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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Floodless In Bangkok

01 November 2011
William R. Morledge

November's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Nonthaburi's Neon ?
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #73

         Flood waters are like Chickenman; they're everywhere, they're everywhere - except in Bangkok's inner suburbs - and most importantly, not in the major Expat Night Entertainment Areas.   And before we go any further, our Thai language consultant tells us why: - First you turn on the tap, and when the water is streaming down into the sink, you take out a long sharp knife from the drawer and, with a quick flick of the wrist, slice horizontally through the stream of water.   Thus, the water has been 'cut off', and your houses will remain dry.   It is obvious that someone has done this for inner Bangkok, and we thank them.

The Super Girls., long closed, is the beneficiary of heavy anticipatory sandbagging, nonetheless.   This is quite a gesture, in that the Super Girls was an upstairs bar....   And no, the chopper was not put up there to avoid the flooding - it is part of the old Super Girls door art (and, somehow, no one has taken it down?).


         On a more serious note, we at Midnight Hour are in a state of disbelief at the various squabblings between politicians, the huge number of editorials and articles, and the verbal defecations of letter-writers to the Bangkok Post and other western Press -- all 'solving' the flood issue and/or blaming someone for it.   However, for those of you new in country, or have gone senile from being here too long, in perspective, the very reason virtually all of inner Bangkok is now not flooded , and still remains dry, is because of the success of several separate "King's initiatives' undertaken by various governments over the last three-plus decades.

The Londoner Brew Pub, located in the basement at the top of Soi 33 probably has the most to lose if inner Bangkok floods - and as a result, are very heavily protected from the hypothetical waters.


         We can remember in the mid '70's - virtually every October- walking home from Soi 4 to Soi 26 (or whatever soi), knee-to-thigh deep and barefooted, down the middle of Sukhumvit Rd (where it was shallowest), many of us arm in arm with our ladies-of-the-evening.   In contrast, today's Bangkokian has been primed by the Government and the Media to a near-hysterical mindset, engendering the likes of hoarding, corruption and outright thievery.   In the '70's and early '80's, in spite of a proportionally great amount of water damage to property, an air of "sanuk" prevailed, similar to Songkran, something along the line of, 'Wow, this is really different - ha - ha - look at all the stalled taxis and tuk-tuks on Sukhumvit.'

Le Bouchon remains both prepared and open - both bar and kitchen.


         But let us not play down the seriousness of the situation - today is not the 70's - the population has doubled (counting outer Bangkok) ; all the new housing estates (moo ban) were not there then, and developers (not the Government) ignored the fact that they were building in bung (swamps) - smugly congratulating themselves on buying up the land so cheaply.   Likewise, there has been the mushroom-like growth of Industrial Estates that have appeared in these marshland areas over the same period.   (Here, at least, the Government required landfill, albeit only to the extent that past records indicated sufficient.)

In Soi Cowboy, your sandbag is your friend.   Soi Cowboy remains high and dry, at least for now.   Although no flooding to date, it looks like most of the bars are well prepared for any possible future inundation..


         So much of what we read today on the Bangkok flooding is, to be very honest, "Classic Thai Mentality" (and many of we farang now seem to have adopted it).   - Now that there is a significant problem, let the scapegoating begin in earnest - (How has someone else failed?   Let me count the ways....)   - All along forgetting that today's existing flood control DID work, has been working - up until this year.   The real problem - the weather - plain and simple.   Or, if you are a believer, the cause is 'climate change' - but since no one can, or has yet, predicted what the weather / climate change will be for even next year, it would be nigh onto impossible for anyone -or any government- to prepare for it.

The Akane Fashion Massage is still open - although the rather chaotic sandbag barrier may tend to convince prospective customers otherwise.   As can be seen, Soi Dead Artists remains floodless, as well.


         So, let the above stand as an 'open letter' to both the native and Expat blame-gamers, the doomsayers, and the scapegoat artists - enough, already.   Bangkok's Nightscene is, as of today, alive and well - and dry.   If, and when it is not, then we have a responsibility to advise others.   In the meantime, let's not let your own mostly-imagined scenarios and your borderline-hysterical meanderings scare away our friends: the tourists, the business people and the investors.


- iPhone 4     

          This month's Thai Smile goes to...... O.K., this month, take your pick.   Or both.

? 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.

Bright Nonthaburi Lights?

Hi there,

I was wondering if you can provide me with a list of massage parlors in Nonburi on the outskirt of Bangkok?   Tks and appreciate your help.

F. Sent from my HTC
Greetings, F,

   Nonthaburi is a separate Province located just north of Bangkok, and is 'out of our jurisdiction', so to speak.   However, Midnight Hour does occasionally try to 'look above the rooftops', as it were, and get out of town to bring some variety to our reportage.   And as coincidence would have it, we were planning a run up to Nonthaburi this last month..   As you may have seen in the various media, those areas are mostly under water for the foreseeable.   Once things dry out, we will try again, and get back to you - hopefully with a comprehensive article.

Best of luck,
'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 September 2011 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  

                The venerable Madrid has opted for the (now popular) temporary block wall - just in case....   We note that many venues (and homes) are constructing permanent block walls around their ground floor accesses, some with various tastefully chosen tile facades.
      PATPONG  I  

      PATPONG  II  
                Battened down yet again - could it be that Mikes Place has bought the farm once and for all?   It has tried several come-backs in recent years, never successful - never even coming close to the original, - the SRO A Go-Go of the '80's.   
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                In spite of the rumors of impending flooding, Soi Cowboy, among all the Expat Night Entertainment Areas had the biggest crowd on Halloween.   And the most fun-loving, witch-and-zombie infested celebrations.   Coincidence?
      SOI  COWBOY  

    The Unbearable Lightness
    of 'Weening....


      SOI  COWBOY  

    Great Gobblin' Goblins !

      SOI  COWBOY  

     NANA  PLAZA  
                No, these are not the wicked Witches of Eastwick, in spite of the bewitching smiles.   Check out the Morning Night at the NEP....

      NANA  PLAZA  

                The newest bar in Nana Plaza (open about two weeks ago) is Strap's.   You will find them at the top of the stairs, 2nd floor.   It is a coyote club, smallish for today's standards, but with a friendly mamasan and attractive staff (who, shades of old, actually come over and sit with the customers).   Welcome them to the machine.

      NANA  PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  
                The Telephone Pub is making note of their being in 'the biz' for twenty-four years.   A respectable survival rating anywhere in Bangkok, but all the more difficult in Soi Katoey where often bars will last a couple of months before going under.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)


    Door Art Of The Month

    The Dali has recently re-neoned, their new signage now in consonance with sister Monet.   Very visible, most attractive.


                While we are on matters 'Dali' - we should note that their upstairs Dali Coyote Club has been dying a slow death for several months, now.   However, now it is official - and there are no plans to reopen in the foreseeable.
    - File photo           

                Hookers are down, but not out, say those on the ground.   Hopefully, they have just headed for higher ground while business ebbs with the rising threat of flooding.
    - File photo           

                Likewise, Beavers should be reopening shortly, if rumors on the street are anything to go by.   We'll check back next issue and get back atcha.
    - File photo           

                The Horse Says Moooo winebar & restaurant, closed down because of the threat of floods, should be reopening right about..... now...

             Likewise the Tengoku massage, also closed due to a rumor of water, should be reopening as we speak.....
    - File photo           

                The thriving The Sportman Bar & Restaurant seems not to have been taken in by flood rumors.   As they become better known, their popularity increases.

                The Monkey Bizness bar beer, closed down for part of October, should be reopened by now.   We'll go back, and come back, and let you know if any different.....

      SOI  EDEN  
                Subtlety probably not their strong suit, the new Dr BJ's Salon has opened in the old Boo Sa Bar digs.   The good doctor himself doesn't actually dispense services - you will have to see one of his 'nurses' for that......   .....But, wait!   What's that we see in the upper right hand corner in Thai script?   "Boo Sa Bar" ?   Welcome back to the sharkpool, then.
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                Balls - The Sports Bar is obviously on the ropes - open one month, and closed the next.   This month, however, they are "closed".
    - File photo        



    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, Girl Friend Bar, on the 2nd floor above the Safari, closed.   It would not reopen.   There is no Nitespot at that location today.
    PATPONG   1 -  November 2001

          Ten years ago, Horse Shoes bar beer came into existence.   Originally, "Hot Shoes", it was absorbed by Chicken Divine, then broke off on it's own again - as Horse Shoes - it is still there (on 'The Island') today.
    PATPONG   2 -  November 2001

          A decade ago, New Hare & Hound Pub and Restaurant closed down for good.   It immediately started renovations - and would eventually open up as the Dollhouse A Go-Go.   They are still at that location today.
    SOI   COWBOY -  November 2001

          Ten years ago, Cat House opened in the old Pool Boxers digs (which had then-recently gone under).   It was located on the 2nd floor where today's Straps hangs it's shingle.
    NANA   PLAZA -  November 2001

          A decade ago, Exposure reopened - it had been closed since the previous August.   
    SOI   KATOEY -  November 2001

          A decade ago, G-4 opened it's doors for the first time.   That location, previously home to 420 and Icy Hot, is currently occupied by Bearbie.
    SOI   KATOEY -  November 2001

          Ten years ago, the Sunflower Traditional & Foot Massage opened it's doors.   Currently that location is occupied by AS Massage.
    WASHINGTON   SQUARE -  November 2001

          A decade ago, Takemura opened on the ground floor of the Peep Inn Park.
    SOI   SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  November 2001

          Ten years ago, this month, Blue Sky Club also on the ground floor of the Peep Inn Park, closed it's doors.
    SOI   SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  November 2001

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

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

                 Ten years ago, Friends Karaoke closed down - located on the right side of Asoke Corner.

                 A decade ago, the Oasis II bar beer opened in the 8-Pak in Asoke Corner near Soi 23.

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

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - 2001

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

          A decade ago, two of Clinton Plaza's five closed A Go-Go bars reopened (Doll House A Go-Go remained open, and did not close down).

             *  Hollywood A Go Go East - (the front section only).
             *  The Candy Store

    The remaining three closed A Go-Go bars would slowly reopen over the ensuing months.

          Ten years ago the O.K. Beer Bar located outside against the outer wall, closed.

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - November 2001

    TOBACCO  ROAD   -  2001

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

                Ten years ago, this month, the Honey Bar Drink & Food bar beer reopened.   They were located half-way down on your right, as you walked in.

    TOBACCO  ROAD  - November 2001



    INTRO To "Wall Candy" - (OR, 'GRAFFITI FOR DUMMIES')

             Perhaps one of the most extraneous and arcane forms of Night Entertainment is that of graffiti.   Often illegal, frequently artistic, occasionally humorous, and most of the time controversial.   Graffiti is not a form of 'entertainment' that all will enjoy.   Many see it as vandalism - plain and simple, while others see it as an art form, or 'art brut' - a street sub-set of Modern Art.

             The "Graffiti Artist" as hyped in Hollywood film is the lone-wolf who steals into the night dressed in camo, wearing butyl-soled rock-climbing shoes with cans of spraypaint strapped to his torso - someone who, from all outward appearances, could easily be mistaken for a suicide bomber on a skateboard.   By the light of a full moon he works feverishly throughout the night, trying to finish his graphic social protest before he is seen by pry-eyed up-tight neighbors, or a passing squad car, or the first light of dawn, whichever comes first.   In one Hollywood film a graffiti writer was lowered off a bridge by his feet to create a spectacular and very irritating (to the police) work-of-art while suspended upside-down.   The reality, however, is much more mundane than that, as may be seen in Banksey's latest award-winning film, Exit Through The Gift Shop <link>.

             Nevertheless, even with the shattering of the 'mystique' of the graffiti writer, as graffiti becomes more mainstream (appearing in renown galleries, and auctioned at famous auction houses), the works produced are not diminished in any way - colorful, twisted, irreverent, vulgar, disturbing, esoteric, thought-provoking, often strikingly beautiful in their own weird way, and almost always original.   

             The artist gets off on accomplishing the works.   The viewer either gets off on enjoying the work, or is offended by it.   Either of which pleases the artist.   If you are one of those who enjoys such, this column is for you.

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


    Ghaddaffi On The Street

    - Contributor does not claim to be source        

          Without a shadow of a doubt, the most newsworthy graffiti this last month was that which had anything to do with Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi - if Google searches and that which is showered upon us by today's News-Entertainment Media are any indication....

    - Contributor does not claim to be source        

          And whether you cheered his death and are welcoming the Arab Spring with Pollyannaish glee, and see this as the end of a years-long murderous reign of terror, or are among those who have seen none of the proof of this reign of torture over the years and are demanding to know why he, Ghaddaffi, was summarily executed, he was most certainly summarily executed, nonetheless.   And much of the graffiti before and after his death indicated that his demise was on a lot of folks' minds - a very real possibility became very real.

    - Contributor does not claim to be source        

          And whether you spelled his name Muammar Qaddafi, Muammar Al-Gathafi, Muammar al-Qadhafi, Mu’ammar Al Qathafi, Muammar Al Qathafi, Moamar El Gaddafi, Moammar El Kadhafi, Moamer El Kazzafi, Mu’Ammar El Qathafi, Muammar Gadafi, Moamar Gaddafi, or any of the remaining total of 112 possible ways (really), his physical features begged for parody by graffiti artists and political cartoonists.

    - Contributor does not claim to be source        

          Under Ghaddaffi's regime, we are told, the likes of graffiti were not allowed, the punishment being very severe (possibly even as severe as Singapore's ?).   This begs the question; if they had no graffiti, would that then mean they had no graffiti artists?    Not wanting to start conspiracy theories, we would like to know where all the highly accomplished graff artists came from... NATO?....      OK, OK, juuuuuust kidding........

    - Contributor does not claim to be source        

          Come what may, this Graffiti is unmistakably seen, not as wall candy, but as playing a small, but very visible part of the propaganda campaign that was mounted alongside the so-called 'freedom fighters"' military campaign.   ....And of course, our faithful media-whores were right there to provide us with all of it, the whole catastrophe, the 'entertainment of war'....

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


    Graffiti #505
    Flood Fido
    7 ft. high x 10 ft.

    Graffiti #506
    Pumpkin Patch
    7 ft. high x 32 ft.

    Graffiti #507
    6 ft. high x 9 ft.

    Graffiti #508
    3 ft. high x (length) ft.

    Graffiti #509
    30 ft. high x 12 ft (inclusive0.

    Graffiti #510
    7 ft. high x 37 ft.

    Graffiti #511
    Flesh Butterflies
    7 ft. high x 12 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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