Nightlife in Bangkok, Thailand is wild to say the least. Most things that you see on TV or in the movies are not like in real life, but if you’re a fan of The Hangover films, those movies do display the city rather accurately.
First of all, Bangkok is huge. It has many districts, each having a very different vibe. The area in which the Hangover was filmed is called Silom, which is the hipster district with many upscale venues. This is where many locals hangout, although it does have touristy areas for those willing to spend a little more and venture deeper into the city. Taking a tuk-tuk (3 wheeled taxi) is the best way to get around and take in the beautiful Bangkok atmosphere.
The more touristy area is in the Banglamphu District, which is significantly cheaper as long as you remember that tourists always get charged higher prices. Remember to use your bargaining skills! While you will definitely be partying with more foreigners than locals, it is still cheap and wild and gives you a lot to do in a smaller radius.
Then for a foreign culture within a foreign culture, there is Chinatown, which has some of the most delicious cuisine around with Chinese and Thai fusion street food. Regardless of the location in Bangkok, there is an electric current of life all around. It is not the cleanest city, but it is always on the go with people around you left and right and the smell of pad Thai in the air twenty-four-seven.
As soon as the sun goes down, get ready to inhale some helium balloons (it’s a thing in Thailand), swallow bucket after bucket of liquor, and whatever you do, say no to their invitation to “ping-pong shows.” Curious what I mean? Google it.
Where to Party in Bangkok
#1. Khao San Road
Yes, it is very touristy, but it is a good first stop in Bangkok to experience what I mean by “wild.” You can eat a scorpion on a stick, get fresh pad Thai by a local vendor with a street wok, or indulge in the fresh pomegranate, passion fruit, or taro smoothies made right in front of you.
After that, you can push in shove down the streets (because there is that many people) saying no to the ping-pong shows and yes to the massages. Whether it is a pressure point foot massage or a local Thai massage (which is more pain than pleasure) there are plenty of places you can grab a Chang (Thai beer) and relax. However, remember you are a tourist, so whenever ordering anything cut the price in half and bargain—otherwise you will be ripped off and will be “the typical tourist.”
After that, you can venture into one of the many bars along this street. My two suggestions would be Brick Bar and Roof Bar. Both offer live music, and the atmosphere is so alive it has people dancing on tables. Drinks are typically served in buckets, and they also tend to serve helium balloons which give you a little extra buzz. The music is great, and they pack you in there, so be prepared to sweat off your earlier street carbs as you dance on tables well into the night. Drinks here are about 150 Baht, which is about 4.50 USD, and they are very large and strong.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can end the night with a tattoo! They have plenty of henna and regular tattoo shops all along the road.
Tomorrow when you wake up hungover, come back for the shopping. They have plenty of “name-brand” clothing stores in the streets, or you could order a custom made suit! I got one made at New Armani for $150, and it came with cashmere pants, shirt, vest, coat, and tie, all custom measured to fit my body perfectly. But again, don’t forget to bargain!
#2: Tower Club at Lebau – Sky Bar
This is the hotel where the infamous Hangover II was filmed! It is about a 15 minute taxi drive from the Khao San Road area, and it is well worth it. This area is more hipster and a bit more upscale featuring wealthy tourists and locals—so definitely wear your fancier outfit.
This bar is probably the classiest place to party in all of Asia, let alone Bangkok. It sits atop the 64th floor, and it is actually the largest and tallest open roof bar in the world! You must wear close toed shoes to get in, and gentleman, tank tops will get you send home. They check everyone’s attire head to toe before escorting you into the elevator. Drinks here are extremely pricy, starting at around $15 dollars for a glass of wine, and ranging up to $30 for mixed drinks. And there’s no bargaining here!
However, it’s worth the view, as you can see the city from the best view as you party well above the brilliant city light’s at this once in a lifetime location. There is even a man who will take photos for you on your phone as he shines a flashlight at different angles to make your memory of this elegant evening one to remember. If you’re looking to have dinner here, a reservation is strongly recommended.
#3: Maggie Choo’s Bar
If a speakeasy is more of your scene, this is the place to be. Also in Silom, the same area as Hotel Lebau’s Sky Bar, Maggie Choo’s Bar is one to see. Located underground in the basement of a the Novotel Hotel, taste the Chinese influences of this speak easy with delicious Cantonese food.
The interior design, which has a sexy vibe, is what gives this hidden gem most of its intrigue. It is known for its selection of top notch whiskies and scotch as well as its selection of fine wines. Enjoy the mystery of this place as you party with upper class Thais, expats, and adventurous locals who took the time to discovery this intricate atmosphere.
If the club is more of your taste, Onyx won’t be a waste. With EDM music blasting throughout, it is sure to be a good time, perhaps after a drink or two at one of the other bars from the list or in the area. Drinks here are much more reasonable, and there is more room to let your wild side out just like Bangkok does every night.
This venue holds over 2,000 people, making it one of Bangkok’s Meccas in the club industry. If you are feeling like letting your feet go wild, this is the place for you to spend your night. There often is a 400 baht entrance fee ($12), but that also includes drink vouchers, making this wild night more than reasonably affordable.
#5: Cheap Charlies
The name is pretty spot on to its meaning: CHEAP. For just about 60 Baht (a little over 2 USD), you can get one of the many local Thai beers at Cheap Charlies. It is definitely a hole in the wall joint, and with only a few tables and stools, you will most likely be standing. However, the atmosphere is very unique, with lots of graffiti and comical signs throughout. It is one of the smallest but oldest bars in Bangkok and is located on Sukhumvit Soi 11, one of the more local party streets opposite the touristic Khao San Road.
The music ranges from old school rock, to pop, to electric, but no matter what is playing, this bar is definitely in your budget. Grab a few drinks down this road at the other various bars before ending the night here. And when you’re ready to go home, do so in a Tuk Tuk, a local form of Thai transportation. But remember—you’re a tourist, so bargain! Don’t let them take the rest of your wallet before leaving Bangkok.
So what do you say? I hope you get on your way to having an amazing experience in one of the world’s best cities!