A Backpacker’s Epiphany in Khao San

Khao San Road would probably be Bangkok’s answer to Champs Elysses of Paris. However, it’s not as grand as the latter, in fact Khao San is quite the opposite of Champs Elysses. It’s dirty, with narrow roads, packed with cheap hostels and mid-priced hotels and it’s full of street vendors peddling everything that they can sell to tourists and travelers alike.

The biggest similarity might be, both of them are full of tourists and both of them would probably be one of the most famous streets in their respective cities. I’ve been to both streets and I’d say that I like Khao San better. Champs Elysses is definitely gorgeous and fascinating, but Khao San captivated my heart. Of all the places in the world, I had an Epiphany in Khao San.

I mentioned Khao San in Travel Bug, one of my previous blog posts. It holds a very special place in my heart. This is the place where Flip was born. Flip is the nomadic kid in me. Flip is the eternal wanderer. Flip is the poetic dreamer. Flip is the fragile and trusting boy. Flip is the tough backpacker that survived a few months of hunger and a few mishaps. Flip is just like everyone else, inquisitive and curious, trying to find out what everything is all about.

It all started when we visited Khao San as suggested by our tourist guide in Phuket. I didn’t know yet what a backpacker was during that time. I never knew that I would be one. I never thought that I would give up everything just to travel. And I gave up everything, just to be on the road.

Khao San is really just a typical Asian street. As I mentioned before, it’s dirty and it’s full of people. On your first glance, it would really not catch your attention. It didn’t when I first set my foot on it. Not until I started walking.

Khao San welcomes new travelers from their tiring flights from all over the world. It provides them with cheap accommodation, cheap food, tourist information and sometimes new friends. Khao San bids them goodbye too after a couple of days. The magic is not on the street, it’s with the convergence of people with the same interest and the same passion.

I literally felt the vibe as I walk down the street. It’s like someone or something handed me my first clue in the biggest scavenger hunt called life.

I felt the passion to live life, to experience life first hand, and to see the world before I leave it. And I felt it with conviction.

I am Flip. I was born in Khao San.


  1. pinaysolobackpacker says:

    the backpacker ghetto! true!I fell in love with Khao San too, there's something about it that I can't explain. Sabe nga di ka talaga backpacker pag di ka tumira ng Khao San.hehe One Thai writer described Khao San Road as " a short road that has longest dream in the world." Nice post flip! =)

  2. thanks for dropping by 🙂

  3. Was it hard cutting yourself open and revealing what you are essentially made of? Would have felt that way if I was the one who wrote this article.

    This article was wondefully written, Flip. Got goosebumps reading it…maybe because I also feel what you feel on a daily basis.

    • it’s hard to fight for your dreams 🙂 but it’s definitely worth it… i’m happy that you’ll be starting to fight for yours too… as you go along, you’ll meet 2 kinds of people… first group will be your critic… the dream zappers who doesnt get tired of criticizing you because that’s the only thing that they can do and nothing else… and the 2nd group… your supporters, those who are doing what you’re doing or those who have done what you want to achieve… wishing that you’ll be surrounded by people who will support you as you achieve your dream…

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