Bangkok - Khao San Road

Right: Khao San Road, Banglampu, Bangkok

Khao San Road is the original Asian backpacker ghetto and first port of call for many new arrivals in Thailand. This small street in Banglampu district is lined with bars, restaurants, nightclubs, travel agents, souvenir shops, internet cafe's and budget accommodation. Everything is at the fingertips of the great unwashed making their first faltering steps into the exotic and the unknown. A falang friendly enclave in the heart of the Beast.

While the bottom end traveller might be tempted to check into the cheapest rooms on the strip it's worth considering that burglary is pretty common in the less secure places.

Taxi drivers are getting more and more reluctant to turn their meters on and some will even refuse to take you anywhere unless you fork out a 300 Baht flat rate. Pick up a tourist bus map and take your chances with the buses. The routes are all numbered.

Khao San Road

Right: Venders tout their wares on Khao San Road, Bangkok

At night Khao San Road is a hive of activity as tourists hit the bars and restaurants and local vendors cash in. Women from minority tribes such as Akha, stoll up and down with their trinkets while some very talented conterfeit artists turn out fake degrees, press passes and student cards for those in need.

The airport bus arrives and leaves on the hour just around the corner on Chakraphong Road.

Khao San Road