Cheap Charlie’s is a legendary dive bar in Bangkok and the kind of place that, when mentioned, people who used to live in Bangkok will say, “Is that place still open?” It’s not just open; it’s thriving – built on a successful formula of cheap drinks and an easygoing charm.
It doesn’t have a roof, the few tables it does have are snapped up early, so most likely you will be standing shoulder to shoulder with a varied clientele of ex-pats, tourists and a few ‘internationalised’ Thais. It sounds clichéd but Cheap Charlie’s really is a melting pot of interesting characters from all over the world, all of whom are happy to spark up conversation. Many tales of misadventure are shared and embellished around the small ‘L’ shaped bar at Cheap Charlie’s which makes it a great place to start the night before moving further down Soi 11 to the many other bars and clubs on either side.
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Beers start at just 60 baht for a bottle of Chang and 70 baht for all others, with tequila shots also selling for the basement price of 70 baht. There’s a chain laid across the floor marking out Charlie’s area that drinkers are not allowed to step outside of – it makes for a fun game of sardines on a weekend and is a great way to meet people.
It’s all fairly ramshackle here: the limited menu is carved into wooden blocks nailed onto the bar, with a mishmash of foreign number plates, wood carvings, faded business cards and bank notes from around the world. The music is similarly eclectic with anything from 60s rock to the latest pop. Despite the many more glamorous bars on Sukhumvit Soi 11 – Bangkok’s premier party street – Cheap Charlie’s continues to pull in customers seven nights a week and would surely win an award for friendliest bar on the strip.
Cheap Charlie’s in Bangkok is about 100 metres down Sukhumvit Soi 11 on the left hand side. It is located down a horseshoe-shaped side street that loops back onto Soi 11 and contains several other interesting bars and restaurants worth exploring. The bar is open every day except Sunday and closes at 24:00 with last orders taken at 23:30.
Cheap Charlie's Bar
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – 23:30
- BTS: Nana
- Address: Sukhumvit Soi 11, past Zanzibar Restaurant on the left hand side
- How to get there: (for taxi) ซอย สุขุมวิท11 ผ่านร้านอาหาร Zanzibar ร้านอยู่ทางซ้าย