Bangkok: intro to Khoa San Road

31 07 2009

 

Crazy Khoa San road

Crazy Khoa San road

We left Indonesia and flew up to the great Thai city of Bangkok.  Because we are here to arrange our visas for China and Vietnam, we are staying near the infamous “backpacker” road of Khao San.  This area is not a good place to see any real Thai culture and it is a bright, packed, western traveler-filled area with surprisingly few Thai people (other than those selling stuff to travelers).  The day after arriving in Thailand, we went into the streets to have a good meal of…

Israeli food?!  Of course, humus, falafel and pita is just what you must have expected for us to eat in the food and cultural capital of Thailand.  But seriously, Bangkok is a modern and cosmopolitan city that offers all types of foods (we will be out trying some Pad Thai later).   We did not come to the Khoa San Road area for the local culture, we are here to use the travel agencies, post offices, and internet cafes for some logistical work, then we will return in the fall (when it is cooler and less humid) to see the more cultural parts of Thailand.

Fake ID for sale

Fake ID for sale

Khoa San Road is a vibrant and surreal place full of travelers and a few Thai people offering anything they can think of selling to travelers.  Since Khoa San Road is crammed with bars and night clubs catering to travelers, we are staying on the side street of Soi Rambutri, which doesn’t have the huge night scene, but is close by.  You can buy all sorts of “real” identification cards (including fake university diplomas, press credentials, or driving licenses), or get tattoos when you have had enough drinks at the many bars, eat food from street vendors, buy all sorts of pirated music and DVDs, “name brand” clothing, sunglasses and ‘Rolex’ watches.   And of course, the seedy reputation of Bangkok as a prostitution mecca still holds true, but many of the “ladies” of the night are not always female (even though they may look like it).  A t-shirt for sale in the street stalls sums it up, “Sorry Man, I’m Ladyboy.

Once we have our visa applications underway (for real ones, hopefully), we will move on to another part of town that will easily afford us the chance to see more of what this city has to offer.

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4 responses

31 07 2009
jo

Hey Jas – I swear we must have walked by one another. We were wandering the horror of Kho San Road Wednesday night! I am home now. Let me know if you want some Chiang Mai recommendations. We stayed in Vanilla Place, which is #1 on trip advisor and a great place. Really good location, very nice people and it was only 800 baht. AND next door was the best food massage/ Thai massage place called Nina Lanna. 150 baht an hour!!

Travel safe!
Jo

4 08 2009
Amy

I was thinking maybe you could pick me up a PhD or two? How about one in brain surgery and another in rocket science? I’ll totally reimburse you.

5 08 2009
Jason and Alexa

Harvard or Oxford?

1 09 2009
Leah

ahh got to love Kho San… I would have had you stop by the Rainbow Guesthouse and pick up my drivers license and some cash I lost there. There are definitely more pleasant places in Bangkok, we did not like this street much.

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