Hanging from the Rafters: Bangkok’s Rooftop Bars

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Moon Bar Banyan Tree Bangkok

Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok

There are few other cities with the reputation Bangkok has as a destination to party. With more than 10 million residents, there’s a large pool of revellers even before the tourists get off the planes and join the party mix of lively bars, restaurants, and clubs.

Bangkok is seen as a trendsetter in many ways, and some of the region’s first rooftop bars and restaurants opened in the city well over a decade ago. Now all manner of nocturnal establishments reach ever skyward in an effort to surpass existing outlets in becoming the city’s highest location. Some 20 outlets now make it on the best list of places for some rooftop action, with many of them located in the open or semi-open… so it’s always good to get a rain check before making the ascent.

The pinnacle of Bangkok’s bar action is the Rooftop Bar in the Baiyoke Sky Hotel located on the hotel’s 83rd floor. Perhaps just to prove that size isn’t everything; The 360 Panorama Rooftop Bar in the Baan Wanglang Hotel is perched on the fifth floor of this riverside hotel but it’s still an atmospheric venue despite being a little close to the ground and, a little out of the way. Some of the pioneer outlets include the Red Sky (55th floor of the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld), Vertigo and Moon Bar (61st floor at the Banyan Tree Bangkok) and Sky Bar (63rd floor of The Dome, State Tower).

Here’s some insight to some of Bangkok’s finest establishments at altitude.

Atmospheric Ambiance, Stratospheric Settings

Blue Sky Centara Grand Ladprao

Blue Sky Rooftop, Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok

One of the highlights of the recently opened Amara Hotel is its AkaAza Rooftop Bar (appropriately, the name means ‘sky’ in Sanskrit) situated on the 26th floor. Located adjacent to the hotel’s petite infinity pool, the bar offers uninterrupted views of Bangkok’s skyline. It’s a vision of blue in the nocturnal hours and a venue to enjoy cool cocktails and trendy bar snacks along with the sounds of DJ music on selected evenings.

L’Apport on the top of the 32-storey high Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit combines the finest French flair with avant garde Thai contemporary design in offering a sophisticated venue to dine, drink and meet to admire the panoramic views. L’Apport has been described as a rooftop Parisian apartment that’s part lounge room, part library, and part dining space with an adjoining open terrace. There’s a sense of it being a luxurious gentleman’s apartment for entertaining friends, but there’s also a decadent party animal that wants to break out as the night progresses.


Start the evening with a glass of Champagne in the Champagne Bar, move onto some delicious French cuisine prepared by Head Chef Jerome Deconinck and complement this with premium French wines. Afterwards, listen to some cool sounds over post-dinner drinks. The interior designers were inspired by Baron Haussmann whose legacy is found in some of the finest 19th-century buildings in Paris. L’Apport opens from 5pm to midnight so patrons can start the evening as the sun sets over the vibrant city below and watch it evolve into one that glitters in the dark.

ZOOM Sky Bar and Restaurant on the 40th floor of Anantara Bangkok Sathorn is a popular outlet in the Sathorn commercial district of Bangkok, but not yet one of the more popular and hence, more crowded venues. Restaurant patrons choose from a mostly Western menu in this atmospheric location high above a galaxy of twinkling city lights. Tapas snacks are party favourites in the expat excursions: thailand bar and there’s a decent wine list to satisfy discerning palates. (However, wine isn’t a cheap indulgence in Thailand.) When it rains, patrons are relocated to the lower and enclosed floor and while the panoramic windows provide a glimpse of the surroundings; the atmosphere isn’t quite the same as the open bar and restaurant.

Octave extends over several floors (45th to 49th) at the top of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. There’s a bar, restaurant, rooftop lounge and a private dining room that has adopted industrial chic as its design mantra for the bar and the essential safety barrier between all the party action and the street below.

A dedicated elevator provides exclusive access to the 45th-floor lounge and restaurant, the indoor attic on the 47th floor, and the balcony bar on the 48th floor. A flight of stairs – which should be called the ‘stairway to heaven’ – provides access to the rooftop bar on the 49th floor and top floor. Here, a blue illuminated island bar is the centre of attention for this outlet located above Soi 57 along the busy artery of Sukhumvit Road.

Blue is the theme out in the suburbs, too, where the Blue Sky Rooftop on the 24th floor of Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok is a central bar/ restaurant for those seeking a deluxe hotel near the very popular Chatuchak Market. The restaurant has had a menu makeover, with French cuisine now dominating the offerings. This atmospheric bar is popular with locals and in-house guests, and hotel patrons staying on the club floor receive discounts.

Anantara Bangkok Sathorn

Anantara Bangkok Sathorn

Back in the city centre, red is the colour of the night at Red Sky Bar with its one-for-one happy hours between 4pm to 6pm. Reservations are necessary for diners, but aren’t taken for bar clientele, so arriving early for drinks is recommended. Chef Hugo Courdurier’s menu features lots of big ticket items such as Wagyu beef, salmon, oysters, and truffles to make it a place for celebration.

The Perrier Jouët Champagne brunch on the first Sunday of the month features ‘surf and turf’ and a free-flow of the sparkling beverage and other selected wines. Wines are a feature of Red Sky where over 2,000 wines stored in the glassed-in cellar are retrieved by ‘wine angels’. The hottest seats in the house are the G.H. Mumm Champagne lounge beds which come with a bottle of Mumm, but at a price, of course.

The 360 Panorama Rooftop Bar on top of the Baan Wanglang Hotel is on the Thonburi and Wat Arun side of the Chao Phraya River. It is located almost opposite the Grand Palace and arriving just before sunset will enable you to see the palace and Wat Arun transform into their shimmering floodlit elegance.


Thonburi is a little out of the way but using a combination of the train and Chao Phraya Express (riverboat) to Wang Lang Pier will have you there before you can say Hoegaarden (which flows freely on tap). There’s a sit-up covered bar for when the tropical weather becomes tempestuous and while bar snacks and light meals are served, adjourning downstairs to the Olive Tree with its offerings of delicious food, is a tempting proposition.

Happy hours operate between 6pm to 10pm where cocktails such as ‘342 of paradise’ (vodka-based cocktail with lime juice and lychee) are perfect for quenching a big tropical thirst.

Not surprisingly, 22 Kitchen and Bar is located on the 22nd floor, but what is surprising is that the venue was here way before Bangkok’s other trendy spaces became concepts floating around the cranial matter of the city’s cutting edge architects and interior designers.

The legendary Dusit Thani opened 46 years ago and the hotel’s summit has seen several incarnations from the Tiara Restaurant to the d’Sens Restaurant. It’s now a stylish Pacific Coast cuisine restaurant and loft bar where patrons enjoy views over Lumpini Park, pre-dinner cocktails of pisco sour and enticing and visually appealing dishes such as ‘sunny side up’ scallops, Peruvian ceviche, seafood risotto and cinnamon-sugar churros.

This classical space is decorated in contemporary turquoise-coloured seating and background chill music fast forwards patrons into modern Bangkok which unfolds in the streets beyond the panoramic windows.

Some other Bangkok rooftop outlets to seek out include, Distil Cocktail Bar, Vertigo and Moon Bar, ThreeSixty Lounge, Above Eleven Rooftop Bar and Restaurant, Cloud47 Rooftop Bar, Zense Gourmet Deck, The Roof @ 38 Bar, Cielo Sky Bar, The Speakeasy, Long Table and Up and Above Restaurant.

Visitors to Bangkok are rarely disappointed, and those who reach for the clouds in the evening will come tantalizingly close to eternal happiness in a city that rarely sleeps.

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