The neon-lit bars of Patpong
Bangkok provides a wide range of entertainment at night, from sophisticated rooftop bars to “ladyboy” cabarets, to notorious red-light districts. The city’s seedier side continues to be an essential experience for many tourists, who can’t resists checking out the world’s most infamous strip of gogo bars in Patpong (see below). When the sun goes down, this is where you’ll want to go in Bangkok:
Khao San Road
The neighborhood around the backpacker mecca Khao San Road is one of the places to be at night, offering live music bars, laid-back pubs, and loud nightclubs. You’ll find them spread over the blocks around Khao San, but it’s on that street that you’ll see the most diverse crowds in the city. Head to the bars with balconies or terraces, for people-watching and a bird’s-eye view of the multinational street.
This busy area is Bangkok’s party district, full of tourist-friendly bars and nightclubs. Soi Cowboy is a notorious (red light) street of neon lights calling the attention of tourists, who are always curious to stop by at least for drinks.
It just may be the world’s reddest red light district, with infamously raunchy shows and sleazy bars. Patpong 1 and Patpong 2, off Silom Road, are two streets with several gogo bars, which leave their doors open just enough to see the bored pole dancers from outside, while Soi 2 and Soi 4 nearby are lined with gay bars. Many tourists drop into these bars out of curiosity, but it’s best to skip the upstairs bars to avoid scams that leave you with an empty wallet (if you must, make sure you agree to the price of entry and drinks before taking a seat).
A popular night market with clothing and souvenirs has attracted even more tourists, helping create something of a naughty theme park, with people of all ages arriving to see what the fuss is all about.
As the great rooftop city of the world, Bangkok offers some of the best nighttime views anywhere. Go for sunset cocktails and stay for late-night eating and drinking while snapping selfies with the city below you. For the best spots, see the guide to the top 25 rooftop bars in Bangkok.