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Bangkok Travel & Tourism Guide

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Bangkok Nightlife

Get in on the nightlife action in Bangkok

Don't forget to check out our Bangkok Food and Drink pages.

Bangkok's nightlife is somewhat notorious, although recent social order campaigns for overthrown Thaksin administration had put a bit of a clamp on things: in particular, nearly all restaurants, bars and clubs were to close by 1 AM and a  few were allowed to stay open till 2 AM. (You’ll find nformal sidewalk bars open all night, particularly in lower Sukhumvit area.) You should carry a copy of your passport for ID checks and police do occasionally raid bars, subjecting all customers to drug tests – but this is as common now as it was a few years ago.

 One of Bangkok's main party districts is Silom, home not only to perhaps the world's most famous go-go bar strip Patpong, but plenty of more legitimate establishments catering to all tastes.

For a drink with a view, the open-air rooftop bar/restaurants of Vertigo and Sirocco are particularly impressive. Similar bars to the ones at Patpong can be found in the lower Sukhumvit area, at Nana Entertainment Plaza (soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (soi 23), while a large number of more trendy and more expensive bars and nightclubs can be found in the higher sois as well, eg. Thong Lor (soi 55), Bed Supperclub, Q Bar, or Met bar. Hippie hangout Khao San Road is also slowly gentrifying and there are even some Thais venturing into what were once mere backpacker bars, but most Thais still prefer to congregate around Ratchadaphisek.

The go-go bar is an institution of Bangkok's "naughty nightlife". In a typical go-go, several dozen dancers in bikinis (or less) crowd the stage, shuffling back and forth to loud music and trying to catch the eye of punters in the audience. Some (but not all) also put on shows where girls perform on stage, but these are generally tamer than you'd expect — nudity, for example, is technically forbidden. In a beer bar, there are no stages and the girls are wearing street clothes.

If this sounds like a thinly veiled veneer for prostitution, it is. Though some point to the large number of American GIs during the Vietnam War as the point of origin of the Thai sex trade, others have claimed that Thai lax attitudes towards sexuality have deeper roots in Thai history. Both Go-go and Beer Bars are squarely aimed at the farang and it's fairly safe to assume that all Thais in them are on the take. That said, it's perfectly OK to check out these shows without actually partaking, and there are more and more curious couples and even the occasional tour group attending. The main areas are around Patpong, Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy.

See our our Bangkok Food and Drink pages for more detailed information on specific bars and clubs.

 

 

 

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Bangkok Post -  Daily English Language Newspaper
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City of Bangkok Official Tourism website

 

 

 

 

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