How to Experience Bangkok Nightlife like a Local
Bangkok’s renowned fame as the rowdy capital of Thailand is reinforced by its riveting and lively nightlife. While most expats know, and tourists soon learn, that popular nightclubs and bars can be found in all city districts, Bangkok residents often find alternative activities to enjoy their evenings in more relaxing ways.
For those travellers interested in immersing themselves in the Bangkok evening culture preferred by locals, read on to find out how to experience the nightlife in Bangkok like a local.
1. Spend the evening in Chinatown
Chinatown, a vibrant district in Bangkok, is extremely popular with local Bangkok residents. Lined with numerous fashion stores, eateries, market stalls and gold shops, it is a good place to hang out with locals, buy souvenirs and get your tastebuds awakened by the delicious flavors of authentic Chinese style street food. While you’re here, don’t forget to take a coffee break at the 100 year old coffee shop on Phat Sai Road. Spend the rest of the evening at Saphan Phut night market, which provides a perfect escape from the tourist crowds of the Chatuchak and Patpong night markets and you can bargain for cheap designer clothes and enjoy late night snacks.
2. Make new friends at a local bar
Bangkok’s residents know how to have fun, so skip the tourist bar scene and drink with the locals at a local bar. You will find that the drinks are less expensive, food is more authentic and after a couple of drinks you will find yourself having fun with your new local friends. Some of these bars have long happy hours, game nights and weekend specials on their menu so eat and drink to your heart’s content.
3. Enjoy a sunset bike ride with the locals
With the development of safe biking routes around Bangkok city, sunset biking has become one of the most popular activities of its residents. All you need to do to join them is a bike and a local friend or someone who can give you a map to their favorite biking routes. Bikes can easily be rented at the numerous rental stores around the city and is one of the best ways to explore Bangkok. As the sun sets, rent a bike and pedal away to the banks of the Chao Phraya river while soaking in the local culture and lifestyle and watch as the beautiful sunset colors fade into darkness.
4. Visit a temple frequented by locals (Wat Suthat)
Popular temples in Bangkok such as the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple are picturesque and are of great architectural value, however, the area around them is often extremely commercialized. On the other hand, smaller and non commercialized temples such as Wat Suthat are places that devout locals regularly visit and are great places to absorb the spirituality and culture of the local Bangkok residents. Remember to be respectful of the dress code before entering these temples, as most temples in Thailand require people to cover their legs and shoulders.