Nightlife in Bangkok
If you’re considering traveling or moving to Bangkok, one thing you can not miss out on is the nightlife.
Bangkok is one big heady playground of dizzying sights, world-class dining and a generous offering of clubbing options to satisfy even the most dedicated night owl and the most ardent gourmet. ‘One night in Bangkok can make a hard man humble,’ as the saying goes. Take that as a warning or a challenge. The choice is yours…
(£=cheap, ££=average, £££=expensive)
Bars in Bangkok
Hotel Muse (£££)
Langsuan Road, Lumpini, 55/555, +66 2 630 4000
A cocktail on a rooftop bar in BKK is a must – even if you only do it once. There are hundreds to choose from but Speakeasy at Hotel Muse on Langsuan is a bit different with its decadent bootlegger vibe, jam jar cocktails and 1920’s jazz music. If Gatsby came to Asia…
At the opposite end of the spectrum, some of the most fun places to have a drink in Bangkok are at the night time roadside bars (£). Sit on plastic chairs and soak up the crazy Asian atmosphere as you sip something strong and cheap, like one of Thailand’s infamous buckets of vodka Red Bull. Be warned though – they put something potent in their energy drinks that we’re not used to in the UK. Find these bars all over Kao San Road and at every night food market.
Clubs in Bangkok
Bed Supperclub (£££)
Sukhumvit 11, Klongtoey-Nua, +66 (0)2 651 3537
This world-renowned nightspot in Sukhumvit Soi is a must-do in Bangkok, cliché as it may be. Book your supper first, which is served to you in bed (yes, really) in a whitewashed, ultra-modern atrium before you hit the dance floor. ‘Bed,’ as its most dedicated patrons call it, is as much a gallery or theatre as it is restaurant and club.
Soi 2 and Soi 4 in Silom (£) are amongst Bangkok’s most renowned gay nightlife areas, and they’re 100% straight-friendly, too. The former area is more clubby, the latter more relaxed and chilled out – plenty of bars with comfy loungers to sip your cocktails from.
Thonglor Soi 10, +66 2 711 6976
Found on swanky Thong Lor in downtown BKK, Demo is full of high society Thais and refined foreigners enjoying the huge cocktail list and quirky décor. Edgy with graffiti décor and exposed brickwork, this disused warehouse is open Wednesday to Sunday and plays house and techno.
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Events in Bangkok
Thais are festive by nature, and you’ll see plenty of festivals and rituals take place in the city without even trying when you move here. Songkran is celebrated mid-April as Thai New Year, marked by (among other rituals) an almighty water fight – the world’s biggest, in fact! Just turn up with a bucket or water pistol and show love, luck and fellowship by lovebombing your friends and neighbours with water.
New Year’s Eve is another incredible time to be in Thailand, and Bangkok does fireworks that even put London to shame. Bursts of colour light the sky over the river for hours into the night, and the celebration continues until morning prayers for the Thais. Head for a roof bar or book a night time dinner cruise to see the New Year in with style.
Shows in Bangkok
A guide to Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without at least a passing mention of Patpong, the city’s most infamous red light district. Shows are best booked through large ticker operators and never on the street through vendors – you can never be quite sure where you’ll end up.
Asia Hotel (££)
Phayathai Rd, Phaya Thai, +66 2 217 0808
For a well-known, fun and safe cabaret experience, head to the Asia Hotel and ask for tickets for the Calypso Cabaret, a flamboyant and quality ladyboy show widely claimed as the best in Asia. Tickets can also be booked online. For something even more exotic, check out the go-go bars in Soi Cowboy, and check drinks prices before you order.