Long a haven for foreign backpackers, Khao San Road has gentrified to include a few boutique choices, and is now a colorful and vibrant part of Bangkok, where Thais come to join travelers at some of the best bars and clubs in town, as well as to take advantage of all the various shopping bargains.
One doesn't need to walk more than 50 meters or less to find food on and around Khao San Road. There are street vendors selling spring rolls and pad thai at the cheapest prices in the city, there are pizza parlors, there are hamburger joints, and yes, plenty of Thai. There is even an Israeli restaurant for those who can't make it through Asia without a hummus and falafel fix! The nearby sidestreets of Rambutri Road and other tiny lanes also are full of vendors aplenty.
Put a large group of twenty somethings together and what do you get? Nightlife, and more nightlife. Khao San Road may not be centrally located, but its motley collection of young travelers ensure that there are plenty of bars and clubs from which to dance the night away in. Highlights here include the cavernous Lava Club and the roof top Gazebo, recently voted as one of the best bars in the world, with live bands, sheesha pipes, and plenty of good cheer.
Khao San Road used to be known as the only place in Bangkok to grab a cheap mattress. While it still is the primary backpacker haven, even the dingiest of rooms have had a facelift, and there are even some boutique style places that have recently sprung up. Whatever your price range, you will be sure to find something clean, comfortable, and situated near all the action.
Khao San Road is a market all unto itself. The street is sealed off from vehicle traffic and the road lined with vendors selling everything from clothing to DVD's and CD's to even fake ID documents of varying types. There are used bookshops, stores selling used camping and travel gear that travelers have discarded, and plenty of stalls that will braid your hair while your partner shops for that tie-dyed t-shirt.