01 December 2014
William R.  Morledge

December's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   Cracked Crackdown Rumor.....
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #107

         t had been a while since we had 'hit the bars' in Soi Sarasin and Soi Lang Suan.   And we assumed there would be changes; some of the old places gone, some new places popping up.   However what we did not expect was that everything  had changed - absolutely none of the old haunts still existed, and that included bars and restaurants.   Where did the 'other' Pan Pan Italian Restaurant go?   Where did the Whole Earth go?   Where was the blues bar?   And mainly, where is the Brown Sugar?   (Actually, it did go somewhere - but that's another story.)

The Wine Bridge doesn't look like much from the street.   In fact it looks like nothing more than this neon sign stuck on a small overhead footbridge.   But don't be fooled - walk inside, and find a large Night Entertainment facility of several separate areas, to include an outside (under roof) area.   Live music on the weekends.

         If we can steal a line from Heracleitus, you cannot step twice into the same river.   And that couldn't be more true than on Sois Sarasin and Lang Suan.   Not only are all the entertainment and eating establishments gone (and sometimes replaced with other venues) but the entire area has more acreage under renovation than any area I can recall in Bangkok history.   This is not superlative-laced ranting; there are several large tracts of land under redevelopment on both sois.   I'm not talking about the occasional vacant lot - take for example a single development on Lang Suan that stretches from Soi 3 to Soi 6, having closed off Sois 4 and 5 entirely (have a look at the map below).   And this is only one of the several projects.   Most of Soi Sarasin from Lang Suan to Witthayu Road is now demolished and under redevelopment.   This is big-time.

         Were it not for the street sign, I wouldn't have known the Soi Lang Suan of recent memory.   And once the redevelopment-in-progress is completed, I will not be able to recognize it yet again.   'The only constant is change' : truer words never spoken.   Nevertheless, in spite of the vast ongoing redevelopment, there is a Nitescene to be found, however limited.

Yes, the Trio is a Jazz Bar, and yes, it really has art exhibitions.   Worth exploring.

         It is immediately apparent that the Nightscene development on these two sois, such as it is, is the same as can be found in virtually every other part of Bangkok.   If the City of Bangkok were to be a participant in the O.T.O.P. Program*, it's most ubiquitous product would be 'Massage Parlors'.   In the Bangkok Nightlife world, the 'Massage Parlor' is definitely the flavor of the decade.   There is virtually no main road or adjacent soi in Bangkok that you might twist and turn onto, or out of, that doesn't have a smattering of massage parlors.

The Stonehouse Bistro & Bar is the closest thing to a mixed Nitespot (Farang and Thai) to be found on Soi Lang Suan.   A large facility with adequate seating, both inside and out.   The larger percentage of Farang visitors to Soi Lang Suan appear to enjoy this pub atmosphere.

         But this isn't meant to imply that Soi Lang Suan is only massage parlors.   The beginnings of an Night Entertainment plaza can be found at The Portico, which currently has 5 Nitespots and a couple of decent restaurants.   Further on down the soi, the Stonehouse can be found, which caters to all, and further yet on down the soi, the Wine Bridge sets the mark for 'full entertainment'.

         The question which we, as a matter of course, ask : Are Soi Sarasin & Soi Lang Suan now, or will they be in the foreseeable future, viable Expat Night Entertainment Area(s)?   The immediate answer is - these two sois, singly or in combination, currently do not have the 'critical mass' - they currently do not have the 'draw-power' to bring crowds and keep them there for an evening.   And, currently, the existing Nitespots are not contiguously located, too spread out to qualify as a single Nitespot Area.   But, never say never.   In another year or two, when the massive construction projects are completed, we are likely to see, first, new restaurants opening, then (in order) Bistro-bars, Music (jazz / blues) bars, and perhaps a karaoke or two, much as what we currently see happening on Soi 11 Sukhumvit.

         We will be keeping a closer eye on Soi Sarasin and Soi Lang Suan in the future, but I suspect, because of the widespread ongoing construction, we are about two years out from seeing a rush to open new Nitespots.   When that happens, we shall mount another serious survey.

The @ Langsuan Boutique Spa is set off the main soi but is easy to locate.   Geared mostly to female custom, but presumably open to all.

* O.T.O.P. Program - a Thaksin initiative.   - A program, One Tambon, One Product, where the Government provides assistance to each Tambon, or Subdistrict in Thailand to promote commercially it's most important product.   This still-struggling program never really took off - firstly, villagers were already 'promoting' their products to the best of their ability, and the government helping them to market didn't equate to the average villager, all of a sudden, selling more.   Secondly, there are way too many Tambons, too many trying to sell the same wares - there are only so many wicker baskets, only so many umbrellas, only so many dried banana fritters you are going to be able to sell in a given period, and it doesn't matter how many commercial fairs you organize to try to change that.


December's smile is Isan born-and-bred.

? 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.

Massage Parlors Closed ?

Hey Boge,

I got several emails and SMS from friends about a general crackdown on "naughty" massage parlors in the Sukhumvit area.   I traced these back to a website called '".   The problem is I know people who own properties on some of the sois they mentioned (Soi 22, Soi 24 Soi 33, and Soi 26), and I was visiting on Soi 33 the night of the supposed 'crackdown'.   My friends and I are not aware of this supposed crackdown, can you shed any light on this?   How can a website spread a report like this?

B in B

Greetings, B in B,

We also got a number of queries on this - in addition to yours.   We were not previously aware of any website called, but it in fact exists.   We at Midnight Hour tend to encourage any and all new websites on the Bangkok Nitescene, and will promote those with original output.

However, it behooves all Bangkok Nightlife websites to insure accuracy in their reporting, otherwise, they will lose credibility with their readership public and their advertisers.   And in this instance, they might also lose credibility with the powers-that-be, which would be a most undesirable 'unforeseen consequence'...   We should note that when we first heard this rumor, we went to a number of venues on Soi 22 and Soi 33, and to a person, we could not find a single individual, to include massage parlor staff, who knew anything about this reported crackdown.   We later checked at other locations - and found no, zero, substantiation.   It is indeed possible that there were some combined police-army checks at some venues somewhere, and the rumor-mill blew the story out of proportion, but we do not know this to be true, either.   Suffice it to say, things in the Sukhumvit world of massage parlors, are, and were unchanged.

As a matter of historical reference, we used to publish Night Entertainment rumors - as rumors, under the kicker "Where There's Smoke, There's Mirrors" and rate them as bogus, or factual.   'Bogus' won more than 90 percent of the time.   The reason we stopped this feature was people were reading our rumors, not too carefully, and later writing in to us demanding to know why they didn't come true.   WTF?   Go figger....

Boge Hartman

Email and "ASK US" - -   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 December 2014 Follies begin...
BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.
            The Thigh Bar has added a small counter bar streetside for those who would like to sit outside and watch the zoo.   Let it roll on....

            Likewise, the Black Pagoda has opened what must be the smallest bar beer in Thailand - just downstairs, at street level, from their main A Go-Go venue on the 3rd floor.   Said A Go-Go continues to rock 'n roll status quo ante.
  PATPONG  2  

            This past month The Strip A Go-Go had a Bikini Beach Party.   The Strip regularly has various new 'themes' to keep things all the more interesting.   May they keep on keeping on.
  PATPONG  2  

            The Top Light Bar, closed briefly last month, has reopened.   We were told that they closed last month for a few days because no one came to open the bar.   Huh?   Welcome back, just the same.......
  PATPONG  2  

            The Dollhouse, looking very much the worse for wear, is not falling apart - they are in the throes of a major renovation - which should be finished this time next month.   We note they aren't closed, or even slowing down inside - the chrome poles continue to be well staffed.

             The talk-on-the-block about the Bubbles replacing the Wild Thing appears to be at least mostly true - however it doesn't look like the Wild Thing is entirely out of the picture (so to speak).   We wish Bubbles fame and fortune as they join the neon circus.
Door Art Of The Month

             The Bubbles A Go-Go neon provides an attractive addition to the NEP - reflections included.   The best new signage we've seen anywhere this last month.   We anticipate more of the same to come, once they drop the rest of the Wild Thing neon - and at that time, we shall be back with our cameras poised...


             The 2nd floor Straps may just be the best single-shophouse A Go-Go in Bangkok - a well run bar  -in the old style-  with an attractive and energetic staff.   Say no more.....

             Suckers now have their permanent neon up - and looking fine.   Actually, it's just like their previous temporary sign, except it doesn't have the old Lollipop sign showing through anymore.   May they continue the romp.

             Last month we noted that i Darts Metal officially opened their doors to the public.   This month they have added some prominent new neon - easily seen from the streetside passers-by.   Located in Soi Big Mango.....
  SOI   NANA   

             Last month the Swan Massage & Salon (sometimes written 'Salon & Massage)', took over the reins from Sabai @ 4 Massage.   May they continue to slip and slide.
  SOI   NANA   

             After a brief closure last month, the Guess Bar is open, business as usual.   Actually there is no guessing, this is a transgender bar.
- File photo        
  SOI   NANA   

             No, The Balcony is not taking on a new partner - they are now, however, featuring Mont Clair wines from South Africa.....

   SOI  22
             The Polaris, a long running Japanese lounge, has cashed in their chips.   The sign on the front says the premises are up for lease.   May they find satisfaction further on down the road.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

              We noted a couple of months ago, with some trepidation, that the Wine Depot, had newly opened across the street from the now-closed (and renovating) Imperial Queen's Park Hotel.   Our fear was that their timing was bad - with the closing of the hotel, they would have greatly reduced passing foot-traffic.   Well, we were wrong - not only do they keep customers coming through the doors, but they have opened an additional lounge-room at the side, making for a spacious Nitespot.   May the force be with them.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             Waew's Massage has taken over the reins from the now defunct Momiya Massage.   Located deep in the Soi, across the street from the New Cowboy Bar.   Welcome them to the sharkpool.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             Lotus Massage has closed after a fairly good run.   Greener pastures, ladies.....
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

              What's with the Be Rich Massage?   On the one hand, we have never seen them open, on the other hand they have a sign up for hiring new masseuses.   Located in Soi Lemongrass.   We'll keep an eyeball peeled, and get back atcha.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

              The Momiya Jasmine massage has reopened after a brief closure last month.   Welcome them back to the slippery slope.
- File photo        
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

              The Rin Massage has thrown in the towel - they will not be coming out for the next round.   (They were) located in Soi Lemongrass.

( No photo available)

SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

               The new Tomoe Club (Japanese-oriented) has taken over from the previous occupants, the Mirai Club (Japanese-oriented).   Located deep in the Soi, in the small sub-soi on your left.   Welcome them to partytown.

               The Honey In Soi 33 has opened in the now closed down Massage Club Mitu.   Welcome them to fun city.   Some are saying their sign is just a tad too explicit... the immortal words of Mukda, 'Shake it, don't break it."

               The Sakura, located in the old Gauguin digs, never did reopen, however, it did paint "Snack" on the window - so there are signs of life, after all.   And at least we know what type of Nitespot it may someday become.   We will put them on the vigil, and report again next time around.

               No. 1 Massage, was closed briefly at the end of last month, however should be reopening right about......    now.
- File photo        

                The Foot Joy Massage has been a Soi Ambassador stalwart since before our original survey in June 2007.   May they long endure.   This photo for our archives.

               The long-standing Rumour's Bar has nailed up some new neon.   Hard to miss, and looking good.   May they continue the long march.

   SOI  EDEN  
            A for-the-archives photo of Dr. BJ's Salon.   While 'prostitution' is at least technically on the books as a 'no-no', apparently some variations-on-the-theme are not, as may be implied when the sweet young lady in librarian glasses demurely mentions to passing foot-traffic, "Browjob, Kha."
SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

            The Hot Male and the Hot Male 2 have combined.   All is now just Hot Male.   From the signage, one need not guess that this is a gay bar.



 20 YEARS AGO  :


With thanks to Cool Text -

Bangkok Eyes goes back in time to see
Who was new - And who was through
in the Expat Night Entertainment world.
How many of these old 'oases'
do you remember ?

Patpong I

    *  The SuperStar reopened that month after a two-month closure.   It is still there today.

    *  The Smile Club (originally Napoleon) officially became 'Radio City'.   Currently home to Lust A Go-Go.

Patpong 2

    *  The Body Talk Thai Traditional Massage located on the 4th floor in the stairwell opposite Foodland, became the Body Talk Cafe Bar.      There is no Nitespot currently at that location.

Soi Cowboy

   *  No changes that month / year.

Nana Plaza

   *  No changes that month / year.

Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4)

   *  No changes that month / year.

Buckskin Joe Village (~ March 1988 - 9 June 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai, and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)

    *  The Cedar Bar beer bar closed down permanently.


A Film

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Bangkok Nightlife





Singapore  vs  Graffiti

wo German nationals were detained by police in Kuala Lumpur for allegedly spraying graffiti on a Singapore MRT train in Bishan Station on 8 November 2014.   They were then extradited back to Singapore - in a remarkably quick case of inter-governmental cooperation.   On their return to Singapore, they were promptly arrested and charged not only with vandalism (spraypainting graffiti onto government property), but with tresspassing (into the government owned train yard).

Copyright Singapore Straits Times - Fair use terms and conditions apply.

Police stated the two men, Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz, both 21 years of age, were preparing to leave Kuala Lumpur International Airport on a flight back to Australia, where they were reportedly employed.

A photo of the Singapore MRT train allegedly spraypainted by the German nationals.   However one can't help but note that this train has been vandalized multiple times.   Surely an explanation will be forthcoming?
Unattributed submission

Both tresspassing and vandalism can warrant extreme punishment in Singapore.   Trespassing is punishable by up to 2 years in jail, a fine of up to S$1,000, or both.   Vandalism, is punishable by up to 3 years in jail or a fine of up to S$2,000, and between 3 and 8 strokes of a rattan cane.   If convicted of both crimes, the pair could face a long and bloody stay in Singapore's correctional facilities.   (Yes, caning can be a bloody and crippling affair...)

A video-outtake of an earlier, 2010 paint-bombing of a Singapore MRT train.   A Swiss national was convicted of the crime.
Unattributed submission

This latest incident involving foreigners apprehended in Singapore for graffiti vandalism has once again grabbed international headlines.   The two previous incidents, likewise, made international news.   The most recent previous imprisonment for graffiti was in 2010, where Swiss national Oliver Fricker was sentenced to seven months in jail and three strokes of the cane.   Previously, in 1994, an American teenager, Michael Fay, was caned for vandalizing automobiles.   Appeals from the US Government on his behalf fell on deaf ears.

The illegal deeds , the graffiti vandalism and the tresspassing, are not particularly newsworthy, in that perpetrators are being caught on a regular basis in practically every country on earth, every day of the year.   What makes the Singapore graffiti stories 'newsworthy' is the disproportionate nature of the punishments.   These stories serve to cause readers throughout the world to ask, 'Does the punishment fit the crime?

Graffiti #757
3 ft high x 2 ft

Graffiti #758
6 ft high x 11 ft

Graffiti #759
Deep Chile
6 ft high x 19 ft

Graffiti #760
6 ft high x 15 ft

Graffiti #761
6 ft high x 15 ft

Graffiti #762
6 ft high x 20 ft

Graffiti #763
6 ft high x 13 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


"The Archives" - All Our Back Issues Here

- 2015 -
01 JAN -   

- 2014 -
01 JAN -   Bangkok's Got The Blues
01 FEB -   Soi 26 - Stayin' Alive
01 MAR -    Nightscene rues Mob
01 APR -    My Friend owns a Bar...
01 MAY -    Soi's 3, 5 and 7
01 JUN -    Curfew's Costly Cut
01 JUL -    Soi 13 Makes It's Move
01 AUG -    Pattaya Does The Twist
01 SEP -    Soi's 18 & 20 - Quieter is Better
01 OCT -    Soi's 10 & 14 - Lesser known Sois
01 NOV -    A Good Old Boy...
01 DEC -    Lang Suan & Sarasin

- 2013 -
01 JAN -    Not Fade Away - The Survivors
01 FEB -    Rare Old Photos
01 MAR -   Copa Reprise
01 APR -    Arise, Soi 22
01 MAY -    Where to Next ?
01 JUN -    Bangkok Noir
01 JUL -    MAPS - The Major Update
01 AUG -    Lamai Lamai Lamai
01 SEP -    Tim 'Wanchai' Young
01 OCT -    Soi Wall Street
01 NOV -    Little Thonglor - Soi 11
01 DEC -    Mississippi Queen

- 2012 -
01 JAN -    Mama-San
01 FEB -    Our 10th Anniversary Issue !
01 MAR -    How Gay Nana ?
01 APR -    Sukhumvit' Soi 23 - The Big Picture
01 MAY -    Khao San Road - Unique Bazaar
01 JUN -    Ekamai - It Used To Be Too Far
01 JUL -    Nightlife Pioneers
01 AUG -    The New Puritans
01 SEP -    Nana - On It's Own
01 OCT -    FAIL - War on Nitespot Drugs
01 NOV -    Patpong Unbroken
01 DEC -    Drugs & the Nightscene in History

- 2011 -
01 JAN -    Patpong's 'Glory Days'
01 FEB -    Nightlife In A Digital Age
01 MAR -    Co-Co Walk Plaza
01 APR -    Soi 33 Marches On
01 MAY -    Nightlife Permissiveness
01 JUN -    Ghosts of Nitelife Past
01 JUL -    STATE - The Cinema, Soi & Area
01 AUG -    Soi Darling
01 SEP -    Sri Nakarin South
01 OCT -    Soi 8 Reprise
01 NOV -    Floodless in Bangkok
01 DEC -    Soi Udomsuk

- 2010 -
01 JAN -    Street Bars II - The Triple-Dip
01 FEB -    Our Kind Of Art - II    - Chris Coles
01 MAR -    The Dead Artist Bars - Soi 33
01 APR -    "Soi Ginza" - Thaniya Road
01 MAY -    Night Scene Blues (Red Shirts 1)
01 JUN -    Nitespots Recover Slowly (Reds 2)
01 JUL -    World Cup Special
01 AUG -    Those Old Photos
01 SEP -    The German Invasion
01 OCT -    Racism & Prejudice
01 NOV -    Soi 11 Revisited
01 DEC -    Soi 22 Updater

- 2009 -
01 JAN -    The Santika Fire
01 FEB -    Salt & Pepper
01 MAR -    Nana Plaza - Update & Maps
01 APR -    Soi Nana Update
01 MAY -    The Nightscene & The Riots
01 JUN -    "19" Re-Focus
01 JUL -    Rain Dogs - The Underground
01 AUG -    Soi Thonglor - A bridge-too-far
01 SEP -    Ban Chang - Our Little Secret
01 OCT -    The "Ginza Effect'
01 NOV -    Royal City Avenue (RCA)
01 DEC -    Sutthisan & The Inthamara's

- 2008 -
01 JAN -    2007 - Looking Back
01 FEB -    Owning A Bar
01 MAR -    Expat's Bangkok
01 APR -    Nude Dancing
01 MAY -    After Midnite
01 JUN -    Night Scene In Flux
01 JUL -    Our Kind Of Art
01 AUG -    Trendy Plaza Reprise
01 SEP -    The Elephants Are ....Back
01 OCT -    Grand Prix Intro
01 NOV -    Grand Prix - Rick's Story
01 DEC -    "Old Bangkok Hand"

- 2007-
01 JAN -    Bombs Blast Bangkok
01 FEB -    Bangkok's Nightscene Websites
01 MAR -    Prasitipol Dance Bar To Fall
01 APR -    Soi 5 Neon Review
01 MAY -    A Go-Go Bangkok
01 JUN -    Arise ! Soi 11
01 JUL -    Anatomy Of A Bar Area
01 AUG -    Soi 26 - Too Far ?
01 SEP -    Chuwit Guilty
01 OCT -    Daytime Nana Plaza
01 NOV -    Cowboy - All Of It
01 DEC -    Another Nitespot Area Falls

- 2006 -
01 JAN -    Pattaya Ascending
01 FEB -    A Go-Go Then & Now
01 MAR -    ' Madrid '
01 APR -    White Heat
01 MAY -    Politics & Nightlife
01 JUN -    Fagin's Bratpack
01 JUL -    King Bhumipol's 60th Anniversary
01 AUG -    Soi 10 - The Final Shaft
01 SEP -    Pattaya's Soi Bua Khow
01 OCT -    Rachada's Other Face
01 NOV -    Soi 22s Other Bars
01 DEC -    Soi Eden Goes A Go-Go

- 2005 -
01 JAN -    Asoke Plaza Crushed
01 FEB -    The 'Nana Scene'
01 MAR -    Asoke Plaza Smashed Again
01 APR -    Sukhumvit 1 Plaza 'Arrives'
01 MAY -    Welcome 'Soi Eden'
01 JUN -    Bangkok's Bareback Riders
01 JUL -    Soi 22 - A Macro View
01 AUG -    Nana's Slide
01 SEP -    Cowboy Street Scene
01 OCT -    The Pattaya Run
01 NOV -    Soi 19 In Focus
01 DEC -    Bad Girls

- 2004 -
01 JAN -    Bangkok's Darkest Year
01 FEB -    Where Is Trink ?
01 MAR -    Soi 33 Just Won't Stop
01 APR -    Cracks In The Crackdown
01 MAY -    In The Zone
01 JUN -    "Night-Scene Jumbos
01 JUL -    Easy Square 'On The Map'
01 AUG -    Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza
01 SEP -    Khlong Toey Revisited
01 OCT -    Koh Samui's Night Scene
01 NOV -    Soi 1 Opens
01 DEC -    The Bangkok Pub Scene

- 2003 -
01 JAN -    Cowboy Crackdown
01 FEB -    Sukhumvit Square Smashed
01 MAR -    Soi 10 Survivors
01 APR -    War & The Night Scene
01 MAY -    Entertainment Blues
01 JUN -    '13 Night Market' Reborn
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza Falls
01 AUG -    Soi 24 Nightscene Review
01 SEP -    Does Soi Nana Measure Up?
01 OCT -    Patpong - Legend & Myth
01 NOV -    Easy Square 'Launched'
01 DEC -    Soi Cowboy Urine-Swoop

- 2002 -
01 FEB -    January: Big Changes In Bar Scene
09 JUN -    Sukhumvit Square 'Explosion'

20 JUN -    Soi 22's Queen's Park Plaza
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza - Already Dead?
01 AUG -    Bar Beers Now "Major Players"
16 AUG -    July: Bar Beers Gaining Ground
01 SEP -    A Go-Gos A-building
17 SEP -    Virtual Bars
01 OCT -    A History In The Making
01 NOV -    Pool Bars Come Of Age
01 DEC -    November's Night Follies
15 DEC -    Genesis: Sukhumvit's Night Scene
- 2001 -
20 NOV ( The Seminal Emails )

Copyright 2002 - 2014,   BANGKOK EYES /