Operation Street Food – Day 3 & 4 (Khao San Road)

Pad Thai on Khao San Road
Pad Thai on Khao San Road
Here is my street food breakdown for days 3 and 4:

Day 3

  • 1kg longkong and 1kg rambutan – 200 baht (US$6.02) This lasted two days
  • 1 mystery meat – 20 baht ($0.60)
  • 2 chicken gizzard skewers and 1 roasted fish – 30 baht ($0.90)
  • Pad Thai with chicken – 40 baht ($1.20)
  • Mango with rice – 25 baht ($0.75)

Day 4

  • 3 gizzard skewers, 2 pork skewer, 2 grilled fish – 75 baht ($2.25)

The difference between day 3 and 4 is that I had lunch with Sean from SeanOgle.com, I purchased a bunch of fruit on day 3, and I also just combined all my day 4 purchases into one lump. On day 4 I had some grilled meat that was so good, I went back out to the vendor twice to get more. The grilled fish with the salt rub was amazing. The mystery meat I ordered on day 3 was literally a mystery. I don’t know if it was a bird or a mammal.

Khao San Road street food vendors
Khao San Road street food vendors
On day 3, I met up with and Hilary who are traveling around the world and happen to be in Bangkok. We met on Khao San Road, which if you are not familiar with it, is pretty much the center of the backpacking universe. It is where many, if not most, of the backpackers who are coming through Bangkok stay when they are in town.

Personally, I’ve never stayed on Khao San Road and have no desire to. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, it is a wretched hive of scum and hippies. Nonetheless, the concentration of tourists has made it a tourist attraction in its own right, which is sort of crazy if you think about it. It is the only place I can think of that is a tourist attraction because it is a tourist attraction.

Because of the customer base, the street food on Khao San Road is aimed squarely at westerners. Pretty much all the vendors are selling either pad thai, mango with rice or BBQ (and not a great BBQ selection at that). The prices have set at an equilibrium rate so every vendor is charging the exact same amount for pad thai.

Unlike some street vendors, there are no tables to eat off of if you get food from a vendor. Also, you will get your food in a styrofoam container and there are no trash cans to be found anywhere. Make sure you give your trash back to the vendor as they usually have a garbage bag attached to their cart.

The street food selection is so much better away from Khao San road there is little point to eating there even if you do decide to stay there. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t really inspiring either, and there certainly isn’t a wide selection.