Hey Worldy Groovers, and welcome to the spaced out world of the Khosan Man.
Khosan Man delivers to you all his psychadelic tips on Thailand starting from his base on Khao San Road in Bangkok, where he can always be found in his Thai fisherman pants, chowing down on a spicy Pad Thai and sipping an ice cold Chang.
Khao Road Information
Copyright 2005 Khosanman Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Khao San Road, home to the Khosan Man. This is backpacker heaven, located in the Banglamphu area, it's got everything the discerning and not so descerning traveller could ever want. A vibrant melting pot of travellers and Thai's. The street is jam packed with cheap guest house accommodation, food stalls, travel agents, and other shops selling everything from clothing and jewellery to fake ID's. This is your gateway to Asia, where most travellers begin and end there travels, some never leave like the Khosan Man himself. Read on for all the Khao San Road information you could ever want.
For a map of Khao San Road and it's eateries, accommodations and attractions click here
There's a lot of ways to get to Khao San from the airport; taxi, airport bus, or train. Taxi fare will be somewhere around 300-400 Baht, and remember there is a 50 Baht surcharge for taxi's from the airport, so don't think you're getting ripped off if asked for it. There are airport busses that run to Khao San, they get packed tighter than the Khosan Man's budget, but that makes them a nice cheap option. Ask around at airport informtaion to find their locations and time, as this is always changing, but should cost around 80 Baht. The train station is across the highway outside of the airport, and you'll need to catch the train to Hualampong station, and take a boat or taxi from there to Khao San, it's complicated but worth it for the budget concious traveller.
The Khosan Man Way: Either of the above methods are a waste of money to the Khosan Man. A tuk-tuk is the answer, it'll cost you nothing! Music to the Khosan Man's ears. It must be noted this method will take 4 - 8 hours before getting to Khao San, but hey you get straight into a bit of sight seeing right after your 16 hours of flying, what more could you want? Wonder outside the airport find a tuk-tuk, one of those 3 wheel motorbikes with a cabin attatched to the back, and tell the driver you are willing to go to all the tailors, jewellery shops, and wherever else he wants to take you. This way he gets to earn some comission, you get to do some shopping and eventually get to Khao San Road. Everyone's Happy!
Where to Stay
Khao San Road has an abundance of cheap good value guesthouses available so finding something shouldn't be a problem. Back in the early days for the Khosan Man, accommodation was basic, oriented soley towards the backpacker, but these days most of the guest houses have upgraded their facilities, offering, air conditioning, swimmg pools, and rooms of better quality. Booking prior to arrival is possible, and many of the guest houses have web sites, just run a search on google for 'khao san road guesthouse'. Prices will range from 100 - 1000 Baht a night, and generally what you pay for is what you get, so pay more and expect better. The best way to find a place if you are willing to pound the pavement upon arrival is to search up and down the street and look for something, theres generally always something available somewhere, or nearby, and the price will end up being cheaper this way than pre-booking.
The Khosan Man Way: The Khosan Man is still stuck in a time warp and remembers the good old days when it cost him a mere 20 Baht a night including meals to stay in a guest house on this now famous strip of payment, so he refuses to pay the current prices. He suggests several methods that he uses. First stop is to stay at the Wat(Buddhist Temple) at the end of the road, its free! and they'll even give you a bowl of rice. This is the Thai welfare system at work. Another solid method of Khosan Man's is to go out at night, make friends with fellow travellers, get wasted with them (on their tab of course), and then crash out with them at their guesthouses, its perfect, they're too drunk and therefore friendly to refuse you!
Eating and Entertainment
From spring rolls and noodles, to cockroaches and scorpians, they can all be found on Khao San at bargain prices. Due to the high proportion of westerner's on this road, you'll find all your favourites from back home, including McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut just to name a few. Eating this type of food to the Khosan Man is the cultural equivalent of farting in church. A cheap meal from a roadside food stall of fried noodles or rice can be purchased for as little as 20 Baht. These stalls are clean and hygenic. The food is fresh, and you'll smell the delicous spices used in it while watching the sweet little Thai lady cooking your meal. Middle range meals can also be purchased for as little as 100 - 150 Baht from restaurants. Pad Thai is an especially nice national Thai dish made with glass noddles, vegetables and meat.
The entertainment to be had on Khao San besides eating and shopping is to mingle with fellow traveller's telling tales, while consuming large amounts of alcohol. The Khosan Man can often be spotted telling tales of his last 30 odd years in Asia to other travellers, whilst sipping on a Chang Beer and chowing down a Pad Thai. For some of the Khosan Man's favourite drinking establishments, look at the Khosan Man's list below.
The Khosan Man Way: As in the previous accommodation tip, the free rice provided at the temples is obviously a good choice as its free. And always, always eat at roadside stalls, they are significantly cheaper than a restraurant, no overheads! The Khosan Man can't remember the last time he ate from a restaurant instead of a roadside stall, although he actually can't even remember what he did 15 minutes ago.
Also don't go wasting your money on purchasing water, fill up at banks and other government offices, including copshops water machines, it costs nothing. Of course the Khosan Man no longer does this as he has built up an immunity to the Thai water in all his years their, and could even drink out of a Thai sewer.
The Khosan Man's Drinking Guide: Alcohol will be your biggest expense while travelling, so don't buy it, pure and simple. So what you say, I can't drink? Well the Khosan Man said DON'T buy, he didn't say you COULDN'T drink. Make friends with as many people during a night out as you possibly can, everyone will be willing to shout you a beer, as it's so much cheaper then back in their home countries. The Khosan Man's record is being shouted 37 drinks in one night.
Most of the world's popular beers and spirits are available, but the Khosan Man only drinks Thai beer's Singha and Chang to stay in touch with the local culture. When it comes to whisky it's SangSom whisky, normally in bucket form, please see the Full Moon Party guide for more information on buckets.
Khosan Man's Favourite drinking Haunts on Khao San Road are:
Good Time Garden Bar - Located next to the Khao San Centre in the alley. Nice outdoor drinking and eating place, also a good place to start and end a night as it generally stays open later than most other joints.
Shamrock Irish Bar - Located up the stairs of the Khao San Centre. Great irish pub, that really gets pumping when a local Thai band plays covers of all the rock classics you know and love. Serves Guiness too. The Khosan Man has made many women succumb to his charms at this venue on the ad-hoc dance floor. His big-box little-box dance move is always a winner.