After spending the past few nights in the relative luxury of the Holiday Inn, today I moved back into hostel land, near the backpacker hive of Khao San Road. Getting there involved a boat along the river and a bit of a walk although there was a nice little park next to the Phra Sumen Fort to have a breather in. I was last on Khao San Road about three years ago and little seems to have changed. Stalls line the streets selling everything from Chang beer vests and football shirts with dubious authenticity to deep-fried insects. As with everywhere else in Thailand there are scales on the street that will tell you your weight for 1 baht (2.5p) and these seem popular with locals and a money spinner for scales owners. Nowadays I didn’t see any fake IDs for sale though. Tasers, stun guns and similar weaponry also appear to be no longer available on stalls although I did see a couple of mobile salesmen offering such products.
While travelling is mostly a young persons game, for most places I’ve been so far the average age has been mid to late 20s. Although I’m slightly older it always felt reasonably easy to fit in. However tonight was the first time I’ve felt a bit old. A large number of visitors to the bars on Khao San Road seem to be gap year students, seemingly set on getting as wasted as possible on cheapish booze and laughing gas balloons. I had an early bus to catch tomorrow so headed back to the hospital at a decent hour without feeling I’d missed out on much besides some garish and slightly annoying behaviour.