The popular book 'The Beach' famously described Khao San Road 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 Khao San 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 countless budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlours, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much, much more. So much, in fact, that the people, peddlers and party spirit have spilled over into nearby Soi Rambuttri. With its carefree, anything-goes vibe, it's quite unlike anywhere else in Bangkok. Khao San has an infectious atmosphere. It's also popular with locals, especially young hipsters and art students.
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