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Nightlife

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Getting Off Khao San Road: Other Places to Party in Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the biggest cities in the world. It’s well known for its crazy hustle and bustle and its brilliant nightlife.

That’s why it’s a shame when tourists get stuck spending their whole trip on Khao San Road. Many even leave thinking this one backpacker bar street is what the city is all about.

They couldn’t be more wrong! Below we’ve listed a number of other bars/areas for you to get your party on.

Sukhumvit 22

Sukhumvit Road Soi 22

We probably end up here on a Friday more than any other area. Sukhumvit 22 is certainly rough around the edges, but it’s full of small random bars that allow you to control the music via YouTube. The vibe is casual, the drinks are cheap, and the party can last into the wee hours of the morning. There is also a venue with live music and ice bar upstairs, along with several hotel lobbies – you wouldn’t think they’d be top party destinations, but they have welcomed drunk groups looking for a good time in past. Even when Simon crawled up on a counter to dance, the hotel staff just laughed and cheered him on.

Ce La Vi (Formerly Ku De Ta)

Sathorn Square Tower 39FL, 98 Sathorn Square Building, North Sathorn Road Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500

This sophisticated club is situated on the 39th floor of the huge Sathorn One Building and overlooks most of Bangkok. It’s perfect for a dress-to-impress night with a group of friends. Share a bottle of spirits and enjoy the different music. Genres ranges from hip hop to house to commercial pop, depending on what night you go. The layout is a mixture between a lounge and a club with popular local and international DJs taking to the booth most nights. Enjoy this classy establishment and don’t forget it’s a smart and pricey club.

Sukumvit Soi 4 (Nana)

Sukhumvit Road Soi 4

Soi 4 is so much more than just Nana Plaza. There are lots of bars all down the street that offer a range of different partying experiences. There are also some amazing dance spots. Most bars will shut around 2 or 3 am, but you can stumble to EQ’s late night club for an extended party. As for Nana Plaza itself, the sheltered circle offers a range of go-go bars.

There’s more than just Nana Plaza on this street! 

Patpong

ซอย พัฒน์พงศ์ 2 Khwaeng Suriya Wong, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500

Patpong is another area that’s branded as just being a sex tourist destination, but it’s more than that. Yes, of course those bars exist, but so do many others that aren’t as seedy – there is even a night market running alongside all the different venues.

JJ Green

Address: เลขที่ 1 ถนนกำแพงเพชร 3, แขวงจตุจักร, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900

Speaking of night markets, JJ Green is one of the most popular ones. Along with shopping, you can enjoy a casual beer, watch some live music, and wander around the outdoor stands.

JJ Green is perfect for a chilled evening.

W District

Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110

Another chill area for drinking is the popular W district. You’ll find a central outdoor circle surrounded by bars and many food stalls. It’s the perfect place to start your evening.

W district is evergrowing in popularity. 

3 Days 2 Nights

Lad Prao Wanghin Rd – Soi Lat Phrao Wang Hin 71, Khwaeng Lat Phrao, Khet Lat Phrao, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10230

Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? This place is themed like an old farm, complete with a fenced in field with rabbits, sheep, and other animals. There is a ton of casual seating surrounding the animals, and a nightclub on site for later once you’ve enjoyed a few drinks. Another plus? This bar is a relatively unknown destination to tourists.

Ratchada 4 Complex

Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Huai Khwang, Khet Huai Khwang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10320

Ratchada 4 is perfect if you want to party with the locals and escape the tourist crowd. This places if often overlooked, but luckily we stumbled upon it. You’ll find a series of loud clubs that all have free entry. There are often live bands and a series of shows across the complex every night of the week starting at 9pm.

When you see this sign, stop and party!

Shrimp Bar

Soi Chaeng Wattana 1

Okay, so we don’t actually know its name, but there’s a huge, bright pink shrimp on the sign, so that’s what we call it. What a find this place was! Here’s another venue where you’ll probably be the only foreigner in sight. It’s very Thai, with live bands, big bottles of whiskey (although we get the brandy) and loud buzzing dance moves. If you head to the outskirts of Chaeng Wattana Soi 1, it’s pretty much the only thing that resembles nightlife on that street.

Shock 39 and other taxi driver choices.

39 Phetchaburi Rd, Thanon Phaya Thai, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400

Recently many areas of Bangkok have been enforcing a rule that everything must shut at 2am. But don’t worry, there’s always somewhere staying open until sunrise if you know where to look – or who to ask. One person who will always get you somewhere is your taxi driver. Just say “disco” and they will take you to a number of destinations. One of the most common stops is Shock on Petchaburi 39. This club stays open very late and has a dance stage and floor, pool tables, and a more chilled area to suit all needs. It’s a little bit seedy and rough, but it’s a cracker.

Grab a taxi, say ‘disco’ and see where you end the night.

RCA (Route 66)

Address – 66 Rama IX Soi 8, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, จังหวัด กรุงเทพมหานคร 10310

Route 66 is one of the most popular clubs in Bangkok. It’s found on the popular club street known as RCA. Famous for its crazy parties, it’s popular with tourists and locals who are dressed to impress. RCA is free for locals but 300 baht for tourists. However that 300 baht can go straight toward drinks as exchangeable coupons. This mazy club has 3 main rooms. One features the latest Thai and Western hits, another is all hip hop, and the last one usually has a live local band playing. There is also a massive seating space outside for people to gather around with a bottle of liquor. The club is open pretty much every night and is very popular with university students.

Soi Cowboy

Soi Cowboy, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110

Soi Cowboy is a small, 150-meter street that has a over 30 different go-go bars. It’s one of Bangkok’s most popular areas for tourists and expats. Most bars will have a waitress service while customers sit around the outside of a stage and watch various performances from girls in bikinis – or completely nude. This colorful street has been transformed into a popular tourist attraction as it’s known as one of Bangkok’s main red light districts.

SukHumvit Bar Crawl

Sukhumvit 

Another idea is just to go to any soi off Sukhumvit and start wandering from there. There are so many different bars in Sukhumvit, you’renever too far away from the next one. Start a random bar crawl and you won’t be disappointed.

Black Wolf Bar

12/17, 12/17 Lat Phrao Rd, Chom Phon, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900

Finally, here’s a little shout out to a local of ours. This bar is situated right next to Phahonyothin MRT exit 2. It’s a small starter bar that’s actually a revamped hair salon. Drop by and give it the business it deserves.

Find the many party places Bangkok has to offer.

Khao San road is an amazing party but don’t limit yourself to just that! Bangkok is full of fun, diverse, random area. Experience them all.

Any we’ve missed? Where have you had a great night?Anywhere you hate? We’d love to know!

For more information on the best bars and clubs to visit in Bangkok, click here.

 

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5 Types of Bars to Visit While Traveling

It’s not always easy to make a decision while traveling.

At home, you already know your favorite places to go, the best way to get there, and what to expect once you’ve arrived. You can have a great night out without much effort at all.

In an unfamiliar place, everything takes more planning. You’ll probably want to read reviews, research prices, and consider logistics before heading out for the night. We’ve often reached the end of a great day exploring, come back to our hotel to clean up, and then found ourselves feeling a bit lost as we realized we don’t really know where to head.

Of course, that can also be a really exciting feeling! But if you’re looking for a bit of direction, we’d like to help you get started by considering what kind of night you want to have and what options typically await you in major cities around the world.

Below we’ve highlighted five types of bars that you should consider, along with a few recommendations from our travels thrown in.

The Cheapest Bar

What’s your biggest concern when traveling? For many people, it’s staying within budget. If that’s you, finding the cheapest bar might be the way to go. Along with being easy on the wallet, these have often been really fun bars. They’re random, tucked into some unexpected nook, and usually not filled with other foreigners.

That said, they are probably cheap for a reason. The alcohol isn’t going to be the highest quality. The vodka was found in the basement years ago – if there’s vodka at all. You’ll probably need to choose from local liqueurs or strong homemade beers.

Be warned: You’ll probably get drunk quicker, and the hangover will be more severe.

It’s perfect for: Budget backpackers and travelers, or anyone looking for something more laid back and random.

Some random ones we’ve found:

The 10 Baht Bar, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Perry’s Cafes, Shanghai, China
BePotato (Formerly Feelings), Guangzhou, China
The Welly Club, Hull, United Kingdom
Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia
FIV五 Izakaya Bar, Singapore
Workshop, Melbourne, Australia

Cheap and cheerful.

Local Bars

These bars are definitely the most fun! They can also be the biggest challenge to find. If you’re reading a review on the internet, then you can probably assume other travelers are finding the same reviews. The best way to stumble upon these gems is to ask a local. This could be a new friend, your taxi driver, or even a random friendly person off the street if you’re bold enough. You can also wander away from the city center and just have a look around yourself.

Once you’ve found the right place, be ready for an amazing and unexpected night! You might find yourself watching bizarre dance shows in Myanmar, singing classic English songs with Chinese people in Guangzhou, or dancing the night away until 2am with an entire Indian family.

Be warned: Be aware that you are a guest in these places. Don’t stroll in like you own the place. Be respectful and read the room to know what is and isn’t appropriate behavior.

It’s perfect for: Travelers who want to get off the beaten track or experience something completely new.

Dancing in a local bar in New Delhi.

Bars with a View

Sometimes we’re in the mood for a classier kind of night – despite what some of our stories may have lead you to believe. On these occasions we prefer a little more sophistication, and we often head to a rooftop bar. They’re usually more expensive, but they can be worth it if you want to really enjoy the view – whether it’s an urban city, rural landscape, a beach, mountains, or a river. You’ll get a relaxing atmosphere, and some really good pictures.

Be warned: You can expect crowds and steep prices.

It’s perfect for: Anyone who loves beautiful views, fancy drinks, dressing up, or taking impressive photos.

We’ve seen a lot of rooftop views, but only a few have really left an impression on us. We’d recommend:
Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar, Bangkok, Thailand
O Zone, Hong Kong
1 – Altitude Gallery and Bar, Singapore

Enjoy the view.

Tourist Hotspots

Rolling your eyes at that bar street full of backpackers and tourists? We’d recommend you give it a chance! Maybe you’ll hate it, but popularity is usually earned for a reason. You can always move on if it’s not suiting you. It might not be your most authentic night abroad, but we’ve certainly had a lot of fun in these hotspots.

It’s also a great way to meet other travelers or expats if you’re new to a city, and the drinks tend to be affordable with plenty of happy hours or buy-one-get-one deals.

Be warned: You’ll probably find yourself in a large, drunk crowd. You won’t see a lot of locals or local culture. You might end up in a few repetitive small talk conversations.

Perfect for: People who want to meet other travelers, or those just looking for a simple, fun night.

Some great deals can be found in tourist hotspots.

The Bar that’s not a Bar

Nothing looking appealing so far? Maybe the “bar” you want isn’t a bar at all. Some of our best nights have been with a bottle of wine from the grocery store or a few beers from 7-11. Instead of heading to a bar, we just wandered around a little and found somewhere to stop, chat, and drink. This could be next to the river running through the city, on a park bench, by the hotel pool, or even just on some random steps. If you already have a great group and the conversation is flowing, why do you need a bar?

Be warned: This usually only works on a chill night – after a few drinks you might start to feel like a dance, and that’s hard to create without heading to real bar or club – unless you’re okay with creating an embarrassing public scene.

Perfect for: Groups of travelers who aren’t in the mood for a crowd, don’t want to meet new people that night, or just want a really relaxing evening.

Make your own entertainment. 

There are so many options for a good night when you’re traveling! From karaoke to fine wine, it can be difficult to choose a direction and then find the right place. We usually aim to have a few different experiences on each trip. Which types of bars are your favorites? Where would you recommend?

 

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The Drink, The Drunk and The Hangover of our Travels

If we’re going to talk honestly, we have to admit that one of our top priorities when arriving in a new city is to have a great night out.

We love to see what kind of party we can find in an unfamiliar place, and get a taste for whatever drinks are cheapest or most popular with the locals.

While seeking out unknown, cheap drinks, we’ve definitely stumbled upon some horrible concoctions along with a few hidden gems. Either way, they usually create hilarious moments and great stories to recall the next day – along with more than a few debilitating hangovers.

Cheers!

Below we talk about some of the drinks, the stories, and the aftermaths.

The Drink:

Baijiu (China)

Baijiu is a Chinese liquor made from grain. It’s a white clear alcohol and is usually between 40 – 60% alcohol content.

The Drunk:

We can thank this drink for bringing us together. We had known each other a couple weeks, but we hadn’t had the confidence to make a move yet. After a few baijiu and cokes at a party, Simon gained the courage to tell Kristin that he wanted to “snog her face off” – despite our many coworkers lurking around, eager for gossip. A few more drinks found us running around Canton Tower, shouting nonsense, and lying down to snog on the street.

The Hangover:

We were sick but happy because we had revealed that we liked each other. Cute. 🙂

Grateful for that night 🙂 

The Drink:

Tsingtao (China)

We also came across Tsingtao in China. It’s China’s second largest brewery, produced in Qingdao in the Shandong province. Its alcohol percentage is said to be around 4.5%. Tsingtao is seriously cheap, but be cautious before you overindulge.

The Drunk:

The scene was Simon’s birthday party at his apartment in Guangzhou. Downing several Tsingtao, he was quickly a state. When the party ended, we headed out in search of any bar or club we could find.

New to China and quite drunk, we barely knew where we were, much less what direction we should be heading. The taxi driver decided to take advantage of this situation. He took his time driving around, taking so many turns, we felt certain we were on the other side of the city. Our fare was about three times more than we would have expected, but we were dropped off at a club (Nova) so we were happy.

And we had an amazing night. We couldn’t wait to go back to that club again. The only problem? We had no idea where it was and couldn’t remember the name. The taxi ride was so long and complicated – we were sure we’d never find it again.

But we still searched. For months. It was the legendary club, lost to us forever.

Until, one day, Simon was walking to the metro and he noticed a door. He remembered that door. It was the club – literally only a 2 minute walk from his apartment.

The Hangover:

Horrid! I’ve never experienced anything like it. It made me delusional, gave me an unbearable headache, and made me so ill.

H2O needed for Kristin.

The Drink:

Leo (Thailand)

Leo is a pale lager beer brewed in Bangkok by a brewery called Boon Rawd. Its interesting logo is a leopard – although I thought it was a tiger for years.

The Drunk:

Where to start! Honestly, Leo is such a staple of our lives, I can’t pick just one story. Many fun nights have been spent drinking “just one more.” We love sitting around a table of new or old faces, casually ordering drink after drink. I’ve made great friends this way – there’s something about having a few Leos together that makes new friendships form, even with people we previously found boring or a little annoying.

Leo has made Simon do some strange things as the night gets later – for example, he suddenly seems to despise wearing clothes. Especially while crossing a specific bridge on our walk home – this is where the stripping usually begins. There are a couple stray dogs snoozing away up there – one in particular does not find Simon’s nudity amusing. While these dogs usually ignore us passing by, this one will bark at Simon ferociously until we are off the bridge.

Leo can also turn him into a bit of a kleptomaniac. One morning we woke up to a traffic cone in our kitchen. The pillows from our condo’s lobby are also frequent victims of this behavior.

Don’t worry – everything gets returned eventually and this phase has mostly passed now. Simon still likes to bring home random gifts while drunk off Leo, but he pays for them honestly now. His newest game is to buy Kristin gifts at 7-11 that he has picked at random while closing his eyes. (Sometimes the gifts are pretty good, too. Sometimes they are ridiculous and cost several hundred baht.)

More Leo stories include falling in a hedge, literally crawling home on all fours, and throwing wet toilet paper at our windows – something we have affectionately named “soggy boggies.”

The Hangover:

It’s brutal. Your mouth stays dry forever. Water starts tasting like syrup. Some symptoms may even linger into a second day. One regrettable Leo hangover occurred on Christmas Day 2014. Simon’s friends were enjoyIng Christmas lunch together, but he locked himself in a toilet stall and sat on the floor for 30 minutes feeling miserable. It was the worst hangover of his life.

Our lovely cone.

The Drink:

Sangria (Oman)

Obviously sangria is not local to Oman, but in a country where alcohol can be scarce and expensive, we were thrilled to find these pitchers at a Mexican restaurant in Muscat. Who knows what exactly was in them – but they were strong.

The Drunk:

The sangria was so sweet, and each glass went down so easily. We didn’t even notice an effect, which is always when you know you’re in trouble. Because eventually it will hit you like a train – and it did.

By the time we left the restaurant, the streets were empty and there wasn’t a taxi to be seen. After stumbling around pathetically for a bit, we found a 19 year old boy from Iran who was willing to drive us back to the other side of the city (endless gratitude to him – he humored us by engaging in our silly drunken conversation with a smile, and he wouldn’t even accept payment).

We immediately climbed in bed and passed out. It should be noted that this bed was not in a hotel room – a friend who is currently living in Oman let us crash in his room while he stayed at his girlfriend’s.

Which makes the next part of the story that much worse.

An hour later, Kristin woke up to find Simon standing at the window. A little confusing, but she assumed he was looking at the moon or stars for some reason – we don’t get many clear night skies back in Bangkok.

Then she heard the telltale sound and realized –

Simon was pissing all over the floor. Not just the floor, but his backpack, and every article of clothing he brought for the trip.

In shock, she raised some protest. This only persuaded him to move on to Kristin’s backpack. That was all the motivation Kristin needed to jump out of bed, basically tackle him, and forcefully drag him to an actual toilet. He was very annoyed – as if Kristin was the unreasonable one in this situation.

The Hangover:

Surprisingly, we suffered no hangovers but plenty of memory loss. Simon remembered absolutely nothing. Kristin had vague memories but thought it was a weird dream – until we realized all of Simon’s clothes were soaking wet and smelling foul. Kristin’s bag was missing but later found all packed up and hidden away where no one could piss on it.

 

Other Escapades:

Vodka and Red Bull in Spain
After a few of these, Simon needed to empty his bladder. Unfortunately, the nearest toilet was through a busy club. Too much hassle! Drunk logic says “It’s okay, just go ahead and piss your pants.” So he did.

Spain made for some great drunk fun.

Whiskey Sours in China
Kristin is excellent at knowing her limit, but she also has a hard time turning down free drinks. One night, she decided that it was time to stop but a couple friends were still in full-on party mode. They kept declaring “just one more, it’s on us.” In return for their generosity, they ended up carrying a sloppy drunk Kristin down the stairs of the pub at the end of the night. She vomited all over them both, while the entire waitstaff watched (along with a few stray customers). She felt okay the next day, but it’s the one and only morning she has woken up embarrassed about the night before.

White Wine in Iceland
We usually do well on white wine. It’s what we drink when we just want one or two on a calm night. But in Iceland a couple bottles had us thinking belly flopping into a pile of snow was a good idea. Luckily, cold weather always makes the hangovers easier to handle.

Here’s to being drunk 🙂 

There’s no denying that a few drinks are always on the agenda when we travel. There’s no better feeling than letting loose at new bars, in new cities, with new people, and enjoying new drinks. Do you find time for a night out when you travel? We’d love to hear your stories!

 

TRAVELERS OFTEN GET ASKED HOW WE’RE ABLE TO FIND THE MONEY, TIME, OR COURAGE TO GO ABROAD.

WANT TO KNOW HOW WE DO IT?

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