Saturday, May 04, 2013

Thailand - The Best Bars...

So here's my guide to the best bars bar none across Thailand...

Above Eleven - Bangkok

First off, it’s way Above any Eleven – on the 38th floor.  Plenty of time in the lift to wonder whether you’re in the right one, and stick your lippy on.

Round the bend you’ll find the bar, right in the centre, beyond the bar you’ll see, well the whole of Bangkok’s skyline pretty much.

This is the capital’s shiny new hangout.  If you’re wondering why you have to walk through a maze to get to the bathroom (it’s not just some dodgy game to make you think you had too much to drink), then that’ll be the owners’ influence – he grew up in Thailand but has a penchant for Central Park in New York where he went to school.  Look up and you’ll see grass on the ceiling -  it’s weird but kinda nice being outside and inside at the same time, especially if you’re starting to sway ever so slightly…

The menu is pretty sweet – Peruvian ceviche style influences, some Japanese, Chinese and Italian so you can really get bi-lingual with your tastebuds.

Take a pew at the high stools around the bar to fit in with the guys who look like they know what they’re eating, or go chill on the massive sofas and breathe in the view.

You’ll find the cocktail list under a heading titled ‘fun stuff’ – so we were sold before we’d even picked a drink… But you won’t be disappointed, try the Zakura made with 42 Below, fresh ginger, orange and lime juice and pomegranate syrup, or the Togatta Stiletto which is made with Sake, prosecco and passonfruit puree.  Or go for a sambuca like we did, served in a wine glass (now that’s what we call a measure…)

A cool crowd defo hang out in this green space, yes you might be in a park, but there’s definitely no dogs.

Moon Bar - Bangkok

Warning – if you’re on a tight thai baht budget, your notes won’t get you far at Moon Bar, but if you fancy splashing out while taking in super spesh views of beautiful Bangkok, then head on over to the Banyan Tree hotel and take an express elevator up 61 floors.

There’s a massive range of cocktails, liquers and spirits – we got all heady with the Vertigo Julep and it’s smooth vanilla kick, and the Apple Martini – crisp clean and alchoholic enough to keep the doctor away.

Sit at the big bar in the centre and check out whoever’s sitting opposite or next to you, and if that’s not very exciting, then you’ve always got some panoramic views… Every cloud and all that, and on the 61st floor, you’re pretty close to them.

Bed Supperclub - Bangkok

It’s not like the London one.  There’s beds in it yes, but they’re Bangkok beds – bigger, better and probably good for bouncing on.  And you get to them by boarding what can only be described as a spaceship which is apt as you’ll probably feel like you’re on another planet by the end of the night.  This club has its own creative director so you’re always in for a proper show whether its Yoga Fly or something equally as off the wall.  So kick off your shoes, crawl into your doubler, and grab a menu – there’s a tonne of cheeky little nightcaps to choose from.  Behind the bar, there’s some serious mixology going on – these guys were definitely wide awake when they were learning how to throw together Cointreau, blue curaco, blue jelly and Bombay gin for the Bluely Jelly, or the Gay Lavender which is actually purple and tastes of palma violets.

There’s also a mass projector, state of the art sound system and regular international DJ’s on the decks.

Oh and you can eat here, it’s a Supperclub afterall – forward thinking food which changes every month.

Just make sure you have a nap before you arrive, chances are, you’ll wanna be up all night.

Cancun Bar – Koh Tao

If you fell asleep in the sun and are trying to make your dazed way back to your digs, this is your stop gap.  In fact, why would you need to go home anyway when you limbo lines of fire and indulge in free tequila bodyshots?!!!  Just jump on the bar and get a hot canadian to use your belly button as a shot glass.  Delightful.

This place is banging early on and has a happy hour 8-11 with 100 baht cocktails – at that price, you’ve got no excuse not to make your way down the entire list.  Try the Blue Honolulu made with rum, blue curacao, lime and pineapple syrup which is seriously de-lish, and while you drink that, you can contemplate whether to high jump the fire rope or dance under the disco ball which is hidden in a tree.

The toilets are pretty good too – a rarity on Koh Tao beach, so make the most of it and if you’re gonna get to look in a mirror once tonight, you might as well do it now.  (After the 100 baht cocktails, you’re probably not gonna care…)

The Gallery – Koh Tao

So get this, it’s a gallery and a restaurant.  Eat first - the chicken massaman is to die for.  They do a pretty mean cocktail aswell, check out the Mexican Treasure – you’ll definitely look like a one eyed pirate when you’re finished, the spirits in this one will put hairs on your chest no question.  When you’ve eaten, take what’s left of your drink and head into the gallery where there’s a tonne of cool paintings of fish and diving stuff (after all that’s what Koh Tao’s known for), and if you’re lucky you might get talking to some cool surfer diver type dudes who can tell you all about what you’ll find lurking at the bottom of the sea withouthaving to mess up your hair or carry a cylinder on your back the size of a small country.

Fizz Bar – Koh Tao

Sunset central!  Right on the beach, awesome views for taking pictures and posting to Facebook so your friends all have a severe case of sunset envy.

Chill on the mass bean bags (there’s a knack to lying on them, but once you’ve got it, there’s no going back… or getting up actually…)  Pack in your five a day with a deliciously fruity Mango Martini or wake yourself up after a hard day working on the tan with a sharp and caffeine filled Espresso Martini (this one look good in the photos too…)

It’s also a perving paradise – watch out for the runner with the body like a greek Adonis – he’s a regular round about 6 o’clock.  Well worth the wait, even if you’ve run out of cocktails.

Coco Tams in Bo Phut Fisherman’s Village – Koh Samui

You might think you’re in a really cool London lounge bar, then you’ll remember you’re actually sitting on the sand and there’s a gekko on your foot.  Coco Tams is the best bar in Bo Phut bar none.  An awesome chilled out atmosphere, rocking chairs which hang from the ceiling like birdcages and a beautiful bar right in the middle.  It’s a stones throw from the sea, so pull up a bean bag, grab a strawberry shisha and indulge in a cocktail made with real love.

Cactus bar – Haad Rin, Koh Phagnan

Head down the side street next to Mama’s Schnitzel on the corner (they do a mean kebab – make note of this for later), past the bucket sellers (full of gin and vodka, they’re not for making sandcastles with) and you’ll find yourself on Haad Rin beach - smack bang in the middle of Cactus.  There’s no way you can miss this place.  Not even if you have your ear plugs in and the fancy eye mask you nicked off your flight.

Sweaty hot bodies gyrating on the benches, in the sand, in the sea, a few in the club…  And absolutely banging tunes.  Some of our favourites were ‘You blocked me on Facebook and now you’re going to die’ and ‘owwww the big bad wolf’.  Don’t ask us who these songs are by, we have no desire to download them, but boy do they sound good while you’re dancing in the sand with a bucket hanging off each arm.

During full moon, this place is open pretty much all night, all day, and all night again.  Sounds like another song….

Slinky’s – Koh Phi Phi

Quite frankly, unless you’ve been to Slinky’s, you haven’t really lived.  It’s all about wearing your outfit from the beach, and your least fave pair of flip flops, cos let’s face it, you’re probably gonna lose one or both of them before the end of the night.

Similar to Cactus, the tunes are pumping early on from the biggest baddest sound system you’ve ever heard.  There’s a make shift dance floor, fire dancers either side and a crowd of the coolest ‘couldn’t care less’ traveller types you’ve ever seen.  Be ready to get amongst it.  There is no escape.

Chances are you won’t be heading back to your own hotel tonight (did we mention the abundance of hot single guys?!) so pack that toothbrush they gave you on your flight out and some sun cream for tomorrow’s very warm walk of shame…

Lotus Bar – Koh Tao

It’s the one place everyone ends up at the end of the night.  When we say everyone, we mean, everyone.  Quite cool and chilled out in the afternoon, you can sit here and take in the sunset while supping on a margherita and deciding on your outfit for later (hmm…shorts and flip flops…. Or shorts and flip flops?!!) The DJ has slightly strange taste in music, but this is a place where anything goes.  Open your mind, go with the flow, and you’ll be downing jugs of cocktails and attempting the fire dance before you know it.

Amazing Sunday Brunch at Nikki Beach Resort, Koh Samui

The infamous Nikki Beach experience has landed in Thailand…  Colin Farrell’s a fan of the Miami venue (nuff said), while in Marbs, there’s more stars lounging on those infamous big white beds than there are bottles of Veuve being sprayed…

Burberry bikinis’, bottles of champers and bling bling jewellery are top of the list of ‘must haves’ when it comes to sunbathing in style at this little hot spot, so make sure you’ve got your best beach wear on and the highest pair of flip flops you can find.

Relax on the sumptuous lounge beds and plumped up pillows, then chill in the pool while the beats get louder and the beautiful people wade their way nearer to the DJ stand.

Brunch is included and ‘wow’ is pretty much all that comes to mind when I think of all that food!  A huge assortment of the finest quality crab shooters, oysters, sushi, king prawns, salmon, swordfish, Thai food, cuts of meat, caviar blini’s with cream cheese… And then desert!  Well, a pretty awesome selection of crepes, chocolate brownies and cheesecakes to name but a few. 

Try mango margheritas, champagne sangria and strawberry daiquiri’s… they’re all thirst quenchingly amazing.

Just don’t forget your jewelled hairband and a high factor red lip gloss.  (By the way, Hawaiian Tropic do actually make one!  Awesome hey?!)


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