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Raise a glass to Bangkok: from skyscraper rooftop bars to fresh fruit smoothie stands and barista coffee shops, there are plenty of spots for relaxing, refueling, and revving up. In the heat of the day seek out air-conditioned shopping mall food courts or the cooling breezes off the Chao Phraya River. 

1. Rooftop glamour

Soar above it all at Banyan Tree's rooftop al fresco Moon Bar. Located on the 61st floor of the hotel, Moon Bar – and the adjacent Vertigo restaurant – attracts the city's elite with its sublime views and exemplary service. Open until 1am; dress code applies.

2. For set-seeing

Sip on a Hangovertini as you mingle with an international crowd of taste-makers at Sky Bar, atop the 5-star Lebua hotel. The drink was created for the cast of The Hangover Part 2, filmed in part at this stunning rooftop bar. 

3. Shake it up

Fruit shakes are everywhere in Bangkok, as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola. Blended fresh from fruits of your choice (lemon shakes are delicious, as are mango, banana and watermelon), beware the liberal dose of sugar that's often added to the fruit and ice. Expect to pay about a dollar for a large shake.

4. Craft beer

Local beers (Chang and Singha) are popular in Thailand, though there is a growing appreciation for craft beers and IPAs in Bangkok's sophisticated circles. HOBS (House of Beers) in Thonglor on Soi 12 offers a wide range of brews and a convivial atmosphere.

5. Coffee fuel stop

The city's mega-malls are teeming with Western-style coffee shops, including the wildly popular Starbucks, though we recommend seeking out a less syrupy, more authentic cup of joe. Look for branches of Casa Lapin, or Kuppa on Sukhumvit Soi 16. Ceresia Coffee Roasters, also in Sukhumvit, roasts and blends its own beans.

6. Go-go bars

Bangkok is famous for adults-only bars and clubs where bikini-clad dancers perform risqué routines on podiums. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, many go-go bars are clustered around Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong in Silom.

7. Cabaret shows

Expect to pay through the nose for the obligatory two-drink minimum at Bangkok's famous ladyboy cabaret shows. Bedazzling performances of disco routines, diva impersonations and traditional Thai dances are presented by gorgeous transgender and transvestite performers in clubs throughout the city. Playhouse Cabaret at Suan Lum Night Bazaar is one of the more reputable clubs.

8. In the club

Bangkok's party scene is fuelled by an abundance of dance clubs where the cocktails are strong, the music is loud and the moment is now. Get your buzz on, drink and dance with an international crowd at Ce La Vi Club (formerly Ku De Ta), Bed Supperclub and Do Not Disturb.

9. Hidden gems

Tep Bar, opened in 2015 on the fringes of Chinatown, is on a mission to champion "Thainess" in an environment where everything Western is considered fabulous. Thai national Kong Kangwarnklai spent time in Melbourne and Singapore before returning home to open his dream bar.

10. Wine culture

Vino is generally very expensive in Thailand, with most drinkers opting for beer or cocktails instead. If you're craving a good Merlot or refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, seek out one of the Italian wine bars in Sukhumvit: both Enoteca Italiana and L'Opera offer well-chosen labels. 
 

Bangkok Flights

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