Tuesday, 26 April 2016

(Esan clubs review)

After The last 3 posts about Esan concerts, you probably feel like dancing. If the molam concerts are probably not the best place for tourists (it can get out of control sometimes), there are many clubs in Bangkok where you can enjoy live molam and luk thung.
I made a little selection of pure Esan clubs I like but there are many more all around (just as nice as those in the list). There is no better places to party in Bangkok if you like molam!
Basically those clubs all have the same style: wooden furniture and "vintage ballroom" atmosphere, a proper stage with live music, singers and dancers. Some helpful staff who will make sure you have everything you need (they refill your glass for you). It sounds like PARTY!
In most clubs, people dance next to their table till closing time.
All those clubs have air con and are non smoking areas (they have seats outside for smokers). Keep some change for tips when you go to the toilets (funny things can happen).
What to eat?
Every clubs have an extensive menu of Thai and Esan food (tom yum soup, fried rice, grilled fish or chicken... to share with friends). The menu usually comes with pictures. You can order food if you want (sometimes, if there is a special concert, you will have to order a minimum amount of food).
What to drink?
Just do like almost everybody and ask for 1 bottle of thai whisky (in Esan clubs the popular brand is "blend"). The whisky is served with ice, coke and soda water (around 800b for 1 bottle and mixes). If you prefer, you can order beer (in 65cl bottles, served with ice). As the entrance is free, you are supposed to order alcohol. (orders are made at your table and you pay at the end).
When should you go?
The best is to arrive after 11pm (it's very quiet before in most cases). Off course, on friday and saturday night there will be a better atmosphere. Check out for Buddhist holidays as clubs are closed the night before (as alcohol is prohibited those days).
Why going?
It's the real deal, not something made for tourists, all those clubs have great shows, live music (molam sing, luk thung...) and a good fun. The costumers are almost all Esan people, they don't usually expect to see foreigners coming to enjoy the music so you can expect a warm welcome. If you are just 1 or 2, there is a big chance you get invited to join a table for a drink (even if your new friends don't speak a word of English). Esan clubs are a lot cheaper than any other kind of clubs you can find in Bangkok! (TIPS are always appreciated by the service staff as well as the singers, dancers and musicians).
How to get there?
There is the addresses and names in Thai alphabet in the links (easier for taxi drivers). There is no public transports around. Just browse the FB page of every clubs (they always include a map).
How to get back?
You better have an app to book a taxi and a card with your hotel adress so you will avoid the bad surprises that can happen sometimes to tourists in the middle of the night (actually I never had any problems).


ESAN THEUR THEUNG อีสานเถิดเทิง
Medium sized club
Closing time: 2am
Located near Sanam Luang and Democracy monument 
(ask for "pata pinklao" it's 15 meters away)
This club is the  less crowded of the list as it close earlier. They have a dance-floor right in front of the stage wich is really enjoyable.
ESAN LAM PHLOEN อีสานลำเพลิน
Located in the Chatuchak week-end market area.
Medium sized club
Closing time: 4am
A great place, they have some concerts quite often with special guests.
THAMNAN KHON ESAN ตำนานตนอีสาน  
Located in the Thonburi area.
Large sized club
Closing time: 4am
The largest club of the list, big stage (lots of concerts there). 
They have a mezzanine for those who want.
ESAN LAM SING อีสานลำซิ่ง
Located near Sukumvit soi 71
Small sized club
Closing time: 4am
This club can be really crowded on weekends, don't arrive too late!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me. 

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