Bangkok’s backpacker street scheduled for revamp

khao san road

Image adapted from: Lonely Planet

Khao San Road is well known by Bangkok’s many generations of backpackers. With a bustling combination of pathways, bars, and street vendors, little space is left for the crowds that frequent this spot. 

The area’s congestion issue might soon be something of the past. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has revealed its plans to give Khao San Road a huge makeover by investing ฿48.8 million into the project. Their goal is to change this backpackers’ nest into an “international walking street”, including zones for street vendors and repaved footpaths.

The revamp with begin in October 2019 and is expected to finish in February 2020.

Smoother pathways and more space

Re-landscaping one of Bangkok’s most well-known tourist attractions to become more pedestrian-friendly involves repaving and leveling footpaths along the road.

Khao San Road footpath

Image credit: Bangkok Post

And there’s no need to worry about Khao San’s street vendors, famous for quick and cheap meals for party-goers, relocating elsewhere. Bangkok Post reports that 240 stall spaces will be assigned to vendors, set in back-to-back rows along the road in designated areas. 


Khao San Road day vendors

The current situation in Khao San
Image credit: @hungrytraveladventures

There will also be the 60cm-high collapsible stainless railings to divide the road and footpaths for safety reasons. This makes for more space between the shops for pedestrians to walk comfortably too.

Police working to reduce crimes in the area

The police will also be working together with the city’s development department on this project to help reduce the number of petty crimes in the area by cracking down on pickpockets who prey on tourists.

Because of inexpensive accommodation from ฿200-300 per night, Khao San Road’s hostels have become a hotspot for criminals who pretend to be backpackers. Last month, the police conducted a search on a hostel where a Chinese pickpocket gang was found to be in hiding. 

Khao San Road night vendors

A packed walking street like this makes a pickpocket’s job easier
Image credit: Independent

More officers will be on police patrol for crimes in the area, says Police Maj. Gen. Woraphong Thongphaibun, Chief of the Tourist Police Bureau’s Subdivision 1. His agency is working closely with the Immigration Bureau to look for foreign suspects – especially those wanted by the Interpol.

A new life for Khao San Road

We can’t wait to see how gorgeous Khao San Road will be after this big revamp. Hopefully, it will be more organised and clean while having its good ol’ backpacker’s charm intact.

Share your experiences at Khao San Road with us in the comments!