City of angels and Emerald Buddha, Bangkok is bathed in mystery. This is probably why it is one of the most visited cities in the world. At the end of the day, when the sweltering heat finally drops, hundreds of locals and tourists take to the streets, seeking out a lair for the evening. But finding the best places in a city that offers so many options is not easy. Follow our tips and discover the five best bars in Bangkok... and enjoy one last drink.
The Iron Fairies, for an evening in a fairy-tale setting
The place is unique. Designed by Australian Ashley Sutton, the bar is inspired by the fairy tale he wrote - of which he sold over 200,000 copies. This jazz club is set up like an ironsmith's workshop with a decor worthy of a Harry Potter story. Come in for a most enigmatic atmosphere.
The rooms are often crowded and you will have to make your way through three stories, spiral staircases, walkways and dark alcoves. You will pass displays filled with strange objects: fairy powder vials and elf statues. Beware of the darkness that may well hide other mysteries! Before you leave, try to find the hidden door to the secret third floor bar.
You'll enjoy the vibe from the jazz concerts for a while longer. Try one of their cocktails with absinth that has grown hugely popular. And in case you go hungry, you can try the best burgers in town!
The Iron Fairies
402 Soi Thonglor
+66 (0)99 918 1600
The Octave Bar, for a breathtaking panoramic view of Bangkok
To enjoy the view, you will have to get up to the 45th floor of the Marriott Hotel. Spread out over five terraces between the 45th and 48th floors, the Octave Bar will make you dizzy. A must-see for young Thai people, it is the perfect place to sip on a cocktail while enjoying a breathtaking view of the glass buildings. In the evening, the sun sets over the river and shines a fiery light over the city.
Here, luxury is cosy and the bar is adorned with precious wood and tropical plants. Sit in one of the many sofas and enjoy a Thai mojito, or vodka infused with saffron. Later, the atmosphere picks up: you'll be dancing to the sound of DJs, under the hypnotizing blue lights.
Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
Mariott Hotel Sukhumvit, 45th floor
2 Sukhumvit Road
+66 (0)2 797 0140
Above Eleven, fly over Bangkok
Located at the top of the Fraser Suites Hotel, the three-story Above Eleven bar takes you higher. From the rooftop, watch the tiny cars inch by far below. If you are not afraid of heights, this spectacle will feel somewhat relaxing, as you are both close and far from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
Chic yet not stiff, the decor provides a garden-like atmosphere: steel trees are planted on the terrace, lanterns are laid out on the ground, some areas are covered with fake grass, and the chairs turn into wheelbarrows. Enjoy this charming ambiance while sipping one of the Peruvian or Japanese influenced cocktails. The Maracuja Sour – Peruvian Pisco, passion fruit juice and egg white – and the Togatta Stiletto – sake, prosecco, passion fruit purée, lychee syrup and lychees – are simply delicious.
Above Eleven Bar
33rd Floor, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit
Sukhumvit Road, Soi 11
+66 (0)83 542 1111
The Vesper, unforgettable cocktails
In the heart of Silom, Bangkok's lively district, push open the doors to the Vesper. Opened in 2014 by a couple of restaurant owners with a passion for cocktails, this bar-restaurant brings together a team of mixologists who serve unforgettable drinks. Each is a tribute to a modern work of art – from 1860 to 1970 – all presented in the "Art Book" menu.
The liquid watches of Dalí's Persistence of Memory inspired a combination of Tanqueray Gin, Fever-Tree Tonic and pistachio cream. As for the surprising but no less delicious, Vodka Ketel One – yogurt, lemon, egg white and blueberry jam – it stems from Rum and Guitar, by Georges Braque. If you are more "traditional", check the thorough wine list (in moderation!), all the while watching the bartenders prepare other customers' cocktails.
Vesper Cocktail Bar & Restaurant
10/15 Soi Convent Road
+66 (0)2 235 2777
Q&A Bar, exceptional cocktails
Born out of the friendship of two nightlife and aesthetics lovers, the Q&A Bar perfectly sums up their life philosophy. The decor is reminiscent of American speakeasies during the Prohibition: brown vintage leather chairs, lacquered wooden bar, vaulted ceiling, and bartenders wearing a vest on their white rolled-up sleeves. The Q&A Bar is a place for mingling and exceptional drinks. Classic cocktails: Americano, Caïpirinha, Margarita, Rob Roy, Corn'n'Oil or flaming Blue Blazer... The list is long. 52 beverages referenced that echo the 52 cards of a poker game.
If such a wide choice leaves you hesitant, the bartender will be happy to help you find the best cocktail based on your own taste.
235/13 Soi Sukhumvit 21
+66 (0)2 664 1445