Modern Bangkok’s safe, relaxed atmosphere and the Thai’s love of having fun has helped to establish the city as Asia's capital of cool. Whether you are looking for an
evening of stylish elegance or a wild and rowdy, heart-thumping night on the tiles, having a great night out is easy in a city like Bangkok.
With so many sophisticated restaurants, chic wine bars, lively clubs, Western-style pubs and pulsating live music venues, together with the more hedonistic forms of entertainment including go-go bars, hostess clubs and strip joints on offer, it’s a little difficult to know where to start, so here’s a quick guide to the top five places to party in Bangkok:
Khao San Road
For a good old fashioned night out Khao San Road is a particularly great place to start. Once world famous as a back packer’s paradise, the vibrant area around Khao San Road has developed into a tourist hotspot, catering for every mood, taste and budget. From the quiet tranquility of a side-alley cocktail lounge to loud pulsating beat of a live music venue there is something to suit everyone. There are many bars and several clubs here, all of which are lively, relatively cheap and attract a cosmopolitan crowd.
If your budget is tight, for the price of a drink you can sit and watch the world go by from one of the many street-side restaurants or you can even partake in the charms of open-air drinking by a curb-side shack, complete with plastic stools and music blasting from a boom box.
Silom and Patpong
By day, Silom is the city’s main financial and business street, but after dark, the road transforms into a heaving night market, crammed with an assortment of stalls selling clothes, DVDs, souvenirs, food etc.
Near by is Patpong Road, notorious the world over for being a pleasure seekers paradise. This red-light area is well known for its go-go bars, sex shows and various other forms of hedonistic entertainment. The shows are pretty full-on and if you prefer something more wholesome there are also several night clubs strung along Paptong offering music from live bands and beat-spinning DJs.
Soi 2 and Soi 4 have a reputation for being the gay centre of Bangkok, but it is also popular with a mixed crowd. Soi 4 has also become some what of an age-old institution among long-time Bangkok revelers, as it is home to a few clubs, renowned for their house music and hip-hop beats.
The longest road in Thailand, Sukhumvit is rich in modern shopping malls, fashionable restaurants, luxury hotels and trendy pubs and clubs. Here, you will find many western-style pubs, restaurants and bars as well as many big nightclubs. Because the area appeals to a large international crowd the prices tend to be a bit on the high side and as a result very few Thais party here.
Sukhumvit's nightlife is exciting and ever-evolving, as well as indulging in drinking and dancing, there are plenty of opportunities for debauchery. Every year crowds of tourists and ex-pats flock to experience the go-go bars in the area, the likes of the infamous Soi Cowboy and the Nana Entertainment Plaza.
Chidlom - Ploenchit
For those looking for a quieter, more sophisticated evening away from the frenetic, hedonistic pace of the rest of the city, head to the area around Ploenchit Road - home of high class restaurants, up-market wine bars and live jazz venues. Catering for the city’s affluent elite as well as international executives and well-heeled travelers, there are plenty of opportunities to experience fine-dining or to sip ice-cold champagne under the stars in a five star roof-top restaurant.
Royal City Avenue
The young (or the young at heart) should head to the Royal City Avenue (or RCA as it is commonly known). Particularly popular with hip and trendy Thai teenagers, RCA is probably one of the biggest entertainment areas in Bangkok. RCA is a long road hosting a multitude of different types of bar and clubs - one section boasts six nightclubs in a row, all playing hip hop, R&B, drum and bass and a mixture of American/Brit pop. If you do decide to head to one of the clubs along RCA, take a photocopy of your passport with you as you may be asked to produce it as ID. Along RCA there are also ten other nightclubs, a bowling alley and an indoor go-kart track, several restaurants, coffee shops, and numerous bars.