Few things feel as idyllic as when you’re sipping a delicious cocktail, staring into the distance as the sunset bathes the beautiful country of Thailand in its warm glow. If you are lucky enough to be embarking on a holiday to Thailand, this experience is possibly right at the top of your travel itinerary. Sample the diverse flavours and atmospheres of this stunning country with our guide to the top bars in Thailand, as chosen by some of the most experienced travel bloggers.
Catch Beach Club, Phuket
If you’re going ‘all out’ on your holiday to Thailand and luxury is the order of the day, head to Phuket for some of the country’s most distinguished beach-side bars. Darrel Bella from The Luxury Signature rates Catch Beach Club as “one of the hottest beach bars in Phuket.” This bar epitomises seaside chic, offering tropical nights and DJ sets for lovers of fashion to enjoy in a truly fabulous setting.
The bar was opened towards the end of 2016, and is situated on Bangtao Bay in the western island of Phuket, which is home to some of Thailand’s best-loved beaches. Darrel says:
“The cool and funky ambiance is hip in a laid-back style with a fresh blue and white décor. A minimum spend of between 1-3,000 Thai Baht per person per day on food and drinks gives you access to the beach club with its shaded poolside salas [cabanas] and deckchairs on the sand. Drinks are thirst-quenching and the menu features some ‘wow’ gourmet dishes as well.”
Air Bar, Koh Samui
Another fantastic destination for those heading out of an evening in search of the island lifestyle is Koh Samui. The second-largest of Thailand’s islands, Koh Samui is famous for its palm-fringed shores and luscious rainforest – the perfect setting for some rather unique bars. Darrel recommends that the best of these is Air Bar. He explains:
“The sunset views from the Air Bar in Koh Samui are quite simply breath-taking, and sipping a delicious signature sundowner and some gourmet tapas has to be the ultimate luxury after a day basking in the Koh Samui sunshine. With incredible ocean vistas of the Gulf of Thailand, the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort cocktail lounge hotspot is one of the coolest lux bars on the island. With daybeds, sofas, and bar seats ‘this close’ to the mixologist magic, drinks are served in a setting in which you seem to touch the blue sky and float in the air.”
Banana Bar, Koh Phi Phi
For those who are in search of the perfect fusion of indulgence and adrenaline, the Phi Phi Islands are the perfect escape. A world-renowned destination for scuba diving with vibrant marine life and dazzlingly clear waters, Koh Phi Phi is also famous for its nightlife. Dave from Jones Around the World cites the island as one of Thailand’s best spots for a drink or two, and recommends one of the island’s lesser-known bars as a must-visit:
“Tucked away in one of the many small alleyways on the idyllic island of Koh Phi Phi is an amazing place called Banana Bar. It’s honestly one of my favourite places to grab a drink in all of Thailand, and I am constantly recommending people to check it out. There is a happy hour every day from 4:20-6:20pm which offers buy-one-get-one free on these delicious fruit cocktails! Then at 7pm, the whole bar becomes a giant lounge and movie theatre. People spread out throughout the bar and watch one of the countless TVs and projectors showing the movie choice of the night. A popular film to watch at Banana Bar is Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Beach’, as it was filmed just a short 20-minute boat ride from Koh Phi Phi. Grab yourself a cocktail, a comfortable seat, and enjoy a relaxing movie night in paradise.”
Sky Bar, Bangkok
Of course, not everyone visits Thailand purely for its serene seaside resorts. If you fancy immersing yourself in the beating heart of the country, a break in Bangkok is necessary on your Thailand holiday itinerary. The discerning traveller can find some of the finest boutique bars and restaurants around in the country’s capital, and, for Darrel, Sky Bar is the best. He explains why this bar, which was featured on The Hangover 2, is so special:
“Sixty-three floors above Bangkok, the cityscape from the Sky Bar at the Lebua State Tower Hotel is an expression of pure theatre. A big-screen-worthy beauty that captivates the imagination, the views looking over the skyscrapers below and the iconic Chao Phraya River snaking through the metropolis are magnificent and truly magical; a must to make any evening special. Sip a signature cocktail such as the Sky Devil, with a touch of heat, and look out, marvelling at the magnificent views over and through the dramatically transparent terrace walls. The standout island bar lights up with beautifully glowing colours too.”
Moon Bar, Bangkok
The refined traveller is often in search of a bar with a fantastic atmosphere where delicious gourmet food is also available, and if this sounds like you, Bangkok is the perfect place to spend an evening. Dine in one of the city’s many rooftop restaurants, overlooking the dazzling city skyline, before sampling some of the world’s most inventive cocktails. If this appeals, Victoria from Pommie Travels recommends Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar. She says:
“My favourite bar in Thailand is Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree Bangkok, since it offers incredible views of the city from 61 floors above the ground. You can dine al fresco under the stars or simply enjoy a classic cocktail while admiring the glittering lights of Bangkok. It’s really quite a memorable experience, perfect for a special occasion or a romantic date.”
Whether you’re looking to dance until daylight or simply sip on a mixologist-crafted cocktail among great company, Thailand is home to some of the world’s most exciting and luxurious bars in the world. A night spent in one of Thailand’s best bars will undoubtedly be one to remember.