Bangkok has some of the best nightclubs in the world, fantastic music, stylish interiors and lots and lots of very beautiful boys and girls. As if the locals weren’t beautiful enough, they offer free drinks to models on certain nights of the week to make sure the ultra-glamorous are there. It is my favourite place to go clubbing of anywhere I have visited across the globe! Bangkok ’s clubs can easily rival those from London and New York .
Lets be clear at the start, I’m not talking about any of the venues where you can pick up a bargirl in Nana Plaza or Patpong. These are also not the back packer tourist traps of the Khoa San Road . We’re talking about the Bangkok Super Clubs where middle and upper class Thais hang out. The music scene is mainly hip-hop. There is also almost always a stage or separate room where a live band will play some more rocky numbers during the night.
You actually see comparatively few farrangs in the clubs and I think this is because to unlock their full potential you need to understand a little bit about Thai culture. Lots of travelers arrive with a Western attitude and completely the wrong approach. Let’s be honest, most of us go to nightclubs to have a good time and meet and dance with gorgeous members of the opposite sex. So how do you succeed? Steve has a number of good pieces on the blog about Thai dating and Thai culture. Hopefully this article below will also give you some advice and the inspiration to visit one of the exceptional nightclubs.
Make sure you go with at least one other friend and take some ID even if you look well over the legal drinking age. (If you don’t want to carry your passport around, a colour photocopy will be accepted almost everywhere.) Entry is usually free. When you arrive don’t just buy a drink from the bar, ask for a table. Where you get your table can make or break your night. It is important to get the choice right! Pick a table with a good view over the stage and the rest of the club, more importantly make sure it is near other tables containing hot boys / girls depending on your persuasion. Make sure they are not ladyboys as there will certainly be a couple of tables of katoeys in the club (check the size of their hands " /> ).
At your table the norm is to order a whole bottle of whiskey or vodka and some mixers depending on what you like. If you haven’t finished it by the end of the evening you can hand it back to your waiter and they will give you a ticket identifying your bottle. Next time you go to the club you can drink the remainder for free.
You are at your table and surrounded by beautiful people, now for the flirting! Pale skin is seen as attractive in Thailand and you will be one of the few Westerners in the club so you will stand out. Both good starts. Thai men don’t seem to dance much, so even if you have two left feet, but are prepared to give it a go, you will be one of the best male dancers in the club. Sadly ladies, Thai girls are excellent dancers in my experience.
If you see someone you like, make eye contact and smile. If they make eye contact back and return a smile it is a good sign. The tables are always pretty tightly packed, so start talking to your neighbours. If you didn’t get the position of your table quite right and are making reciprocal eye contact with someone a little further away, ask your waiter to take them a note asking for their phone number. Might sound a bit forward, but it is quite common. If you don’t believe me just watch the waiters and waitresses for a bit! Your waiter will happily do it for a small tip. If they give you their number go over and say hello.
A key piece of advice is don’t overcook it. The worst thing that can happen, is if you are called Choa Shoo or Butterfly. In a country where face is important no one wants to be seen with someone who is choa shoo. If one person calls you chao shoo others will be thinking it and you should change your focus to enjoying the music and club atmosphere for the rest of the night.
What can result in you being called Chao Shoo? Too much physical contact, being obviously drunk or being seen to talk / dance with lots of people who obviously aren’t the friends that you came to the club with. Your flirting needs to be discreet or concentrated on just one person.
So you have met your perfect boy / girl, what do you do next? Public displays of affection are not at all common in Thailand . Kissing in clubs is virtually unheard of. You’ll know if they like you from how closely they dance with you. There may also be a discreet peck on the cheek when they think no one is looking. Ask for their phone number and if they call you the next day they definitely like you, so make sure you ask for a second date when they call!
The clubs are full most nights of the week, being busier at the weekend. The craziest time of all is Songkran when you need to go armed with a water pistol and expecting to get soaked to the skin.
Finally, where are these places? Try four of my personal favourites: SLIM and Route 66 at RCA or Santika and Bed Supperclub (the only club to charge an entry fee) in Sukhumvit.
P.S. The concept that drink driving is a bad idea clearly hasn’t reached Thailand yet and lots of people drive home from the clubs. Be careful on the roads as you jump in a taxi!