Bangkok has no shortage of clubs. RCA (Royal City Avenue) is often the first location mentioned when Bangkok’s clubbing crowd discusses a night out. This small pedestrian road includes some of the biggest names in Bangkok’s club scene, including Onyx, Live, and Route 66. Each of these clubs is quite large and contains multiple dance floors, with multiple DJs, banging-out multiple genres of music. So no matter what you’re into, you’ll find something here. As an example, Route 66 contains three dance floors. The first, and largest, plays the big hits: everything from pop to electronic hits from well-known artists. A second, smaller dance floor plays exclusively electronic music, and a third plays Thai hits.
Another common clubbing spot is along Sukhumvit Road. Sois 11 and 12 contain many bars, clubs, and other nightlife destinations. The big names here are Levels, Insanity, and Glow (which our teacher, Barry, cites as the hands-down best nightclub in Bangkok). Further down the road is a smaller, but no less fantastic nightclub, known as Sing Sing Theatre. Sing Sing stands alone in its unique approach to nightlife and club atmosphere. The entire venue is built in wood and wrought-iron, lighted by candles and lanterns. It creates an old-world vibe that twists when the stage performers come out in their often ornate and bizarre costumes. Led by these dancers on the stage (and on swings and in cages), the dance floor erupts into a mixed mosh of Thais and foreigners. Sing Sing is a club that has to be experienced to be appreciated properly.
Maybe clubbing isn’t your cup of tea. If you prefer a classy experience with a view, look no further than Bangkok’s slew of skybars!
Perhaps the most famous is the gold-domed Lebua Skybar. Located in Silom, only a short taxi trip from IH, this bar sits 820 feet in the air atop the five-star hotel in State Tower. Of course, it’s a bit classy and a bit pricey, but it may be worth the trip to get a drink and appreciate the view at this locale that was even used as a filmsite for the American comedy film, The Hangover: Part 2.
Another popular skybar near the school is Vertigo. Opening at 18:00, if you get here early you can even catch the sunset. This one is 61 floors high and gives one of the hands-down best views of the city you can find. Adjacent to Lumphini Park, it gives you not only a chance to watch the urban sprawl, but to also look down on the greenest part of the city.
There are literally dozens of skybars in Bangkok. These two are near the school and are quite good, but feel free to do your own research and find the right one for your tastes!
Finally, let’s take a look at a few chill-out spots. First on the list, is Flann O’Brien’s Irish Pub. This bar is located only a minute’s walk from the school and is one of the teachers’ and students’ favourite spots to unwind on a Friday night. Flann’s provides the typical Irish pub experience in the heart of the city. With a rustic wooden interior, pool table, darts board, a nice selection of beers (to include Irish beers of course), and live music on Wednesday and Friday nights, Flann’s is just a straightforward chill-out spot. Come here on a Friday and hangout with a few of the teachers after they finish the week’s final classes.
While a bit controversial and certainly containing more than just “chill-out spots”, Khao San Road does have a certain vibe to it that lends itself to an easy lifestyle. Teachers and students like to escape the loud, busy main road and chill-out at the aptly named Reggae Bar down one of Khao San’s tributary alleyways. There are many other spots here as well, that offer not only a relaxed atmosphere among Thais and foreigners alike, but also some of the cheapest drinks in Bangkok. If you’re coming to Thailand, this is a spot that you should check out at least once.
Finally, check out Sukhumvit Soi 11. While we also named this road in our look at Bangkok’s nightclubs, it has many chilled-out and cheap options as well. It is the location of, among other places, Cheap Charlies. True to its name, this place is cheap and a nice spot to relax. Soi 11 would be a great spot to bar hop if you’re in the city for a night. Just start at one of the road and work your way down.
Bangkok is a huge city. While this list is far from exhaustive, it hopefully serves as a good sneak-peek into a few of the nightlife options here, especially the ones close to the school and that our staff has been to and enjoyed.