Nightlife in Thailand can only be described as a chaotic kaleidoscope of colour that is abuzz with such vitality and electrifying emotion like no other you've ever, ever experienced. It simply cannot be furthest from your thoughts when wondering what it could possibly be like this fascinating land of smiles.
It would be safe to say that a tonne of foreigners come to Thailand just to participate in the nightlife scene, whether it's in the city of Bangkok, the fast-paced town of Pattaya or the resort island of Phuket. And it's without doubt nightlife in Chiang Mai can be just as exhilarating.
In fact, it hardly matters where you go in Thailand with perhaps the exception of a few rural villages. Even so, in some remote locations, locals are likely to cook up a storm of activities as the sun goes down and you'll no doubt have a great time.
If you're really into the swing of things, love to party all night long and have boundless energy, then you may want to head on down to the party island of Koh Phangan where you can experience any one of the full-moon parties that are held there every month. Just be aware that the parties on Koh Phangan are a riotous and raucous affair.
Most of the better-known islands of Thailand have their own nightlife entertainment be its beach parties, discotheques, nightclubs, go-go bars, karaoke bars, beer bars or cabaret shows and night markets.
Nightlife in Thailand extends to all areas of the country and while Bangkok may be notorious for its red light districts such as Patpong, Soi Cowboy and Nana Entertainment Plaza, it also offers several options for fun and enjoyment when the sun goes down.
Bangkok in particular really comes alive under the cover of darkness. It is basically divided into three nightlife zones, namely Thanon Silom found in downtown Bangkok and famous for its nightclubs such as the Bed Supperclub and Q Bar. The former being a club where you can bed down, have supper and dance the night away.
The only sad part is that these clubs are required by law to shut shop at 1:00 am sharp. The area around Silom also includes the well known (popular among tourists) Patpong red light district and night market.
Be aware that the bustling night market at Patpong shares its two narrow streets with a number of naughty go-go bars. Provided you don't mind the occasional flash of flesh through one of the semi-open club doors on street level or those persistent touts doing their level best to lure you to an upstair bar, you're probably going to enjoy the experience or at the very least, the entertainment. I wouldn't bother buying any of the hundreds of fake goods here. Silom is also famous for its numerous pubs and restaurants, but not much else.
For the adventurous and young at heart, you might want to hang out at Royal City Avenue, located in the Huai Khwang district of Bangkok. It's one of the zones where the venues with valid dance licenses can stay open until 2:00 am.
Royal City Avenue or RCA as it's also known, is a huge nightlife entertainment and clubbing area. It's situated on a long single street between Rama IX Road and Phetchaburi Road. Here you'll find a multitude of bars, nightclubs and live music venues all offering a variety of international music styles and brand name DJs.
RCA is a government designated entertainment zone, mostly visited by the younger crowd. And thanks to the New Social Order Campaign, you should look out for the odd police raid, as you just might be asked to provide a urine test for drugs. After all, this is Thailand for you.
The third zone in this Nightlife in Thailand Guide is located on Ratchadaphisek Road. For it is here where you as the more mature adventurer are bound to find at some stage of your journey. This zone is known as the traditional stomping ground where larger than life massage parlour complexes can be found.
As you can see there is just about everything for everyone here in Bangkok at night except maybe for the little ones, but then nightlife in Thailand is not really geared up for children or for that matter, family style entertainment.
However, there is a night market at Asiatique The Riverfront where you as a family can enjoy a fabulous night out and where a lot more is on offer. Asiatique on the banks of the Chao Phraya River is a new venue open from 5:00 pm until midnight where entertainment and shopping are all rolled into one. And speaking of shopping, Bangkok is a shopper's paradise with an abundance of places to go.
The nightlife scene in Pattaya is a little (if not a lot) different than most of the entertainment you'll get to experience at night in the city of Bangkok and that's simply because Pattaya is probably better known as the city of sin. Yes! There is some night time entertainment in the form of cabaret shows, movie arcades and disco dancing but not much else for wholesome families or the little ones.
Most of the social activities in Pattaya seem to be centred around shopping malls such as the Royal Garden Plaza and Mike's Shopping Mall. Dining at several local and international restaurants is also a great pastime as is munching on junk food at a McDonald's or Burger King franchise. Or you could simply listen to rock and roll music and drink the night away in one of the dimly lit pubs. Whatever floats your boat, you're assured of a memorable night out.
As for the rest of us in terms of how realistically nightlife in Thailand around here is, there is a heck of a lot more going on in Pattaya's sin city than in the rest of the country. And you don't have to go very far to find the seedier side of town.
Perhaps I'm being a little harsh here, but that's how things really are in this town. I also have to tell you that it's a lot closer than you think. In fact, it's often right on your doorstep as you leave the hotel. Or more accurately, right in your face and more often than not, larger and louder than life itself. You only have to stroll across Pattaya's illustrious Walking Street to experience the thrills and spills.
With thrills, you get to be bedazzled and at the same time, ever so confused, while you try desperately to catch the attention of one of the scantily clad girls as they swirl and twirl around shiny silver poles. And to see this, you need only step inside one of many Go-Go Bars that line the street on both sides. Don't be shy now. Step right up and in. You won't be disappointed. As with spills.... Well, that's long after your night of fun is all but over as you stumble out of the club.
To find out more about what really happens when the sun goes down in Pattaya, besides all the eating, drinking and shopping, keep reading. You'll find everything there is to know about the sexier side of Nightlife in Pattaya in just a moment if not sooner by clicking on the link above. It's where you'll find more information on many of the go-go bars, pubs and clubs in and around Walking Street.
As far as the nightlife prospect in Phuket is concerned, it certainly has all the hallmarks of that of Pattaya. You could even go so far as to say that it matters not where you venture out after the dark in the kingdom. Generally speaking, nightlife in Thailand caters for anyone looking for extreme adventure. But somehow there just seems to be a much more social order in this town. Don't get me wrong, though, it can get rather wickedly wild here in Phuket. And that's at the very best of times too. But isn't that what you'd come to expect here.
The Patong beach area of Phuket is the right quarters to be in if you're looking for an electrifying experience. And Bangla Road is where much of the action takes place. It's similar in style as Pattaya's walking street, only a little shorter.
But what you do get are a number of side Soi's (alleyways) branching off where most of the beer bars can be found. You cannot miss them as they too are in your face. The first Soi on your left is the most entertaining, especially if you really want to see how the ladyboys of Phuket entertain the crowds. And if you do manage to get to the end of the Soi, you'll find an informal ladyboy cabaret venue that I highly recommend you go check out. It's extremely entertaining.
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