The period after sunset is usually a time when most people relax and unwind, but for another group of people, the day begins when the sun goes down. Midnight Asia: Eat · Dance · Dream, a docuseries by Netflix, introduces viewers to the nightlife culture in 6 big cities around Asia: Japan’s Tokyo, South Korea’s Seoul, India’s Mumbai, Taiwan’s Taipei, The Philippines’s Manila, and Thailand’s Bangkok.
The nightlife in Bangkok is as lively as in any of the big cities of the world. There are interesting businesses that remain hidden during the day only to burst into life as night falls. As it explores nighttime Bangkok, the series takes viewers to Charoen Krung, the old business center. Having stood the test of time, many of the historic buildings in the neighborhood have been renovated to create a vibrant nightlife district.
Photo Credit – Asia Today Bar (https://www.asia-bars.com/2020/01/asia-today-cocktail-bar-in-bangkok/)
Hidden from many in the shadows of night, Charoen Krung is today occupied by a new generation of aesthetes who wanted to create a safe space in which to express themselves. With galleries having spawned all over this old district, the area has become a mecca for in-the-know art enthusiasts.
The nightlife in Charoen Krung is also distinctively different from others. Hiding in plain sight before coming alive at night, secret bars welcome night crawlers, day jobbers relaxing after work, or groups of friends hanging out together. Located in old converted buildings and shophouses, most of the bars in the area tend to be rather compact and cozy. Some are squeezed inside narrow alleys in classic buildings or Chinese houses that have been renovated in contemporary designs. With classic exteriors contrasted tastefully with chic and modern interiors, the bars in the area are fun to explore.
Teens of Thailand, for example, is a small venue that turned 2 abandoned shophouses into a chic secret bar, while Asia Today plays hide-and-seek with customers by disguising itself next to an ice factory. Look carefully or you’ll miss it! An impressive revamp of an old hotel, Tax is another charming bar that’s well worth a visit.
It’s said that there are more than 20 secret bars in Charoen Krung. Finding them all adds to the nighttime adventures of old-town Bangkok, the city that never sleeps.
Charoen Krung can be reached easily by various types of public transportation, including MRT Blue Line and buses No. 21, 40, 49, 8, 85, and 7 (AC).