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Khao San Road or Not?

Posted by adbeats06 on 3/11/2013 at 23:11

I will be traveling to BKK for a few days before I head up to Chiang Mai, still trying to decide whether or not to stay on KSR. I am a solo traveler so the opportunity to meet other travellers is important to me, however I am 30 and while I still enjoy partying, that is not the main focus of my trip. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage to meet others by not staying on KSR? My next choice would be a guest house in Silom area. Can anyone who has stayed in Silom give me an idea as to how easy it is to meet other travellers?

Thanks

#1 adbeats06 has been a member since 22/10/2013. Location: Canada. Posts: 13

Posted by Chaverbe on 4/11/2013 at 04:36

We stayed in BKK about a week ago in soi rambutri, its close to Kao san. We stayed in Lamphu house, where there are loads of people to meet.

I myself find kao san road a bit to 'im coming to bangkok to drink and party', but that's just part of the tourists. I found it a bit more likeable around soi Rambutri, the street where lampu house is in. Places likes Gecko bar and madame sursur/murmur (can't remember) are a bit more laid back.


I have no idea about silom area tho.

#2 Chaverbe has been a member since 17/9/2013. Posts: 9


Posted by somtam2000 on 4/11/2013 at 04:59 admin

@adbeats06 You'll certainly meet more travellers on and around Khao San Road , but other areas, as you mention Silom Road, but also around Siam Square has some good traveller haunts. Personally I'd lean towards up around the National Library area (about 15 minutes walk north of KSR) where there are some good guesthouses and it retains a traveller vibe without the big crowds you get closer to KSR - Rambuttri (as mentioned by Chaverbe) is similar, but a midway point on the busy scale. If you gimme an idea of what kind of budget you're looking at, I can probably recommend some particular spots worth trying.

@Leonard - perhaps a lone traveller looking to meet other travellers suggests finding others to travel with? Assuming that's the case would make sense to hang out where other travellers are I'd have thought.

@theloner - you really are such a bore.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by DLuek on 4/11/2013 at 06:32 TF writer

I'm pretty sure "he" is a she. Not sure why theloner has assumed it's a guy. Referring to people as "sheeps" and assuming they'll be "freaked out by all the Thais" just because they've expressed interest in meeting a travel buddy or two doesn't make any sense to me. But to each their own.

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,122
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Posted by adbeats06 on 4/11/2013 at 08:49

Why there is even a conversation with regards to whether or not I want to meet local people is counterproductive and quite honestly (without trying to be too rude) pretentious. You are not privy to my travel plans other than what I have posted on here, so to assume or make judgements about someone you don't know, who is only merely looking for advice and recommendations is not helpful, and no longer welcome.

@somtam2000- my budget is around 900 baht/ night. I would prefer a guesthouse that won't be situated right in the middle of crazy, drunk crowds of 20 year olds!

@Dleuk- thank you! I am indeed a she :)

#5 adbeats06 has been a member since 22/10/2013. Location: Canada. Posts: 13

Posted by Paddy1888 on 4/11/2013 at 09:28

Hi Adbeats don't take any notice of leonard and the loner i ask a question along the same lines the other week and got the same response
As a solo traveler I've been looking for places to meet people and the one place most talked about is the lub d silom

#6 Paddy1888 has been a member since 5/9/2013. Posts: 21

Posted by gregmccann1 on 4/11/2013 at 10:00

OP, I think the KSR has become a little bit over-the-top in terms of commercialism. I don't stay in that area anymore. I usually stay somewhere in Sukhumvit. I feel like some of the people who work in the restaurants and guesthouses in the KSR area have become really tired of tourists (backpacker fatigue maybe? or something like that). Soi Rambuttri and some of the side streets around there used to be really atmospheric but I feel that they've all become overly commercialized as well, or at least many of them. I first saw the KSR in 2000 and it seemed a lot dingier then, had more character. Maybe I'm just being a romantic. Overall, you won't have any difficulty meeting fellow travelers in Thailand, even in remote areas. Have a great trip!

#7 gregmccann1 has been a member since 28/10/2009. Location: Taiwan. Posts: 182
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Posted by Tilapia on 4/11/2013 at 10:07

Hi adbeats06,

There is much more to the Banglamphu area than just KSR and Soi Rambuttri. There are several really good places to stay that would meet your budget on and near Thanon Phra Athit, which runs parallel to the river, and which are walking distance to many of the main temples, the Flower Market, as well as the Chao Phraya River Express. There's a nice walkway along the riverbank so you can avoid the main roads if you want, and a great park on the river called Santichai Prakan Park (Suan Santichai Prakan) which is a remarkably quiet place for Bangkok.

You could also go a bit further north (like, about 300m further north) into the Samsen area and still be quite close to all of those things. Again, there are lots of good guest houses that would fall in your budget. And a bit further north still is the area near the National Library called Dusit where there are a couple more small neighbourhoods by the river with a handful of decent guest houses.

None of these areas compare, even remotely, with KSR and Soi Rambuttri, as far as "crazy, drunk crowds of 20 year olds" goes. They are fairly quiet, residential, and attract people who are interested in avoiding places like crowds and chaos of KSR, but who still want to be be in the older part of town and close to the river and a good chunk of the city's main attractions. It's possible to stay within a 10 minute walk of KSR and not even know it's there.

KSR and Rambuttri are still worth checking out, though, in my opinion. Especially if you've never been before. But don't go in the daytime. Go at night when the circus is in full swing, have a walk through, then retreat.

#8 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,485
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Posted by exacto on 4/11/2013 at 18:34

and the thorntreeisation of travelfish is complete. what a shame...

hi adbeats06!

KSR may be a bit over the top for a 30 year old, but as Tilapia says, there is a lot more around that area than just KSR. i don't think you'd miss out on the chance to meet other travellers if you skipped KSR either, however, since you'll have the chance at museums, temples, restaurants, etc. if you decide on the greater KSR area, maybe Phra Athit Rd or the National Library area as suggested above put you close to all the great stuff of the Banglamphu area and you can then take or leave KSR proper as you wish.

i'd love to hear back about what you finally decide, where you stayed, and what you thought about it all. cheers and have fun.

#9 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,606
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Posted by somtam2000 on 4/11/2013 at 18:41 admin

@Leonard & @theloner - just deleted all your posts from this thread.

Don't repost

Thanks.

#10 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by exacto on 4/11/2013 at 18:59

hey somtam,

the OP reminded me...

did you have some fun way for travelfish members to recognize each other out on the trail? like a button or a patch for a backpack or something like that? i've got a t-shirt or two but i only wear it once a week on the road.

i look around when i'm travelling, but i can never tell if a fellow traveller has participated on travelfish or not. plus, it could be a fun way to tell people about the site and hopefully boost reviews for restaurants and guesthouses and such. any ideas?

#11 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,606
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Posted by DLuek on 4/11/2013 at 20:39 TF writer

Hmm, Travelfish capes perhaps? But in all seriousness exacto I agree it's a good idea, especially regarding meeting other travelers -- there's your ice breaker.

A lot of good advice here thus far. I agree with Tilapia / exacto about not grouping all of Banglamphu / Rattanakosin into " Khao San Road ". We changed the intro to the Khao San Road page on Travelfish not too long ago in an effort to address that point. I also hear what gremccann is saying, though I prefer Silom over Sukhumvit as it's a bit more central and I just like the vibe a bit better, but that's just me.

One thing to keep in mind is that Democracy Monument (10-minute walk from KSR) is now the focal point of a protest by Democrat groups against this bill that will probably bring amnesty to Thaksin. Yesterday was a wild day -- no one knew where the protesters were actually going (the leaders were very secretive) and they ended up filling Ratchadamnoen Avenue. It's a fluid situation but it appears that thousands have vowed not to leave until they overturn the bill. (sigh - here we go again).

With that in mind, adbeats, here are some suggestions in a few different areas:

Silom/Sathorn:
Lub d Silom -- As previously mentioned, this is a popular place and great for meeting other travelers. I'd say it draws a 'twenty-something backpacking crowd'. Note that the rates listed in that link are now significantly higher (I was recently there; just waiting for the update to be published). It's now around 1,100 for a private and 440 for a dorm.
Saphai Pae Hostel -- Excellent hostel with reasonably priced privates. Good place to meet other travelers. Near the BTS and one stop from the central river pier.
Mile Map Hostel -- Another very good hostel with reasonably priced privates; I love the eclectic area.
New Road Guesthouse -- Very good spot with a guesthouse/hostel feel near the river and not too far from Saphan Thaksin BTS.

Siam:
Lub d Siam -- Good central location next to BTS National Stadium, Bangkok Art & Culture Centre and MBK. Privates are a better deal than at their Silom location. Also good place to meet people.

Banglamphu:
Chada Guesthouse -- Very good choice if you want to be on (well actually just off) Khao San.
Rambuttri Village -- Reliable choice on Soi Rambutri, a bit more low key than Khao San itself but still in the thick of backpacker land.
Samsen Sam Boutique House -- Cosy and charming spot in the more quiet Samsen area, 10 minute walk from KSR.
NapPark Hostel -- Off Khao San in a more local neighborhood to the north; one of the best places to meet other travelers.
Thai Cozy House -- All-round reliable and friendly guesthouse north of KSR.
Chern Boutique Hostel -- Newly opened spot, very comfy privates and I think they're running discounts.

#12 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,122
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Posted by 9preciousGems on 5/11/2013 at 06:45

thanks for the info in this thread - are there any suggestions for hostels good for meeting other travellers but where you can stay in a private room/bathroom?

#13 9preciousGems has been a member since 13/1/2011. Posts: 82

Posted by gregmccann1 on 5/11/2013 at 08:46

I'm curious to check out the National Library area. I've stayed at Phra Athit Mansion a few times on Thanon Phra Athit Road. There's a nice traditional Thai breakfast place over there that makes great noodle soups and it's nice being close to the river and the park mentioned above. But I sort of felt that at night Soi Rambuttri and some of those lanes were spilling there street hawker wares even onto Thanon Phra Athit. It's probably still a nice street (haven't been there since 2010).

#14 gregmccann1 has been a member since 28/10/2009. Location: Taiwan. Posts: 182
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Posted by adbeats06 on 5/11/2013 at 09:03

So much great info here! Thank you to everyone who replied.

@DLeuk- is the crowd at the Siam Lub D a little older, or about the same as Silom?

With regards to a way for travel fish members to recognize one another, what about little buttons or pins?

#15 adbeats06 has been a member since 22/10/2013. Location: Canada. Posts: 13

Posted by Paddy1888 on 5/11/2013 at 09:58

T-shirts a great idea I'll be getting one with travelfish.com printed on the back for my trip next Wednesday and thanks again to everyone at travel fish for your help in helping me organise my trip.

#16 Paddy1888 has been a member since 5/9/2013. Posts: 21

Posted by Tilapia on 5/11/2013 at 11:56

Hey Greg,


Phra Athit is still pretty good. It's much busier and louder than it used to be thanks to the new guest houses and hotels, and general development of the area in the last 15 years. Nai Soi noodle shop is still around (http://fr.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Thailand/photo650946.htm) but they are no longer on the corner at the end of the alleyway, and no longer serve coffee (or sushi), sadly. The roti shop is still there, as is the little old lady who sells silk. The park is a really nice addition to the area. Much better than the derelict patch of polluted and litter-strewn riverbank than it used to be. Lots more little cafes and galleries that are frequently mostly by Thai university students. But these things would all have been there in 2010.

I decided that I needed a change of scenery so started staying at the KT Guest House way over in Din Daeng, which was great, but I found myself heading back to the river area all the time. So I eventually settled on the area near the National Library and have been going there for the last 10 years, or so. It hasn't changed much, but is starting to. Some excellent eating spots, the eye-opening Thewet Market, a couple of really great "sunset beers on the riverside" places, and around 5 or 6 guest houses to choose from. I expect to see bigger changes there in the next 5-10 years.

#17 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,485
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 5/11/2013 at 20:01

Thanks for the anti freedom of speech stance. What a totalitarian.

#18 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by somtam2000 on 5/11/2013 at 20:16 admin

@Leonard,

What part of "@Leonard & @theloner - just deleted all your posts from this thread. Don't repost. Thanks." are you struggling to process?

#19 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 5/11/2013 at 20:23

I'm struggling with the totalitarian bit. Not a big fan of the Nazis.

#20 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by somtam2000 on 5/11/2013 at 20:39 admin

@Leonard - have asked you not to post in this thread. Do so again and I'll suspend your account.

No need to reply.

Thanks.

#21 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by DLuek on 7/11/2013 at 08:19 TF writer

@PreciousGems - Most hostels offer privates and dorms. Privates are usually a bit more expensive than a similar room would be in a regular guesthouse or hotel. The reasoning I guess is that you pay a little more for the extra common facilities and social atmosphere. All of the hostels I listed above offer privates; Cozy Place's are simple but really cheap with shared bathrooms. Saphai Pae, Mile Map and Lub d Siam all have pretty good value privates.

@adbeats06 - It's not like I've spent tons of time at either but, yes, I would make an educated guess that the crowd at Lub d Siam will be a tad older. They have more private rooms than dorms (it's the other way around at the Silom location).

#22 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,122
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Posted by adbeats06 on 7/11/2013 at 13:17

If I stay in Silom, which airport is easier to get to (Don Muang, or BKK) for late morning, early afternoon?

#23 adbeats06 has been a member since 22/10/2013. Location: Canada. Posts: 13

Posted by Tilapia on 7/11/2013 at 14:31

Both easy. Don Meuang is closer.

#24 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,485
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Posted by DLuek on 7/11/2013 at 20:40 TF writer

Yeah those are good times to go to either airport. If going to Don Mueang I'd take the BTS to Mo Chit and catch a taxi from there. If going to Suvarnabhumi I'd take the BTS to Phaya Thai and switch to the Airport Link from there. The latter would be a bit cheaper.

#25 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,122
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Posted by exacto on 7/11/2013 at 20:55

I was thinking the same thing as DLuek, but I was also thinking of taking a taxi the entire way, particularly if I had much stuff to carry. Back in the day, if we weren't in a hurry to get to Don Muang Airport, we'd check the train schedule to see if there was something out of Hualamphong that would get us to Don Muang when we needed. It's a short walk from the train stop there to the terminals.

Also, @ DLuek. I meant to mention earlier how much I appreciated your post #12 above. It is nice to have such specific and high quality recommendations to consider when making an important choice like where to stay. Thanks and keep up the good work.

#26 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,606
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Posted by MADMAC on 10/11/2013 at 07:15

"I am a solo traveler so the opportunity to meet other travellers is important to me, however I am 30 and while I still enjoy partying, that is not the main focus of my trip."

I do think it would help if you mentioned what the main focus of your trip is.

#27 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


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