Where to find the nightlife spots of Bangkok? Here is a breakdown of all the main nightlife areas of Bangkok:
Khaosan Road Nightlife Bangkok
Good for: Letting loose, hooking up with backpackers
Budget: $ – e.g. 280 baht for a bottle of Sangsom
There are tonnes of bars on Khaosan Road, mainly more geared towards tourists and foreigners. This can be both a good and a bad thing – it’s a place that will make most people feel overdressed, where you can let go and party to your heart’s content; music genres are a little more suited to western tastes but it can also be a little too touristy and crazy for some.
Among foreigners, Khao San Road is the most renowned nightlife area in Bangkok and it is a must visit at least once. It can be a bit douchebaggy at times, but it can still be a really good laugh, and the bars are reasonably priced because they’re used to dealing with young travellers and hippies.
Khaosan Road Bars
It’s pretty easy to just head to Khaosan Road or it’s adjacent road Rambuttri road and randomly tackle the crazy amount of bars. Bombay Blues is an interesting Indian restaurant with an underground bar and rooftop terrace serving shisha. Downstairs on Saturdays, there is a DJ who plays bollywood tunes.
The Brick Bar (look for Buddy Lodge and McDonalds) is one of the few bars on Khaosan Road which is popular with local Thais as well. The atmosphere is upbeat and they play live ska music complete with patrons skanking on the tables. Check out Brown Sugar,
Music and nightclubs on Khaosan Road
The Club is the most popular underground nightclub on Khaosan road and you can find it by looking it for a neon blue sign with a red octopus on it. Prices are super cheap, entry is free, it’s flip flop friendly and the atmosphere is full of pumped, backpackers dancing to techno, trance and house music.
RCA Nightlife Bangkok
Good for: An authentically cool, Thai night out
Budget: $$$ – e.g. 150 baht for a cocktail
RCA, short for Royal City Avenue, is a long road devoted to clubs, bars and live music for young Thai students and hipsters of Bangkok. You could describe the RCA as a chilled out, cool Thai equivalent of Khaosan Road, without so much of the craziness and loutishness of the drunken tourists. Clubs and bars at RCA are typically Thai style and different to the western standard, with open fronts and half the seating stretching outside onto the streets.
The nearest MRT is Petchaburi but it is a little too far to walk from here. The best way is to get a taxi – most drivers will know when you say RCA (and if you are farang, they will probably giggle). Just make sure to bring ID, no matter how old you are, you may get turned away at the door of some clubs otherwise. Also, don’t get to the RCA before 9pm at the earliest, the action and the live music don’t start until late there.
When tackling Bangkok’s RCA, the best way to start is to just head there and pick a bar that suits you – there are so many of them after all. Some particularly cool bars at RCA though, are Cosmic Cafe, Taksura and Overtone. Cosmic Cafe and Taksura play host to some great indie live music and cover bands. The Overtone is a grungey, alternative style bar with live bands and a younger crowd of black-adorned music fans.
Nightclubs at RCA
Slim & Flix has a great mixture of music going on. The building is divided into separate parts: one area dedicated to R&B and hip hop, another section playing trance and drum n bass, and another lounge with live music performances. Route 66 is another renowned club at RCA worth checking out. Route 66 is equally huge, with half of the club stretching outside and young Thai clubbers dancing around the tables to dance and hip hop genres.
Nana, Soi 11 Nightlife Bangkok
Good for: Affordable rooftop bars and the big clubs of Bangkok
Budget: $$$ – e.g. Between 60 baht for a bottle of beer to 300 baht for a cocktail
Bangkok’s famous Nana Soi 11 is a peculiar combination of trendy, touristy and sleazy… You’ll get hassled by Tuk Tuk drivers, find yourself mobbed by prostitutes on the side streets of Nana Plaza (on the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road to Nana Soi 11) or be turned away from the mammoth nightclubs for being underdressed…
Nana Soi 11 has a bit of everything for everyone though: Laid back, cheap bars; pop-up streetwalk bars serving customers out of vans; sophisticated rooftop bars; chilled out live music and blues venues; and crazy, VIP nightclubs. All the bars and clubs are conveniently clustered together and the clientele of Nana Soi 11 are mainly Bangkok expats and tourists. You can get to Soi 11 by taking the BTS to Nana, it is only a couple of hundred metres from the station.
Nana Soi 11 Rooftop Bars
The rooftop bars in Nana Soi 11 are definitely worth checking out. Nest Rooftop Bar is a cool, dimly lit bar with cosy bed-chairs, sandy beach floors and live music during the later hours. Above 11 is a little quieter that Nest Rooftop Bar making it more suited for chatting with friends. Both rooftop bars are very showy with quirky decorations and creative finishing touches. They have great views and are a reasonable price for rooftop bars in Bangkok.
Bars on Nana Soi 11
Cheap Charlies is a laid back, quirky outdoor pub hidden down one of the side streets of Nana Soi 11. It’s very popular among expats who head there for some cheap pre-drinks before hitting the nightclubs later on. The bar is kitted out with old American-Western style decor and is a unique place to sit outside and watch the lively street from.
The Alchemist Bar is also worth a visit for those looking for a little more sophistication in their evening. Drink prices are a little higher – maybe around 200 baht per drink – but it plays some a good selection of live music in cool surroundings that aren’t too pretentious. You can find the Alchemist Bar just past Cheap Charlies down the side street on the left hand side of Soi 11.
If you walk all the way down Nana Soi 11 and follow the road to the left hand side, you’ll find a great selection of trendy bars, expat pubs and live music being played.
Nightclubs on Nana Soi 11 Road
Nana Soi 11 probably has the largest selection of nightclubs in Bangkok. Levels, next to the Angel Diner on Soi 11’s left hand side, is one of the most popular and mainstream of the clubs among expats on Soi 11. Insanity is perhaps the seediest of the Nana clubs. Located on Soi 12 and attached to a dingy American diner, it is mostly suited to expat and tourist men who are on the prowl for Thai freelance prostitutes. Insanity is your typical, kind of tacky, nightclub with lots of lasers and loud House and Techno music.
Bash tends to be the Bangkok nightclub that people visit in the later hours of the night. With no official closing time, Bash stays open when everywhere else has closed. Still relatively new, it plays a good mix of R&B and hip hop tunes. You’ll find Bash on the left hand side of Soi 11 next door to an Australian pub – it’s best to go later in the night after midnight at the earliest.
Q Bar is more of a VIP nightclub on Nana Soi 11, it’s located at the quieter end of the main road opposite Le Fenix and Nest. The music at Q Bar is a little lighter and easier to dance too, music genres are different depending on the DJ but House and Hip Hop are commonly played. Q Bar is a nightclub to dress to impress and is reported to attract a lot of celebrities who visit Bangkok. Entry costs 600 baht, however this high price creates an ambient, chic and mature atmosphere due to it’s selective crowd of people. From another point of view, some people describe Q Bar as a kind of arrogant, ‘fake VIP’ club of Bangkok.
Thonglor Nightlife Bangkok
Good for: Sophisticated bars, wine & dining
Budget: $$$$ – e.g. 280 baht for a cocktail
Thonglor soi 55 is the place for the trendy, the sophisticated and the wealthy. Nightlife is a little more spread out around Thonglor in comparison to the other nightlife areas of Bangkok. Choc-full of elegant restaurants, stylish bars and contemporary complexes, Thonglor is not for people looking for nightlife on a budget in Bangkok.
For a sleek and upscale night out in Bangkok, fashionably dressed to the nines and a mature glass of wine with friends, Thonglor is a perfect choice. People in Thonglor tend to be wealthy and refined, both Thai and local expats.
Notable bars in Thonglor include the unconventional, vintage bars such as Iron Fairies, an ominous, dimly lit bar furnished in the style of a fairy-filled, olden day blacksmith, and Shades Of Retro, a cool hipster bar/ antique furniture shop. Witches Tavern is another quirky, interesting bar & Italian restaurant offering free all-you-can-eat pizzas on Fridays.
For some more fashionable and contemporary wining and dining, make sure to check out Seen Space Thonglor, a small and slick complex with many sophisticated bars and restaurants. Some of the bars and eateries inside include Mr Jones’ Teddy Bear Orphanage, Roast Coffee Bar & Restaurant, Brew Beer & Ciders and Fatr Gut’z. Wine Republic, found around soi 10, is a simple, airy and spacious bar with modern background music and a laid back atmosphere. Club Nove, situated on Soi 9, is a very classy wine & tapas bar.
Live music & Nightclubs in Thonglor
Soi 10 is perhaps the best road to find Thonglor’s nightlife, these nightclubs attract a predominantly Thai crowd of people so make a good area to explore some of the real Bangkok nightlife. In keeping with Thonglor’s ‘hi-so’ vibe, the clubbers here tend to be all the beautiful, upper class folk – you can even spot a couple of Thai celebrities if your lucky.
So, for some standard house and dance music, head to Demo nightclub on Thonglor Soi 10, a New York graffiti filled, loft style club with a warehouse mood. Demo tends to attract a cool and sophisticated crowd of people, more mature and chilled out than the younger students who party next door at Funky Villa. It has a very cool interior, however it does charge a ‘farang fee’ – Thais go free but foreigners must pay 400 baht entry… Screw you Demo!
Muse, also on Soi 10, attracts a younger clientele and primarily hosts live music performances and gigs. It gets super crowded on Saturdays, so much so that you can barely move let alone dance. The good news though, is that entry is free to everyone! Racism free at Muse – Yay!
On Nut Nightlife Bangkok
Good for: Casual, Thai style beers
Budget: $ – e.g. 100 baht for a pint of Chang
On nut is not one of the key nightlife areas of Bangkok, it is not lined with fancy bars, expat pubs and pumping nightclubs like some of the other more popular and busy nightlife areas of Bangkok. However, there is an awesome night market in On nut which is well worth a visit for both shopping and chilled out socialising after work.
Bars in On Nut
On nut night market has a cosy area (very small by Bangkok’s market standards) of some very cheap clothing stalls (mainly for girls). However half of the market consists of a bar and food area with a live music stage and some very cheap beer. The bar area is under the protective cover of a tent like structure with plenty of food stalls perched around the outside with a choice of Japanese, Thai food, desserts and pancakes.
Despite worryingly coming from what appears to be an unrefridgerated cart, the sushi is very good and reasonably priced at only 120 baht per set. Beers cost from 40 baht per bottle to 100 baht per pint and they also sell beer towers. The atmosphere is very casual, a bit grimy, with Thai bands playing later in the evening. Head along to On Nut BTS after dark and simply follow the lights and the music.
Ekamai Nightlife Bangkok
Good for: Cool Thai atmosphere, chilled out bars
Budget: $$$ e.g. Cocktails at 160 baht
As with Thonglor, bars and clubs of Ekamai are rather spread out so you need to know where to go in advance before spontaneously turning up for drinks. Ekamai road (soi 63) provides a real, authentic experience of modern Thai nightlife. Foreigners don’t tend to frequent so many of the bars in Ekamai but it instead attracts mostly cool, young Thais.
Typical atmospheres at the bars in Ekamai lean towards the chilled out side with Thai acoustic music and cozy settings. Many of the hangouts in Ekamai offer a unique charm and quirkiness, it provides a nice break from the overly touristy, louder areas of Bangkok such as Nana and Khaosan Road.
Bars in Ekamai
Banrie Coffee is a very popular beer garden just off BTS Ekamai, on the corner of Sukhumvit 63. Drinks are cheap, food is great and there is live music throughout the night. Open 24 hours a day, the setting of Banrie coffee is relaxed and cosy with plenty of fairy lights illuminating the garden surroundings.
There is a particularly interesting and laid back cluster of bars around the soi 21 area of Ekamai Road Bangkok. Moose bar and the Tuba bar are located right next to each other on soi 21. Tuba bar is a quirky and casual hangout and part-time vintage furniture shop, it has some cool memorabilia decorations.
Moose bar is a slightly trendier and sleeker place but still with personality and a cool, chilled atmosphere. Just down the main road from the Moose Bar and the Tuba, you can find the Owl School pub, another quirky and cool hangout with live music and a cosy, small bar.
Live music & nightclubs in Ekamai
Nung len is a live music bar between soi 5 and soi 7 of Ekamai Road and is a popular hangout for all the trendy Thai locals of Bangkok. Booze Club (Ekamai soi 7) is reasonably priced, plays mainly hip hop music and has live DJs every night. Y50 Pub on Ekamai soi 21 is a chilled out bar come vintage furniture shop which has it’s own house jazz band and a DJ on Wednesdays.
We-Za, between soi 21 and soi 23, is a casual, small Thai style nightclub with loud music and cheap beer. Sonic, on the main road near soi 10, is one of the bigger, more well known clubs of Ekamai. It attracts a mixture of foreigners and local hipsters. It plays a variety of indie music, dance music and live music with different rooms and an outdoor terrace for different genres and DJs. Escobar is another popular club with trance, house and hip hop on the weekends.
Sonic, near Ekamai soi 10