While Bangkok in itself might not be known for the vivid music scene in comparison to cities such as Memphis, Berlin and Havana, you’d be surprised by what talent is actually walking around. The music scene in Thailand is often seen by expats as lowly in originality with a mix of Thai songs, some new pop songs and the hundreds of covers of classic rock songs. While this holds merit and you hear these stereotypes plenty when walking through the busy street that is Khao San Road. There are definitely plenty of other great possibilities to hear some creative and seriously good music. This combined with the many delightful venues in which the music flows plenty, ensures that you’ll have a great musical stay in Bangkok
Bangkok does it all
Whether your favorite genre is any version of EDM, old school rock, jazz & blues or even authentic and original Thai music, Bangkok provides it all. Many venues and bands give a twist to the music of now with using authentic instruments from the area with a modern twist. These shows are mostly given in small bars where alcohol is cheap, flows plentiful and where the music is a great way to relax in the weekends or after a long working day.
However, if you are looking for something else, something a bit more impressive, then Bangkok will provide you in these needs as well. With many big names and festivals coming to Bangkok such as Coldplay, Guns N Roses and Don’t let Daddy know. While these artists and festivals are definitely worth checking out and while Thailand is becoming more and more a festival country as well, attracting tourists with music. The main focus of this article will be the smaller bars in which you can enjoy a drink and jam out on some great music.
The first bar which is definitely worth mentioning is the Saxophone pub. This pub has existed for approximately 30 years and thus is a well-known term throughout the music lovers in Bangkok. The bar is closely located to the Victory Monument BTS Skytrain Station and it has a nice mix of guests that visit the venue, not overrun by tourists yet known enough to not get the feeling of standing out in the crowd. As the name already suggests, the bar has a focus on playing plenty of Jazz, Blues and Soul music with plenty of bands taking to the stage every evening.
Another great option is Viva 8, which is best described as a team of owners all trying to pitch in on their new business idea. Normally you’d say this would end up as a disaster, however ‘Viva 8’ managed to succeed with it. It is a street bar located on the Chatuchak (JJ) Market which means it is only open during weekends, so make sure you put that in your travel planner. The bar has a Spanish chef making Paella in huge traditional Spanish pans, a bar offering many drinks ranging from a few good beers to the most delicious mojitos found in Bangkok. And to top it all off, you got a DJ booth playing some great music all day. The music played has a wide range and it depends on which DJ is rocking the stage. But you will definitely be hearing some trance and some good old funky classics with a modern touch. Definitely worth a visit, even if only for the whole atmosphere surrounding it.
Rocking out on the streets of Bangkok
So, you’ve got a place to enjoy some great jazz music and eat a great Paella and listen to a great EDM Set, but being in Bangkok means you must go and listen to some classic rock covers. Khao San road and Rambuttri Alley definitely offer plenty of these options. While these two streets are definitely great fun as well, the emphasis is less on the music and more on the cheap alcohol, partying backpackers and all the sleazy salesmen trying to sell about anything. So a better alternative might me be Rod Fai Night Market 2, or alternatively named the Rot Fai Market Ratchada. It is easily accessible with the metro stop Thailand Cultural Centre almost being next to it. This market has plenty of different bars, offering you enough choices to go out for a whole week. So the best advice I can give you is to walk around and let the music guide you.
Besides these 3 hotspots, there are dozens if not hundreds more options for great other options for listening to some live music. There are plenty more quiet options around Khao San Road as well, in case your stay is in that area. Brick Bar and Ad here the 13th are two option in which you most definitely will find some great music as well as a great vibe and atmosphere. These musical hotspots do not cover the whole musical feeling of the city but it surely is a great way to get you started! If it is about Bangkok music, be bold! If you hear some nice tunes, walk into the bar and get a drink, and if you are ready you can always go to the next choice with some great live music always being just a minute away.
During your musical stay in Bangkok, come an be our guest.