Monday, January 3, 2011

Bangkok has the best night life in the world

Whether you want crazy, alcohol fueled hedonism or classy evenings sipping top wines, we think Bangkok's nightlife is hands down the best in the world. We dare you to disagree

We concede, most of Bangkok's nightlife venues -- especially those outside the designated zones -- shut down way too early. But that doesn't mean Bangkok's nightlife doesn't remain the best in the world. Offerings range from the cheap to the ostentatious, with venues that are able to cater to even the strangest of after-dark whims. Here are 30 great reasons why we love our city's nightlife more than any other's in the world.

1. Venues for any taste only a quick tuk-tuk ride from wherever you are

Many a partier has turned to the three-whelled tuk tuk for a quick ride to the next club.In town with your family? How about a buffet and some dancing while you cruise up the River of Kings? Mom visiting? Take her to the 24-hour flower market and then buy her a glass of wine at a bar overlooking an ancient temple, such as the Arun Residence. Colleagues from the head office in town for a conference? Take them to a club like Bed Supperclub or Q Bar to dance and drink with Bangkok’s prettiest players. No matter where or who you are, the sky’s the limit.

The latest in the Bangkok bar scene -- check out Bangkok

2. No one cares if you have a mullet

Fashion is in the eye of the beholder, and with the exception of the hi-so set, Bangkokians rarely care what you’re wearing when you show up at the party (though they might mock you behind your back). From the hippest threads to the most outdated look or tastes in music, you’re likely to find at least a few like-minded people to share your shame. So put on your neon pink spandex and glitter wigs and let’s get this party started.

3. You usually end the night with more friends than you started with

Bangkok’s party people are a close-knit crew and conversations with strangers often start at one club, continue in the taxi and finish sometime later at a new venue. By the end of the night you’ve likely exchanged phone numbers and Facebook details and have planned the next outing. The Big Mango may not have the craziest partiers, but it sure does have the friendliest.

Read about the legend of Wong’s Place on CNNGo

4. VW Van bars that act as rest stops

Many city nightlife zones have at least one VW 'bar' set up to cater to thirsty barhoppers.While barhopping, it’s nice to be able to pull up a chair at a place that’s friendly, inexpensive and not concerned about dress codes. Enter the VW Van bars -- mobile drink platforms that open the roof, drop the windows and serve a long list of drinks in the fashion of some Faustian-inspired ice cream truck. If you get rowdy and start causing a scene, no problem -- they just close up shop and drive off. Pro tip: don’t go chasing/stumbling after them, it’s terribly embarrassing for your friends.

5. Everyone has a favorite place you probably haven’t heard of

Be it the pool party near Chatuchak, the hole in the wall on Sathorn, the ‘secret’ after-hours club near (shh, it’s secret), or the impromptu concert at RCA, someone probably knows where you’re going next, even if you don’t. Set your compass on ‘follow’.

6. Wonderfully bizarre gentleman’s clubs

The term ‘Gentleman’s Club’ is pretty subjective, and Bangkok has them in spades. From cigar lounges to absinthe bars to weird, neon-lit caves where you literally pay girls (a lot) to stand next to you and smile, exclusive boys-only dens of derring-do cater to every taste. As long as you have the money.

CNNGo suggests lifting your spirits at these liquor-licious Bangkok bars

7. The party doesn’t stop when the party stops

Bangkok's annual Culture One DJ event keeps the party going all nightDespite what the brilliant minds in charge of bar closing times believe, not everyone goes home to sleep at 2am, and there are plenty of places that cater to the nocturnal masses. Some are big and loud, others are tiny and barely known, but all ensure that -- despite Bangkok’s prudish push over the past few years -- your party doesn’t end until you want it to. Just follow the crowds.

8. Hang out with the celebs

Unlike LA or London, you don't have to be worth a small fortune or a VIP to rub elbows with A-listers. Check out some of these popular celebrity haunts known for their star clients that you too can check out in our article on "Where to spot a celebrity in Bangkok."

9. Gay? Lesbian? Transgender? Something else? Welcome!

Bangkok’s famous tolerance of alternative lifestyles is in full force when the sun goes down, with bars, restaurants, after-hours clubs and even entire streets dedicated to various orientations. Sure, you can see a ladyboy cabaret anywhere in Asia, but have you ever actually partied with a group of glammed-out kathoeys? It’s an experience you’ll never forget. Bangkok doesn’t have any gay pride parades, but then again -- we don’t really need to. Every day is gay pride day here.

10. All night street food of every ilk

Fried scorpions - Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle.Nothing beats a greasy late night snack with friends and Bangkok has more options than you can possibly ask for. From artery-hardening egg/bacon cheeseburgers on Silom and tangy chicken shwarmas in Nana to noodles, rice and bugs of all types on every street corner, getting your snack on pre-, during, or post-party has never been easier. Just remember: for maximum alertness, eat two mid-size grasshoppers for every shot of whiskey.

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