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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Sri Nakarin South

01 September 2011
William R. Morledge

September's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Trance Clubs
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #70

         Rarely does a month go by that we at Midnight Hour don't hear of a great new Nitespot or a fantastic new 'Bar Area' somewhere in, or near Bangkok.   These Nitespot Venues are always reported to have the best looking, friendliest girls in Thailand, the etc, etc.   Invariably when we go to check things out, we are not only disappointed in what we find, but rather disappointed in the people that have so energetically and imaginitively painted such glowing pictures for our benefit.   Without exception, these 'new' places are never what one expects.

Door Art Of The Month

The use of billboard-sized posters is quite common on Sri Nakarin South (as with virtually all Thai entertainment areas).   Quite often it is done to good effect, as with D.D. Plaza, above.   Highest marks for eye-catching originality.


         So, when we at Midnight Hour heard tales of an up-and-coming Night Entertainment Area on Sri Nakarin Road, we were (to put it mildly) only luke-warm at best about the likelihood of travelling all that distance, only to find yet another underwhelming "Sutthisan / Intamara"...   

         The first problem we encountered, even before we set out, was WHERE on Sri Nakarin Road were these supposed Nitespots located?   - Sri Nakarin is several miles long, extending all the way down to Pak Nam in Samut Prakan.   Fortunately, this problem was solved by our staff masseuse, who is from Phra Pradaeng, who just happens to have a girllfriend who dances Coyote in one of the bars there.   So, two weeks ago, with her as guide, we made our initial exploratory trip there.   And.... to our surprise, there were actually several (30, to be exact) full-fledged Night Entertainment Venues along the stretch of south Sri Nakarin Road - starting from the Theparak Road intersection going south the the old Sukhumvit highway (see map, above).

4x4 Offroad is a large Entertainment Emporium set back off the road - but easily spotted by equally large neon.


         In truth, we were expecting a few dreary single-shophouse Thai karaoke places with a strand of Christmas lights strung across the front door and window.   And there were a couple of those, ...but we most definitely were not prepared for the several emporium-sized Entertainment Complexes having such as massage, Thai massage, pub, restaurant, karaoke and private rooms, and / or lounge - all under one roof.   Several of these Entertainment Complexes are multi-million baht investments, no matter how you slice it.   (But as we did not believe them, you should not believe us - take a copy of our map and go have a look yourselves.)

The Angel Strawberry Club is... well, we don't know what a strawberry club is either....


         You would be 100% correct to assume that this area is not geared to expats.   This is an almost exclusively Thai area - not by design, but due to sheer isolation - it is nowhere near any expat Night Entertainment Area - from the furthest bar to the center of Bangkok it is right on 27 kilometers - it's nearest bar is more than two kilometers south of the Bang Na - Trat Highway..    Also, and interestingly, some of the Nitespots we found in Sri Nakarin South do not conform to definitions we normally use for the expat community.   In addition to the Entertainment Complexes noted above, they have what would best be called Music Bars and Supper Clubs, both which have live entertainment, and often karaoke, and a side bar, where occasional action can be found..   This type of venue most likely evolved through the venue owners' making the best use of their 'just plain restaurant' licenses....   Well, more power to them....

Roman is one of the larger multi-plex Entertainment Emporiums on South Sri Nakarin.


         As we proceeded down Sri Nakarin South, we also noted that there was a good deal of land that was not developed, or only partially developed.   We had the sense that we were 'out in the sticks' - in another Province.   And of course we were.   But it begs the question - why would so much investment in the Night Entertainment Scene have already been made in an area that is basically 'out in the middle of nowhere', and why are they continuing to develop?   On the surface of it, it just didn't make sense.

The Miami Beat is a large, modern disco-pub with it's own lake-view.


         Of course, Occam's Razor tells us that the simplest answer is usually the correct answer.   The obvious reasons are land prices (too expensive now on Soi 33, too expensive on Rachada... etc).   Also, licensing (to include enforcement) - a no-brainer.   Less ovbvious is that although Sri Nakarin South is still mostly undeveloped, just behind the front row of buildings, should you decide to follow any of the dozen or so sois back, you would find large already completed and mostly occupied moo bans (gated communities) - and more on the way.   Also, this area is near major arteries (Sri Nakarin itself, the Bang Phli - Suksawat Expressway and Suwannaphum airport).   Furthermore, the area is experiencing an imperceptibly slow (like the hour-hand on a clock) explosion of new construction - and population, which is not at all noticeable to the night-time visitor..   Tesco Lotus already has a superstore smack-dab in the middle of it all.   Looks, first impressions, indeed, are deceiving.

Here are a couple of additional pics of D.D. Plaza.


         The Sri Nakarin South area is currently experiencing, and is poised for considerable additional development in the near future, to include an ongoing build-up of it's Night Entertainment Scene.   And while, on the surface of things, this may be encouraging, there is not much likelihood that 'the Scene' will be oriented toward expat consumption any time soon - it is likely to remain a Thai Thai area for the forseeable future.   Of course, expats are welcome, and Bangkok's southern neighbors are, in fact, more friendly (old style Thai).   It's just that the average expat will normally not find this Thai smorgasbord of Night Entertainment to his liking.   

The Sun 80th is a Thai disco & club.   (No, we don't know what the "80th' is all about either.)


         As can be gathered from the above, Sri Nakarin South will prove to be a major inconvenience for the average expat resident or visitor to Thailand.   Not only is this area outside of Bangkok proper, the entire area is too spread out to walk to the various Venues once you get there.   For example, it is almost impossible to walk across the street in most cases, as Sri Nakarin Road is a divided motorway - divided by a khlong.   You need to find a footbridge or a vehicle U-Turn if you want to visit a bar across the street.   A vehicle is 'a must' if you are planning a visit there.   Another thing worth mentioning at this juncture is an expat indulging in the Entertainment Scene at Sri Nakarin South may find he is going to have to pay to have coyote girls or hostesses sit with him - in 20 minute segments, or that he will be required to 'buy a bottle' - not the same experience we have grown accustomed to in downtown Sin City East.

The 'Teung Mue' (no English sign) is a Thai club set back from the main road, but easily spotted from outside.


         While it may seem that we are attempting to discourage visitors from visiting Sri Nakarin South, this is not the case - our primary intent here is to 'report'.   Nevertheless, if you are the type of person who occasionally likes to 'get away' - to break the mold and do something other than go to the same old 3 or 4 bars, and the same old 3 or 4 restaurants you always go to - and if you would like to see how the larger half of Thailand's Nightscene works, you could do well to set out on such an adventure as this.

The Nuada is yet another multi-plex Entertainment Emporium.


         Oh, and before we forget - discerning nightcrawlers take note - as you approach the old Sukhumvit Road on Sri Nakarin South, you will find a string of late-night khao tom shops on the left hand side of the roadway....

The J.One is a Thai club and disco.


The Itchy is a supper club - disco with some live entertainment.


The Seralph is primarily a karoke with private entertainment rooms (VIP).


The P.J Lounge & Karaoke also features a coyote club....


*Click* and Go >>>>
to see our full Sri Nakarin South Mini-Pictorial

The Enjoy Health & Spa is just that.... a spa.


The K. Muang Samut is a karaoke / coyote pub.


The Heart Inn (no English sign) is the main Thai hotel in service to the Night Scene in Sri Nakarin South.


The Maytika is another supper club featuring entertainment, although from the outside, one would never guess this.


The Cuba is a supper club - pub.


*Click* and Go >>>>
to see our full Sri Nakarin South Mini-Pictorial


- Photo courtesy Jondalar         Copyright Jondalar

          Ohh, those grainy old black & white photos.   This almost imperceptible smile goes back to the old Thermae days, before it moved into it's current location.   Back in the day, the girls would often go just to talk the night away with girlfriends, or to celebrate someone's birthday with a couple of bac of Mehkong and a bucket of ice.   But that was another time and another place...........

? Old

Any old PHOTOS of
Bangkok's Nightlife ?

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Many Thanks,
William R Morledge

 Historical Minutiae Dept.

Trance the Light Fantastic

Dear Mr. Hartman,

I will be visiting Bangkok first week of September.   This is my first visit but I guess will be the first of many more to come.   I ain't much into the meat market thing, but I love partying, meeting new friends and specially listening to some good trance music.   Could you let me know the best trance clubs in Bangkok ?   Also I'm a stag (28 yrs old, Indian) and travel alone, so I don't wanna feel out of place in places which aren't meant for single men.   I'll be staying at Sukhumvit Soi 3.

I'll be grateful for your guidance.

Thanks, J.Q.
Greetings, J.Q.,

         Although it has been some years since Bangkok's last 100% dedicated trance club closed (the Om Trance Club on Soi Katoey closed in November 2002), trance music remains.   However, one has to catch it as it plays.   Often disc jockeys who are into trance music will be retained at such venues as the Narcissus (can be Googled), however they provide their exclusive type of entertainment for a limited gig only.   The other main source of trance music in Bangkok is at the various raves held in and around town.   Again, timing is everything, so I would suggest that you go to the Ravelinks website ( and see what's hot -and where- at the actual time of your arrival in Bangkok.

   We do not know of any restrictions in Bangkok's Nightscene against single-male participation, however we have heard of prejudicial entrance criteria in very rare instances.   Another problem you may (rarely) encounter is some Nite Venues are "member clubs" (try them anyway, as many say they are 'member clubs' but will still let you in).   The other problem is many people, and many Nitespots, do not really know the difference between trance music and techno.   Don't give up, you will soon locate the Bangkok venues that will suit your tastes.

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 old Safari is still in operation and has it's good days.   Or should we say good nights?   Let the good times roll.
      PATPONG  I  

    It was a Dark and Stormy Night...

                This year's Southwest Monsoon Season has been far wetter than those in recent years.   Most of Bangkok's Night Entertainment Areas have felt the pinch due to frequent evening showers - and the follow-on lessening of nightcrawling.
      PATPONG  I  

      PATPONG  II  
                The Chicken Divine is sporting some attractive new neon - and they seem to be keeping busy.   Keep on keeping on.
      PATPONG  II  

                The S.T.V. bar beer (Memphis Queen) is the first of that string of bars along that stretch of PPII to reopen after the general renovation that gutted the last of the old Bat Boat digs - note that they also have remodeled.   They expect new neon by this time next month.   Business as usual - welcome them back to the sharkpool.
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                As the rains come down and the young ladies scamper for cover, we gaze upward and note that the Deja Vu facade is undergoing a complete renovation - to include the area once occupied by the Apache.   I guess that puts an end to the speculation, then.    This being Deja Vu's second expansion, it really is Deja Vu all over again....
      SOI  COWBOY  

     NANA  PLAZA  
                A "for the archives" shot of the NEP - showing the recent additions: Las Vegas and Billboard.

      NANA  PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  
                The Bearbie is closed - they say for a month - for renovations. But bar owners are not really good judges of craftsmen and their construction schedules, so let's wait and see if and when it reopens....
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

                The Fashion Massage Club has nailed up some alluring new signage (located deep in Soi Pan Pan).   The massage menu remains unchanged.   May they continue to prosper at the hand of the nightgods.

                Gone, but not gone, we are pleased to welcome Hookers back to the Bangkok nightcircus.   Status quo ante.
    - File photo           

                Closed indefinitely is the recently opened Supalak Massage.   They only opened in March - a short run, indeed.   Judging by other recent closures of massage parlors along that same strip, one could easily conlcude that business is falling off deeper into the Soi.   Greener pastures, ladies....
    - File photo           

             The New Yuki Hana was looking more than a little closed when we passed by the other evening.   We'll check back, and get back atcha once we get a final read-out.
    - File photo           

                A for-the-archives pic of The Dubliner Pub.   They seem to do a good business, rain or shine....   

                The brand new Classic Club has taken over the reins from the now defunct Bada Bing, and it looks like they hit the ground running.   Welcome to the machine.

                Platinum has reopened yet again - they have been opening and closing so often we don't know if we should bother keeping a running tally...   Welcome them back to the vicissitudes.
    - File photo           

      SOI  EDEN  
                The Thai Terrace Bar & Restaurant has undergone a complete overhaul - and looking good, to boot.   Welcome them back to the piranha pool.
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                Only cold steel roller-shutters greeted those nightcrawlers returning to the Siam Smile - it disappeared, lock stock and chrome barstool this last month - with no indication of where they went.   The Siam Smile goes way back - it started out back in Asoke Plaza before the greedhead real estate developers crushed the beer bars and ran all of them out on a rail.   In the early days, the Siam Smile was heavily sponsored by a "Scandinavian".   
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                Thanks to alert reader and contributor "J", we find out that the bar beer in front of Ocean Boy is in fact under separate ownership, and is, or will soon be called the Scorpion Bar.   When they tack up the new neon, we shall be there with camera at the stand-by.



    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, Supergirls, the upstairs all-nude A Go-Go Showbar, reopened after a one-month closure.   Today there is no bar at that location.   Of historical interest, their real name was Blue Angel Bar.
    PATPONG   1 -  September 2001

          Ten years ago, Lipstick, a popular upstairs showbar, closed down.   There is currently no Nitespot at that location.   (Their real name at that time was actually Pink Lady.)
    PATPONG   1 -  September 2001

          A decade ago, Camelot Castle closed down for a brief renovation.   They are still at that location today.
    PATPONG   1 -  September 2001

          Ten years ago, Eden Bar Beer opened in the old Eden Garden Kama Sutra digs (which had then-recently gone under).   It was located below today's Red Parrot (however that real estate is no longer a Nitespot).
    PATPONG   2 -  September 2001

          A decade ago, Tik-Ko Living Room opened up on The Ramp in the old Be Be Club digs.   This real estate (up until very recently) was last occupied by Chill Chill, and is now unoccupied.
    PATPONG   2 -  September 2001

          Ten years ago, Hot Shoes bar beer opened up in the old Suzie Wong bar beer digs - (today's Horse Shoes) on The Island.
    PATPONG   2 -  September 2001

          A decade ago, Chicken Divine closed down temporarily.   They are still there today.
    PATPONG   2 -  September 2001

          Ten years ago, Susie Wong closed down temporarily (a coincidence that they closed down the same time as the Suzie Wong on PPII).   They are still at that location today.
    SOI   COWBOY -  September 2001

          A decade ago, Fanny's opened their doors for the first time.   They took over the reins from the Shirtz 'N Flirtz (which had just closed.)   Fanny's is still there today.
    SOI   COWBOY -  September 2001

          One decade ago, Vixens / Rock Hard opened up in what was, up until then, the Vixens Nightclub (up on the second floor).   The Balcony Bar & Hotel currently occupies that real estate.
    NANA  PLAZA  -   September 2001

          Ten years ago, White Bar (located just past Tapas) took over the reins of the 114 Club.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4) -   September 2001

          A decade ago, this month, Exposure (located at the end of the Soi just past Kool Spot) took over the reins of the 114 Club.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4) -   September 2001

          Ten years back, this month, the Madame Claude Bar & Lounge Bachelor Club opened in the back of the 33 Complex, taking over the reins of the 33 House Karaoke.   The Blue Heaven now occupies that shophouse.
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS- (SUKHUMVIT  SOI  33) -   September 2001

          A decade ago, this month, the Guden Guden Japanese lounge closed in the Peep Inn Park.   
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS- (SUKHUMVIT  SOI  33) -   September 2001

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

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

                 Ten years ago, C. J. Pub & Restaurant opened in the just-closed Lanna Bar & Rest area in the front, facing Sukhumvit Road.

                 A decade ago, the Night Fever bar beer closed - located in The Island.

                 Also on the right-hand side of the Asoke Corner side, and also a decade ago, the The Golden Elephant closed it's doors.

                 Ten years ago, the Shagnasty's bar beer opened on the left side of the Asoke Corner area.   

                 A decade back, in the 8-Pak, several new bar beers opened:

             *  Naughty Bar
             *  Sweet Heart
             *  Miaw Witch Bar
             *  Oasis
             *  B-52 II

                 A decade ago, there were two additional unnamed bar beers that opened that month - in future editions we will provide their names.

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

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - 2001

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

          A decade ago, virtually all of Clinton Plaza's A Go-Go bars closed down (leaving only the original Doll House A Go-Go still open.)

             *  The White House A Go-Go
             *  Rock Hard
             *  Hollywood A Go Go East
             *  Crack House
             *  The Candy Store

    All of the above A Go-Go bars would slowly reopen over the ensuing months.

          Ten years ago the Rock Hard Beer Bar Bangkok also closed.   It would not reopen.

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - September 2001

    TOBACCO  ROAD   - September 2001

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

                Ten years ago, this month, the Mad Dogs bar beer reopened after a one-month shut-down.   They were located at the front, two back, on your left - as you walked in.

    TOBACCO  ROAD  - September 2001




             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>. ]


    'Graffiti Giants' of Europe

          Paul Bloas, 50, creator of Europe's 'graffiti giants', is not your average graffiti artist - his daytime job for the last twenty years has been that of 'artist' - with many showings of his works, and many auction houses having sold his works under the gavel.   Bloas lives and centers his activities in Brest, France, however he also has been plying his "graffiti giants" across Europe in such diverse corners as London, Berlin, Bilbao, Beirut and Belgrade.   His outsized paintings vary in size, starting from two to three meters in height, and are usually rendered on ordinary workshop paper.   The paintings, usually done at his own studio, are then brought to the selected sites and put up, pasted up, like giant posters.

          The "giants" are naturally at the mercy of bad weather, or more radically - the 'claw of man', but in any case, it can at least be said that these 'Bloas Giants' do not permanently scar the neighborhood.

          One primary difference between an "artist" and a true "graffiti artist" is that the "artist" invariably needs to philosophize and explain his work, where the "graffiti artist" puts it out there for what it is.   Bloas, as artist, is no different - he explains that it is not his intent to hit the viewer in the eye with a bright pointed object, but rather let the work be absorbed by the viewer as part of the surrounds.   He notes of his 'giants' of Lisbon; '...their dark silhouettes suggest the difficult days of European countries most affected by the crisis.'   To the uninitiated eye, this would sound like opportunism.... ahennnh...

          Another fundamental difference between "artist" and "graffiti artist" is, as in Bloas' case, many of his 'graffiti giant' works are, in fact, commissioned.   Nevertheless, many are not (even though there is still the unavoidable, lingering hint of 'self-promotion' raising it's dollar-sign head).    He is currently pursuing his 'graffiti giants' program - searching for new hosts for his paper titans.

          Bloas recently completed a series of paintings at an old Foreign Legion camp in Diego Suarez Bay, in the northern tip of Madagascar - a project he started in 1999.   This mega-project was of special interest to Bloas, as Madagascar is the land of his childhood.   He is currently selling his book (and/or a DVD) entitled, "Mada, Standing on Land and Water" - which documents this artistic tour-de-force.

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

    Graffiti #491
    6 ft. high x 11 ft.

    Graffiti #492
    8 ft. high x 23 ft.

    Graffiti #493
    Such Bother
    6 ft. high x 15 ft.

    Graffiti #494
    Fence Me In
    7 ft. high x 34 ft.

    Graffiti #495
    Classic Take
    8 ft. high x 15 ft.

    Graffiti #496
    6 ft. high x 21 ft.

    Graffiti #497
    Percy's Day
    8 ft. high x 14 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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