Bangkok Riverside Nightlife

What to Do at Night in Riverside

Nightlife at the riverside has an altogether different definition than the scene in, say, Silom or Sukhumvit. Posh riverside hotels often have chic jazz or cocktail bars, and at the Millennium Hilton you can shake your tail to heart's content at Zeta - or enjoy spectacular views from Three Sixty, its fast-becoming-famous rooftop venue.

But, the real nightlife star, hands down, is the Chao Phraya River itself. 'Party boats', 'floating karaokes' or whatever you want to call it, glide up and down the river all night long, complete with disco lights and mirror balls.

Good thing that strict laws are enforced to contain the noise pollution after midnight and to bring an early end to the partying, or many a reveler would have ended up in the Chao Phraya's murky waters after one-too-many. While nightlife at the riverside might not be a late-night and hard-partying affair, it certainly has its own very special charms.


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Riverside Bars and Pubs

 

Bangkok’s riverside area is one of the best places to unwind with a glass of cocktail or wine. For one thing, the view – particularly at sunset – is guaranteed to impress you (and your date). The ambiance is also another big plus, as most are part of the hotel establishments lining the two Chao Phraya riverbanks. Discover all that the riverside has to offer, from old-school charms at the Mandarin Oriental’s Bamboo Bar to the iconic Sky Bar’s jaw-dropping 360-degree city and river views from Millennium Hilton Bangkok.

342 Rooftop Bar

This stylish bar may well be one of the shortest ‘rooftop’ bars in Bangkok; set on the fifth floor of the Baan Wanglang Hotel, its height pales in comparison to most other venues falling into the same category in Bangkok. However, don’t let this fact put you off; what 342 Bar lacks in height, it more than makes up for in views, which stretch across the majestic Chao Phraya River all the way to the Grand Palace and Wat Arun - both brilliantly lit up at night making for the perfect backdrop some tasty cocktails.

342 Bar run some happy hour promos (buy two cocktails get one free) from 18:00-22:00 and have a good menu of Thai and international food. There is also the Olive Tree restaurant on the ground floor of Baan Wanglang which has a more comprehensive menu and similar (but less impressive) views. This venue is at Wang Lang Pier (turn left as you disembark the boat and the hotel and bar are about one minute away.)

Opening Hours: 12:00 - late
Address: 342 Soi Wat Rakang (Arun Ammarin 18) Bangkok
Tel: +66 (0) 2 412 7234

Asiatique The Riverfront

Asiatique has successfully combined two of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. Ten minutes downriver from Saphan Taksin BTS station this once-bustling international trade port has been transformed, with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under a huge replica warehouse complex. Open from 17:00, spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself; you are guaranteed to find something you would like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso ladyboy cabaret and soon, a classic Thai puppets performance. Read More...

Opening Hours: 17:00-midnight
Location: Chareonkrung Soi 74-76
How to get there: The easiest and fastest way to get there is via boat. Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle at the end of the pier. It only takes ten minutes, and the boat runs until 23:00. Taxis are not recommended as the traffic can be terrible in this area.

Balco Bar

This al fresco rooftop bar by the riverside is a good alternative to classy hotel rooftop venues surrounding it. For starter, Balco offers the same stunning panorama of the Chao Phraya River after sunset, and you won’t have to pay as much to enjoy it. Drinks are reasonably priced, and the friendly bartender will be more than happy to mix your favourite potion if it’s not on the menu. The atmosphere is casual and pleasant – no need to dress up. Soothing bossa nova tunes begin the evening, before it shifts to house beats later into the night. Read More...

Opening Hours: 18:30 - midnight (closed Mondays)
Location: Rivercity Shopping Complex
Address: Charoen Krung Soi 30 (next to the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel)
Tel: +66 (0) 2 237 0077-8
How to get there: Get on the BTS to Saphan Taksin Station. There's a free shuttle boat service to Rivercity available at Sathorn Pier everyday from 10:00 to 20:00

Bamboo Bar

In keeping with the Orientals colonial style, Bamboo Bar could well be from a scene in Out Of Africa with its plush jungle-style interior and polished furnishings. The low-key bar exudes a feeling of old school glamour perfect for enjoying a signature “Oriental Mai Tai” cocktail prepared by the skilled bartender, trained at the world renowned Harry's Bar in Munich.

The jazz band accompanied by the soothing vocals of the resident singer provide the soundtrack to an establishment where you are half expecting Humphrey Bogart to walk through the door of The Mandarin Oriental.

Opening Hours: 11am-2am (Friday-Saturday) - 11am-1am (Sunday-Thursday)
Address: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, 48 Oriental Avenue
Tel: +66 (0) 2659 9000

Bangkok River Cruises

Bangkok River Cruises

One of the best ways to experience the Chao Phraya River is at night on a dinner cruise. The river really is at its prettiest as the sun sets over the city, the sky turning ever darker shades and the iconic Wat Arun and Grand Palace both lit up in all their glory. 

Whilst there are many river cruises to choose from, we have hand-picked two of the best. The first, Aspara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree offers a delightfully romantic with a set dinner to enjoy as you peacefully drift past all of the famous landmarks on the river. Our second choice, the River Star Princess Cruise, is more of a casual affair, with a dinner buffet, live dancing and music and much more mingling between passengers. Both are great value for money to, and you can see our great rates below. 

Be My Guest

Fancy a change from all the five-star hotels and plush restaurants on the riverside but still want to soak up those pretty views across the water? Then Be My Guest, with its no-frills menu of Thai and western classics and more-than relaxed dress code, is a great bet. This riverside bar/restaurant sits in the shadows of the looming Millennium Hilton which towers above, and whilst this luxury hotel boasts a whole list of fine wining and dinging option, Be My Guests specialises in delivering a less refined, more laidback vibe.

As well as hotel guests, Be My Guests also welcomes plenty of Thais who come to enjoy the cheap local beers, authentic Thai food and those romantic river views. A great spot if you want to impress your date without dipping too deep into your pocket. Get there by heading to Klong San Pier, or just ask your taxi driver for the Millennium Hilton to avoid confusion.

Opening Hours: 16:00 - 24:00 Daily
Address: 217 Charoennakorn Road, Bangkok (at Klongsan Pier)
Tel: +652 259 2653

Calypso Cabaret at Asiatique

Calypso Cabaret Show at Asiatique gives you one of the warmest welcomes you can find in the land of smiles and does so in many different languages. Thailand is well known for ladyboys and Calypso showcases them doing what they love the most: dressing up to the nines and miming to Cher. Some of these ‘ladies’ have features that would make women jealous but this is an attractive illusion; they were all born men. The performers are keen to entertain and put on a good show and the best way to enjoy it is to don your imaginary feather boa and embrace their world of glitz, glamour and over-the-top drama. Read More...

Opening Hours: Twice daily at 20:15 and 21:45
Address: 2194 Charoenkrung 72-74 Road, Bangkok

Jesters

On the opposite side of the river to the Oriental Hotel. Frequented by the upmarket and trendy set for jazz bands and status.

Opening Hours: 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Location: 333 Charoen Nakorn Road, Peninsula Hotel
Tel: +66 (0)2 861 2888

Live Music at Trader Vic's

Trader Vic’s is famous across the world for being the birthplace of the Mai Tai cocktail at its original venue in California. Bangkok has its very own branch at the stunning Anantara Riverside Resort on the Thonburi side of the river, which sticks to the fun and lively Polynesian theme.

As well as being able to try the finest Mai Tai in town, Trader Vic’s also holds one of the best nightly line-ups of live music in Bangkok. Each night has a different band, and you can expect quality blues, jazz, soul and funk – as well as a Beatles night on Thursday. In correlation with each themed night, there are also some pretty tempting food and drinks promos to be had, including a free flow night (sparkling wine) for the ladies on Wednesday. You can read more about the live music nights here, as well as their famous Sunday brunch here.

BTS: Saphan Taksin (take the complimentary Ananatara shuttle boat from Sathorn Pier in front of the station. The boat leaves every 30 minutes) 
Address: 257 Charoennakorn Road, Anantara Bangkok Riverside, Bangkok
Tel: +66 (0) 2 476 0022

Muay Thai Live show at Asiatique Bangkok

Muay Thai Live at Asiatique Bangkok is an exciting theatrical show combining entertaining performances with the ancient martial art of Muay Thai boxing. Great for theatre enthusiasts, families or just anybody wanting to get an exhilarating insight into Thai culture, this 90 minute show really left us impressed, eager to don our skimpy shorts and get into the ring ourselves. Clearly the hype surrounding Muay Thai Live is there for a reason. 

Opening Hours: 20:00 Daily
Address: THE STAGE Theatre, Asiatique Bangkok, Chareonkrung Soi 74-76
How to get there: Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle at the end of the pier. Alternatively, tell your taxi driver to go to Asiatique.

Rivercity Shopping Complex

One of Bangkok's least-known rooftops is actually a great one, offering some of the best panoramas in town of the Chao Phraya River. Located on the fifth floor of the well-known Rivercity shopping complex, the rooftop is both a large Thai barbecue restaurant and the cozy venue of the 'Balco Bar. Not only the views are amazing, but the Thai barbecue itself is a fun and unusual experience for travellers wanting to discover a favourite Thai weekend dinner spot! Read More...

Opening Hours: Bar B Q, open 11:00-23:00, Balco Bar, open 18:30-midnight, closed Mondays
Location: Charoen Krung Soi 30 (next to the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel)
Tel: +66 (0) 2237 0077-8
How to get there: Get on the BTS to Saphan Taksin Station. There's a free shuttle boat service to Rivercity available at Sathorn Pier everyday from 10:00 to 20:00

Sky Bar

Enjoy sweeping views from the top of Bangkok's second tallest building, the landmark State Tower with its highly visible golden dome. Tucked away in a corner of the award-winning open air Sirocco restaurant on the 64th floor of Lebua State Tower, Sky Bar's counter is magically illuminated and changes colour every few minutes.

A favourite hang-out for celebrities and wannabes, this is where you'd find some of the best live jazz in Bangkok. Also located at the Dome is Distil, another place where everyone likes to be seen. Part DJ bar, part smoking lounge and part restaurant, Distil serves fine single-malt Scotches like Macallan and Glenmoranghie, accompanied by a small carafe of genuine Scottish water.

The oyster bar features fresh, imported oysters, as well as Iranian caviar. If you feel like puffing on a fine Cuban cigar, choose one from the humidor and light up on Bangkok's highest smoking balcony, overlooking the Chao Praya River. Drinks and food might be pricey, but the experience is priceless. Reservations are required for Sirocco. Read More...

Opening Hours: 17:00 - 01:00
Location: Lebua at State Tower (Silom/Riverside)
Tel: +66 (0) 2 624 9999
Dress Code: Smart Casual (no beach shorts or flip-flops allowed)

The River Bar – Peninsula Hotel

As well as a five-star restaurant, several swanky lounges and a poolside terrace, Bangkok’s Peninsula Hotel boasts a stunning riverside bar - aptly named ‘The River Bar’. The venue enjoys all the benefits of being outside whilst at the same time is covered with a canopy in case of rain. The sumptuous white seating is both comfortable and stylish and the views across the Chao Phraya River, like many similar joints hugging the river on the Thonburi side, are simply stunning.

As for the menu, this is a five-star hotel, so expect swanky (and pricey) cocktails, wines and imported beers. Their signature ‘Thaijito’ is a blend of cheap ingredients like common Thai rum, peach schnapps, lime juice, mint, pineapple and sugar, yet the end result is surprisingly satisfying, even more so if you sip your drink as the sun sets over the river (from 18:00-19:00 in Bangkok all year round). Get to The River Bar at the Peninsular Hotel by taking a river ferry from the opposite side or by taxi.

Opening Hours: 15:00 - 24:00 Daily
Address: The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok (Ground Level) 333 Charoennakorn Road, Bangkok

Three Sixty

This sophisticated jazz lounge does justice to its name with unrivalled 360 degree views. Since opening, Three Sixty at Millennium Hilton has become a popular hang-out for Bangkok's jet-set and cultivated travellers. Drinks are moderately priced and (despite being an indoor venue) there are demarcated smoking zones. Take the lift to the 32nd floor of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel and watch in awe as the world goes by. Let the romantic mood and gentle jazz wash over you while you enjoy a cocktail and some of the sensational views the city has to offer. Read More...

Opening Hours: 17:00 - 01:00
Address: Millennium Hilton Hotel, 123 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan
Tel: +66 (0) 2 442 2000

Zeta Bar

Red lighting, leather sofas and a back-lit bar set the scene at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel’s Zeta Bar. A part of the award-winning London bar concept that’s already a big hit in Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, and Beijing, this Bangkok bar really awakens when the champagne cocktails and music start flowing.

Opening Hours: 17:00-02:00
Address: Millennium Hilton, 123 Charoennakorn Rd.
Tel: +66 (0) 2442 2000

Related Pages

Top 10 Jazz Bars and Pubs

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Bangkok can sometimes feel like it was designed for guys, but the bars and clubs listed below know how to treat a lady, and there is a great selection of offers for the fairer sex right across the city. Read More...

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