Newest Review: ... other bars (used to be about .50p but now probably about £1.00 due to the poor exchange rate for British sterling) and hotels in the sur... more
A night in Bangkok...sanuk maak (good fun) with a difference.
Bars in Bangkok (Thailand)
Member Name: pooying
Bars in Bangkok (Thailand)
Advantages: Entertaining places to visit.
Disadvantages: Cheap Charlie's is hot - and can be wet too!
Sawadee Ka! (Hello)
After working in Bangkok for a number of years, I thought I'd offer some local knowledge to the bar scene in Bangkok. These are places that are a bit out of the norm so tourists (or locals) may not find without insider info, but are very enjoyable and well worth a visit.
Cheap Charlie's is my first offering. This is an extremely eccentric bar like nothing you will have ever experienced before.
The small, outside bar is quite literally set in the street, with a few rickety stools (one sturdy one in the shape of an extremely large 'lingam' and rather more interesting to sit on!!) plus a wobbly little wooden table. The bar looks like an old garden shed hung with an eclectic mix of things - including a cage with a bat and owl (not sure if they are still there- I haven't visited for a while.) The drinks are exceptionally cheap compared to all the other bars (used to be about .50p but now probably about £1.00 due to the poor exchange rate for British sterling) and hotels in the surrounding area so we used to start our evenings there before moving on to the usual partying haunts. Sometimes we've even ended up spending whole evenings there because it was so much fun.
So, if you don't mind the heat of Bangkok, and the shoving into each other when you have to get out of the way because a car decides to drive down the street (a good excuse to get close to someone you fancy though...) give it a try - it is popular with 'farangs' (foreigners) and always crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. You will find it up Sukhumvit Soi 11 - either get a taxi there or walk from Nana skytrain station. It is not far up the road, but off on the left down a side soi. Just keep a look out and you will be able to see it from Soi 11.
My next recommendation is a bar called Saxophone - A very large, dark atmospheric bar with a area downstairs for the live bands to play, and with an upper floor which also has views down onto the band.
This is an extremely popular bar with farangs and Thais alike, with live music played every night of the week. You will find it entertaining although it is best going a bit later as it tends to liven up later in the evening. There are usually two bands playing each night. A lot of the music is rock or blues and rock ballads are particularly popular with the Thais. Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water' is a classic there, as is The Eagles' 'Hotel California'. Yes, some of the music is rather dated, but the atmosphere lends itself to the type of music being played and you forget time. Usually, the standard of the bands are really good with talented players. (Don't go there is you want clubbing - there are plenty of places to go dancing - which I may be able to review at another time.)
Drinks aren't cheap at Saxophone (about £3.00 - £4.00 for a beer or gin and tonic), but it is in the middle of a large city and prices are comparable to all the other bars. We found the most economical way to drink there is to buy and share a bottle of spirits (about £30.00), purchasing additional mixers and ice when required during the evening. (You may want to try the Thai whisky - Maekong or Songthep which is cheaper than imported spirits such as gin or vodka and quite pleasant mixed with coke and/or soda.) Basic bar snacks and Thai food are also sold there if you get peckish.
You will find it at Victory Monument - cheaper by by taxi if there are more than two of you, or take the Skytrain to Victory Monument station and just ask someone when you get there. It is well known by the locals.
This is my first review of bars, so I hope you find it useful or entertaining. I also hope if you go to Bangkok, you will visit these places and enjoy them as much as we have! Chok Dee! (Good Luck!)
Summary: World's apart yet equally entertaining in their own ways.
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