If a traveler doesn’t break government rules and regulations, the nightlife of the “city that never sleeps” is relaxed, safe and enjoyable. Bangkok features live music, cool bars, exuberant dance venues and great restaurants. Notorious places like Patpong continue to attract curious tourists to the numerous neon-lit bars, while the night markets sell clothes, souvenirs, DVDs, CDs, wrist watches and handbags, most of which are counterfeit and popular. This “City of Angels” is salt-and-peppered with a variety of places, from loud and noisy pubs, to classy jazz bars, hip hangouts and exuberant dance clubs.
The traveler can find Bangkok by night as a laid-back place to relax with a drink, enjoy a decent dinner while listening to a live jazz performance, take a dinner cruise on a traditional teak rice barge down the Chao Phraya river in the moonlight or enjoy a traditional dance performance at the Patravadi Theatre, where traditional and contemporary theatre elements are integrated into something quite unique and Thai.
The city’s night life offers scope for shopping too. Most shopping malls stay open until 9 or 10pm. Some night markets stay open until 11pm or midnight, but never later than 2am.
Although Bangkok’s nightlife is to some extent notorious, recent social order campaigns and government rules and regulations have put a bit of a clamp on things for safety. For example, nearly all restaurants, bars and clubs are now forced to close before 1am.
Bangkok by night is accessible by BTS (Skytrain) or MRT (Underground), two of the city’s transit systems.