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MONTHLY
COLUMN
 
Bangkok,
01 September 2015
William R.  Morledge


September's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   Haunted by old Haunts
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #114

         This month Midnight Hour continues with our Bangkok Night Entertainment Area map updates.   Last month, we updated the Nana Plaza Night Entertainment Area map, so to maintain a bit of continuity, this month we will update the Soi Nana Night Entertainment Area (Sukhumvit Soi 4).


         Since our last update in July 2013, we have noted the disappearance of a few bars, some of them long-standing, such as The Big Mango and Naughty Girls, but there have been a number of new Nitespots coming on board these last couple of years, giving Soi Nana a slow-but-steady growth record.

         Time permitting, the remainder of the expat Night Entertainment Area maps for Bangkok will be updated in upcoming issues this year.


            


-Unattributed reader submission.  Copyright to holder.           
      We appreciate greatly the mysterious person who submitted this pic to us.   This month's Thai Smile perhaps shall also remain a mystery for the duration.....




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Many Thanks,
William R Morledge




            
 Historical Minutiae Dept.



Gots da' Bangkok Blues ?
HAUNTED BY THE OLD HAUNTS

Hello,

Hate to say it but bored in Bangkok - been coming for 10 years, now living here, and it seems to be on steady decline the last five.   Like Bangkok has given up on the sex trade and just giving it a typical Thai halfhearted flailing end, with only the olds ones hanging on to an old dream.   Nana's buildings are renovated but the girls seem older than the buildings.

Anyways my question:   Where do I find attractive, young independents?   What are the current hot spots?   I used to find 'em in Gullivers in Soi 5 playing pool, Q Bar used to be loaded with hot young non-pro Thai women flirting with the Farang, or Spago or Bed Supper Club for a little more upscale, but every where I turn places are just half empty, or gone, and the women are um, mature.

I just want youngish, hot girls to mingle with.

Disaster
Greetings, Disaster.,

The Entertainment Scene is shifting, as you may have picked up from some of my previous articles.   The most recent article was the 01 July 2015 issue on Freelancers <LINK>.   That article names a few places of the type you describe where you will find a good mix of female customers.

The center of gravity is moving away from the A Go-Go bars and towards Pubs, Clubs, Sports Bars, and open bar beers, the latter likely not your cup of tea....

Nevertheless, there are still many young, attractive ladies around, it is just a matter of seeking out the places that have the flora and fauna suitable to you.   This is something I cannot select for you.   May I relate the story of three farang friends here in Bangkok, all whom I have known for more than 25 years ?   Each of them has an entirely different take on which young ladies are, and are not, attractive.   And each of them talks about how the other two have such bad taste in women.

However, for starters, you might try, Bangkok Betty's on Soi 22, or Levels or Oskar on Soi 11 (near where the Bed Supper Club used to be..   -Again, depending on your tastes.   You may also want to have a look at The Den on Soi 12.

Best,
Boge



? ASK US (ALMOST) ANYTHING !
Email bangkokeyes@gmail.com and "ASK US" - -   Click Here
         We can answer virtually any (reasonable) question on the Expat Night Entertainment Scene in Bangkok - be it Historical or very recent.   Send us an e-mail and we will do our best to answer you soonest.

'Boge' Hartman
Historical Research
* Zootramp Publications



Let the September 2015 Follies begin...
BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.
   PATPONG  1
             The Kiss A Go-Go was suddenly and inexplicably closed - yet again : (they closed May and June of last year).   Too soon to say that this is the final death knell - will keep an eye out, and advise if they spring back into action.
- File photo        
  PATPONG  I  

   PATPONG  2
            The Glamour Girl has popped back up out of it's crypt after an almost 3-month closure.   Welcome them back to the nightbeat.
  PATPONG  2  

            Below is a list of bars on The Ramp which closed for 2 or more days last month for the religious holiday.    We are pleased to say all have reopened.
         Spanish Eyes
         9501 Studio Bar
         Swing Club
         Rig-1 Pub
         The World
   SOI  COWBOY
            The Rio (closed inexplicably when we passed by last month) is back to it's rock 'n rolling ways.   Welcome back to the follies.
  SOI  COWBOY  

   NANA  PLAZA
             The 2nd floor A Fairy Bar, first mentioned herein last issue, opened on schedule last month.   Welcome them to the machine.   It didn't take much imagination to fathom what kind of bar it would be.   This is Nana Plaza's 7th katoey / predominantly katoey bar, now that London Calling also has gone (mostly) over.
  NANA  PLAZA    

            Bangkok Bunnies has taken over the reins from Spellbound - and then some.   They have also expanded into the old Voodoo (Underground) premises, taking up half of that real estate creating an extended outside beer bar area.   The exterior neon is massive (and attractive), inside not much change from the Spellbound.   Welcome them to the nightcircus.
  NANA  PLAZA    

            What the Bangkok Bunnies didn't take of the old Voodoo (Underground) is being transformed into the Bangkok MILFS which should open within the month.   We know what the acronym means in Internet chat parlance, but we will wait until it is open before we make further comment.....
  NANA  PLAZA    

            Lucky Luke's reopened just days after we 'went to press' last month, having reincarnated as the Lucky Lukes Tiki Bar.   We're guessing someone had some leftover Polynesian paraphernalia from Benihana's....   Now much brighter and lighter.   Wish them the best as they keep on keeping on.
  NANA  PLAZA    

   SOI  NANA
            The Paradise in the Rajah Hotel compound plummeted headlong into the Abyss this month.   Coming to this location in a month or two is The Mexican, with the promise of some great Mexican / Tex-Mex cuisine along with our cervezas.....


- File photo              
  SOI   NANA   

            Renovations at the G Terminal now complete, it's status quo ante, so if you were a regular, it's time to go back....
- File photo  
  SOI   NANA   

   SOI  KATOEY
            Amongst the various improvements made in the recent renovations, the Sphinx has added Fork & Cork - somewhat reminiscent of their "Sphinx / Divine" days...   Hmm, Fork & Cork sounds a bit like a Paul Theroux gag from Saint Jack.....
SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

   SOI  22
             The Fee Far / Fah Massage popped back to life after a couple of months' out of the action.   Welcome back to the fray.   Located in Soi Lemongrass (just past the renovating Queen's Park Plaza Hotel).
- File photo                 
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             Gone, but not gone, the Hands Of Heaven is busily renovating.   Expect them to reopen later this September.   Also located in Soi Lemongrass (just past the renovating Queen's Park Plaza Hotel).
- File photo  
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

   SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS
Door Art Of The Month
Award

            The Christie's Club / Velvet (most recently, just "Velvet", and before that, just "Christies Club") reopened this last month after extensive renovations.   Looking good, and already fairly busy....   The best of the best 'Door Art' we came across this month.

SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS - SOI  33

   SOI  AMBASSADOR  
               Opened 2 months ago -while the last of the renovations were still taking place- The District has suddenly and mysteriously closed down.   One of the current excuses for closure is they will wait out the rainy (slow) season and then reopen.   Wanna bet?   After what obviously has been a several-million-baht investment (in renovations, staff and stock), for it to close down almost immediately upon opening, without any advance notice, is indicative of a sea-change in direction, a major setback.   There's way more to this than someone forgetting to read their Business Plans For Dummies.   We will of course be checking back regularly to see how this saga plays out....


This sign was put up in place of the original sign just before they went out of business - and shows, for the first time, the names of the four separate entities, or 'entertainment areas' of The District.   In our previous editions we had named three of them, but the fourth entertainment area we referred to only as the 'back portion of the old Q Bar'.   By the time they got around to officially designating that area as the Derriere, they closed everything down and put up a high metal fence around everything, and walked away.
SOI  AMBASSADOR   - SOI  11

                The Brew Beers & Ciders located in the Novotel at the end of Soi 11 shows signs of taking off.   Easy street access and an inviting decor may see them through.   Welcome them to big city lights.

SOI  AMBASSADOR   - SOI  11

   QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA
               A 'For-The-Archives' pic of the Hideaway Pub, one of the QPP's long-standing Nitespots.
  QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA -   SOI 22

               The Cockwell Inn closed down as quickly as it takes to say, "I'm not going to pay next month's rent."   Owner-manager Steve had nursed his Cockwell Inn along since April of 2009, sometimes making money, sometimes not.   He has headed to higher ground - he is now managing the newly spruced-up Lucky Luke's Tiki Bar in Nana Plaza, where he invites friends and familiar faces to come and visit.   The old Cockwell Inn is reopening as we speak, however it is not clear whether there will be a name change or not - we'll get back atcha next issue....
- File photo           
  QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA -   SOI 22

   SOI  EDEN  
            The Before After is no more to be seen; the furniture and LED lights have been stripped.   Only a flickering shadow as one walks by.   Ashes to ashes, so be it, then.
- File photo              
SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

   SOI  TWILIGHT 
            A 'For-The-Archives' pic of the Hot Male Beer Garden, which opened the previous month.
SOI  TWILIGHT

            The long-standing unnamed bar beer located beside the now defunct Zeus has reopened after renovating last month.   Note the below 'file photo' was taken some time ago the Ocean Boy closed ages ago, preceding the Zeus.
- File photo              
SOI  TWILIGHT



 TOP   

A PAGE FROM Bangkok's NIGHTSCENE HISTORY....

 20 YEARS AGO  :

September

With thanks to Cool Text - cooltext.com

Bangkok Eyes goes back in time to see
Who was new - And who was through
in the Expat Night Entertainment world.
How many of these old 'oases'
do you remember ?

Patpong I

    *  The upstairs Super Pussy had it's grand opening.   No bar was previously at that location.   It is still there today.

    *  The Dream Bar opened in the upstairs digs which was, up until the previous month, occupied by Pantera Rosa.

    *  The 2nd floor Cicciolina became the Cicciolina Erotic Bar.   It was a name change only.   It is no longer at that location.   Currently home to an unnamed rip-off bar.



Patpong 2

    *  The Condom Club on the second floor of the stairway opposite Foodland closed.   There is currently no Nitespot at that location.

    *  The (3rd Floor) Bua Luang Karaoke moved from the stairwell opposite Foodland to the old Cin Cin Pub & Restaurant digs.   The Cin Cin, of course, having closed down.   The Le Bouchon now makes itself at home in the old Cin Cin digs.

    *  Up on the 5th Floor of the stairwell opposite Foodland, the New Center Pub & Restaurant closed down.   No Nitespot currently occupies that real estate.

    *  The In Traffic Sports Man's Lounge took over from the Top Light Bar, immediately after the Top Light closed it's doors.   Currently, the reincarnation of the Top Light Bar is back in those same digs.

    *  The Opium Club opened up on The Ramp.   It was located between the Sawasdee Cocktail Lounge and the Marina Cocktail Lounge.   None of these bars exist today.   The Opium Club was next door to Rig One Pub (which is still there today.)



Soi Cowboy

   *   No changes that month / year. -



Nana Plaza

    *  Pretty Girl A Go Go
closed.   Today, that space is part of Spellbound.

    *  Star Pub & Restaurant closed.   Today, that space is also part of Spellbound.



Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4)

    *  Milk Bar closed.   Today, that space is being used by The Balcony as an 'annex' (located next to the Telephone Pub).

    *  (Unnamed bar) opened on the Silom Road side of Tapas Cafe.   Today, no Nitespot occupies that space.


Buckskin Joe Village (~ September 1988 to September 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)

    *  The following bar beers closed in Soi Zero (Soi Rot Fai)
          **  Volvo Bar
          **  Shopper Bar
          **  Happy Bar








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VICARIOUS ART CRIMES   # 114


MIDNITE H OUR's



GRAFFITI IN THE NEWS

Eye-opening Graffiti
...WHILE THE GOVERNMENT CLOSES IT'S EYES

Kabir Mokamel's centerpiece : The woman's eyes admonishing one and all against corruption : 'God and the people are watching...'

Artist Kabir Mokamel says he has a plan is to make Kabul the graffiti capital of the world.   While it is certainly a lofty and unattainable pipe dream, his goals are well-meaning.   Kabul (yes the one in Afghanistan) has a network of concrete blast walls running through it - and they are as drab as concrete walls can be.   Kabir looks upon these walls as his canvas.   He, and numerous volunteers, are, bit by bit, covering the walls with graffiti.   And the local Government officials don't seem to mind - in fact, the occasional policeman has been known to come to help with the painting.

One of Kabul's real local heroes : the city streetsweeper.


His thought is, "When you put a picture on a wall, the wall disappears and you are in a new space...".   His sentiment is a little on the artsy-phartsy side, but nevertheless, he and his minions are slowly changing the drab, battle-weary inner face of Kabul.

His artistic subjects are 'social responsibility' and the daily 'heroes' in Afghanistan life ... for example, the streetsweepers.   And he has an unusual method of transferring various scenes to the blast walls.   He projects a photo of the painting onto the wall, and it is then traced with pencil.   Later, the pencil outlines are painted in by himself and by passers-by, to include women (!) and children, who feel like contributing.

While there are many who fear for his safety, and for the safety of the many 'helper' graffiti artists, he continues to maintain a great amount of support from the locals.

Story and photo excerpts : AlJazeera <LINK>




Graffiti #820
Boy Blue
8 ft high x 14 ft




Graffiti #821
Candy Store Kid
8 ft high x 4 ft




Graffiti #822
Chompo
6 ft high x 9 ft



Graffiti #823
'Portamural One
7 ft high x 20 ft




Graffiti #824
These Chains
8 ft high x 11 ft




Graffiti #825
Sub-Part
6 ft high x 10 ft




Graffiti #826
Will Be Boys
8 ft high x 19 ft


Graffiti, Graffiti , and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original graffiti Site !


   The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman .

(Boge's photo, above, is not a graffiti per-se, although there are those who have insinuated....   
- Ed
)




.
   --- Datzit Fernow
William R. Morledge
.

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for
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"The Archives" - All Our Back Issues Here
- 2016 -


- 2015 -
01 JAN -    A Go-Go Bar Ratings
01 FEB -    Are Cops Gouging Nitelifers?
01 MAR -   Bad Company
01 APR -    LK Metro - Pattaya
01 MAY -    Soi 33 goes East
01 JUN -    Rachada Fades
01 JUL -    Freelancers
01 AUG -    Nana Plaza Map 2015
01 SEP -    Soi Nana Map 2015

- 2014 -
01 JAN -   Bangkok's Got The Blues
01 FEB -   Soi 26 - Stayin' Alive
01 MAR -    Nightscene rues Mob
01 APR -    My Friend owns a Bar...
01 MAY -    Soi's 3, 5 and 7
01 JUN -    Curfew's Costly Cut
01 JUL -    Soi 13 Makes It's Move
01 AUG -    Pattaya Does The Twist
01 SEP -    Soi's 18 & 20 - Quieter is Better
01 OCT -    Soi's 10 & 14 - Lesser known Sois
01 NOV -    A Good Old Boy...
01 DEC -    Lang Suan & Sarasin

- 2013 -
01 JAN -    Not Fade Away - The Survivors
01 FEB -    Rare Old Photos
01 MAR -   Copa Reprise
01 APR -    Arise, Soi 22
01 MAY -    Where to Next ?
01 JUN -    Bangkok Noir
01 JUL -    MAPS - The Major Update
01 AUG -    Lamai Lamai Lamai
01 SEP -    Tim 'Wanchai' Young
01 OCT -    Soi Wall Street
01 NOV -    Little Thonglor - Soi 11
01 DEC -    Mississippi Queen

- 2012 -
01 JAN -    Mama-San
01 FEB -    Our 10th Anniversary Issue !
01 MAR -    How Gay Nana ?
01 APR -    Sukhumvit' Soi 23 - The Big Picture
01 MAY -    Khao San Road - Unique Bazaar
01 JUN -    Ekamai - It Used To Be Too Far
01 JUL -    Nightlife Pioneers
01 AUG -    The New Puritans
01 SEP -    Nana - On It's Own
01 OCT -    FAIL - War on Nitespot Drugs
01 NOV -    Patpong Unbroken
01 DEC -    Drugs & the Nightscene in History

- 2011 -
01 JAN -    Patpong's 'Glory Days'
01 FEB -    Nightlife In A Digital Age
01 MAR -    Co-Co Walk Plaza
01 APR -    Soi 33 Marches On
01 MAY -    Nightlife Permissiveness
01 JUN -    Ghosts of Nitelife Past
01 JUL -    STATE - The Cinema, Soi & Area
01 AUG -    Soi Darling
01 SEP -    Sri Nakarin South
01 OCT -    Soi 8 Reprise
01 NOV -    Floodless in Bangkok
01 DEC -    Soi Udomsuk

- 2010 -
01 JAN -    Street Bars II - The Triple-Dip
01 FEB -    Our Kind Of Art - II    - Chris Coles
01 MAR -    The Dead Artist Bars - Soi 33
01 APR -    "Soi Ginza" - Thaniya Road
01 MAY -    Night Scene Blues (Red Shirts 1)
01 JUN -    Nitespots Recover Slowly (Reds 2)
01 JUL -    World Cup Special
01 AUG -    Those Old Photos
01 SEP -    The German Invasion
01 OCT -    Racism & Prejudice
01 NOV -    Soi 11 Revisited
01 DEC -    Soi 22 Updater


- 2009 -
01 JAN -    The Santika Fire
01 FEB -    Salt & Pepper
01 MAR -    Nana Plaza - Update & Maps
01 APR -    Soi Nana Update
01 MAY -    The Nightscene & The Riots
01 JUN -    "19" Re-Focus
01 JUL -    Rain Dogs - The Underground
01 AUG -    Soi Thonglor - A bridge-too-far
01 SEP -    Ban Chang - Our Little Secret
01 OCT -    The "Ginza Effect'
01 NOV -    Royal City Avenue (RCA)
01 DEC -    Sutthisan & The Inthamara's

- 2008 -
01 JAN -    2007 - Looking Back
01 FEB -    Owning A Bar
01 MAR -    Expat's Bangkok
01 APR -    Nude Dancing
01 MAY -    After Midnite
01 JUN -    Night Scene In Flux
01 JUL -    Our Kind Of Art
01 AUG -    Trendy Plaza Reprise
01 SEP -    The Elephants Are ....Back
01 OCT -    Grand Prix Intro
01 NOV -    Grand Prix - Rick's Story
01 DEC -    "Old Bangkok Hand"

- 2007-
01 JAN -    Bombs Blast Bangkok
01 FEB -    Bangkok's Nightscene Websites
01 MAR -    Prasitipol Dance Bar To Fall
01 APR -    Soi 5 Neon Review
01 MAY -    A Go-Go Bangkok
01 JUN -    Arise ! Soi 11
01 JUL -    Anatomy Of A Bar Area
01 AUG -    Soi 26 - Too Far ?
01 SEP -    Chuwit Guilty
01 OCT -    Daytime Nana Plaza
01 NOV -    Cowboy - All Of It
01 DEC -    Another Nitespot Area Falls

- 2006 -
01 JAN -    Pattaya Ascending
01 FEB -    A Go-Go Then & Now
01 MAR -    ' Madrid '
01 APR -    White Heat
01 MAY -    Politics & Nightlife
01 JUN -    Fagin's Bratpack
01 JUL -    King Bhumipol's 60th Anniversary
01 AUG -    Soi 10 - The Final Shaft
01 SEP -    Pattaya's Soi Bua Khow
01 OCT -    Rachada's Other Face
01 NOV -    Soi 22s Other Bars
01 DEC -    Soi Eden Goes A Go-Go

- 2005 -
01 JAN -    Asoke Plaza Crushed
01 FEB -    The 'Nana Scene'
01 MAR -    Asoke Plaza Smashed Again
01 APR -    Sukhumvit 1 Plaza 'Arrives'
01 MAY -    Welcome 'Soi Eden'
01 JUN -    Bangkok's Bareback Riders
01 JUL -    Soi 22 - A Macro View
01 AUG -    Nana's Slide
01 SEP -    Cowboy Street Scene
01 OCT -    The Pattaya Run
01 NOV -    Soi 19 In Focus
01 DEC -    Bad Girls

- 2004 -
01 JAN -    Bangkok's Darkest Year
01 FEB -    Where Is Trink ?
01 MAR -    Soi 33 Just Won't Stop
01 APR -    Cracks In The Crackdown
01 MAY -    In The Zone
01 JUN -    "Night-Scene Jumbos
01 JUL -    Easy Square 'On The Map'
01 AUG -    Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza
01 SEP -    Khlong Toey Revisited
01 OCT -    Koh Samui's Night Scene
01 NOV -    Soi 1 Opens
01 DEC -    The Bangkok Pub Scene

- 2003 -
01 JAN -    Cowboy Crackdown
01 FEB -    Sukhumvit Square Smashed
01 MAR -    Soi 10 Survivors
01 APR -    War & The Night Scene
01 MAY -    Entertainment Blues
01 JUN -    '13 Night Market' Reborn
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza Falls
01 AUG -    Soi 24 Nightscene Review
01 SEP -    Does Soi Nana Measure Up?
01 OCT -    Patpong - Legend & Myth
01 NOV -    Easy Square 'Launched'
01 DEC -    Soi Cowboy Urine-Swoop

- 2002 -
(OUR 2002 TEST COLUMNS :)
01 FEB -    January: Big Changes In Bar Scene
09 JUN -    Sukhumvit Square 'Explosion'

(OUR REGULAR COLUMNS BEGIN :)
20 JUN -    Soi 22's Queen's Park Plaza
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza - Already Dead?
01 AUG -    Bar Beers Now "Major Players"
16 AUG -    July: Bar Beers Gaining Ground
01 SEP -    A Go-Gos A-building
17 SEP -    Virtual Bars
01 OCT -    A History In The Making
01 NOV -    Pool Bars Come Of Age
01 DEC -    November's Night Follies
15 DEC -    Genesis: Sukhumvit's Night Scene
- 2001 -
20 NOV ( The Seminal Emails )




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