I was introduced to one of the best underground bars in Bangkok by a new friend. On my second day in the city, I met a famous Jazz musician from Brazil named Alquima Luz whom I had sat with for over 5 hours talking about life, love, and music over beers on a hot and humid day.
His stories will remain a secret, left for those who cross paths with him but he is an inspiration in my eyes. He has travelled the world for over 30 years dedicating his life to his music playing the saxophone and it just goes to show that age is relative and passion can take you around the world.
The next day, I accompanied my new friend to a 1940’s Cuban Cocktail Bar called Havana Social where Mitch Frohman performed on stage. For those of you who don’t know, he is a famous New Yorker from the Bronx who was awarded a Latin Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award, has spent most of his career playing the sax in the Tito Puente Orchestra as well as played the sax solo on the famous theme song on “Sex and the City”.
That evening opened many other doors to Bangkok’s secret bars and a hidden nightlife that needs to be experienced to be believed. This city has much more to offer than what you see from surface level. Nightlife in Bangkok Thailand is incredible. From local art shows with up-and-coming names, kitschy dive bars for networking with like-minded artists to spectacular live sets in jazz, punk and every other genre; Bangkok bars and clubs offer something for everyone who is an art & music aficionado.
Below are the best underground bars in Bangkok not to miss on your next stop over in the city that never sleeps:
It’s no secret that there is a thriving Jazz & Blues scene in Bangkok and nearly every night; you can find a live performance sure to bring you back to the days where music meant more than hitting a button on a soundboard.
Many Jazz venues are littered throughout the city but Brown Sugar and Saxophone Pub have been ranked as the best jazz bars in Bangkok so be sure to stop by for live performances that are guaranteed to impress. For a younger crowd with a bohemian vibe and a mix of locals, expats and travellers, check out Adhere the 13th for a fun night out where bands perform blues every night.
For indie lovers, we stumbled across a cool venue called Harmonica any hipster would love. I say hidden because it’s easy to miss if you don’t look for it carefully. Be sure to keep your eyes open so you don’t miss this secret gem. This venue is cozy, small and full of interesting people to mingle with while you fall in love with the local and international acts.
For the latest acts, check out their Facebook page.
The closest MRT station is Petchburi Station. From there take a taxi or motorcycle towards Petchaburi Road. As soon as you get to ItalThai building, turn right into Petchburi 38/1 (Phrom Phong). It’s on the left, just around the corner.
When I had heard there was an underground punk scene in Bangkok, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the good ole days of screaming at the top of my lungs and stage diving at hole-in-the-wall venues in Canada in my late teens and early 20’s.
I never thought I could do it in Thailand but as with so many things in this city, it’s secret underground nightlife scene will surprise you. It was a nostalgia trip, watching heavy metal bands perform at Immortal Bar and local punk bands at The Rust Bar & ROCKstaurant.
Address: 6 Soi Bunchoosri, Dindaeng, Bangkok, Thailand
Address: Sut Chai Uthit Rd. Khwaeng Phlabphla, Khet Wang Thonglang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10310
The Rust Bar &ROCKstaurant
Of the many underground bars Bangkok offers, it’s no surprise the city is riddled with cool dive bars perfect for meeting and hanging out with like-minded artists. One of our two favorites is a small venue called 23 Bar & Gallery. It’s the perfect little dive bar with a minimalist feel serving up ice cold beer, 90s and reggae hits as well as a small art gallery to gawk at.
Our equally favorite dive bar is called JAM. It’s a badass underground music venue and artist gallery hosting an array of events from movie nights to art exhibits, live acts to DIY crafts. They have good pub food with a nice selection of craft beer and an inviting atmosphere.
Address: 92 Soi Nana, Charoen Krung Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
23 Bar & Gallery
Address: 41 Charoen Rat Soi 1, Bangkok, Thailand
Jam Cafe Bangkok
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