Nightlife in Bangkok
The nightlife in Bangkok is unlike anything you have experienced in any other major metropolitan city. When the sun goes down the real Bangkok comes alive. There is so much to see and do at night that it is not possible to cram it all in to one 2 week holiday. You could spend several months here and still not see it all. With so many tourists from all cultures visiting Bangkok it really does have something for everyone. So where to start? At the bar of course.
Bars in Bangkok
Bangkok has some of the most unique bars the world. There are quite literally thousands of bars across the city. Many of these are located in the Sukhumvit district of Bangkok. The Bangkok beer garden is a great place to sit and unwind as well as eating some great food. This is located close to the Phloen Chit BTS station making it an ideal place to begin your evening. Another popular bar is Checkinn99. Having a cabaret band performing each night, this is a popular venue with many tourists. One of the attractions is the live jazz bands performing during the afternoons. If you are looking for an upmarket bar to listen to some smooth jazz then I would recommend The Bamboo bar. This is located in the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, not too far away from the French embassy in the Bang Rak district.
One of the best places to experience the nightlife in Bangkok is on a rooftop bar. These bars are usually hosted on the top floors of many of the biggest and best hotels in Bangkok. Their sole purpose is to give you the best view of the city from way up high. There is no shortage of these across the city either. Notable bars include the vertigo bar located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel in the Lumpini district. Above Eleven, located on the 32 floor of the Fraser suites on Sukhumvit road Soi 11. CRU Champagne bar is another rooftop bar and is more than likely the one that you have seen the most when searching. This is due to its crowning arch that helps distinguish it from others. It is located on the 59th floor of the Centarta Grand at CentralWorld. These are not cheap experiences but are worth the money you will pay for the views alone.
Live music venues
If you are looking for live music in Bangkok, you will not be disappointed. There are venues to suit all tastes in music. So if you are after the soothing sounds of Jazz then you could try visiting the Saxaphone bar in Thanon Paya Thai district close to the Victory monument BTS station. Alternatively if you want to listen to some rock music then the Rock Pub located close to the Ratchathewi BTS station will be more to your liking. This can often be very loud, but enjoyable none the less. If you prefer a more relaxing time and want to visit a blues bar then Adhere the 13th Blues bar is a great place to visit. Located on Samsen road close to the Bangkok metropolitan museum, adhere will let you enjoy some classic blues music. Bangkok is such a great city for live music that its is not possible to list everything, you just have to go exploring.
Sports bars are growing in Popularity around the world with Bangkok being no exception to this. The biggest and possible the most popular bar to watch sport in is the Sportsman. Located close to the Nana BTS station on Soi Sukhumvit 13, the sportsman offers a wide range of ways to enjoy your sport. With 8 giant screens and various smaller screens all around the bar showing all the sport you could ever wish for. They also have a number of pool tables, dart boards and many other activities. But this is not the only place to go for sport, located just along from the sportsman is the Breakers sports bar. This again offers a number of sports activities to try whist you enjoy watching sport on the giant screen. These are becoming a more popular with the nightlife in Bangkok. This is more of a traditional western style sports bar which may be appealing to many tourists. If you are in the Sukhumvit district in Bangkok then a sports bar is not hard to find. Bangkok also offers a wide range of live sporting arenas that you can experience live port in.
Muay Thai live show
If you are in Bangkok and want to watch some Muay Thai boxing then you should head over to the Rajadamnern Stadium on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road. They have fights on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Sunday’s. Be warned it can get very busy outside the venue and parking is at a minimum, so it’s best to get a taxi or tuk-tuk to the venue. Ticket prices for this can be quite expensive starting at around 1500 baht so it’s probably going to be a once a trip experience for most tourists.
There are other sporting venues that have Muay Thai fights on such as the Lumpinee stadium or the Channel 7 stadium. The admission prices will vary for each with the Lumpinee stadium charging around 2000 Baht for ringside seats, but the channel 7 stadium admissions are free. The Lumpinee stadium used to be the most popular Muay Thai boxing arena in the whole of Thailand. They attract the best fighters from all over the world to come and compete. So if you want to watch a great fight card, this would be the best place to go. If watching a sporting spectacle does not float your boat you could always visit one of the many night markets in Bangkok.
The Rot Fai night market in Ratchada is located close to the Thailand Cultural centre Metro station on Ratchadaphisek Road. This is the second branch of this famous night market chain, but is more accessible die to its location. Here you will find a mix of old collectable items mixed with newer cheaper fashion items. Remember that bargaining is one of the biggest aspects of these markets, so be prepared to haggle a lot for the best price. But you can often pick up many bargains this way.
One of the things that attract so many people to these markets is the variety of food stalls. If you just want to try some Thai food without buying a whole meal, this is some where you can do just that. The seating areas make I easy to grab a bite to eat and then look around some more.
Another great night market is the Patpong night market. This market is located in the middle of one of the busiest nightlife spots in Bangkok. The market itself is probably the best known amongst the many tourists that visit it. The Patpong night market specialises in fashion items. There are lots of bargains to be had here for the most astute of shoppers. Many shoppers will visit this and then head on to one of the many bar clubs and restaurants that are located nearby.
In Bangkok the restaurants are plentiful and many great tasting treats are there to be had. There are restaurants to suit everyone. Some of the best restaurants are located within the cities hotels such as the Goji Kitchen and bar at the Marriot Marquis Queens Park in Sukhumvit. Here you can sample some of the finest seafood that Bangkok has to offer. Also located in the same hotel is the Pagoda Chinese restaurant. You can experience a true taste of China thanks to the world class kitchen staff.
If you want to try some of the great tastes of Thailand then you should make a reservation at The Sixth. Located close to the river on Soi Tha Tien, The Sixth is a small but fantastic place to eat. They have recently been granted a Ctrip Gourmet award for their food (Equivalent to a Michelin star). This is quite an honour for a small, cosy restaurant. Many people who eat out will eventually want to visit a cabaret show. This is one of the highlights of Bangkok and should be seen at least once.
There are many Cabaret shows in Bangkok with the most popular being the Calypso cabaret, where you will experience some of the culture of Asia. This is held at the Asiatique Complex on the riverfront. Before or after the show, take time to explore the Asiatique The River Front entertainment complex, having over 1,500 shops, restaurants, and bars. Experience Asia as you enjoy Japanese geisha dancing, listen to Korean Pop, and are serenaded with Chinese love songs. There may even be some songs you know to sing along to. But there is another kind of cabaret show that many people will always think of first when they hear the phrase cabaret show in Bangkok, and that includes the famous ladyboy shows.
The Bangkok Mambo Cabaret show. These shows typically last around 90 minutes and feature some of the best ladyboy performances in Thailand. These shows are very tongue in cheek and can be quite humorous. Add in the glittering costumes and fantastic Choreography this is an experience you will not forget in a hurry. After the show you may want to carry on the good feeling by visting one of the many great nightclubs in Bangkok.
There are many great nightclubs in Bangkok. These include Insanity, levels Club (both located on Sukhumvit Soi 11) and Onyx (located on the Royal City Avenue near to the Rama road end entrance). Like any nightclubs in Thailand the music is mainly Electro dance music (EDM), Electro House or Hip-hop. Expect drink prices to be slightly higher in the clubs and the music to be extremely loud. But that is part of the experience in nightclubs. Be prepared for an admission price starting at 200 baht for ladies and 300 baht for men. These will increase on a Friday and Saturday night. Most clubs are also open 7 nights a week which makes Bangkok one of the liveliest party cities in the whole of Asia. If partying in a nightclub does not float your boat, you could always visit Nanna Plaza.
Located on Sukhumvit Soi 4 is Nana Plaza. This is where Bangkok get’s a lot raunchier. This is not an area that is frequented by families but suits clientele looking for an exotic evening of adult entertainment. You will find many stag parties here due to the large open bars around the square on the ground floor. Venture up on to the first floor and you will find yourself faced with many go-go bars. Be warned that there are some ladyboy bars in this complex, so if you are afraid this may not be for you. But you will more than likely be accosted by one of the many young ladies from the lollipop or Pretty lady bars as soon as you venture into the square. This experience is not for everyone but it can be a great place to people watch. An alternative to Nana Plaza is Patpong.
Patpong is famous for it’s impressive night market, but surrounding that market is one of Bangkok’s red light districts. There are many go-go bars located around the outside of the market. These are the Thai equivalent of strip clubs in the west. These bars are free to get in as long as you order one drink. These will usually cost 100 -120 baht per drink. If you want to buy any of the many persuasive ladies a drink, these will start at 200 baht. This is where it can become very expensive in a go-go bar. Be sure to check your bill frequently as you can sometimes have been given the wrong bill. In the event you feel that you are about to be ripped off, just pay the bill and leave. Any arguments are likely to escalate quickly and the law will not be on your side, unfortunately. You could always head for a relaxing massage in this event.
The one thing that Thailand is not short of is massage parlours. You can’t seem to walk more than a few yards without finding another one. Almost all of them will specialise in the traditional Thai massage. Many people often find this very intense and not very relaxing. But they do also do a more western style relaxation massage. If you have been on your feet all day and just want a basic foot massage then there are lots of choices for you too. Prices for massages can vary depending on your location and type. Some massage parlours will offer “Extras”, but these will leave you with a hefty bill.
Also in Bangkok you will find “Soapy” massage parlours. These specialise in a more intimate massage for adults and prices can be quite expensive. You will have to visit one for yourself to find out what goes on, but the girls are very friendly. If you are after some companionship for an evening then you may want to head over to Soi Cowboy.
Soi Cowboy in Bangkok
This is one of the most infamous nightlife spots in Bangkok, and for good reason. Soi Cowboy is famous for its bright neon lights, its many bars and go-go’s. Many people will just visit this to take pictures of the Soi once it is all lit up. Like Nana Plaza this is a notorious spot in Bangkok and is not often visited by families due to it many Go-go bars. This is located close the Sukhumvit MRT station making it fairly accessible to most tourists.
Much like Patpong and Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy is made up of numerous bars and Go-go’s. All these are free to enter and the drink prices stay the same all night. This can be a little more expensive than elsewhere, but it’s a one off visit for most tourists. As soon as you enter the Soi you will be greeted by one of the many girls working in one of the bars along here. Often their outfits will leave very little to the imagination in an attempt to bring you into their bar. If you do not want to go into a particular bar, remember to be respectful and decline the offer. Many of the pushy girls will give up very quickly in this instance and you can move on with your experience.
There are lots more things to do at night and these are what we consider the highlights.