Where to go out in Bangkok
How reputations change! The style and sophistication of Bangkok’s best bars and clubs have finally eclipsed the city’s old notoriety for Patpong go-go bars (although closing hours still remain unpredictable). Newer hip nightlife hubs draw local and international party people to chic nightspots along Sukhumvit Sois 11, 55 (Thonglor) and 63 (Ekamai); the buzzy indoor-outdoor nightclubs of RCA (Royal City Avenue); and the classy incarnation of Bali’s nightlife complex KU DÉ TA, which hosts many world-famous DJs.
Unusual venues also flourish. The original skyscraper open-air rooftop lounge Vertigo & Moon Bar has spawned a dozen diverse rivals, while Ashley Sutton’s string of high-concept successes began with the bewitching steampunk jazz pub Iron Fairies. Aficionados of fine drink and wit head to Smalls, a bohemian snug by the founder of Q Bar. For an uproarious Thai-style night out, Tawandang draws hundreds nightly for its microbrews and spectacularly wacky cabaret shows.
Bangkok bar and nightlife venue details
KU DÉ TA Sathorn Square Complex, 39th & 40th floors, 98 Thanon Sathorn Nua. +66-2108 2000.
Vertigo & Moon Bar Banyan Tree Bangkok, 61st floor, 21/100 Thanon Sathorn Tai. +66 2679 1200.
Iron Fairies 394 Sukhumvit Soi 55. +66-9-9918 1600.
Smalls 186/3 Soi Suanplu 1. +66-95 585 1398.
Tawandang German Brewery 462/61 Thanon Narathiwat Ratchanakharin, at Thanon Rama III. +66 2678 1114-6.
Bangkok gay bars, clubs and saunas
Thailand’s tolerance, inclusiveness and famous transgender community have made Bangkok a magnet for Western gay tourists, and the gay capital for East Asians drawn by the lifestyle and gCircuit dance parties at Songkran and New Year. Suburban bars and saunas reward exploration, but a typical weekend remains a steam at the legendarily luxe sauna Babylon, people-watching in Silom Soi 4’s bars and a cruise through the all-gay Silom Soi 2 to Bangkok’s best gay club, DJ Station. The more mainstream ladyboy show Calypso Cabaret has relocated to Asiatique.
Bangkok gay bar, clubs and sauna venue details