The clubs of Khao San

  • Posted onMay 9th, 2013

Khao SanKhao San is often referred to as the Backpacker barrio of Bangkok, and it’s here where the vast majority of gap year students and young travellers head to find cheap accommodation and exchange tales of this misadventures. Newcomers can be forgiven for imagining Khao San Road as being a commercial zone, an area where the corps cash in on the steady flow of young tourists and starry eyed holidaymakers, but while there are a scattering of international fast food joints the area is also home to more of an alternative scene when it comes to entertainment.

By day smoothie sippers, food hawkers, and market stalls selling the latest counterfeit goods and tacky Ts run the show, but by night the area becomes a street long party. Mobile cocktail vans and bars spring to life, and even the most chilled day time restaurants start to crank up the music. Among the bars you’ll also find some notable night clubs, with interesting settings hosting live bands and skilled DJs. Here are some of our favourites:

Cafe DemocCafe Democ

Forget about Bed Supperclub, Q Bar, or Route 66, for many hardcore clubbers the king of the Bangkok clubbing scene is Cafe Democ. Despite actually being a 10-minute stroll from Khao San Road, opposite the Democracy Monument, this partying institution pulls in a large crowd of young Thai students, party loving locals, and in-the-know tourists.

While many of the other big clubs in the city brag about guesting international DJs, fighting over any known name that comes through town, Cafe Democ prides itself on discovering the best local talent, and is often seen as a stepping stone for up and coming Thai DJs to lift into the clubbing spotlight.

The Club

The Club

Forget about David Guetta and the Black Eyed Peas, Khao San’s The Club is all about old skool partying. Here you’ll experience a taste of 90’s raving, with trance and classic house booming from the speakers. With a large dance floor and often knowledgeable party crowd, this is perhaps your best bet for an Ibiza style club in Bangkok city.

It’s actually quite a slick and flamboyant joint, with at least some care and thought gone into both the sound design and laser lighting. It’s not the kind of place where you go for an intimate date, but this is where you head if you want to dance yourself into oblivion, sipping on Thai whisky to some classic 90’s style rave.


Even Khao San has a rooftop bar these days, with Gazebo flying the flag. It’s hardly the Sky Bar or Vertigo but for what it lacks in heady heights and epic views it makes up in vibe and charm. The design is mock Moroccan with a cool, cosy loft feel to it, and unlike many of its neighbours this is anything but grubby or garish, having a rather more upscale look.

Picture lots of soft cushions, dim lamps, with patrons sipping on cocktails and puffing away at shisha pipes. Entertainment comes by way of live DJs and the house reggae band, with lots of electronic music taking over in the early hours.

Club CultureClub Culture

The club has little to do with Boy George but I’m sure he would be proud to have this swanky Bangkok night venue in his portfolio. Club Culture is actually owned by the same folk who have the popular Café Democ to their name, and boasts a long list of visiting international DJs and bands, such as Madness, DJ Nakadia and Toby White.

Set over four floors, each one takes on a different musical theme, with the range of acts and music genres well covered including house, techno, hip-hip, dance, indie, hard rock, Ska, and classic disco.



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