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Bangkok's best dance clubs: party the night away in the city of angels



Bangkok may be more noted for its infamous red-light nightlife, but it actually has far more to offer, as it's got some excellent dance clubs and actually features some of Asia's top nightclubs attracting top DJs from around the planet, and you'll never be short on partying and dancing the night away here.

Undoubtedly, the hottest club right now is the wild Sing Sing Theater, a Shanghai 1930s fantasy that fuses theater and dance club. Also popular with the highbrow crowd is the new Club at KOI, an internationally acclaimed fashionistas paradise (with branches around the globe), which occupies a magnificent spot high above the city on Sathorn. Those who want a big party experience head to the happening Levels Club over on Sukhumvit Soi 11, which is one of Bangkok's hottest party spots, along with nearby Sugar.

Other happening openings include Beam, Demo, and the popular Violett over in fashionable Thong Lor, all of which have DJ's spinning house, techno, and hip hop to go with the great mixologists at the cocktail bars, and are wildly popular with the young upscale Thai crowd. Nearby Ekkamai is also a top party street, and two of the oldest and biggest Thai clubs, Escobar and Nunglen, have merged to create Escobar Nunglen, which is the place to go if you want to see how well-heeled young Thais party the night away.

Of course, there are still some of the top longstanding clubs in other areas to go to as well, like the famed party venue Route 66 on RCA (Royal City Avenue, the same venue as Onyx), while back over on Sukhumvit, the underground club Glow is famed for its late-night parties.

Wherever you choose, you are guaranteed a good night out with all the Bangkok dance clubs have to offer.


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Sugar Club


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.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For Bangkok's best hip hop scene, head to Sugar Club.

Dave's expert tip: The easiest way to get here is via the Skytrain to the Nana station, and then walk over to Soi 11 from the northeast exit.

Read more about Sugar Club →


Glow


Glow has been a leader in the Bangkok underground dance club scene for many years now, and although some of the newer and more snazzy places have a larger following, Glow still retains a core group of faithful followers. Come here to enjoy international DJ superstars and live music evenings, as well as to marvel at the Funktion-One sound system, one of the best in the world. It's a small underground vibe hangout that feels more like a European club, a bit dark, unpretentious, and you are coming to dance and enjoy, not to be seen, which isn't often the case at many of the other clubs. It also is one of Bangkok's few after-hours clubs, open until 3 most nights, sometimes even later.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For an underground unpretentious dance club with a great sound system, Glow is old school Bangkok at its best.

Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS to Asoke and walk over to Sukhumvit Soi 23, head up a block and take the first right turn, with Glow down the block on your left side.

Read more about Glow →




Route 66 is a Bangkok institution, perhaps even more fabled now that its rival, the neighboring Slims/Flix has closed. Open over 20 years now, Route 66 is famed for huge parties. It's the scene of the Thai youth movement, with thousands of university kids heading here nightly. There are four immense dance zones, that feature everything from live bands playing Thai pop to hip hop to house, and there is also a large open-air space to party at. You'll also get to experience traditional Thai partying here, where groups share a bottle of whiskey, congregate around a table, and drink and dance right where they are seated. It's far more of a group spot than couples, but if you offer a toast, you'll most likely make friends pretty easily.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For being a fixture on the Bangkok party scene, Route 66 is a dance club institution.

Dave's expert tip: Be aware that foreigners (both local and tourists) get charged 300 baht to enter, although you can redeem a part of this for drinks inside the club (like 150 baht off of your first purchase).

Read more about Route 66 →


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Violett


Party central Thonglor had many of its long-running clubs close down over the past few years, but they are slowly being replaced with new hipper and more intimate venues. The latest and perhaps most popular spot is Violett, an underground lovers mecca, with industrial decor, cool neon lighting and fog, and a rather bohemian feel, far more akin to a European club than something in Bangkok. The music goes heavy on techno and trance, and there is an excellent selection of popular live DJs from around the globe brought in on a regular basis. An added plus here are signature drinks and shots made by a knowledgeable set of bartenders, The club features two levels, a great L-Acoustics sound system, and knows exactly who it is catering to, with a large "F*** the Mainstream" sign displayed at the entrance.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For underground music lovers, Violett is a great Bangkok addition.

Dave's expert tip: Check Violett's Facebook page for an up to date schedule of what music is being played each night, as well as for their live acts and special events.

Read more about Violett →




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.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For Bangkok's biggest and glitziest dance club, Onyx is at the top of the list.

Dave's expert tip: There is no public transport to RCA, so best to take a taxi here. If coming on a weekend, you might be best to take the MRT subway up to Rama IX station and then taxi from there, as the routes up from central Bangkok will be very crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. Do note that shorts and sandals aren't allowed, and you need to show ID to get in.

Read more about Onyx Bangkok →


The Club at KOI


The Club at KOI is Bangkok's latest dance club and opened with much fanfare in one of the city's most dazzling locations. Set up on the upper floor of the Sathorn Square building overlooking the city, it replaces the former resident, the popular Ce La Vi club, which might be a hard act to follow, except that KOI has a stellar record, combining an elegant Japanese restaurant with a cutting edge dance club. KOI has opened branches in New York, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi, as well as its original location, Los Angeles, where the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, and Jennifer Lopez were some of the regular clientele. The huge space here offers world-class clubbing and features international entertainers and touring DJs, and while the glitterati might not be the same as in LA, you'll find plenty of fashionistas and Bangkok's most well-heeled here strutting their stuff. Plenty of hip hop features in the playlists, and Saturday nights offer electronic and house music, with live DJs and special entertainers guaranteed on the thumping weekends. Make sure to come with deep pockets, as the fun does not come cheap here.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For the upscale dance club experience, The Club at KOI is above the crowds.

Dave's expert tip: Wednesday night is Ladies Night, a great chance for the lassies to experience this luxurious club and save a few baht, although if you are coming here for that, better go elsewhere. This is a premium fashionable spot.

Read more about The Club at KOI →




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 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.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For being Soi 11's new hot and happening nightclub, Levels is on top.

Dave's expert tip: Check the website for theme and promotion nights, along with the listing of which top DJ's will be in town.

Read more about LEVELS CLUB →




Young, hot, loud, and happening, and not necessarily in that order. Nunglen has been around for ages, one of the top Thai clubs and recently it merged with another one of Ekkamai's top clubs, Escobar, to create Escobar Nunglen. If you want to see what a genuine Thai style nightclub is all about, it's worth splurging for a night out here. It is full of pretty and well-heeled people, and it certainly isn't cheap to drink here either, so of course, most folks are sharing bottles of whiskey, either red or black label Johnny Walker. There are live Thai bands as well as a DJ spinning electronic and house music, there is cool floor lighting, and it is always packed to the rafters. You basically share a long table with others (unless you've reserved it for a large group), and everyone dances around the tables, as there really isn't a dance floor. It's a novel experience if you've never checked it out before, and it definitely is for the young and energetic. The name (Nunglen), which in Thai means sit and chill, is definitely not what is happening here.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For pulsing music and an upscale audience, Escobar Nunglen is as stylish as they come.

Dave's expert tip: Best to share a bottle of whiskey with friends, otherwise it ends up being quite expensive here. You get your bottle when you arrive, then pay for mixers and ice as you go.

Read more about Escobar Nunglen →




Their moniker says "an honest club with an honest vibe," and the latest dance club to grace trendy Thonglor is a bit of a departure from the usual Thai club filled with whiskey drinking tables and little space to dance. Here, you'll find a huge dance floor and minimalist industrial warehouse look, with the focus being on the music. Thumping techno and house rule the roost here, with live DJ shows, a state of the art sound system, laser lighting and a fog machine to enhance the atmosphere. The club attracts a mix of foreign and Thai hipsters and is set in the happening 72 Courtyard complex, which is full of snazzy eateries and craft beer and mixology cocktail joints, so you can have a bite prior to coming in to dance.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For techno and house parties in a happening environment, Beam is where it's at.

Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS Skytrain to Thonglor, then take a taxi up to between Sois 16 and 18, where you'll find 72 Courtyard on your right side.

Read more about Beam →


Sing Sing Theater


Easily Bangkok's most highbrow dance club, Sing Sing Theater is a fantasy replica of Shanghai in the 1930s, with hanging red lanterns, dancers in red robes with patterned fans, and metal cages spread across the room, making it appear as if a shady brothel of yesteryear. Seedy it isn't though, as the fine drinks, high prices, and top DJs from around the world ensure that the clientele are Bangkok's most well-heeled and most ready to party. Never mind that the dance floor consists of almost nothing, just head out and join the wild throng. It's a combo of theater and nightclub and truly is unique. If the whole fantasy getup strikes a familiar chord, it's because nightlife designer mogul Ashley Sutton (Iron Fairies and Fat Gutz, etc) was behind this one as well.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For being Bangkok's most unique highbrow dance club, Sing Sing Theater is a work of art!

Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS to the Phrom Phong station and walk over to Soi 45, the club is next to Quince Restaurant.

Read more about Sing Sing Theater →


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Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave

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