5 favourite clubs of RCA

  • Posted onFebruary 28th, 2013

Royal City Avenue, better known as RCA, is often considered to be the heart of Bangkok clubbing. Despite its huge popularity amongst locals and young expats, it tends to get very few travellers and backpackers (who seem to prefer to keep things closer to home, drinking and dancing the night away around the Khao San area of the city), but that doesn’t stop the whole street pumping and jumping all week long.

RCA is where you’ll find the young and ‘youthful’ Bangkokians, from late-teen wannabe K-pop stars and 20-something hi-so hipsters, to the 30-something crowd and the odd tourist locked in arm with his new holiday romance. As a foreigner you are likely to be outnumbered by locals, and some ‘long in the tooth’ expats will moan that this is a Thai place and non-Thais won’t be made to feel welcome. Sadly, some clubs will charge foreigners more to enter than Thais, but in most cases this will include free drinks close to the entry value, and you will be made to feel plenty welcome by your fellow partygoers.

RCA isn’t just about being ‘out on the pull’, along this Vegas-esque strip of clubs and bars you’ll find clubbing institutions and eye-catching concept bars that are near capacity 7 nights a week, home to local bands and international DJs, as well as the notable concerts from some of the big Thai and Asian music stars. With so many clubs and bars crammed into one small area the hard decision might be choosing which clubs to hit and which to miss, so to help you find the right party spot for you here are 5 of my favourite RCA clubs:

Slim & Flix

The biggest and coolest club on the avenue, Slim & Flix is a clubbing institution of Bangkok, and based by the Rama 9 entrance to RCA it’s likely to be the first venue you see. It’s not just the size and slick decor that makes Slim stand out but the range of music going on inside caters to most tastes. There something for everyone here, from banging hip hop, to grimy house, to live rock and pop bands, spread over 3 large dancehalls. Sadly RCA is one of the clubs that does have a dual pricing policy, charging foreigners 400 baht to enter while Thais  get in for free, though you will get two free drinks with your entry.

route 66Route 66 Club Bangkok

Route 66 is considered the founding club of RCA, and still thought of as the best by many regulars. It’s not as glossy as Slim but it does have character, with a new, chic industrial feel (think lots of cold concrete and steel). Route 66 also draws in a very young crowd, with a lot of teenagers and those in their early 20s, heading hear for lots of R ‘n; B tunes, and local live music. It’s can be a bit of a meat market at times, and more of pick up joint than any other club, but those who like their vidka will enjoy the huge Smirnoff cocktails available.

LEDLED Club Bangkok

Formerly known as 808 Bangkok, LED is another of RCA’s superclubs, with perhaps the biggest sound system in the neighbourhood.  LED tends to attract the more serious bass-heads, with different genres of dance music played throughout the week, including lots of house, dubstep, and techno. They also seem to have a fair few generous drinks promotions on throughout the week, as well as lots of special events going on, so it’s always worth checking their schedule to see what’s happening. The club gets its name from the impressive lighting and visual effects on the dancefloor.

tumblr_llyuq16jYS1qkfcnoo1_500The Beat Lounge

The beat lounge is a club all about hip hop and rap music, but one which still remains very friendly and welcoming to newbies on the avenue. It tends to be on the quiet side during the weekdays, but things really kick off at the weekend when the club welcomes it’s partygoers to bring their own hip hop records for a turn on the mic and decks. The club has a great vibe and is a must for any passing hip hop fan or brave wannabe rapper.

cosmic-cafe-3_1_0Cosmic Cafe

Less of a club, more a beer garden with live music. Cosmic Cafe shows another side to RCA with a definite lounge vibe and a great place to start you night on the town (or wind it down). Music varies but it tends to always fit the cool and calm atmosphere, typically with acoustic guitars or with some old skool soul. The Cosmic Cafe tends to get packed out at the weekend, so make sure to here early if you want to sit down.

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