Want to explore Bangkok nightlife? Here’re our top 5 choices of exotic bars in Bangkok for you to unwind in an evening with little or big surprises. Among the city’s countless bars trying to compete with one another, a few gems stand out with eye-catching themes, especially the interior and decors. We have been to some of them and have decided to share our 5 favorites with you. A visit to them might not give you The Hangover experience. More likely, they will transfer you into another world.
If you have only one or a few nights in Bangkok and can’t decide which one to go spend your evening, we arrange Bangkok Exotic Bar Crawl by Tuk Tuk tour which takes you to 4 exotic bars in Bangkok. All of them are unique with different vibes. In 4 hours, not only you get to cruise Bangkok’s streets at night with speed (not that fast, it’s a Tuk Tuk!), but you’ll also get an unusual Bangkok nightlife experience you won’t forget.
Tugged in a dark alley of Chinatown’s Soi Nana (yes, Bangkok’s got 2 Soi Nana. This is not the one with go-go bars), Tep Bar is a Thai speakeasy bar whose style doesn’t prompt an easy explanation at all. In the bar, ‘Thai-ness’ prevails. But you can’t expect the usual – elegance and intricacy coated with glistens and gold. Rather it’s the traditional Thai elements reinterpreted and presented with lots of modern twists. Set in a restored 50 years old shophouse, dimly lit, gold splashes on ripped brick walls, simple wooden round tables and chairs occupy the tiny intimate space. On the 2nd floor, there is an elevated platform. Here, you sit on the floor and may lean your back on a Thai triangle pillow. Your neighbors are likely to be people in creative industry, locals and expats – a sophisticated crowd.
From 6.30 every night, traditional Thai or region Thai band takes a tiny stage, with breaks by spins of traditional Thai tunes mixed with quaint modern beats. If you’re a big crowd heading here, make a reservation. It happens to us often that we have to wait for a table outside, especially on a weekend.
BOOZE TO CHOOSE @ THIS EXOTIC BAR: You can’t leave the bar without trying Yadong. Thai-style Moonshine, Yadong is flavored shots of potent herbal liquor. Yadong is usually catered to men. The name of a Yadong suggests the remedies it gives – erectile dysfunction, irregular periods. (Does it really work? You tell us after having a shot) The bar also mixes Yadong into delicious cocktails. Go for their signature Songkran (Yadong, mint, lime, orange skin, brown sugar). Wan Thong (rum, vodka, etc.), sweet and spicy, is among ladies’ favorites.
WHEN & WHERE: MRT Hua Lamphong; 69 -71, Soi Yi Sip Song Karakadakhom 4, Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai; Tues-Sun 5pm to 12 midnight and Fri-Sat 5pm to 1am; Tel. 098 467 2944
Exotic Bar in Bangkok #2
The Iron Fairies Thong Lo
& The Iron Fairies Dragonfly
There are 2 The Iron Fairies in Bangkok – in Thong Lo and at Central Eastville Shopping Mall. Both are masterpieces of Baron designer Ashley Sutton. Stepping into the bars, you emerge into a world of a gothic fairytale. In fact, the bars’ interior and décor are taken from Sutton’s characters and stories in his fairytales numbering 3 episodes. While the Thong Lo one is set as a narrow and broody miners’ workshop, The Dragonfly portrays the Fairies’ garden home.
In The Iron Fairies Thong Lo, you’ll sit among a wrought iron staircase, exposed rickety pipes on corroded bricks, rusty old mining equipment, hewn timber furniture, and vintage-style armchairs. Here and there, you will see sculptures of the grumpy miners themselves. The Dragonfly is hidden behind Fat Gut’z Saloon, another bar right at the front of the shopping mall. Its entrance is built into the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf wall of Fat Gut’z Saloon. To get to the seating area, you walk through a decrepit serpentine moss covered corridor. Inside, tree roots creep on the bar’s weathered brick walls. Aged oak wood furniture is hand-crafted, thus, each is different. In both bars, vials of fairy dust line the walls and are hidden in nooks and corners. They feature jazz and live local bands playing international songs every night.
BOOZE TO CHOOSE @ THIS EXOTIC BAR: The bars boast extensive selections of cocktails, spirits, and wine. Their cocktails are super photogenic. The rather sweet Smoke N.1 (blueberries infused in Ketel One Vodka, elderflower, sage, and cassis) comes in a bottle filled with aromatic cocoa smoke before poured into your glass. A fascinating favorite of female guests, the Jasmine White Lady (Tanqueray, Grand Marnier, lime, egg white, fresh jasmine flowers)
WHEN & WHERE:
The Iron Fairies Thong Lo:
BTS Thong Lo Station; Between Thonglor soi 12 and 14, Soi Thonglor or Sukumvit 55; 6pm – 2am daily; Tel. 099 918 1600
The Iron Fairies Dragonfly:
Behind the wall of Fat Gut’z Saloon, Central Festival Eastville, Ram Intra; 6pm to late night, daily; Tel. 099 161 3951
Exotic Bar in Bangkok #3
The legend of Silom area’s nightlife, Maggie Choo’s is one of the most talked about exotic bars in Bangkok. The jazz-bar-cum-club is disguised in the look of 1930s Shanghai underground cabaret theatre. Maggie Choo’s in fact comprises Maggie’s Noodle Shop, a restaurant, and the actual bar which is called VR, in the back. The dimly-lit noodle shop serves Cantonese dishes. Its stylish Chinese lanterns, intricately sculpted woodwork, and ceiling adorned with paper Chinese umbrellas reminds us of the 1930s Shanghai Prohibition era. The bar provokes a sense of the 19th century East India Company depot. It’s dotted with velvety and leather couches, and at its center, sits the actual bar that looks like an old-fashioned casino cashier counter. The iconic bob-and-bang Maggie Choo’s girls in Chinese qipao lounge on upholstered swings, whispering behind their fans. The bar features live jazz bands from 9pm to midnight and DJs until late nightly except Sundays when drag queen stand-up comedies draw big crowds.
BOOZE TO CHOOSE @ THIS EXOTIC BAR: Maggie Choo’s features home-infused cocktails crafted by awarding winning mixologist Joseph Boroski. Nelson’s Touch Punch combines Bombay Sapphire, red wine, Cointreau, blueberries, and passion fruit. The stronger Shanghai Fever (Bacardi, Grand Marnier, lime juice, homemade coconut cream, pandanus, fresh pineapple juice) leaves a smooth sweetness that lingers in the throat. And the winner of the Miss Photogenic contest is Lady Flora (42 Below Vodka, lychee, lemons, topped with a hat of candy floss).
Exotic Bar in Bangkok #4
Sing Sing Theatre
Another Ashley Sutton venue, Sing Sing Theatre bar-cum-club looks more like a 1930s Shanghai hotel lobby. Under and among the retro-futuristic Chinese lanterns, dim red lightings, and carved wooden platforms and furniture, powerful house music parties take place. There are a small dance floor in the middle, staircases going up both sides to the second floor where more single tables are spread out. A few hidden backrooms are here and there. From wherever you sit, you can turn to and see the dance floor/stage/DJ booth clearly. That tiny area itself is the ‘theatre’ where contemporary, futuristic, and modern dances take place. Apart from house music, hip-hop nights by the Bangkok Invaders DJs also draw a large crowd, most of whom are expats. The place is totally an eye candy. Lots of IG photo opportunities!
BOOZE TO CHOOSE @ THIS EXOTIC BAR: The place features a superb menu created by master mixologists like Joseph Boroski and a few other. Give yourself a try on Lucky Rabbit (Patron Silver Tequila, Cointreau, cranberry juice, Rosella, Lemon cordial, rose syrup), and Don Julio on the Punch (Don Julio Tequila, Chambord, lemon juice, syrup)
WHEN & WHERE: Between Phrom Phong and Thong Lo BTS Stations; Sukhumvit Soi 45; Tuesday to Sunday, 9pm until late; Tel. 063 225 1331
Exotic Bar in Bangkok #5
Located in an alley of Sukhumvit Soi 11, Bangkok’s bustling nightlife district, a walk into Havana Social exposes you to early 1950’s pre revolution Cuba which is the persistent theme of the bar. You’ll need to punch a 4-digit secret code into the telephone at the entrance to get the door to open – the only bar you need to do that in Bangkok! Inside, vintage couches and mismatched furniture are main aims for groups while the bar with lined up tall stools are usually occupied by couples and solo drinkers. Smokers would head to the second floor. Even in rest rooms, sit the radios playing speeches of the anti-authoritarian government parties. Salsa classes are available every Monday and Wednesday. Weekends are full of dance surprises – beautiful couple dancers, sometimes imported Brazilian carnival itself.
BOOZE TO CHOOSE @ THIS EXOTIC BAR: Rum. You’ll find several drinks with Bacardi in them. On weekends, there is a 300THB entrance fee with 1 free drink. Otherwise, try The Cuba Libre (Bacardi black, angostura bitters, cola, kaffir lime) served with Coca-Cola ice cubes. Between the Sheets (Bacardi Black, Hennessy VS, Grand Marnier, lime, pomegranate grenadine) comes in 2 glasses, one sweet and one sour. You have to sup both for the full effect.
WHEN & WHERE: Nana BTS Station, Sukhumvit Soi 11; 6pm – 2am, daily; Tel. 02 061 5344