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Bangkok bound? Lucky you! Thailand’s capital by day is terrific but Bangkok comes alive with many things to do at night – from the bright lights to the twilight bites, this bustling big city is one of south east Asia’s best places to explore in the evening.
If your traveller tastes are gastronomic or curious, we have some sundown suggestions for you. Get the best out of Bangkok at night with our mixed bag of must-do activities below:
Things to do in Bangkok at night
1. Asiatique: The Riverfront
If browsing stores by day isn’t your (shopping) bag, this riverside shopping and entertainment centre is for you, Located on the water’s edge and easily accessible by using the free water shuttle available from Saphan Taksin Skytrain station, Asiatique offers a mix of shops, bars, restaurants, entertainment and street food stalls. The venue also often hosts special events such as Muay Thai boxing, and festivals to coincide with public holidays.
Although possibly overshadowed by the sleekier Icon Siam riverside shopping centre that opened in 2018, Asiatique has a lot more outdoor space so it is a really pleasant place to walk around and indulge in retail therapy by night. Read our dedicated guide to Asiatique the Riverfront here >
2. Bangkok Tuk Tuk tour at night
Seriously, you haven’t explored and experienced Bangkok at all until you jump in the back of a tuk-tuk taxi. Whilst traversing the roads during the day can sometimes be cumbersome and slow (especially at the busy intersections during rush-hour traffic), the roads at night are a lot quieter. So strap in and hold on tight and burn rubber around Bangkok by night.
You can go your own way and hail your own tuk-tuk to get you from A to B, but we recommend booking a night time tuk tuk tour experience for a fun evening of temple hopping, night markets and Thai food (including the famous Thipsamai pad thai restaurant). We did our night time tuk tuk tour with an ace company called Expique who we highly rate. Check out our Tuk Tuk Night Lights tour blog post or book a tour with Expique on Get Your Guide>
3. Pak Khlong Flower Market
We first came across the flower market when we took a Thai cooking class with The Market Experience, where we enjoyed meandering the market and picking fresh ingredients to cook up our own tasty Thai dishes. Surprisingly, Bangkok’s most colourful market (literally) is equally alive at night as the flower sellers make flower garlands and sell their wares 24 hours a day to consumers and wholesalers.
Although it is busy in the evenings, if you want to see Pak Klong Talad at its most vibrant and busiest time, then visit in the very early hours of the morning (around 4am to 5am) when all the fresh deliveries arrive and most petal purchases are made.
4. Jodd Fairs Night Market
One of our favourite things to do in Bangkok at night is Jodd Fairs (formally Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market) – an eclectic evening experience with a steady supply of street food stalls, bars and a beautiful bazaar. The only way you can begin to truly appreciate the sheer scale of the market is by either visiting one of the lively rooftop shipping container bars here or sneaking into one of the nearby taller buildings to look down at a sea of brightly lit canvas roofs.
The night market is very popular with locals and the food stalls here are much better than some of the city markets. We recommend you try some of the more unique Thai specialities here such as deep fried insects or laeng saeb (pork bones with green chilies).
Jodd Fairs Night Market is open from 4pm to midnight everyday.
5. Bangkok rooftop bars
Bangkok has a bevy of radiant rooftop bars all with incredible views (although some are better than others) and they are one of the most popular things to do at night in Bangkok. Two of our favourites are the Octave Rooftop Bar, on the 45th floor of the Marriott Bangkok Hotel Sukhumvit (360 degree views and unspoilt city views) and the Moon Bar / Vertigo Restaurant located on the 61 floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel (possibly the best rooftop bar set-up and view we’ve encountered in Bangkok).
We also used to like the Sky Bar at Lebua Bangkok Hotel but ever since it featured in the Hangover part II movie, our enjoyment has waned as it is so busy, and particularly popular with young American backpackers who can’t hold their drink. However if you do want to check it out you can book a reserved table/round trip transport package with GetYourGuide >
Our tip would be to possibly pick no more than two rooftop bars to tackle in one evening and arrive at the first before sunset to bag the best spot and indulge in happy hour cocktails. Practically all rooftop bars offer some form of happy hour in the early evenings which generally coincide with sunsets.
We’ve also visited Long Table and Above 11 rooftop bars at night but the views aren’t as spectacular but were still pleasant enough – however, avoid ‘the roof’ / 38th bar at Mode Sathorn Hotel as the set-up is pretty grim with so-so views and disappointing food.
6. Soi Cowboy at night
Definitely one of the more ‘fascinating’ places to visit at night in Bangkok. Soi Cowboy is a hedonistic hotbed of strip bars, neon lights and all manner of epic entertainment – it certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you are curious and just want to hang out for happy hour drinks and people watch, then we have written a special Soi Cowboy guide that details our experiences and why we continue to visit every time we return to Bangkok – check out our guide to Soi Cowboy blog post > and this Bangkok Hangover Tour which includes a visit to Soi Cowboy.
You can also visit nearby Nana for more nighttime antics but to be honest, it is a lot more seedy and less tourist friendly so best to stick to Soi Cowboy.
7. Khlong Toei Market
Bangkok’s biggest wet market is open 24 hours and is an exciting place to visit if you are a food lover. You’ll find many stalls selling wholesale low priced produce including exotic fruit and vegetables, raw seafood and meat, spices, kitchenware and hot street food. This is a proper authentic market and a great insight into how locals live.
However this is not your typical ‘tourist’ experience and as with most wet markets, remember that not everything you see (in terms of animal treatment) will be that humane or pleasant so if you aren’t sure, it might be best to stick to other suggestions on this Bangkok at night blog.
We suggest you visit the market when it is at its most busy late at night and do not wear your best shoes as the floor can be very wet! The nearest MRT station is Khlong Toei which is about a 10 minute walk from the market.
8. Bangkok Chinatown at night
Bangkok’s Chinatown comes alive at night and transforms into a neon soaked nirvana of sublime street food and gourmet goodness. Centred around Yarowat Street, the whole district becomes dedicated to food vendors and outdoor tables and chairs.
We just love wandering the streets in Chinatown at night with no particular plan in mind – we just follow our noses and seek out where the locals get their night-time snacks. If you are unsure about where to go to eat or want to seek out the best places, then here are a few tour companies that run night time food tours.
- Eat Tasty Foods At Unexplored Bangkok Chinatown At Night
- Small-Group Chinatown Evening Food Tour
- Chef-Designed Bangkok Food Tour
If you fancy a bit of shopping after your late night noodles then head over to Sampeng Lane – a wholesale market that runs from 12am-5am (it also runs during the day from 6am – 4pm). This market is located in a narrow walkway and sells very cheap handicrafts, clothing, household items, accessories, stationary and children’s toys. We discovered this market as part of a private Midnight Markets Tuk Tuk tour with Expique.
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9. Khao San Road Bangkok at night
Known as ‘Backpacker Central’ and with a slightly dubious reputation, Khao San Road is actually best to explore in the evening (it is actually pretty quiet in the mornings – maybe because everyone has a hangover?).
Drinks here are cheap as and there are heaps of tourist bars and clubs to choose from (beware of some of the bar touts who are a tad too enthusiastic). Khao San Road is a popular night time hangout, made even more famous after featuring at the start of hit movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Notorious as the ‘best’ place to see ‘night-time ping-pong’ in Bangkok (if you know, you know!), Patpong is a nocturnal nest of go-go bars and a maze of market stalls (most people seem to go for the former). Gritty and grimy with less neon than say Soi Cowboy, we’ve never been huge fans of Patpong but it is still worth seeing if you haven’t been before, if only to experience bar touts thrusting eye-watering menus in front of you, detailing what ‘delight’s lie instore.
Most of the bars here expect you to pay an admission charge before you go in, and there are reports that tourists are paying exorbitant entrance fees to these ‘specialist’ clubs and bars, only to find practically nothing inside. You have been warned (and to be honest, there are so many better ways to spend your evenings in Bangkok). One of the better things to do at night in Patpong is the night bazaar, which has many stalls selling cheap souvenirs, clothing and street food.
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11. Bangkok night dinner river cruise
Cruise the Chao Phraya at night with one of Bangkok’s numerous evening cruises – many include dinners (usually a buffet of Thai and international dishes), drinks and entertainment. This nocturnal navigation doesn’t necessarily have to blow the budget, if you are willing to wait until the last minute, you can often get half-price river cruise deals on discount sites like Eatigo.
YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE BANGKOK NIGHT DINNER CRUISES
- Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
- 2-Hour Dinner & Shows on White Orchid River Cruise
- Bangkok Meridian Dinner Cruise from ICONSIAM
- Wonderful Pearl Dinner Cruise
- River Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya Princess
12. Muay Thai match
You’ll generally know when Thailand’s traditional boxing is on, as you’ll see (and hear!) vans with loudspeakers driving around town (especially in Khao San Road) announcing that night’s fight. If you are a Muay Thai fan, you are in the right place as Bangkok is generally classed as the best place in the world to catch the best Muay Thai fights in the world. The experience is a must do and it isn’t just about watching the boxing spectacle – most fights begin with the Wai Kru Ram Muay, a traditional Thai dance (accompanied by Thai music) that pays respect to the trainers and boxers.
Most of the locals go to see ringside bouts at Lumpini and / or Rajadamnern Stadiums, but if your visit doesn’t coincide with an actual professional Muay Thai boxing bout, you can you’ll find a more tourist version taking place most nights at Asiatique The Riverfront shopping and entertainment centre.
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