5 Reasons Why Rambuttri Village Is Better Than Khao San Road

Grand Palace BangkokKhao San Road is often referred to as the centre of the backpacking universe, and it’s where everyone seems to end up when they travel to Bangkok. It has been written about in novels and immortalised in film and television as a mecca for young travellers. Khao San originated during the early 1980s as a government tourism promotion, and many entrepreneurial Thais set up cheap guesthouses here for the throngs of visitors that came to explore Southeast Asia.

However, what most people don’t realize is that Rambuttri Village is one block away and has nicer restaurants, a less chaotic atmosphere and great accommodations while still being within walking distance of the Khao San nightlife. Soi Rambuttri is a U-shaped lane shaded by large Banyan trees next to the white-walled temple complex of Wat Chana Songkhram. Many people say that Rambuttri gives a better sense of what Khao San would have been like many years ago, and the vibe here feels more local.

Soi Rambuttri’s charm is so often overshadowed by the reputation of Khao San that it might be overlooked, so here are the five reasons why it is a better place to stay than Khao San.

1. You Might Actually Get a Good Night’s Sleep

What many people who stay in budget hostels on Khao San Road soon realise is that they wish they had packed earplugs. This street is essentially a 24-hour party zone, and you can count on hearing bar patrons dancing and singing at 3 a.m. right outside your window. It can be lots of fun if you want to have an exciting night out and meet plenty of other travellers from around the world, but if you have a 6 a.m. bus to catch and you really need to get some sleep, it can be quite irritating.

In contrast, Rambuttri’s nightlife is a little bit mellower and consists of laid-back restaurants that are more conducive to friendly conversation than dancing on tables. If you find a guesthouse tucked away within this neighbourhood, you will find it a lot quieter at night. It won’t be pin-drop silent—you are in Bangkok after all—but you will be sure to be able to get some shut-eye.

2. You’ll Find More Accommodations

The reputation of Khao San Road means that everyone will be booking there; however, there are many more cheap places to sleep on Soi Rambuttri, so heading there will give you a much better selection.

3. There Is a Better Selection of Street Food

When it comes to street food on Khao San, all you can really find is a couple of Pad Thai carts and the stall that sells cockroaches and grasshoppers on skewers for inebriated backpackers to dare each other to eat. When it comes to the delicious and cheap street food that Bangkok is famous for, you will get much more selection on Rambuttri. There are several stalls along the street offering a wide variety of dishes, and you can fill up on a flavourful meal for a very low price. Be adventurous and try something new, from the spicy basil pork to the barbecued fish.

4. You Can Actually Walk Down the Street in Peace

Do you feel like going out for an evening stroll and a nice chat with your travel companion? If you’re walking down Khao San Road, forget it. While walking the length of this street you will have to run the gauntlet of the dozens of people who are trying to get you to buy a suit, purchase a cheesy souvenir, take a ride in their tuk tuk or donate money to some cause. It’s impossible to hold a conversation and all you can do is simply try to stay together as you shuffle through the crowds. Rambuttri is much more suited for walking and strolling together.

5. You Can Still Enjoy the Khao San Chaos Whenever You Want

Staying on Rambuttri doesn’t mean that you will miss out on the atmosphere of this famous street, as it is only one block away. When you feel like partying you can walk over and still be within stumbling distance of your room at the end of the night.

These are just a few reasons why it is worth venturing a block away from Khao San and checking out the advantages of this alternative street.

About the Author: Anjali Verma is a travel writer from New Delhi who has spent the last six months backpacking around Southeast Asia. She finds cheap prices on Bangkok hotels on Expedia.

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