Bangkok Bars and Pubs

Bangkok is a large city catering for all levels of income and taste. Several areas are favoured by visitors and ex-pats and there are plenty of Bangkok bars and pubs to suit every mood, from noisy music pubs, to quiet ‘after work’ watering holes.

Bangkok bars are typically atmospheric and scattered all over the city centre, though the most popular with foreigners are confined to areas such as Sukhumvit road, the Silom area and the Khao San road.

For a complete run down on Bangkok nightlife, we have a separate page. There are plenty of places to mingle with Thais and meet locals, or exclusive places with drinks prices in the same league as a big European city, keeping the ‘riff-raff’ out. Generally in Bangkok the bars and pubs near the Sukhumvit area are likely to have more facilities and better service but cost a lot more, while some dives off the Khao San road are atmospheric but strictly for the bohemian crowd.

Whether you seek Bangkok bars full of girlies, or a place for some traditional English pub grub, there is something for everyone. The range is excellent and clusters of places make it easy to stumble from one to another. In some places you might feel in another world, while others will make you feel like you’ve never left home.

Finally, when talking about Bangkok bars we shouldn’t neglect the many go go bars that make the city famous and are an attraction in themselves. These tend to be clustered in certain areas, some of which can appear quite sleazy and in your face. Their sole purpose is to hook you up with a ‘bar girl’ for the evening and you will be faced with a troupe of forward, sexily dressed girls the moment you walk in, and hustled to buy a drink almost immediately. Drinks aren’t a bargain in these places and it won’t be long before one of these girls has sat herself down next to you and asked for a drink. Either you can oblige and make a new friend, pass her up in favour of another you have your eye on, or tell them you’re not interested, in which case they soon leave you alone.

Bangkok bars in the Sukhumvit area
Gullivers: huge, air conditioned bar with a large range of reasonably priced drinks and good western food too. Great for watching sport on the big screen. Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Nana BTS) and Khao San Road – at the end where the temple is.

The Bulls’s Head: very authentic British style pub, with real ale and Guinness on tap. On the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 33/1. BTS Asoke.

The Cat House: located inside the Nana Plaza, which may put some people off, but this non-go go bar has a happy hour from 4pm until 8pm in which you can drink as much beer as you like for 150 Baht. Sukhumvit Soi 4, BTS Nana.

The Bus Stop Bar: a good escape from the chaos of the nearby Nana Plaza, this ‘clean’ bar has a large open-air seating area and a good mix of Thai and expat customers.

Cheap Charlies: as the name suggests, the main selling point of this place is the cheap beer! Little more than a wooden bar on the Soi with tables and chairs in front of it, this place gets surprisingly busy. Sukhumvit Soi 11, BTS Nana.

The Dubliner: lively, bustling Irish style pub with regular live music. Expat crowd, not the kind of place for a quiet drink but great for a dance and a few pints of Guinness. Sukhumvit Road in between Soi 22 and 24. BTS Phrom Phong.

Titanium Vodka Bar: cool vodka bar – literally! Features a room with sub-zero temperatures in which shots of Russian vodka are sold and knocked back very quickly before returning to the relative warmth of the air con in the main bar. Sukhumvit Soi 22, BTS Phrom Phong.

Bangkok bars in the Silom area
The Irish Exchange: large pub on two floors with copious amounts of Guinness flowing and other beers on tap. Predominantly an expat crowd, a friendly bunch at that, and has regular live music and good food. Convent Road, off Silom Road. BTS Sala Daeng.

Home: house music and a good cocktail bar bring in a mixed crowd to this trendy Silom bar. Silom Soi 4, BTS Sala Daeng.

Vertigo: great place to go for unprecedented views over the city, Vertigo at the top of the 5-star Banyan Tree hotel comes at a price but is well worth it.

Bangkok bars in the Khao San road area
Lava: one of the more poplar Khao San Road bars, this funky place plays mainly mainstream R&B and hip-hop. Typically of Khao San, the crowd is mainly tourists with a few groups of Thais joining the dance floor.

Suzie’s: popular with Thais, this long-running Khao San Road pub is well worth including on your Khao San pub crawl. Located down a small covered lane towards the ‘Burger King end’ of the street.

Bangkok bars in other areas
Saxophone: well worth seeking out for the excellent live music, this buzzing place is situated right by the Victory Monument.

Ad Maker: located in the Langsuan area, the mixed Thai and western crowd here make for a lively atmosphere to accompany the regular live music.

Gay and Lesbian bars
Telephone: on the mixed Silom Soi 4, this pub has regular beauty contests and monthly Mr and Mrs Telephone awards.

The Balcony: also on Silom Soi 4, this friendly place is generally busier than Telephone.

DJ Station: for a more energetic, lively gay venue try DJ Station on Silom Soi 2.

Utopia: features Ladies Night on Friday, Valentine’s dinners and other special events. Sukhumvit Soi 23. Nearest BTS station: Asoke.

* For the Silom area go to Sala Daeng BTS station.

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