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An Overview of Bangkok's Nightlife

Bangkok – City of Angels in a Land of Smiles. And who could ask for more than to be surrounded by smiling angels? Today, over 11 million people call Bangkok home and, throughout the day, the city is a hustling, bustling sea of humanity. But it is after dark when the City of Angels really comes to life.

The nightlife in Bangkok is legendary. From the raunchy go-go bars of Patpong, Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy to the wide choice of massage parlours, karaoke bars, beer bars, pubs and clubs, Bangkok’s nightlife is one of the most diverse and lively in the world.

Bangkok, like any major city, has always had a red-light district, but it was during the Vietnam War when thousands of American GIs on R&R provided a boom in demand that a thriving sex industry was created. Almost 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, Thailand’s go-go bars live on, proving that man really does prefer to “make love, not war”.

The parallel streets of Patpong in the Silom area, Nana Plaza in Sukhumvit Soi 4, and Soi Cowboy between Sukhumvit Sois 21 and 23 cater to heterosexual Westerners looking for love of the short-time variety. The go-go bars in these streets are packed with pretty young bar girls dressed in thigh high boots and bikinis – or sometimes much less.

In return for a “ladies” drink (coca-cola at treble the normal price), the bar girls will sit and chat with customers between shifts of dancing and gyrating on elevated platforms and stages, often around poles. In some of Bangkok’s go-go bars, the bar girls will perform shows ranging from tasteful striptease to the just plain weird with anything from ping pong balls to goldfish.

Thaniya Plaza (Soi Thaniya), also in the Silom area, and numerous Sukhumvit Sois provide adult entertainment for Japanese men. Unlike in Bangkok’s go-go bars, the bar girls in the Japanese bars wear full length cocktail dresses and sit in packs with single Japanese men while they sing cheesy karaoke love songs.

Many other Asian nationalities and Thais head to the bars, clubs and massage parlours of Ratchadapisek Road, but there are countless escort bars and karaoke bars all across the city.

Bangkok is also one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world and Silom Soi 2 and Soi 4 are favourite hangouts for gay men in Bangkok, although gay bars and gay massage parlours are dotted all across Bangkok. Patpong also has some go-go bars that are either partly or entirely “manned” by ladyboys – or katoeys as they are locally known.

For more regular pubs and bars, the two streets of Silom and Sukhumvit are the places to be, with many Irish or British pubs as well as numerous American-style sports bars to be found.

There are also a cluster of passable bars, pubs and clubs in the backpack ghetto of Khao San Road. As this street has slowly moved upmarket, it is no longer frequented exclusively by dreadlocked neo-hippies in fisherman’s pants, and today you will find a fair few expats and adventurous Thais heading there to socialise.

Whatever your taste, the nightlife in Bangkok has a well-earned reputation which guarantees that wherever you may be in Bangkok, you are never far from a watering hole, and you need never go home alone.

Back to Nightlife


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Have your say...

10 Oct 2014, 03:20
Hi Guys,
Just want to let some information about the party in Bangkok. You can visit the website to stay connected with the news and the program of all the clubs & bars of Soi11. This street is full of clubs and bars really fun. They are not all same, that makes the attraction. If you feel to have a good time with your friend you can find calm place, and if you feel to have fun and be drunk you can find the place in the same street! The good news is that many new clubs are coming soon! I used to go there and I really love this area. Let's have a look and come to enjoy the party! More we are, more party is fun!
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