The area north of Sukumvhit and east of Chatuchak, following the road of the same name, Ratchada Road was once a bit of a sideshow but is now full of interesting bars, nightclubs, bars, theatres and clubs to suit all kinds of tastes, but expat foreigners are the main customers in Ratchadaphisek (“Ratchada” to the locals) where they go to enjoy quality seafood.
Venture along Ratchada Road on a Saturday night and you’re likely to be lured into a seedy bar by a beautiful young lady who turns out to have a little more testosterone than you might fancy, depending on your tastes of course. But the real action here is to be found in Royal City Avenue (known locally as “RCA”) which on a Saturday night is full of Thai uni students out to have a good time (which may be also what attracts some expats here).
The clubs on Ratchada Road are open till 2AM (most Bangkok nightclubs have to close at 1AM) so there is a fair bit of late night “action” in this area.
It’s pretty easy to get to the RCA area by train, as there’s four MRT (Bangkok Skytrain) stations very close by – Phetchaburi, Phra Ram 7, Huai Kwang and Sutthisan, as well as the main Ratachadaphisek station. You could also take the Saen Saep express boat but it’s a bit of a walk to anything decent.
House RCA has art house cinema treats from midday till midnight with English subtitles. The Muang Thai Theatre in the MRT Cultural Centre has live theatre, but mostly aimed at the locals. If you’re after something faster and more furious, try the PTT Speedway in the RCA Plaza where you can scream around the biggest gokart track in Thailand, if not in all of Asia, from 4pm till midnight or later.
Along RCA Avenue you’ll find a range of nightclubs and bars aimed at the cool set, with names like DuDe, HOBB, Cosmic Cafe and 808, where you can dance the night away to house, electro, jazz or even live music of all kinds.
Venture off Ratchada Road onto Soi 4 and you’ll find a few hip and happening pubs like Rad and Sop where young locals go to have fun, while on Soi 6 you’ll find a somewhat younger and more troublesome crowd in seedy nightclubs like Dance Fever.
And if you happen to have more fun than you intended, the Bangkok Hospital is conveniently located not too far away on Phetchaburi Road.