Sep 05 2011

Chao Phraya pub crawl: Part 1

Published by at 9:32 am under Bars & nightlife

Nothing says prudent living like combining drinking and boats. There are several great places along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya for a beer, some gap gleam (food that goes with drinking) and a river view. The five-star hotels clustered around Saphan Taksin offer some lovely (and pricey) watering holes, but a pub crawl requires being out there with the people. The Chao Phraya Express Ferry stops operating too soon to be a transport option up and down the river, but the cross river ferries operate until 23:00, so combined with some taxis, you’ve got an evening planned. If you follow the route outlined today and tomorrow, you’ll end up on Khao San Road where you can continue drinking until the end of time.

Drinking and boats: together at last.

Start off at Balco on the Bangkok side of the river, which is located on the top floor of the River City Shopping Complex. It’s a breezy, open balcony with spectacular views of the river traffic and the glittering buildings and wat complexes strung along the banks. Drinks are reasonable, and this is a mellow place that would be easy to get bogged down in. But carry on!

Nightime view from Balco of the Chao Phraya.

Take the cross river ferry from the River City pier to Khlong San (serious pub crawlers can grab a traveller from the Tops market on the ground floor of the mall). Turn left as you come across the gang plank and continue past the Hilton to Be My Guest, a laid back outdoor place where it’s time for food, and plenty of it. While there are better restaurants in Bangkok, Be My Guest has gap gleam down pretty well — don’t miss the air-dried pork (moo daat diao). After several quaffs at Be My Guest, pay up and head out left back past the ferry pier to Id Beer Bar on the right. Sit at one of their slightly lower rent tables, and have a beer, and look at the river, and sigh about your remarkable good luck in being here.

Now this is a fine place to end your pub crawl if you want, but join us for more riverside drinks tomorrow in part II.

Balco: 5/ F, River City Shopping Complex, Charoen Krung Road. T: (08) 4928 6161. Open Tue-Sun 19:00 – 02:00.
Be My Guest Bar
: 217 Charoennakron Plaza, Charoennakron Road. T: (02) 437 2653. Open daily 15:00-0:00.
Id Beer Bar
: Khlong San Pier, Charoennakron Road. No telephone. Open daily 15:00-0:00.

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