Which way to party

Krabi bars have their own theme

Krabi bars have their own theme

By Lesley Chittayanon

One of things most visitors love about Krabi is the opportunity to have an authentic Thai experience without straying too far from familiarity. Delving into the local culture is a lot less daunting when there’s the comforting assurance of bread and coffee on the breakfast table each morning.

In Krabi, you can shovel rice like a local or grab a Colonel’s burger. You can elbow your way through the sweaty market or enjoy a leisurely spree at the mall. Similarly, after dark you can choose your preferred route on the party circuit.

Locals swarm to noisy, air conditioned live music venues, with scantily-clad hostesses and bottles of Johnny Walker, while Western revellers tend to frequent the tourist-orientated bars, where they are more hopeful to find some social interaction.

If you prefer to kick back with like-minded travellers and exchange tales and travel tips over a cold beer or a G’n’T, then Chao Fa Road is the best bet. Many of the bars along this main tourist strip have pool tables, live sports action on large screen TVs and cocktail menus to write home about.

A healthy expat community ensures the candle stays aglow on a nightly basis, and their impromptu parties in venues such as Fu BarChilling Room and the Rooftop Bar are well worth gate crashing. These bars are all located along Krabi’s main tourist hub, Chao Fa Road. For more on expat life in Krabi.

Fu Bar is Krabi’s main rasta den, featuring compulsory tricolour décor, reggae beats and a team of dreaded and tattooed characters. Low tables and floor cushions allow the crowd to mingle without much effort, and the pool table often sparks some friendly rivalry between travellers and locals.

Across the road, the leprechauns have been chased out of town, and a new, sophisticated lounge has replaced the beer-stained eyesore that was the Irish Bar. Chilling Room certainly knows how to deliver the ideal blend of comfort, class and of course, cocktails.

Whether it’s a griddled steak or a seven-piece live band from Malaysia, it’s served mighty hot with lashings of devotion from the new owner, despite being the coolest joint in town. This is one of the few bars where you can find a mixed Thai and Western clientele.

Expats bars are the place to meet fellow travellers

Expats bars are the place to meet fellow travellers

Further up the social slope, The Rooftop Bar is a bright and breezy spot for sinking a few cocktails as the sun heads south. The sweeping views of the town and surrounding coastline are sure to unsteady your legs, if they aren’t already jelly-like from the arduous hike up the steps.

On entering the bar, the necessary climb is quickly forgiven and forgotten. The rooftop’s chic open-air deck offers welcome relief from the stifling ground-level heat, and the uber-cool bar stools provide the perfect perch for sipping the bar’s exotic signature cocktail.

Travellers who brave the Krabi club scene will be rewarded, not with free drinks or even a guaranteed enjoyable night, but with an invaluable glimpse of Thai club culture. Every aspect, from the lay-out to the line-up, differs dramatically from the average Western nightclub, so it is always an eye-opening experience for the curious traveller.

Crazy Pub is the town’s most central nightspot, located on Maharat Road close to the Shell garage. From 21:00 the house band blast out renditions of popular Thai pop and rock songs, to a mostly seated crowd - until the whiskey kicks in and they find their feet.

Weeknights are quite tame, but the venue can be very crowded on weekends, when young revellers are out in full force. Locals tend to bring their own bottle of whiskey or brandy, but the bar is quite well stocked with local and imported beers, as well as some spirits such as gin and vodka.

Most bands are fronted by an attractive female singer, whose repertoire usually includes a few familiar hits from home (which never seem to get old in Thailand).

On the same road, Room 69 is a modern venue with the latest hi-tech sound and lighting equipment, an outdoor terrace and different bands playing each night. Seating is limited and most clubbers congregate around elevated tables. Although few people actually dance, a sea of raised arms beat out the popular anthems mid air.

After the band raps up, a DJ pumps out thumping Thai trance and techno. Tracks are played at high speed and interrupted often by the DJ talking on the mic, spoiling the flow for those who want to dance. Although the crowd begins to disperse after the band finishes around 01:00, punters can drink and dance well into the wee hours.

It’s definitely worth hitting some of these hotspots while in Krabi, just to experience this unique brand of clubbing. Interacting with the locals is sure to be one of the main highlights of your trip, and even if the barriers of language get in the way, there are always glasses to clink.

Crazy Pub and Room 69 are both located on Maharat Road; Fu BarChilling Bar and Rooftop Bar are located on Chao Fa Road. For more on Krabi nightlife.

Accommodation: If you are looking for somewhere cheap but chic for your stay in Krabi then look no further than our partner website Hostelbookers. They have a comprehensive list of backpacker rooms rated by real travellers to ensure you have the best time possible on the Andaman coast.

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