Hidden away in a back alley near Khao San, this funky little spot not only serves some decent Indian food, but is a great chill out shisha bar that happens to spin Bollywood tunes and become quite trendy come weekends. Located in an old house tucked into the very back side of Soi Rambutri, visitors often get lost looking for Bombay Blues, but it is pretty recognisable by its bright red lit facade and red tent like tables across the way outside. From the outdoor divans to the comfy on the floor table settings inside, you can kick off your shoes and really settle in here. While plenty of folks come just for dinner, it's recommended to stay awhile or visit on the weekends when the house DJ's start spinning tunes, while guests suck down buckets and slick drink concoctions or else just sit out on the chilled rooftop area and puff a few shishas while staring at the sky.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For a hidden shisha and drinks chill out spot, Bombay Blues is superb.
Dave's expert tip: Getting here is tricky. From Khao San Road's west side junction with Chakrapong Road, walk up Chakrapong a block and cross the street, heading down tiny Soi Rambutri, which is full of bars and small restaurants right on the street. Follow Rambutri a few hundred meters where it then turns left and continues back along the temple wall, and then turn left again at the end, heading back towards Khao San...the alley appears to dead end here, but a small street to the right is where Bombay Blues is set, you won't miss the lights.
Music aficionados will love it here. This unpretentious cool jazz bar gets packed with a young Thai crowd each evening, and is one of the more happening spots along Phra Athit Road, which is just a 5-minute stroll from Khao San central, but more noted for bohemian bars frequented by Thais than for foreign backpackers. Jazz Happens is run by Nu Vudthivichai, one of Thailand's top pianists, and there are nightly performances by students and alumni from the Silpakorn University Jazz Faculty. In addition to the talented musical offerings, there is also a large Thai food menu as well as plenty of creative drinks or just bottles of Singha or Sangsom rum. It's far cheaper than most places, and the focus really is on quality here, and is a great spot for seeing some superb young jazz talent, as well as the occasional bit of pop.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For talented jazz in a cool local bohemian bar, Jazz Happens is the perfect venue.
Dave's expert tip: If you are coming from Khao San, turn right on Chakrabong Road, then left on Rambutri all the way down the alley until it curves left. Take the next small alley right which will bring you out to Phra Athit, which runs parallel to the Chao Phraya River and is where the Phra Athit ferry pier is.
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, and the parties here rage until the wee hours.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For a mix of foreigners and Thais dancing to electronic music, Lava Club is tops.
Dave's expert tip: At Lava Club, the party gets going after 11pm. Located in the basement of the Bayon Building, follow your ears rather than eyes to get here.
Long entrenched on the Khao San scene, Mulligans Irish Bar has just about everything you could want from a nightlife spot. There are pool tables, big screen televisions for all the latest sporting events, a huge choice of tap and bottled beers as well as cocktails, upscale pub grub and Thai food, and there's even live music, with popular Thai groups as well as the house bands playing each evening. Mulligans features some of the best prices on imported Guinness in Thailand, and of course there are wild St. Patrick's Day parties here, along with plenty of other events. The bar sees a nice mix of locals and tourists, and it's one of those can't go wrong choices that ought to have something to please everyone in a group for a fun night out.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For Irish Guinness, pool tables, big screens, and live music, Mulligan's is Khao San's go to bar!
Dave's expert tip: Mulligan's is just off the eastern end (Tanao Road side) of Khao San, in the Buddy Hotel.
The Brick Bar is certainly one of Khao San's most happening places. The focus here is on live ska and reggae, and the huge joint can hold 1200 people, which it often does. Despite being in the heart of Khao San Road, the Brick Bar gets lots of young Thais who come to party and dance the night away. 3 bands play each night between 8 and 130, with Teddy Ska being the current favorite and top draw. It gets hot and sweaty in here, but everyone is having a good time and this remains one of the most lively clubs and nightspots in all the area if not in Bangkok.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For a fantastic vibe, excellent ska, and a real party, Brick Bar is one of the best.
Dave's expert tip: Get here by 8 if you want a table and a good spot to dance in, this place gets packed, especially on weekends.
This little hole in the wall has been going strong as long as Bangkok. Despite being as big as a shoe closet and a bit out of the way, locals pack the joint every night for Bangkok's best live jazz and blues, with the house band playing BB King, Louis Armstrong, and John Lee Hooker to the appreciative crowd. Describing Adhere as a honky tonk dive bar isn't too far off, and everyone who shows up has fun. If you bring along an instrument, you will inevitably be invited up to jam and the vibe here is an easy going one, where Thais and foreigners mix happily.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For true atmosphere, excellent blues and jam sessions, and cool locals, Adhere the 13th is legendary.
Dave's expert tip: Come early if you want a seat, but don't sweat it if not, the vibe in here is well worth standing for!
One of Khao San's most fun evening hangouts, the Roof Bar Khaosan features three live bands each night starting at 7pm and playing everything from country to pop, rock, disco, and funk. The tunes are primarily Western, and plenty of visitors and locals will be singing their lungs out, especially after imbibing from the long list of boozy cocktails, beers and bucket drinks. Even better yet, it's the best bar on the street for people watching, as it's perched up on the third floor of the Centre Point Plaza, and there are prime views from the balcony of all the Khao San action below. The musicians are of excellent quality, the beers are ice cold, and it's really one of Khao San's most happening spots.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For live music, good sing-along, cold beer, and people watching, it doesn't get better than Roof Bar Khaosan.
Dave's expert tip: Roof Bar is midway down Khao San on the north side of the street, up on the third floor of the Centre Point Plaza and Hotel. Nearest public transport to here and best way to arrive is either via the river ferry to the Phra Athit pier, or else take the Saem Sab canal commuter boat from Pratunam downtown to its terminus at Phan Fa, and walk over 10 minutes.
Balconies, cold drinks, good people watching, plenty of food, and always a ton of good cheer makes the open air The One an excellent spot to enjoy the Khao San night (or day for that matter). Sleek design and a far more classy vibe than the average Khao San backpacker watering hole (think street bar meets mixology), The One is what the future of Khao San looks like; inviting, well planned, and all bases covered. DJs spin tunes later in the evening, there's craft beer, and the cool lighting and snazzy arched wooden roof pretty much stops all passers-by to see just what this chic spot has going on. You'll meet folks from everywhere on the planet here, and don't be surprised to feel a bit more like you're on Thonglor or in Silom, as it really is a step up from the average Khao San gig. You'll pay a bit more here, but then again, you're in one of Khao San's more quality spots.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For Khao San at its classiest, along with the best people watching spot, The One really is the one!
Dave's expert tip: The One is located almost in the middle of Khao San, just slightly closer to the Chakrapong Road side (to the west). Look for the cool arched roof on the north side of the street.
With a big DJ booth and huge sound system, The Club is one of the most pulsating spots along Khao San Road. Resembling an Ibiza style nightclub, this place packs in both locals and visiting tourists and blasts out electronic dance music until the wee hours. Lighting, smoke machines, and lasers enhance the showy atmosphere, and the music pumps out loud. Drinks are cheap and there is no dress code, which is a rarity at a Bangkok nightclub like this. The crowd is young, energetic, and nights here are pretty fun, with lots of drinking, dancing, and even the occasional crowd surfing going on!
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For pulsating electronic music and a real club atmosphere, the Club rocks!
Dave's expert tip: If you look young, bring an ID or the guys at the door won't let you in.
This new kid on the block is also Khao San's top party spot. Set to resemble an island escape, it might not be the real thing, but there is sand under your feet, tiki huts with palm fronds to lounge under, and plenty of huge "bucket" cocktails to enjoy while you dance the night away. The club features some of Bangkok's top DJs to go along with house music and live bands, and there are even Full Moon parties featured each month for those too lazy to head down to Koh Phangan. It's a young and wild crowd here, and if you get too hungover from partying the night away, the beach club even opens at 11am so you can come in the next day and chill out in the sand, dreaming that you are elsewhere. Songkran Thai New Year parties are particularly crazy here, with everyone getting very wet.
Recommended for Khao San Road's Best Nightlife because: For a beach party in Bangkok, Superflow is Khao San's biggest and baddest choice!
Dave's expert tip: The club, despite being a big place, is hidden off of Khao San, down near the Chakrabong intersection at the west end of the street (where the police station is).