Lonely Planet and my uncle said it, “STAY AWAY FROM KHAO SAN ROAD.” For those of you unaware, this road is a seedy, debauchery filled party location in Bangkok where the backpacker crowds frequent.
In short, It’s one road that you can get shit-faced drunk, get a tattoo, eat some scorpions, buy laughing gas and a fake drivers license/bachelors degree while getting a foot massage and buying bootleg Birkenstocks.
I wasn’t going to let my trip go without just one night there, so I kept it on the down-low from my unc’ that I was in town and booked a room at the first hostel I could find. It was a private room on the 4th floor with just a fan in one of the hottest cities in the world, during one of the hottest seasons of the year, but I figured I would deal with it and save my Baht.
I think KSR had some potential if you were with a fun group, but I was alone and this decision to be here proved a bit depressing. Lets face it, is there anything more depressing than being around huge crowds of partying friends when you are sober and walking by yourself? I had to do something ballsy and make some friends. Thats when I saw John! He was a german guy who was on my White Temple tour up in Chiang Mai. I spent the entire day (7am-11pm to be exact) with him and 5 other people in a small van touring Northern Thailand. He was sort of a douche (he had a huge heavy steel skull necklace – why the added weight??.) and we had a few small conversations about motorcycles and tattoos. I sat next to him on the van. Anyhow, he wasn’t my first choice in friendship but he was there sitting alone drinking a beer and so I found it a perfect opportunity to join.
“Hey John!” I said and sat down.
Puzzled he looked at me, and in his thick German accent said “Do I know you??”
“Uhhh yeah… we went to Chiang Mai together.. I sat next to you.”
“I’m sorry” he said. “I have no idea who you are.” and that was that. no further conversation.
Was this guy serious? How far can your head be up your ass to not acknowledge someone you spent the entire day with in a small van? Clearly he just didn’t want to associate with me, which was really his loss because I am loads of fun. I, however, felt that my time in Khao San was turning into a hopeless quest for a party that wasn’t meant to be. I took some photos of the ridiculous going on around me and then went to bed. It was time to start taking people’s advice and so my one night in KSR was enough. It was time to go South. I think, looking back, I probably should have stayed in a hostel with more of a common area to meet friends, but this was just the beginning of lessons I began to learn as a solo traveler. I had one last errand to run though, I made the internal decision that I had to extend my return ticket for one extra week. It just wasn’t enough time as it was 🙂