Bangkok is full of great party streets, each one with its own distinct personality. It's the range and quality of nightlife that makes this city one of the best in Southeast Asia – it also proves Thailand’s capital has far more to offer than its sleazy parts.

    Bangkok’s buzzing nightlife scene is out there, you just need to know where to look. Our guide to popular Bangkok party streets presents everything from swanky clubs and rooftop bars (you’ll need your best shoes and ID to get in), right down to shorts and flip-flop-friendly backpacker havens (where drinking on the street is encouraged).

    RCA (Royal City Avenue to give it its full name) is Bangkok’s most popular clubbing hotspot. The wall-to-wall clubs towards the northern end of the street get packed after 10pm most nights. Find the epicenter of the party at Route66 Club, a huge club spread across various zones dedicated to hip hop, EDM and live Thai music. Weekends and holidays see the club reach bursting point after midnight, with the overspill contained in a cordoned off zone outside – complete with extra chairs, tables and speakers blasting out the music to create a street-party kind of vibe.

    A couple of doors down is Onyx Bangkok, a club offering more of European vibe with its tall ceilings, strict EDM policy, and occasional international DJ taking to the central stage. Entry for foreigners into these clubs is around 500 baht, but this does include drinks coupons.

    The crowd: A mostly young, dressed up Thai crowd with a good mix of males and females. In recent years, more and more expats and in-the-know tourists have started to join the fun too, so you won’t feel out of place (as long as you can look past the dual pricing system).

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    photo by neajjean (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Khao San Road’s reputation as the ultimate backpacker party hub is known across Southeast Asia. Budget guesthouses, internet cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlors, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and hawkers line the 1-km stretch of mayhem while eating, drinking and dancing in the street is encouraged.

    Though not much has changed here in years, the iconic road is slowly starting to draw in more of a young local crowd who aren’t scared away by the sea of sweaty travelers downing buckets and screaming along to Wonderwall by Oasis. The ingeniously named The Club is the go-to spot around midnight for real dance music and there’s also the much smaller but equally fun Lava Gold up the road. Brick Bar (at Buddy Shopping Plaza, next to McDonald's) is where the locals go; the main draw here is the brilliant live band who play fun Thai pop, ska, reggae and western covers. There are a thousand other street-side bars to choose from, and its best to just turn up and see which one takes your pick.

    The crowd: Backpackers, gap year students, a few families looking a bit bewildered, and an ever-growing number of young Thais. As for what to wear – whatever’s in your suitcase that is passable for clean.

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    Soi 11 has been one of the driving forces behind the evolving persona of lower Sukhumvit. The nightlife scene here gradually shed its once seedy image thanks to the rise of some pretty rooftop bars, swanky bistros and trendy nightclubs. The road offers a party atmosphere with a good mix of drinking spots – whether you want to party hard or just chill out for the evening.

    Oskar Bistro and Marshmallow Kitchen & Bar provide more of a sophisticated ambience. To get a better perspective on things, head up to the top floor of Le Fenix Hotel and lounge about on the bed-style sofas at Nest, or better yet try the gorgeous Above Eleven rooftop bar on the 38th floor of Fraser Suites. To end the night, the go-to club is Levels Club, which plays commercial dance and hip hop with free entry and drinks for ladies.

    The crowd: A good mix of expats and tourists of all ages means Soi 11 isn’t really reserved for any group in particular. Most of the bars here couldn’t care less what you’re wearing, but it’s best to play it safe and go smart casual (such as no shorts or flip-flops).

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    A playground for Bangkok’s prettiest (and often wealthiest) people, Thonglor really is the place to see how young Thais like to party, and party hard. Though the main Thonglor Road (Sukhumvit Soi 55) is heavily saturated with rows of upscale bars and restaurants, the best action is on and around Thonglor Soi 10, with almost a dozen different clubs nearby.

    The hugely popular Funky Villa and DEMO is a kind of 2-in-1 club, allowing you to switch between the live Thai bands and techno/house in each venue, and the adjacent Escobar (usually free entry) pulls in a few westerners with its hard house beats. Do Not Disturb (DND) is dedicated mostly to EDM.

    The crowd: 90% Thai, with a mix of glammed-up university students, as well as affluent young professionals. This means you should dress to impress.

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    Visit Silom during the day and you might be fooled into thinking this is purely a commercial hub of Bangkok. The street is lined with office blocks and banks – little in the way of obvious entertainment. As soon as the sun goes down, Silom comes out of its shell with market stalls popping up, bars opening their doors, and tuk-tuk drivers congregating around Patpong.

    Soi 2 and 4 present Bangkok’s most noticeable gay scene, with the former being home to the huge DJ Station club and the latter presenting around fun, laidback and undeniably camp bars. Walk 3 minutes to Patpong or Soi 6 and it’s a completely different story – most of the bars here are all about the go-go dancers, with things becoming more ‘X-rated’ if you head upstairs. For 'cleaner' fun, try Tapas Room club on Soi 4 or venture further west towards the river to find the inimitable Maggie Choo’s.

    The crowd: It might be a bit of a cliché, but Silom Road and its adjacent sois really have something for everyone. Inevitably, the go-go and beer bars of Patpong and Soi 6 pull in the western gents, while the lively scene on Soi 2 and 4 has a mostly gay crowd mixed with a few couples and groups of girls.

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