Bangkok, the bustling metropolis is an important chapter in any trip to Thailand. The Thai capital is often given a pass by vacation minded tourists searching out the sand, sun and fun of Thailand’s coastline, but in my mind they’re missing a big part of the Thai experience. Nightlife in Bangkok is a must-see, but without knowing where to go or what to do you’ll be spinning your wheels. That’s where this Bangkok Nightlife Guide comes in! In this guide we’ll talk about some of the best that Bangkok’s nightlife has to offer!
Why a Bangkok Nightlife Guide?
Bangkok’s nightlife is world renowned (its known as asia’s party city for a reason) and a great way to continue enjoying your stopover in the city after the sun goes down. The issue is that aside from a few very well known spots (Khao San I’m looking at you) the city’s nightlife is largely but regrettably unknown to most outsiders and tourists. To counter this we’ve put together a list of some of the top Bangkok nightlife destinations for travellers!
Socialize on Khao San Road
Khao San Road, famous as an historic hippy hangout is the hustling hub of backpacker life in Bangkok. While it’s unfortunately a far cry from how it’s remembered in the collective recollections of those original hippies and books like ‘The Beach‘ it’s still a worthy location for nightlife in Bangkok and likely the first stop for those looking to party in the Thai capital.
Located just a block off the Chao Phraya river this tourist-centric strip turned destination caters to farang needs during the day and then transitions into a bass bumping, booze fueled, intoxicated, tourist street party every evening.
Though its not for everyone this predictable party atmosphere is a guaranteed good time. If you don’t like the music where you’re at simply walk15 feet in any direction and the vibe can be completely different. Khao San is like a radio station where you can just switch it up whenever you’re not feeling something. Get hungry along the way? No problem, you’ll pass by a plethora of street-food vendors hawking everything from delicious pad-thai to skewers and even fried bugs.
You can get honest-to-god buckets of alcohol for 100 Baht, or about $3 US and one or two of these will put even the most seasoned party-crasher on their ass. Pace yourself, watch your belongings and have a blast. It’s something everyone should experience and this Bangkok nightlife guide wouldn’t be complete without partying on Khao San!
Shop the Patpong Night Market
One of the top Bangkok nightlife areas is the sprawling Patpong Market. Here everything is on offer. From local handcrafts to near perfect counterfeit goods, if you look hard enough and ask the right people you’ll find it here. No Bangkok nightlife guide would be complete without mentioning this massive market, that said be sure to watch for the common travel scams in the area!
“Our favorite nightlife activity in Bangkok was going to Patpong Night Market. It´s located around Silom. During the morning is a business district area and in the evening is totally different.
You can find everything that you need at Patpong Night Market. From delicious street food, to shopping and souvenirs to bring home. There are also nice clothes selling for very cheap prices, and also its full of restaurants and bars. We loved eating the noodle soups for dinner, prices were so cheap and you can get one for ~$2 USD= 50 Thai Baht. For us, a noodle soup was perfect as dinner. And later we ate dessert, our favorite one was Mango sticky rice and price was similar around $2 USD.
As with any crowded place, you need to take care of your belongings while visiting Patpong Night Market.
After dinner, we walk around and admired the sights. It was also a perfect time to go for a drink. We really liked the atmosphere and it’s always nice to meet someone whom you can chat around with or just have some fun drinking beers. When you go for drinks you can find fancy places and also you can look for Happy Hours around!” -Ruben & Rachel of Travel Blog Gamintraveler
Drink @ W District Prakanong
When it comes to nightlife in Bangkok, is there any better kind of chilled out evening than in the company of some good friends or family at a night market? We don’t think so, but traditional Thai night markets are often in places that are dark, noisy, and not what you would call ‘cool’. The W District Market in Phrakanong is a breath of fresh air (literally) in comparison! It’s light, clean, cool and very arty. As a Bangkok nightlife guide we have to suggest giving the W District a visit!
“Expats know it, tourists don’t. However, soon we’ll all be going there.
If you want Bangkok’s best outdoor food-market turn beer-garden then look no further than W District. Head down lower Sukhumvit to the suburb of Prakanong (Sukhimvit soi 71). Take a short 5 minute walk from the BTS Skytrain Station and you will come across a big neon W-shaped sign. W District is out the back. You’re almost there.
Technically W District is open 24 hours per day. However the beer-garden itself is actually open from afternoon until late, about midnight. You will find a huge range of Thai and Western foods. Pizza, Kebab, Burgers, Somtam, BBQ Chicken, Pad Thai, Indian Curries, and plenty more. There are two bars in the area with ice cold beer from 90THB for a large bottle, 5L beer towers and load of spirits available. It is all priced fairly standard for Bangkok.
The crowd which hangs out at W District is a mix of expats and Thai locals. While most people sit together in their small groups, it is also still to meet new people in this speakeasy environment. There no live music, so it’s not a partying place, but an awesome spot to spend a night outside any day of the week. As long as it isn’t raining!” –Travel Thailand with Josh of The Lost Passport
Visit Wat Pho
Nightlife in Bangkok doesn’t have to be all the bars and beers, in fact some of the coolest spots are located well away from the majority of the Thai capitals nightlife. Wat Pho is one of these epic locations that really shines at night compared to visiting during daylight hours.
“Bangkok is famous for its nightlife but there is one very well kept secret that you probably haven’t seen on most of the ‘must-do’ lists.
If you’ve done your research, you’ve almost certainly heard of Wat Pho, but did you know you can also visit it at night? Well you can! But given ’The Reclining Buddha’, probably Wat Pho’s biggest draw, is closed after dark, why should you bother? Well let me be clear, not only was it one of our highlights of Bangkok, but one of the best experiences of our entire three month journey around Southeast Asia.
It was truly magical to walk into one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok, and have it all to ourselves. There aren’t many places in the world when you can feel like an explorer finding an ancient city, but to do so in the most visited city on the planet was completely unforgettable.
When you approach, Wat Pho may look closed, but you can enter via the small south entrance on Chetuphon Road and as one more added bonus, there is no entry fee after the advertised opening hours!
So if you fancy seeing one of the most beautiful places in Bangkok, and avoiding the crowds, schedule yourself an after-dark visit to Wat Pho, one of the best kept secrets in Thailand.” -Ben Reeve of travel blog The Sabbatical Guide
Check out the LGBTQ Scene
Some of the best clubs in Bangkok can be found in the Silom neighborhood. It just so happens that this is also the center of Bangkok’s world famous LGBTQ community and one of the top nightlife destinations in Bangkok. The booze flows and the music bumps from dinner until the early morning! Come with some cash and a smile, you’re bound to have a good time.
“We absolutely love Thailand – it’s one of our favorite places in Asia and definitely one of the most gay friendly. The capital city Bangkok is a base we love, and always make time to spend at least a few days here for party.
Bangkok has one of the best gay scenes in the world in our opinion. It’s a lot of fun. It is based mainly in Silom. The gay bars are all next to each other along the pedestrianized road called “Silom Soi 4”, then a few blocks away is the gay clubs of Bangkok on “Silom Soi 2”.
The main gay bars are Balcony and Telephone, with outside seating, which makes it ideal for people watching. Another awesome gay bar is “Stranger”, which has hilarious drag shows.
The most popular gay club is DJ Station, which gets busy from around 11pm. It also has drag shows every night of the week, which will crack you up.
Other bars are scattered around the city – some more local, others geared more to sex, but in our opinion, the best gay bars and clubs are those based around Siloms Soi 2 and 4, which have a mixed crowd of foreigners and locals” -Stefan and Sebastien from LGBTQ travel blog NomadicBoys
Get some Late Night Eats
A Bangkok nightlife guide wouldn’t be complete without some Thai late night eats after a night out. 8 million Bangkok residents cant be wrong! Whether you’re after an iconic Pad Thai or a bowl of spicy Tom Yum soup, Bangkok’s street side ad hoc restaurants have an offering for you!
“Late-night eats are plentiful in Bangkok. To gear up for the club, or to help you wind down on your way home, you can find almost anything to tickle any taste buds. As a newcomer though, the selections can be overwhelming and the foodie names are local enough to be pretty mysterious. This is especially true in the Chinatown neighborhood, where carts and booths overflowing with delicious dishes vie for prime street space.
This is where Chef Nutth comes in. Chef Nutth has grown up in Bangkok and trained to be a top-end chef in traditional Thai and Asian cuisine. He takes a break from his restaurant career to bring visitors around the city, sampling the best street food and local ingredients with ‘A Chef’s Tour’.
One of the most fun tours is after dark, through the narrow alleyways of Chinatown. Some of the highlights include parcels of scallion pancakes, Shanghai-style shrimp dumplings and endless bowls of steaming noodles. You can definitely still find Thai classics in Chinatown too with Chef’s guidance, from Pad Thai and Thai iced tea to mango sticky rice and tropical fruits. You can switch off your tourist brain and simply follow along for the foodie ride on this memorable evening tour.” –Eileen from group travel blog Pure Wander
The Take Away
Whether you’re looking for an authentic Thai market experience or simply some booze fueled fun, Bangkok’s nightlife will have you satisfied. No matter if you’re a first time visitor or a seasoned pro the nightlife in Bangkok has something to offer! I hope this Bangkok nightlife guide helped shed some light on the possibilities your evening hold in Bangkok, but now its time you pack your backpack, buy some cheap airfare and explore the city for yourself!
As always, we’d love to know about your favorite Bangkok nightlife locations, so if you’ve found somewhere worth mentioning here for fellow travellers drop a comment below!