Bangkok Nightlife guide
Soi Cowboy – Nana Plaza – Patpong – Soi 11
The Bangkok nightlife is rightly one of the best in Asia. Its as diverse as Asia itself spread across many different parts of the city. There aren’t many people who don’t know somebody who has a tale about Bangkok nightlife.
From side street stalls selling cocktails, beer bars, go go’s to nightclubs this is a city that has it all. Its a true hedonists mecca, and attracts revelers from all over the world. With daytime temperatures constantly a stifling 30+ it’s no wonder the city comes alive a night when it’s more bearable.
Bangkok is completely different by night, when the sun sets the city transforms into one giant party every evening. Otherwise bare Soi’s are transformed by the carts and vendors that set up offering cocktails and beers. Dim dark streets by day are lit up by the plethora of neon lights advertising the bars and clubs. Quiet little corners are disturbed by pumping music. Desolate pieces of wasteland morph into bustling night markets.
Bangkok is a large and spread out city, and its nightlife scene is no different. Places to spend an evening pop up all of this bustling metropolis, each offers something different. Whichever part of the city you find yourself you will have an amazing time partying in Bangkok.
Our guide will show the best areas to party and help you decide where you want to stay in Bangkok to party
Soi Cowboy Bangkok
Soi cowboy is one of Bangkok’s oldest nightspots, and has become infamous after the movie Hangover 2 was filmed here. Since then it has seen an upturn in visitors and is now one of Bangkok’s most visited tourist attractions.
Located a short walk from Asoke BTS station it is centrally located and easy to get to. The entrance to the street is easily recognizable from the large neon lit sign at the Sukhumvit road end. Soi Cowboy is a relatively short road and only around 150 meters long, but what a 150 meters they are. Jam packed with around 40/50 bars and Go Go’s.
What to expect in Soi Cowboy
Well as one of the more frequented spots on the scene, Soi Cowboy nightlife is bustling most nights of the week. The area doesn’t really have a quiet night, so expect the bars to be busy when you visit.
Being extremely popular the prices here are on the higher end of the Thailand nightlife scale. I would not be surprised if you end up paying the same or more than you are used to back home for your drinks. Drink prices here are on a par with other popular night spots across the globe, expect to pay 180 baht ($5.50) for a beer.
Atmosphere wise it all really depends on what you prefer. Most evenings it is a fun a jovial crowd of mainly tourists. Although the area is mainly Go Go bars and beer bars, the scene is not as seedy as other parts of the city. Although from time to time you will find groups of men or stag do’s heading there looking for their Thai girls, but they are generally well behaved and won’t bother the average tourist.
Soi Cowboy is well policed at night so you will be here, however as it is very busy we do advise taking care of belongs and watch out for pick pockets, although this is very rare.
Check the best hotels near Soi Cowboy
Nana Plaza / Soi 4 Bangkok
Nana Plaza is probably Bangkok’s most famous nightlife spot, located on Sukhumvit Soi 4. It is so famous the Soi has been unofficially renamed Soi Nana. Nana Plaza couldn’t be easier to get to, located equidistant between Phloen Chit and Nana BTS stops, it’s only a 5 min walk from either. If you staying in the Sukhumvit area then this will more than likely be a short stroll from your hotel.
Nana Plaza is not a Soi its a more like a multi-story car park in shape. With 3 floors of adult entertainment all over looking a central atrium. The main clientele to this area are looking for the more raunchy aspect of Bangkok nightlife. However you will find the odd younger traveler here for the experience.
The nightlife on Soi 4 (Soi Nana) is not just limited to Nana Plaza, in fact if you make it further down Soi 4 you will be rewarded many bars and restaurants all of which are worth a visit. There are live music venues, sports bars showing UK and American sports.
Check out the best hotels near Nana Plaza here
What to expect in Nana Plaza / Soi 4
Nana Plaza is very much the epicentre of the seedy side of the entertainment scene in Bangkok. So if you do pay a visit then don’t be surprised by the sheer number of scantly clad Thai girls and of course the obligatory Lady Boys. Even if you do not venture in the actual Plaza, you will still be exposed to the “freelancers” that wander the bottom end of the Soi and the route along Sukhumvit to the BTS. There is no need to worry, they will not bother you if don’t want to engage and they are more interested in finding a date for the night than wasting time on un interested tourist.
Having said that, we would certainly recommend visiting around here, there are plenty of decent bars and restaurants the further along Soi 4 you wander and with so many bars competing for your custom, process are fairly reasonable here as well. Prices in Nana plaza are high and beers can cost 150-180 Baht ($4.50 – $5.50), however the bars further along Soi 4 offer much more reasonable prices, expect to pay 75-100 Baht a beer.
Patpong market Bangkok
Another world famous area for Bangkok nightlife is Patpong Market area. Located near the Sala Daeg BTS stop this area is actually made up of 2 streets, Patpong 1 and Patpong 2.
The night market at Patpong is probably the best known of Bangkok’s night markets. The market stretches from the BTS stop all the way down to Patpong 1. As markets go it isn’t Bangkok’s biggest or for that matter it’s best. The main reason it has become the best known night market in the city, is its location coupled with it’s world famous adult entertainment.
The market vendors are generally aiming there wares at tourists, and as such prices here are considerably higher than at other markets in the city. Many tourists aren’t as versed in the art of bartering as the Thai’s and such the unscrupulous traders take full advantage. The starting price is generally 2/3 times the actual price you could get the same item for anywhere in Bangkok.
Patpong market is probably more famous for its bars and sexy show’s than it is as a market. Once famous for scams and ripping unsuspecting tourists out of their hard earned dollars. The area has recently cleaned up it’s act. Gone are the over inflated bar bills and threats of violence towards those that question the bill. Nowadays drinks are charged as ordered, or at least the waitress will show you the updated bill each time you order. The sexy shows and girly bars still remain, but the seedy element has gone, now Patpong market is very much a mainstream tourist spot.
Visiting Patpong market is a must when in the city, even if you just wander around and soak up the atmosphere. Prices for drinks and food is on the higher side reflecting it’s popularity with tourists.
Read our full guide here
Soi 11 and Soi 13
The Bangkok nightlife isn’t just about the girly bars and shows, and if your after a more traditional night out then head to Sukhumvit Soi 11 and 13. Here you will find many bars and nightclubs more akin to those you would find in any western capital city.
Just a short walk from Nana BTS station these 2 Soi’s have a great selection of bars, restaurants and large nightclubs. Visited by tourists, western expats and young middle class Thai’s alike. The bar selection on Soi 11 varies from carts on the side of the road selling cheap cocktails and beers to big super clubs such as Bed Bangkok. In between these 2 extremes are many mid range bars and restaurants.
If your looking for night out with the locals, heading to Soi 11 or 13 is a must in Bangkok. Drink prices vary greatly on the soi, from the very cheap carts to the overpriced super clubs.
We hope this Bangkok nightlife guide has helped you decide where to go at night when in Bangkok?
Looking for a nice hotel in Bangkok? Take a look at our guide “Where to stay in Bangkok”
The Khaosan road area of Bangkok should need no introduction, it has long been the favourite haunt of the backpacking community here in Bangkok. This sets the tone for the nightlife in the area, it is really all geared towards the backpackers. So not everyone’s favourite spot for an evening entertainment.
If this is your thing then that’s fine, you find lots of like minded travellers here, and if your travelling alone and want to meet others, then spending an evening or two here could be a great way to meet other travellers.
Personally I would only recommend spending one or two nights here. Bangkok has so much more to offer the reveller. Also it is quite far out from other parts of the city and not served well by public transport. Unless you are staying in one of the hostels here, it can be a bit of a trek to get to.
Other areas worth a mention
As the nightspots mentioned above are the more famous in Bangkok, there is so much more to this city for those looking for night time entertainment. As mentioned Bangkok is a large spread out city and little pockets of nightlife appear wherever you are. Below are just a small example of such areas:-
Further west along the Skytrain from Asoke (Soi Cowboy) you will the more quiet and quiet nightspot of Phrom Phong. This is a decent spot to head to if your after a few relaxed drinks and some nice food. Prices are reasonable.
This is a decent place to head to for the wealthier traveller or local. Considered by many as Premier area in Bangkok. Frequented by locals and expats it is fairly quiet during the early week, and the best nights are weekend. Much like the nightlife in any working city back home.
If you do find yourself here over a weekend and fancy a posh evening out then we highly suggest coming to Thonglor.
Royal City Avenue (RCA).
Now this is the area for those of you that are into your clubbing! Some of the best nightclubs in Bangkok are located here. RCA as this area is more commonly know is a designated nightlife spot by the local authorities and this means it is extremely safe to visit. Being designated comes with stringent restrictions on the venues here, and they have a strict code of conduct to adhere to.
The biggest and best clubs in Bangkok are here and they are all pretty rammed every night of the week. Both tourist and locals alike flock here every night. As a general rule these are no different to nightclubs anywhere else in the world. They have dress codes (so no daytime beach wear, and certainly no flip flops). Drink prices are also expensive inside the clubs. Although there are plenty of cheaper bars to frequent first to get the evening started.
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