Nightlife in Thailand: 9 Coolest Experiences That You Must Try!
Thailand is one of those places where day smoothly progresses to night, and you still have enough to see and do every day of your holiday! It really is hard to weigh the beauty of Thailand from when the sun comes up and when it goes down. The country’s natural beauty knows no bounds, with the vast blue sea and dense green cover in every direction, and beaches and cultural hubs in between.
The scenic spots are best visited during the day, but at night, Thailand takes on a whole new avatar. Beach parties, safaris, night markets, nightclubs, street food and larger-than-life shows will take your breath away, while you join the throngs of visitors who love experiencing the country under an inky sky and twinkling stars.
Here is quick guide to some of Thailand’s most thriving nightlife activities to keep you going till the sun comes up.
1. Beach Parties
Who said beaches are only beautiful during the day? With the moonlight glistening on the soft waves hitting the beach, you can dance the night away at one of Thailand’s beach party hubs with a heady cocktail for company.
Thailand’s beach parties are legendary – dizzying neon lights, throbbing music, swaying palm trees, delicious food and drink, and soft sands that act as the dance floor. You can watch the sun go down and come up the next morning, with party-goers from different parts of the world. We’ve been told Thailand’s sunrises are pretty enough to be a great hangover cure too!
Where: Paradise Beach in Phuket, Haad Rin Beach in Koh Phangan, Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, and Tonsai Beach in Koh Phi Phi Don.
When: November to March is Thailand’s busiest season, since the weather is perfect for all-day beach revelry. Beach parties are most crowded during the winter months of December and January, so expect large mobs on the popular party islands.
2. Foam Parties
Foam parties are popular in Pattaya, especially at the Hard Rock Hotel. These night bashes are held in a pool filled with water and foam with loud music and lighting, floats, cabana dancers and games. You can choose to stay in the pool or lounge on a poolside lounger or private cabana. These parties can get wild, but since they’re held within the hotel premises, you’ll be guaranteed a safe, memorable night.
Where: The Hard Rock Hotel in Pattaya is where the party originated, and with every party season, they up the ante. The party is weather-dependent, so check with the hotel about dates and times before making a reservation.
When: It’s best to visit between November and March. The party is held every Saturday and is open to in-house as well as outside guests.
3. Full Moon Parties
Parties under the night sky are something else. On a full moon night, however, the effect is dazzling. To brighten up the night, party-goers dress in neon outfits and often paint their bodies and faces. These parties are known to get frenzied, but you can still have a great time with your own bunch of friends.
The parties usually begin at dusk and continue all the way till sunrise. Multiple bars are set up on the beach, serving everything from large cocktail buckets to shots. Half moon parties are also quite common, so if you happen to miss the full moon one, you can still have ‘half’ the fun!
Where: The best full moon party in Thailand, and in the world according to some reports, is held on Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan island. Revellers pour in from every corner of the globe to catch the action, which includes some wild dancers, thumping music, unlimited alcohol, fire-eaters and jugglers.
When: Full moon parties are held once every month, but do not always coincide with the full moon due to date adjustments with the Buddhist calendar. In 2018, the parties are all scheduled for the end of each month. You can check with locals or your accommodation for the exact dates.
4. Pool Parties
Wet and wild parties are pretty standard in Thailand, which has come to be known as quite a global party hub. Pool parties at beach clubs and pool clubs are hugely popular, and visitors love letting their hair down while lounging by the pool. Hotels also host themed pool bashes with DJs pretty often, so it’s quite likely that you won’t need to leave your accommodation for a night of revelry.
Pool clubs usually offer brilliant views of the horizon, so you can relax and watch the sun go down while dancing in the pool.
Where: SO Sofitel and Double Tree by Hilton in Bangkok, Hard Rock Hotel and Aqua Bar in Pattaya are known to hold some great pool parties.
When: Pool parties are held throughout the year, but are most crowded during peak season from November to March. If you’re visiting in the summer, you can cool off in the pool after a long day of sightseeing.
5. Night Markets
Besides the beaches, parties and stunning scenery, shopping in Thailand is a major pull factor for tourists. Everything from clothing to souvenirs is available at throwaway prices, and you can stock up on some eclectic items that are only available in Thailand.
Street shopping by day is a given, but Thailand’s night markets are choc-a-block with clothes, shoes, handicrafts, fake designer goods, accessories, beachwear, knick-knacks and food and drink. You’ll find a great mix of trendy, vintage, and homegrown items, so there’s something for everyone.
Row upon row of colourful stalls line these street markets, and the energy is palpable as soon as you enter. Make your way along the narrow, brightly lit alleyways, and stock up on some great memories to take home.
Where: Rod Fai Market and JJ Green Night Market in Bangkok, Cicada Market in Hua Hin, Phuket Weekend Night Market in Phuket
When: Most markets run from Thursday to Sunday or only on weekends. They usually begin by 5pm and run till midnight. Ask locals for the schedule that month.
6. Cultural Shows
Thailand’s enthralling culture and history is probably as popular as its beaches and nightlife. Travel fiends and culture lovers often find themselves awed by the country’s rich art, music and literature, which goes hand in hand with its temples and religious sites.
Stage shows are a prominent part of Thailand’s nightlife, and these flamboyant performances are thoroughly enjoyed by all ages. Actors, dancers and singers in colourful ensembles take the stage and put on a spectacular show that takes the audience through Thai history and tradition by way of talented performances, special effects, and interesting acts.
When and Where:
The Siam Niramit Cultural Show, held in Bangkok and Phuket, has an incredible line-up with stunning performers. It begins at 5:30pm daily and is often paired with a Thai dinner buffet.
Phuket FantaSea is a cultural themed park with carnival villages, games, performances and dazzling lights that depict the heritage of Thailand. It opens at 5:30pm, and operates every day of the week, except Thursday.
7. Dinner Cruises
You can view the entire city of Bangkok from a boat deck, as you smoothly sail along the Chao Phraya river that flows through the heart of Bangkok. Watch the city reveal itself on both sides, as you enjoy the light swells of the river with loved ones or close friends.
The city lights up at night, and the views of its popular temples, monasteries and tourist spots are remarkable. Pair this with a buffet dinner and live music, and you have an evening well spent.
Where: Apsara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree and Chao Phraya Princess Cruise
When: All boats usually depart from River City Pier 1 and 2, but the timings may be different. Check with the operators before making a reservation. Cruises last for approximately 2 hours.
8. Pub Crawls
If you’re a complete night owl and just can’t make up your mind about which clubs to visit in Thailand during your stay, you can make the most of your nights with a pub crawl. Pub crawls are usually night time group tours that take you to some of the best bars and clubs in the city in one night.
You’ll meet a host of other pub lovers like yourself, and large groups usually have a great time drinking the night away at Thailand’s best clubs. These tours offer discounted menus and each venue is usually a different experience, including live music, open-air parties, high-end clubs, outdoor lounges, and rooftop bars.
Where: Khao San Road Pub Crawl in Bangkok, Ao Nang Pub Crawl in Krabi, Koh Tao Pub Crawl in Koh Tao
When: Pub crawls are held almost daily, from 8pm onward.
9. Night Safaris
Even the animals come out to play at night in Thailand. The country is rich in not only flora and fauna, but also wildlife. There are a number of national parks and zoos scattered around the country, but only a handful are known to offer night safaris to watch the animals in their true element.
Night safaris are usually conducted in open jeeps with a driver and guide. Some exotic wildlife species come out into the open at night, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot them. The tours are conducted high up in the mountains, amidst dense jungles, where the air is crisp and the weather isn’t as humid as the shoreline areas. The activity is a lot of fun when done in groups, and is especially enjoyed by children and families.
Where: Chiang Mai Night Safari is probably the most renowned, followed by the Khao Yai Night Safari near Bangkok.
When: Safaris start after sunset, at about 6:30pm, with the last one departing at 10:00pm. They usually operate daily.
10. Muay Thai Fights
An ancient Thai military martial art form, Muay Thai is now a popular sport that the locals enjoy watching live. These thrilling matches are a great opportunity to watch the locals cheering on their favourite fighters and to join in on the action packed experience of Thai culture, art and history.
For important matches between popular star fighters, the stadiums are packed with loud, excited spectators letting themselves loose for the night. The sport is much like boxing and you can get a ringside view in a sporting stadium in specific areas of Thailand.
Where and When:
New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Bangkok – Tuesday and Friday from 6:30pm to 11pm, Saturday from 4pm to 8pm and 8:15pm to midnight. Star fighters usually take the ring on Tuesdays.
Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium, Bangkok – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 6pm onwards.
Channel 7 boxing Stadium, Bangkok – Sundays from 2pm
11. Sky Bars
There’s nothing like partying in Thailand with foot tapping music, delectable alcoholic concoctions, and a beautiful view to boot. There’s no doubt that Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but when viewed from a height, the vistas are something else.
The cities of Thailand are busy almost throughout the year and every once in a while, it’s nice to get away from the crowd. Thailand has beautiful skylines and unforgettable sunset views that are best enjoyed from sky cars or rooftop bars. Its tag of the world’s most glorious party hub brings with it some gorgeous rooftop lounges that are definitely worth a visit.
Where: Sky Bar Lebua, Vanilla Sky, ThreeSixty, Vertigo and Octave in Bangkok, and Horizon Bar in Pattaya
When: Sky bars are best visited at dusk, so get there before sunset to get a table with a good view. Some bars may require a table reservation in advance.
If you’ve only got a few nights in Thailand, make the most of it by combining easy day trips with exuberant night ones. Night-time revelry in Thailand can be pretty hectic, but you’re bound to go back with some incredible memories. Once the sun goes down, it’s time to raise your spirits!