Dimly lit and dusty, Wong’s Place is a late night dive bar that has written itself into Bangkok folklore. Photos cover the walls – some dog-eared, other’s bleached from the sun – and the cramped bar area is drenched in a dark red hue from Chinese lanterns. Music is played from one of thousands of VHS cassettes, with the eponymous Wong holding court behind the bar.
People start arriving around midnight but to really experience the true essence of the place, you should aim to arrive after 02:00, when most other bars in the city are closing for the night. Wong’s Place is located on Soi Sribumphen, a nondescript residential street off Sathorn Soi 1. Even though the bar is only a few minutes from Silom, it’s the kind of place you would never stumble upon.
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As you might expect from an after-hours dive bar, the clientele is incredibly varied. Expats mix with a raucous gay crowd and even a few socialites can be seen ‘roughing it’. One thing is for sure, everyone is friendly and conversation flows freely, no doubt aided by the 120 baht beers on offer from the communal fridge. Open until the last customer finishes drinking, there is only one rule at Wong’s Bar: everyone must buy a drink. Anyone seen without one will be singled out by Wong and told over the microphone to ‘buy a drink or go away’, but with far stronger language.
The nightlife scene in Bangkok is renowned for flurries of openings and closings as new trends envelop the city. Acting as a kind of counterbalance, Wong’s Place has barely changed in 20 years, and will probably be playing grainy VCR cassettes in dusty room full of bric-a-brac 20 years from now. At 02:00 in Bangkok when you’re not quite ready for the night to end Wong’s Place is the place to go.
- Opening Hours: 24:00 until the last person leaves
- Address: 27/3 Soi Sribumphen, off Sathorn Soi 1
- Tel: +66 (0) 8 1901 0235