Guide to Bangkok’s best clubs and bars
Ladyboys, sex shows and tuk tuk is there not more to a night out in Bangkok than this? Fret not, for there most certainly is. Bangkok is party central at the moment, and its hot on the heels of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in its bid to be the Southeast Asian disco-hub. It’s all here; from world-class superstar DJs to local bands performing covers of old Cranberries songs. You could never say that Bangkok was boring.
Ladyboys, sex shows and tuk tuk is there not more to a night out in Bangkok than this? Fret not, for there most certainly is. Bangkok is party central at the moment, and it’s hot on the heels of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in its bid to be the Southeast Asian disco-hub. It’s all here; from world-class superstar DJs to local bands performing covers of old Cranberries songs. You could never say that Bangkok was boring.
Bed Supperclub on Sukhumvit soi 11 is the home of the original models night concept in Bangkok. For those not in the know, models are night are supposed to be an occasion where those in the industry come together to scout for new talent and work. What it means in Bangkok is that on each night of the week there is a club where scores of predominantly East-European models can go to eat and drink for free, as if they were important. Bed Supperclub has style though, so don’t let the models put you off; they’re everywhere and you’ll soon get used to them. As a club it can be a little pricey, but it’s the hippest hangout in the city for a reason. Expect to mingle with more celebs and wannabes than you’ve ever seen before. The music ranges from electro to house.
Also on soi 11 and just around the corner from Bed is QBar. It’s a relatively small club that attracts its fair share of buxom ladies of the night, but it plays host to some of the world’s best DJs, with recent guests including DJ QBert and DJ Colette. The music tends to be trendy with regular hip hop nights throughout the week.
Just down the road from Bed and QBar is Glow on soi 23. It’s a small club that serves large measures in its vast array of cocktails. The music is largely of the 4/4 variety with electro and tech-house taking prominence. The bar-staff dance on the bar later on in the night and the crowd sways between pretentious and fun-loving.
If hip hop is your thang then you’ve certainly come to the right place. They’re hip hop-mad in Bangkok. One of the coolest places to get down to the latest rap jams is Santika on Sukhumvit soi 63. Once again there are countless model-types strutting about the place, but the atmosphere is always jovial on the brink of being boisterous. A band occasionally comes on stage to massacre American nu-metal songs.
One of the newest drinking establishments to begin making a name for itself is Polly’s Bar on Lang Suan on Lang Suan soi 7. You won’t find it in many guidebooks, but it’s a small, stylish venue with regular indie, electro and drum n bass parties. Not many people know about the place yet so it’s really only frequented by clued-up trend-setters. There are no rubbish bands and not a single model in sight.
Moving on and we come to the noisiest place on earth: RCA is an entire street dedicated to entertainment. There are endless rows of clubs full of feisty students and expats knocking back their whiskey of choice. The premier club on RCA was Astra, but that has closed down for the time being to make way for Club Culture (more on that in a sec).
Also on RCA is the new kid on the block: Jazzit is tucked around the corner opposite Astra and it features weekly indie and electro parties that you won’t find in many other places. It also has the most eccentric, lovable owner you could ever with to meet. Drinks are cheap and they serve Havana rum so it can’t be bad.
If you want to experience typically Thai clubbing in all its glory then head straight to Ratchada soi 4. It’s similar to RCA in that there are a multitude of clubs. You won’t see many foreigners though, because this is where the Thai students go to party. As a result, the drinks are cheap and there are excitable local bands playing in almost every club. When the bands are finished the music reverts back to hip hop and Linkin Park numbers.
Cafe De Moc is a little known venue alarmingly close to Khaosan Road that is something of a legend in Bangkok’s nightlife scene. Backpackers never find it because it’s a little over a 100-meter walk from their safe haven. Every DJ who has made a name for him- or herself (yes, there are girl DJs in Bangkok) in the city has played at De Moc at some point. It’s open every night except Monday and is owned by the same people behind Astra.
The newest addition to Bangkok clubbing is the aforementioned Club Culture. Run by the good folks behind Astra and Cafe De Moc, it’s the place to be for electronic music. You can find it on Sri Ayuthaya Road about one-minutes walk from the Phaya Thai BTS stop.
You’re sure to find something to satisfy your nighttime desires in the City of Angels. Whatever you’re into and however you’re into doing it there’s sure to be a party that is destined to become your second home. Make sure you carry ID with you everywhere you go as Thai door-staff are notoriously bad at determining how old people are. Try and stay away from cheaper brands of whiskey too, as you’ll wake up the next day lost in a world of pain you thought was never possible.