First-time travelers in Thailand or Bangkok ask a lot of questions about the infamous Khao San Road. What is it? What should I expect? Why should I go?
A lot of first-timers don't understand that Khao San Road is exactly that, a road.
It's a street covered in restaurants that serve western food as well as classic Thai food. Street hawkers selling unusual, tourist-specific novelties like scorpions on a stick to eat (yes really), and bracelets with some string of lewd comments for shock value like "I like tiny c*nts."Ah, tourism...
Do the Thai's even know what half of them mean? Who knows... All they know is that tourists find them funny, and will buy them - and we do.
You'll be walking through the massive street seeing lady-boys, bar staff, tourists, and other locals dancing together on the street, dancing in the gritty bars and clubs that cover each side of the street.
Khao San Road has no gates, and it's not owned by a company or organization. Again, it's just a road, a street. It's gotten popular because of all the craziness that surrounds it.
Can You Drink in Public? Is It BYO?
If you're in a bar on Khao San Road you definitely can't bring in drinks from outside, but if you're on the street it's completely BYO. You can buy the drinks from the 7-11 nearby, from street vendors, or anywhere else. You can freely drink right there on Khao San Road.
Most people will be dancing in a loud alcohol-fueled mosh, a friendly one, but a mosh nonetheless. The street will turn into a dance floor between the 2 most popular bars in the area. Each bar blasting their music from either side of the road, while a ton of travelers and locals dance the night away in the middle - this is the usual scene.
How Much are Drinks? What's Cheap?
A tall Chang beer from street vendors and bars around the area will costs you around 100 Baht, about $3-3.50. This is the usual price in this area.
The cheapest place you're going to get alcohol in this area will be the 7-11. It's very close to this speaker battle hot spot we were talking about before. It's always busy and will be the first place to shut once it gets closer to midnight, but until then, cheers!
You can get more bang for your buck if you're with a group and you decide to get bucket cocktails or beer towers.
Bucket cocktails are literally small sandcastle buckets, filled with 4, 5, 6? shots of your horrible low-grade vodka or another spirit, turned into a horrible low-grade cocktail - the true backpacker experience indeed.
This is the same type of stuff you'll get if you go to the full moon party in Thailand. Ultimate guide on that below.
Getting beer towers, and buckets are more expensive (200-250 baht) but will have more alcohol. Hence more bang for your hangover buck.
Make sure you don't get one for yourself though. Especially the towers, you don't want to be sitting there drinking liters and liters of liquid by yourself.