APRIL 2015 UPDATE: After Hours Clubs Making A Comeback

Published on 7th April 2015 by Stickboy BKK

APRIL 2015 UPDATE After Hours Clubs Making A Comeback

I have held off updating the after hours clubbing scene in Bangkok to see how things would pan out with more and more clubs remaining open beyond 2am over the past couple of months.

The 2am shutdown has been a killer for party people looking for somewhere to dance and drink the night away until sun up. Of course, 2am is the legal closing time for those with the proper license but depending on contributions to the boys in brown pension fund and influential owners meant more than a dozen farrang orientated clubs around the city were open until 5 and 6am with Swing going until at least 10am.

The military takeover put an end to the late-night partying in Bangkok and I dread to think of the financial impact that has had for the owners. Clubs such as Insanity on Sukhumvit Soi 12 and Spicy on Ron Muang Soi 1 pre-military days would normally close around 5am with an extra hour not out of the question. After hours clubs like this, as very different as they are, do not get busy until closing time, as in normal 2am closing time. At midnight people will start trickling in to grab a decent table or one of the early bird drink specials, usually a heavily discounted bottle. By 1am the place will have a reasonable amount of people inside and by 2am they would be packed.

That was the good old days and ever since clubs have been forced to close at 2am people have had nowhere to go other than shady Sukhumvit street bars leading to endless complaints and criticism of those in charge of the country.

In a city of 12 million people in a country where tourism is such big business, bars and clubs closing at 2am is simply outdated and out of touch. It is no secret venues are open to 6am and I’m not counting the Thai oriented places open after two that probably outnumber the farrang scene 10-to-1. A modern cosmopolitan city such as Bangkok you’d expect a legal late night party scene with clubs closing at 5am. Its not rocket science to lay down the law and attach a list of rules and regulation to those licensed to operate until late into the night.

But that is just wishful thinking and not likely to happen anytime soon, so lets move on to what is happening in the city right now.

Since the turn of the year a few clubs started to push the 2am closing time as much as they dared to. Climax on Soi 11 started nudging closing closer to 2.30am and kept this up for quite some time. Then Spicy opened its doors again and were going all out shutting down around 4.30am. After a few weeks of this other former well-known discos started to re-emerge on the after hours scene such as Shock 39 on Phetchaburi Rd.

Now the list of clubs closing at 4am or later is almost back to “normal”. For the past month the likes of Spicy, Mixx, Bossy, Insanity, Sugar Club, Shock 39, Wax, Climax and several others are all now back to normal operating hours most nights of the week. Even live music bars such as Hilary 2 on Soi 4 and Bangkok Beat on Soi 7/1 are open “late, late” as they used to be with closing times now between 3-4am for both.

I’m not going to attempt to draw up a definitive list of after hours clubs currently open as the situation is anything but certain with what I write here today turning out not be the case even tonight but I have a feeling the after hours scene is definitely making a comeback and those looking to party late can now choose between at least a dozen clubs or more even on week nights.

The best advice I have for anyone wanting to party after 2am is to ask the taxi drivers as those guys are getting commissions for dropping you off and know exactly where is open and where isn’t. If they are parked up around the usual hotspots they know 100%. If you flag one down and he doesn’t know just say thanks, smile and send him on his way and grab the next one. Just don’t let them railroad you into going to the club that is paying them the best rate. If they tell you everywhere is closed except Shock 39 they are having you on. If they say Spicy then that would be more believable due to its ownership but that is the only exception in my book. If Mixx or Insanity are open, it is 99% likely so is every other after hours club. And don’t forget, if they are getting a commission your ride to the club is free.

The other question I often get asked is what late night club is the best of the bunch? Well, that depends on what you are looking for. In terms of picking up women, they are all full of freelancers and bar girls who’ve finished work and out on the prowl hoping to snare a customer. Non-working girls aren’t out of the question and there’s certainly plenty available but that is down to you to know and spot the difference between them and the hookers. So as far as women go, you’re covered in them all.

Next up is the style of music they play. Some are more mainstream than others with the likes of Wax going down the “underground” route. Climax on the other hand have live bands knocking out anything from Thai love songs to classic rock covers mixed up with a DJ playing commercial EDM. The options are wide and varied.

Then lastly we come to the customer base. Spicy is a free-for-all who let anyone and everyone through the doors. It’s a shithole if I’m being honest but does that stop me going? Not at all. I know what it is and exactly what I’m letting myself in for. If you go with no expectations then you won’t be disappointed.

Am I going to recommend anywhere? Nope. Do what I do. Go check it out, if it doesn’t suit, isn’t what you’re looking for or doesn’t feel right then just drink up, jump in a cab and hit the next place. It’s that easy.

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Climax Soi 11 Bangkok

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