Getting a (Night)life
Khao San Road at night
Nightlife across Bangkok has something for everyone, whether you want to sip a few Singha beers at a pub on Khao San Road, dance at a trendy club along Sukhumvit Road or see something seedy in Patpong. I didn’t get out much at night during my travels, which is too bad – every article I read now after the trip mentions fun places I would have liked to visit. The following list is culled from BK Magazine, a free English-language paper that has fun restaurant reviews and articles pitched at young travelers and residents. (Visit the Web site, or sign up for weekend updates of Bangkok nightlife at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Booze (159/8 Thonglor Soi 10, 02-715-0763): You can sip drinks at the corner bar and watch the guests until 1 a.m. when everyone hits the floor for live music. The magazine urges bar-goers to “enjoy the frenzied crowd of the bold and the beautiful.” Open daily 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
China Bar (58 Hong 1, Ratchadaphisek Soi 4, 02-247-8832): This Chinese-themed bar gives customers live bands and DJs that spin Thai favorites. It also has fun promotions, like bring 10 people, get one free tu-plaa cocktail (“a mixture of whiskey, vodka and red or green soda in a big fish bowl”). Open daily 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
Kangaroo Point Bar and Restaurant (245/5 Sukhumvit Soi 31, 02-260-9108): A relatively unknown meeting spot where tourists can come to sip beers on the small patio and enjoy chicken wings and potato skins before settling down to a big Aussie burger. The restaurant, which boasts walls with snapshots of Australia, also offers Thai cuisine and gooey desserts. Food is in the 70-400 baht range. Open daily 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.-midnight.
Also, don’t forget about Khao San Road. It’s always fun to get lost in the throng of tourists and neon lights here. Just wandering up and down the street will give you access to numerous pubs, clubs and shopping (although stalls close around 11 p.m.). When you reach the end of the road, turn down adjacent alleyways and try to find somewhere new. If you want to have your nighttime fun earlier in the day, watch for eateries that offer happy hour specials 4-6 p.m. Another fun aspect is the drink carts set up in the afternoons. The area is also good for getting a cheap massage (sometimes as low as 80 baht for a half hour), having your hair braided or dreaded, or scoping out piercing and tattoo parlors.