Khao San Road at Night

Famous Streets and Backpacker Areas in Southeast Asia

Not all countries in Southeast Asia have a so-called backpacker district. Here, we give you famous streets and areas frequented by travelers when they visit this part of the world.

You might want to check out these backpacker streets, or stay in one of the hostels within these areas. Aside from experiencing the local culture, interacting with fellow travelers can also be a life-enriching experience.

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Thailand: Khao San Road

If you’re visiting Bangkok soon, book a room at one of the hotels along Khao San Road and take in as much nightlife experience as you can because according to this article, it won’t be long before this famous backpacker street gets a makeover. It will definitely be a different experience the next time you drop by.

In Phuket, head over to Bangla Road at night if you want to party and get drunk with other backpackers / travelers.

Vietnam: Pham Ngu Lao

Pham Ngu Lao is Ho Chi Minh‘s version of Khao San Road. It’s located in District 1, and it’s where many low-budget travelers choose to book their hotel when in Ho Chi Minh. If you’re into local cuisine, Pham Ngu Lao has a number of restos where you can enjoy Vietnamese food (e.g., banh mi, pho, and coffee).

Does Hanoi also have a backpacker street?

There’s no specific street, but the Old Quarter in Hanoi‘s Hoan Kiem District can be considered as a “backpacker area.” It’s home to different types of hotels, restos, and top landmarks. Some of its most popular streets include Hang Bac, Hang Be, and Ma May.

Check out these top-reviewed hotels in Hanoi.

Cambodia: Pub Street

Siem Reap‘s Pub Street is lined with bars and vendors selling cheap cocktails and exotic food. This short road is dull during the day, but it comes to life at night. Angelina Jolie was seen hanging out at one of the bars in Pub Street when she was shooting Tomb Raider.

Check out these top-reviewed boutique hotels near Pub Street.

Indonesia: Poppies Lane

When in Indonesia, Bali is the place to be. Its three main areas – Kuta, Legian, Seminyak – are teeming with backpackers. You can find them in hostels, at clubs, at the beach, and in party villas.

There are also several “walking streets” in Bali, but Poppies Lane 1 and 2 are the most popular. Backpackers love these streets because they have everything, from shops to cheap hostels. Plus, they’re very close to the beach.

Check out this post for budget hotels near Kuta Beach.

Singapore: Bugis Street

No doubt, Bugis Street is the hottest street in Singapore. According to Wikipedia, the street used to be a nightly meetup place of transvestites and transsexuals. Fast-forward to 40 years later, it’s now a shopping and food mecca.

RELATED: Where to Stay in Bugis, Singapore | Hotel Near Bugis MRT


To our knowledge, there’s no backpacking area in the Philippines.

Metro Manila‘s Malate and some areas in Makati may be quite known, but it’s more of an expat district. If you want to meet other budget travelers, head over to popular islands such as Boracay and El Nido in Palawan.


Of course, it’s possible that we did not search enough, but Bagan, Yangon, and Mandalay don’t have a specific area that backpackers congregate in.

However, if you’d like to make new friends, our suggestion is to take a Kalaw-to-Inle Lake trek. After two or three days, you’d accomplish your goal.


The most popular places in Laos are Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane. These places don’t have a specific meet-up street for backpackers. What they have are bars that are famous among foreign travelers.

In Luang Prabang, for instance, there’s Utopia Restaurant and Bar, a chill place facing the Nam Khan river. In Vang Vieng, Sakura Bar is the place to be. Check out this post to know more about the best area to stay in Vang Vieng.

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