Bangkok’s legendary Bamboo Bar ranked among Asia’s best

The legend lives on. The iconic Bamboo Bar in Bangkok’s Oriental Hotel has won seventh place in Asia’s 50 Best Bar Awards 2020, even though the jazz haunt has been temporarily shuttered along with all other drinking establishments during the coronavirus pandemic response.

Bamboo Bar is “Bangkok’s oldest jazz institution,” according to BK magazine. Since opening in 1953, its confines have been a showcase for global musical talent and signature mixology. Aside from Thai high society and international jet setters, its patrons have included Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, and Louis Armstrong.

The atmosphere remains decidedly retro, transporting visitors back to old Bangkok when Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, and other literary greats took up residence at the Oriental Hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya, the River of Kings.

“The mood is sultry and sophisticated … with leopard- and zebra-print cushions, cane furniture, and rattan fans … and it’s a true can’t-miss experience in Bangkok,” Conde Nast Traveler wrote two years ago.

In ranking Bamboo Bar, the World’s Best Bars website said, “The sustainably focused menu, created by Artesian alumnus Jamie Rhind and rising-star bartender Pinsuda Pongprom, provides a liquid journey through the five regions of Thailand.

Thailand just missed having two bars in the top ten as Vesper, another watering hold on Soi Convent in Bangkok, achieved the number 11 ranking in the survey.

Both bars will reopen at the end of this month.

Asia’s 50 Best Bars and The World’s 50 Best Bars are owned and organized by William Reed Business Media, the group behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

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