Did you know that there's more to do than just eating street food and shopping at Khao San Road? Get yourself inked or if you're adventurous, try eating bugs!
Is this place overrated or just pure fun? We list the highlights and you decide!
Go shopping at night
For those who aren’t morning people, you’d be delighted to know that Khao San road wakes up at sunset. The street truly comes alive at night, when the road is blocked and cars are not allowed in. Sellers lay their wares on the ground and you can buy just about anything – accessories, bags, Chang t-shirts – you name it, you’ve got it. Who’s up for some late night shopping?
You might have never thought of goin’ rasta, but you might be inspired on Khao San road. Just sit down on the street with a beer while they work on your hair. You won’t dread these locks are they do a pretty fine job and all for a reasonably good price. For those who can’t imagine their locks in knots, you can even get hair extensions done.
Get a tattoo or a piercing
If you plan on getting some ink, there are some good tattoo parlours hidden in the little alleyways off the main Khao San road. While Bangkok generally has a thriving tattoo scene, some of the renowned artists that have taken part in international conventions hail from the humble street of Khao San road. Wanna feel the pain but prefer something less permanent? Go for a piercing.
Drink from a bucket
Who needs a mug or a jug when you’ve got a bucket? The bar owners on Khao San road put the plastics to good use by serving their neat cocktail concoctions in pails. You can find your classic mixes or some local recipes to try. The alcohol content is definitely on the generous side, so watch how many buckets you chug, or you might be kicking one. Just kidding!
The old Khao San road was ironically a religious street. All these party revelers be damned! Well, the monks are still around, just that they come out early from the temples in the morning at 6am to look for donated food. So if you’ve just finished partying and see them doing their rounds, leaving some food in front of them (they cannot hoard the food) might be atonement for the night of debauchery you’ve just had.
Make new friends
No one is a stranger on Khao San road. Sometimes we aren’t sure if it's the alcohol, but maybe it’s the vibe that floats in the air. People are friendly and fortunately not in the sleazy way (most times at least). Majority of the people hanging out on the street are backpackers who are keen to add friends to their list so just chat them up and you won’t have a lonely time.
If you want to dare a friend to do something different, why not try getting him or her to eat a bug? Scorpions, worms, grasshoppers – there’s a buffet on the seller’s trolley to pick from. Ask someone who has tried and they will probably tell you they don’t taste as icky as they look. If you want to snap a picture without buying, don’t go thinking it’s free. The vendors know this is stuff you won’t get anywhere so you have to pay 10THB for a shot.
Savour street food
Lots of food trolleys with local fare lining the long street. Apart from insects of course. You can get proper food such as pad thai and spring rolls from the food trolleys that rove around. Wander into the back alleys and you will find some street stores selling noodles and chicken rice. Bring along your small change as you’ll be paying less than 50THB for your meal.
Get a massage
Clocked more than 10,000 steps on your fitbit and you’re feeling knackered? Pamper yourself with a foot massage or a body rub. All legit and decent, and fairly good. Be sure to tell them how hard or soft you want them to work on you, or you might be cringing in pain or tickled uncomfortably for the whole session. Parlours are everywhere and you’ll see one before you clock another few hundred steps.