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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Soi 33 Marches On

01 April 2011
William R. Morledge

April's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Old Bar Haunts
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #66

         This month, in keeping with our policy (such as it is) to regularly visit the Expat Night Entertainment Areas in Bangkok, we re-survey Sukhumvit Soi 33 (better known as Soi Dead Artists - due to the several bars that have been, and are, named after 'Impressionist' artists).   

         Since the Pan Pan Italian restaurant moved into Soi Dead Artists in 1986, bringing Expats down that once-dark soi for the first time (followed shortly thereafter by the Renoir in 1987), it's growth has been in one direction only - upward.   While the other Night Entertainment Areas in Bangkok have either plateaued (Cowboy, Nana), shrunk (the Patpongs) or disappeared entirely (Clinton Plaza, Soi Zero...) over the last quarter century, only the Dead Artists Soi has continued to expand.

         Not that the Expat Night Entertainment Industry is on the wane, (Cowboy and Nana Plaza are limited by real estate, not business reasons).   To the contrary, Bangkok in general is expanding it's Night Entertainment horizons.   And in this regard, it can be said that Soi Dead Artists (currently not limited as far as 'potential Nitespots' is concerned) has kept pace, and often outpaced the city-wide Night Entertainment expansion.

         Soi Dead Artists currently supports seventy Night Entertainment Venues, and when those bars currently renovating, and those now seeking occupants are back in operation, the number will be approximately seventy-five (depending on the ebb-and-flow of bars opening, renovating, closing, reopening).   But available real estate is not the only reason for the Soi's continuing growth record.   It has had a balanced development (likely not by design, but rather by economic forces).   There is a large number of Japanese (including Japanese bars that also cater to Westerners), massage parlors (of every flavor), lounges, music lounges, pool lounges, and now Coyote Bars (just say "A Go-Go" - a rose by any other.........).

         Note that Midnight Hour does not count hotel outlets or restaurants in our survey head count of the Night Entertainment Industry, unless under special circumstances where these outlets actually do provide "night entertainment" - a chance to meet others, etc.   Nevertheless, it should be noted that there are also good restaurants to be found on Soi Dead Artists.

         In summary, Soi Dead Artists is in a convenient location, does not have real estate problems, and has a diversity of entertainment and food.   The Soi's old reputation of being too expensive - as compared to the other Nitespot Areas is fading - competition being the great leveller.   The Soi has grown this last 25 years through thick and thin of political upheavals, etc, and all signs point to continued growth for the forseeable future.

   -Oh, and we would be remiss not to note that many of Bangkok's resident Expats see Soi Dead Artists as a welcome refuge from the over-priced chrome-pole & mirror coyote palaces in Nana, and especially in Soi Cowboy, that seem to be of undying interest to the swelling tourist population....



All Welcome

Friday, 7 p.m, 1 April, 2011 :
  by Chris Coles

1 April - 30 April 2011 :
Art Exhibition: Chris Coles' PAINTINGS ON EXHIBIT

Koi Gallery, 43/12 Soi 31, Sukhumvit Road,

         "Noir" is a word that is quietly growing - nay, pushing it's way up into the English language like one of those giant luminous mushrooms in Alice In Wonderland.   So then, what exactly is "Noir"?   We are aware that it is derived from the French word for 'black', but then what?   "Noir", while not surreal like Alice In Wonderland, does have an element of other-real - a distinctly darker real.   Noir is one of those words that each of us feels he knows, if only on a visceral level - but no one can really get down to brass tacks and nail it down.   Those that do try to define it either use too many words, or come back tomorrow and say, "What I meant by that was....".

         On the other hand, 'Noir' can, and has been represented through the arts, and entirely without words.   (Even Charles Lutwidge Dodgson knew that in the altered, somewhat darker reality of Alice In Wonderland, Alice herself, the mushrooms and the Cheshire Cat, et al, would have to be illustrated....)   

         Enter artist Chris Coles and his unique and sometimes outrageous portrayals of Bangkok's nightlife.    The night-scene and it's variegated nightcrawlers have been captured freeze-frame in Chris Coles' imagination.   - And then reflected back in black-light and neon in this kaleidoscopic series of paintings.   Mr Coles', seemingly without effort, is the very first to have captured on canvas that elusive, nearly ineffable "Bangkok Noir" - he is a Bangkok original; to miss this exhibition would be to your own regret....   

(All original works on display 1 April to 30 April.)

Copies of   NAVIGATING THE BANGKOK NOIR   by Chris Coles
can now be ordered on the Internet at the following sites:

1.) Marshal Cavendish :

2.) At Noqstore in Asia & Singapore :

3.) Through Amazon in the UK, Europe & the U.S. :

*CLICK*- AND GO  to our previous article on Chris Coles in Bangkok:



          Our favorite Thai Smile this month...   This young lady takes her studies very seriously.

? 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.

Old Haunts

Hi Will,

Is the Offshore bar still going on Soi 23 (Sukhumvit)?   I asked you about it a week ago but got no reply.   Any luck?

By the way, what was the name of the Country & Western style bar in Patpong 1 near Suriwong Road?   Also, I remember a Thai midget guy who use to sit outside one of the Patpong bars opening the door for customers, but can't remember the bar's name.

Also another question.   On Patpong Road nearly opposite the soi that joins Patpong 1 and Patpong 2 was a bar that was not much wider than the door into the bar itself, can you identify it?


Greetings, B.,

Thanks for writing in, apoligies for not getting back to you earlier.   You will be pleased to know that The Offshore Bar is still there in it's original location.   

The bar in Patpong I with the Country & Western theme was most certainly the Texxan.   Correct me if I am wrong, but I think it had the dwarf out front (?)   It eventually -sometime in the '80s- moved to Washington Square, later becoming Bourbon Street, which is still there today.

The tiny hole-in-the-wall bar opposite the Patpongs connecting soi (Soi SuperStar) was the original Cozy Club.   It disappeared in December 1999.

A footnote: The Cozy Club owner, Vinai, had -at that time- another bar upstairs on The Ramp in Patpong II called James & Vinai Club, so when 'James' bowed out in early 2001, Vinai renamed that place the Cozy Club.   It was never anything like the original, tiny Cozy Club, however.   It is still there on The Ramp, but now under new ownership.

'Boge' Hartman
Will Morledge

  • 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 April 2011 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  

                The upstairs Queen's Castle II had no sooner performed it's last pussy-dart show and rolled down the steel roller-shutter for the final time, than the new Night Bar rolled it back up again.   The Night Bar are heavy into street-touting, which, if they only knew, puts off more farang than it entices...   The format is same-same only different.....   Welcome them to the dark side of bright city lights.
      PATPONG  I  

                What (and who) goes around, comes around.   The other night we paid a visit to the Thigh Bar, only to run into an old acquaintance: Mr Aek.   Some of you old Patpong relics may remember him from several years ago as Randy's right-hand man at Gold Fingers.   He has recently finished up a stint at The Office (under the previous manager) on Soi 33.   He is now lending his promotional talents to the Thigh Bar - and it looks as if it is paying off.   With reference to the below logo pic, they are also offering the T-shirt....   May they persevere.
      PATPONG  I  

      PATPONG  II  
                Same tar-pit, different day - the Glamour (or is it "Glamour Girls"?) has finished it's renovations, and has once again rolled out (literally) the red carpet.   They definitely have the cutest curbside PR girls in Bangkok.   The young 'pretties" are enthusiastic in encouraging the passing foot traffic in for a (still 120 Baht) beer...   Welcome them back to Partytown.
      PATPONG  II  

                Target 2 has gone the way of the Pelagornis Chilensis.   In spite of the lovelies coaxing nightcrawlers up to the 4th floor, we suspect the darkened stairwell and antiquated elevator were just too daunting an expedition.   They were located directly opposite Foodland in the Cosmos stairway.   Ashes to ashes - so be it....
      PATPONG  II  

                Last month we gave mention to the Patpong II massage parlor, the Baan Thai, but we didn't really have a worthy pic.   This month, we can provide, at least for the archives, an improved photo....   It is located in the Pavilion Palace Hotel.
      PATPONG  II  

                Last month, we noted that the Rig One Gold had closed, but that we would give it the benefit of the doubt because they had previously closed several times for short durations.   Well, we passed by the other night and they were still shut down solid.   Time to remove them permanently from our rolls.
    - File photo         
      PATPONG  II  

                The Three Lady's is closed yet again - this just after having undergone renovations back in September.   We will keep an eyeball peeled and shall advise if this is permanent, or just another temporary closing....
    - File photo         
      PATPONG  II  

                The now defunct Royal Salute is sporting a new sign.   But that's about all - it is still closed.   We don't know if the King Corner Net internet cafe will actually be opening in that venue, or not, but if they do, we think it would require some very substantial renovations to convert it from it's old lounge bar configuration....   We will keep an ear to the ground......
    - File photo         
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                Just as we thought it would have been entirely impossible to add any more neon to the Club Rio, what do they do?   They add more neon.   We have to admit, the "Iranian Bars'" neon on Soi Cowboy is downright downtown Las Vegas.   Credit where it is due....
      SOI  COWBOY  

                The Corner (previously Kanjana Bar Beer) advertised when it opened that it would have "live music".   We had our doubts, especially when considering the limited success of other venues on the Soi that have (or have had) live music.   Our fears were for nothing - they do a roaring business on the weekends.   ....There's good rockin' tonight.
      SOI  COWBOY  

     NANA  PLAZA  
                The Balcony Bar & Hotel opened last month (as noted in these pages), but without much other than temporary signage.   This month they have nailed up some new neon - adding the word, "Hotel".   Yes, like their predecessors, they have a ST hotel upstairs.   "Watch 'em come and watch 'em go - there's only one thing in common, they got the fire down below"....

      NANA  PLAZA  

                If there's one thing the Billboard has, it's neon.   And all of it looking good (3rd floor).   Brought to you by the same good folk that brought you Angel Witch.   Let the good times roll.
      NANA  PLAZA  

                The Mercury A Go-Go also has some new neon tacked up - we can't say much for the artwork, but it is most definitely an eye-catcher.   The rock still rocks.......
      NANA  PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  

    Survival, Survival, Survival
    - SINCE 1987

                    The Telephone Pub, Restaurant & Karaoke is nothing if not a survivor.   In a Soi where the life of a Night Entertainment Venue can often be measured in months, the Telephone Pub will reach the 25 year mark next year.   A (mostly, but not all) gay venue, it regularly has overflow patronage being served at folding tables placed out in the street.   Keep on keeping on.

    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

    Door Art Of The Month
                   The Moulin Rouge, new this last month, has taken over from the old Sawatdee Massage (after a couple of months' renovations).   While their primary interest is the Nippon custom, and their modus operandi is coyote dancing (or at least coyote girls), we Westerners are also welcome.   Welcome them to the neon jungle.

             The Moulin Rouge "Door Art" is one of a kind - yes, the windmill actually turns, all the while flashing different patterns.   Both original and attractive - well done, lads.


                As has been foretold (see last month's issue), the Akane Fashion Massage has completed it's relocation from it's old digs in the Peep Inn Park to it's new home (most recently occupied by Best Massage).   They are now open for business - let the slippin' and a slidin' continue unabated....

                The Baccara Massage (no relation to the Nitespot on Soi Cowboy) has opened it's doors to the public - located about 25 meters down the little-used Sub-Soi 4.   Let's hope that Fate deals them all aces and faces.


                The Araya Massage (a branch of the Soi 20 venue) has officially opened it's doors to the public.   They are a mostly-unambiguous massage parlor, and are located between Survey Entertainment and the Renoir Club.   It remains to be seen whether Fate's tumbling dice bring them sevens or nines....

                The Supalak Massage will be opening it's doors to the public right about...... NOW.   They are located in the old Pheeran Massage & Spa digs, deep in the Soi.   Welcome them to the briar patch.


                The Japanese lounge Joy on the second floor of the Peep Inn Park is once again open for business.   We wish them constancy.
    - File photo         

                The Huttasat Tradition Massage and the Huttasat 22 Foot Massage are, according to more than one masseuse, on short-term leases with the owners - the fear is that the entire area will go under the bulldozer's blade in the near future.   An old rumor at this stage....having passed into the realm of "crying Wolf!"


                The 3-Sisters Bar is closed - once again, and is up for sale - once again.   Let's hope they find a way out from underneath it all.   Interested parties can call at the number below.

    An Acceptional Value



      SOI  EDEN  
                A quick (and colorful) snapshot of Soi Eden submitted by a reader - for the archives.   With many thanks....
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                The Boys Bangkok have put up some overhanging neon - not that it was really needed...



    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  :
          A decade ago, the Be Be Club Pub & Karaoke up on The Ramp reopened after a one-month closure.   It was located between the Rig 1 Gold and Kob's Place - there is currently no Nitespot at that location.
    PATPONG  2 -   April 2001

          Ten years ago the Farang Connection A Go-Go closed it's doors for good.   The Angel Witch, which occupies that real estate today, would soon move from their old location at Nana Plaza into those digs.
    NANA  PLAZA -   April 2001

          The Icon 2001 closed it's doors a decade ago, this month.   They were located next to the still-surviving Telephone Pub.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4) -   April 2001

          A decade ago, this month, the 401 opened it's doors in the old Icy Hot digs (next door to Helene's).
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4) -   April 2001

          Ten years ago this month, The Club Discotheque cashed in it's chips.   They were located at the current For Fun digs.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4) -   April 2001

          A decade ago, this month, SuperStar Frank's Noriega's rolled out it's red carpet for the first time.   That real estate is now occupied by Nomads
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4) -   April 2001

          Christie's Club closed temporarily for renovations a decade ago.   They reopened soon after that, and are still at that location today.
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS- (SUKHUMVIT  SOI  33) -   April 2001

          In the Peep Inn Park complex, an (unnamed nitespot) closed on the ground floor between Club Fuchicho and Phoenix Lounge.   The Hibari is currently occupying that real estate.
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS- (SUKHUMVIT  SOI  33) -   April 2001

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /  ASOKE  CORNER - (previously Cowboy Annex) - 2001

    Asoke Corner / Asoke Plaza
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( April 2000 - April 2005 )

                 Ten years ago, Lolita's Corner opened for the first time in the Asoke Annex side.   (Lolita's, just across the way, was already open by this time, and still going strong.)

                 A decade ago, the Tree Of Green bar beer opened it's doors for the first time.   

                 The Ton Son Pub opened it's doors for the first time ten years ago, this month.   It was located at the far back of the compound, facing Soi 23.

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /  ASOKE  CORNER - (previously "COWBOY ANNEX") - April 2001

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - 2001

    Clinton Plaza
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( April 1998 - 7 June 2003 )

          A decade ago, the Love Scene bar beer took over the reins from Suzie's Suzy & Crazy Bar II.   (Suzy & Crazy Bar was still going strong at that juncture.)
    CLINTON  PLAZA   - April 2001

    TOBACCO  ROAD   - April 2001

    Tobacco Road (Soi Zero)
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( ~ April 1988 - 9 June 2006 )

                Ten years ago, this month, the Kiss Me bar beer closed it's doors.   It would eventually reopen in October of 2003.

    TOBACCO  ROAD  - 2001



    [ Check out Bangkok's dedicated Graffiti page at " BKK"  <link>. ]


    Exit Through the Gift Shop


             Banksy (previously featured on these pages) is first of all an artist.   Secondly, he is a graffiti artist.   Thirdly, he is a world renown street artist / prankster / humorist / social commentator.   And now he has made a movie.   Or should we say, he directed and participated on camera in a movie?   Or perhaps he did not....   And this ambiguous 'aura' is the matrix maintained throughout the film at all levels, to include it's making.

             The Banksy film Exit Through the Gift Shop was first introduced at the Sundance Film Festival on the 24th of January last year.   It was later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Oscar presentations.   It did not win the Oscar for a very good reason - no one could prove one way or another whether or not it was in fact a documentary.   Again - the perpetual spoof - a class act to be sure; as if Banksy really didn't care whether, or not, it won the Oscar....

             The film tells the story, and we emphasize, "story", of Thierry Guetta, a Frenchman in Los Angeles, and his personal obsession with videotaping everything he can get his lense on.   Then, quite by accident, he falls upon graffiti artists doing their grey-magic street art right out there in plain sight.   His fascination with filming everything turns to an even more fanatical fascination with filming street artists and their art in all it's forms.   He is, however, frustrated and haunted by the fact that he cannot film the world's most notorious street artist, Banksy - and he is driven to attempt to find him and film him and, if all goes well, make a movie.   Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it doesn't work out for him quite the way he might have imagined....

             Entertainment in it's purest form.

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

    Graffiti #456
    8 ft. high x 26 ft.

    Graffiti #457
    8 ft. high x 14 ft.

    Graffiti #458
    Blasted Monks
    9 ft. high x 8 ft.

    Graffiti #459
    7 ft. high x 8 ft.

    Graffiti #460
    7 ft. high x 8 ft.

    Graffiti #461
    Spitz Too
    7 ft. high x 8 ft.

    Graffiti #462
    8 ft. high x 6 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

    Copyright 2002 - 2011,   BANGKOK EYES /

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