the prices are rarely fixed and occasionally even cheaper than elsewhere including the world-famous Chatuchak Weekend Market. There is great range for bargaining, but never forget of don’t bargain too hard and always stay friendly with sellers, a big smile and good manners will allow good purchases. Khao San shops offer Thai handicrafts, paintings, jewelry and gemstone, beachwear, silk, hats, paintings, hand-made clothes, stylish clothes, shoes, local fruits, unlicensed video games, CDs and DVDs, and best selection of second-hand books in Thailand. By late evening, the street comes to life and turns into an entertainment center. Khao San hosts a great number of pubs, bars and internet cafes where people of many nationalities meet and discuss their travels while listen music and drinking a Singha beer. The several restaurants and bars provide Thai and International foods and alcoholic beverages at reasonable prices. Every street corner is filled with stalls selling Thai street food alongside of improvised or semi-professional artists which offer their performance involving the tourists. The whole area is also well known as a center of dancing, partying and transgressive nightlife that attracts everyone, from tourists to Thai university students. During the Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year which is celebrated between 13 and 15 April, the Khao San Road turns into one of the most characteristic places in Thailand to celebrate, with extravagant parades and large water splashes which usually turn into a huge peaceful water fight. Given the large turnout of backpacker tourists, but not only, Khao San Road has also become an ideal base for onward travel through Thailand. Many bus companies use the surrounding area as Terminal for their coaches and minivans. There are daily departures to all major tourist destinations in Thailand, as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son in the north, Ko Samet and Koh Chang in the east, and Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao in the south. There are also a large number of travel agencies, which can arrange trips to practically any destination in the country, including the combo train/minibus/ferry tickets to major islands, as well to neighboring countries as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia providing also the Visa, if necessary.
Getting there: Khao San Road is quite easy to get to from any areas of Bangkok, although there are no SkyTrain or Subway stations close to it or to anywhere else in Rattanakosin Island. The easy way of getting to Khao San is to use the cheap Bangkok's taxis, which would mean no more than an 80-100 baht fare from Silom area, 100-150 baht from Sukhumvit area, and around 300-400 baht from Bangkok's airports, plus 75 baht for the tollway fee from Suvarnabhumi. If you are in more remote areas or capital you can approach to Khao San with the SkyTrain, Subway or Airport Rail Link and then use the taxis, the nearest stations are: Hua Lamphong MRT Station, National Stadium BTS Station and Phaya Thai ARL Station. A cheapest and most scenic way of getting to Khao San Road from city centre is to use the Bangkok's waterways. The boats of Orange Line and No Flag Line of Chao Phraya Express Boat make stop at Phra Arthit Pier N° 13, which is few hundred meters from Khao San Road. If you're in the city centre, take the Skytrain up to Saphan Taksin BTS Station of Silom Line and then walk up to the nearby Sathorn Central Pier and from there take a boat until the Phra Arthit Pier. The boat trip takes about 35 minutes and costs from 13 to 18 baht. You can buy the boat ticket directly at the pier. If you're close to Siam area the quickest way to get to Khao San Road is by Saen Saep Express Boat. The closest pier to Khao San Road is Panfa Leelard, no more than 500 meters walk. The pier is the departure and arrival of Golden Mount Line, which runs until Pratunam Pier close to Siam Square. The boat trip between the two piers takes about 20 minutes and costs 11 baht. If you're close to the firsts Soi of Sukhumvit Road or Ramkhamhaeng Road the Pratunam Pier is also the interchange point with the NIDA Line that runs until to Wat Sriboonreung Pier in the far east of capital. Even in this Line the ticket fee is very cheap, between 10 and 20 THB depending on the distance. Buying a ticket for the Express Boat is easy. There are no ticket counters you just pay on board.
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