Night-time in Bangkok is a lot of things. I know people who have a passionate love affair with the darkened city. I know people who curse its existence. I can understand both. But over the past six months, I find myself continuing to return. It's lure is incredibly enticing, it's attractions plentiful and ubiquitous. Last night was no different.
A truck-bar parked on Sukhumvit Soi 11 with a billboard backdrop
It's been hot. It is summertime in Thailand and the heat during the day is so unbearable, its presence so strong that sometimes nearly nothing else appears to exist. The sunset is a welcoming opportunity to walk the streets in moderate comfort--although last night seemed an exception. The warmth of the day continued to press on towards midnight, inviting my jeans to melt into the flesh of my legs, my shirt to form a film of liquid on the outside of my upper body. So, instead of going somewhere with the soothing arms of air conditioning, I met my friends, as planned, at the outdoors venue Nest.
It's a pretty new spot. I enjoyed it during their opening and now, about a month later, it feels even better. As I've mentioned, it's outside. Nest resides at the top of Le Fenix Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11, just across the street from the famed Q Bar. The decor is modern, pathways and bits of lawn accentuating the fact that you are under the stars. The space is spotted with beds, hammocks, and things loungy. Not to mention lots of very powerful fans to cool you on nights like these. It helped, actually. And for the time spent there I could concentrate on listening to great live music and not on the slow, steady trickle down my back.
Taking the pics of the truck-bar on the way to Nest inspired me to visit one of the favorite street watering holes in the area. Yeah, it's outside, but since the sweat already started, why not?
Volkbar parks itself just down the street on Sukhumvit between Soi 1 and Soi 3. They've got some decent drinks served in plastic cups for an easy 70 baht a piece (that's just a bit more than two bucks, man). And the setting couldn't be better--out on the street on the popular Sukhumvit Rd.
Owner Lew and her assistant Pok, who are also a couple, bought the old VW van outside the city, remodeled it, and now, surprisingly, drink less than they did before. They do have to drive away after work, after all. It's about midnight that they stay open with their lights on, but can hang around for up to an hour and half after that, depending on when the cops tell them to close up shop.
Thanks for reading. And if you find yourself in Bangkok, enjoy. But, please, sip slowly.