Khaosan Road is immortalised in Alex Garland’s popular novel The Beach, which famously described it as “the centre of the backpacking universe”. Judging by the truth-seeking travellers who converge here, it's a phrase that sums it up pretty much perfectly. On Khaosan itself and the streets either side, you can shop, exchange tales and prepare for you next stint on the backpacker trail.

Packed into a 1 km-long strip are budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlours, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much more. So much, in fact, that the people, peddlers and party spirit have spilt over into nearby Soi Rambuttri. With its carefree, 'anything-goes' vibe, it's quite unlike anywhere else in Bangkok.

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