Fodor's Expert Review Khao San Road
This thoroughfare dates back to a time when it was primarily occupied by rice vendors, hence the name Khao San, which means "milled rice." Since the mid-1980s the road and surrounding neighborhood have become the world's most well-known backpacking scene. More recently, the Thais have attempted to make it trendy, adding more upscale accommodation amid the ubiquitous low-budget guesthouses, and turning Khao San Road itself into a pedestrian-only street. There's a plethora of Western and Thai restaurants in the area, most of which are rather mediocre. The road has become popular as well with Thais, who frequent the bars, especially on weekends.
Early evening is the best time to stroll or sit back and people-watch. The frenetic activity can, depending on your perspective, be infectious or overwhelming. During Songkran, the Thai New Year, in mid-April, Khao San turns into one huge wet-and-wild water fight. Join in the fun only if you don't mind being completely soaked.