Carlos Santana Luminosity Tour
How to see concerts in Bangkok with class
The Singha VIP Experience
Bangkok, Thailand – One of the world’s most visited cities (often in the Top 3), makes it a hot spot for seeing some of the world’s top music performances on the world tours! Concerts in Bangkok happen fairly regularly, at some of the world’s largest venues – so good seating, with a close up view can certainly be scarce. To really get the most from your ticket, one of the best ways I’ve found is to do it in style with the Singha VIP Experience!
Though Bangkok may be hot on the tourist trail and attract some impressive acts (everything from Snoop Dogg, to Madonna, to Deadmau5), you’re less likely to be seeing your favourite indy band rocking out – so these bigger names can really draw in a HUGE crowd. In the years I’ve spent in Thailand, I’ve seen a number of great shows pass through and missed out on the opportunity to see most of them. So when my good friend Erick – blogger at Minority Nomad – invited me, Matt (X-Pat Matt), Natalie & Robson (Love and Road) to join him in VIP treatment on the Singha Experience to see Carlos Santana on his Luminocsity tour which saw the Latin rock guitar icon perform around the globe, there’s no way I could refuse!
I’ve loved and listened to Carlos Santana since before I can remember, so if I was going to go to any big name act or event in Bangkok, I’m so thrilled it was able to be this one!
Our Singha Experience started out by us getting picked up in a private shuttle. It was loaded with reclining bucket seats, lots of room, a moon roof, and of course some Singha beers the driver had picked up for us prior to arrival. Knowing it would be a long ride in traffic, the driver made sure we were picked up early enough to make it there in time – far sooner than one would have expected, but it was actually exactly the right amount to get to the IMPACT Arena, which is pretty far out of the city centre.
Arriving to the venue, we quickly proceeded inside to find our seats and to go explore all the pre-concert action. Live warm-up bands were playing outside, selfie murals were set up, cold Singha beer was flowing, and typical “event food” was being served. We took our time to explore a little bit, but were buzzing from anticipation about the oncoming show. We found our seats, which were definitely VIP, on the ground floor of the ginormous auditorium (IMPACT is, at the time of writing this, the 2nd largest exhibition and convention venue in Asia!!). This show was packed, so given the last minute nature of our tickets, Singha clearly had reserve on some of the best seats in the house!
Having had the concert start quite early, about 8pm, we expected it would be an early night. The warm-up band only played for about 45 minutes – with a short 10 minute intermission, our group’s anticipation was climaxing! Just enough time to make a quick stop to the loo, restock our Singha supplies, and jump back in to our seats. Well – what happened next can only be described as one of the most epic concerts ever! One part due to the amazing friends I got to see this with. One part due to the massive, packed venue full of electric energy. One part due to the smooth, VIP treatment, delivered by one of Thailand’s top selling beers, Singha. One part due to Carlos Santana! (ok, it was mostly due to Carlos – but the rest only added to the ultimate awesomeness of the experience!)
As Carlos played through the evening, we heard all the classics, and a lot of improved solos. One of the most memorable was the insanely talented drum solo about half way through the concert. I felt completely entranced – as this was a drum solo unlike most others I’ve seen. There’s a drum solo… and then there’s a DRUM SOLO! Wow!! Needless to say, Santana ripped up the chords seamlessly – the melodic trance we all fell in was something only Santana himself could pull off!
Honestly, this concert will be hard to top for me personally. I’m glad I held off on the concert train whilst in Bangkok all these years, but had I gone and ended up in the nosebleed section, it would have definitely been a different experience all together. If you’re going to see a major act in Thailand, I’d definitely recommend considering doing it in style.
SEE – Photos & Videos
You can watch a full 15 minute video recap that Erick took that night here:
GO – Getting There
Do – Activities & Attractions
If you are looking to go see any concerts in Bangkok, your best bet is to check out the ThaiTicketMajor concert website for all the up to date listings. This is also where you can purchase the Singha VIP Experience tickets!
Stay – Accommodation
3 Howw Hostel at Sukhumvit 21 – Conveniently located near the BTS (skytrain), MRT (subway), Airport Link and Canal ferries, this hotel is in the heart of the city. With choices of classy dorm rooms with pod-style beds, or private rooms, the style is industrial, yet funky – much like Bangkok. There’s even a Muay Thai gym on the roof, along with 3D tvs!
The Fusion Suites Hotel – Located right in the heart of the city, close to all transit, and an iconic shopping mall, this hotel gives Bangkok charm & class of old, and comforts of new.
Shangri-La Hotel – One of the most iconic hotels in Asia, the Shangri-La has a long term presence along the edge of the mighty Chao Phraya river. With stunning views, and world class service, it will be difficult to be disappointed with this choice.
Somerset Lake Point Bangkok – Serviced Apartments which don’t come with a year contract can be challenging at best to find in Bangkok. The Somerset fills the gap between hotel and condo, with it’s fully furnished suites. Not a bad compromise, considering each room can be customized to your own preference of inclusions too! This is our choice due to the comfort, location, and all the social responsibility programs they partake in!
Eat – Restaurants
You can definitely get food at the IMPACT Arena, though be forewarned – it’s priced like event food (relative to Thailand, so still pretty inexpensive, but more than outside the event). Additionally, some stalls were actually running out of food quite early into the event. I don’t think they anticipated how hungry the Carlos Santana fans would be! If you have the time to grab some food before you leave, or even bring it with you in the Singha VIP-mobile, I’d recommend doing it. If you don’t get the chance, no sweat – you just may have to pay a little more with limited selections once at the theatre.
Time – Seasonality & Schedules
Concerts happen all year around – though if you’d like to see a concert specifically at IMPACT Arena, you can see all their listings on the IMPACT Bangkok Concert Schedule
Safety – Possible risks
Be mindful of your belongings, as you would at any event. Though everyone is there to have a good time, a smart phone left on your seat is an open invitation for someone less fortunate to win a free phone.
Also, please be mindful of your drinks. Though it’s not a common issue in Thailand, drinks left unattended are susceptible to ending up with more than just drinks inside them.
Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.
Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate travel medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.
Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).
Pay – How much does it cost?
Every concert has it’s own price tag. We did opt for the more expensive Singha VIP Experience tickets for our concert, which cost 5000 THB per person (all inclusive of the rides, the beers on the way up, and the awesome ground floor seats) – though some tickets may be more or less than this, depending on the artist playing. Please check with the ticket outlets for more details specific to your concert.
Responsible Travel – Best Practices
Please drink responsibly. Thailand does have an international reputation for things like Khao San Road and the Full Moon Parties – but this isn’t a ticket to being obnoxious and disrespectful. Even when quite inebriated, you’ll rarely see a Thai cause a disturbance in public. It’s more than ok to have a good time – it’s encouraged. Just please be mindful of the traditional and conservative way of life in Thailand and try not to upset anyone in the name of your good time (it kind of defeats the purpose if it’s at the expense of someone else, doesn’t it?).
Reality Check – Be Aware
We had an amazing time during the Carlos Santana concert at the IMPACT Arena – of course, this type of event isn’t for everyone! It’s big, loud, and crowded. If you have a fear of large spaces or crowds, it may be best to stick to some smaller venues closer to your comfort zone. Also, even though the event was seated… don’t expect the person in front to sit down quietly though a full set of Santana (or whomever else is playing)… people were up and dancing within the first half of the first song!
A note about the host of the VIP Experience: as with many international beer brands, the Singha Corporation is not just focussing on Singha Beer as a product (though of course it will remain their #1 product), they’ve really expanded out into experiences, such as the Singha VIP Experience, sponsored events, sports and even the Sustainable Tourism venue Singha Park in Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand).
If you’d like to see if there are any upcoming VIP Singha Experiences, just follow the Twitter hashtag #SinghaExperience and see what’s happening!
Concerts, private shuttles, VIP seats, music, dancing… Singha beer! It was a pretty epic evening!!
JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages
This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off the beaten path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!
Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.
Have you ever been to a concert of one of your favourite musicians? Who was it? Where/when did they play? If you were to do it all over again, would you take the VIP tickets??