Bangkok is indisputably Southeast Asia’s top destination for nightlife. The city’s legendary party scene ranges every night, from the seedy cheap bars along Khao San Road to Sukhumvit’s opulent hotel rooftop lounges; the crowds taking part include both exuberant Thais blowing off steam after work and visiting nightlife-lovers from all over the world. Whether you prefer live bands, hip-hop beats, or A-list international DJs spinnng electronic dance music, you shouldn’t miss the four-block span in the heart of Bangkok called Royal Club Avenue (or, in local-speak, RCA). You’ll need to get a taxi there (it’s far from public transport), but once you’ve arrived, a walk down the avenue will bring you past famed clubs like Route 66, plus numerous bars and clubs where live local musicians perform. A plus in this district is that, unlike at many of the swankier hotel bars, a few cocktails here won’t break the bank. The cover charges are inexpensive, too.
The epicenter of the Bangkok club scene is this massive and always-crowded megaclub. A vibrant mix of fashionable local university students and expats fills the club’s three rooms seven nights a week. The 300 Baht entrance fee for foreigners can be redeemed for a drink inside; cocktails are surprisingly well priced.
Q Bar Bangkok
A longstanding favorite of local night owls, Q Bar draws a chic Bangkok crowd with its lineup of famous DJs spinning house music and cozy nooks for people-watching or ordering bottle service. The dress code is slightly ambiguous but enforced by the doorman, so dress to impress if you come here.
Levels Club and Lounge
Tucked back behind the bustling thoroughfare of Soi 11, this venue is the perfect mix of ultra-cool lounge and dance club. This multi-level space mirrors the style of the Euro clubs of Paris and Berlin, and puts the focus on the music: R&B, top hits, house and dance. If you need a break from the pulsating beats, head up to the roof deck.
NARZ Club Bangkok
Serious partygoers know that showing up at NARZ before midnight is a no-no. But though the action doesn’t get started here till late, this club is justifiably popular for its bartenders (who mix top-shelf drinks with a strong pour) and its roster of top European DJs (who spin sets to a savvy crowd of Thais and expats).
One of the more fashionable places to dance to the latest in hip-hop, house music and electronic beats is this two-room club on the always-trendy Thong Lo Soi 10. The back room at Demo is called Funky Villa, and if you ignore the dorky name, you’ll find a crowd of popular Thais and good live music here.