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There’s currently a coup in Thailand which means there’s an increased military presence, protests, and an enforced curfew between 10pm and 5am. Plus, they’ve made visa runs practically obsolete.
It’s a bummer for backpackers everywhere. Thailand is the quintessential stop for anyone’s ’round the world trip. When I did the country back on my gap year before college, it was hard to leave. I did several visa runs in my time there. And a curfew? I can’t imagine. 10pm to 5am is when I saw the most of Thailand. The country has everything for everyone: a hippy north in Pai, beach bashes in the south, and in the middle, Bangkok.
Bangkok is home to the backpacker’s mecca: Khao San Road.
Khao San Road is a stretch of street that never sleeps. Restaurants dish out banana pancakes and burgers all day and all night. Hawkers sell everything from Chang-embossed singlets to bootleg CDs to fake IDs. Bars serve 40s of beer and buckets of booze. The ladies are sometimes men and all the tuktuk drivers know where the best ping pong shows are. If you want a tattoo, a piercing, a snack of crickets, a new haircut, a foot massage, or a happy ending, you will find it on Khao San Road. Since there are hotels right there, you can just crawl out of bed in the afternoon and be right in the middle of everything.
Since Bangkok is where many travelers begin and/or end their Asian backpacking trip, the city is always ripe with eager souls or visitors with more than a few stories to tell. Any time of day you can find someone to sit at a bar with or bring back beers from the 7-11 to the hostel with. It’s a party like no other in Asia or the world.
Khao San Road is a backpacker’s mecca.
Hopefully the coup in Thailand will end soon and everything will go back to normal. It would be a shame if Bangkok and Khao San Road went the way of another backer mecca, Vang Vieng, a tubing river in Laos full of backpackers, bars, drugs, and booze where most of the activities were recently shut down. Bangkok is where travelers start their trips and end their trips. Where you have to wonder if that hot Thai girl is actually a girl. Where you have to watch your back against cunning and conning Thai kids. In Bangkok, on Khao San Road, a good time is always guaranteed.
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