Judging from recent events like Pattaya ZoomOut Festival (a sad rip-off of Singapore’s ZoukOut sponsored by the government’s “creative” economy scheme) and Culture ONE (which seems to have lost its fizz and way this year), DJ nights are gasping for their last breath in our nightlife landscape. Even DJ-centric venues like Q Bar and Bed Supperclub are thinking out of the box: Q Bar is now embracing the wine trend, Bed Supperclub recently brought in Kelis (American R&B diva nominated for two Grammy Awards). But if inter turntablists don’t get us out of the house on a Friday night anymore, what does? The answer: a more diversified Bangkok nightlife. Here, we give you 25 cool alternatives—sans DJs—for when the sun goes down.
1. Tequila and Egg Whites
We’ve told you once, we’ve told you a hundred times: do your cocktail drinking at Hyde & Seek (65/1 Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee, Wireless Rd., 02-168-5152. Open daily, 11am-1am. www.hydeandseek.com) and WTF (see #4). Our editor’s pick, though, is the Bun Bang Fai (B190) at Soul Food Mahanakorn (56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 085-904-2691. Open daily 5:30pm-12:30am. www.soulfoodmahanakorn.com. BTS Thong Lo). Just like its namesake, this drink takes off smoothly before exploding into little fireworks right in your mouth, thanks to its potent tequila, lime and chilli combo, offset by voluptuous almond syrup and a couple teaspoons of egg white for froth (relax, you can’t really taste it).
2. Wine Everywhere
From Wine Pub to Wine Connection, it’s been obvious that wine is now the people’s choice. And finally, Soi 11 is taking an interest, too. Q Bar (34 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-252-3274. Open daily 9pm-3am.www.qbarbangkok.com) just rolled out its own wine nights on Mon and Tue where B800 gets you nonstop refills from 9pm-12am.
3. Khon in Bed
In case you haven’t heard, khon is hot. So hot that it’s now on show at Bed Supperclub (26 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-651-3537. Open daily 7:30pm-1am.www.bedsupperclub.com), thanks to choreographer Jitti Chompee who puts a contemporary twist on Thailand’s highest form of performing art. Where else can you see khon set to tango music? The Invisible World is on every night except Mondays, starting from 7:30pm, through Mar 31, 2011. Reservations recommended.
4. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Although it’s been around for several years, in several locations including About Café and the Goethe Institute, Bangkok Poetry Night has just been reincarnated after a long hiatus, this time with a new host, Colin Cheney, and a new location, hipster mecca WTF (7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-626-6246. www.wtfbangkok.com. BTS Thong Lo. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-1am, gallery 3pm-10pm). The rules are different too: it’s not strictly poetry; it can be an excerpt from your novel, your comic or even a short film. And it can be in Thai, too. The vibe is cozy and welcoming, and there are even speakers in the front alleyway if you want some shoulder room while you listen to the prose. Check their blog (www.bangkokpoetry.blogspot.com) for their next event. Sign up to read at email@example.com—or just come for the booze.
5. Dancing Lesbians
The monthly Bangkok Lesbian party may have been around for a while, but more recent is its dancey counterpart, Vibe, which is a great alternative to the usual strictly tom and dee scene. The venue is Det-5 (Sukhumvit Soi 8). There will be pool, foosball, cocktails, a DJ and, of course, dancing lesbians. Sorry, no gents. For more details, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vibe.productions.