We knew visiting Thailand for just four days was never going to be enough. However, in our limited time, we decided to explore as much as possible, but more importantly, the idea was to get away from the general rut, just chill and unwind. We could not have asked for a better place to stay than the Khao San Road. Yes, the street is noisy and full of people everywhere, but it is something we have never and perhaps will never witness in any part of India.
The street is quiet during the day and it is the perfect time to shop and buy a few souvenirs or have a nice conversation at one of those cute cafes/bars over a couple of chilled beers. As the day goes on, the entire lane turns into a party street.
But not to worry, you can still have a wonderful time. Like almost every Indian city have tons of roadside vendors selling Pani Puri, ice-cream or any other munchies, Bangkok’s Khao San Road has vendors selling chilled beers. You may want to roam around with a chilled beer in hand like we did on a couple of occasions and the best part is, nobody will bother you. Looking at all the happy faces made us happy too.
Of course, if you want a quieter area, you can always walk to Soi Rambuttri, which is just opposite to Khao San Road. There are many nice places to eat there and more importantly, you can talk to each other in peace. It is prettier than Khao San Road in terms of how well decorated all the café/bars there are and the street as well.
Soi Rambutteri is also an excellent place to shop in the day time and we got all our stuff, be it clothes or souvenirs. If you are good at bargaining, you will get a good deal. Between Rambutteri and Khao San, we thought the former had more variety if you want to shop.
Both the streets had tons of fruit vendors. Thailand is a great country for mango lovers as it is called the ‘Fruit for all seasons.” The vendors sell cut and fresh yellow mangoes. The chance of relishing the mangoes will definitely be new in January for people from our side of the world.
How to reach Khao San Road and Soi Rambuterri from Bangkok’s international airports?
From both the international airports, you can either take a taxi or a bus to Khao San and Soi Rambutteri.
The taxi fare is approximately THB 350-365. If you want to save money, there are AC buses available too. Hop on the S1 shuttle. That will cost you only THB 60 per person.
Our flight from Bangalore landed at this airport. We already knew we were not going to take a taxi as the fare is around THB 285-300. We found the AC bus, A4 right outside the arrival gate. It cost us just THB 50 per person. The journey was around an hour.
Our hotel, D&D Inn in Khao San Road was hardly a few-minute walk from the bus stop. While we walked, we saw Soi Rambutteri on the right and we registered that for the evening.
Where to stay in Khao San Road?
We stayed at D&D Inn, which was located right in the middle of the street. The rooms were excellent and the staff were very polite. They even let us keep our luggage in the locker rooms before check-in and after check-out as we had a lot of time on our hands before both events.
For three nights, it cost us less than 6,000 INR with breakfast. There was enough variety in their breakfast spread that was organised in their rooftop, which also had a swimming pool and a bar to chill later in the day. The view from the terrace was excellent. We could see the Grand Palace from there!
A few days after our trip, one of our relatives stayed at the same hotel and he has recommended the place as well.
“So we reached Khao San after midnight and we were greeted with head-banging music which blew me off immediately. I was wondering how one can get a good night’s sleep after a tiring journey at such a place. Thankfully our hotel, D&D in was quiet from inside. Check-in was also easy and quick.
The room which we stayed in was on a higher floor and pretty neat but unfortunately the washroom of our room was stinking. We complained to the hotel staff but they couldn’t resolve the issue. All in all the stay was good owing to the location, just a minor glitch but then with such a happening location, you will hardly be in the room. So, all in all, it was a great stay owing to the location,” said Varun Kapoor (Actor and model).
Where to stay in Soi Rambutteri?
While Orchid Villa
We did not stay here but Varun has highly recommended this place. After his brief stay at Bangkok, they visited Koh Lanta island, which was situated near Krabi. On their return to Bangkok, they decided to stay in Soi Rambutteri this time and they totally fell in love with the street and their hotel.
“Soi Rambutteri and Khao San Road are like opposite cousins. Rambutteri had a different vibe and much quieter with relatively more number of cute joints to eat and drink. We stayed at White Orchid Villa. It took a few minutes to locate the place as it was inside one of the lanes. They had a bar and an eatery at the reception so the entry to the hotel was very happening I would say. There was no lift so we had to lift our huge bags to the room on the first floor. Obviously, it was a backpackers’ place so I can’t blame them.
The room was very clean and the washroom too was spick and span. So, overall we found this hotel much better for our liking pretty much for the same or a lesser price depending on when you book it,” said Varun, who was quite satisfied with the place.
Best cheap places to eat/drink in Khao San Road
Khao San Center (Beside D&D Inn), Lucky Beer (Opposite Khao San Center) and Buddy Beer Wine Bar and Grill (amazing veg pizza and cocktails)
Best cheap places to eat/drink in Soi Rambutteri
Alley Cat (Nice cocktails), Rambutteri Terrace (Damn cheap), Gecko Bar (Decent breakfast options) and Streets Café (Located at Soi Thanos, lane right opposite Rambutteri)
A SPECIAL MENTION: We had our BEST food in Bangkok at Viva and Aviv The River, which around 6KM from Khao San Road. It is located somewhere near China Town. It was not as reasonable as the places mentioned above but if you ever begin to crave satisfying food, head straight there. Plus, it’ll be dinner with a view as it overlooks the Chao Phraya River. For a similar lunch or dinner with a view experience, you may also try Jack’s Bar (9 KMs from Khao San Road).
If you are in either of the streets, make sure you get a Thai massage. They are not expensive and it is worth spending half an hour to an hour at these parlours. I mean, how much time you get for yourself in your day-to-day life. I got a back massage while Sakshi got a foot massage. In the end, we were left craving for more.
IMPORTANT TIP: If you book a cab on Khao San, make sure you go till the end of the road to board it as the cars do not enter the street as the area is not that big. We used Grab throughout our stay there but also used the tuk-tuk there on a couple of occasions. Again, if you have good bargaining skills, you can easily get a good rate, but more often than not, the tuk-tuk guys do not quote a high price. This was the case in Pattaya as well.
To find out more about our Thailand trip, click here.