It was a Friday night..almost 12 midnight and the night is still young in urban Bangkok. My friend Mike whom I last met more than 2 years ago was in Bangkok with his aunt and cousins for their retail business got nothing to do and would want to enjoy his last night in Bangkok. The other night we went to Khaosarn Road and stayed there until 2 am so I asked him if he want to go back there because few of my friends are there as well and we can all hangout together. He said he want to visit another place so I decided we go to Ratchadapisek area in a place called RCA or Royal City Avenue. This party place is very popular to Thai teenagers and I’ve never been there before so off we go.
The place was lined up with bars and pubs teeming with young party goers. I expected it will almost be a 90% Thai crowd but was surprised that there were actually a lot of foreigners- Westerns and Asians like Japanese, Korean. I’ve read about RCA in some blogs or even in Virtualtourist.com that Slim Bar or Route 66 is a cool place. We decided to go to Route 66. I read in most website that Entrance fee is free unless there are special events. Last night, there was an entrance fee of THB 200 so I guess it was a special night. The entrance fee is consumable anyway so its just ok.
Route 66 has 3 zones, the farthest one is the Techno/Trance area, the mid section is the Thai pop area and the 3rd and largest (and arguably the most popular section) is the American Hip Hop area. We decided to go to the American Hip Hop area. The bar is a bit dark and it is quite difficult to walk your first step upon entering especially for first time visitors like us. Drinks are actually not expensive and similar to most of the bars in Bangkok. A bottle of Heineken costs about THB 140 so we left with THB 60 credit from our entrance fee. They also have a promotion for Whiskey so I noticed most of the group just buy a bottle of Whiskey and share the cost which is more effective. Since the place is really filled up to the last square feet, we have to literally wiggle and slither to get to the happening place near the DJ stage. Finally we conquered and was dancing just in front of the DJ’s with the large speakers pounding our hearts like drums.
I searched the Bar’s official website and check out the Photo Gallery. The Hip Hop area look like this without the crowds..Cozy isn’t it?
During weekends and special events, the venue can be as crowded as this:
The hard part is that if you need to heed the call of nature, the restrooms are actually at the other end which is near the Techno area. Again you have to wrestle with the crowds in order for you to finally reach the toilet. I like the crowd in RCA better than in Khaosarn Road because in Khaosarn some bars look like those girly bar in Pattaya and seems like the ladies are actually not there to party but prey their eyes on Farang customers. In RCA, the young crowd (mostly university students or young professionals) are really there to party and everyone don’t mind being pushed or squeezed just to find a so-called dance floor which you cannot have as big as 2 square foot for yourself due to the big crowd turnout.
The ratio of male-female is about 70% female vs. 30% male which is the same in most of the common pubs in Bangkok. Mike was joking it is quite risky to dance or even meet some girls in the bar because of the fact that gays in Bangkok really looked like real women and in a dark place combined with drunkenness it will really be difficult to spot check which one is real and which one is fake. Ha ha!
Almost 2 AM we noticed that many group hurried to pay the bill and go out. We thought they just don’t want their mum and dad to scold them for not coming home as per the curfew but later we realized at 2 AM, the party stopped and everyone headed home. Traffic is one problem as all the bars are closed and the party goers have to scramble to go out of the compound in their cars. However, for foreigners like us who don’t have a car in Bangkok, the most difficult part is finding a taxi. Surely there are a lot of taxis but the drivers tend to be selective or do not want the fare to be metered so you just have to be patient in finding your own taxi. Compared to the bars in Khaosarn wherein it is easily accessible to the major road, taxis are plenty even during festive events like New Year or Songkran and never a problem finding your own easily.
Anyway, overall our trip to Route 66 was a good one. Surely, I will be going back to that place with my friends soon.