The Best Bars in Bangkok

No matter your personality or favorite tipple, Bangkok has your new favorite bar. Step into The Iron Fairies for a cocktail mixed in the muddled light of a steam punk apothecary. Get in on gin at the, shall we say, interestingly named Teens of Thailand. Want something that veers more traditional? Tep Bar is your go-to for the evening. Or perhaps you want jazz or the feel of a James Bond adventure? Yes, it’s all there in Bangkok.

672, 65 Soi Charoen Krung 28, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
A clue to the appeal of the bar Tropic City is in its name: Here, sultry influences from Polynesia, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America fuse in a most refreshing way. The tropical theme informs everything from the decor—a tasteful mash-up of flower motifs and Portuguese tiles—to the sociable atmosphere on the outdoor terrace, which is packed nearly every night. It is most evident, though, in the carefully curated cocktail list, which dabbles in gin and mezcal while putting a heavy emphasis on rum-based drinks. Cocktails pack a punch, but light infusions such as vanilla, pineapple, and aromatic spices make it easy to put away a few—which perhaps explains why the venue has become a go-to for the city’s party set.
PGCW+GP9, Soi Sribumphen 34, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
The undisputed king of Bangkok dive bars, Wong’s Place has a character of its own. It’s hard to describe exactly why you should go to this hole-in-the-wall institution near Lumpini Park. The furniture has seen better days, the toilets are nobody’s idea of a treat, and the service ranges from eccentric to downright surly. The fact that it is now one of the few venues in the city that remains open until the wee hours might explain its popularity. But really, it’s the fact that—for all its faults—the bar retains an unpretentious “up-for-it” vibe that is largely missing from more refined places. On quiet nights, there’s not a lot to recommend it, but visit on weekends and there’s a good chance you’ll fall under its beguiling spell.
8 Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
The resurgence of Chinatown as a hip place to imbibe has seen the opening of choice new bars and restaurants. What’s more, the unique architecture of the neighborhood’s traditional shophouses has imbued many of them with a cool, atmospheric vibe that takes major cues from the work of Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai. One such venue is Ba Hao, which fuses vintage chinoiserie decor with on-point cocktails and some seriously delicious snacks—try the duck wontons served with chili sesame oil and the jianbing, a Chinese crepe stuffed with ground pork, chilies, and hoisin sauce. As you might expect, Chinese influence is prevalent here. Signature drinks include the Opium, a classic Negroni spiked with ginseng and herbal liquor, and Five Rivers, where five-spice powder is combined with rum and Drambuie.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure