After working in restaurants, bars and clubs all my life I’m always fascinated in the nightlife in other cultures and cities. After recovering from a lack of sleep and one to many in-flight curries, we chilled on our first night, resting up for a night on the town the next day.
As you know we were staying on Khaosan road (the main backpacker strip) in Bangkok, it’s constantly buzzing with tourists, street vendors, promoters and Tuk Tuk drivers, all wanting a piece of your pocket. We stayed at D&D Inn which was around £30 a night for a double room with ensuite. It had an amazing roof top pool and our room was set back enough from the street that we couldn’t hear any noise. You can find the hotel HERE.
We decided to go for a beer before food and get a grasp on where we were, prices and what sort of area looked lively. After doing a loop (or two) and getting offered everything from Ping Pong Shows, (don’t google them whilst at the office desk) to Thai massages, we decided to sit down at a restaurant called Villa Cha Cha on Rambuttri Alley, just parallel to Khaosan road.
It was incredible value for money! How prices can change so much from one street to the next is insane. A large Chang (the nations favourite/cheapest beer, and the inflictor of the Changover) costs around 130-150TBH on Khaosan road (£3-£3.50), whereas on Rambuttri Alley they cost around 60-70TBH (£1.20-£1.50). I went for a sweet and sour chicken with steamed rice at this very nice restaurant, usually I’d have something a little bit spicier but I’ve been suffering with what can only be described as “liquid ass” the last 24 hours. It was fantastic (the meal not the stomach ache) and set me back a grand sum of 150TBH (£3.30), absolute bargain!
The next bar we hit is possibly my favourite place so far, if not one of my favourite venues ever. Roof bar “live music” all day and night everyday! It’s on Khaosan road and you can’t miss it, the little promo lads are usually using their promo signs as guitars and pointing to the third floor balcony to go up!
It’s worth a visit even for the 100TBH beers, which is as cheap as we could find on Khaosan road. The highlight though is always the band, especially the signers. Always locals, but always playing sing along classics and their own remixes of chart songs. I would take a wild guess and say they know about 6 words in every 10, so the comedic value is through the roof. We stayed here for quite a while singing along. It’s got a lovely cold water spray mechanism, which keeps the whole place chilled down – added bonus!
Now onto the bucket situation! Everyone has buckets of booze, the price of which varies only on your haggling skills. Menu price will be around 400-500TBH, but after some practice I was getting 2 for 350TBH, which is a bargain. Your small roadside bars offer buckets for 150TBH, which is crazy cheap, but these places will usually have no music, no toilet etc. I warn you now, Red Bull is not the Red Bull us westerners know, it’s a pimped up syrup version and keeps you going. I had one vodka red bull bucket and was having the time of my life.
The weirdest thing we found was that on the stroke of midnight all the venues turn their music off. We always heard that Bangkok was a crazy, 24 hour party central but we must be in the wrong area. ‘The Club’ on Khaosan road seems to be the place to go after midnight, but even then it shuts at 2am. The entry was 150TBH which included a free drink. The drinks inside were small and cost around 200TBH. I did however spot a VIP menu, and that must be the way to go – a bottle of vodka started from 1,500TBH (£33), so a bit of a bargain if there’s a few of you up for a good night.
We’ve heard some crazy rumours about RCA (Royal City Avenue) so I think we’ll be paying it a visit when we’re back in December!