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Bangkok Nightlife Do's and Don'ts

The reputation of Bangkok's nightlife lives on in traveler lore as one of the rowdiest and wildest - and it certainly lives up to its reputation. From up-market spots to the down and dirty, Bangkok has a little of everything. If you plan on a visit you might want to keep the following in mind:
Do: check out Khao San Road, especially if you prefer to carry your luggage on your back and haven't had a hair cut in more than six months. With laid back pubs and open air restaurants this is the place for the budget minded. With increasing numbers of relatively swank clubs thrown in, you'll be sure to find something to your taste between the live bands, DJs, and sound systems that blast tunes into the streets after 11pm.
Don't: expect everything to be cheap after a night out on Khao San Road. Some of the more popular clubs are located in international hotels chains and prices are quoted accordingly. If you have some bhat to spare, you will not be disappointed by the up-market offerings of the Grand Hyatt's Spasso, pre-dinner drinks at the Conrad's Diplomat Bar, or city views at the Sofitel Silom Hotel's V9.
Do: check out some of the offerings of the impossibly long Sukhumvit Road. With a mixed crowd and a few see and be seen places, it's an address not to be missed. Hot clubs worth checking out include design savvy The Bed on Sukhumvit 11, the popular bar/disco/karaoke joint Taurus on Sukhumvit Soi 26, and Q Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11 (by the same owners as the one in Ho Chi Minh City). For a laid back pub crawl try Black Swan on Sukhumvit Road, Bulls Head on Sukhumvit 33/1, The Londoner on Sukhumvit Soi 33, and the Dubliner on Sukhumvit Soi 22 and 24.
Don't: be surprised if that lovely lady you just bought a drink for turns out to be a lovely lady-boy. There are several cabaret clubs in town that have nightly transvestite shows for those of all sexual orientations. Twinkling sequined gowns and the highest high heals abound as you get ready for truly entertaining performances. For light hearted fun check out Calypso Cabaret at the Asia Hotel or Mambo Cabaret on Sukhumvit Soi 22 and 24.
Do: take a stroll through Patpong. Known for its scantily clad women doing things you didn't imagine possible (candles, ping-pong balls, darts, oh my!), be forewarned you will have to buy a drink to enter most of the establishments. Although some of the dancers look a little board, and you will have to watch your pockets, many tourists feel a visit to Bangkok isn't complete without a trip to this notorious area. That said - these same tourists often find they tire of the show quite quickly. A stroll through the local night market gives you a chance to recover from the neon induced vertigo. Although the night market in the area may be slightly more expensive than some of the other markets in Bangkok, it's a nice way to round out a trip to Patpong.
Don't: indulge in the after hours offerings of the go-go girls or overly friendly masseuses without protection! - soaring STD rates - enough said.
Do: take a stroll through the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. The market is fairly small and offers the expected mix of items including Thai crafts, textiles, shoes, sunglasses, home décor, and jewelry, to name a few. The area includes a food court with international and national cuisine as well as a beer garden with nightly live music.
Don't: be intimidated by Bangkok's nighttime reputation if you arrive with family in tow. Although better known for its alcohol soaked evenings and sex trade, there is more than enough to do with the little ones. One popular family attraction is the Siam Niramit Cultural Performance. Including a complete Thai dinner buffet, the performance is a journey through the culture and religion of Siam dazzlingly told by over one hundred performers. And if you decide to check out the Suan Lum Night Bazaar, stop by the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre for traditional Thai puppet shows.
About The Author

James Doswell writes for the Cheap Thailand Travel website at - All of the materials on this site are the sole property and responsibility of This material may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission.

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