Here’s a starter guide for a circuit of bars in the Phrom Phong area of Bangkok. Being slightly out of the tourist centre you can notice a distinct difference in demeanour – people are more prepared to reach out and get involved.
Depending on how you get here, I’d recommend starting from a BTS station, as it’s easy to centralise and arrange a meeting spot for the rest of the gang. The station is nicely located between Nana and On Nut and right opposite one of the city’s best parks and the Emporium, one of those rare, hi-end shopping malls.
Take exit 5, follow until the stairs get you to ground level and you’ll first see The Robin Hood. You’ve made it! Now we begin … The Robin Hood is a good-old-fashioned English pub in its detail and décor. The staff are very attentive and there’s usually a few fellas enjoying the relative peacefulness at any time of day. Should you go in there around 6pm there’s a healthy crowd of thirsty workers filling the place.
Just around the corner, in Soi 33/1 is The Dubliner. It’s an Irish bar: live music, big food portions, a good pint of Guinness and a wonderfully friendly yet raucous atmosphere. They have some tremendous all-afternoon weekday happy hour sessions (pints for 105 baht), so have a look on their site for their latest offers.
Crossing Sukhumvit now to Soi 22, you should be already feeling lively and adventurous, but do make use of the crossings and the footbridges in the interests of self-preservation. The corner of Sukhumvit and Soi 22 is the Otto Bar, a friendly pool bar with a great band covering a range of songs all night long. It’s worth a stop off to admire the bar’s bamboo finish alone.
Down Soi 22 there’s a lovely gastro pub called No Idea Bar. Refined yet rugged, this bar has an enviable wine list, superb food and a two-floor terrace area for people watching. Pop in, enjoy the decadence and décor, get it on your list to revisit for a meal and get ready to move on, for tonight is upon us and I have one more place to show you.
Walking down Soi 22 there’s a host of bars, but keep looking to the right-hand side. As there are many entrances to Queens Park Plaza just keep looking for some narrow alleys showing glimpses of dimly lit bars, lively ladies and the noises that they make. Best time to get there is around 11pm. If you can remember when you come out of this rabbit warren of fun, then you’ve done well!
From the above, there is something for absolutely everyone and after a few missions you will have unearthed some diamonds. There’s many more bars down Soi 22. Providing you keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground there is a lot of fun to be had.