You Know You’re on Khao San Road When…

Most foreigners visiting Thailand go to Bangkok and most travelers/holiday makers in Bangkok stay on Khao San road or in a surrounding it area. For those who have experienced Khao San Road, here’s a list of things you have probably remembered about it.

Khao San road, Thailand, two people are buying Pad Thai at night
Khao San Road at night

You know you’re on Khao San Road when…

  • You see people for the first time in your life and they call you “friend”
  • Most common greeting you hear is “tuk tuk”
  • It’s harder to find food at 10 am than at 4 am
  • Can’t go a day without Pad Thai (fried noodles with veggies available everywhere for $1)
  • Vendors ask for money for taking photos
  • Salespeople believe that you urgently need a cheap tailor-made suit
  • It’s ok to buy fake ID, Driving Licence, TESOL/TEFL Certificate, Degree from Oxford, etc.
  • You pay for charging a laptop in a restaurant
  • Party-goers dance in the middle of the road
  • Party does not stop – ever
  • Beer costs more than in your home country but everyone talks about cheap booze
  • You’re not sure whether the long-legged Thai girl you’ve just seen is really a girl
  • It’s not strange to see people eating bugs or scorpions
  • When you walk past some people they make a clicking sound and say “ping pong show?”
  • Every Thai person thinks you’re an American
  • Everyone sells iPod accessories but you can’t buy iPod itself
  • You can be thrown out of the massage place if you don’t want the “happy end” (not always the case, but happened to our friend)
  • You feel like you’re on the set of a 90’s post apocalyptic. (Contributed by @nickedynack)
  • it’s totally normal to see Chihuahuas dressed in costume being wheeled around in a wheelbarrow (sad actually), and to watch everyone scramble as monsoon hits. (Contributed by Koren)

Do you have anything to add to this list? Write it in a comment.


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Cez Krol
Cez Krol
I’m always positive and never bored – there’s just so much more to see and experience! I began my journey around the world in 2011 with just $400 and one-way ticket to Asia. Still going and blogging today. You can typically spot me working on a laptop or rock climbing.
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38 thoughts on “You Know You’re on Khao San Road When…”

  1. Very recognizable except for the last one, I got a few massages in Thailand but luckily they never ask woman whether they want a happy end :-)

  2. Thanks for the peek into a diversion to Khao San Road. Sounds exciting, though I think I’d pass on the happy end massage!

  3. Arghh! Just reading about some of these makes the vein on my neck stand up.

    Loved the quip about beer being more expensive than home but still referred to as ‘cheap’.

  4. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    I have heard some very interesting and funny stories about Khao San Road. Some of what you’ve listed here I’ve read and heard about and are quite disturbing. I can’t believe they ask for money to charge a laptop or for a picture taking. Wow, I guess some have to earn their money somehow. I have yet to go to Thailand but I will certainly keep these in mind :-)

    1. Yeah, the food, massages and drinks are cheap so they try to get their money somehow. It’s so unfair for all budget travellers though :(

  5. This really takes me back, I last went around 12 years ago (I feel really old now ;-) ) but it looks as though nothing changes in this time!

    1. LOL Megan! I still remember the stories you told me when we were strolling down the streets in Oslo about your epic SE Asia journey. Missing you a lot girl!

      1. They say it’s best to face your fears. You can go to Laos and try rat meat, but I think it’s little too extreme :)

  6. Nicole @ Suitcase Stories

    I love this post! We are yet to get to Bangkok but we have plans to be there by the end of the year. I will keep this in mind!

    Thanks for the giggle :)

  7. Anisha 'A Niche World'

    Last time I was in Bangkok was with parents few years ago, very awkward when I heard them ask my Dad if he wanted a happy ending!!! Heading back to Bangkok this Wednesday for a couple of days, en route to Myanmar! Can’t wait for the massages & food.

  8. All I can say is thank goodness I’m a girl because I would HATE the pressure on men from the women everywhere. When I was on one of the Thai islands, the bar gils would literally try and pull the men off pick-up trucks to try and get them in the bars – not nice! :s

  9. ahaha, this is hilarious and very true! Same thing – I have never been offered a massage with a happy ending. I guess it’s a different story for girls.

  10. I would have to say that Khao San Road is our least favourite part of Bangkok.

    The best thing about it is this amazing restaurant called Ethos!!! :)

    1. They say you love it or you hate it, but I think for many it is both. Thanks for a recommendation. Next time we’ll be in BKK, we’ll try it.

  11. LOL. I’d also add it’s totally normal to see Chihuahuas dressed in costume being wheeled around in a wheelbarrow (sad actually), and to watch everyone scramble as monsoon hits. This made me laugh.

  12. How about this one. No business has a restroom and you start to wonder where do all the employees go to relieve themselves? Haha! Great site guys and safe travels to you both.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hahahah, good one, so true!! :-) Where are you travelling right now Yong? Hope to meet you during our travels!

      1. Unfortunately I’m not traveling at the moment because I have a career in the states. However, I take a month off every year and travel. So this year I’m going back to Thailand and other parts if Southeast Asia in December.

      2. Agness Walewinder

        That sounds great. You will love Thailand and South East- Asian countries, especially Cambodia, it’s a very interesting country in terms of the history and the scenery is amazing. If you need some help or have any questions just let us know :)

  13. Haha That sound amazing, and looks very fascinating as well, would love to see some photographs :-)

    But I cant believe the last one “it’s totally normal to see Chihuahuas dressed in costume being wheeled around in a wheelbarrow (sad actually), and to watch everyone scramble as monsoon hits.”

    Happy Travelling

    1. It all has become so casual to us that we have not even photographed most of the things. It’s really strange that people get used to previously strange things so quickly.

  14. Khao San road must be one of Bangkok’s most vibrant streets, backpackers from all around the world come together here, to make it their base for exploring the rest of Thailand, take advantage of the cheap travel agents and cheap accommodation and to stock up on cheap clothes, cheap CDs and DVDs and much more.

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