Kade buying some earrings on Khao San Road
Formerly a quiet local area with just a few budget guest houses, the Banglamphu area and famous Khao San Road have become an obligatory stop on the twenty-something travel trail, with cheap guest houses, street cafes, music shops, boutiques and bars. Over the last few years the area has become a tourist attraction in its own right given impetus by the novel "The Beach" which features Khao San Road. It's untypical of Bangkok and yet the back streets nearby retain some of their old fashioned Thai charm. Accommodation used to be very basic but many guest houses are now upgrading with air-conditioning , pools and better quality rooms catering to a wider family market, at very reasonable rates. An extensive market, good cheap restaurants and the international mix of travellers and locals from different backgrounds make it an interesting place to visit or stay. - source
Discovered this e-mail I sent to my brother in 2004, when I was staying in Bangkok. Khao San Road gets mentioned.
Kade and I were standing near the street this afternoon when a tourist asked us where Khao San Road was. Needless to say, he had arrived in Bangkok only two hours earlier and was completely lost. At first he insisted he knew what general area he was in, but when we told him he had gotten the names of two monuments mixed up, well, he started paying attention to us. We ended letting him snag a cab with us and we took him to a part of the city where he planned to grab another taxi so he could reach Khao San. As it turns out, he was from Paris and is taking a 12 day "holiday" here. I told him you were going on a "vacation" to Paris the first of next month. I tried recalling some of the info you e-mailed me. He figured out the area I was referring to and he said it was very nice and popular. When asked what his first impressions of Bangkok were, he said, "chaotic." He said it reminded him of Beirut, Lebanon, where his sister now lives and works. I told him if he wanted complete relaxation he should catch a flight to some of the islands and beaches in the South. He smiled.