This little bar has been going for around 34 years. Located just off Soi 11, it isn’t even a bar, in the normal sense of the word, i.e. with a roof and windows. Rather it’s just an “L” shaped counter with the prices of drinks carved into wood and a toy sky-train making its way around the mish-mash of strange, yet wonderful artefacts.
There are a few tables and chairs in front of the bar but unless you get there when it opens, at 5.00pm, it’ll likely be standing room only. And watch out if you step outside the chain, which is laid on the floor to mark Charlie’s boundaries. The “bouncer” lady will be on you like a shot.
Cheap Charlie’s is a haven for expats and tourists wanting to enjoy a drink or two. And why not? The drinks are all 80 baht each. Yes, ALL 80 baht each, with the exception of wine which is 100 baht. You won’t find those prices anywhere else in Bangkok!
But it’s not just for the drinks that people go there. Most people are happy to strike up a conversation and while away a few pleasant hours. It’s a great place to hang out and meet new friends or have fun with old ones. It’s just, simply charming.
Recently, Cheap Charlie’s received notice that the lease would not be renewed in March 2017. Apparently, the land has been sold to make way for yet another hotel or condominium. Ekkachai Budkajang, son and partner of the original owner, Satit Budkajang is, according to Coconuts, Bangkok, hoping to look for a new home for Cheap Charlie’s but doesn’t know whether the bar will survive a move. It might not be the same in a different location.
In my opinion, I think he should try. Bangkok doesn’t need any more hotels or condominiums. It needs to keep places like Cheap Charlie’s. And even though it is probably Bangkok’s smallest bar, it has more character and charm than ten hotels and condominiums put together.
Open: 5.00 pm to 11.30pm
Address: 7, 2/7 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110
Closest BTS: Nana