Trendy bars have been popping up all over the Thai capital in recent years, but few people seem to associate this kind of nightlife with Bangkok. If you ask the vast majority of travelers where to head for a night out, I guarantee the first spot they will mention is Khao San Road, which is renowned for its party atmosphere and cheap booze.
Bangkok, however, is far more than a backpacker’s paradise. While the emphasis may still be on baggy elephant pants, Chang beer, street food and cheap hostels, there is a new, vibrant focus for the coming years — one that involves luxury hotel developments, designer shops, and fashionable, chic bars.
Unlike the heavily publicized Khao San Road, some of the more exclusive bars pride themselves on their discretion and anonymity, while others are hidden in plain sight and only those that know they exist would wander through the drab exterior and into the arms of a stylish, contemporary cocktail lounge.
It may mean that you need to stay further outside the old town, but with so many stylish, new hotels coming to the Thai capital, it seems only right that at the same time as trying out some of these fabulous bars, you also arrange a stay in an elegant, luxury setting.
8 of the Trendiest Bars in Bangkok to Visit in 2018
#1 Above Eleven
This hip Peruvian-Japanese themed rooftop bar and restaurant can be found looming above the skyline on the 32nd floor of the Fraser Suites on Sukhumit Soi 11. There’s a long open bar surrounded by fake grass and tree-shaped lamps, while the outdoor space features lots of quirky wooden seating. The showstopper, however, is the outlook, which — thanks to the large glass wall — allows for uninterrupted views over the city.
This dark and broody bar resembles an ironsmith’s workshop but with a magical twist. Mixed in with the wrought-iron staircases and exposed pipes you will find little iron-winged creatures and bottles of fairy dust. If you are fortunate enough to find an available seat, don’t forget to open up the small wooden boxes that can be found in the middle of each table. There you will discover more fairies sat upon piles of bar snacks for you to nibble on.
With no signage on the front door, you would be forgiven for walking straight past this bar. Taking the prohibition theme to new heights, inside you will find crumbling plaster, dim lights, and exposed beams mixed in with a fantastic range of Cuban Classic Cocktails.
This is a hidden gem that you can only gain access to by stepping into the phone box located opposite the Fraser Suites Hotel before dialing a secret code in order for the back of the booth to slide open, revealing the bar itself.
I think we can all agree that there is no other bar like it anywhere.
If you are looking for an outwardly fancy cocktail bar, Vesper is the place to aim for. Named after James Bond’s famous Martini, this hip bar serves some of the best drinks in Bangkok. From the classic to the experimental, the concoctions listed in their Book of Botanicals will most certainly keep you coming back time and time again to this charming watering hole.
This theater-themed bar is yet again one of those hidden treasures that, unless you have either done your research or have been told about it, you would never be able to find it. Backstage combines well-known and bespoke in an unpretentious yet glamorous setting. It is both exuberant and informal at the same time. Located behind heavy, lavish red curtains, you will find a bar lit from behind with bulb-surround mirrors similar to those found in theater dressing rooms and cozy, private booths to relax in.
#5 Q & A Bar
This speakeasy-style bar, located down a tiny alleyway, utilizes the narrow space to recreate the look and feel of a classic dining carriage from an old-fashioned train. This creates the impression that you have stepped back into the 1920s.
#6 Rabbit Hole
With well-executed vintage and signature cocktails, the Rabbit Hole has become a haven for locals and cocktail snobs alike. Occupying a restored multilevel shophouse, the bar is concealed by a plain timber doorway. Inside, the interior can only be described as vintage-luxe with a hint of industrial chic. The concrete walls and steel staircases are complemented by velvet furnishings and plush carpets, while the bar itself has been decorated in a style that would not seem out of place in a Chinese traditional medicine shop.
With all these trendy and hip bars to sample, the only question remaining is, “Where should you start?”
Have you visited a trendy bar in Bangkok that you feel others should know about? We would love to hear your suggestions.
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