Bangkok's nightlife is legendary and even notorious. The attractions that have made the after-dark scene so famous, go-go bars and naughty shows, are still to be found easily. But modern Bangkok has kept abreast with the rest of the world, and now also plays host to trendy bars, sophisticated jazz lounges, first-class entertainment venues and much, much more.
Night owls of every breed are never disappointed, whether it's a pumping club scene or hip chill-out space they're after. Rooftop bars are a big favourite, since the night-time views they offer are spectacular – setting the perfect mood for a memorable night on the town.
As famous as the nightlife scene in Bangkok are the areas that offer hedonistic pursuits. Silom and its Patpong area is the first place most people head to for the street-side shopping and night market, but also for a peep at the naughty shows, go-go bars and ladyboys (even if they won't admit to it!).
Second up is Sukhumvit Road with its wide choice of clubs, bars, pubs, trendy lounges and go-go scene at Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy. Backpackers swear by Khao San Road, where drinks are cheap and the music loud. Fast establishing itself too as a nightlife area of note is Royal City Avenue (RCA) where a host of trendy clubs and bars are drawing big crowds, locals and visitors alike. Take some time to explore the options – you'll soon find something somewhere that's got just the right buzz you're after. (Read more...)
Chic, grungy, rowdy or sophisticated, Bangkok's got it all. Clubs like Bed Supperclub and Q Bar in Sukhumvit count among the best club experiences you can have in Asia, often hosting DJs of international fame. The variety of pubs and bars make sure nobody needs to go thirsty, while lounges can be classy affairs with elegant interiors and live jazz.
Very popular among expats and tourists are traditional-style pubs, which are almost always heaving. They also serve great pub grub and you can enjoy your favourite draught beers. Indeed, party vibes and drinking holes in Bangkok are so wide and varied, you'll be pleasantly surprised! (Read more...)
Bangkok's famous go-go bars are still letting it all hang out at Silom's Patpong, Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy in Sukhumvit Road. Bikini-clad girls and 'friendly' hostesses are the main attractions at these adults-only venues. Tourists are lured in by hard-selling touts to witness the infamous, 'ping-pong' shows, and perhaps even to indulge in a bit more than that…
But be aware, drinks are heavily over-priced and many scams exist. These Bangkok red-light districts originated during the Vietnam War; places for American soldiers to visit for what was euphemistically termed 'rest and recreation'. Not much has changed since, except that they've become so famous that most visitors often make it their first night-time stop in Bangkok. (Read more...)
As famous as Bangkok's ladyboy shows are the glamorous performers who steal the limelight here. These shows offer some of the best night-time entertainment in the city, popular even with families. The performers are beautiful and convincing (females), and their routines world-class.
Shows typically consist of lip-sync numbers of pop hits, a touch of humour and dramatic, over-the-top Asian cultural elements. The most famous of these venues is Calypso, where visitors can also have their picture taken with the performers after the show (tips are customary). Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, don't miss out… It's definitely a worthwhile experience! (Read more...)