"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
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Have a suggestion for a bar we have missed
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Along with all our other country tips and guides, we also cover
Bars in Dubai,
Bars in Koh
Bars in Hong Kong,
Bars in Jakarta,
in Bangkok and
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 recent 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
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.
87 Plus - Located
at the Conrad Bangkok Hotel, 87 Plus is worth a
visit if you are close bar, but it is a little small and cannot be compared to the bigger more
established night clubs. It is a perfect example of an hotel doing just
enough to say it has a nightclub, but not enough to make it a must
visit. Thursday is Ladies night so a popular night to
Gazebo on Sukhumvit Soi
1 has CLOSED
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? Tired of all the
working girls? Then head to Coyote. There are two Coyote's in Bangkok, one
on Soi Convent just off Silom Road, and the other on Sukhumvit close to Soi
33. Both offer free WiFi. On Wednesday's (6-8pm) and more recently
Saturday's (10-12pm) they offer FREE Marg's to women as it's ladies night. A good place to chill and and meet
other expats living in Bangkok.
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.
WOW - A MUST - Located on the 37th floor of the
Silom Hotel this stunning bar 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 hotels restaurants or perhaps for a nightcap after
dinner before heading off home.
The Bed - 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. The Bed will also be opening in Phuket (see
Phuket) in December 2008.
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 that is managed by some guys from
Sheffield. 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
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.
Cm2 - After the Hard Rock Cafe
reviewed above gets too busy most people head over to CM2 which is at the Novotel Siam
Square. It is a disco, which also offers karaoke, food, and good music.
It is very popular and reasonably priced with a Heineken costing around
180 Thai Baht.
Rivas - Great bar and disco located at the Sheraton
Grande Sukhumvit, ground floor, prices are slightly more reasonable than
at Spasso. The disco/bar will get busy from around 10/11 pm but the
crowd is quite irregular and depends on the band that the hotel has in
at the time. Has great potential but is up and down with the in crowd. Paulaner Brauhaus - This microbrewery is located on Sukhumvit Soi 24.
They serve their own beer and serve up some wonderful if not rather
heavy food to go with it. For some reason though it does not get that
busy. Good Beer.
Planet Hollywood - closed down
a 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.
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 - 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
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.
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.
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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