The Khao San Road, Khaosan Road, or Khao Sarn Road in Bangkok is home to one of the most famous (or infamous) backpacker ghettos in all of Southeast Asia. The setting of the opening scenes of Alex Garland’s novel ‘The Beach’, the chaotic mixing of tourists, locals, and characters on the short stretch of Khao San Road was the launch pad for one of the darkest backpacker stories to come off the tourist trail yet. Most Khao San Road visitors don’t stumble across a map to a secret beach—in fact, many can’t even use a map to find the location of a bar with a happy hour discount—but the Khao San Road is a major launch pad for many a Lonely Planet ‘Southeast Asia On A Shoestring’ inspired adventure. With shops providing everything from visa services to nearby Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia, as well as peddling bootleg DVDs and heinous hair braids, Khao San Road is a one-stop shop for backpackers to get the most out of their hard-earned Baht. And speaking of launching pads, the Pad Thai cooked up by the street vendors on Khao San Road ain’t too bad either.