My 5: Khao San Road, Bangkok.

Khao San Road Bangkok Thailand

1. June 2015. I very nearly didn’t bother with Khao San Road, Bangkok’s most famous street. In fact, the more I read and heard, from delirious recommendations to stark warnings, I just couldn’t figure out why so many people would fly halfway across the world to get really pissed and hang out with lots of other westerners. Couldn’t they just do that back at home? Even after I’d drawn up my extensive Bangkok to-do list, Khao San Road found itself rooted firmly to the bottom of the league table.

2. June 2015. But in the end, having ticked everything else off and with my seven-week trip around Thailand drawing to a close, my curiosity got the better of me. So I decided to go and take a look, just so I could say I’d seen it for myself. Tactically I opted for a late afternoon visit while it was still light. That way, I figured, I could get some decent shots and hopefully limit the number of assholes I had to deal with.

3. June 2015. Looking back on my brief wander, I suppose I’m glad I took the time to check it out. It was busy enough but not overloaded and I was able to explore at leisure. Taking a streetside table at a dubious looking bar called Day of the Dead, I ordered a horribly overpriced beer and shuddered at the bone-rattling volume of the appalling dance music they insisted on blaring out. Across the road a bony, dreadlocked girl stumbled out of a guesthouse and vomited on the pavement. 

4. June 2015. Having consumed the aforementioned beer, I browsed a few of the tacky gift shops and did my best to ignore an awful couple from Birmingham as they proceeded to row publicly about whether or not Mr. Birmingham had slept with a Thai hooker the night before. From what I could gather he had, something Miss Birmingham was pretty pissed off about. At some point I realized I needed a cash top-up, which is certainly no problem on Khao San Road! Outnumbered only by rotting bin bags and discarded cigarette butts, the place is positively stuffed with ATMs.

5. June 2015. Despite resolving not to make eye contact with anyone, I nevertheless found myself harpooned into several pointless conversations. The man pictured here, who referred to himself as Dr. Danger, tried to sell me a packet of opened condoms. There was also a young South African guy who approached me to ask for a small cash loan. You see, he’d had the most unfortunate day! Firstly he’d woken up in his Khao San guesthouse to discover that his wallet, passport and backpack were gone. Then, having gone to his embassy for help, he discovered that…

For more on my time in this fantastic city check out my articles from around Bangkok.

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my zillion other 5s from across Thailand.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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