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posted by The Bangkok Consultant
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In 2013, Bangkok overtook London as the most visited city in the world, and although the town maintains its traditional Buddhist way of life; it has catapulted into the 21st century with a metropolis of high-rise hotels, shopping malls and trendy bars.
Bangkok is well involved in commerce but its modern-ness spliced with ancient architecture and history makes it a must-see town. It is easy for anyone to have a much-romanticised notion of the Far East, possibly from Western books or movies. Unfortunately, in this day and age, Bangkok has been touched by the grasping hand of Western consumerism, which, on occasion, can leave you with a feeling that you may have arrived a century too late!
Unfortunately, it seems, in Bangkok at the moment, the current trend is that so-called stylish lounges, aren't as elegant as you might think with many places offering expensive drinks, which are pretending to be upmarket. Even high-class establishments like the newly revered Sky Bar, which offer drinks at exuberant prices with an experience that doesn't quite match up.
However, Bangkok is without a doubt one of the most exciting cities in the world to visit. With top class dining and some street food markets that would challenge some Michelin star restaurants for freshness and taste.
Since the 2011 movie, The Hangover 2, the Sky Bar on top of the Lebua State Tower Hotel, on Silom Road, has become a must-see destination for many travellers to Bangkok. Especially lovers of the movie, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Sure, it’s the world's highest open-air bar, but are other rooftop bars worth your time, or money, instead?
Many clubs in the city can be thriving one year and empty the next, or only busy at the weekend, which is bizarre given that Bangkok is dubbed the city that never sleeps, and it doesn't matter what night of the week you go out, there’s always something going on somewhere. ‘Levels’ is one such club that attracts not just tourists, but hard-core Thai ravers as well. Just be careful if you think you’ve pulled!
Themed bars seem to be all the rage in the city at the moment, like Maggie Choo’s across the road from the Sky Bar. Its premise had such promise, but again sadly a place that doesn't offer what it says on the tin.
Like most bars, in any capital city, drinks are going to be pricey but does the standard of the place warrant such exuberant prices for a (not particularly good) drink. In most cases they don’t. Why is it you can buy a Mojito in Khao San Road for 140 baht, but when a hotel decides to turn its previously barren rooftop into a bar, its ok to charge 500 baht for a weak Jack Daniels and coke?
Having said that there are a multitude of great bars in Bangkok that many expats living in the city highly regard, which don’t make it into many of the usual websites and guide books. So let the Bangkok Consultant suggest some of the best places to go with honest opinions from expats and travel experts … and a couple of piss-heads.
For more in-depth information and reviews, recommendations and suggestions on all that's trending in Bangkok at the moment; visit the website for articles posted daily, or you can follow us on social media.