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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Sukhumvit's Soi 23

01 April 2012
William R.  Morledge

April's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Remembering Dino's
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #78

         This month Midnight Hour revisits the Night Scene action on Sukhumvit Soi 23.    It has been a few years since we did a top-to-bottom review that soi, and we find our visit is way past due : there have been several notable changes.

         We have included Soi Cowboy in the general survey this time around, however we did so to provide perspective rather than highlight that Night Entertainment Area (see our separate monthly update of Soi Cowboy below).

         Most of the Nitespots that were there on our last visit were still in existence, however we noted a lot of new venues deeper in the Soi - and virtually all of them were massage parlors of one type or another.   There are enough massage parlors now on Soi 23 that they alone could constitute a Night Entertainment Area in their own right - at least quantity-wise.
Door Art Of The Month

          The Narcissus, after having moved down to the 'corner of the soi' a couple of years back, has continued to increase the variety of available entertainment, and to create a most attractive facade.   As may be seen above.   The best looking place in town.


         The other large build-up of bars is deeper yet into the soi, winding back past Pegasus and on towards Soi 31.   This area is primarily geared to Nippon custom, to include clubs, lounges, karaokes, massage parlors, restaurants and 'snack' places (refer to our map above).

         As long-time readers may recall, Midnight Hour continues to resurvey Soi 23 and similar areas containing Night Entertainment Venues, with a mind to determine whether or not any area qualifies as self-sustaining Night Entertainment Area in it's own right.   However, this time around we saw that not all the criteria, especially that of being generally "contiguous", had been met.

         The long-standing 'Pegasus Group' have slowly continued to expand, adding the Rush to their stable.   They have done considerable work on their exterior decorations - much to the benefit of the eye.

         One of the more interesting additions to the Soi 23 scene were the Pub-Restaurants.   Most prominent, and now quite popular, is The Queen Victoria Pub located just past Soi Cowboy.   Not much deeper into the soi on the other side of the street is the new Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill - a well-appointed pub-restaurant type venue.   A bit deeper into the soi, after making a left turn as though to exit onto Asoke, you will see the Crossbar.   It has been there a while, however it is looking better with time.

         Midnight Hour would definitely recommend that the next time you are in the Cowboy area, take a look, and a short walk down Soi 23 and check out the action for yourself.

         Below are a few more representative photos of Soi 23 for your perusal.





          A great Thai Smile from a young lady living very near Bangkok.....

? 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.

Dino's Of Old


Some decades ago, I was stationed in Thailand while in the military with a Radio Research unit on the outskirts of Bangkok.   One of our favorite places was a place called Dinos Bar.    Is it still there, and can you let me know where it is?   A couple of us old hands plan to return to Thailand and hang out at some of the old spots.

Much appreciated.


Greetings, Bell,

It depends on what you mean by "outskirts" when you refer to Bangkok.   There was a Dino's in Pattaya in the mid-1970's, but we suspect you are referring to the Dino's that was located at the top of Sukhumvit Soi 29.   It is no longer there, lasting until the late '70's or early '80's (we don't have the exact date on hand).

You may have missed our earlier article about Dinos. If so, then CLICK HERE and read all about it in our July 2005 issue.

'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 April 2012 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  

                The second of two Nice Massage traditional massage parlors (the upstairs one) looked darker than a poisoned well when we passed by the other evening.   They had only been open a couple of months.
    - File photo        
      PATPONG  I  

      PATPONG  II  
                In what was the In Traffic Bar up until August 2009, the fledgling Top Lite has seen fit to roll out the red carpet.   They don't yet have their own sign (having left the last occupant's in place).   Welcome them to Partytown.
      PATPONG  II  

                Gone, but not gone, Three Ladys is back full-throttle.   May the nightgods smile kindly this time around.
    - File photo        
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  

                The Soi Cowboy Sign has, until very recently, rarely been working at 100%.   We snapped this pic the other night - one more for the archives.
      SOI  COWBOY  

     NANA  PLAZA  
                The Angel Witch continues to cook with gas.   May they persevere.   This pic to update our archives.....
      NANA   PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  
                The Stranger has thrown it's hat into the ring this last month.   The custom both straight and gay.   Welcome them to the machine.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

                Tapas Room Club has some bright new (sponsored) neon.   Probably a good idea, as Tapas always look like they are hiding in the shadows....
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)


                Tsubaki Club having advertised that they would be open this month, have done so.   After a brief renovation, they have opened up in the old Chip In Club digs.   Primarily a Nippon entertainment venue.   May the capricious nightgods see things their way....

                The Phoenix 33 Karaoke has actually been open for a couple of months, but were waiting for the legal name to be registered (previously neon-less).   The 'Phoenix' name has been carried over from the group's earlier Phoenix Lounge (Blue Power Shaft), which was located in the Peep Inn Park.   (Phoenix Lounge closed in July 2003.)   The new Phoenix 33 Karaoke is located next door to (and is actually a family member of) the Blue Heaven in the 33 Complex.   Welcome them as they cast their lot with the rest.

                The nearly invisible Sabai Sabai Massage & Beauty at the very end of Soi Pan Pan has taken over the reins from the recently rigor mortised Relax Beauty Massage.   Welcome them as they wade into the dark side of bright city lights.

                The Tengoku Massage, have some new, bigger, brighter neon - hopefully attracting additional passers-by.   We wish them constancy.

                The Kiss, having plunged headlong into the abyss, were soon supplanted by the strangely named TG New Outlook 2012 Club.   We can't help but wonder what they will call themselves next year.   Nevertheless, we welcome them to the sideshow.

                The Joy, having closed and opened several times over the last couple of years is once again "closed".   However, we will not expunge them from the rolls just now, as we expect them to pop out of their crypt yet again (any day now).   If, and when they do, we will surely advise.
    - File photo        

                Papa, it seems, closes it's doors about once a year, for reasons unbeknownst to us.   This is one of those times.   We'll keep an ear to the ground, and should they reopen, you'll be the first to know.
    - File photo        

                Washington Square has been slowly closing down as a Night Entertainment Area for the last several months.   Most of the Nitespots have already either closed or relocated; the Area has dropped below the "critical mass" required to sustain customer interest.   This will exacerbate the problems of the remaining bars to an even greater extent than at present.   Midnight Hour will no longer report on this Night Entertainment Area on a monthly basis.   However we will continue to track that area and report any additional closures of existing bars - as they occur.
    - M.H.   April 2012  

                The Dirty Deez actually opened two months ago, but as we have some additional photo coverage, we thought we would add it to the 'archives'.   May they continue to rock & roll.

      SOI  EDEN  
                The Crazy Hot is making life a little more interesting on Soi Eden - they now have (nearly) full-time outside A Go-Go.   Looking more like Pattaya all the time.   Shake it, don't break it ladies......
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                The Fresh Beach Boy seems to be segueing into plain old Fresh Boys.   Let's adopt a wait and see on this one.

                The Ocean Boy has answered Darwin's harsh call - a rusting padlock hangs silently on the door.   There has been a change of owners, and there will likely be a name change.   Look for the new bar to open in about 6 weeks.   Note : the small unnamed bar beer in front remains open, however.
    - 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  :
          Ten years ago, the Thai Lady Massage (2nd floor) near today's Thigh Bar closed down.   Those premises are now home to a rip-off bar/massage.
    PATPONG   1 -  April 2002

          A decade ago, the Eden Foam Bar opened on the ground floor just below today's Red Parrot.   There is no Night Entertainment Venue at that location today.
    PATPONG   2 -  April 2002

          Ten years ago, the Suzie Wong closed its doors (temporarily, again)....   It is still there today.
    SOI   COWBOY -  April 2002

          A decade back, the Cascade closed down temporarily.   It's bar beer out front stayed open however.   It is still there today.
    NANA   PLAZA -  April 2002

          Ten years ago, the Hollywood Rock closed down.   It would reopen soon after that.   It is still there today.
    NANA   PLAZA -  April 2002

          Ten years back, the Obsession closed temporarily - it's bar beer out front staying open.   It is still there today.
    NANA   PLAZA -  April 2002

          Ten years back, the Akasuri Korea Style Massage took over the reins from Sazanka massage.   No Nitespot occupies that real estate currently.
    WASHINGTON   SQUARE -  April 2002

          A decade ago, Suika moved its location two doors down - without closing.   It was located in the 33 Complex.   It is no longer there.
    SOI   SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  April 2002

          Ten years ago, Blue Sky Club closed it's doors.   It was located on the second floor of the Peep Inn Park (Now S 33 Hotel)   
    SOI   SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  April 2002

          A decade back, Pen bar beer opened it's doors for the first time.   It is no longer there, those premises now occupied by Top Secret bar beer.
    SOI   QUEEN'S   PARK   PLAZA  -  April 2002

          Ten years ago, Why Not closed down.   It was located where the 3-Sister Bar is now keeping shop.
    SOI   QUEEN'S   PARK   PLAZA  -  April 2002

          A decade ago, O.B. 1 Bar opened in what is now the Lucky Bar.
    SOI   QUEEN'S   PARK   PLAZA  -  April 2002

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /  ASOKE  CORNER - (previously Cowboy Annex) - 2002

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

                 Ten years ago,The Run Amok Bar reopened after a brief one-month closure.   It was located in 'Lolita's corner' in the Asoke Corner area.

                 A decade ago, the Broom Bar bar beer opened in the '8-Pak' in the old Oh ! Yes 2 digs in the Asoke Corner half.

                 Ten years back, Rin's Karaoke opened on the left in the Soi 23 side.

                 Also ten years ago, the Corner bar beer closed down in the front Asoke Plaza side, facing the intersection.   

                 A decade back, also on the Soi 23 side, the Princess bar beer opened for business in the "4-Pak".

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /  ASOKE  CORNER - (previously "COWBOY ANNEX") - April 2002

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - 2002

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

          A decade ago, the Rock Hard Bar Beer reopened it's doors.   It was located outside, at the back of the main building.

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - April 2002

    SUKHUMVIT  SQUARE   - 2002

    Sukhumvit Square
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( January 2002 - 26 January 2003 )

             The Lighthouse opened ten years ago.   It was facing out onto Sukhumvit Road.

             Ten years back, the Wild Plum opened - also facing out onto Sukhumvit Road.

             Ten years back, the Mooney opened on the east side of the compound.

             Ten years back, the Walker Bar Pool &Dart opened on the east side of the compound.

             Ten years back, the Suzy & Crazy opened on the east side of the compound.   It had just relocated from across the street in Clinton Plaza.

             Ten years back, the Harry Potter pub opened - also on the east side of the compound.
    SUKHUMVIT  SQUARE   - April 2002

    TOBACCO  ROAD   -  2002

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

                Ten years ago, this month, the Species bar beer closed up shop.   It was located about half way back on the left as you walked in.
    TOBACCO  ROAD  - April 2002



    (An "Introduction" to Graffiti for those interested
    in the "Art" and the "Controversy".)

             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.      (....Continued....)

    (New to this page?    Click HERE  for our full "Intro to Graffiti")

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


    Red Goats Invade Kingston

             In the name of "urban renewal", the Kingston (New York) local government was implementing a 'revitalization' of the Stockade District under what they called "The Pike Plan" canopy renovation (costing US$ 1.6 million).   A substantial portion of this renovation was the placing of several large blocky white planter boxes and "park-bench" type seating along the city's downtown sidewalks.   Immediately after the project was completed, and just prior to the dedication of the project, someone in the dark-of-night came to town and stenciled several red goats on 11 of the planters.

    - Excerpted New York Times - 'fair use' allowances and restrictions apply.         

    In that Kingston's Pike Plan renovation project was seen as 'heavy-handed', and a total maintenance nightmare, as well as an imprudent waste of taxpayer monies by a great number of the locals, the immediate reaction was twofold:   Half of the people said the stenciling of the red goats on public property was a disgraceful act of vandalism.   The other half were rather taken with the idea, many even assigning a "meaning" to the goats - giving them 'symbolism'.   Some even said the goats were an act of defiance against this less-than-popular renovation project.

    - Excerpted Facebook - 'fair use' allowances and restrictions apply.         

    The police immediately began investigating - determined to catch the red goat culprits.   In their gestapo-like zeal they were even interrogating private citizens who said nothing more than they didn't have any real objection to the red goats.   Kingston's Alderman Thomas Hoffay, who can say with relative surety that his I.Q. is at least 2 digits, said also that the goats were as big a threat to the community as gang graffiti.   In his own immortal words, “Bloods, Crips, goats — it’s all the same.”   He also said, “This is mocking the community.   It is mocking the people of the city of Kingston.   I would invite the people who were against the Pike Plan to come out and say, 'graffiti is wrong' ".   Well, Alderman Hoffay, that didn't happen, did it?

    - Excerpted Wikipedia - 'fair use' allowances and restrictions apply.         

    Shortly afterward, after viewing CCTV tapes, the police detained the two culprits, who were to expect a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison for their various crimes, including "third-degree criminal mischief" which is a felony in New York.   Excuse me, but whatever happened to having the punishment fit the crime?   Whatever happened to, say, a 1000 hours of community service?    It is a wondrous thing to watch from afar as American jurisprudence decays into medieval English law where a child could be imprisoned indefinitely for stealing a loaf of bread.   Their arrest and the threat of Draconian retaliation by the legal system, however, was a huge mistake - their story went viral.    Twitter blasted the story around the globe.   A Facebook page sprouted up with photos and all - and an opportunity to send away for your very own goat stencil.   The red goat story is now all over YouTube, and has it's own Wikipedia pages.   Newspapers nationwide picked up the story.  A local tattoo artist began offering red goat tats for US$37 a pop.   The red goats themselves started to spread all over Kingston, and were soon found in nearby townships - as other graffiti artists picked up the gauntlet and ran with it (if we can mix a metaphor, or two.)   And then, they were everywhere - almost overnight red goats appeared in Brooklyn, Michigan, Missouri, an art show in Miami Beach, Florida and even in Canada.

    - Excerpted Facebook - 'fair use' allowances and restrictions apply.         

    As the red goats began to spread, so did their significance, their symbolism.   Kingston's own local rag, the The Kingston Times, went so far as to write an editorial calling for the citizenry to "embrace its inner goat".   It went on to say, “The red goat is a great symbol - simple, striking, edgy, easy to remember and easier to associate with a sense of stubborn defiance.”   And last, but not least, in the endless, un-resolvable "art vs vandalism" debate, many are referring to this graffiti, nay, insisting that this graffiti is "art" (although we find it difficult to envision a goat stencil, which was originally a public-domain free-download image, as "art").

    The fate of the two graffiti artists has not been resolved at this juncture.

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

    Graffiti #540
    Thai Satai
    8 ft. high x 13 ft . (plus enlarged detail)

    Graffiti #541
    Toof Fairy
    8 ft. high x 21 ft.

    Graffiti #542
    Ticked On
    6 ft. high x 13 ft.

    Graffiti #543
    6 ft. high x 5ft.

    Graffiti #544
    Hat Boy
    8 ft. high x 14 ft.

    Graffiti #545
    Krewd Up
    6 ft. high x 8 ft.

    Graffiti #546
    Big B&W
    8 ft. high x 74 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 - 2012,   BANGKOK EYES /

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