The Best Bar in Bangkok: Tep Bar Makes Ya Dong-based Cocktails That Pack a Potent and Playful Punch

It’s my last night in Bangkok and my guide Nemo wants me to see a little of the modern nightlight bar scene. After a quick tour of Chinatown’s food epi-centre we take a tuk-tuk to a nearby neighbourhood that’s becoming known for its hipster bars. “See that alley?” Nemo says, while she’s pointing to a dark rather dodgy looking lane. “The bar I’m taking you to is at the end of that street. It’s a hidden spot. A secret!” She’s not kidding. If you didn’t know about Tep Bar, it’s not a joint you’d just happen upon. We step inside this tiny, two-storied place and we’re suddenly in this speakeasy scene out of a movie. In the middle of the candle-lit room is a Thai xylophone band. We take a seat and take a look at the cocktail menu, which is themed around ya dong (potent herbal liquors that are usually sold at street stalls.) I choose the Myree, which is billed as being “light and foamy” with a double-kick of ya dong.  It’s kinda how I’m feeling as my 36 hours in this magnetic city come to a close.

Inside Tep Bar, which is known for its ya dong-based cocktails.