It's the main tourist center for the 'backpacker' set. Star of many books and movies, the most recent and notable staring Leonardo DiCaprio. Khao San is a relatively short road remarkably close to many major sights such as the Grand Palace.
The busy Khao San Road, Bangkok's backpacker heaven
In addition to its many guest houses - some of which, in the United States, would better be referred to as 'flop houses' - the street is crammed full of shops and markets selling everything the cheap tourist needs, from backpacks and flip-flops to pirated compact discs and used paperback books. Of course, there's plenty of 'cheap eats' as well.
Tanao Road, at one end of Khao San, has a large number of silver shops and the Bo Be market, which is famous for its silks and other fabrics. At the other end of Khao San is Chakrabongse Road and Wat Chana Songkram. Beyond the temple is Phra Arthit Road, which has become a popular dining and art district.