At the heart of Banglamphu is the legendary Thanon Khao San, almost a caricature of a travellers’ centre, crammed with internet cafés and dodgy travel agents, the pavements lined with cheap backpackers’ fashions, racks of bootleg PlayStation games, tattooists and hair-braiders. It’s a lively, high-energy base: great for shopping and making travel arrangements – though beware the innumerable Khao San scams – and a good place to meet other travellers. It’s especially fun at night when young Thais from all over the city gather here to browse the clothes stalls, mingle with the crowds of foreigners and squash into the bars and clubs that have made Khao San a great place to party. Even if you’re staying elsewhere, the Khao San area is a cultural curiosity in its own right, a unique and continually evolving expression of global youth culture fuelled by Thai entrepreneurship.

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