Sep 06 2011

Chao Phraya pub crawl: Part 2

Published by at 9:35 am under Bars & nightlife


If you remember part 1, we ended up on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya at ID Beer Bar on Khlong San Pier.

Time for some mild organisation, so get your A to Z. Walk back towards the pier, but turn right and go through the Khlong San market. Snacks, fried noodles, and grilled meats are available at the food stands on the right for those who need more solid sustenance. Take a cab from Khlong San Market to Wang Lang Market Pier (Tha Talad Wang Lang in Thai), a few clicks north along the Chao Phraya. Facing the entrance to the pier, turn right and walk along the small alley to the first right — there on the corner is Zoom 4 Zoom 5, the strangest river bar along the Chao Phraya.

River views from Zoom 4 Zoom 5. Just the name makes this place great.

Up the stairs is the terrace, with a great view of the Grand Palace lit up in the velvet blackness of the riverside. Order food and drinks from the counter; you’ll have to mix your own drinks and retrieve your own ice here (there’s a station for ice, glasses and utensils near the counter) as it’s strictly bar service. After a sufficient number of refreshments, it’s time to cross back to Bangkok proper. Take the cross river ferry towards Thammasat University and walk straight up the street from Wang Lang Pier.

Turn left when you reach Sanam Luang (a big open oval field). Turn right. Continue around the oval, crossing the street at Ratchadamri Road, and continue away from the circle, towards the Democracy Monument, where you’ll find Khao San Road off to your left. Success!

Proceed, crawling with caution; it’s decision time upon reaching Khao San Road. Will this evening end in dancing? Will it end in bonding/weeping over buckets filled with cheap liquor? Will it end with some plates of spicy Thai food to clear heads and inflame tongues? The end of the crawl can only be a game time decision, but there are options.

For terrible music (which let’s be honest, sometimes is the best), head to the Rambutri end of Khao San for dancing, revelry, and whisky bottle sets at Gullivers. Is it awful? Yes, but in the very best way. Do not expect to feel good about this decision in the morning. Brick Bar has ska performances and a fun Thai crowd, right on Khao San Road — if you like ska, this is a great evening ender. Late show starts at midnight. Feeling like discussing the elemental beingness of travelling? Time for buckets. Take your pick of street side bars up and down the strip.

And finally, the best thing to do after a crawl is to sit down for feed. There is food all over Khao San Rd, but the best late night street food is at the intersection of Rambutri and Tani Roads (Rambutri is immediately north of Khao San, walk to the right and follow it around to where it meets Tani to find the street stalls). Sit down to plates of spicy southern curry, fried chicken or sticks of grilled meat. Eat, eat, and eat until you remember where you are staying. Don’t forget the water kids — it’s hot out there. Chok dee (good luck)!

Zoom 4 Zoom 5: Soi Wang Lang, Wang Lang Market, Siriraj. T: (02) 226 1745. Open daily 17:00-0:00.
Brick Bar: 1/F, Buddy Lounge Bldg, 265 Khao San Rd. T: (02) 629 4702. Open daily 19:00-02:00.
Gulliver’s Tavern: 2/2 Khao San Rd. T: (02) 629 1988. Open daily morning till late.

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