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01 December 2007
William R. Morledge

Ask Us - Surreal ?! Photos....
A Thai Smile......

December's Nightlife News
Graffiti  -Bangkok's Art Vandals # 26


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         This is what it used to look like walking into the Sukhumvit 1 Plaza Night Entertainment Area.   We are pleased we were able to catch bits of it for the archives.

         Midnight Hour noted last month (along with a couple of other local websites) that Sukhumvit 1 Entertainment Plaza would be closing, so this month's headlines hardly come as a shock to the nightcrawler community.   Nevertheless it with a dose of regret that the closing is actually coming to pass.   The scheduled closing date is 1st December 2007, and we hear tell there may be a few stragglers....

         Historically, bar beer areas in Bangkok have been short-lived, and it seems Sukhumvit 1 Plaza is no exception.   Taking a step back in time, in July of 2004, we got our first inkling of what would be in store for the newly constructed building at the top of Soi 1 Sukhumvit Road.   (See photo below.)   

         In our November 2004 issue <link>, we noted the opening of the first bar beers - relocating in from the 13 Night Market Night Entertainment Area (which, if you will remember, closed shortly thereafter - it was located above the ruins of the original Thermae).   The original "five" at Sukhumvit 1 Plaza are, in order,
      The Sports Bar 2 (14 October 2004 - the "Seminal Bar")
      Chemo 01, (now Junk).
      The One Bar, (now Sexy Bar).

         Over their brief history, probably because they were located in a permanent structure, Sukhumvit 1 Plaza thought they would be there for the long haul.   Many of the bar beers were 'refugees' from other recently-defunct Night Entertainment Areas flocking in for what they hoped would be their first pernanent home.

         In March of 2005 (our April 2005 issue <link>), Sukhumvit 1 Plaza reached "Critical Mass" with the simultaneous openings of the Sexy Bar, the Smile Bar, and Junk Bar.   Sukhumvit 1 Plaza had become a "Night Entertainment Area" in it's own right.   Below is a listing of the starting team.
      Beaver's (Was "The Sports Bar 2") - from 13 Night Market
      Chemo 01 -from 13 Night Market and Sukhumvit Square.
      Go Diva Bar (Godiva)
      Night Night Joop Joop
      Mae Mai Karaoke & Kitchen
      Mini Bar
      Junk Pub
      Sexy Bar - formerly Bar Bie at Asoke Plaza
      Smile Bar - formerly Chid bar at Asoke Plaza
      Josephine's Bar, Pool, Seafood
      Morning Night II - sister of Morning Night, in Nana Plaza.
         -While Sukhumvit 1 Plaza was never "popular" there have been several notable Nitespots over these last three years.   However it was never easy for them, passing foot traffic was never much, and as a result, many bars tried their luck and failed - (Sukhumvit 1 Plaza has had one of the highest turnover rates of any Night Entertainment Area in Bangkok).   So, while it was not anticipated, neither was it a shock that Sukhumvit 1 Plaza Night Entertainment Area would be closing....

         But wait....this story could have an entirely different ending - remembering what they say about it not being over until the fat lady sings.    -We have heard a rumor (from one of the upstairs bar owners) that the closing of Sukhumvit 1 Plaza will affect only the downstairs bars.   Well, OK, but nevertheless, the best we can give this rumor at this juncture is 50%-50% - after all, while the reported renovations will be going on downstairs, how will anyone get upstairs to drink and play pool...   We'll lay an historical marker down on this one and give you a come-back in the New Year's issue.

         In the meantime, enjoy our 'Photo Essay' of Sukhumvit 1 Plaza commencing immediately below.

         The DC.10 #2 has bounced around Sukhumvit 1 Plaza, starting downstairs, moving up to the 2nd floor, and then back downstairs to a couple different locations.   Yes, it is related to Nana Plaza's DC-10.

         The Get Lucky is a relatively new arrival to Sukhumvit 1 Plaza, opening only a few months ago.

          Suzie of Suzie Bar (waving goodbye center photo) is Bangkok's bar beer nomad.   She sarted out in Clinton Plaza, then moved to Sukhumvit Square, eventually opening a second bar there.   After Sukhumvit Square was destroyed and plundered by Chuwit's Brigade, she relocated to Asoke Corner.   Once again, the landowner forced all the bar beers out, so she moved to "Soi 6" (where Soi 6 turns and joins Soi 4 Sukhumvit).   Later she relocated here to Sukhumvit 1 Plaza.   She will rally the forces temporarily at Nana Plaza's Erotica Bar (helping her friends with the management) before moving out on her own once again.   

         The Sport Bar was the first - it was the 'seminal bar'.   It moved over from 13 Night Market and, for a while, was calling itself "Beavers".   However it recently reverted to it's original moniker.

         The Sexy Bar, yet another refugee (from Asoke Corner), first relocated upstairs on the 2nd floor.   They recently moved downstairs to a much roomier area, allowing the addition of another pool table.

         The Oasis Bar was one of the friendliest, and therefore one of the most popular bars at Sukhumvit 1 Plaza.

         The Wombat Bar, a recent relocatee (from the long-dead Tobacco Road / Soi Zero), just finished it's interior renovations two months ago.

         The Lynx was, and we hope will continue to be, the best place for a quiet game of pool and a beer.

         The Junk was originally a second-floor bar - and even tried it's hand at being a late-night disco for a while.   They relocated downstairs only a few months back.

         The Godiva is one of the original group of bars to move in.   The downstairs bars seem to have lasted much longer, on average, than the upstairs bars.

         The Rooster Bar, many years a favorite at the old Tobacco Road, never did as well here, but, well, it's all academic at this point....

         The Guess Bar ? was Sukhumvit 1 Plaza's only gay (transgenderite) bar .

         The Classic was also a veteran of Tobacco Road, just across the street, and moved in soon after it's (Tobacco Road's) demise.

         The Morgan Bar was another bar that had it's ups and downs; it's origins also in Tobacco Road.

         The Honey Bar aka Honey Pub has had a long struggle of it all - we hope they find success somewhere on down the road a piece.   (Ex: Tobacco Road.)

          An astronaut's view of Sukhumvit 1 Plaza - thanks to Google Earth !   We have added the text and outlined the Plaza to make it a little easier to locate.

         Just above is the layout of Sukhumvit 1 Plaza this last November, just before things began to shut down.   One for the historical archives.

 Historical Minutiae Dept.


-Surreal (?!) Photos-

Bangkok's Q & A Lowdown

Hello Will,

I linked to Bangkok Eyes through a German site that had, it turned out, some of your photos on it, and they said your photos were almost surreal.   Now that I have gone to your site, I agree.   Do you have a special camera or what?


Hello CK,

I am in the middle (approximately) of a very long learning curve on photography.   A professional photographer told me years ago that that about 10% of my shots would be useable.   In my case, it's closer to 3%, but the message was "shoot a lot more than you think you will ever need".

Part II of my 'education' was the years-long learning curve for processing digitally (I now use Corel PhotoPaint X-3).

Another part of my education (Part III) was learning how to best process for the Internet - this for me was, and is, very difficult (different browsers and different monitors handle color photos very differently).   Remembering that everyone's monitor is adjusted for brightness & contrast/ slightly differently, I had to seek a trial and error solution that was best for most.   This meant many trips to Internet Cafes to open up my website in different browsers and monitors to see how the photos were turning out;    -As I say, I am still learning...

I shoot hundreds of shots per month just for the site alone.   I'm using a Nikon digital and all originals at 7.2 megapixel - reduced to somewhere near 550 pxl x 350 pxl per photo for the Internet.   (Film from my very expensive Nikon does not scan in as well as direct digital, and requires a lot of clean-up.) Even this reduced size usually runs around 50 K per photo when I convert to .jpg or .gif formats.

As I have several 'large' photos each month, I often receive 'complaints' about how slow the Midnite Hour loads.   They are correct, however, I'm hoping that "time is on my side" and eventually bandwidth will increase to the benefit of users.   But for now, 'creating the historical record' is of greater importance.


Note: the above letter is one of many similar we have received recently. -ed

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  •           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
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    - In the LAND OF SMILES -

              This month's "Thai Smile" is almost subliminal - but if you look long enough......

    ? Old

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    Many Thanks,
    William R Morledge

    Let the December 2007 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  
    in traditional dress displaying their traditional finery             The King's Group of bars on the Patpongs is consistently into the spirit of celebrating the holidays, be they local or farang.   In this regard, they take top honors - below is a krathong competition between the Group's various bars.   Also below is a Thai couple in traditional dress displaying their finery in front of the King's Corner, inviting passers-by to sit a while and have their photos taken.   Nice touch.


                The SuperGirls is locked down like San Quentin.   No signs of life, as leaves and dust accumulate under the padlocked door.   This does not bode well for Patpong I, which has been slowly fading away since 1989....    Let's hope this is only a hiccup, and that they will be reopening soon.

      PATPONG  II  
                 Pinocchio's Club, rumored to be a 'close contact' bar with a significant transgenderite content have apparently answered Darwin's harsh call - only darkness shone out from within when we passed by the other night.


                 It seems the Royal Salute Cocktail Lounge is just unwilling to roll over and play dead - just as we had abandoned all hope, we see a brand new sign on the door saying 'closed temporarily for renovations'.   We'll do a go back, and come back, and get back atcha next month.   If it all comes to pass, however, we might suggest they give their brass plaque a polishing - that's a bit of history there; needs to be looked after better....


                 We hear tell that both the Red Parrot and the Kanoknart will be closing their doors right   We understand the entire building -stretching from Patpong 1 to Patpong 2- will commence renovations forthwith.   Rumor control has it becoming a new hotel.   We'll drop back and see whether this all comes to pass or not....


                 Oh, no.   Here we go again - just as we are beginning to understand what Coyote Dancing is all about, they throw Sao-Za-On Dancing at us....   Good Grief, Charlie Brown.   We can't wait... ahennnh....   (Hint - it just may have a strong Isarn flavor to it....)   Oh, we almost forgot to mention - this will all be going down at the soon-to-be refurbished Cleopatra.


                 The Star Of Light oral services bar had a sign up the other night saying they were closed for one day to go partying.   Trust and verify - we'll pass by again in a couple of days to see that they are, in fact, still in business.

     PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  

    Door Art Of The Month

              After having showcased the Tilac Bar's eyestopping old neon last month, we find they have brand new neon this time around.   We hope this isn't a case of having fixed that which was not broken.   Nevertheless, the new neon is bright, original and hard to miss.   Good job.


                 Soi Cowboy, being closed off to (most) traffic in the evening, becomes quite laid-back as the night wears on.   It is not uncommon to see A Go-Go dancers out on the Soi talking, eating or, as is most often the case, trying to drag customers into their respective bars.

     NANA  PLAZA  
                 The Loy Krathong celebrations at the end of last month provided one and all an opportunity to show off their best and most beautiful traditional Thai dress, but it didn't prevent some from enjoying a comical moment or two.   This lovely young lady with the what-me-worry smile was serving at the Alibi.

                 Alas, what we reported last month re: the closing of the Farang Connection was all true.   A mug's game at best, we wonder how they would have fared if they had invested a couple of bucks in some real neon...    Ashes to ashes - so be it, then....

                We have been looking at the Voodoo sign for so long we stopped seeing it.   It dawned on us -since we had never done so- that we ought to take a shot for the historical records.

      SOI  KATOEY  
                The first couple of times we walked past, we didn't even notice it....   Nevertheless, the Bearbie Bar-Karaoke is really there - moving into what was most recently the Hip Bar digs (closed October 2005).   Let's hope Fate deals them all aces and faces as they journey into the dark side of bright city lights.

                The lovelies working the Japanese bars are out in front of their respective venues early each evening, waiting to greet and beckon to passing potential customers.   Below, the girls from the Ran-Hime Club have a quick bite to eat and/or spruce up before it gets too busy.

                Taking over where the Casablanca, aka - Casablanka, left off is the brand-spanking-new Hitomebore Club.   Catchy name, no?   Orientation Oriental, if you hadn't guessed....   Welcome them to Sin City.

                No matter which way you look at it, Loy Krathong shall be counted among the world's most beautiful celebrations.   We hope you all took advantage of the opportunity to appeal for forgiveness for all your sins this last year - if not, you will have to wait another full year before appealing to the Mother Waters....

                The Plearn Karaoke has been opening and closing like proverbial swinging saloon doors.   Last time we passed by, "The Doctor was IN".   We wish them constancy.

                As predicted in last month's edition, the old Lee Lee now has a new tennant: the Meaw Meaw Bar (note: this is the second Meaw Meaw Bar at the Plaza - the first being streetside on the left).   What is it with these bars with the double names?    Welcome to the neon jungle.


                Sweethearts Bar have now completed their expansion and redecoration, and have added the promised pool table.   They have also nailed up a brand new neon shingle.   All is well - keep on keeping on.


      SOI  EDEN  
                Soi Eden did itself up proudly for the Loy Krathong festival - virtually all the Nitespots had meeters and greeters dressed in their finest traditional garb.
    SOI  EDEN  SOI  7/1

                The ying from the Oasis wave a friendly 'goodbye'.   Or, more appropriately, 'au revoir', as they will soon be at their new digs on Soi 13 (down near the Ambassador Hotel) - if they aren't there already....

                A makeshift pond on Soi Twilight served just fine for floating krathongs during last week's festivities.



    - And now to Bangkok's own brand of Graffiti....

    Graffiti #183
    8 ft high x 8 ft

    Graffiti #184
    Alien Tweety
    7 ft. high x 5 ft.

    Graffiti #185
    Night People
    20 ft. high x 20 ft.

    Graffiti #186
    8 ft high x 10 ft

    Graffiti #187
    Shockless In Sin City
    9 ft high x 25 ft.

    Graffiti #188
    Knightsbridge Anymore
    8 ft high x 13 ft

    Graffiti #189
    Iziz's Wall
    8 ft high x 12 ft

    Graffiti, Graffiti , and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original and ONLY 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)

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                   William R. Morledge


    Bangkok Nightlife

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