After tackling all things to do during the daytime from tropical islands, ziplines, and trips to the temple, the fun does not stop here- you’ll want to uncover the true beauty of Thai nightlife. With an exquisite eye for nighttime activities and the reputation of carrying a drunk and full party-themed sphere. You will never want to stay in your hotel room again- the best nightlife in Thailand is awaiting you.
The best nightlife in Thailand exists in all forms; sophisticated parties, DJs, craft beer havens, beachside hangouts, gay bars, dinner cruises, local markets, and the best live performances. From the hills of Chiang Mai to the center of Bangkok, Thailand blooms nightlife wherever it is prescribed.
The scenic parts may be best visited during the best hours of the day. Yet Thailand takes on a whole new perspective during the night. From larger-than-life shows, nightclubs, traditional shopping, beach parties, and safaris, will have you enjoying the country with local Thai’s and tourists throughout the night.
Background of Thailand’s Most Prestigious Nightlife
Bangkok has a reputation for having an element of rowdiness, or let’s say, besides being the capital of Thailand. The city soon enough became well-known as the historic center for sex and drinking. It is described as an enticing and chaotic sphere. However, there might be rules governing absolutely everything you do; amongst such cultural rules exists gentle restraint and the existence of ongoing party life and drinking culture (4).
Patpong is arguably the most famous red district in the world; it is the backdrop of most tourists’ stories of the sex and drinking life. The district is full of foreign tourists, known as ‘farangs,’ the Thai word for- a region where sex is for sale. But also just about everything else from designer bags, clothes, watches, and pirated DVDs (4).
Soon enough, Thailand became entranced with racy nightlife entertainment with the madness of a thriving cabaret; tourist-packed venues to see shows full of dance and music. Most famously, the Thai shows included Calypso Cabaret, Tiffany’s, Simon Phuket, and the new coming show Playhouse Theater (2).
Kathoeys or Ladyboys took center stage; Thailand being the most cost-effective place for sex reassignment surgery and trained surgeons during the time when it was first implemented. Thailand’s nightlife was entranced by celebration of legendary female artists and mythical creatures tied to Thailand’s history (2).
5 Best Nightlife Experiences to Try Out in Thailand
Here is a quick guide to some of Thailand’s most adventurous nighttime experiences to try in the region!
1. Beach Parties
Beaches are a must-have visit in Thailand. From Monkey Island in James Bond to the fresh clear and blue waters of Maya Bay. But are beaches only beautiful during the day? You can also have all the fun and experience during the night, with the moonlight glistening on your face and dancing the night away at Thailand’s most beautiful seasides.
Beach parties are a legendary escape in Thailand- full of throbbing music, neon lights, swaying palm trees, delicious cuisines, and dancing on soft sand. The party goes on till sunset the next morning, full of tourists from all over the world (3).
These parties are notably famous on Paradise Beach in Phuket, Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, Haad Rin beach in Koh Phangan, and Tonsai Beach in Koh Phi Phi Don (3). This is a perfect destination around the months of November-March, where nightlife at the beach is in its busiest season. However, parties are even more crowded during December-January, with the acceptance of more tourists during the winter season (3).
2. Foam Parties
Foam parties are another popular nighttime activity in Thailand. Most popularly at the Hard Rock Hotel in Pattaya, night bases provide pools full of water and foam, with the sound of loud music, cabana dancers, games, and blinding lighting (3).
These parties get extremely wild but are also taking place under extreme security precautions of the hotel (3). The best time to enjoy foam parties is from November-March; they are held every Saturday and welcome guests from inside and outside the hotel.
3. Full Moon Parties
Parties under the sky sound like something out of a movie. Full moon parties in Thailand have just that effect; the sky list of stars while party-goers dress up in neon outfits and paint their faces and bodies for the event (3). The parties begin during dusk and continue until sunrise; bars are set up on the beach providing large cocktails and shots. They even have a half-moon party- but it is guaranteed that it is not “half” the fun (3).
Full moon parties are increasing amongst the region, with the most popular events held at Haad Rin Beach on Koh Phangan Island. Wild dancers, fire-eaters and jugglers, and unlimited drinking are essential components of the event (3). You can expect to attend a full moon party once every month, but this always coincides with the dates on the Buddhist calendar (3).
4. Pool Parties
Thailand seems to know how to brand its scenic location; this also means getting wet in the process. Full of tropical islands, pools, and waterparks, why not bring the wild partying to that field as well? Pool parties at beach clubs are becoming immensely popular. Hotels are hosting pool passes with exquisite Thai cuisines, cocktails, and famous DJs (3).
These nighttime parties are offered with brilliant views of the horizon. Some locations include So Sofitel and DoubleTree by Hilton in Bangkok Aqua Bar in Pattaya (3). They take place around the year but peak through the months of November-March, where tourists come to cool off.
5. Pub Crawls
If you are a night owl, another excellent option is going to a pub crawl. Usually taking place at night time, it consists of a group of people who go on a tour around the city, visiting the very best bars and clubs in one single night (3).
Hanging around in large groups and drinking away, these tours offer discounted menus and experiences of different kinds of party environments from outdoor lounges, rooftop bars, and live music parties. Famous pub crawls are located in Khao San Road Pub Crawl in Bangkok, Koh Tao Pub Crawl in Koh Tao, and Ao Nang Pub Crawl in Krabi (3).
Best Specific Places to Visit for NightLife Drinking
While Thailand’s nightlife goes beyond a simple restaurant, here are some specific places that are growing with entertainment and crowds.
Located in Koh Samui, Coco Tam’s is an open-air beach bar famous for fire dancers and cocktails alongside the lovely seaside. The island aesthetic is made even cooler with the evening and nighttime activities, which include sitting areas from cabanas, hammocks, beanbags, and swinging bar seats (1).
With cooling patches of sand at your fingertips, the palm-fringed isle in the Gulf of Thailand provides an endless list of cocktails and snacks. Most importantly, it paints Thailand’s culture, and traditional, contemporary seafood dishes and performances will leave you feeling alive (1).
Chalong Bay Rum Distillery:
Located in Phuket, the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is a boutique rum distillery that offers pure Thai sugar cane and carries historical importance to the south. Rather than simply relaxing, you can take a seat at the cocktail bar and enjoy a Thai Fling that comes in a variety of colors from chili, basil, mint, and lime and the Siam Twist that comes in ginger, lime, and kaffir lime leaves (1).
Cafe del Mar:
Cafe Del Mar is another interesting place to visit during the night in Phuket. Overlooking the quiet area of Kamala Beach, this sophisticated area is a more calm place away from rowdy and loud music (1). You can sip your drink under a private cabana or swim-up bar, listening to beachside beats.
One of the most popular nighttime destinations in Thailand is located in the emerging neighborhood of Bangkok, called the Old Town. Tucked between Chinatown and the Chao Phraya River, the Old Town, also called Talad Noi, is full of heritage signs and small renovated bars. Starting with beautiful cocktails at a garden rooftop in Oneday Wallflowers to a craft gin at Teens of Thailand, the neighborhood is swarming with nightlife (1).
Other famous places in the neighborhood include Chinese-style cocktails at Ba Hao, modern Thai food at 80/20, and a rum-filled cocktail disco night at Tropic City (1).
Located in Chiang Mai, Warming Cafe is a multi-space club that has been serving locals for years. It is a popular night-time attraction for students in Chiang Mai. While being trendy and serving students with dancefloors and electronic music, the stage hosts indie, rock, and pop bands throughout the night (1).
Sky Gallery is a beachside bar located in Pattaya, offering red lights down the pathway. If walking amongst the local seats for unofficial sex is not your forte, head on over to the sky gallery for sunset drinks on the sand. Seafood dinner hosted by the Glass House in North Pattaya or Hilton Hotel’s rooftop Horizon Bar will keep you entertained throughout the night (1).
Located in Bangkok, Violett is the new nightclub in town. The streets of Thonglor are boosted up more than ever, with a new coming and sophisticated dancing hub. UV glowing lights and neon lights set the town for photogenic cocktails, hip hop, techno, and funk music (1).
Cicada Night Market:
Cicada Night Market is full of vibrant artists offering live music, beer, and food in Hua Hin. The outdoor aesthetic has just got even better with Thai locals and foreign travelers walking around to see unique clothes, local dancers, performances, and start the night with the best possible street food. (1)
Wishbeer is a warehouse selling craft beer located in the center of Bangkok city. Although it is illegal to brew in Thailand, the bar is dedicated to artisanal brews around the world (some are made sneakily, it seems). The Wishbeer Home Bar is the perfect place to shop from 500 bottles and try unique Thai and Chinese-influenced beers (1).
Hotel Yayee is a famous rooftop bar located in a boutique hotel in Chiang Mai. With enchanting mountain views, the hotel has a 360-degree angle view of the Doi Suthep mountain. The candle-lit rooftop offers a romantic and calm aesthetic; the signature cocktails are also an additional must-have (1).
Traditional Nightlife is Also the Best
It is safe to say that not everyone who visits Thailand is hoping to party or have some drinks. Others are opting for the cultural and traditional side of the region, hoping to catch a local show or take a cruise along the Bangkok skyline. Here are a few options for those just looking to have a chilling and knowledgeable vacation.
Besides the casual troll of bars and nightclubs, some tourists and locals tend to aim towards a different route. Shopping remains one of the top contributors to Thailand’s economy. It is something that goes on from morning to night; shopping at expensive outlets and luxury malls turns to local markets during the night (3).
With clothes available at cheap prices, you can expect to find any product from makeup, electronics, food, home decor, shoes, and accessories. Street markets remain a popular Thai attraction, where trendy, vintage, and homegrown items become special for everyone.
Brightly lit up markets are decorated in lights and play casual music as tourists and locals enjoy time with friends. Night markets are seen in every city in Thailand, from the Weekend Night Market in Phuket to the JJ Green Night Market in Bangkok (3).
Thailand also enhances a fine tradition of showcasing its culture and religion. With prominent art, literature, and music, the country is home to temples and religious sites (3). While most of these are visited during the nighttime, Thailand’s nightlife is entranced by flamboyant performances (3).
Dancers, singers, and actors show up in colorful costumes to take the stage and put on spectacular shows, highlighting Thai history and tradition. These performances show the talent of Thai’s, from using special effects to putting on spectacular acts and dance moves. One of the most popular nighttime shows is the Siam Niramit Cultural Show held in Phuket and Bangkok. Starting at 5:30 pm daily, it is followed up by a Thai buffet (3).
Another famous nighttime activity is Bangkok’s diner cuisines. The Apsara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree floats along the Chao Phraya River as tourists and locals view the city skyline, embraced by slight winds and classical music.
The dinner cruise hosts a buffet dinner and appreciates people from different cultures, performing songs in various languages and engaging the audience to sing and perform. The dinner lasts around 2 hours and is the perfect way to spend the night in the city.
One of the most popular elements in Thailand is the fact that it’s home to lively animals. Although visiting the zoo and adventurous safaris are expected to be daytime activities, Thailand brings you the unique introduction of the night safari.
Hundreds of national parks and zoos scatter the city, the night safari being the ultimate guide to seeing exotic wildlife from the view of your jeep. The tours take place during crisp weather, under dense jungles, and high up in the mountains. Being enjoyed by families and children, the Chiang Mai Night Safari and Khao Yai Night Safari are the most popular family-friendly activities.
Muay Thai Fights:
Lastly, one of the most cultural components of Thailand is the ancient Thai military martial arts. Known as Muay Thai, Thailand welcomes a popular sport that locals and tourists will enjoy watching. These matches are enthralled with locals cheering on their favorite fighters and taking part in an action-packed experience of Thai art and history.
The popular star fighters are letting loose the entire night. Popular attractions include the New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and the Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.
Thailand is definitely the top destination when it comes to having a good time. The country comes alive at night. Known as the region of partying and relaxation, Thailand has built a reputation for carrying a party and drinking culture. All cities embrace wild culture; beachside parties, foam parties, full moon celebrations, and pub life are prominent examples of everyday Thai life.
However, the country does not stop its tourism there; Thailand is unique in the sense that nightlife is also home to more culture, tradition, and family fun than what was experienced in daylight. Whether you come alone, with your soulmate, or your family, you will not expect anything less but a fantastic nightlife experience.
1. Basuki, Eloise. Thailand nightlife: 11 Best Places To Party. Times Out. [Online] July 18, 2018. https://www.timeout.com/thailand/things-to-do/best-nightlife-in-thailand/.
2. Your Thai Guide. Experience A Thai Lady Boy Cabaret Show. Your Thai Guide. [Online] [Cited: November 13, 2021.] https://yourthaiguide.com/experience-a-thai-lady-boy-cabaret-show/.
3. Ithaka. Nightlife In Thailand: 9 Coolest Experiences That You Must Try! Ithaka. [Online] June 20, 2019. [Cited: November 13, 2021.] https://www.ithaka.travel/blog/nightlife-in-thailand/.
4. Michael Sullivan. Beyond Sex And Tourists In John Burdett’s Bangkok. npr. [Online] August 21, 2007. https://www.npr.org/2007/08/21/13761137/beyond-sex-and-tourists-in-john-burdetts-bangkok/.