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Bangkok-8-Drinking & Nightlife

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D R I N K I N G & N I G HTLI FE

Cheap Charlie’s (p175)
Club Culture (p183)
The Living Room (p181)
Parking Toys (p181)
Thanon Khao San & Thanon Rambutri (p176)

What’s your recommendation? 

DRINKS

FRUIT DRINKS

With the abundance of fruit growing in Thailand, the variety of juices and shakes available
in markets, street stalls and restaurants is extensive. The all-purpose term for fruit juice is
náam phǒn-lá-mái. When a blender or extractor is used, you’ve got náam khán (squeezed
juice), hence náam sàppàrót khán is freshly
squeezed pineapple juice. Náam âwy (sugarcane juice) is a Thai favourite and a very refreshing accompaniment to kaeng dishes. A
similar juice from the sugar palm, náam taan
sòt, is also very good, and both are full of vitamins and minerals. Mixed fruit blended with
ice is náam pan (literally ‘mixed juice’), as in
náam málákaw pan, a papaya shake.

BEER

Advertised with such slogans as ‘pràthêht
rao, bia rao’ (‘our land, our beer’), the Singha
label is considered the quintessential Thai
beer by faràng (Westerners) and locals alike.
Pronounced sǐng, this pilsner claims about
half the domestic market. Singha’s original
recipe was formulated in 1934 by Thai nobleman Phya Bhirom Bhakdi, the first Thai
to earn a brewmaster’s diploma in Germany.
The barley for Singha is grown in Thailand,
the hops are imported from Germany and
the alcohol content is a heady 6%. It is sold

174

in brown glass bottles (330ml and 660ml)
with a shiny gold lion on the label, as well as
in cans (330ml). It is available on tap as bia
sòt (draught beer) – much tastier than either
bottled or canned brew – in many Bangkok
pubs and restaurants.
Singha’s biggest rival, Beer Chang, pumps
the alcohol content up to 7%. Beer Chang
has managed to gain an impressive following mainly because it retails at a significantly
lower price than Singha and thus offers more
bang per baht.
Boon Rawd (the makers of Singha) responded with its own cheaper brand, Leo.
Sporting a black-and-red leopard label, Leo
costs only slightly more than Beer Chang but
is similarly high in alcohol.
Dutch-licensed but Thailand-brewed
Heineken comes third after Singha and Chang
in sales rankings. Similar ‘domestic imports’
include Asahi and San Miguel. Other Thaibrewed beers, all at the lower end of the price
spectrum, include Cheers and Beer Thai.
More variation in Thai beer brands is likely
in the coming years as manufacturers scramble to command...
DRINKING & NIGHTLIFE
Cheap Charlie’s ( p175 )
Club Culture ( p183 )
The Living Room ( p181 )
Parking Toys ( p181 )
Thanon Khao San & Thanon Rambutri ( p176 )
What’s your recommendation? www.lonelyplanet.com/bangkok
© Lonely Planet Publications
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