1. Start the day by visiting a famous temple, making merit like the locals do
There are many famous temples near Khao San Road, like Wat Chana Songkram, Wat Bowon, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. Each temple is uniquely beautiful, with different back stories and attractions. Not sure which temple to visit? Check out our guide on the Top 9 Temples To Visit In Bangkok for photos, highlights, and key attractions.
2. Sample various Thai street-snacks like crispy salted worms (and bugs), grilled fermented sausage, coconut dumplings, sweet and sour leaf wraps on Chakrabongse Road
Right at the end of Khao San Road is a market-style food street called Chakrabongse Road. The small portions and friendly prices allow you to try a little bit of everything, which is what you should do instead of filling up with sub-par Pad Thai on Khao San Road. Expect a burst of flavor, the key flavor varying with each dish. Try the slightly sour savory sausage, the sweet and milky coconut dumplings (crispy on the outside but melts in your mouth), salty deep fried silkworms, and Mieng Khum, a fresh, sweet, umami salad-style appetizer with herbs and roasted coconut flakes wrapped in betel leaves.
3. Visit the National Museum to absorb fascinating Thai art, history, and culture
A ten-minute walk from Khao San Road, the National Museum houses the largest collection of Thai art and antiquities in the country. The venue itself is gorgeous and well-maintained, unlike other museums in Thailand. Explore Thai archeology, art history, and cultural treasures while answering fascinating prehistory questions like “Where did the Thais come from?” This is a must-visit for those looking to learn more about Thailand while getting lost in another world.
4. Shop for souvenirs, cheap items, and bizarre artifacts at Khao San Road Market
Foreign or Thai, we all love us a pair of elephant pants, pirated DVDs, phone cases, and cheap faux-leather goods. At the Khao San Road Market, you can snap a photo of strange Buddha statues and fake IDs for Instagram or treat yourself to a zany shopping session. Just make sure to haggle for better deals. You are in the most touristy place in Bangkok after all.
5. Conquer the mysterious Ghost Tower
Sathorn Unique Tower, also known as the "Ghost Tower", is an unfinished skyscraper from the late 1990s with a spectacular view, drawing in daring Thais and tourists in the evenings. To enter the tower, pay (bribe) the security guard lurking around the area but be warned: Only the brave and fit make it up all 49 floors. The dark, kinda haunted atmosphere and questionable level of safety inside only adds to the thrill.
6. Smell the fresh flowers at Bangkok’s largest, most colorful flower market
Pak Khlong Talad during it’s busiest hours (midnight to 4 AM) really is a sight to behold. It is where all the fresh flowers, both local and imported, arrive before being distributed to venues all over town. Alike a botanical 7-11, the flower Market is open 24-hours a day. Pick up a customizable bouquet of florals, smell the sweet scent of fresh Thai jasmine, then catch a boat to your next destination.
7. Hop on a boat or cruise and tour the Chao Phraya River
Also known as the River of Kings, the Chao Phraya River is one of Bangkok’s most important waterways, lengthy and full of spectacular sights, especially in the night. There are many hotels and companies offering dinner cruises along the river, where you can see the Temple of Dawn glittering a brilliant shade of gold, ICONSIAM, the Grand Palace, and admire Bangkok from a different point of view.
8. Enjoy interactive multimedia exhibits about Thai history at the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
Visiting the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall is a fun way to learn about Old Town or Rattanakosin Island, the island which houses Khao San Road and most-visited venues such as the Grand Palace. Through entertaining media from film to music to interactive computer displays, this exhibition is engaging, beautiful, and boasts a 4.6 rating on Google.
9. Take dazzling photos of the Grand Palace, Bangkok’s most famous landmark
The former residence of past kings of Siam, the Grand Palace is a complex of buildings, currently. the most popular tourist attraction in Bangkok. If you only have time to visit one place in Bangkok, this is the place to go. Within, there is the beautiful Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew, the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, and various courts and gardens.
10. Experience the world-famous nightlife scene of Khao San Road
You haven’t properly “arrived” in Bangkok until you spend a night on Khao San Road, drinking alcohol from a bucket, popping in and out of the various music venues along the strip, and wolfing down a plate of Pad Thai or Som Tum (Papaya Salad) at two in the morning. Khao San is a fun place where you can really let loose and embrace the mixed culture in Bangkok. It’s a place where locals and tourists meet. Easy going and down to earth people like Pang, who enjoys the simple things in life like having a beer with friends without having to dress up or pretend to be someone you’re not. She loves the live music scene here, and is ready to tell us all about it.