Coming to these backpackers’ areas that Living + Nomads is going to introduce here, you’ll have chances to explore the bustling lives and some very unique things of each that will be treasured in your traveling experience. Let’s discover top 7 best backpacker streets in Southeast Asia.
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1. Pham Ngu Lao street – Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam
Pham Ngu Lao street, located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh city, comprises numerous lanes and back alleys through the 4 thoroughfares including Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, Bui Vien, and Do Quang Dao streets. Its location has made it a happening and bustling place for the backpackers.
You can find most needed service here such as western-style or local-style restaurants, coffee shops, international bars, affordable motels, hostels and guesthouses, pharmacies, souvenir-and-craft shops, or washing-and-ironing stores. Tourist agencies which primarily cater to budget tourists are available, as well.
Of course, its location is within easy access of the city’s hottest attractions and entertainment, so you won’t miss a beat while you’re in this big city.
2. Ta Hien – Hanoi, Vietnam
A small street in the famous Old Quarter of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake, Ta Hien street is recommended a must-go place for backpackers when traveling to Hanoi. On the small and crowded street of Ta Hien, you can find a variety of best Hanoi street foods such as “nem chua”, Vietnamese bread, noodles, sweet porridges, etc. Especially, in summer, Ta Hien is famous for “bia hoi” – which you should never miss if you come here in summer.
At night, the street becomes much more crowded with both foreigners and locals. The lane is almost full and so are the bars. You can choose to sit in a corner of the street and watch the nightlife as well as the very charming clutter of Hanoi.
3. Khao San – Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San road (or Koh Sarn, Thanon Khao Saan, Kao Sarn) is a short street in the Banglamphu area, in central Bangkok, Thailand. It is the most well-known road in Thailand and described as the centre of the backpacking universe.
“Khao San” means “milled rice”, a reminder that in former times the street was once a major Bangkok rice market. However, in the last 20 years, Khaosan Road has developed into a world famous “backpacker ghetto”. The road has countless budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, tattoo shops, travel agencies, massage parlours, restaurants, bookshops, swanky bars and clubs, market stalls and much, much more.
It’s unlike anywhere else in Bangkok because its atmosphere is so infectious with many young hipsters and art students who draw impressive graffiti pictures. Here is an ideal place for you to taste the unique spicy Thai cuisine or easily take a trip to the Royal Palace or the floating market on Chao Phraya river.
4. Sisowath Quay – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Newly appearing with a cool relaxing atmosphere, here is drawing both Cambodians and tourists to enjoy a delightful getaway in Phnom Penh. Located along the intersection of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, it is perhaps the most bustling area in the city, with a row of boutiques, bars, cafes, restaurants, and hotels.
If you are art lovers, Sisowath Quay presents an array of options by way of Colours of Cambodia – a must-visit locale if you love handicraft items Happy Painting Gallery with its interesting ensemble of pictures based on the lives of people in Cambodia.
So fantastic a place for you to relax and feel the fresh wind from the river and enjoy a lazy afternoon!
5. Pub Street – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Pub Street is situated in the center of Siem Reap and seems to be rather quiet in the day. By 6:00 pm this dark street really becomes alive and bustling. Foods, beers, fruit shakes, snacks, and music are everywhere.
The street is the place for many tourists who come to explore the nightlife, shop, take some shots, or enjoy the street food. The street lights will give you a great feeling when sitting and drink beer, and the busy but not crowded traffic gives it a great atmosphere for people watching.
An interesting spot you should check it out if having a chance here!
6. Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is not very large while its streets, especially Khem Khong street and the night market area, is drawing more and more tourists with its unique things. When night falls, the streets of the historic centre of the city of Luang Prabang have become a huge flea market. The monks, temples, monuments and road traffic give way to hundreds of stalls that make up the famous Luang Prabang night market.
“Most of the buildings in Luang Prabang are one or two stories; nothing taller disrupts the skyline and instead of human construction a lush green canopy of forest and jungle appear in the horizon.” A tourist shared after having a trip here.
Luang Prabang Night Market, the biggest night market in Laos, is a market largely frequented by tourists where most of the products that are sold. There are textiles, handicrafts, art films, decorative elements on countless stalls along the street and there are also fruit restaurants where to taste freshly made a natural smoothie.
7. Kuta street – Bali, Indonesia
Kuta is a very famous tourism area as a surfing paradise in the beautiful Bali island. Like Khao San of Thailand and Pham Ngu Lao of Vietnam, Kuta is very crowded and has long been a popular stop on the classic backpacking route in South East Asia.
Wifi is free in restaurants or hotels, which makes it more attractive. Another plus point is that the foods are all fresh from the sea and they are cooked in many styles that will please the taste of any kind of visitors.
If you go here and want to get some souvenir, here is a tip: “Walk along this street and you will see everything Bali has to offer by way of market stalls. Whatever price you are given, take off two-thirds as your starting price and negotiate from there.” A visitor said.