One of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant cultural capitals, Bangkok is a feast for the senses. After a day of floating down the Chao Phraya River, tucking into pad Thai, and enjoying a massage at one of the city’s best spas, wind down with a drink and a rooftop view you will never forget.
Atop the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre skyscraper, right next to Siam Paragon mall, 55th-floor Red Sky makes for an ultra convenient meeting point for a sundowner. The bar lights up in seven neon colors, but to watch the actual sky change hues, you’ll need to get there early to snag a west-facing table (the bar opens at 6 p.m.). Though it’s very central, Red Sky doesn’t have the cult following of some other sky bars, so you won’t have to elbow for room to snap photos of the panoramic city view. The wine list is extensive, and a cold white goes down like a treat after a long day of sightseeing in the sun.
Perched 61 floors up, on top of Banyan Tree Bangkok, this rooftop hangout offers 360-degree views of Thailand’s capital. The bar and its accompanying restaurant, Vertigo, are quite upmarket and, since they offer some of the best looks of Bangkok, get very crowded. To catch sunset, it’s essential to arrive early; Moon Bar opens at 5 p.m. The spot’s signature cocktails include the aptly named Vertigo Sunset, a tropical mix of lime, cranberry and pineapple juices with Malibu rum. One thing to note is that Moon Bar is entirely outside, which means it closes when it rains. If in doubt, ring ahead to make sure it’s open.
Sky Bar sits on the 63rd floor of Lebua hotel, which is just minutes from the Banyan Tree. Here, the knockout vistas are of the river and skyline, and you can take them in from the bar or adjacent restaurant Sirocco. Backed by the setting sun, the bartenders at Sky Bar whip up tipples such as their Poptail, a popsicle-cum-cocktail, ideal for Bangkok’s steamy weather. Film buffs will recognize this setting from The Hangover Part II, and the flick’s legacy lives on in the Hangovertini — green apple juice, Martini Rosso vermouth, green tea liquor and rosemary-infused honey.
Up & Above Restaurant & Bar
True to its name, this rooftop bar at The Okura Prestige Bangkok sits on the hotel’s 24th floor. The indoor bar is open all day, so you can enjoy afternoon tea in air-conditioned comfort without sacrificing on the view. At 6 p.m., though, when the terrace opens, guests and locals alike flock to its tables. This section of Up & Above Restaurant & Bar takes no reservations, meaning those who want to watch the sun slip away over Bangkok need to get there early. Sink into the deep sofas and order a cooling cocktail. Because Okura is a Japanese brand, the bar here serves vacation classics like the mojito alongside a variety of sake and sake-based cocktails like the Kimono, made with Midori, lime and cranberry.
The 33rd-floor rooftop bar at Fraser Suites is a fun, moderately priced alternative to some of Bangkok’s glitzier rooftop stops. The bar opens at 6 p.m. and quickly fills up with local office workers seeking happy hour. From the kitchen comes Japanese-Peruvian fusion dishes, and the same goes for the cocktails. Pair an order of ceviche with the Chilcano cocktail — pisco, lime juice, fresh ginger and ginger ale — and enjoy the cooling breezes.