Clubbing in Thailand was a completely different experience to clubbing in Sydney and Japan. The clubs in every region of Thailand that we went to differed slightly, although the music in every club was relatively the same- lots of EDM and lots of Calvin Harris.
Clubbing in Bangkok: We arrived in Bangkok on a Friday night around 8pm. With all the time spent traveling from the airport to the hotel, and getting ready, we didn’t make it out of our hotel until almost 12am. We walked out of our hotel onto one of the main streets in Bangkok, only to find all the currency exchanges closed. None of us had bothered to exchange money at the airport, and were now wondering if clubbing was feasible as no one had Thai currency except for me, the amount of which was 5000 baht that I had been given before arriving in Thailand. The only option was to use my 5000 baht between the 5 of us for that evening. We quickly hailed a taxi from the main road to go to a nightclub called Route 66. Since there were 5 of us, we were prepared to get two taxis, but found a cab driver that was willing to take us all, so we crammed 4 people into the backseat and were forced to go without seat-belts. I didn’t know it at the time as it was my first time in Thailand, but S, who had been to Thailand previously, noticed straight away when we got in the cab that the taxi driver didn’t have registration or a photo, but she kept this fact to herself as she didn’t want to alarm us.
Another alarming thing about the taxi was that our cab driver kept looking out of the window and laughing to himself without saying anything. The girls and I quickly assumed that he was crazy and started to become a little worried for our safety. We became even more worried when we came to a junction and saw police checking cars. Our cab driver’s reaction was very worrying, as he started muttering words in Thai under his breath and quickly pulled on a blue shirt. We squashed further into the backseat to make it look like there were just 3 of us, and luckily the police let us pass by without checking our car. Our driver was noticeably relieved after this, and so were we. We managed to make it to Route 66 in RCA after getting a bit lost, and arrived there around 1am.
The entry fee at Route 66 was 300 baht per person (about the equivalent of $10 AUD). In addition to this, we received 5 drink vouchers each after paying the entry fee. Route 66 was located at the end of a laneway of clubs known as RCA. At the beginning of this laneway there were a few officers in military uniform standing around. The clubs were all competing to pump loud music which was difficult to hear over. Route 66 was by far the most crowded of all of these clubs.
The layout of Route 66 was an open courtyard with stools and tables, plus several small bars scattered around the outdoor parts of the club, plus one in the indoor area also.
J saw people drinking out of a giant bucket bigger than all our heads combined and wanted to get that for our first drink, so we went to the bar to get one. The price for one of these was 1700 baht, and we had to pool our 5 drink vouchers plus pay an additional 200 baht to get one of these buckets.
There were lots of foreigners at this club, but also lots of local Thai people as well. The other clubbers at Route 66 were dressed in standard clubbing gear- closed shoes, shirts, dresses and heels.
The clubs in this area closed at 2am, but our new friends that we met at Route 66 informed us that there was another club still open across town called Altitude, so we split up to take two cabs and then bartered our way to Altitude. After arriving at Altitude, we saw that there was another entry fee, and as I was worried the money I had left wouldn’t be enough to get us home, we decided to call it a night then and there.
Clubbing in Koh Samui: We went to four clubs in Koh Samui, which were Green Mango, Sound Hotel, Ark Bar, and Sweet Soul.
The four clubs were located on Chaweng Beach Road, which is a busy nightlife area in Koh Samui. They are within walking distance of each other, so the girls and I would hop from one club to another each time we came to one of these clubs.
Green Mango had been recommended to me by several people but it was my least favourite of the clubs in Koh Samui because I’m sure we got ripped off and paid a ridiculous amount of money for drinks. Green Mango was the largest of the clubs that we went to in Koh Samui, and it got crowded late, from around midnight onwards. The clubbers here were 100% European or Australian tourists, and majority were dressed in casual beach gear. There was no entrance fee, and I suspect they ripped us off because the first night I came here I paid 1200 baht for two standard drinks (not buckets) when I was drunk, but the second night I came here, I saw a menu stating that drinks were 300 baht each. J was also forced to pay 100 baht to use the toilet although she may have given up to 1000 baht. The girls and I also thought that the drinks at Green Mango were highly suspect- S and I had about 4 or 5 drinks here, only to find that we didn’t feel drunk at all. The drinks that we had here also didn’t taste like they had much alcohol in them.
Ark Bar was located right on Chaweng Beach and was the best value in terms of alcohol. I don’t know how much alcohol was poured into these buckets, but it tasted like 99% alcohol and 1% fruit juice. The five of us got drunk from just one bucket, and we all drank one bucket each. We sat on picnic tables on the beach, and the bar was mostly comprised of these picnic tables, although there was also an indoor area with pool tables.
Sweet Soul was a small nightclub right across the lane-way from Green Mango, which we hopped over to when we realised we’d been overcharged for drinks at Green Mango on the second night we went there. It played similar music, such as Top 40 hits plus EDM with lots of songs by Calvin Harris; pretty sure I heard at least two Calvin Harris songs in every club I visited in Thailand.
Sweet Soul was by far the cheapest club for drinks in Koh Samui. They had a promotion for one vodka bucket for 100 baht (about $4 AUD). We got two buckets to drink here and watched them make it, but even so, the buckets tasted weak and we finished the two buckets in a matter of minutes without feeling drunk at all.
Sound Hotel had been recommended to me by a friend so we came here one night for drinks and also to smoke shisha. We got two buckets here, only to find that the drinks tasted weak (again) and finished them quickly without feeling drunk. It was around 8-9pm on a Tuesday night when we came here, and the club was pumping loud music, but was pretty much dead empty.
J, S and I thought that 3 out of 4 clubs in Koh Samui (Sound Hotel, Green Mango, and Sweet Soul) had definitely given us weak, watered down drinks. Ark Bar was the only bar that we were sure had given us a good amount of alcohol per bucket because we all felt deathly drunk from just one bucket.
Clubbing in Phuket: We only went clubbing one night in Phuket and decided to go to Seduction on Bangla Road in Patong which is the busy nightlife area in Phuket.
There was a large sign with the words ‘Seduction’ on top of the club entrance on Bangla Road, so it was pretty much unmissable.
The girls and I went to Seduction with a few other friends who happened to be in Phuket at the time, so altogether we went in as a group of 8. L paid for a table with bottle service for all of us, which I think was about 1600 baht- for the girls it was 100 baht entry fee, because we had promotion vouchers, while the boys had an entrance fee of 500 baht each.
Like the other clubs we went to, Seduction played mostly EDM such as Calvin Harris. There were two main rooms on first level, with one bar, with an outdoor area for smoking, as well as a second level.
In addition to bottle service, they also had buckets (J’s favourite) which tasted like alcohol with a dash of chaser.
With table service, we received a bottle of Smirnoff with several chasers. We were allowed to pour our own alcohol, which resulted in some of my friends becoming obscenely drunk, shattering glasses, and vomiting in the club. After this, we were promptly told by staff that it was a fine of 2000 baht, so one of my other friends promptly cleaned it up so we didn’t have to pay the fine, but still got kicked out.
Like the clubs in Koh Samui, Seduction was filled with European and Australian tourists dressed in beachwear.
My favourite clubs in Thailand were Route 66 and Seduction- partly because I know we were getting served real alcohol at these clubs and partly because these clubs had a more metropolitan feel to them, whereas the clubs in Koh Samui were more relaxed and had a beachy vibe.