Neighborhood Focus: Banglamphu [Season 3, Episode 5]

2018-04-25T07:58:41+00:00

Continuing with a series started in season 2 on some of Bangkok’s more interesting neighborhoods, the boys discuss one of their favorites: Banglamphu. But before they can chat about that, exactly what is Banglamphu? It’s not an official district, but it’s probably best known for Khao San Road, with its borders hitting Ratchadamnoen in the south, the river to the west, north to Krung Kasem Canal, and east to Ratchadamnoen Nok. Not a huge chunk of land.

Is Banglamphu a good place to live, or just to visit? Despite the area being dominated by hotels, guesthouses, and hostels, there are still some good places to hang your hat – you just need to know where to look. (Hint: try just across the river for a steep drop in price)

The guys then wrestle with the elephant in the room (so to speak), by discussing Khao San Road. Awesome party road with bars and shopping, or awful hippie ghetto with gross “Thai” food? It’s pretty subjective, but both Ed and Greg agree – don’t eat the scorpions.

All of this, plus a few personal favorite restaurants, live music venues, and tips on avoiding the madness of being stuck in a taxi as you try to get in or out of sweet, sweet Banglamphu.

In ‘Love, Loathe, or Leave,’ Greg queries Ed on the metal, clanging change boxes carried by money collectors on buses and boats throughout the city. What are they for? What do they do? Why are they so loud? As with most things in Bangkok, it probably makes a lot more sense than it appears on first look.

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3 Comments

  1. Florian May 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Good summary of Banglamphu. It is very common for people to say “Khao San Road is in Banglamphu so Banglamphu sucks”. What can you even say about that…

    Anyway it is my favorite neighborhood in Bangkok and I recommend every first timer to start here. You mentioned the great walkability but also it is either very close or well connected via river express boat to all the major sights .Also no hookers or traffic chaos but a lot of scammers…

    We live right over the bridge in Pinklao, which is also a cool neighborhood but much more spread out.

  2. Florian May 8, 2018 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Btw, since last year there’s also a San Saep tourist canal boat from Pratunam via Ratchathewi and Golden Mount all the way to Banglamphu, stopping on the other side of the canal from Sam Sen Soi 1.

    It’s huge and safe and slow and very much geared towards tourists. Unfortunately the price is too at 200 Baht for a day ticket (no single ride tickets available)

    • Greg May 14, 2018 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      Ah, thanks Florian, yeah, we forgot about that new boat! I haven’t tried it yet – didn’t know it was so expensive, that’s a bit high, especially since you can take an air-con taxi to most anywhere you’d want to go for that much cash. We’ll have to try it out one day, just to say we did it. Thanks for the heads up – hooray for Banglamphu!

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