Oct 10 2011

‘Traditional’ pubs in Bangkok

Published by at 9:07 am under Bars & nightlife

If you are looking to go somewhere cosier than Glow’s dance floor on a Friday night, you can always head to one of Thailand’s world-famous pubs. No, I jest.  Pubs are like pizzerias or taquerias in Bangkok – keep your expectations low, your stomach empty, and you will be pleasantly, if not moderately, surprised. German beer halls may have a more sophisticated beer selection, but where else can you read a News of the World in mint condition while enjoying a cold Carlsberg?

Robin Hood Happy Hour (to the rescue)

The Robin Hood happy hour to the rescue.

For some “traditional” pubs, and by traditional I mean an expat’s overseas business venture fuelled by a twinge of homeland nostalgia, The Robin Hood is a good place to start. The Robin Hood claims to be an “English-style pub”, and serves customers who have come to Bangkok and never left and those who are just passing through. The crowd is on the wizening side, but the owners keep it lively with sports events, a trivia night, a Thai band playing 60s beats, and a nightly happy hour.

Rather pleasant outdoor seating.

The Queen Victoria Pub, though regal in name, is dingy in actuality. Irony at play? Maybe not, but an ode to the British monarchy never hurt anyone. On their menu, their address is simply listed as  “across the street from Soi Cowboy”, the not-so-hidden underbelly of Bangkok tourism or apparently a useful landmark. The patrons, often an onslaught of ethically dubious Soi Cowboy visitors, can be hard to take, but the draught beer is cheap and the outdoor seating is chipper. With both an early evening and late-night happy hour, this pub will be sure to please, at least in a certain state of consciousness.

Like a ship, but different.

For a cute hole-in-the-wall pub with a not-so-cute location, The Ship Inn is the closest thing you will find to the real deal. Built to look like a Tudor house or a captain’s quarters (a strange mix of land and sea), the inside is quiet and subdued, a perfect spot for female travellers and “mature” drinkers. They also serve a “chip butty” – you know, just a mountain of French fries/chips in a buttery roll.

Prepare to get your liver pickled.

Despite The Pickled Liver’s humorous and depressingly accurate name, the pub is frequented by a younger generation of drinkers with livers (possibly) still intact. Expect pool and darts, outdoor seating by the glow of a topless bar, and fried calamari bar snacks. Don’t expect cocktails. You’re at a pub, not Narz!

The Robin Hood
Sukhumvit 33/1, Sukhumvit Road
Open daily 9:00-24:00
Happy hour: 16:00-19:00
T: (02) 662 3390

BTS: Phrom Pong

The Queen Victoria Pub
Sukhumvit Soi 23 (across from Soi Cowboy!)
Open daily 09:00-1:00 (11:30 for food)
Happy hours: 17:30-19:30 and 23:00-1:00
T: (02) 661 7417

BTS: Asoke

The Ship Inn
9/1 Soi 23, Sukhumvit
Open daily 11:00-24:00
BTS: Asoke

The Pickled Liver
Sukhumvit Soi 7/1
Open daily 16:00-4:00
Happy hours: 16:00-19:00
T: (02) 651 1114
BTS: Nana

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