Along with things like “Bangkok nightlife”, “Suvarnabhumi”, “Paragon”, “Sukhumvit hotels” and “ladyboys Bangkok” (don’t act surprised), the words “rooftop bar Bangkok” is one of the most searched terms on Google relating to tourism in the Thai capital.
With around 10,000 unique searches every month, getting ranked on Google for this is a blogger’s wet dream. Plus, most rooftop venues in Bangkok and Asia are happy to host writers and photographers for free, in exchange for a kindly-worded online ‘review’.
As a result, there are literally hundreds of pages out there listing ‘the top 10 or 20 best rooftop bars in Bangkok’, most of which stuff in relevant longtail keyword phrases (just like we did in this sentence). We have compiled a list of the Internet’s most useful rooftop bar lists – because a) there is enough already and b) it’s much easier than writing our own guide.
#1. BANGKOK.COM (TOP 20)
Normally the top result on Google isn’t the best in terms of quality, but a quick search for rooftop bars in Bangkok – or any other combination of similar words – actually reveals one of the best and largest lists online. Bangkok.com’s top choices are undeniably touristy (like the Sky Bar at Lebua and golden-oldie Vertigo), but there are plenty of newer and cooler additions which have been covered like Char and 342 Bar by the river. See the list here.
This recently updated guide by the world-renowned TimeOut puts emphasis firmly on the food at each of the venues (maybe they only sent their food writer?). Plus, they give you a good idea of what you will be paying for each dish. So, if you’re more hungry than thirsty, this tidy little list is for you, just as long as you can stomach all the travel writing cliches. See the list here.
#3. BK MAGAZINE
Bangkok’s best-read expat magazine (sorry Big Chili, but that is definitely not you) is also aimed at a local demographic, so most of their lists tend to shy away from the big tourist traps in the city. Here, we have some surprise inclusions such as Thonglor’s tiny Wanderlust, Roof 409 opposite Central Chidlom, Top Knot and Dusk Thonglor. All great places to drink, sure, but not exactly the first rooftop bars that come to mind. See the list here.
#4. UNDERCOVER BANGKOK
Willy Thuan is the Godfather of Bangkok’s rooftop bar scene. Show him a rooftop bar he hasn’t been to and he’ll show you a place that isn’t worth your time. Although looking curiously similar to Bangkok.com’s list (there might be a link there), the new list on Undercover Bangkok is particularly up-to-date, including the likes of Char, Cru, Altitude and Vanilla Sky. Plus, the photos are so good that we have downloaded them all and cropped out the watermark for our own private use. See the list here.
#5. BANGKOK.COM (ALTERNATIVES)
It’s fair to say that most rooftop bar lists in Bangkok you’ll come across will include most of the same big-name, big-price venues – just in a different order. Similarly to BK Mag, this list of Bangkok’s best ‘alternative’ rooftop bars gives a shout-out to some of the city’s smaller, independently run venues. Some are only a few floors off the ground, including the Skytrain Jazz Bar, Desi Beats and Qlick. See the list here.
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