Fickleness is the reigning characteristic of the Bangkok club scene, and venues that were pulling in thousands a night just last year are often only vague memories today. What used to be a rotating cast of hotspots has slowed to a few standards on the sois off Sukhum-vit, Silom, Ratchadapisek and RCA (Royal City Ave), the city's 'entertainment zones', which qualify for the 2am closing time. Most places don't begin filling up until midnight and cover charges run as high as 600B and usually include a drink. You'll need an ID to prove you're legal (20 years old); they'll card even the grey hairs.
To keep the crowds from growing bored, clubs host weekly theme parties and visiting DJs that ebb and flow in popularity. To get an idea of current happenings around town, check Bangkok Spin (www.bangkokspin .com), BK, the Bangkok Post's Friday supplement, Guru, and the Bangkok Recorder's online mag (www.bangkokrecorder.com).
70'S BAR Map p112 Club
@ 0 2253 4433; 231/16 Th Sarasin, Lumphini; S 6pm-1am; admission free; 191 Ratchadamri
A tad too small to be a club proper, this retro-themed bar spins all the hits from the Me generation in the ultimate Me city. Like much of the strip, the clientele is mixed, but often verges on the pink side of the fence.
808 CLUB Map pp124-5 Club
www.808bangkok.com; Block C, Royal City Ave, off Th Phra Ram IX, Greater Bangkok; admission 200-400B; M Rama IX
Named after the infamous beat machine, this club fills the space previously occupied by Astra and looks to follow the tradition of big-name DJs and insanely crowded events.
BED SUPPERCLUB Map pp118-19 Club 0 0 2651 3537; www.bedsupperdub.com; 26 Soi 11, Th Sukhumvit; admission 500-600B; S 8pm-1am; (?) Nana
Bed has basked in the limelight for a few years now, but has yet to lose any of its futuristic charm. Arrive at a decent hour to squeeze in dinner (see p165), or if you've only got dancing on your mind, come on Tuesday for the hugely popular hip-hop night.
CAFÉ DEMOC Map pp68-9 Club
0 0 2622 2571; www.cafe-democ.com; 78 Th Ratchadamnoen, Banglamphu; admission free; S 8pm-1 am Tue-Sun; @ air-con 511 & 512, ordinary 15,30 & 65
Up-and-coming DJs present their turntable dexterity at this narrow unpretentious club in Olde Bangkok. Hip-hop, break beat, drum 'n' bass and tribal fill the night roster, but only special events actually fill the floor.
CLUB CULTURE Map pp52-3 Club
® 0 89497 8422; www.dub-culture-bkk.com; Th Sri Ayuthaya (opposite Siam City Hotel), Rat-chathewi; admission 250B; S 7pm-late Wed, Fri & Sat; (f) Phayathai
Housed in a unique 40-year-old Thai-style building and run by the same folks who ran RCA's popular Astra, Culture is the biggest and quirkiest recent arrival on Bangkok's club scene. Come to enjoy internationally recognised DJs and the best sound system in town.
DANCE FEVER Map pp124-5 Club
0 0 2247 4295; 71 Th Ratchadaphisek, Greater Bangkok; S 8pm-2am; M Rama IX
Like taking a time machine back to the previous decade, Dance Fever is a holdover from the days when a night out in Bangkok meant corny live stage shows, wiggling around the whisky set table, and neon, neon, neon.
GLOW Map pp118-19 Club
® 0 2261 3007; www.glowbkk.com; 96/4-5 Soi 23, Th Sukhumvit; admission 200B; S 6pm-1am; (f)Asoke, M Sukhumvit
Another club reincarnation, the former Faith is a small venue with a big reputation. Boasting a huge variety of vodkas and a recently upgraded sound system, the tunes range from hip-hop (Friday) to electrónica (Saturday), and everything in between.
LUCIFER Map pp108-9 Club
® 0 2234 6902; www.luciferdisko.com; 76/1-3 Soi Patpong 1, Silom; admission 150B; S 9pm-1am; 9 Sala Daeng, M Silom
Meet the Miltonian side of Lucifer: a fun-loving hedonist. Nestled in the heart of Patpong, Lucifer kicks off the night with a few brave travellers who wander in from the night market. By 11pm the crowd shifts to a younger, prettier persuasion with serious dance-floor know-how. Another wave of recruits arrives at hook-up time.
NANG LEN Map pp118-19 Club
@ 02711 6564;217Soi63 (Ekamai),Th Sukhumvit; admission free; S6pm-1am; (?) Ekamai
Young, loud and Thai; Nang Len (literally 'sit and chill') is a ridiculously popular
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