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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Those Old Photos

01 August 2010
William R. Morledge

August's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Vanilla Bar's Secret
Graffiti  -BKK's  Midnite Vandals - #58

         Long term Farang residents and regular returnees to Thailand occasionally open that old cardboard box, look in the back of that file cabinet drawer, or pop the lid of an old, unused suitcase to find a small treasure-trove of old memories - half forgotten photos of bygone times in Bangkok's Night Entertainment World.   Occasionally, we at Midnight Hour get lucky, and our readers will scan them and forward them to us for use on the site.

Copyright 1989, 2010 Hugh Hoy         
Contributor Hugh Hoy comments: "For those not "clued-in", the Darling Bar was located where Rawhide/Lounge is now located.   It was one of the first "double bars" on Soi Cowboy, with Tilac and Suzi Wong being the only other two I can recall.   In about '90, Tilac expanded to a triple bar and significantly upgraded their place. For whatever reason, Darling Bar (which had been probably the "premier bar" in terms of "eye candy", music and fun) started going down hill in about '91.   Many of their girls migrated across the soi to the Tilac and a few down to Suzi Wong.   Darling Bar was the first to have any kind of balcony.   It was a horseshoe shaped affair.   Later, the bar installed a series of descending platforms which the girls came down from the balcony level, one piece of music at a time until they were finally pushed off the stage by those coming after them.   Lots of good memories about that joint.   (BTW, the platform finally gave way one night and it created quite a leap from one level to the next. 5555)

         It is more a case of "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Memories" than the proverbial 'thousand words'.   Even photos which are singularly significant only to the photographer, have often captured a bit of Bangkok's Nightscene - a push-cart, an old sign, now-ancient cars, people we half-recognize....
Copyright 1989, 2010 Hugh Hoy         

The above pic was taken outside the Darling in 1989.   As an added surprise (historically speaking) we can see the neon for the My Lady (the New My Lady) : a bar that many of us may have forgotten about, but which, for others, will hold specific memories.

         Midnight Hour continues to attempt to record the ongoing history of the Expat Nightlife Scene in Bangkok, nevertheless, when we receive these old pics, we are often reminded that we are, in truth, only recording a small part of "The Scene" - to do a complete and ongoing survey would require a full-time team.
Copyright 1985, 2010 jondalar         
A daytime scene of Patpong 1 circa 1985.

         Having arrived here in Bangkok originally in 1967, we often kick ourselves in the backside for not recording the scene in photographs and words - our readers' contributions (and other's records, like those of Bernard Trink and Stickman) become all the more valuable.   While it becomes apparent that the "complete" history has likely evaded us, we continue to remain excited at the possibility of 'rebuilding' a good percentage of it.
Copyright 1985, 2010 jondalar         

In an A Go-Go bar, somewhere on Patpong II (?).   We may never be sure....

         We would like to thank jondalar and Hugh Hoy for forwarding the above "historical" documents, and for the time they took to coordinate with us on the publication.

** Stated owners of the photographs above have given Bangkok Eyes permission to use this copyrighted material on our website.   Accordingly, and by prior agreement, we have attributed ownership of these photographs to them.


          This month Midnight Hour "Thai Smile" goes to a young lady who shall remain nameless, but who will stand out in any crowd.....

? 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.

The Vanilla Bar


Re: the following (from your last month's edition) :

"Formerly Vanilla, it is now formally Sexy & Bar Vanilla, along with some new vanilla-colored neon.   We're not sure what the significance of the guy's face on the sign is, but we doubt it will be the cause of the Nitespot to be swamped with new customers.   But what do we know?"

The guy's face is that of "Shimabukuro Hiroshi", who is apparently a Japanese porn star (AV ??), and this is his "secret bar" (??? BAR).   Never heard of him myself, though I don't exactly follow the latest Japanese AV (adult video) trends.   He does have a Wikipedia entry: ???

HTH   (Gaienmae)

Greetings HRH,

Thanks for the info.   Most interesting - I suspect the face of "Shimabukuro Hiroshi" would in fact be recognizable to the Japanese community in Bangkok. Will onpass to our readers forthwith.

Thanks again.

'Boge' Hartman

  • Email 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 August 2010 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  

    Door Art Of The Month
                   As mentioned in our earlier columns, the King's Group has been upgrading all their bars on Patpong I and Patpong II.   The job has been completed, and all looks well, indeed.   The above shot is taken at the Kings Camelot, and in the distance, at the right, are the King's Castle bars.   See also our pic of the King's Garden below.   We will endeavor to bring you more, and more detailed pics in the future.

      PATPONG  I  

      PATPONG  II  
                The King's Garden, likewise a King's Group bar, has also completed it's sprucing up - and without having to close down.   Bar beer / lounge remains the format.   Keep on keeping on.
      PATPONG  II  

                We noted a temporary closure of the Three Ladys earlier this year, and so when we passed by the other evening and saw the "For Rent" sign up, and noted that they were closed again, it dawned on us that they may in fact be pulling the plug.   We will let one and all know, once we reconfirm.   (As an aside, several of the bars on The Ramp close on Sundays).

      PATPONG  II  

                It looks as though one of Patpong II's "founding fathers" has passed the torch.   The Thai Room Restaurant closed earlier this past month.   This is one of the Nightscene's more venerable mollusks - a late-night meeting place going back decades.   Although not a "Night Entertainment Venue" in the true sense, it certainly played a large part in the Nightscene activities.   How many Farang, how many GI's, had their first "Thai" meal there, sharing dishes with a bought-out a dancer from one of the nearby bars?   The handwriting on the wall first appeared in September 2002, when they sold off almost half their real estate to what would become the Wun Pub and the New Lady (now occupied by Tavern Three).   Gone, but not forgotten.....

      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                The Kanjana Poolbar has got a brand new look.   Previously an open-air affair - they have closed the place in, and turned on the air conditioning.   There is an elevated platform in one corner for either music or for use by the new crop of Coyote / A Go-Go dancers (yes, you heard correctly).   According to an inside source, the original owner has partnered-up (as is the way-of-the-future on Cowboy lately). There may, or there may not, be a name-change in the offing (names are currently being mooted) - so we'll keep an ear to the ground and advise.   Let the good times roll......
      SOI  COWBOY  
     NANA  PLAZA  

             The Night Entertainment headline news this month is the demolition of the bar beers in the center 'courtyard' of Nana Entertainment Plaza.   No stone remaining on stone - had it not been paved, they would have likely pounded salt into the ground.   Gone headlong into the great dustbin of history are (from front to rear) the Pharaohs, the Roadhouse and the Alibi.   Many will not recognize the last two names, as these bar beers had not put up any neon for a number of years.   Rumors aside, it will be interesting to see how that area will be utilized in the future.   -Heaven forbid that it should return to a motorcycle parking lot..........

      NANA  PLAZA  

             Also failing to answer the bell for the next round this last month was the tiny @ Lift bar beer located underneath the escalator.   Next time, if there is one, may the Fates show them the other side of their faces.

    - File photos         
      NANA  PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  
                We noted a new venue on Soi Katoey a few months back, and mentioned that although it looked to be completed, it hadn't opened.   Last weekend we passed by and it was open....   Well, OK, we have heard of the Pub With No Beer of Australian renown, but how about a pub with no beer, no music, no customers and no staff?   A beautifully fitted-out venue - what gives?   Someone send us an email.....

                The Monet Club continues to polish off the upgrade of the premises - this new bit of neon is particularly noticeable.   Same comfortable service within.

                Strawberry Farm, located in the Peep Inn Park, has also added some exterior neon in their campaign to bring in more custom.   The note at the bottom of the sign reads: "Strawberry Farm by Studio 33".   Interesting.   The rock still rocks....

                Time will tell if the brand-new The Horse Says Moo Restaurant & Winebar will be a Night Entertainment Venue in the true sense.   But for now, we will be giving it the benefit of the doubt, and wish them well as they cast their dice against the unforgiving wall of Fate.

                What was once the Geisya Fashion Massage Club has become just the Fashion Massage Club - with the same Nippon-centric specialty massages on the menu.   Let the slippin' and a slidin' continue unabated.

                A for-the-archives pic of the The Silver Dollar showing both the old and new sections.   Let the good times roll.

    BAD JUJU ?

                In the less-than-two-years since that location (loc) opened as a Night Entertainment Venue, 6 different bars have opened therein: all have failed - or moved away; (Meaw-Meaw 1, the Tequila Bar, the Sweet Bar, the Vincent Pool Bar, the Bar David and Queen's.)   Perhaps instead of offering the first month rent-free, the owner should offer to bring in nine monks for an exorcism......

       QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA  - SOI  22

                The No ! Bra looked darker than a poisoned well the last time we passed by.   (The too-helpful Jack Daniels promotional people got it wrong....).   Some on the ground at the Plaza are saying they just went home early....   Nevertheless, when the door is locked, it is very difficult for customers to get in.....   But before we strike them from the rolls entirely, let's see if they are going to reopen...   We'll get back atcha next issue.   As an historical note, the No ! Bra was Queen's Park Plaza's seminal bar - they were the very first; starting out as a lean-to shanty in the closing months of 1998 - and the girls would go out curbside each evening and dance and cajole customers inside.   The curbside dancing was very obviously bra-less; therein the name.
       QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA  - SOI  22

      SOI  EDEN  
                A quick on-the-fly archive shot of Soi Eden.
      SOI   EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                Mario Massage, after having been closed for a month, has reopened - this time around with some new neon nailed up.   Business as usual (gay massage).
                Banana, the small bar beer fronting on Suriwong Road has put it's last chit in the cup, and rolled down the steel roller-shutters.   Only time will tell if they are going to reopen, but looking within, it looks like a wrap.

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    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 Topless Beer Bar closed temporarily ten years ago, this month.   It is still there today (and, it should be noted, was never topless....)   It also ran under the name of Kaeng Topless Beer Bar for several years.
    PATPONG  II -   2000

          A decade ago the Topless Bar, nude dancing and show bar, (nee: Topless Topless Topless) closed it's doors for the last time.   They would become Topless Sports Bar.   The new venue did not retain it's 'topless' attribute - it is still there today as the open-fronted Topless Pool Bar / Sport Bar.
    PATPONG  II -   2000

          The long-standing bar beer across the Soi from the now-defunct Cleopatra A Go-Go had gone under the name Cleopatra Garden for several years.   However, this month, a decade ago, they changed their name to Cleo Bar Beer.   It is still there today under that name.
    PATPONG  II -   2000

          Joy's A Go-Go bar opened a decade ago in the old Pink Pussycat digs - the Pink Pussycat had been closed since February of 1995.   They are still there as "Joy Bar" today.
    SOI  COWBOY -   2000

          Shirtz bar closed briefly for renovations, a decade ago, this month.   It was located where Fanny's now holds court.
    SOI   COWBOY -   2000

          Ten years ago Bottoms Up opened their doors for the first time in what was up until that time the Pretty Lady A Go Go & Garden Bar.    They would, some years later, revert to their old "Pretty Lady " name - and are still there today.
    NANA  PLAZA  -  2000

          Also, this month, in the year 2000 A.D., renovations were completed on the old Leo Club - and it opened as the Santana - which remains at that location today.
    SOI  DEAD   ARTISTS -  2000

          The Bar 22 adjacent to the Studio 22 bar inside the Washington Theater building, called it a day, a decade ago.   The The Sportsman Bar is now at that location.
    WASHINGTON  SQUARE   -  2000

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /   ASOKE  CORNER - (previously Cowboy Annex) -  2000

                 Ten years ago, Whooters, a new bar beer, took over the reins of the Je Taime bar, which had just closed in the now-extinct Asoke Plaza / Asoke Corner Night Entertainment Area .

                  Cat Bar bar beer opened ten years ago next to the Lanna Thai restaurant in Asoke Plaza / Asoke Corner.

                 Three additional bar beers opened this month in the year 2000 in Asoke Plaza / Asoke Corner on the small island in the center area:
          Tiger Bar bar beer
          Lucky bar beer
          Cheers bar beer

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /   ASOKE  CORNER - (previously Cowboy Annex) -  2000

          Ten years ago Om Trance Club reopened their doors to the public after a brief renovation.   It was located where today's Spanish On 4 is located.
    SOI  KATOEY -  2000

          The Enterprise Pub , which had opened only the previous May, closed their doors for keeps a decade ago, this month.   They were the last bar down into the Soi on the right side going in.
    SOI  KATOEY -  2000

    CLINTON  PLAZA   -  2000

          The Living Room Pub rolled out the red carpet for the first time a decade ago in the now extinct Clinton Plaza Night Entertainment Area.   They were located on the ground floor of the main building, on the left hand side, facing Sukhumvit Road.

          Hollywood East - the Plaza's second A Go-Go bar - opened a decade ago, this month. They were located in the back row, against the warehouse at the back.

          Pop Eye Bar, located on 'the island' in the back, closed this month, ten years ago.   They would later move to Asoke Plaza.

          Growler's Bar - located outside, near the back door of the main building, stuffed it's last chit in the cup a decade ago, this month.

          The Tonwa Bar, located next door to the Growler's Bar, also called it quits this month in the year 2000.

          B.J.'s Bar Beer - located inside the warehouse at the rear, closed it's doors, figuratively, 10 years ago, this month.

    CLINTON  PLAZA  - 2000

    TOBACCO  ROAD   -  2000

          In the now-extinct Soi Zero, the Last Stand Bar rolled up the red carpet and rolled down the shutters for the last time this month, ten years ago.   They were located at the very end of the bar area on the right as you walked in.

    TOBACCO  ROAD  - 2000



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

    A touch of humor to start the Graffiti Column.   The above graffiti was sent to us by a reader.   We do not know who the artist is, but we suspect 'Banksey'.   Readers please correct us if we are wrong.

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

    Graffiti #400
    8 ft. high x 40 ft.

    Graffiti #401
    8 ft. high x 40 ft.

    Graffiti #402
    No End In Sight
    8 ft. high x 20 ft.

    Graffiti #403
    6 ft. high x 12 ft.

    Graffiti #404
    Raw Pots
    8 ft. high x 40 ft.

    Graffiti #405
    6 ft. high x 16 ft.

    Graffiti #406
    Time Outs
    6 ft. high x 14 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 - 2010,   BANGKOK E YES /

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