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The 8 best things to do and see on Khao San Road, Bangkok

Khao San Road, a busy, foamy and kaleidoscopic street in Bangkok, full of Chang t-shirts, delicious pad thai and enthusiastic travelers from all over the world. A short walk through the heart of the city will alert visitors to all of the streets and lead them through an area where the beer flows, the lights are on and the energy is contagious; Here is our guide to the best things to see and see on Khao San Road, Thailand.

Kit Dale / | © Culture Trip

Experience the local life

This is the Place to see a diverse mix of people from all walks of life on the same street, where excited British students mingle with Thai locals, where young children laugh and play with toys, while famous Bangkok ladyboys strut their things, and where royal Buddhist monks stalls next to enthusiastic sellers. Take time to sit back and people-watch when you arrive on Khao San Road and enjoy the variety of Thailand's liveliest corridor.

Kit Dale / | © Culture Trip

Visit the Thanon Khao San market

Next to the main building of the guest houses in Banglamphu is the shopping bazaar of the Thanon Khao San market. Here you can find cheap, bright t-shirts and chic, trendy wallets alongside contraband such as bootleg DVDs and fake ID cards. An Aladdin cave with homemade goods, curious Buddha statues, artificial leather and flimsy phone cases. Make sure you are getting the best price because some vendors are known to be dishonest when haggling with tourists. This is a prime place to wander around and check out Bangkok's brick bars, and when all that shopping has left you hungry, there are stalls selling refreshing orange juice and golden corn on the cob on every corner.

Address: Thanon Khao San Road, Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand

Kit Dale / | © Culture trip

To the ghost tower

The Ghost Tower in Bangkok is a structure with gorgeous panoramic views and an eerie, unfinished high-rise complex that reflects the shattered dreams of the city. The tower was eighty percent completed when the 1997 Asian financial crisis erupted, devastation that left this and many other Thai high-rise projects incomplete. Sathorn Unique Tower, as it is known by its own name, was to house 47 floors of luxury apartments, all designed by famous architect Rangsan Torsuwan. A contemporary and modern feature in a landscape of ancient and golden temples, the haunted qualities of this desolate site attract tourists in droves and are a sad reminder of the innovation and sophisticated Bangkok almost achieved but not.

Address: Ghost Tower, Sathon Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Visit Bangkok's National Gallery

Thailand isn't traditionally known for its museums, but the National Gallery right off Khao San Road is a beacon of art and culture in Bangkok. This ancient colonial building once served as the royal residence during the reign of King Rama V. Today it is the venue for a rotation of temporary exhibits designed to illustrate the difficulties and beauty of Thai life. Look out for the old, monochrome photographs of Bangkok, as well as some impressive and intricately woven antique tapestries.

Entry 200 Bhat

Address: National Gallery of Art, 4 Th Chao Fa, Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand

Look around Wat Chana Songkhram

Wat Chana Songkhram is a Buddhist temple with a name that translates as "Temple of Victory in War". While it is not a particularly famous example of temples, it nonetheless has an appeal due to its golden interior history dating back to the 18th century. Here, visitors will find shiny, gilded designs and well-ornate hues. It is noteworthy that the place maintains a calm atmosphere despite being across from the infamous Khao San Road. A place of calm and prayer for locals, a visit to Wat Chana Songkhram offers a perfect slice of peace and quiet away from the busy streets.

Address: Wat Chana Songkhram, Bangkok

Walk to Wat Bowonniwet

Bangkok is full of beautiful Buddhist temples, so every trip here should visit one or two. Wat Bowonniwet is a top temple choice for its uniqueness; It is the residence of the Mahamakut Buddhist University, a royal affiliated monastery and the national center of the Thammayut sect of Buddhism. Still active and of national importance, the temple provided the setting for the ordination of the current king. Wat Bowonniwet has a casual, relaxed atmosphere, and the pretty murals here artistically depict the influences Western people have on Thai life.

Address: Wat Bowonniwet, Th Phra Sumen, Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand

Arrival by boat

Any visit to Bangkok requires travelers to use local transportation, and if you don't want to get your life on the line in a crazy tuk-tuk, a popular way to get to Khao San Road is via a Bao Phraya Express boat or a Klonng river boat. These offer slow and relaxing rides along the water and offer visitors a great chance to experience the turquoise river of Chao Phraya, the lifeline that runs through the heart of the city. More than 15 boat lines operate here, and water taxis can also be hailed for ridiculously cheap prices.

Kit Dale / | © Culture Trip

Discover the memorial on October 14th

Just around the corner from Khao San Road is a majestic memorial, a memorial to those who died under the military dictatorship of October 14, 1973, who peacefully demonstrated against the government. The event remains controversial and the photographs on display unfortunately illustrate the deaths of more than 70 activists. The peaceful amphitheater is still a place where civilians gather for nonviolent protest, and for travelers seeking a true taste of Thai culture and politics, this is a gloomy, thought-provoking leisure.

Address: October 14th Memorial, corner of Ratchadamnoen Klang & Th Tanao, Bangkok, Thailand


Author: Carl Brewer

Carl Brewer is a 56 year old journalist. Internetaholic. Social media specialist. Beer buff. Friendly communicator. Researcher. Extreme student. Organizer.