Here’s what the Bodega Chiang Mai Pub Crawl experience is like…
The Best Chiang Mai Pub Crawl Experience, No Contenders
As one of the few who remembered their night at the Bodega Chiang Mai bar crawl, I can tell you this: it was certainly a night to remember. I’ve never seen people so unified and scattered all at once — unified in their goal, scattered in their execution. Everyone was out to have a good time, and each did it in their own way.
The First Bar
The Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae location group headed out at 7:30 in a songthaew, a Thai and Laotian red truck that can be seen all around city, and rode over to the other Bodega location within Chiang Mai’s center square.
Armed with Leo beers and blue bar crawl tanks, we joined a scene of fried rice, noodles, buckets of alcohol, tables and couches. For only $14, each person got a bucket, a shirt, dinner, free shots and transportation. Everywhere in the hostel there were sounds of laughs, shouts, sips and conversations. Beer pong alliances were formed. King’s cup secrets were revealed. Cigarettes were shared. From buckets and beer pong to drinking games or simply sitting outside for a chat or a smoke, there was no shortage of ways to get your kicks.
The Second Bar
At around 10, we all headed out to a bar stocked with pool, dart boards, and general good vibes. I could hear shouts behind me as people’s cues drunkenly hit white balls into places they didn’t expect. I saw shots being bought for groups by generous individuals who would wonder the next day why their wallets felt lighter. I saw darts completely miss boards, and heard laughs augmented by vodka and a good time.
After all were sufficiently quenched, we headed back into the songthaew, squished together not by lack of space but by some newfound bond (I call that bond: “alcohol”). As our party hosts held onto the back of the truck and stood, we were all invited to chant along to some song that, I’m going to be honest, I don’t really remember – except that it involved some illicit happenings between a monkey and a baboon. A pour-bottle of fruity, cinnamon-y was shaken into people’s mouths for free shots as they sang, and we’re proud to say that absolutely no one was on tune.
We then reached our next destination: a live music venue, where the band played to a tableau of changing-color lights and new and old couples dancing on the floor. As my hand was taken to dance, I embraced the spinning, colorful scene and laughed as a too-shaken beer exploded upon opening in someone’s hand.
“Ending” The Chiang Mai Pub Crawl Experience
We ended (“ended”) the night at well-known nightclub bar Zoe in Yellow, tucked into a lively street packed with bars, restaurants and people. David Bowie and Mick Jagger would have never been prouder as they saw the closed-eyed swaying and heart-filled stomping of a full city of tourists and locals alike, spilling out from the club into the streets for a dance. At midnight, some (fueled intermittently by street-side pad thai, khao soi, burgers and tacos) continued on to Spicy, one of the few clubs open late into the night.
As people dispersed, connections formed and the hosts made sure people safely got home, the sprawling scene showed a night of opportunity, relationships, and a damn good time. This was the Bodega Bar Crawl, and no matter who you were, there was something for you.