This guide will help you discover the vibrant nightlife in Bangkok. You’ll find a place and a plan that fits your style exactly.
The top destination city by international visitor arrivals in it’s Global Destination Cities Index 2018, ahead of London, with just over 20 million overnight visitors in 2017.
Bangkok’s multi-faceted sights, attractions and city life appeal to diverse groups of tourists. Royal palaces and temples, as well as several museums, constitute its major historical and cultural tourist attractions.
Here we will provide all the necessary information related to nightlife features of Bangkok, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations to visit. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Bangkok in the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
The Nightlife of Bangkok
Nightlife in Bangkok has evolved over the years, with the emphasis now firmly on swanky rooftop bars, lively nightclubs, and hip cocktail bars. The Thai capital now has so much more to offer than just the adult-themed places. Any discussion of nightlife in Bangkok can’t ignore the party scene at Khao San Road, or the more laidback Soi Rambuttri next door, whilst Thonglor across town seems to have a trendy new bar opening up every week. Clubbers in Bangkok are spoilt for choice too, with big names on Sukhumvit, Silom and the gauntlet of superclubs at RCA all packed-out with tourists and locals most nights of the week.
Bangkok’s nightlife experiences are one of the main reasons why so many people make the trip to this steamy metropolis year after year. One thing is certain, once the sun sets on Bangkok many parts of the city wake up and it seems every niche has been catered for. From sky-high cocktails with sweeping views to basement clubbing and even high-kicking, gender-defying theatrical shows, nightlife in Bangkok is as varied as it is unforgettable. Following are some of the experiences other than the bars and nightclubs that you can enjoy during the nighttime in Bangkok:
Bangkok Ladyboy Shows
Thailand’s Ladyboys or katoeys are some of the most beautiful – and convincing – transvestites in the world, mostly accepted and embraced by a highly tolerant Thai society. Some families even believe that katoeys bring good luck to them, an enlightened attitude that was boosted by several Thai movies in the past two decades dedicated to katoey themes. These fascinating and highly artistic performers captivate audiences with their charm, unique creativity, and flawless female impersonations. A ladyboy show promises an evening of polished and most enjoyable entertainment for all.
Dinner Cuisine in Bangkok
Seeing the amazing temples of Bangkok at night whilst you drift along the Chao Phraya River is not something that you want to miss. Run by Banyan Tree Hotel, the luxury of the Apsara makes for an extra-special night out. Coming to rest in front of the famous sights, passengers are treated to a tasty Thai dinner whilst enjoying the view. The rice-barge takes 1 hour 45 minutes to complete the tour, traveling past Wat Arun and the Grand Palace to the golden Rama VIII Bridge. This trip on the water takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy Bangkok by night and some delicious gourmet dishes. It truly is a magical and romantic evening. All in all, you can enjoy the romantic view of the river with five-star exotic service and excellent cuisine.
Go-Go bars are found in three main areas of the city which are Soi Cowboy in Asok, Nana Plaza, and Soi Patpong in Silom. You will find that the trademark flashing neon signs and staff trying to entice you inside each bar is consistent in every area, but there are differences in each of the above places. These Go-Go Bars have earned worldwide popularity thanks to the easy-going but adults-only entertainment that takes place. Go-Go bars typically follow a similar style, usually centered on taking a seat facing the central stage. Sometimes there are as many as 40 dancers up there, while others sit and have a chat and a drink with the customers. Go in there if you want to enjoy the premium adult nightlife entertainment, which Bangkok is truly famous for.
If you don’t want to go to the bars and restaurants or if you are just fed up with the usual locations you can go shopping in the moonlight. Night markets in Bangkok are among the easiest and most enjoyable ways of getting up close and personal with local life in Thailand’s capital. Markets are spread out in most areas of the city and offer an incredibly diverse range of goods and products, snacks and entertainment. After dark shopping opportunities mean incredible bargains in the moonlight. Newer and larger night markets are opening in Bangkok every year, and there’s none bigger than the original Rot Fai Market in the east of the city, although the old classics still prove popular, such as Patpong Night Market. So, happy shopping to you there!
Best Bars in Bangkok
To a new tourist, Bangkok can be quite overwhelming. Thailand’s capital is the king of sensory overload including intense spice, extreme heat, throbbing traffic. After a day of extreme hassle in the city, you’re going to need a drink, and lucky enough for you, Bangkok is a damn good city for doing just that. There are infinite drinking options—too many of which are tourist-trap cliches (whiskey sodas served in buckets, pricey mojitos on a rooftop bar). But you won’t be disappointed exploring the world of the premium bars-class bar scene that draws Bangkok locals and curious outsiders alike. Following is the comprehensive list of best of the best bars that we have found in Bangkok.
Havana Social Bangkok is a cool new bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11, which takes a prohibition theme to new heights of authenticity. Think dim lights, classic rum cocktails, exposed beams, and crumbling plaster – the 1940s pre-revolution Cuba theme is painstakingly well executed. Bar staff are smartly dressed and coiffured, as are the socialite crowd who were cool enough to find their way to this ‘secret’ bar. Despite the seemingly dodgy setting, Havana Social is not a dive bar at all. Developed by Soho Hospitality (the team behind Above Eleven rooftop bar across the road), everything is suave and sophisticated.
The Iron Fairies
Iron Fairies is a magical bar that is designed like an ironsmith’s workshop giving a dark and broody vibe to it, with wrought iron staircases, exposed pipes, and dilapidated timber and brick. Bottles fairy dust are stacked in rows, and everywhere you look you could chance upon little iron figurines of the winged creatures that give the bar its name. The very limited food menu is famed across the city for only Burgers. The kind of giant, hulking creations that are served on a wooden chopping board and have to be held in place with a steak knife. Choose between premium Aussie beef, fish or even the tropical with pineapple and egg. All burgers are served with thick wedges and will keep you satisfied all night.
When Smalls opened up on the relatively discreet Soi Suan Phlu in 2014, it absolutely fell into Bangkok’s niche category of expat neighborhood bars. But things change quickly in Bangkok, and through word of mouth, media attention, and the fact that the same street has welcomed a handful of other new drinking dens, Smalls has become one of the most talked-about bars in town. You can set over three floors of a refurbished 1960s townhouse, Smalls is defined by its dark and broody atmosphere, created by some well-chosen Parisian-inspired décor, low lighting and a sophisticated soundtrack of soft jazz, all of the above combined to give you an ultimate experience of cocktailing.
Tep Bar just transformed a really old shophouse into a multi-story celebration of Thailand. This bar is pretty famous for inspiring a new appreciation for Thai culture from Thai people. It is one of those places which revived the true and authentic Thai culture back to Thailand. If you want to sample the traditional Thai liquor ya dong, Tep infuses it in-house. Normally served on the street, ya dong’s herbal powers are said to cure bodily ails. It’s a glass of beer and a shot of ya dong that really rejuvenates your senses to give you a unique feel. There may be no better way to drink like a local.
Brown Sugar Bangkok is a celebrated blues and jazz club featuring live music, and serving cocktails and Thai and international cuisine, which is tremendously famous in the town. Established in 1985, the bar is one of Bangkok’s longest-serving music bars and is one of its key nighttime attractions for visitors visiting the Old City. Entrance to Brown Sugar Bangkok music club is free and the venue also features art exhibitions on selected days. All in all, this bar provides all kind of entertainment under one roof so, you should definitely check this place out to make your trip memorable.
Tuba Bar is a part thrift store and part unashamed hipster hangout, it’s in the affluent Ekkamai neighborhood that features wacky decor, mammoth cocktail list and feel-good bohemian vibes which it’s most famous for. The bottled selection is the most specialized and sophisticated with a complete range of Belgian specialties, including strong and yeasty Delirium for all the real ale connoisseurs. Tuba also specializes in cocktails, with one of the longest cocktail lists in the city. Along with the great drinks and cocktail, this place also features exotic cuisines of different kinds. Make sure to check out this place in order to have booze and food together.
This whole bar is decked out in dark wood and marble, leather and rattan, with low lights and a mirrored ceiling making this a very popular place to sample award-winning cocktails. This sophisticated venue has always evoked a somewhat colonial, late-19th-century charm, but thanks to a renovation in 2015 it is more moody and stylish than ever. Internationally renowned musicians perform six nights a week at The Bamboo Bar Bangkok. Highlights from the sizeable drinks menu include Temptation, which is made with saffron-infused vodka, orange and passion fruit and Shooting Star, a gin martini with champagne and guava, served with a yuzu macaroon and fresh guava. All in all, it’s a great bar to hang out with a friend or a date.
This fancy bar has been named after the favorite martini of James Bond. This fancy cocktail bar and Italian restaurant serve some of the finest drinks in Bangkok. The level of detail and preparation that goes into making each drink is truly a cut above anywhere else – which does come across in the cost, and this is what the bar is most famous for. The vibe is one of quiet sophistication, suitable for groups of ladies to enjoy a few drinks, but also lots of fun. The bar offers the best of best snacking options and eating options if you are really into it. Do make sure to hit up this place to enjoy a true meaning of night out.
Teens of Thailand
No, any other bar can come up close when we talk about Teens of Thailand which moved into the neighborhood. Despite the vibrant and colorful elements of the area, it was the perfect place to open the bar where you’ll find other bars serving goblets of elevated gin and tonics. The medicinal herb shops in the neighborhood provide a unique sensory backdrop for the botanically-driven gin bar. The 80-year-old shophouse bar can be spotted by its ornate wooden door emblazoned with stickers. The bar serves authentic taste in drinks which are normally not found easily.
Sky Bar rooftop at Lebua State Tower offers one of the best views in the city along with the great drinks and cocktails. 63 floors up and overlooking the river, it has become a must-do for a sundowner cocktail. Around ten minutes’ walk from Saphan Taksin it is very easy to find, just look up and walk towards the tall cream building with the gold dome on the roof. It may not be the most relaxed experience as people will flock here on a clear day and it gets crowded, but the vista is one you won’t forget in a hurry. You just can’t refrain from admiring the beautiful and magnificent view from the top.
Best Bar Restaurants in Bangkok
When it comes to the cuisine options in Bangkok, the question is not what, where, or even when to eat. With so many possibilities across this capital city, you might be wondering how to make the most of it all. Whether you are looking for style, ambiance, and flavor that defies anything you’ve experienced before, or a brush with world-recognized celebrity chefs, Bangkok has got a whole lot to offer. With several Michelin-affiliated chefs moving to Bangkok, and numerous venues located inside luxury hotels, most of these restaurants do not come cheap, therefore you might have to be a little bit generous to spend on yourself while coming to Bangkok.
When you are out having cocktails in Bangkok, chances are pretty high that at some point you’re going to want to eat. The best thing to do is to pick a bar that also serves food. That way you’ll never even have to leave your bar stool whenever hunger gets you. Therefore, to fulfill your desire, we’ve got you covered with a list of Bangkok’s bar foods good enough to eat even if you’re missing an incisor:
Bunker Restaurant in Bangkok, set in a cool three-story building in Sathorn, serves exotic cuisine, picking dishes from across the culinary traditions of Europe with the addition of some American audacity. Their belief in strong and authentic flavors is seeming throughout the menu: salads are served earthy and partially raw, the cured foie gras is especially creamy, the pasta is rich and filling. Bunker serves immaculate cuisine, but it’s also a fashionable, intimate space with impeccable service – certainly among the best high-end restaurants in Bangkok. Make sure to visit this place in order to grasp the true flavors of renowned cuisines
Mezzaluna is a truly exceptional and extra-terrestrial fine dining restaurant, located inside the iconic golden ‘Dome’ at the top of lebua hotel. It is extremely famous for its fixed menus that come in four or seven courses only, Mezzaluna impresses with a new daily menu of world-class haute cuisine prepared by a visionary chef. The Chef here has worked his way around the world in a game of ‘who’s who’ with culinary giants including Pierre Gagnaire and Joel Robuchon, so it’s fair to say we had sky-high expectations on our latest visit – all of which were exceeded with aplomb. Make sure to bring some extra bucks here since it’s a fairly expensive restaurant, but if you are looking to dazzle and amaze someone on a special occasion, Mezzaluna has it all set up.
This lively restaurant is located in the old quarter of Bangkok known as Rattanakosin Island, it is a favorite mom-and-pop place famous for serving Thai food not typically found on the streets. You’ll have plenty of choices here to choose from. Sukhothai noodles which are rice noodle with pork broth and string beans, a variety of Thai curries and rice, daily one-plate meal specials, and fantastic Thai desserts like khao fang (young rice pudding), durian and sticky rice (seasonal), this place can really amaze you with the variety of options that it offers. Try one of everything if you can, and don’t leave without getting the rice with shrimp paste.
Eat Me, The name is less of a suggestion and more a promise of something irresistible and truly amazing. This gallery and restaurant on Soi Convent in Silom lives up to its name by serving mouth-watering modern international food, good drinks, and some very tasty desserts. The best seats in the house are on this balcony, where you are surrounded by green bamboo and can hear the music floating up from below. The decor is modern and simple including washed-out walls and wooden floors. All in all, it’s the best place to have a meal and to enjoy the natural and subtle environment recreated in this restaurant.
This great restaurant has been recognized as one of the famous and best restaurants in Bangkok. This restaurant is widely famous for initiating and spreading the concept of fine dining in the in Thailand. Here you can sample age-old recipes made from the absolute best ingredients but presented with the flair of European haute cuisine, which really makes this place stand out from others. All in all, this restaurant serves the true and authentic taste of fine dining with ala carte options and desserts that you should definitely try out to give your taste buds a happy jerk.
If you are in need of an unmatched teatime experience, book a table on the covered veranda of the historic Authors’ Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. Visiting authors who have stayed at the hotel over the past centuries — Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, James Michener, and Noel Coward — are immortalized with memorabilia in this frequently photographed space. Three sets of afternoon teas, served with tiers of finger foods, are available. Be sure to try the homemade scones served with clotted cream and rose petal jam. Make sure to visit this place in order to have a lively experience of eating out with decency.
Khun Ya Restaurant
A visit to Bangkok isn’t complete without a meal at a curry stall, and this is one of the best in town. Weave through the tourists and cars in the parking lot of the city’s famous Golden Buddha compound to find this quasi-concealed, semi-open-air eatery. Even if you don’t speak Thai, it’s a snap to simply point to the various central Thai-style curries, stir-fries, soups, and Thai dips on display, all of which exemplify the flavors and textures of central Thailand. Along with the expensive dine-ins, you should definitely check street food options like this to grasp the true culture of Thailand.
Gaggan Bangkok is located on a quiet, unassuming side lane off Langsuan Road, in an attractive white colonial house. But be sure to book ahead of time as this place is sometimes filled quite heavily. Behind these doors is some of most daring Indian food this side of Calcutta, which, incidentally, is the hometown of Chef Gaggan Anand, the mastermind behind the impressive dishes. His credentials are impressive because he has cooked for Bill Clinton and interning at the world-famous El Bulli in Spain, before finally opening the doors to the restaurant that shares his name in late 2010. Since its inceptions, his innovative molecular Indian cuisine has been delighting restaurant-goers in Bangkok.
Sühring Restaurant would grace any city in the world, so the fact they decided to open in Bangkok is a great boon for the city. It may sound surprising, but modern German cuisine is truly exceptional and the familial setting feels inviting and appealing. Serving a set menu of 9 or 12 courses only and changing according to seasonal produce, dinner at Sühring is a full evening of exploratory dining, and the price – while expensive in terms of an average meal in the capital – is an incredibly good value for money when you consider the quality of the cuisine. Make sure to visit this place to grasp the true taste of German cuisine.
Enoteca Italiana is without a second thought one of the most successful and famous Italian restaurants in Bangkok. This peaceful, quaint restaurant just a stone’s throw from downtown Sukhumvit Road will delight guests with its classic Italian charm and modern culinary magic. Homely and humble, the dining room at Enoteca is the complete opposite of the new generation of minimalist restaurants in Bangkok and reminds more of a traditional Italian restaurant with slight modern touches. The options available here range from surprising flavors, textures and plating, either a la carte or as a four-, five- or seven-course set menu, which come in two forms – Classic or Surprising. Considering the background of Chef Marco, the surprising set menu is more appreciated.
Sensi ticks all people for being modern, creative Italian restaurant including urbane décor, crisp white table cloths and some of the most charming service that you could experience in Bangkok. Classic Italian dishes are approached from surprising angles here and guests are sure to experience well-known dishes in new, innovative ways. Sensi Bangkok is a family affair and while the Italian chef is busy in the kitchen, his wife takes care of the front of the house, and their passion comes across impressively. Along with exotic cuisines, the options available here in desserts are not far behind. Make sure you check out this place to have a complete delightful meal.
Best Nightclubs in Bangkok
Bangkok’s nightlife isn’t all rowdy and naughty. As the sun goes down, Bangkok opens its eyes to transform into the liveliest capital in South-East Asia. It offers an electrifying atmosphere which pervades the city as it comes to life in an explosion of lights, music, and dance. Add to that its carefree vibe, a dose of madness, and insane party culture, and voila – you have the craziest nightlife in all of Thailand. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the city’s got a fascinating lineup of cool and classy jazz bars ideal for whiling away the hours in style. Do not let Bangkok’s reputation fool you into thinking the city revolves around its notorious sex industry. While the City of Angels does have its fair share of ping pong shows and red-light districts, Bangkok’s nightlife has so much more to offer.
The city may be more noted for its infamous red-light nightlife, but it actually has far more to offer, as it’s got some excellent dance clubs and actually features some of Asia’s top nightclubs attracting top DJs from around the world, and you’ll never be short on partying and dancing the night away here. The venues chosen below are the best of best available in Bangkok’s jazz bar scene, featuring some of the most talented local and international artists on a nightly basis:
Glow has been a leader in the Bangkok underground dance club scene for many years now, and although some of the newer and snazzier places have a larger following, Glow still retains a core group of faithful followers. Come here to enjoy international DJ superstars and live music evenings, as well as to marvel at the Funktion-One sound system, one of the best in the world. It’s a small underground vibe hangout that feels more like a European club, a bit dark, unpretentious, and you are coming to dance and enjoy, not to be seen, which the case at many of the other clubs isn’t often. It also is one of Bangkok’s few after-hours clubs, open until 3 most nights, sometimes even later.
Route 66 is a Bangkok institution, perhaps even more fabled now that it’s rivals. Open over 20 years now, Route 66 is famed for huge parties. It’s the scene of the Thai youth movement, with thousands of university kids heading here nightly. There are four immense dance zones, that feature everything from live bands playing Thai pop to hip hop to house, and there is also a large open-air space to party at. You’ll also get to experience traditional Thai partying here, where groups share a bottle of whiskey, congregate around a table, and drink and dance right where they are seated. It’s far more of a group spot than couples, but if you offer a toast, you’ll most likely make friends pretty easily.
If you cannot sit still, DJ Station is the nightclub to visit. It is one of the most legendary dance clubs in all of Asia and is quite possibly the biggest gay club in all of Bangkok. At the very least, it is the most popular. DJ Station has three different levels to choose from, each housing its own bar. This club also has nightly cabaret shows beginning at 11:30 p.m., and if you get there any earlier, you could possibly be the only club-goer there until the show starts. You will find herds of both Thai and Westerners here. Regardless of your sexual or gender identity, DJ Station is the place to be.
Newly opened Onyx is now the biggest dance and party club in town. Never mind that it is over on youngster-happy RCA, not really known for sophistication or being an overly popular tourist area, this place does really bring it, with a 2,500 person capacity stadium-like dance hall ensuring some wild nights. In addition to the cavernous main dance floor, there is also a second-floor balcony that is spacious, as wells as fifteen private VIP booths for your own party. The club has state of the art sound and lighting systems, top international DJ’s coming in to spin tunes on a regular basis, and confetti bombs and laser shows galore, with all the masses blissed out under one happy roof. For the young, hip, and inter, this really is the club to go to for a wild dance night out.
Sukhumvit’s party central Soi 11 keeps on going strong in the nightlife department, with the slack taken up by new kid on the block Levels. This swank electronic nightclub with a view is located upon the 6th floor of the chic Aloft Hotel and is now the place to be seen and party in lower Sukhumvit. There is plenty of house music being played here, but Levels excels in its DJ’s, bringing in some of the top international acts from around the world to rock the house. There is a large dance room here with a giant LED chandelier overhead, and then there is a club zone that features a great sound system. There is also a terrace bar that looks out over all the Sukhumvit neon and gives you a chance to catch your breath. There are plenty of promotions and theme nights here, but you are guaranteed one heck of a party just about any night of the week.
It’s truly an honest club with an honest vibe, and the latest dance club to grace trendy Thonglor is a bit of a departure from the usual Thai club filled with whiskey drinking tables and little space to dance. Here, you’ll find a huge dance floor and minimalist industrial warehouse look, with the focus being on the music. Thumping techno and house rule the roost here, with live DJ shows, a state of the art sound system, laser lighting and a fog machine to enhance the atmosphere. The club attracts a mix of foreign and Thai hipsters and is set in the happening 72 Courtyard complex, which is full of snazzy eateries and craft beer and mixology cocktail joints, so you can have a bite prior to coming in to dance.
Sing Sing Theater
Easily Bangkok’s most highbrow dance club, Sing Sing Theater is a fantasy replica of Shanghai in the 1930s, with hanging red lanterns, dancers in red robes with patterned fans, and metal cages spread across the room, making it appear as if a shady brothel of yesteryear. Seedy it isn’t though, as the fine drinks, high prices, and top DJs from around the world ensure that the clientele is Bangkok’s most well-heeled and most ready to party. Never mind that the dance floor consists of almost nothing, just head out and join the wild throng. It’s a combo of theater and nightclub and truly is unique.
Let us conclude the topic, here in this article we had a brief introduction of Bangkok along with highlighting some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife features. We also went through different activities and places to enjoy the nightlife of the region, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well.
As already elaborated, the nightlife attraction of Bangkok scattered throughout the city. There are several streets / bustling areas of the city where cafes, concert and dance venues, galleries and restaurants offer something special to everyone who loves the culture, shopping and nightlife attraction. There are plenty of pubs & bars throughout the City areas and they are truly satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can enjoy your cocktails with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the hand-crafted beers and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip, that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks. You can enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of nightclubs of the city that offers great music and fun with some delightfully exotic choices of drinks and cocktail that will delight your overall experience of charming nightlife during your stay at Bangkok.
All of the experiences as mentioned above will work together to make your journey to Bangkok absolutely a memorable one. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can actually boost your experience and make your trip extremely unforgettable for you.