In recent years, the number of al fresco restaurants and rooftop bars in Bangkok have, well, skyrocketed. Come torrential rain or sticky humidity, every night diners and bar-goers head to the skies to indulge in some of the city’s finest wining and dining experience set against a twinkling urban nightscape.
You’ll pay for the privilege for living the high life, even if just for the night, but the chance to take in the Thai capital’s sights from above should be one all visitors to the country should indulge in at least once. Here are nine of our favorites.
1. Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar
Located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok hotel, this is the rooftop grill and bar that set off the al fresco craze in the city. Vertigo is only open for dinner from 6 p.m. onwards; the adjacent bar is open an hour earlier, perfect for a pre-dinner tipple to catch the setting sun.
Located at Banyan Tree Bangkok; banyantree.com/en/bangkok
2. Sirocco & Sky Bar
The iconic rooftop establishment has been well known throughout the world even before Hangover II filmed parts of the wolf pack’s Bangkok adventures here. Unsurprisingly, the bar can get jam-packed, so try to get there at 6 p.m. when it opens to catch the view of the serpentine Chao Praya River meandering through the city from the 63rd story perch.
Located at The Dome at lebua; lebua.com
3. Park Society
Indoors, the fine dining restaurant showcases the chef’s French-inspired culinary artistry; on the al fresco terrace, the city shows off the colors of the setting sun against a gorgeous park-and-skyline view from 29 floors up. The design hotel — worth checking out (or checking in for that matter) if you ever have time — also organizes regular parties and themed nights on the terrace.
Located at Sofitel So Bangkok; sofitel-so-bangkok.com
4. Above Eleven
Sprawled across a rooftop 33 stories above Sukhumvit Soi 11, Above Eleven is styled after an urban park in the sky. Tree-like lighting installations, astroturf lawns, and wood furniture provide an organic contrast against a jagged section of the city skyline just beyond the glass walls. Perfect spot to tuck into some Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine before delving into the vibrant nightlife this enclave is renowned for.
Located at Fraser Suites Sukhumvit; aboveeleven.com
5. The Speakeasy
Housed on the 24th and 25th floors of Hotel Muse, The Speakeasy, true to its name, is home to a roaring night out set to swinging jazz tunes. The hotel is situated in an area dense wit skyscrapers, making for an up-and-personal city view that is hard to look away from. The upper floor features a rooftop lawn as well as intimate dining cupolas; there’s also a “secret” scotch and cigar lounge with its own private terrace.
Located at Hotel Muse; hotelmusebangkok.com
6. Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
Octave’s three levels — which house a restaurant, bar, and private dining coves — cater to varying view mongers. The uninterrupted full 360 degrees panorama extends across the vast city sprawl and down to the river. The lowest 45th floor is a chilled out lounge area with plenty of seating; for the showcase circular bar, head to the top floor.
Located at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit; facebook.com/OctaveMarriott
When the lifts open up onto the 32nd floor of Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, you’ll be forgiven in thinking you’re stepping into a chic Parisian apartment. Dining tables in the French eatery are scattered around the Haussmann-styled spaces, including a library, open kitchen, and lounge. If you’re lucky, you might even get a seat on the wraparound balcony with stunning city views.
Located at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit; sofitelbangkoksukhumvit.com
8. Red Sky
Perched under the sky lit red (amongst other hues) by the restaurant and bar’s signature color-changing arches, Red Sky is perhaps one of the more welcome rooftop establishments in the city. A jazz quartet sets the tone of the evening, complemented by 360 degree views from atop the complex which also houses the largest shopping center in the Kingdom.
Located at Centara Grand at CentralWorld; centarahotelsresorts.com/redsky
9. Cloud 47
Located atop an office building (on the 47th floor naturally), Cloud 47 is the newest addition to the city’s rooftops in this list. With space for up to 500 patrons, this restaurant/bar is more of a gather-with-friends-over-jugs-of-draft-beer establishment than a romantic first date destination. What they lack in the ‘wow’ factor of other establishments in terms of both design and culinary offerings, Cloud 47 more than makes up for by being easier on the wallet and offering an inviting casual ambiance.