Life doesn’t revolve around what happens in the sunlight. Night time offers a different worldview inexplicable during the day.
While the break of dawn is metaphorically a new beginning, a sunset never signifies the end. On the contrary, it is also the start of a new chapter of the day. The city gradually becomes illuminated with glowing neon lights.
In Thailand, fun-filled activities and exciting things to do after sunset await your exploration and offer a different form of entertainment.
One of the world’s most visited cities, Bangkok never fails to amaze visitors by day. It is also exceedingly capable of keeping nighttime roamers satisfied. Late-night dining and bar-hopping, to name a few, are extremely enjoyable.
Patong in Phuket has become one of the best bar crawl destinations. Partygoers unanimously agree on how the renowned Full Moon bash at Koh Pha Ngan reshaped the way they look at beach parties.
For something more family-oriented, the night safari in Chiang Mai provides a distinctive glimpse of how nocturnal creatures go about their daily lives after sundown.
For introverts who prefer a tranquil and serene retreat, a boat ride through the Amphawa district to behold magical fireflies in their natural habitats offers an out-of-this-world experience you will never forget. The Amphawa district also offers tours that include the Amphawa Floating Market, the second most popular market near Bangkok. Frequented by mostly locals, the Amphawa district is known for its historic charm.
Embrace the dark and enjoy the nocturnal adventures.
A MOVIE NIGHT NATIONWIDE
In case you are not aware, Thailand is one of a few countries where movie buffs can enjoy going to the cinema all day long. Most of the stand-alone movie houses and complexes in shopping malls offer late-night screenings, some as late as midnight. For night-owls looking for alcohol-free entertainment, head to any movie theater, buy a ticket, and sit back for a great film. Don’t forget the popcorn!
BANGKOK’S BEST BY NIGHT
Twilight onward, Bangkok transforms into a city of dazzling lights as skyscrapers and commercial districts put on a colorful display of spectacular billboards and digital advertising.
With an abundance of attention-grabbing neon lights beaming from all directions, Bangkok provides an incredible spotlight for international visitors to explore as night falls.
Alluring nighttime activities such as sightseeing, entertainment, and gourmet dining will make you fall deeper for Thailand’s capital.
Paint the Town Red in Clubbing Districts
A cold beer, refreshing cocktail, or even a pub crawl are exciting ways to end your travel day. There are nightlife districts aplenty in Bangkok for visitors to hop from one pub to another.
Chinatown has a growing reputation for cool bars, and there’s no place better than the Soi Nana area, a happening bar-hopping destination in the neighborhood. Wallflowers Upstairs, Ba Hao, and Tep Bar are among the best places to hang out.
Khaosan has long been the sojourn home of overseas backpackers. Their extended stays make it one of the densest international communities in Thailand. A cluster of bars line two sides of the alley. Nearby Bang Lamphu and Tha Phra Artit are ideal clubbing zones frequented by local youngsters and travelers. For those growing up in Bangkok and young international visitors, Khaosan is a place to visit at least once.
A playground for night owls, Silom houses some of the longest-established clubs in Bangkok, especially those for LGBT patrons. Along with Patpong and Suriwong, this neighborhood remains one of the biggest nightlife areas in the City of Angels.
One of Bangkok’s renowned nightlife zones, The Royal City Avenue, better known as RCA to locals, might have passed its heyday when all the roads led here. However, it still draws clubbers, locals, and expatriates alike. Here some bars open till late, with Route 66 (https://www.route66club.com) being the most popular.
Not far from RCA, Thonglor has developed itself as a classier, more high-scale neighborhood for dining and clubbing. The cycle of bars and pubs here is short-lived, though, with new establishments often emerging and replacing old ones. The dining scene is far more stable, and from one end at Sukhumvit Road to the other end close to New Petchaburi Road, diners are spoiled for choice. If you combine nearby Ekamai, options for fine dining and bar-hopping are tremendous. To date, these two alleys on Sukhumvit 57 and 55, respectively, remain sophisticated areas for a fun-filled night out.
Panoramic Night Vista at Rooftop Bars
A sophisticated way to enjoy Bangkok’s panoramic view at night is from one of the city’s rooftop bars. Bear in mind that a visit to these rooftop bars, mostly situated on five-star hotels oozing pure luxury, comes with a price tag and a dress code. It’s worth it, though, to drink under a canopy of stars.
Sky Bar at Lebua
Thanks to its presence in the movie ‘The Hangover II,’ Sky Bar is one of the most famous rooftop bars, apart from being the world’s highest open-air bar. Standing at almost 250 meters above sea level in Silom, one of Bangkok’s most important commercial districts, the bar offers impressive views of the Bangkok skyline. It’s perfect for a visit to take some sunset photos.
Situated on the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse, Yào Bar is where diners can enjoy drinks and midnight Dim Sum, all while savoring a breathtaking view of the glowing Bangkok skyline and the shimmering Chao Phraya River.
Octave Rooftop & Lounge Bar
Rising above the trendy uptown district of Thonglor, Octave Rooftop & lounge Bar is across multiple floors with incredible 360 views from the top. The stylish bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit (Soi 57) offers an unbeatable view of bustling Bangkok with live music to sway to on the dance floor.
Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar
Situated in the heart of the restless metropolis, Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar is at Banyan Tree. It underwent a significant remodeling, but it has long been an ideal haunt for visitors offering a full view of the City of Angels. Its sleek décor adds to the avant-garde ambiance, making it perfect for nocturnal festivity.
Perched on the 28th-floor rooftop of Hyatt Place Bangkok Sukhumvit (Soi 24), Aire Bar ranks among the best places to enjoy bespoke cocktails and delicious snacks against the city’s spectacular skyline. It is a genuinely relaxing bar with a friendly vibe for watching the sunset over Bangkok.
Evening Fun at Asiatique
Home to a fascinating open-air night market, entertainment complex, and mall, Asiatique The Riverfront faces the Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road. Since opening in 2012, it has become a popular evening hangout place among Bangkok residents and visitors. From afar, visitors can see its towering ferris wheel, resembling the London Eye. The ride offers an incredible chance to admire Bangkok’s bright lights from above. The mall features 1,500 shops and stalls and 40 restaurants, most of which are in former warehouses. There is something for everyone, from foodies and shopaholics to window shoppers and those casually killing time in this scenic establishment. The mall’s district, Charoenkrung, is definitely worth visiting for its performances, such as Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre, the Calypso Cabaret Show, and Thai boxing.
Romantic Cruise along the Chao Phraya
Take advantage of the magnificent river running through the heart of Bangkok. For those who always love the rhythm of the river as the boat glides by, a romantic and scenic dinner cruise along the grand Chao Phraya will be an experience to remember. Savor a scrumptious selection of food and magnificent views of Bangkok’s illuminated ancient buildings and temples along the banks. There are many companies to choose from, some with entertainment on board. Contact the front desk if you stay at any riverside hotel as they usually provide a superb dinner cruise. Otherwise, choose one from the list below.
Chao Phraya Princess: https://www.thaicruise.com
White Orchid River Cruise: http://www.whiteorchidrivercruise.com/tourandtravel.html
Late-Night Delectable Eats
Bangkok is known as one of the best cities for late-night eats. To beat the midnight hunger, night owls have plenty of neighborhoods to choose from where they can satisfy their palate with some of the best tastes in town.
Leading the pack is Yaowarat, long known as the best street food hub for foodies at late hours. It would take weeks to try every single eatery in this neighborhood alone.
Pratu Pee or the Ghost Gate, as it means in Thai, is a local favorite late-night eating place. It has two pad thai shops, noodle eateries, and Jay Fai, drawing gastronomes for a palate-pleasing gathering.
Pochana 55, close to Thong Lor BTS Station, is a plain-looking and no-frills streetside restaurant. It is open until three in the morning, serving simple yet delectable dishes with rice for late eaters and clubbers for decades.
Malai Coffee Shop inside Malaysia Hotel and Greenhouse at Landmark Hotel are both open 24 hours and perfect choices for those who can’t go to bed without a full stomach. The former has an extensive menu from sandwiches to fried noodles and more. The latter is known for its noodles and for serving one of the best congees in town.
Open around the clock and with much lower pricing, Took Lae Dee, meaning cheap and good, serves traditional Thai and western food with nothing over the top. Tourists can find the eatery in nine branches of Foodland Supermarket across the city.
Night owls fond of Hainanese chicken rice should head to Pratunam, close to Central World and Platinum Shopping Mall, for a few roadside eateries. They are known for the best khao mun kai in town. Midnight Kai Ton is recognizable for its blue uniforms, while Go-Ang has a pink storefront and uniform. The taste of their chicken rice dishes is quite similar, and each has a selection of soups. Go-Ang was awarded the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand status. They stay open till 2am.
Magnificent Fireflies at Amphawa
It is not only the neon lights that illuminate the town as night falls. About one hour and 20 minutes by car from Bangkok, glowing insects draw visitors to a romantic boat ride along the canal and out to the river.
Famous for its floating market, Amphawa is a small, quiet town blessed with a natural habitat of a miraculous animal species known as the firefly or lightning bug. Make sure you put a magical boat tour to see the insects on the list of things to do when visiting this district.
Fresh off strolling along the floating market, the long-tail boat will take you on a ride under the canal trees along Amphawa canal and out to Mae Klong River. Here fireflies in their natural habitats will light up the night, leaving lasting impressions on those witnessing the beautiful moments.
A boat ride to see the fireflies is a must for anyone visiting the Amphawa canal community. In 2008, UNESCO Asia–Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation granted it the Honorable Mention Award, recognizing the area’s efforts to preserve the local culture and architecture along the canals.
The boat ride takes between one to two hours, and people can sign up at the Tourist Center at the floating market.
Spot Wild Animals in Their Natural Habitat
Animal lovers are thrilled to have any chance to see wild animals in their natural habitats. Rich with fascinating flora and fauna, Thailand is dotted with national parks where animal spotting is a favored activity. There’s no better place for a night safari, indulging in seeing wild animals in their home grounds, than Khao Yao National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Arrange the renowned 90-minute night safari through the park to take off between 7pm and 8pm. A park ranger will take visitors along the 10-kilometer trail in a pick-up truck for four to ten people for $16 per vehicle. If you visit the park between October and November, it is likely to spot more animals than the rest of the year.
The city of Chiang Mai isn’t known for the wild nightlife typically found in Bangkok and Phuket’s Patong. Yet, the Rose of the North has its share of amazing nocturnal activities for visitors to enjoy.
Officially opened in February 2006, Chiang Mai Night Safari in Nong Khwai district is the first nocturnal zoo in Thailand and is the largest globally, covering an area of over 323 acres. Now open both during the day and night, the night safari offers visitors a glimpse into animals’ daily lives, some of which roam freely. The safari also features exciting shows, including Night Predators and Creatures of the Night.
Zoe in Yellow
Sipping cocktails and beer may not be enough for someone who wants to get carried away by the rhythm of the night. Zoe in Yellow on Rajvithee Road in Chiang Mai’s Old City is the best place to throw your hands up in the air and dance till you drop with house music keeps patrons pumped all night long.
All That Jazz
Jazz enthusiasts should be pleased to know that Chiang Mai is home to some of the best jazz bars in Thailand located in different areas across Muang district. The North Gate Jazz Co-Op, close to Chang Phuak Gate, emerges as a favorite for travelers, thanks to the tiny bar’s laid-back ambiance and classic jazz tunes by a talented roster of musicians. Moment’s Notice on Sridonchai Road is newer and relatively small with limited seating, but the live music is outstanding and remarkable, overseas guest musicians will perform with local bands for a jam session or a surprise gig. You get to taste a variety of craft beer as well.
Nightlife on the Rooftop
Travelers and residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to rooftop bars in Bangkok. In Chiang Mai, though, one doesn’t need the same height to enjoy the city’s spectacular vista. These rooftop bars serve refreshing cocktails with outstanding views of this northern historical city under a blanket of stars.
The newly opened Sala Lanna Hotel is on the breathtaking bank of the Ping River. The rustic Lanna décor, coupled with the spectacular setting, make this the place to be. It has an exquisite al-fresco restaurant and bar, while the roof guarantees panoramic views to enjoy your drinks alongside until the bar closes at 11pm. Popular with backpackers, THC Rooftop Bar looks different with neon graffiti lining the staircase, cushions on the floor, low tables, and bamboo flooring. Facing Thapae Gate and the moat, the partially-covered and open-air bar on Kotchasarn Road serves cheap beers and oozes an ultimate laid-back atmosphere. Myst Rooftop Bar and Restaurant has its origin in Bangkok’s high-end Thonglor neighborhood, thus the sophisticated ambiance and fancy cocktails. The bar and restaurant are open until 1am. Located on the 6th floor of Maya Shopping, there are other affordable rooftop bars and eateries nearby.
Join the (Writer’s) Club
This venue is Chiang Mai’s unofficial press club, open to anyone who loves drinking and striking up a good conversation with fascinating people. An influx of guests from western authors to Asian artists is said to have regularly come for a special session. If you happen to roam around the Old City, check out this club on Ratchadamnoen Road close to Wan Pan Tao. It is open until midnight.
PAI, MAE HONG SON
Colorful Night Pulse
Nightlife in a small town like Pai doesn’t have to be less colorful. Known for its laid-back vibe, Pai becomes even more lively after sundown. Travelers, some of which make this town their home, look more energetic under the night’s lights.
For a good time, look no further than the walking street area. Near the town’s bus station on Chai Songkram Road down to Tesaban 1 Road, there are many pubs and bars. Pai Siam Bar & Bistro is one of the most crowded spots, while Jazz House offers the most relaxing atmosphere in a private compound with regular events taking place inside. For health-conscious travelers, Malamong Art Café serves a great variety of tea. You can’t miss it with patrons sitting on small low stools enjoying themselves and engaging in good conversation.
Undisputedly, Patong is the epicenter of the goings after sunset in this resort city. Yet the whole nocturnal life is varied in this island, and there’s more to nightlife in Phuket than just bars and neon lights.
Bustling Bangla Road
It seems as if all roads in Phuket lead to Bangla as night falls, as the area has an incredible variety of things to do and see. It has classy clubs and standard beer bars, as well as street vendors and performances.
Bang Tao & Its Classier Ambience
Situated on the west coast of the island, Bang Tao is well known for its high-end, beach-style clubs.
Less Crowded Phuket Town
For a relaxed atmosphere and friendlier ambiance, some locals might advise you to choose Phuket Town over Patong for a fun-filled night. Away from tourists’ hotspots, with some pubs and bars for you to enjoy music and drinks, the neighborhood is less crowded, with most patrons being locals and ex-pats.
Splendid Sunset Bars & Restaurants
Blessed with breathtakingly gorgeous beaches and natural grandeur, Phuket provides its visitors with a cool collection of splendid sunset bars and restaurants. Savoring dinner or sipping cocktails under the stars is a common extravaganza you can treat yourself to.
Keep One’s Balance at The Surf House Phuket
Located on Kata Beach front, the Surf House is a fun place frequented by locals and tourists and tests one’s balance of surf skills and drinking. The highly entertaining spot also serves fantastic food.
Exhilarating Thai Boxing
Highly exhilarating and superbly entertaining, the Thai Boxing show is a softer version of one of the world’s most intense body contact sports. It is an integral part of the Thai tourism industry with a significant presence in all major tourist cities. Here in Phuket, visitors can enjoy the show in two boxing venues in Patong nightly except Tuesdays.
SAMUI & KOH PHANGAN
Sun, Sand, Sea, Beach Bars & Parties
Samui’s resort island is a prime holiday destination and home to a fabulous selection of nightlife entertainment. With Chaweng Beach as the epicenter of nightlife, Samui has quite a few places to keep one’s spirit high amid the sound of music and the rhythm of the night. Here are the top three venues for nightly fun.
Fire dances and shows, chill tunes, a beach-front location, and a lovely and relaxed atmosphere contribute to Ark Bar in Bophut’s appeal. It is a favorite hangout place for Samui visitors who love to mingle, dine on the beach, and eventually give in and dance to the DJs’ live mixes. Nobody can resist the tropical and energetic beach vibes it exudes.
The Green Mango Club
Noisy and touristy as it is, The Green Mango is iconic and massive with concept lighting and several distinctive areas. The club is a real party place suitable for a fun night out, and it keeps going until 2am with hip-hop and techno tunes.
Anyone seeking upscale entertainment should consider Woobar as their next hangout stop. Part of the sophisticated posh resort W Retreat Koh Samui, the bar features a stunning contemporary décor with breathtaking panoramic views over the sea. It’s a perfect place to chill out and relax while drinking the night away. The iconic bar serves food and beverages until midnight.
Party animals worldwide might be able to associate the name Phangan with the notorious full moon bash, which is somehow far more famous than the island itself.
The Full Moon Party has made Phangan a prime travel destination and turned the island’s nightlife scene into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Rin Beach, or Haad Rin in Thai, is a fantastic choice if you aim purely for nightlife—the area is home to an extensive collection of bars. The Full Moon Party on the southernmost tip of the island welcomes as many as 30,000 partygoers when the 800-meter long beach turns into the most energetic open air nightclub in Thailand.
For those vacationing in the resort town when there’s no full moon night, other nightly fun and entertainment, a softer version of the wild party, is still happening.
On a private beach at the entrance of Haad Rin, Merkaba Beach Club offers a modern beach vibe with local and international DJs’ mixes.
Located on the beach of Hin Kong, The Jam Bar is a cool place made of wood, bamboo, and thatch with musical instruments on hand for unprepared and exhilarating jam sessions. Expect talented musicians from around the world to show up and perform out of the blue for a fabulous feast for your ears.
For a family-friendly place, Sunset Walk in Ban Tai provides a relaxing space to hang by the beach with a play area for kids set aside. The bar offers various colorful cocktails and a lovely vibe.