When it comes to nightlife, Bangkok is no longer the City of Sin it once used to be. That is either a good or bad thing, depending on individual tastes.
The party scene here has evolved dramatically in recent years. Arguably the biggest change is the fact that previously ‘locals-only’ venues have started to welcome more and more westerners with open arms, while historically tourist-centric zones are gaining popularity with young Thais. This fusion has created a range of both multicultural and exciting things to do at night in Bangkok. From lavish clubs perched 39 floors above the city to bar hopping and raucous EDM festivals, here are our favorite Bangkok nightlife spots for 2017.
Royal City Avenue transforms from ghost town during the day into what is Bangkok’s most famous party street every single night of the week. On the weekends, the road actually gets closed off to traffic, allowing tipsy punters inside popular clubs such as Onyx and Route 66 to fall out onto the street. And in some cases, quite literally. Best just to rock up in your best shoes and order a whiskey and mixer set to secure a table for you and your mates.
2. Khao San Road
No talk of Bangkok nightlife can go without at least a quick mention of Khao San Road. You can grab a beer or cheap cocktail bucket on the kilometer-long stretch anytime of day, but it’s only after dark that this backpacker-magnet really comes alive. The best pre-midnight action is found at Khaosan Center and Lucky Beer opposite. Golf Bar at the southern end is another good spot to develop tinnitus. Keep the party going at The Club (house/EDM), Lava Club (hip-hop/commercial) or the more local Brick Bar (ska/reggae/Thai pop).
3. Sukhumvit Soi 11
Strategically placed pretty much in the middle of Bangkok next to Nana BTS Station, Sukhumvit 11 has everything you need for a complete night out on the town. Start your evening 32-floors up gazing at the sunset and sipping fancy cocktails at the stunning Above Eleven rooftop bar, before heading on to the ever-popular Levels Club (possibly via one or two more bars along the way). If you have the stamina, after-hours hip-hop venue Sugar is just down the road.
4. Thonglor (Soi 10)
Thonglor soi 10, which doubles up as Ekkamai soi 5, has the highest concentration of nightclubs anywhere in Bangkok. The glammed-up, predominantly local crowd pack into the hip and happening Demo club seven-nights-a-week, while other venues such as Funky Villa and Muse have live bands providing the soundtrack instead of DJs. The relatively new Beam club has also emerged as a go-to spot thanks to its cool interior and underground house music policy.
5. Ce La Vi
Formerly called Ku De Ta, this 39th-floor nightclub is about as glamorous as it gets in Bangkok. The venue has a posh downstairs restaurant and breezy outside terrace for chilling, while the glitzy main club room fills up with an upscale clientele on Wednesdays (ladies’ night), Fridays and Saturdays. Music wise, expect hip-hop, chart hits and house.
6. Dance Music Festivals (Various)
Just like the rest of the world, stadium-sized electronic dance music (EDM) festivals are all the range in Bangkok. Barely a month goes by without some big-name international DJ visiting the Thai capital, most of whom are booked to play the city’s premier concert arena, BITEC at Bangna. Events to look out for in 2017 and onwards include Together Festival, Road to Ultra Thailand, 808 Festival and Waterzonic.
7. Sing Sing Theater
Sing Sing is just one of the fantastical creations by renowned designer Ashley Sutton, who has a portfolio of unique Bangkok nightlife venues. And the interior design here is simply stunning, with wrought iron staircases leading up to dimly-lit hidden rooms and enclaves – ideal for small groups or dates. On the weekends, the central dance floor gets packed out with party goers – as well Sing Sing’s own dancers, who have been known to dress up as scuba divers, jellyfish and sexy cats. Yep, it can get pretty weird wherever Sutton is involved.
8. Onyx Main Stage (RCA)
After a huge renovation in 2015 which saw Onyx’s existing room merge with the now defunct Slim & Fix, this venue on RCA now stands proud as Bangkok’s largest and most popular club. In typical Thai club style, the setup packs in standing tables to rest your bottle of whiskey on and a central stage in front of an enormous, trippy LED screen. Like it or not, Onyx is all about the EDM, welcoming international DJs on a monthly basis.
9. Sofitel So Pool Party
If you have the urge party but want to get away from the usual clubs and bars, look no further than Sofitel So’s monthly pool party event. The lofty 10th-floor position boasts some superb views over the greenery of Lumpini Park, with plenty of space to swim, drink, dance or just laze around people-watching on a sunbed. The eight-hour party kicks off at 13:00 on the last Saturday of every month.
10. Route 66 (RCA)
Another Bangkok nightlife institution, Route 66 is a cheaper and more diverse option (both in terms of the music and crowd) compared to the slightly larger Onyx club next door. The three different zones here comprise a small dance room (popular with westerners), a live music room and finally the hip-hop zone, which is always the hardest place to secure a table on the weekend. There are also tables and chairs outside if you prefer a quieter (and a lot hotter) place to drink.
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