Nightlife in Thailand is bound to be on your mind if you’re planning a visit to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phuket, or Koh Samui. What are the best places to party in Thailand and the must-visit beach bars and night clubs? And let’s not forget that Thailand is also famous for its ladyboy cabaret shows and cultural entertainment.
Nightlife in Thailand is not just about getting sloshed and dancing till the wee hours of the morning, though you’re free to do that if you please! Exploring the night markets, enjoying a drink on the sands with the waves tickling your feet, and seeing the city lights from rooftop bars are also enchanting experiences. But undoubtedly, Thailand is best known for its full moon parties and even adult entertainment.
In this guide to nightlife in Thailand, we’ll tell you about the best nightlife experiences to be had in Bangkok, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui. You’ll also discover the most happening bars, clubs, and entertainment avenues in each of these destinations. So let’s dive right into our nightlife in Thailand guide.
Nightlife in Bangkok
Bangkok is unarguably the best nightlife destination in Thailand, with many unique experiences that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Best Nightlife Experiences in Bangkok
Head to Khao San Road to have a street massage or watch people dancing on the street in the middle of the night and simply having a good time! The party literally never stops on this trendy street in Bangkok that is a favourite with youngsters.
A must-do activity in Bangkok is to go for a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. Attractions like the War Arun temple, the Grand Palace, and the Golden Rama VIII Bridge look even more mesmerizing in the night when they are lit up in sparkling golden lights.
One of the best known nightlife destinations in Bangkok is undoubtedly Sukhumvit. Although it has a notorious reputation for red light districts, you can also spend time at a rooftop bar or club, many of which starred in The Hangover Part II.
Silom is another great party venue in Bangkok, and home to numerous bars and rooftop clubs. You can take a walk along the iconic Patpong Road, which was the first red light district in Bangkok. Make sure to have a drink at Lebua Sky Bar, which is the highest open-air bar in the world. Enjoy spectacular views from the 64th floor at this bar.
Best Bars & Clubs in Bangkok
The Club, Khao San Road: If you love dancing under multi-coloured lights along with a bunch of energetic strangers, The Club on Khao San Road is where you need to be. There’s an entrance fee but the music and special effects are more than worth it!
Octave, Sukhumvit: For the best panoramic view of Bangkok, book a dinner table at Octave, a luxurious rooftop bar at Sukhumvit.
The Iron Fairies Bar, Sukhumvit: If you like theme bars, you will be delighted by The Iron Fairies, which is based on mythical creatures in a book written by the owner. The bar looks and feels like an ironsmith’s workshop and has magical figures sharing space with patrons!
Maggie Choo’s Bar, Silom: This bar is a must visit for Harry Potter fans, as everything from the doors and walls to the paintings and fixtures seem straight out of the world of witches and wizards! Look out for secret vaults and enchanting brick furnishings.
Nightlife in Phuket
Phuket is second only to Bangkok when it comes to nightlife in Thailand. It is famous for its Muay Thai matches, cabaret shows, and night markets.
Best Nightlife Experiences in Phuket
Make sure you watch an exciting Muay Thai match at Patong Boxing Stadium, known to the biggest boxing ring of its kind. The matches begin at 9 PM and are held between men, women, and even kids. The energy in the crowd is truly electrifying!
Another famous night time activity in Phuket is to watch the Simon Cabaret show. Lady boy performers dazzle audiences with their dramatic moves and flamboyant costumes. Phuket PhantaSea also puts on an excellent show featuring dance, animals, and magic acts. The pre-show buffet includes a shopping plaza, carnival, and theme park. You could also watch the Siam Niramit show, which is performed in various locations in Thailand.
Phuket is home to an enticing array of night markets where you can combine dining and shopping. Most of these take place on weekends but Chillva Market is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday as well. At this youthful market, you will find clothing, accessories, and food stalls. Other notable night markets include Naka Weekend Market and Bangla Road Street Food, which is only for diners.
Best Bars & Clubs in Phuket
Illuzion, Soi Bangla: Illuzion is one of the best nightclubs in Phuket, and probably all of Thailand. Some of the world’s most famous DJs and musicians have performed at Illuzion, including Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki. Best of all, there’s no entrance fee. Come here to dance all the way till 4 AM.
Quip Rooftop Bar: If you want to hang out in the Old Town, then this is the right place to come to. Located on the roof of a Sino-Portuguese hotel, the bar has a relaxed vibe, and is the perfect place to enjoy the night sky with a drink in hand and friends in tow. Another great rooftop bar in Phuket is the stylish Baba Nest.
The Kata Rocks Clubhouse Restaurant and Bar: This must-visit seaside bar and restaurant is located at Kata Rocks resort in Phuket, and offers dreamy ocean views that you won’t forget for a long time. The décor is predominantly white, and the food a melange of Mediterranean and Thai, with fantastic seafood options.
Nightlife in Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a lot like Phuket in terms of the variety of nightlife experiences. From frequenting bars and clubs to going shopping and sailing, you can do it all here.
Best Nightlife Experiences in Koh Samui
Put on your dancing shoes and give in to the draw of the music at Sound Club Samui, where green laser lights and blue neon illumination add a techno touch to the whole ambience. The club near Chaweng Beach also features an outdoor pool.
Imagine sipping on heady cocktails while you swing on the sand, with the waves putting on an excellent background score for the antics of talented fire dancers. That’s exactly what you can do at Swing Bar on Lamai Beach. Similar seating is available at Coco Tams, a bar on Bophut Beach with a huge projector screen.
Join a full moon or half-moon beach party at Cha Cha Moon Beach Club near Chaweng Beach and have the Thai experience of a lifetime. There’s a pool with beach beds, as well as a dance floor with peppy music by world-class DJs.
Best Bars & Clubs in Koh Samui
Bar Ice Samui: Thailand can get really hot, especially in the summers, which is why heading to this ice-themed bar is such a good idea! The bar, furniture, and the walls are made of ice, and so are the glasses! But you can sit in the garden if you’re craving warmth.
Woobar, W Koh Samui: If it’s elegance you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with Woobar at W Koh Samui. Guests enjoy sweeping sea views and access to a swimming pool and outdoor deck while at the bar. From the luxurious seating to the cocktails and the sunset views, everything here is pure perfection.
Ark Bar: Ark Bar is the number one beachside party destination for tourists in Koh Samui. Apart from gyrating to the music curated by ace DJs, you can also take a dip in three different swimming pools, two of which feature swim-up bars. You can watch fire dancers performing on platforms in the middle of the sea as you sip on bucket cocktails.
Nightlife in Krabi
Nightlife in Krabi is not as crowd-oriented as Phuket and Koh Samui. This makes it ideal for couples and honeymooners who want to dance by the beach or enjoy sundowners.
Best Nightlife Experiences in Krabi
Ao Nang Centre Point on Central Beach Road is a great nightlife destination in Krabi, consisting of a three-storey entertainment area with lots of bars and restaurants. There are other things to do as well, such as getting a tattoo, shopping, or going for a cabaret performance.
If you want to go bar-hopping and maybe make friends with the locals, SOI RCA is where you need to be. The street is full of bars that are similar in their appearance and offerings. You can talk to friendly locals or play a game of pool when you’re not ordering your next drink!
You can also go for a dinner cruise from Ao Nang Beach and sail around the islands of Krabi. Alternatively, you could explore Krabi’s mangroves on a kayak at sunset for an ethereal experience. There are many secluded beaches in Krabi that can make for a romantic evening.
We would also recommend watching the spectacular Illumanorah show at Paka Park, which also includes dinner. Another option is to watch the Blue Dragon Cabaret, which is a satirical performance by lady boys who mimic celebrities from bygone eras.
Best Bars & Clubs in Krabi
Grotto, Rayavadee: Imagine dining in a cave tucked away beneath a limestone cliff with the gorgeous blue sea in front of you. At Grotto on Phranang Beach, you can do just that. The restaurant is accessible only by boat, and serves a delicious buffet dinner.
Why Not Bar, Koh Lanta: Among the best beach bars in Krabi, Why Not Bar is truly a class apart with its array of live entertainment and fire shows. Enjoy splendid views of the Indian Ocean as you have a romantic dinner with drinks with your better half.
Carlitos Beach Bar, Phi Phi Island: Who wouldn’t want to be on picturesque Phi Phi Island at night? Carlitos Beach Bar offers complimentary WiFi, as if the fantastic ocean views, fire shows, and thrilling music weren’t attractive enough. The crowd here is young and trendy, as are the DJs.
Nightlife in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is not the best spot for nightlife in Thailand, as it’s more traditional and subject to numerous rules and regulations. Alcohol is banned in certain zones, and many bars and restaurants have to shut at midnight. However, there are options.
Best Nightlife Experiences in Chiang Mai
A great family activity to do in Chiang Mai in the night is a night safari tour. You will ride through the animal park in a tram, and see various animals along the way, with the opportunity to feed some of them. 200 species from over the world are housed in various enclosures in the zoo. There’s even a digital zoo and laser graphics at the fountain.
If shopping’s your main aim, head to Chiang Mai Night Bazaar from 6 PM onwards to splurge on clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, antiques, and even furniture, CDs, and DVDs. You can also combine shopping with dinner, as the area is home to numerous restaurants.
Best Bars & Clubs in Chiang Mai
THC Rooftop Bar: This one’s a casual rooftop bar with no entrance charge, and a fun crowd that you can easily socialize with. Don’t bother about dressing up too fancily and prepare to enjoy the views until late into the night.
The North Gate Jazz Co-Op: Come here to listen to live jazz and dance along to the magical music till the late hours. The relaxed ambience puts you at ease, and there’s nothing to distract from the great drinks and open mic.
Zoe in Yellow: Zoe in Yellow is a complex full of thriving nightclubs in the Old City. You can choose between various set-ups like reggae, techno, and heavy metal bars, bars with live music, discos, and open courtyard venues for dancing.
Now that you know about the hottest nightlife spots in Thailand, it’s time to shop for party dresses and book your tickets to the land of crystal clear beaches and grand palaces!