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The Moon Bar
After such a wonderful dinner at Enoteca, we were still not prepared to let the evening end. So with a mixture of train and walking (well we needed to do something given all our eating) we headed off in the direction of the Vertigo and Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel. This bar is well known and well publicised in all of the usual travel guides, with good reason.
Perched high above Bangkok, on the 61st floor of the Banyan Hotel, the view is simply amazing. A fast lift took us to the 60th floor and then we climbed a couple of sets of stairs before arriving to the magical, unimpeded view.
The Vertigo restaurant sits perched on one end of the narrow rooftop whilst the Moon Bar is at the other. On the night we were there it was incredibly busy and full of beautiful people, all dressed up to the nines.
If you are wanting to dine, bookings are highly recommended, especially in peak season. If you just want a drink, prepare to wait for a table, but you can also stand around the bar or, if you are not afraid of heights, then you can take your cocktail over to the edge of the building and experience that feeling that only the height of 61 floors can provide.
Apparently, the night was still young, and there was time for yet another bar. We caught a taxi from the Banyan Hotel towards the Novotel Silom. Traffic, even late at night, was bedlam and we were stuck in a traffic queue for quite some time. Never mind….the taxi driver kept us well and truly entertained along the way. The whole time, Acland, our tour leader kept talking about the noodle bar and how great it was. It was going to have to be something special, considering I really didn’t need to eat at this time of night and after such an evening of fine food.
We arrived at the Novotel and waited for Dan and Bec who were in another taxi. Down a set of stairs, we went, into a noodle bar. Yep, an ordinary old noodle bar. Nothing special. Nothing amazing. Just a couple of people eating in a non-descript eating place. I don’t think I can quite bring myself to call it a restaurant. With looks of confusion on our faces, we were then directed behind a large black curtain into another world, the dark, hidden world of a speak-easy bar, Maggie Choos.
Beautifully decorated with leather sofas and velvet armchairs and cushions, brick walls, private vaults dotted around the perimeter and a bar in the centre. And the women. They were everywhere. Not punters at the bar, but beautiful Thai women. On top of the bar, another in a swing blowing bubbles with a wand, and yet another draped over the black baby grand piano. I wanted to take photos of everything but found myself being more than a little reserved due to the heavy presence of security, which were obviously there to protect the girls. But please note, this is not a sleazy bar.
Maggie Choo’s occupies the space formally used as the East India Company Bank. Hence the vaults, now used as private areas for those who want to be away from the main crowd, and smoking zones. The bar, a former bank counter, is resplendent with the neon lights reflecting on the plentiful bottles of liquor that now adorn it along with the green lights that would look right at home in a US state library.
We were lucky enough to arrive in time to hear some jazz singing, so took up a couple of leather couches front and centre. We called for the drinks menu which was a bit of a challenge. The interior is so dimly lit that it was virtually impossible to read the menu. Luckily our waitress realised we were having more than a little trouble and brought over a torch. It all added to the intrigue. The singer was quick to realise she had some tourists nearby so a little later, after doing her homework, she proudly announced to the bar that “the Aussies were IN THE HOUSE”
Don’t just take my word for it, Bangkok.com also provides a really compelling reason to go.