Bangkok used to be noted for its wild all night massive party clubs, but this has changed a bit over the years. With a maximum 2am closing time in effect for most legit spots, it's no longer party until the sun comes up, and additionally, young Thais have taken to frequenting smaller and more intimate venues as of late, so the big clubs aren't being built anymore. That said, there are still a lot of good places around the capital to go dancing, and there is a fairly varied selection.
Undoubtedly, the hottest club right now is the happening Ce La Vi (the former Ku De Ta), the well known stylish nightclub from Singapore, which has opened a magnificent spot high above the city on Sathorn, featuring 7 themed bars and 2 nightclubs. Running a close second is the crazy big mega-dance club Onyx, along with Levels Club over on Suhkumvit Soi 11, which has become Bangkok's hottest party spot. The infamous Q Bar is still here, although the former owner has moved on and the club is now known as Q Up.
Other newer and happening openings include Grease and Demo over in fashionable Thong Lor, both of which have DJ's spinning house, techno, and hip hop to go with the great mixologists at the cocktail bars. along with Bangkok's best hip hop venue, Sugar Club.
Of course there are still some of the top longstanding clubs in other areas to go to as well, like Lava Gold over on Khao San Road, and old favorite Slim/Flix on RCA (Royal City Avenue, same venue as Onyx). And if you want to stay up all night, Insanity Nightclub on Sukhumvit tends to stay open anywhere from 3-6am!
Wherever you choose, you are guaranteed a good night out with all the Bangkok dance clubs have to offer.
These mammoth twin clubs under the same management stand at the head of Royal City Avenue, an entertainment zone packed with nightclubs catering primarily to Thai youngsters. Three grand exteriors are filled with party hounds screaming and dancing along to live bands each evening, with mostly Thai pop songs being covered. The crowds make it hard to move in here, although the huge plate glass windows make sure you can see everything going on, both inside and outside. Even if you aren't here for the music, worth it for the cultural window into Thailand alone. (02 203 0504)
Set in the basement of the Bayon Building in the middle of Khao San Road, The Lava Gold Club is decked out in scarlet light and resembles an underworld dungeon, which attracts plenty of Thai and foreign revelers into its loud and raucous dance sessions. Hosting club parties and regular DJ events, the Lava Club features spectacular lighting and laser shows along with a daily dose of all kinds of electronica piped through its crystal clear sound system. The tunes and the outfits make this one of Bangkok's most authentic hip hop clubs. (02 281 6565)
While the location here on Sukhumvit right between the Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy naughty nightlife areas might bring a lot of rather dubious characters, both male and female, into this spot, Insanity has revamped from its seedier days, and boasts a large laser and lighting show to go with a large club atmosphere, more like the party scene you'd find out at harder to get to RCA. If you want to party to electronic, club, and hip hop music with the masses in a Sukhumvit location, then Insanity will satisfy your cravings. Lots of ladies looking to meet guys and vice versa make up many of the ranks here, but plenty of couples and groups just looking for a lively night out also call in, and it is the last place to close in the neighborhood, giving it a leg up on the competition. (02 653 2923)
The Q Bar has long been known throughout Bangkok and outside of Thailand for its outstanding list of touring DJ's who grace the house week in and out with their thumping dance floor choices, ranging from hip hop to electronic to all the latest grooves. However, the longstanding owner and founder recently sold and moved on to a smaller jazz style bar. Fortunately, the club remained, and now is known as Q Up, and hopes to remain a fixture on Soi 11. The club features a spacious terrace along with its large dance floor, and some well trained mixologists behind the bar. (02 252-3274)
Sukhumvit Soi 11 is now the undisputed party capital of Bangkok, and Sugar Club is the latest on the scene to get into the act. This new dance club has a state of the art sound system and is committed to bringing great live bands and hip hop clubbing to the masses. There are international DJ's guesting here and spinning tunes, and the party club has some great weeknight specials, such as 5 drinks for 500 baht or Ladies Nights with drink specials for the lassies. The lighting is creative and the crowds turn up here on the weekends, so be prepared. If you aren't into hip hop, don't come anywhere near here, and be prepared to get sweaty, as it is pretty cramped and hot, but hip hop lovers will have a great time. (082 308 3246)
Whether it be full on clubbing, or just lounging the night away on the rooftop, this four storey entertainment venue has become the hottest spot in town since opening this past year.
Run by fashionable newspaper heir Dan Hetrakul, Grease is packed nightly with celebrities and stylish folks, and attracts both foreigners and Thais looking for a good upscale party. In addition to a Mediterranean Thai fusion restaurant and a rooftop shisha bar, Grease is home to the state of the art nightclub LSD (Light and Sound Demolition), where everything from house, techno, drum&bass, dubstep, future garage, breakbeat, funk, hip hop or electro get played nightly by top local and international DJ's, along with live bands. The chic space is full of mirrors and amazing lasers lights, and the vibe is pretty hip.
The cocktails here are stellar, with one of Bangkok's best mixologists behind the bar churning out signature cocktails, and you can get some fine vino here as well too, as Hetrakul's family owns Chateau Meyre, a fine French vineyard. (02 662 6120)
Demo might be located in an old warehouse and covered in graffiti, but make no mistake, this pulsing nightclub is a playground for the well heeled. One look at the cars in the parking lot will give you an idea of the crowd, mostly young and very well to do Thais, seemingly out to party all night on the family credit card.
Demo actually adjoins another late hours party club, Funky Villa, in what is rapidly becoming the epicentre of Thong Lor nightlife on Soi 10, and you can dance until the wee hours here, with a range of hip hop, techno, and house music being spun by visiting and resident DJ's in the two large club rooms.
There is a five page drink menu here, with all sorts of signature cocktails and high end bottles of whiskey available. Make sure to bring your credit card, as prices are on the high end here. (085 250 2000)
While Bed Supperclub may have closed down, Sukhumvit's party central Soi 11 keeps on going strong in the nightlife department, with the slack taken up by new kid on the block Levels. This swank electronic nightclub with a view is located up on the 6th floor of the chic Aloft Hotel, and is now the place to be seen and party in lower Sukhumvit.
There is plenty of house music being played here, but Levels excels in its DJ's, bringing in some of the top international acts from around the world to rock the house. There is a large dance room here with a giant LED chandelier overhead, and then there is a club zone that features a great sound system. There is also a terrace bar that looks out over all the Sukhumvit neon and gives you a chance to catch your breath.
There are plenty of promotions and theme nights here, but you are guaranteed one heck of a party just about any night of the week. (082 308 3246)
Ce La Vi
Ce La Vi (the former Ku De Ta) is an extremely posh complex of clubs, restaurants, and bars that has been a staple in Singapore for years, and the owners there have now brought their upscale product to Bangkok, creating quite a buzz.
Ce La Vi occupies Sathorn's best real estate, on the penthouse level of the Sathorn Square Building's 39th and 40th floors. In addition to the absolute knockout views, up here you will also find 7 themed bars and 2 nightclubs, not to mention 3 restaurants.
Dancers will want to immediately head to the Ce La Vi Cloud Lounge, where different nights feature everything from R & B to pop to house music depending on the occasion. Ladies dancing on a podium above you with candles and mood lighting set the tone, and there are also DJ's invited here to play the finest mixes for everyone to strut their stuff.
This is a place to do some serious clubbing, eat and drink like a king, and don't forget to check out those fabulous views. (02 108 2000)
Newly opened Onyx is now the biggest dance and party club in town. Never mind that it is over on youngster-happy RCA, not really known for sophistication or being an overly popular tourist area, this place does really bring it, with a 2,500 person capacity stadium-like dance hall ensuring some wild nights. In addition to the cavernous main dance floor, there is also a second floor balcony that is spacious, as wells as fifteen private VIP booths for your own party. The club has state of the art sound and lighting systems, top international DJ's coming in to spin tunes on a regular basis, and confetti bombs and laser shows galore, with all the masses blissed out under one happy roof. For the young, hip, and inter, this really is the club to go to for a wild dance night out. (081 645 1166)
About Dave Stamboulis
Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in Berkeley, California, Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 40,000-kilometer bicycle trip; he moved there for good in 2005.
Dave's photos have appeared in publications around the world. He is the author of Odysseus’ Last Stand, which received the Silver Medal for Travel Book of the Year in 2006 from the Society of American Travel Writers. In addition to working for Fodor’s Guidebook to Thailand, his travel stories appear in publications throughout SE Asia. Dave is also Trip Advisor's Oyster.com's photographer for Thailand.
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