Old City (Rattanakosin) Nightlife
What to Do at Night in Old City (Rattanakosin)
Bangkok's does not have what one would call a nightlife scene. For that, you'd be better off heading to nearby Khao San Road for an anything-goes vibe, some of the loudest drinking and dancing joints in town, and carefree, cosmopolitan crowds. On Rachadamnoen Avenue , by the Democracy Monument , is Café Democ - a restaurant by day that transforms into a dance club at night.
On the edge of the Old City, the laid-back Phra Arthit Road is one of Bangkok's most charming, sleepy little boulevards. Lined with shady trees and converted shop-house bars, cosy hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cute little cake shops, it is great in the evenings for live music while you dine, attracting art students and the odd bohemian backpacker.
Ad Here The 13th
Stripped down to the raw essentials – bar, tables and instruments – Ad Here the 13th is a diminutive blues and jazz spot that never fails to make a big impression on those who find it. Only on weekends, when the earthy sounds and people spill out on to the street would you notice it on passing - it's a tiny hole in the wall. Despite the bare, bohemian feel there's a warm, welcoming atmosphere that attracts Thais, discerning tourists and expats in equal numbers. A resident blues band with a loyal following plays nightly from around 22:00. Occasional special events and frequent jams by other locals ensures a bit of variety for the regulars. Beers are reasonably. Can get crowded as it’s so small.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 – 24:00
- Location: 13, Samsen Road. Bang Lumphu Intersection
Just over Klong Banglamphu, this is one of the few places in the area with shisha (hookah) pipes. Although there are plenty of other places with Arabian hookahs on Khao San and Rambutri roads nowadays, in some cases they are twice the price of Baghdad.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 – late
- Location: Soi 2, Samsen Road
Next door to Sawasdee Guest House on Rambutri Road, Bangkok Bar has been around for over five years. At weekends, the bar is jammed with backpackers and young locals though it is still fun to hang out there. Cheap beer and whiskey, good food, and chill-out music.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – late
- Location: 149 Soi Rambutri
- Tel: +66 (0) 2-6294443
Brown Sugar : The JazzBoutique
Since 1985, Brown Sugar has been serving Bangkok's live music fans. Ranked as "one of the best bars of the world" by Newsweek (1997), Brown Sugar has never failed to give everybody a good time. After 26 years of great service, Brown Sugar has now moved from Sarasin Rd. to Phrasumen Rd. - a bigger home. The club is open during the day as a restaurant and coffee house, and at night for nice cold beers with live music 7 days a week. Now with a brand new 200-seater space on its second floor to serve art exhibition, film screening, plays, poetry reading, private events/functions, performances and concerts, and all other art/music events beyond your imagination. The monthly "Brown Sugar Showcase" showcases live performances of International/touring acts every last Fri-Sat of the month at the PlayHouse. Expect great music in the house, upstairs and downstairs!
- Opening Hours: 17:00-02:00 (live music from 21:30)
- Location: 469 Phrasumen Rd. Banglumpoo
- Tel: +668 9499 1378
Around for years, this diminutive little restaurant-cum-café by day transforms into a defining force in Bangkok's club scene by night. During any one of its events, its graffiti-sprayed walls are witness to expertly mixed dance music – house, electro, pop, new rave, breakbeat, progressive house, trance, hip-hop and drum n’ bass. Only a ten-minute walk from Khao San Road.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 01:00, Closed on Mondays
- Location: Next to Democracy monument, Ratchadamnoen Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 2-6222571
This exotic dance music sanctuary on quiet Sri Ayutthaya Road is the creation of the Club Astra team (a casualty of RCA's notoriously fickle crowds). The dance floor is superb, a blend of empty grooving space surrounded by the stand up tables so beloved of Thai clubbers. And the sound system kicks like a mistreated mule.
Sofas at the back and a floor cushion lounge zone are a lazy clubber's dream - chill out without missing a beat. Most importantly of all the line-ups are hard to fault: international DJ's like Chicks on Speed and Ken Ishii spinning on weekends, local party organizers like Dude Sweet stepping up during the week. Add an infectious vibe courtesy of the friendly Thai/Farang crowds. Depending on the evening, admission rarely exceeds 500 baht, with a free drink thrown in. Some nights are free.
- Opening Hours: 21:00 - 02:00 (closed Monday)
- Location: Ratchdumnoen Klang
- Tel: +66 089 497 8422
Na Phra Lan Café
By day this is a good place to sip a cup of coffee and watch the slow-passing crowd outside. After dusk, the café is packed with beer-drinking students from nearby Silpakorn University. Good atmosphere with indie music, thoughtful décor with many colourful paintings on the walls – some for sale.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 22:30, closed at 18:00 on Sundays
- Location: Na Phra Lan Road, next to the Post Office
- Tel: +66 (0) 2-2212312
Nang Nua Riverside
At the point where the Chao Phraya River meets the Ong Ang Canal, not far from Saphan Phut Night Market, Nang Nua Riverside is a modern Thai restaurant and bar with an outdoor riverside terrace. It has great seafood and combines Thai and Western style cuisine with some great wine choices. An impressive sunset spot and an ideal place to watch the riverside and the night flow by.
- Opening Hours: 16:00 – 24:00
- Location: Mahachak Road, Ratchawong or Saphan Phut Pier
- Tel: +66 (0) 2-2237686
Just a few steps away from Khao San Road, Phranakorn Bar offers eclectic décor, gallery exhibits and a rooftop terrace overlooking the Old City district. It’s popular with students, local artists and travelers from all around the world.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 – 24:00
- Location: Ratchdumnoen Klang, Trok Sa-ke
- Tel: +66 (0) 2-2827507
Phra Athit Road
You’ll find plenty of pubs and bars located along Phra Athit Road, running parallel with the Chao Phraya River from Phra Sumet Fort to Phra Pinklao Bridge. Some of them are large while some are the size of a closet. Most bars down here are usually packed with students and travelers who go for the live music, inexpensive drinks and food. Many bars and pubs open early in the evening and stay running until around midnight. Have a look around; there’s lots to choose from.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – 24:00
- Location: Phra Athit Road, Phra Athit Pier