Saturday, November 3, 2012

Getting There: Khao San Road, Bangkok

Despite of Khao San's popularity and being a backpacker's haven there is no train station within easy reach to this favorite hotspot. It is disappointing since Bangkok trains are very efficient and the most practical way to get around the city. Apparently nobody minds, its the train's lost anyway because the influx of tourists visiting Khao San continues to surge.

There are 3 ways to reach Khao San from any point in Bangkok

1. Taxi or Tuktuk
Khao San Road
tuktuk
Don't be fooled, those little Tuktuks may be cute and exotic but it is also more expensive than riding a cab. But if you are in a rush and want to experience how the Tuktuk drivers weave through the crazy Bangkok traffic then you are definitely gonna be in for a fun ride. Tuktuks don't use a meter so be sure to haggle and agree to a price before riding. Bangkok taxis on the other hand are metered and has a flag down rate of THB 35 or a little less than 1 USD. 

If you are coming from the Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport take the Airport Rail Link Express/City Line. The fare from the airport to Phaya Thai station is 40 THB. It wouldn't be hard hailing a cab right outside the train station. Most cabs will give you a fix price around 150-300 THB, don't take it. Wait for the metered one which only cost 75 THB up to 100 THB depending on the traffic.
Khao San Road
Phaya Thai Station

2. Bus

Khao San Road
regular Bangkok Bus
Riding the bus around Bangkok is a difficult task and an unpopular choice of transportation for tourists. Buses in the city are going on more than a hundred different routes. The buses are identified by its number but there are no signs in English indicating its route or destination. It is better to ask the locals on which bus to ride and then tell the bus conductor to remind you when to alight because bus stops are hard to distinguish. Local buses are cheap with fares around 7 to 9 THB for small and regular buses while 10 to 20 THB for airconditioned buses.

Buses that stop and pick-up at Khao San Road: 3, 6, 15, 19, 30, 32, 64, 65, 82, 516, 524

3. Boat

Chao Phraya River Ferry
Chao Phraya River ferry
The Chao Phraya River is a short walk from Khao San Road. Riding the ferry is the way to go if you are coming from the Rattanakosin area or in the vicinity of the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho or any temple by the river. From the Central Pier at Sathorn (Taksin), ride the Orange or Blue Flag express boat  then disembark at N13 or the Phra Artit Pier. The fare for the Orange Flag is 15 THB while the Blue Flag or the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat cost 40 THB for a single trip and 150 THB for unlimited trip for one day. The Tourist Boat is more expensive because of the English speaking tour guide that explains the sights along the river.
Chao Phraya Tiver Ferry
Chao Phraya Tourist Boat ticker
If you are not sure which pier to disembark, it is right before the Rama VIII Bridge but do not mistake it for N14 or the Rama VIII Pier itself.  Phra Arthit Pier is also near Suan Santi ChaiPrakarn and the Phra Sumen Fort.

Khao San Road
Rama VIII Bridge


From the Phra Artit Pier Khao San Road is easily reach by a five minute walk. After exiting the pier, cross the street, walk to your right then turn left at the next corner right after the 711 convenience store. You will enter a small alley leading to Soi Rambuttri, Khao San's less crowded neighbor. When you reach the intersection at Chakkrapong Road cross the road then turn right near the Police Station. Head straight until you reach the next block. Turn left and you have reach the crazy world of Khao San.

Khao San Road

Hotel Review: Rambuttri Village Inn (Soi Rambuttri)
20 Things You Can Definitely Find In Khao San Road
People Watching At Suan Santi Chaiprakarn Park

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