You are probably here because you plan on going to Bangkok, or you’re simply curious what Bangkok nightlife has to offer and whether it’s worth a visit.
You’ve come to the right place – I’ll show you everything you need to know: The major Bangkok nightlife areas but also small hidden gems that you’d never find in a Bangkok Guide.
Before we start, 2 important things to know:
I make a distinction between Bangkok’s Red Light Districts and “Regular” Nightlife Venues where you’d mainly find local Thai girls & tourists.
This nightlife guide focuses on nightlife venues (bars, clubs, etc.) – it does not contain info in regards to massage parlors unless they are located inside a nightlife area.
Here’s a general overview of Bangkok nightlife.
Red Light Districts
If you’re a man, it’s not unlikely that Bangkok has caught your eye because of the many Red Light Districts it has to offer.
They’re great & I believe every man should spent a night out there at least once in his life.
There are 4 Red Light Districts in Bangkok but really only Soi Cowboy & Nana Plaza are worth visiting.
Patpong is well-known for tourist scams, there aren’t many bars there anyway and in terms of location it’s not anywhere close to other nightlife venues.
Soi Thaniya is a Bangkok Red Light District that not many tourists know about because it caters mainly to Asian clientele.
Most of the action happens inside and compared to Soi Cowboy & Nana Plaza, it’s a rather tame place.
There is no cover charge/entrance fee at any of the bars, but you’re required to order a drink if you wish to stay.
Soi Cowboy is great.
Plus, there are many affordable guest-friendly hotels within walking distance.
Located in the very heart of Bangkok, Soi Cowboy is hard to miss – even if you’re just a “regular” tourist, you’ll notice the neon lights at night.
Whereas Nana Plaza & Patpong are nightlife areas that you wouldn’t just randomly walk past, Soi Cowboy is as touristy as it gets.
Being a tourist spot comes with pros & cons.
Clearly any place that attracts lots of tourists is overpriced and Soi Cowboy is no exception in regards to drink and girl prices.
When I say “overpriced”, I mean relative to other places in Bangkok. The bars at Soi Cowboy are still cheaper than Western bar prices & if you’re looking to spend less than you can start your night early as many bars have Happy Hours or 2 for 1 drink specials.
Beer Prices: 110THB to 150THB
Lady Drink: 200THB
Many say – and I agree 100% – that Soi Cowboy offers the highest quality of girls in terms of looks. There are quite a few stunners working in the gogo bars at Soi Cowboy.
Soi Cowboy is a great starting point for any Bangkok first-timer.
The only thing you want to keep in mind is that in recent years, the number of “Coyote Girls” working at Soi Cowboy has gone up.
A coyote girl looks like any other girl the only difference is that she doesn’t go home with customers – and many newbie tourists only learn that after having spent thousands of Baht on ladydrinks.
Soi Cowboy – Overview
Operating Hours: 4PM-2AM
Busiest Days: Thursday – Saturday
Number of Bars: 40+
Bar Fines: Starting at 500THB
Bar Girl Short Time Rates: 1500THB – 2500THB
Bar Girl Long Time Rates: 4000THB – 7000THB
Soi Cowboy – Pros & Cons
Good selection of very attractive girls!
Easy to reach, open daily & excellent for people-watching.
More than 2 dozen beer & gogo bars to choose from.
Ladyboy bars are clearly marked and few in numbers.
Alternative pay for play places (massages) nearby.
Safe for newbies; Tourist Police at both entrances.
Steep prices for girls, drinks & entertainment.
Increasing number of coyote girls = confusing for newbies.
No freelancer girls available in the area.
Nana Plaza / Soi 4
Unlike Soi Cowboy, Soi 4 isn’t just a side alley but an entire street filled with gogo bars, beer bars and various other nightlife and entertainment venues.
Nana Plaza, “Nana” & Soi 4 are often used interchangeably.
A night out in this part of town is going to be cheaper than at Soi Cowboy (in every regard; drinks, girls, food) but you’ll also experience the most hardcore version of a Red Light District.
Streets are filled with working girls and you’ll be stopped/harassed by ladyboys every few minutes.
The Nana Red Light District is great for people watching – especially if you get a seat at one of the beer bars facing the Nana hotel parking lot.
You’ll get to see guys negotiating with working girls and all sorts of other interesting, odd and weird interactions and characters.
Here’s what Soi 4 looks like – you also see the location of Nana Plaza.
Inside this street (Soi 4) are also more than a dozen hotels, all of course guest-friendly, meaning you can bring any girl to your room without having to pay an additional fee (joiner fee).
Many of the gogo bars offer short time rooms for rent – an alternative would be renting a room by the hour at one of the hotels nearby (Nana hotel is a popular option).
Nana Plaza is the three story building right at the entrance of the street & packed with gogo bars (= strip clubs) and beer bars.
Unlike Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza hosts a number of ladyboys and even mixed gogo bars (girls mixed with ladyboys) which makes it hard at times knowing which is which.
That is if you are SOBER.
If you’re drunk, then you have no chance of knowing whether you’re talking to a very attractive girl or ladyboy.
I know of a handful of guys that have otherwise good ladyboys-radars, got drunk one night and mistakenly ended up with a ladyboy.
Here’s something you can do if you feel adventurous …
Enter Nana Plaza, turn right and take the stairways. Now take a full-circle walk on the balcony and enjoy getting grabbed by girls/ladyboys left and right.
I call it “the lady boy walk of death”.
The following video is a good example of what you can expect at Nana Plaza.
All in all, the Nana area & Nana Plaza are something to experience – even if you’re not going there to party.
Nana Plaza/Soi 4 – Overview
Operating Hours*: 4PM-2AM
*Operating hours of Nana Plaza and most bars in the area. Freelancer girls are roaming the streets until early morning.
Busiest Days: Thursday – Saturday
Number of Bars: 50+
Bar Fines: Starting at 500THB
Bar Girl Short Time Rates: 1500THB – 2500THB
Bar Girl Long Time Rates: 3200THB – 5800THB
Freelancer Rates: Starting at 1000THB (negotiable)
Nana Plaza/Soi 4 – Pros & Cons
Large selection of available girls & bars!
Diverse nightlife; great for people-watching.
Decent prices – good price/value.
Cheap freelancer girls on the streets (1000 Baht).
Streets are filled with (aggressive) ladyboys.
Some confusing mixed bars (girls & ladyboys).
Patpong Red Light District
Patpong night market and Patpong Red Light District are one and the same venue … pretty much.
The night market is in between the gogo bars and some additional bars are located in adjacent side streets.
Patpong is probably more known for it’s night market where you can buy all sorts of replica goods, then for it’s bar scene.
Talking about bars, I never recommend Patpong as a place to visit for the simple reason that it has gotten a bad reputation as a place where tourists are tricked into scams.
Most notably the ping pong show scam where you’re invited to see a girl shoot a ping pong ball from her vagina, only to be forced to pay for drinks that you didn’t consume by the end of the night.
If you don’t pay, you get a good beating …
Patpong is far from Soi Cowboy & Nana Plaza, yet it’s easy to reach via the BTS skytrain. Simply exit at BTS Sala Daeng and you can walk to Patpong within a few minutes.
I’ve never spent much time at Patpong and since I don’t advise anyone to go there, I’ll conclude the info at this point.
Visit this place at your own risk.
Patpong Red Light District – Overview
Operating Hours: 4PM-2AM
Busiest Days*: Thursday – Saturday
*Keep in mind “busy” is relative. Compared to Soi Cowboy & Nana Plaza, Patpong is never really busy.
Number of Bars: 10+
Bar Fines: Starting at 500THB
Bar Girl Short Time Rates: 1500THB – 4000THB
Bar Girl Long Time Rates: 4000THB – 6000THB
Patpong Red Light District – Pros & Cons
Quiet nightlife, not many tourists around.
Combine nightlife & shopping (Patpong market).
Expensive prices & many tourists scams.
Limited number of bars & girls to choose from.
No freelancer girls available in the area.
There’s a 99.9% chance you’ve never heard of the Soi Thaniya Red Light District and will never go there either. That would also apply to every other Bangkok tourist …
… with the exception of Japanese business men.
Soi Thaniya is just 2 minutes walking distance from Patpong – it’s massive with loads of girls on the street but you rarely see tourists around.
Soi Thaniya isn’t anything like Soi Cowboy or the other nightlife areas. It’s an area sorely catering to Japanese men looking for female companionship.
That’s why it’s called “Bangkok’s Japanese Red Light District”.
There are no beer bars or gogo clubs and neither do people sit outside – everything happens behind closed doors and if you’re not Asian, you’ll likely never find out what “everything” entails.
Can you go there if you’re not Asian?
Sure you can, just be aware that different services are on offer. You pay a flat fee to drink & talk with the girls and that’s it. Female attention, but nothing more.
Worth a visit? Maybe. If you’re going to the area anyway, you can combine Patpong with Soi Thaniya.
“Regular” Nightlife Venues
Royal City Avenue
If you’re not looking to pay for girls (or their attention), then you can spend your time at one of the nightclubs at Royal City Avenue (R.C.A.)
It’s Bangkok’s largest entertainment and clubbing area and arguable the best spot to meet local Thai girls.
Thai girls go to clubs such as Route66 and Onyx to meet foreign guys. Foreign guys party there to hook up with Thai girls.
It works as long as you in the age range of 18-40 or simply look reasonably young. If you’re well past 40, then frankly you’d look out of place as those venues are filled with mostly young people.
I personally like Route66 because there’s an outdoor sitting area which is quiet enough to have a conversation.
The only downsides to Route66 would be the 300 Baht cover fee and the fact that almost every other single male tourists goes there as well which means additional competition.
Onyx is a more upscale version of Route66. Entrance: 500 Baht.
In terms of girls, both venues are equal.
You find attractive girls at both clubs but if you’re not sure which one is a better choice on any given night, simply spend some time at the entrance to see where most of the attractive girls go.
Keep in mind, R.C.A. is NOT your typical Thai nightlife area.
It more of a tourist-version of Thai nightlife but certainly not the place where Thai people party among themselves.
Alright, I’ll talk about Khaosan Road but honestly it’s my least favorite place of all of Bangkok’s nightlife areas.
Why? Tourists …
I’m not sure why someone would travel all the way to Bangkok only to book a hotel at Khaosan Road and party there every single night – yet many backpackers do just that.
Khaosan Road is a street filled with bars, clubs & food stalls and it’s as touristy as it gets. You’ll see so many tourists, you’ll forget that you’re in Thailand.
You already know that touristy is code for overpriced.
Granted, you can meet cute Thai girls at Khaosan Road because many local girls that go there do so in hope of meeting a foreign guy.
Khaosan Road is 15 minutes from Soi Cowboy by taxi – it’ll cost you approximately 60 Baht.
By the way, if you’re looking for fake IDs, Khaosan Road is the place. Most ID cost 1,000 Baht!
To clarify, Soi means sidestreet and in Thailand the sidestreets are numbered. Soi 11 is in between Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza and you’ll find a number of hotels, bars, clubs and restaurants there.
Soi 11 is an interesting place because it’s where mainstream tourism meets seedy Red Light District.
At night, you’ll see a lot of street walkers (African girls, ladyboys, Thai girls) but at the same time you can go to clubs such as Club Levels and meet innocent Thai girls.
Okay, maybe not innocent but at least Thai girls that aren’t out to make money …
Many of Bangkok’s best hotels, bars & restaurants are located at Soi 11.
Soi 11 Hotels: Grand Swiss Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Suk 11 hostel, Aloft hotel, Le Fenix hotel, Holiday Inn Express, Fraser Suites, Citadines Apart’hotel & Mullis Irish bar, Salil hotel
Soi 11 Restaurants: Zanzibar Restaurant, Rosabieng restaurant, Pomodoro Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Limoncello, Mercure hotel and El Guacho steakhouse, Oskar Bistro, Brasserie Cordonnier, Firehouse burgers, Chilli Culture Thai Kitchen Restaurant, Daniel Thaiger burger booth, Zaks Dining and Lounge
Soi 11 Bars: Old German Beerhouse, Hillary 3 and Ava bars, Sugar Club, Australian Pub, Apoteka bar, Club Levels, Club Insanity (New location)
You can walk to Soi 11, or take the skytrain, take exit #3 at BTS Nana and turn left.
Bangkok Nightlife – FAQS
How expensive is a night out in Bangkok?
It depends on where you’re going. There are venues with free entrance (e.g. Club Levels) – if you combine those with buying alcohol at 7-Eleven, you can have fun with only a few hundred Baht in your pockets. (See Cheap Charlie version below!)
How about nightlife during the week?
All Red Light Districts are good during the week although you’ll see fewer people around from Sunday to Wednesday. Friday and Saturday are the busiest days.
R.C.A. is not worth visiting during the way. It’s run like a cocktail bar during the way and the club part is only open from Thursday-Saturday.
Are there any free entrance Bangkok nightlife venues?
Yes, there are and they are pretty nice in terms of location. All of them are upscale and located at the top floors of high rise buildings.
My recommendations: Ce La Vie, Cloud 47, Club Levels
Make sure to wear trousers and leave your flip flops at home or else you’ll get rejected at the door. Ce La Vie & Cloud47 are “clean” clubs in the sense that you don’t find working girls there.
Club Levels attracts both regular girls and working girls.
1 Night in Bangkok – what do you recommend I do?
It all depends on the day and time of your arrival in Bangkok.
During the week, your best bet will either be Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza – on the weekend, you have more choices as Route66 and Onyx are also open.
Should you arrive toward midnight (or after), then your only nightlife options will be after hours clubs.
The Red Light Districts shut down at 2AM, venues that are still operating include Club Insanity (Soi 11) & Mixx Discotheque.
What about Soapy/Nuru massages, are they not part of Bangkok nightlife?
Soapy, oil and Nuru massages are of course always an option, I decided to not include them here as they are not part of Bangkok nightlife.
Massage parlors generally close at midnight – few operate 24/7.
Prices vary greatly, but you can expect to pay at least 2,000 Baht for a happy ending massage. Actually, that’s the price for the happy ending, the soapy/oil/nuru massage itself is usually another 500+ Baht.
How do I know the girl I’m talking to is not a working girl?
You never know unless you ask, but based on the venue you are at, you can make certain assumptions. Regular Thai girls don’t party in the Red Light Districts and neither do they “hang out” on the streets at well-known hooker spots.
The nightlife venues I’ve mentioned (RCA, Route66, Onyx) are all packed with regular, local Thai girls – it’s almost impossible to find a freelancer there.
Bangkok Nightlife Costs – Cheap Charlie Version
Here’s how to do it. Buy drinks at 7-Eleven. Beer, whatever you like. Make sure you do so before midnight as this is when alcohol sales stop.
Beer is going to cost you 60 Baht, whereas you’d pay a minimum of 150 Baht inside of a club or bar.
Drink multiple beers if you’re goal is to get a good buzz going.
Now you have 2 options in terms of a night out without having to pay entrance fee. The clubs I’ve mentioned above (Club Levels, Cloud47, Ce La Vie) all have free entrance.
Khaosan Road is the other option where you can basically party on the street and meet girls while you do so.
Keep in mind, while most regular bars don’t have an entrance fee, you’re required to order a drink when stay inside.
Is Bangkok Nightlife safe?
Only if you use common sense and have yourself under control – then you’re going to be fine and I would argue Bangkok is much safer than most major U.S. cities.
When you’re drunk, it’s easy to mistake a ladyboy for a girl, not be aware of Thai customs and some guys have a tendency for being aggressive when drunk.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
In that sense, Bangkok Nightlife is safe. You yourself are your biggest enemy.
What is Bangkok Nightlife like?
I’ve been to many other places and there hasn’t been one that I thought would compare to Bangkok.
Alright, Pattaya is even crazier than Bangkok … but, still my point is that there’s no way to accurately describe what Bangkok Nightlife is like.
Cheap booze, almost unlimited supply of cute girls, warm climate … ehhh, do I need to continue?
Bangkok Nightlife Hours, Closing Times & Curfews
Red Light Districts (Soi Cowboy, Nana) get going at around 5PM and shut down at 2AM and so do most other nightclubs (e.g. Route66, Onyx).
Occasionally, random curfews are enforced where police & military show up even before regular closing time and everything is shut down.
There’s no way anyone could accurately predict when that happens … it might happen on your night out, it might not …
Bangkok or Pattaya – Which places has better nightlife?
Bangkok is my #1 recommendation for Thailand first-time visitors. It’s not as extreme as Pattaya and a good way to start.
Plus, if you feel like Bangkok Nightlife isn’t enough, you can always take the bus down to Pattaya (150 Baht; 2.5 hour drive).
Russian Girls in Bangkok’s Nightlife – Where do I find them?
For many, the question might seem odd. Russian girls in Bangkok? Why would anyone go to Bangkok and then look for Russian girls?
To be honest, I don’t know either.
All I know is that the Russian girls you see in Bangkok aren’t what I’d consider attractive – some you find roaming the Sukhumvit sidewalks, some standing inside Soi Nana and I have also seen Russian girls inside Grace Hotel.
If you’re seriously after Russian girls, my recommendation would be to take a trip to Pattaya where you’ll come across very attractive, young Russian girls directly on Walking Street.
Oh, and don’t forget to bring a few of these 1,000 Baht bills! Russian Girls = $$$
What are some Bangkok Nightlife Live Music venues?
If you’re looking for a place with live music, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as there are many too choose from.
From the Hilarry Bars in the Red Light District to street bars on Khaosan Road – all of them have great live music every single day!
On rare occasions, Club Levels & Ce La Vie also have live music but for the most part, it’s just a DJ running the show.
Is Bangkok Nightlife for Singles only?
Kinda. I mean all of the places mentioned can be visited by couples but of course it’s going to be more fun if you’re available to meet girls at each place.
That being said, I have see couples inside gogo bars watching shows, so don’t let your relationship status stop you from doing something exciting if you’re partner is up for it …
What would be your top 3 Bangkok nightlife tips?
Good question! While this isn’t a fully-fleshed Bangkok Nightlife Guide, here’s my best attempt at providing you with the essentials:
How do I get around in Bangkok’s nightlife?
For the most part, you will have to rely on taxis. The train systems close at midnight & walking is often not an option.
Taxing a motorbike taxi is cheaper for short distances, but also more risky in terms of accidents.
Hiring a tuk tuk has literally no advantage over taxi/motorbike taxi. It’s expensive & risky.
Where can I find the hottest/most attractive girls in Bangkok?
Alright, in terms of the Red Light Districts, Soi Cowboy girls are probably the hottest (on average). Any gogo bar that you visit has a few very attractive girls (even the ones at Nana Plaza).
I’ve found that the girls at Route66 are generally younger and more attractive than the ones you’d see at say Ce La Vie, Club Levels and Club Sugar.
A good club with both attractive working girls and regular women is Insanity at Soi 11.
Ehm … I’m into ladyboys. Where can I meet some?
I’m not into ladyboys, so I don’t consider myself to be an expert in this area. However, if you’re willing to pay, then the area around Nana Plaza is a good option as there are many ladyboy bars and ladyboys working the streets.
Most regular nightlife venues (outside of Red Light Districts) are completely void of ladyboys – other then Club Levels (few ladyboys occasionally).
That being said, if you’re looking to meet a non-working ladyboy, your best bet will be online dating (Tinder, ThaiFriendly, Date in Asia).
Bangkok Nightlife Questions
If you’ve read this far & still have a question about Bangkok nightlife, your specific trip or anything else related – ask away!
Post in the comment section below or use the contact form.