Pad Thai at Khao San Road
Khao San Road is at the heart of Bangkok street life. The name is derived from the time when the street was a major Bangkok rice market, the word Khao San translates to “Milled Rice”. It has been transformed over the years into a major Backpacker ghetto where you can get cheap accommodation from “mattress in a box” type hotels to 3 stars.
I am staying in a hotel not far from here called the New Siam Palace View, not sure how you can see the Palace from there as it is in a highly densely populated area but it’s close to everything so it will do.
I took a trip to Khao San Road to try and find something cheap to eat on the night I arrived, severely jetlagged I just wanted something to eat then back to the hotel for an early night. The time difference is 6 hours ahead so in my mind and body it was tea time when I had my Pad Thai which was 10.45 at night here. It always takes me a couple of days to acclimatise; I didn’t get much sleep on the planes so had a few hours when I arrived then off out to find food and a long sleep tonight.
The road is exactly as you would imagine, buzzing with life, loud music at every bar, lots of traders in your face vying for your trade, advertising all sorts of exotic experiences, lol from eating fried insects to going to watch a Ping-Pong show (don’t ask lol) ( I googled it and it was what I thought, probably what you are thinking too, ping pong balls and a certain area of a woman’s anatomy) to buckets of whisky with high caffeine mixer and coke, special offer 3 buckets for 400 Baht which is about £8.
There are neon signs lit up for the whole length of the street with lots of people walking up and down, all the restaurants with outdoor seating onto the street, street vendors selling traditional Pad Thai which is a tradional dish made with noodles, chicken and vegetables stir fried in some Thai spices and other Thai food, exotic fruit sellers and I made a wonderful discovery, Coconut Ice-cream, I’m not a lover of ice cream because I don’t eat dairy but I love coconut cream so had to try it, it was delicious, it is served in half a coconut with the young flesh scraped into the ice cream, yum yum, I will be going back for more.
While eating my ice cream I met Colin from Australia who was a fellow traveller, he had just come back from Nepal and is off to Vietnam on Friday, we went to a bar and shared a couple of beers while swapping stories, he seemed like a nice guy and suggested we meet up the following day but I think I will stick with my own company, not get involved with any potential drama situations!!!!!!
Anyway Colin showed me quite a few more streets around the area which were all pretty similar and warned me not to eat the fried insects but advised I try the Durian fruit so I will give that a go next time I’m in Khao San which will be quite often as I am staying on the door step. On the way back to the hotel I decided to try the street vendors Pad Thai, the smell as I was walking through the gauntlet of entertainment venues was irresistible, and it was delicious cooked freshly in front of you, it was a bit spicy but I got used to it.
So far I am enjoying the hubbub of Bangkok life and the Tuk tuks are going to be hard to resist, tonight on my short walk I was stopped about 20 times by offers of cheap trips in the tuk tuk, so that is my next adventure, bargain with the vendor first then take a death defying trip through Bangkok traffic in a precarious three wheeled vehicle, which looks more like a fairground ride!!!