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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review




01 December 2009
William R. Morledge

December's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Lolita's ?
Graffiti  -BKK's  Midnite Vandals - #50

         Say, "Sutthisan" and the taxi driver understands that you mean the Sutthisan Night Entertainment Area on Sutthisan Road (actually Sutthisan Winitchai Road).   We don't know anyone who knows how long this entertainment area has been in existence, and truth be told, it may not have a specific date at which it came into being, in that it most likely slowly morphed into a Nitespot location over an extended period.
The Bai Tong is one of two large venues that has entrances on both Suthisan Rd and Salirat Thawipak Rd.

         We do know, however, that there were Night Entertainment Venues in this area going as far back as the 1960's and 1970's.   Sutthisan Road stretches from Pahonyothin Rd. in the west to, and past Wipawadi-Rangsit Highway, and continues on to Rachadapisek Rd., and beyond, reaching almost to Lad Prao Rd.   However the sole area of interest to those seeking Night Entertainment is the western-most area starting at Pahonyothin Road (see map below).

         Virtually all the soi's leading off of Suthisan Rd in this area are named Inthamara (followed by a number), this applies even if they have a second name.   In that the Nitespots in Sutthisan are located both on Sutthisan Road and the Sois Inthamara, the two names are interchangeable, or of equal use, when referring to that "Night Scene".   Your taxi driver will know both 'Inthamara' and 'Suthisan' equally well.
The Airline House Karaoke

         As far back as memory serves (the 60's & 70's), Sutthisan has been a 'local' Night Entertainment Area.   And as with other Thai Entertainment Areas, we farang are welcome, should we venture down there.   Up until fairly recent times, however, most of the bars were small, single shophouse-wide, and not otherwise geared up for "Western" entertainment.   In years gone by, the typical reaction of farang visiting the Sutthisan bars was, "dingy, depressing."

         To a certain extent, that is still true today.   There are still a number of small places, usually including "Karaoke & Restaurant" in their names, and several of those are still what one would call 'dingy, depressing', however on the other hand, there are a few one might judge 'cozy' - depending on experience factor and mind-set.

         Today's Sutthisan, however, is undergoing rapid modernization, with a growing number of 'Entertainment Emporiums' (Emporia?).   Examples of this are T-DED99 and RCA 2.   Here, examples can be found of scantily dressed A Go-Go dancers (or perhaps you would prefer to call them Coyote dancers...) and all the conveniences of tap beer, air conditioning (in the 60's & 70's there was none), and all the comforts of a modern bar.
Spicy Pub & Karaoke

         It was interesting to note that during the Thaksin rule, his Night Entertainment henchman, Purachai, didn't include Sutthisan Night Entertainment Area in his formulae for "In the Zone" and "Not in the Zone" - it was as if it didn't exist because the foreign Press didn't know about it.   The local precinct Men In Tan, however do enforce the up-to-date closing times.   And while we are on the subject of 'enforcing', there is a prevalent belief amongst some farang that this is a 'safe' place to obtain recreational drugs.   Nothing could be further from the truth - recently (in the last two weeks) there have been two major swoops in this area, and the cops who should have known what was going on are getting busted along with the perps and users.

         Although we found nothing to really write home about, we would certainly recommend a visit to Sutthisan - if only to observe, and perhaps participate in, a different 'flavor' bar scene.
The two "RCA" bars in Sutthisan have no relation to
the RCA (Royal City Avenue) Night Entertainment Area.

*Click* and Go >>>>
to see our full Sutthisan Road Pictorial



*Click* and Go >>>>
& see Sukhumvit Psycho's write-up on Sutthisan Road.

"Navigating the Bangkok Noir"
Present :
         Liam's Gallery in Pattaya/Jomtien Beach presents the Bangkok Noir paintings of Chris Coles and the Bangkok Noir novels of Christopher G Moore, two of the founding members of the Bangkok Noir Movement.

         Both Chris Coles and Christopher G Moore will be on hand for the Opening Night Friday, December 11th, starting at 6:30PM, and both will be signing the two latest Christopher G Moore books, THE CORRUPTIONIST and THE VINCENT CALVINO READER'S GUIDE, which feature Chris Coles paintings on their covers.

Liam's Gallery
Soi 4 Pratamnak Road
Pattaya, Thailand



          This month's Thai Smile Award goes to our favorite Patpong II 'Meeter & Greeter' PR lady.

? Old

Any old PHOTOS of
Bangkok's Nightlife ?

Please CLICK HERE and send to us for publication.   

Many Thanks,
William R Morledge

 Historical Minutiae Dept.



Is Lolita's Patpong in Bangkok still open?   I read about this place a long time ago, and now, in just 2 weeks, I will be in BKK.   Should I be looking for it, or has it closed?

Greetings, O.T.R,

Lolitas in Patpong has reverted to Mike's Place - it's original name.   However, Lolita's still exists on Sukhumvit Soi 8.   Check out their website at Lolita's Patpong <link>.

Thanks for writing in.

'Boge' Hartman

  • Email bangkokeyes@gmail.com and "ASK" - -   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 December 2009 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  
                The Lucifer Disko Tk has not only gotten past the 'soft opening' stage (they are now open nightly), they have some giant new neon nailed up.   It is difficult to tell from the photo but this new demon is about 6 meters high (we had to combine two photos to get the below image).   Regrettably, it is next to invisible to the passer-by, as the tent-city bric-a-brac shops hide it almost entirely....

                The Pussy Collection has some new sponsored neon banged up which needs to be posted to the archives.   All else remains as it was.

                The Xtra Time has gone from an indoor lounge / pub to an open-fronted one.   Same pleasant service within.

      PATPONG  II  
    Door Art Of The Month

                   The Bada Bing ! - Bangkok's newest A Go-Go- has rolled out the red carpet, as well as some of the best Door Art we have seen in a while.   This originally was to be an expansion of the recently closed Funky Dojo, however there was a name-change involved (same owners).   And if the sign looks familiar to you Sukhumvit nightcrawlers, yes, it is related to the Bada Bing ! located in the Queen's Park Plaza in Soi 22.   Welcome them to the neon jungle.

      PATPONG  II  

                Having had it's 'soft opening' last month, the King's Pool have finally turned out the whole magilla.   Well, ... almost the whole magilla... they expect that by this time next month, they will have some neon to nail up-front somewhere.   Open-air lounge in front, pool in the back.   Welcome them (formally) to the big uphill.
      PATPONG  II  

                After a brief hiatus, Bobby's Arms Pub & Restaurant has reincarnated itself at the Cafe de Paris location (both owned by Bobby).   And fear not, the Cafe de Paris has not disappeared; it will be opening in a few days' time just upstairs in Bobby's old Roberto's digs.   By the time you read this, the full menu will be available.   All is well.   Welcome them back to the sharkpool.
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                It's official; the Rio has taken over the reins from the Our Place.   A Go-Go remains the prime descripor.   And in spite of there being a new owner, both old and new neon will be burning concurrently for the short term.   Most of the old staff are remaining....   Welcome them to the machine.
      SOI  COWBOY  

    The Waiting Game....

             It's not all hot licks, A Go-Go and lathered bodies - there are the quiet times when the customers just don't come....

      SOI  COWBOY  

     NANA  PLAZA  
             The Carnival has a great spread of neon which can best be appreciated when seen live - the blinking signage gives an entirely different impression.   It is, by the way, confirmed - the Carnival is Nana Plaza's 5th transgenderite bar (after Casanova, Obsession, Cascade and Temptations).   Unfortunately, they have the usual percentage of loud, vulgar, pushy katoeys employed there....
      NANA  PLAZA  
      SOI  KATOEY  
                Although the grand opening won't be for another few days (9 December), the Nomads Music Bar is romping up a storm nightly - live bands and much of the old Noriega's crowd returning.   Wish them luck as they enter (re-enter) the piranha pool....


                The Soulmate Club has the rest of it's kit up, and is looking lively.   They had their official Grand Opening a couple of weeks back, and haven't looked back since.   Keep on keeping on.

                The Kocho Ran was putting the finishing touches on the reception area when we passed by the other night, and should be opening right about ....NOW....   They are located on the 2nd floor of Peep Inn Park, and will offer typical Japanese style massage.   Best of luck to them as they enter the fray.

                When we passed by Legends the other night - only darkness shone out from within.   The Darwinian Imperative cannot be ignored, and all that, but it looked to us like Legends would make a go of it.   Obviously, we don't have a crystal ball - at least one that works....   
    - File photo      

                On the other hand, even the best idea for a bar will not fly if one does not heed location, location, location.   Although we are sorry to see Villa Italia pitch headlong into the Abyss, it was, to be honest, no surprise.   Better luck, and better location, next time, gang....
    - File photo      

                This is a pic for the archives, and to (at last) record the full name of the "Square One" - that is; Taffy's New Square One....

                Bar David has gone the way of the touchhole cannon.   It has been replaced by a neonless bar, which is going by "Bar" alone (new neon is on the way, we're told).   Time to recognize bad juju as bad juju, and call in the monks - something is seriously wrong here.   This is the EIGHTH bar to have occupied these premises since December of 2006 (three years exactly).   Do the maths - an average of 5 months per bar - that's not what we call longevity....

                Another pic for the archives.   Rumor's has got some new sponsored neon up - much like the old.   Modus operandi unchanged - a (very comfortable) pool bar.

      SOI  EDEN  
                The Star Inn was once-upon-a-time home to the Cigar Club, which was a pleasant outdoor drinking spot.   This has gradually been taken over by the restaurant within.   The restaurant now has taken over completely, so we will be removing the Star Inn from the Night Entertainment rolls.   (Note: the restaurant is quite popular with foreign customers.)
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                Red Massage has gone the way of the Gastornithiformes...   It was almost immediately replaced by Mario Massage.      Mario is also a gay massage.   May they persevere.

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    Bangkok Nightlife
















    Bangkok Eyes jumps back in time to have a look at who was new - and who was through.   We'll be willing to bet that many of you "Old Bangkok Hands" will be reminded of some bars you'd almost forgotten.   (We also will be willing to bet you WON'T EVEN REMEMBER an even greater number....)
    10 YEARS AGO  :
          The Pou-Pee bar reopened a decade ago, after a one-month closure.   It was located above today's S.T.V. Bar bar beer on Patpong II.   There is now no bar at the old Pou-Pee digs.
    PATPONG  I I -  1999

          The Blue Sky Bar bar beer opened a decade ago, next door to the current Cafe de Paris / Bobby's Arms.   It took over from the El Dorado, which had just closed down.   That location is currently home to Spanky's bar beer.
    PATPONG  I I -  1999

          The King's Lounge Disco on the second floor of Soi Bookstore closed down for renovations a decade ago, this month.   It is still there today (when it isn't closing down for renovations, or whatever).
    PATPONG  I I -  1999

          Titty Twister A Go-Go opened a decade ago in a previously 'non-entertainment' space on the second floor of Nana Plaza.   That location is currently home to the Villa Bar.
    NANA  PLAZA  -  1999

          Mai's Bar, a tiny bar beer located out on the verandah on the 3rd floor, closed down ten years ago.   It was located near (outside) the Carousel.
    NANA  PLAZA  -  1999

          Beyond (which actually opened a month earlier) got it's new neon this month, ten years ago.   It was located in the old Film Mix digs.
    SOI  KATOEY  -  1999

          Tom Boy A Go-Go, located on the 2nd floor (near today's Telephone Pub) closed down a decade ago.
    SOI  KATOEY  -  1999

          Also on Soi Katoey, Helene's Place reopened ten years ago after a short closure.   Helene's is still there today, however it is not a Night Entertainment Venue, opening only in the daytime.
    SOI  KATOEY  -  1999

          Ten years ago, in the now-defunct Clinton Plaza, the New York Pizza Pub opened where Bill's Bar was originally to be, on the streetside (outside) corner of the main building.   (Bill's Bar never put up a sign).
    CLINTON  PLAZA  -  1999

          In Clinton Plaza, as some of you will remember, there was a huge warehouse at the rear which was originally used as a parking lot.   Later when space in Clinton Plaza started getting scarce, plans were made to convert the inside of the warehouse to more bars.   It never became a fully developed plan, but a few bars opened there.   Ten years ago this month, a Short-Time Hotel and an unnamed bar/ lounge opened up inside the warehouse.   Clinton Plaza ceased to exist as a Night Entertainment Area on June 2003.
    CLINTON  PLAZA  -  1999

          The long-running Lek's Boozer -previously located in Clinton Plaza- moved over (next door) to the newly forming 13 Night Market a decade ago, this month, changing it's name to just Lek's Bar.
    13  NIGHT  MARKET  -  1999

          The Elephant Bar bar beer closed down 10 years ago in the 13 Night Market.   (Also, the Rib Shack reopened, but not as a bar.)
    13  NIGHT  MARKET  -  1999



    [ Check out Bangkok's own source of evil spraycans, etc, at Montana Land <link>. ]

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

    Graffiti #344
    Star Backer
    7 ft. high x 19 ft.

    Graffiti #345
    Tar Company (With detail)
    7 ft. high x 17 ft.

    Graffiti #346
    Ecks Boxer
    7 ft. high x 14 ft.

    Graffiti #347
    Foul Ball
    8 ft. high x 11 ft.

    Graffiti #348
    Give Pizza Chance
    7 ft. high x 19 ft.

    Graffiti #349
    Plimes (Plus halves)
    7 ft. high x 44 ft.

    Graffiti #350
    Soft Cream Machine
    7 ft. high x 11 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)

     --- Datzit Fernow

    William R. Morledge

    Copyright 2002 - 2009, BANGKOK EYES / bangkokeyes.com

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