Back in the day, Western food was only found at sports bars, and “cabaret” was code for X-rated. These days, Bangkok is bursting with authentic and above board options on both fronts. Grab a taxi down the road to Revolucion Cocktail, a buzzing tapas and drinks hotspot adorned with portraits and graffiti of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Commandeer one of the velveteen couches and order a G&G (gin, fresh grapefruit, grapefruit syrup, and tonic). Then, it's on to the sexy 1920s-colonial-Shanghai throwback Maggie Choo’s for another cocktail and some cabaret. There’s no cover charge at the door, but be advised: men must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Inspection passed, descend to the glam den where women in traditional Chinese dresses float on swings and laze above the casino-like bar. Most nights host live jazz, soul, or blues, though Sunday is a full take-over by the country’s most famous drag queen, the bombastic Pangina Heals. If you take a front-row seat for her show, be prepared to blush.
Revolucion Cocktail is 15 minutes by taxi from the hotel. Maggie Choo’s is a 15-minute stroll or quick taxi ride from there.
REVOLUCION COCKTAIL:Sathorn Soi 10, Silom; +66-2235-4823; facebook.com/Revolucion-Cocktail-Bangkok; Open daily 5:00pm - 2:00 am.
MAGGIE CHOO’S: 320 Silom Road; +66-9177-22144; facebook.com/maggiechoos; No cover charge but men are not permitted in wearing tank tops, shorts or sandals.