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Bars in Bangkok

A guide to the bars, clubs, and other nightlife in Bangkok, Thailand

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"One night in Bangkok………" the song goes, well Bangkok will not disappoint. Below we cover, some of the most fashionable places to be seen and some of the places where you hope you won't be seen. So really the question is will one night be enough?!

We are not going to talk in great detail about the 'girlie bars' as we are aiming these reviews more at people who are looking for good quality bars in Bangkok where the women are not half naked and swinging around a pole! Quality bars where singles, as well as couples, can comfortably go without getting hassled.

Have you voted yet for your favourite bars in Bangkok yet? Premier Travel Awards for Excellence - Vote Now! We also have extensive photo galleries offering different images from around the world. Have a suggestion for a bar we have missed contact us here.

Along with all our other country tips and guides, we also cover Bars in Phuket, Bars in Singapore, Bars in Dubai, Bars in Koh Samui, Bars in Hong Kong, Bars in Manila, Bars in Jakarta, Bars in Bangkok and Bars in Vietnam.

Please note that due to stricter laws on smoking in Thailand since February 2008, both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned restaurants and bars are supposed to be non-smoking. Read more about: Thailand Bans Smoking in Bars, Clubs, Restaurants and Market Places. If smoking is that important to you, we suggest you call the bar in advance and check what their policy is.

Another unusual and rather annoying trend for many of the top bars and clubs is they have started asking for ID upon entry. It is therefore always worthwhile calling the bar in advance and asking whether a photocopy of your passport will suffice (normally does). If in doubt then just take a copy with you and leave the original document at home or in the hotel safe.

Another change to the bar scene is that you now have to be 20 to buy alcoholic drinks, this is an increase from the previous age limit of 18.

All the better-quality bars will normally accept all major credit cards including, Visa, MasterCard and American Express, but they do often have a minimum spend. It is useful checking with the bar to see if they do accept your favourite card, and whether a minimum spend applies.

And finally, the reviews:

Spasso - This restaurant come bar/disco is located at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (Erawan). Definitely one of the 'in' places to be, with a lot of so called 'high society' Thais coming. The Italian restaurant is mainly from 19:00 onwards and the live band begins rocking at around 22:00 when they clear tables off the dance floor to allow for the serious fun to begin. Excellent band and the atmosphere is lively. Food and drinks are on the steep side, with a Heineken costing around 269 Baht after tax and service charge etc. A Premier Travel Award of Excellence winner.

WP (Wine Pub) - Located inside the Pullman hotel, just a quick walk to the Victory Monument Skytrain station, the WP is a very welcome addition to the Bangkok bar scene. It opens from 6pm and stays open daily until 2am. Unlike most other bars in Bangkok the Wine Pub actually gets busy nice and early, so you do not have to wait around until 10 or 11 for things to get started. It is busy most nights of the week, except for Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays which tend to be a little quieter. The bar attracts a good class of clientele, with a good mixture of Thais, expats and visitors, which helps to make it a great place to go to, as a couple or with friends. One reason that the WP has become so popular is the prices. A glass of wine starts from just 170 Baht nett and a bottle with food can be enjoyed for 900 Baht nett (including all taxes, service charges etc), which is very impressive price for a quality bar. The WP does serve food, and good stuff at that! Pastas, an amazing selection of imported cheese, a reasonable spread of cold cuts (although a little bizarrely not many French ones) and a few other dishes to complement the wine and / or keep the hunger pangs at bay. As it gets later some of the tables are moved away to form a dance floor, and the music is kicked up a beat from the relaxing lounge chill out music to something speedier. This is a great place to visit, and just chill out, whether it be an after work drink, dinner with friends, or a night relaxing with cool music in a trendy environment. Enjoy! UPDATE July 2009. Unfortunately the Wine Pub has developed somewhat of an identity crisis. It is almost as if it has forgotten that it is supposed to be more than just another restaurant, in fact it was originally designed to be a mix between a pub and a French bistro / wine bar. But, with a great design, cheap yet good quality food and drink, the Wine Pub is having difficulty maintaining this delicate balance. Now on a Friday night - the busiest  of the week - every single seating place, including the bar area, is reserved. While most similar-style venues would keep the bar area open so they do not have to turn people away, the Wine Pub does not even allow people in who do not have a reservation, this includes hotel guests and even people who do not want to eat, but just want a relaxing glass of wine or two instead. The bar uses this overfill to try and populate the Pullman Hotels' other restaurants. This is a disappointing practice, especially for those who have travelled out of their way to enjoy an evening at a Wine Pub. We can only hope this changes and the bar area of the Wine Pub finally becomes what it is supposed to be - a bar area.

Gazebo on Sukhumvit Soi 1 has CLOSED. A pity, as it was a terrific place.

Hard Rock Café - As with all HRC's they are open for dinner and have a live band that starts at 22:00/30. The restaurant is on three floors with the second looking down on the bar area and stage below. Although slightly cramped around the bar area especially when the band begins, over the weekends it is a great place to meet people and have a great time. One of the greatest things about this bar is the bartenders who actually seem to enjoy their work, unlike in some other establishments we could mention, and also that the band is so close to the bar you feel a part of it. Beer is very reasonably priced and you should also check out their bottle promotions, recently a bottle of Jack Daniels was on for just over 2,000 Baht. The first mixers and ice are free of charge and if you don't finish the bottle they will keep it for six months, so you can return at any time within that period present your card and all you pay for is the mixers. This can save you a lot of money. This bar was a winner as one of the best three bars in Asia in the Premier Travel Awards for Excellence.

Coyote - Fancy a great Margarita or some of the best Mexican food in the city? Then head to Coyote. The first and best used to be on Soi Convent off Silom but they closed that and are to open a new outlet on Sukhumvit Soi 11. The great thing about the old Coyote on Convent was its small size. It was nice, and did not attract any bar girls. The new Coyote on Sukhumvit Soi 11 is unlikely to replicate that as it is much, much bigger. Let's hope the food is as good as it was.

Diplomat Bar - At the Conrad hotel is a great place to go for some early drinks, the drinks are average price for a five star hotel and the ambience and feel of the bar is very elegant. A great place to meet for some pre-dinner or club drinks.

V9 - WOW - A MUST - Located on the 37th floor of the Sofitel Silom Hotel this stunning bar (which keeps changing its name) offers some amazing views of Bangkok. The restaurant / bar specialises in wines and because of the novel concept of combining a wine shop with the bar, you can enjoy these wines from all over the world at some of the best prices in Thailand. A bottle of wine starts at around 500 Baht and if you are unsure of what to choose (the choice is very large and varied) then there is a resident Sommelier on hand to give you tips and suggestions. Open from 6pm to 1am this is an excellent place to entertain or just go for a nice relaxing drink, live music is played nightly. The bar is not just about wine though, as there is also a small and spacious restaurant within which serves some excellent food. V9 is a wonderful place to go out, enjoy excellent food, great wines all at very reasonable prices, and enjoy the night lights of Bangkok some 37 floors beneath you. A great place to go as a couple.

Distil - opened in June 2004 and is located in the Lebua State Tower on Silom Road close to the Chaopraya River. The bar claims to offer the best of everything - best whiskies, best wines, food etc. They do live up to this claim to some extent although it is by no means a haven for the finest whiskies in the world, as the selection is quite limited. What does make this bar special are the views, as it is located on the 64th floor of the hotel and offers some of the best views of Bangkok available in the city. The bar itself is very nicely decorated with comfortable seating, a small but cosy wine cellar and an outdoor seating area. Unlike some of the other bars that we review here, this bar has a feel of a stopping off place, somewhere to go before dining in one of the hotel's restaurants or perhaps for a nightcap after dinner before heading off home.

The Bed - HAS CLOSED, or just taken off until it land at a new venue!!! What our review used to say: "Located on Sukhumvit 11 this is a very fashionable place to go for dinner, and or drinks. This is regarded as one of the hottest clubs in Bangkok and is worth going to if only to take pictures of the space ship like building in which it is housed. The club is split into two sections, one aimed more at drinking and dancing and the other are for dining and chilling out with friends early on and then dancing as it gets later. As the name suggests the whole concept the club is based on is a bed, they actually have waitresses in rather skimpy but elegant nightwear, and there are actual beds for customers to relax and enjoy. A very unusual but highly enjoyable club, definitely worth a visit." Let's hope the new Bed will allow customers to wash their feet if they design it as a supper club.

The Met Bar - Located at the Metropolitan Hotel on Sathorn Road, this new bar we have been told by the hotel is strictly members and hotel guests only. For that reason there is little point in us reviewing it, even if we do believe to be not quite as strict as they proclaim. Hu'u - Forget trying to work our how to pronounce the name as unless you are in the area this is a bar you could easily miss. Yes, they have very cool advertisements but we find it is more of a restaurant bar than a fully fledged club / bar. Pricey, and chic in design but very little real character.

Black Swan - This is a small and quaint English style pub which over the years has become very popular. It is located on Sukhumvit Road right next to Asoke BTS Skytrain station. While it does have an excellent 'cosy' atmosphere, the pub does not accept any credit cards and no happy hour which means a pint can cost you double what it would elsewhere.

Face Bar - Located on Sukhumvit Soi 38, skytrain Thonglor. full review to come soon.

Bulls Head - Very popular among expats and locals alike. A great pub with a very 'Olde Worlde' feel to it. They have two floors with the upper floor serving mainly food, and the lower drinks. The closest skytrain station is Prom Phong and the pub can be found on Sukhumvit 33/1 which is almost opposite the Emporium. Not such a good place to watch sporting events, as they only have the one television upstairs, but otherwise a great place.

The Londoner - on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 33, this enormous pub serves food as well as imported and some of its own locally brewed beer. A pint of their own 'bitter' costs 129 Baht (but be forewarned you get what you pay for when it comes to taste). They have lots of televisions which makes the Londoner a popular choice for many sports fans, although we would recommend going to the Molly Malone's on Soi Convent, Silom or the Dubliner which is across the road on Sukhumvit.

Planet Hollywood - closed down a long, long time ago.

El Nido - Located at the Royal Meridien Hotel and just opposite the Grand Hyatt where Spasso's is this very large bar is popular for those that enjoy a little more space and  Latin music. Very enjoyable and nice bar/disco.

Nana Entertainment Plaza (NEP) - On Sukhumvit Soi 4 this is, in our opinion, a more user-friendly version of Patpong. It is quite a sight to behold and definitely not somewhere to take your wife, although people do! The girls are a lot friendlier here than in Patpong and they (as in the bars) are all safe, without the famous "come in for show" rip off that you get in Patpong. We have been informed that Carnival on the third floor is a very interesting place to be at 10:30 onwards, but as this is a family site we will not say anymore. A good night out can be had here. One word of warning when entering and leaving NEP, watch out for pick pockets on the street just outside, some claim its "katoeys" or ladyboys, but it could be anyone, so just take a little extra precaution. (perhaps that is double advice!!)

Soi Cowboy - Many years ago this was indeed the spot for locals or expats living in Bangkok to go to if in need of 'alternative' entertainment, such as go go bars etc. Since then it seems to be slowly retreating off the scene. It still though is worth a trip down to this small street of bars between Sukhumvit Soi 21 and 23. Unlike Patpong all the bars here are pretty safe in that you do not get overly ripped off with "show" fees etc.

Thermae - Closed. Sort of. On Sukhumvit road between Soi 13 and 15. If all else has failed and even if it hasn't, most people will not believe Thermae. The beers are reasonably priced with a Heineken costing 85 Baht. Thermae is a  large bar that only gets busy when everything else, namely the other bars, are closed..... Or at least that is how it was. With the new laws on closing in place Thermae now closes at 2am just like everywhere else. It can be jam packed full of women.  Well not to go on but...... the food here is ok, especially after a long hard night, although most people do not come for the food.

Lucifer - Is on Patpong 1 and is one of the most popular discos in the area. It gets very busy and is open till 2am. The drinks are well priced and it is definitely worth a visit. The music played is mainly dance and trance (if that is what you call it) with some excellent DJ's mixing it up for you.

Delaneys changed to Shannigans and then the Irish Xchange and now it is called Molly Malones - Forget trying to remember the name of this popular Irish style bar as it seems to change an awful lot. It is located on Soi Convent just off Silom road and only two minutes from Patpong. This is one of the first Irish bars to have opened in Bangkok and still one of the best. It serves all the typical Irish fare including some very good food. This bar has an excellent Happy Hour, around 75 Baht a pint! It is a good place to go to watch sporting events or to have an after work drink. The clientele is a mixture of locals and expats living in Bangkok. The pub also plays most live sporting events. We highly recommend this pub.

O'Reillys - on the corner of Silom Road and Thaniya Plaza has become very popular with tourists and local expats. They have some excellent promotions such as Happy Hour Heineken pints at 99 Baht on Tuesdays and even John Smiths Bitter at a ridiculously low 95 Baht / pint on Saturdays. Live music is played most nights and they have quite a few television sets including a central massive screen which makes it a popular venue for live sporting events.

Taurus - Is a very in place and is found on Sukhumvit Soi 26 just next to the Four Wings Hotel. It is made up of different sections, and offers, a bar, disco area, karaoke and restaurant. It is frequented by Thai's and expats a like with a lot of the Thai film stars and young high society strutting their stuff.

Witches Tavern - On Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor) is a popular bar for expats and locals that live in the area. It is a reasonably priced pub that has live music on some nights, and a generous Ladies Night on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 9pm. Ladies night offers women the chance to have as many whiskies, rums, gins, etc as they would like for free!!

Q Bar - opened its' doors on Sukhumvit Soi 11, December 17, 1999 and is owned by the same person that opened the famous Q Bar in Saigon, Vietnam. It is a very popular bar and gets extremely busy. If you find it a little claustrophobic head upstairs where there is a little more space but still plenty of action. Drinks are reasonably priced, and they have one of the widest selections of spirits available in the 'city of angels'. You may have a little difficulty finding it, so from Sukhumvit main road go all the way down Soi 11 and turn left at the last available road on the left, the Q bar is just at the end there on the corner. The bar itself gets busy around 10/11 and closes at 2am. Great place to meet others especially if you like 'fashionable' bars.

Barbican is a modern style pub/restaurant that is very popular with the expat community in Bangkok, especially early evening and for lunch. It can be found along Thaniya Plaza (the Japanese Patpong area reviewed below). They serve some very good food.

Thaniya Plaza - between Silom Road and Suriawongse Road is the Japanese Patpong strip, where the bars start from the ground level and contnue up to the third of fourth floor. The women are very beautiful and all the clubs are set up in the traditional Japanese way. While the prices may be cheaper than in Japan, they are high by Thai standards, however if you are Japanese and are looking for a club scene such as the one back home this will probably be a good place. Please note and do not take offense that many of the clubs here will not allow western looking people inside. This small street has some excellent Japanese restaurants where everyone is allowed in some are open almost all night so is handy for a late night snack.

Royal Haufbrauhaus - is a microbrewery that is very large and a popular haunt. They serve good German beer, and food, and they have a live band. It can be found on Silom Soi 1.

Silom Soi 4 - is the gay street in Bangkok. Most of the bars and clubs down this small strip are gay clubs. Interestingly, a lot of "farang" straight women seem to frequent this area, especially resident expat women. The beginning part of the soi also has some regular (read non gay) bars such as Tapas and a few others which are very popular among the hip and trendy. There is a new gay area which is almost opposite the Wall Street Tower on Suriawongse Road - we have not tried it yet, but newspaper reports say that it is popular among such clientele.

Tapas - very popular but a little cramped disco club on Silom Soi 4 (mentioned above). It is just on the left hand side as you walk in the soi above a gay bar. It attracts a wide range of clientele, with not too many "working" girls which makes it a great place to meet well educated professional women. It is loud and they play some excellent music to dance to. Tapas does not get busy before 10:30/11pm and closes at 2am.

Calypso Cabaret - The most famous and possibly popular transvestite/transsexual Cabaret in Bangkok. Now housed at the Asia Hotel the show is professional and popular with couples, definitely worth a visit. See Pictures of the Calypso Cabaret.

Dubliner - Another excellent Irish Pub between Sukhumvit Soi 22 and 24, and pretty much opposite Soi 33. The pub is in three levels with the third offering 1 pool table and 1 table football, the second level is in a kind of mezzanine that looks out onto some of the ground floor. It is quite an unusual pub, with a little more of a coffee shop feel to it, than most regular pubs. The  beers are reasonably priced at 90 Baht for a bottle of Heineken, 90 Baht glass of house wine and 130 Baht for a pint of Heineken.

Mambo Cabaret - Right next door to the above Dubliner pub, so between Sukhumvit Soi 22 and 24 is a transvestite Cabaret show. Two shows a day one at 8:30 pm and one at 10:00 pm. More to come on this later.

Narcissus - A very nice disco that gets very busy. It is next door (towards the back) to the hostess bar Pegasus which can be found just off Sukhumvit Soi 23. Worth going to around midnight onwards.

Sukhumvit Soi 33 - This is the chic, and slightly more expensive variety of Nana Plaza or Soi Cowboy. Numerous bars with beautiful ladies in cocktail dresses, to entertain you. Similar to Thaniya Plaza for the Japanese but for foreigners.

 Late Night Venues - As most clubs have to close at 2am there are a couple of places that do manage to remain open until the early hours. They get very, very busy and cost around 300 Baht to get in. The two main late night clubs are Spicy and Boss. As the police occasionally close them, one or both of the clubs may not be open the day you want, but the nightclub taxi drivers normally know if one is closed. It should also be noted that the taxi drivers get a 100 Baht commission for each guest that they take to either club. This sometimes means you might be able to get a free ride depending on the driver. As the police do occasionally close them do make sure you carry a copy of your id card or passport (never the original in case you lose it).

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