A Guide to Overseas Travel

Thailand Nightlife: A Guide to Living on the Wild Side

Thailland Nightlife

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You’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime: going to Thailand. Thailand is known for its nightlife, and living on the wild side is easy here. Some of you are dying to know where all the most raunchy, steamy, and downright fun nightlife is and how you can get it on it. Others want to know where to have some more low-key, good old-fashioned PG-13 fun. Fortunately, there is something for everyone in the Land of Smiles!

Where is the best nightlife in Thailand? In general, you can find the best nightlife in Thailand in or on 8 main cities and islands, but it will depend on what you want to do. In general, those 8 locations are as follows:

  • Bangkok
  • Pattaya
  • Phuket
  • Koh Phangan
  • Koh Phi Phi
  • Koh Samui
  • Koh Tao
  • Chiang Mai

To help you figure out where you want to go and what you want to experience, read on to find out where the best walking streets are, what the top party islands are (and what there is to experience), and what the “must-do” nightlife experiences are to cross off your Thailand nightlife bucket list.

Where Are the Best Walking Streets in Thailand?

If you want to know where most of the action in Thailand can be found, it’s on the walking streets of three main cities: Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. Read on for more details on the debauchery you can engage in.

Bangkok’s Khao San Road

Bangkok’s Khao San Road is infamous. Practically everything you’ve imagined about Thailand’s nightlife (other than beach parties), you can find here. Every night this street is packed with tourists and locals alike partying the night away at the multiple bars and clubs that line the street.

Expect the music to be blasting and people to be belligerent.

You’ll also find risqué Ladyboy Cabaret shows, massages (both happy and not), and random scorpion eating contests. Apparently, they taste like chicken. But hey, if you’re not into eating scorpions, you’ve also got maggots, grasshoppers, and other critters to choose from!

Jokes aside, you can also just eat good old street food for those late-night alcohol-induced munchies.

Last, but not least are the ping-pong shows that will leave you in either awe, shock, disgust, or all three. If you don’t know what a ping-pong show is, maybe you should wait to get to Thailand to find out. 

If you absolutely can’t wait, you can also read about what they are here.

If you are looking to live on the wild side, Bangkok’s Khao San Road is where it’s at.

If you want to venture off from Khao San Road, you can check out the various rooftop bars, sky bars, and Chao Phraya River boat parties that Bangkok has.

Pattaya’s Walking Street

If you are looking for a night of sin, Pattaya’s walking street is the place for you. At 1km long, this street is loaded with everything you can think of: massive dance clubs, strip clubs, go-go bars, beer bars, restaurants, sketchy massage parlors, colorful neon lights, and beautiful Thai girls galore.

Noteworthy, though, is that Pattaya’s nightlife might not be for everyone. You will either get club promoters (at best) or ladyboys (at worst) pestering you throughout the night. For some, this can get really old, really fast.

Expect to be approached by many Thai women wanting you to come into their bar, or something else, if you catch my drift. If you’re looking for a more “wholesome” nightlife experience, you might want to skip out on Pattaya.

However, Pattaya’s Walking Street is just about as crazy and provocative as it gets, so it still deserves a spot on this guide.

Phuket’s Bangla Road

Phuket’s Bangla Road is similar to Pattaya’s Walking Street. They are so similar; you might question if you are in the same place when you visit one and then the other.

They have all the same attractions, but if you want the best ping-pong shows, you can find those on Bangla Road.

Another thing that Phuket is well-known for is its go-go bars, which is the term used for certain strip clubs. If you’re looking for a bachelor’s night out, Phuket is the spot for you. A few of the famous go-go bars in Phuket are:

  • Suzy Wong’s
  • Foxy Lady a Go-Go
  • Harem
  • Devil’s Playground

If you are looking for a nightclub, check out Seduction Beach Club & Discotheque.

What Are the Best Party Islands in Thailand?

If walking streets aren’t your thing, or if they are, and you still want to experience the nightlife on the islands of Thailand, the three best party islands are Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, and Koh Samui. Keep reading for the low-down on the islands.

Koh Phi Phi

If there is one place that people get stuck on in Thailand, it’s Koh Phi Phi. Backpackers from all over will find themselves extending their stay so that they can experience all that the Koh Phi Phi nightlife has to offer.

Koh Phi Phi is a nightlife hotspot all year round. You can find both the bumping loud-music kind of bars/clubs as well as chill bars for those wanting a more laid-back experience.

Aside from that, the island itself has so many fun things to do that even if you get tired of partying, you’ll have other options to keep you entertained. You can climb up hills, hang out on the beach, enjoy the stunning views, watch a Muay Thai fight, and check out the street markets.

The three main areas are as follows:

  • Loh Dalum-situated up North. This part of the island has a more relaxed feel to it, but you still have plenty of drinks and fire dancing to keep you busy.
  • Tonsai Village-Here you can find beach bars and clubs to party all night long.
  • Tonsai East-You can find the same thing as in Tonsai Village.

Koh Phi Phi has an exciting nightlife without all the sleaziness associated with the popular walking streets in Thailand.

One of the aspects of Koh Phi Phi’s that really makes it stand out is that there are public Muay Thai fights that will allow you to get into the arena drunk to fight other drunken backpackers! If you win, you get to take home a bucket!

Just know that Thailand (and Koh Phi Phi) is infamously notorious for its “buckets” filled with God-knows-what types of alcohol (if it’s actually alcohol that’s in there). You can get these buckets for dirt cheap but proceed with caution. Many backpackers have found themselves only a few sips in, not remembering anything that happened the next day. If you go with this option, try splitting it with a friend or five.

With that said, you should check out these poppin’ spots in Koh Phi Phi:

Truth be told, if you’re looking for great nightlife, you absolutely need to visit Koh Phi Phi.

Koh Phangan

Another must-see island is Koh Phangan. Haad Rin Beach is filled with beach bars and clubs for you to party the night away.

Again, like Koh Phi Phi, you also have plenty more to do on Koh Phangan outside of the nightlife. The island is beautiful, and taking the time to explore it will keep you busy.

You can also find bars for people with all kinds of tastes.

The best bars to watch the sunset are:

  • ThreeSixty Bar
  • Amsterdam Bar

For a unique bar experience, check out Loi Lay floating bar. This bar has a maximum capacity of 150 people and has comfortable-low seating, but the best part about it is that you are out on the water. Water surrounds the bar, which gives it its uniqueness. Important to note is that it’s only open on Sundays.

Another party experience you should consider is the “Slip n Fly” experience. While not at night, you can still get your party on during the day. The best and most fun part about this experience is that you can literally “slip and fly.” To be more specific, you get to go down a 40-meter waterslide that launches you 10 meters into the air for you to land in the largest swimming pool the island offers. This is not for the faint of heart.

But if you don’t want to use the actual “Slip N Fly” waterslide, you also have the option of going down a smaller body boarding slide, joining a pool volleyball tournament, playing a game of beer pong, and more.

For those looking for a more upscale party experience during the day, visiting BlueRama is a must. They have an infinity pool on the rooftop that overlooks the scenic Koh Phangan landscape.

If you ever find yourself all partied out, or just wanting to do something before the party starts, check out Thong Sala Night Market on Saturdays. You can find delicious cheap eats and all kinds of clothing and trinkets for purchase.

Koh Samui

Another great party island is Koh Samui. This island is popular amongst young backpackers and students. One of the best spots on Koh Samui is Chaweng Beach, where you’ll find colorful neon lights beaming from the nightclubs and bars that line the beach.

For a night of drinking and dancing, Chaweng is the place to be.

Koh Samui also has various parties throughout the year called “half-moon” and “black moon” parties.

One of the must-see bars on Koh Samui is Ark Bar. They throw some of the wildest beach parties you will find in Thailand. The resort itself also has a gorgeous poolside bar with a lively backpacker vibe.

Others bars you should check out while in Koh Samui are:

  • Soi Green Mango
  • Q Bar
  • The Islander
  • Soi Reggae

What Are the Must-Do Nightlife Experiences in Thailand?

Even though the spots mentioned above are good for parties at any time during the year, there are also specific “must-do” experiences you should have on your Thailand nightlife bucket list. If you can get through one or two of them, you won’t regret it. If you can cross them all off on your first visit, even better.

Koh Phangan’s Full-Moon Party

If there is one experience you should have at some point in your life, it is the Koh Phangan full-moon party. This party draws in 3,000 – 10,000 visitors solely for the party once every month.

Thousands of people line the beach partying the night away. During the Full-Moon party, the beach is filled with various DJs playing different kinds of music from Techno to Latin music to Hip Hop. You can find it all at the full-moon party.

Pro Tip: If you want to get the full “full-moon” party experience, you should get to Koh Phangan a few days beforehand. During that time frame, they will have tons of pre-parties you can also attend that will have thousands of people going. While nothing tops the madness of the full-moon party, going a few days beforehand just means more partying for you!

The fee to get into the full moon party is 100 baht.

Koh Tao’s Pub Crawl

If you find yourself making your way to Koh Tao to get in some scuba diving, or just to enjoy the snorkeling, you should also do the Koh Tao Pub Crawl. This organized drinking tour brings you along with tons of other strangers from bar to bar where you also get to play drinking games.

You get tons of alcohol included in the price of the pub crawl as well as discounts on drinks at every bar. Two of the famous bars that the pub crawl leads to are Two Feet First and De Ja Vous.

The pub crawl costs 450 baht, and you get a shirt included. If you do the pub crawl a second time, you get a 100-baht discount on the second round and another hundred-baht discount on the third go.

So if you find yourself stuck on Koh Tao as so many do, give the Koh Tao Pub Crawl a shot (no pun intended).

Pattaya’s Hard Rock Cafe Foam Party

Another nightlife bucket list item that you should do while in Thailand is the Hard Rock Cafe Foam Party in Pattaya. These foam parties are epic! Their enormous swimming pool gets filled to the brim with foam. With a bumping sound system and awesome lighting, you get to party in the pool all night long! The party also has cabana dancers, floats, games, tons of booze, and more.

The types of music played include House, Techno, EDM, and Hip Hop. The party starts at 9:30 PM every Saturday.

Blanco’s Boat Party in Koh Phi Phi

If you’re looking for a wild booze cruise, you have to do Blanco’s Boat Party in Koh Phi Phi. Note, though, the price is a bit steep at 1,700 Baht, but how often are you going to get to party on a boat?!

The money is worth it, though, since you get all-you-can-drink alcohol, a blasting sound system, fun drinking games, and the wildest backpackers on this boat ride. The best part is that you also get to see some of the most stunning views of the Andaman Sea!

Ibiza Pool Party in Koh Phi Phi

This is another must-see event in Thailand if you are looking for the best parties. You can find the Ibiza Pool Party at the Ibiza House Resort every Sunday and Wednesday. If you want to socialize with other travelers while you drink for cheap, hang out at the pool, listen to music, and look out at the ocean, this is the party for you.

What About Chiang Mai?

There is one spot that hasn’t been discussed yet in this article, and that is Chiang Mai. While it might not be as well-known as Bangkok, you can still find some good places to party.

Your best spots for partying in Chiang Mai are Loi Kroh Road, where you can find beer bars and massages, and Zoe in Yellow, where you will find tons of backpackers partying every night of the week. At Zoe in Yellow, you’ll also find the famous Thai “buckets” along with music blasting from some of the bars.

Things shut down early in Chiang Mai, though, at 1 AM, so if you want to keep partying, head over to Spicy. Spicy is a club that holds an after-party that stays open until 4 AM. And yes, the club is really called Spicy.

What If You Want to Wine and Dine in Thailand?

While Thailand isn’t quite known for its wining and dining, you do still have some wonderful options if you are trying to have a low-key night out to yourself or with a partner.

You will find the best spots for this in Bangkok.

Below are some of the best spots for wine-tasting:

  • About Eatery- natural wine
  • KangKao below Ku Bar- natural/organic wine
  • [email protected] wine events
  • Mediterranean Quince, Eatery & Bar-good priced tasting
  • For a classier feel, check out Riedel Wine Bar & Cellar

If you are sick of street food and are looking for more up-scale dining, check out these spots:

  • Restaurant Gaa – progressive Indian restaurant associated with one of the best female chefs in Asia: Chef Gaggan Anand
  • For families: Bo.Ian has delicious Thai cuisine with excellent wine pairings.
  • Another location with spectacular food and wine is Haoma.

For more ideas on Michelin restaurants in Thailand, click here. You can search for restaurants by region.

What If You Don’t Want to Drink?

If you are looking to enjoy the Thai nightlife without the drinking part, you also have options!

There are various night markets you can visit and nighttime tours you can do.

The Best Night Markets

 Thailand is known for its vibrant night markets where you can buy various goodies, tasty food, and non-alcoholic drinks (hello, cheap boba!). There are many options for night markets. In fact, you can find a night market in most of the popular hotspots around Thailand. However, the five best night markets to visit are as follows:

  • Rot Fai Market 1 in Bangkok– This night market is divided into three sections: Market Zone, Warehouse Zone, and Rod’s Antiques. You can find over 2,000 stalls selling anything from fashion to second-hand goods to cameras to homeware. You can find it all in this market! This market is open Thursday through Sunday from 5 PM to 1 AM.
  • Artbox Bangkok– This market is different from a lot of the marketplaces you’ll find throughout Thailand and is for the artsy type. With benches and picnic tables scattered through, you’ll love this if you are looking for a trendier vibe. It’s for those looking for youthful fashion and locally designed handmade accessories. There is also a high chance you’ll get to enjoy some laid-back live music. This night market is open every day from 4 PM to 12 AM.
  • Fisherman’s Village Walking Street in Koh Samui– This market is the most popular one on Koh Samui. It’s vibrant with tons of food vendors, dancers, artists, and excellent prices on all kinds of items. You can find clothing, accessories, knock-off designer goods, and more. This market is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, starting at 5 PM going until late.
  • Tha Pae Sunday Walking Street in Chiang Mai-This night market gets PACKED, so expect large crowds. With that said, it’s still worth going because there is a reason it’s so popular. You’ll find a variety of street snacks, authentic street food, cheap clothes and handcrafts, and more. This market is open every Sunday from 5 PM to 10:30 PM.
  • Pai Night Market- Pai is a city in the North that is becoming more and more popular among travelers, but in many ways, it is still a hidden gem. This is for the traveler who wants to experience a more low-key night market with significantly fewer tourists and people, in general. Because Pai is a hidden gem, you will find yourself with more room to walk around than other overly saturated night markets. Like other night markets, you will still find cheap clothes, accessories, shoes, souvenirs, and more. But the best part about the Pai Night Market lies in its food. You can find some great cheap eats, as well as healthy green juices and vegan baked goods. If you are a more health-conscious individual and are sick of eating pad-thai every day, you’ll find those health boosts at the Pai Night Market!

Nighttime Tours in Thailand

If you’re looking for some more wholesome nighttime fun, you can also look into the variety of nighttime tours in Thailand.

These popular tours you can find in Bangkok. These will take you to see major temples, markets, and food while you explore the city by Tuk Tuk. This one won the 2018 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award for the number 1 experience in Thailand.

For foodies, they also have food tours by Tuk Tuk in Bangkok!

For more nighttime tour options, click here.

What About Haunted Places in Thailand?

If your definition of a “wild time” in Thailand is exploring spooky places, there is a scene for you. For the ghosthunters reading this, what better way to spend the night than visiting haunted places?

The top three haunted places you should visit in Thailand are as follows:

  • Ayutthaya Historical Park– You can find the largest and most haunted temple, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, here. People report that after the park closes, you can experience numerous ghost sightings here.
  • Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep National Park– Here, you should try to find a female hitchhiker dressed in white that is so often reported. You can find her on the corner of every curve on the road.
  • Bangkok’s Wat Samian Nari– Expect it to be hard to get to this temple in the middle of the night. Many Bangkok taxis will refuse to go at this time because of the horror stories experienced by other taxi drivers. Allegedly, some taxi drivers get a call around 4 AM to pick up two sisters from Ratchadapisek Road to go to Wat Samian Nari. Once there, the women instantly disappear from the car without a word. Then, to their horror and dismay, the drivers will see the sisters’ bloody bodies lying on the tracks, sliced in half, as they drag themselves in pain.

For more ideas for haunted places to visit, check this out.

How to Stay Safe in Thailand During the Night?

Now that you know all the ways to enjoy the Thailand nightlife, it is important that you know how to stay safe, especially if you are drinking.

There are three main things you should do to stay safe:

  1. Watch the buckets. This has been touched on previously, but seriously, make sure not to overdrink. Share your buckets, or even better, buy your own liquor from a convenience store, so you know exactly what you are drinking. Also, always watch your drinks and do not leave them unattended.
  2. If you want to avoid getting robbed, steer clear of the red-light districts. While this will take out some of the “adventure” of the Thai nightlife, you don’t want to get caught up in the sketchiness that goes on there. But if you do decide to go there, there are some safety rules you should follow. In general, these rules should be followed anytime you go out at night, especially if you are drinking. Don’t leave any bags unattended, keep personal belongings in front of you (cross body bags, money belts, and neck wallets are good for this), and only bring the amount of money you need out.
  3. Beware of ladyboys. There are plenty of nice ones, but you can also find ones who are skilled at Muay Thai and will fight you if you disrespect or offend them. 

Wrapping Up

Now you know all the ways to have a good time at night in Thailand. Whether you want to get wild and rowdy at the various parties that occur throughout Thailand, have a low-key wine and dine night with your hubby or misses, get lost at the various night markets, or get your spook on, Thailand has something for everyone. Now, go have a blast!

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