*the last bit (Ping-Pong show) might be a bit traumatising for some.
In short, Khao San Road is a party street. Flashing lights, bright neons and loud music. It seriously is a party street and one with lots of the backpacking sort. I remember my first time on Khao San Road… its almost overwhelming yet exciting at the same time. Almost everything a backpacker needs can be found here. From clothes to travel agencies, it’s mostly centred here, as it’s a high tourist traffic area.
Do bear in mind that Khao San Road is situated in the old part of the city. You can get here by either a taxi, motor taxi or bus. The trains such as the BTS and MRT don’t connect to this part of the city. I highly recommend the taxi as its metered and its fairly cheap, if you are not in a hurry that is. Traffic can be a bit of a nightmare during peak hours. And NO, the tuk tuk's are over priced and they are a rip off!
The street can sometimes get over crowded so the parallel street to Khao San Road is rather welcoming. You can get here via the connecting street known as ‘Susie Walking Street’. It’s an orange sign that is easily outshined by the other bright lights around, so best to keep a sharp eye out for the sign.
The adjourning street is pretty relaxing, not too crowded and looks better maintained unlike Khao San Road. The Shisha bars here are nice and the atmosphere here is less intense compared to Khao San Road for sure.
These guys were simply amazing. Break dancing in the middle of the street was just ace. Even the traffic stopped to watch them dance. It went on for a good 30 minutes where the crowd clearly grew larger by the minute, and kept cheering them on. These boys are truly talented and the beat boxer was equally as good! If you are ever in this area, keep a look out for this group. They are entertaining. Oh, and please do tip if you end up watching them perform. Not many people tipped but watched the entire show. Rude!
Sukhumvit Soi 11 (soi means lane) is one of the other nightspots to get to. The BTS stop at Soi 11 is Nana, which is known for its red light district on Soi 13. Sukhumvit Soi 11 has some really good restaurant, bar and clubs that is known for its wild nightlife. But before you get any further, you’ll be sure to spot one of the many retro Volkswagen minivans that adorn the side walks.
It’s lighted up with bright neon lights and serves some good drinks on the sidewalk. Talk about a portable bar! You'll definitely see more than a few of these in the area.
Another thing that’s popular around this area and Khao San Road is this really loud-boom-box of a tuk tuk. They are expensive but I mean it’s an experience. We paid about 250B to get from Sukhumvit Soi 11 to the Sanam Pao BTS station (the taxi would have been half the price if not less).
It was as if Khao San Road came along the ride with us, with music blaring over the speakers and flashing neon lights. It’s a mobile disco that takes you home. It certainly was a showstopper at the traffic lights!
Thong Lor as I was told is primarily a Japanese expatriate area hence the abundance Japanese restaurants and Japanese themed bars and pubs. The main street is not as impressive as the side streets. Once you start going into the side street and exploring, you’ll come across some really amazing restaurants and cafés. I was sold with this area. If I moved here, I’m sure to spend my weekends exploring the places in Thong Lor. It’s simply exciting and it never fails to impress me.
Soi 13 in Thong Lor is home to SeenSpace where the main outlet for Mr. Jones’ Orphanage is, as well as other eateries. This little community mall is rather chic, with cool open planned spaces that house good restaurants and bars. It’s not like the conventional huge malls; it’s small and rather intimate. Don’t worry, it’s just a two-story building, which makes it harder to locate if you don’t know where it is.
This area has a high concentration of Japanese expatriates.
I was spell bounded as soon as I walked in. I fell in love with the place. It’s really small and 3 floors high and filled with little intricate details of fairies and gargoyles that give this place a gothic feel. The live bands on the weekends are some of the best I’ve heard in Bangkok! There are balcony seats on the 3rd floor, but it is a little tricky, as you would have to open one of the doors to allow you to get to the balcony area.
We walked up, made a few turns and thought we were in the staff area. As soon as we pushed a random door, it opened up to a balcony, which was filled with guests for a private function. Oops! But now we do know that they do cater to group bookings and they serve food too.
As our drinks arrived, I got a class filled with ice and fresh berries accompanied with a bottle of red liquid. It’s a tall bottle and ¼ filled with this red liquid while the rest of the bottle was filled with smoke. As I poured out my poison for the night, the smoke mixes together with the cocktail and pours out with a dramatic effect. It’s really cool and it taste brilliant.
Bangkok has a lot to offer in terms of its nightlife. Whatever is it you fancy, they sure have an array of choices to choose from.
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