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01 June 2015
William R.  Morledge

June's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   Cutting a Foreign Rug
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #111

         Ten years ago, the area encompassing Rachadapisek Sois 4, 6 and 8 were the 'hotspot' of Thai Nightlife, and the farang population was just becoming aware that they, too, were welcome - as they were at RCA.   The area was known to the foreigners as "Hollywood" or "Hollywood on Rachada", and most of the farang Nightcrawlers had spent at least one night checking out 'the scene' there.

         The combined area had 33 Nitespots between them, and there was every indication that the area would continue to grow.   On October of 2006 the Midnite Hour decided we shouldn't wait, we should survey the areas before they reached their peak in order to have point-in-time historical coverage of the "Hollywood scene" in the event it took off as a major Expat destination.   See our article, Rachada's Other Face <link>

         Well, as they say, that was then, this is now.   Through a series of developments and incidents, the Hollywood scene at Rachada has all but disappeared.   The major disruption to the Night Entertainment Area was the construction of the Thailand Cultural Center, the subway station of that name, and all the ancillary structures associated with it.   Most of the land was simply usurped.   The second, and also critical reason was - we were seeing almost every month where Thai Nitespots were being busted for drugs, oftentimes the Police Chief responsible for suppressing drugs in these areas was "reassigned to an inactive post" for his purposeful, or otherwise, negligence.   The third reason was the gradual decentralization of the Thai Entertainment Industry.   The smart-places-to-be, the "in" places were appearing elsewhere throughout Bangkok, from Sri Nakarin Road to Rama III and elsewhere - and the 'flavor of the moment' would continue to change every few months.

          The Hollywood Awards (which we all knew as just Hollywood) is still there at the back of Soi 8, and only has any business to speak of on Friday and Saturday nights.   There is one other venue on that Soi, new since our last survey, called APP Arena, which likewise has virtually no customers except on the weekends.   I learned from the taxi drivers that the APP is a gay pickup venue.   That's a total of three Nitespots on two Sois.   Soi 6 is closed off to the public - see Map above..

         Our revisit to the "Hollywood at Rachada" was enlightening, to say the least.   If not already evident from the above, the place was literally a ghost town.   In summation, there were three Nightspot Venues currently open for business, while virtually all the other structures were abandoned, or already gone.   SNOP, one of the old original Nitespots, was the only Night Entertainment Venue open on Rachada Soi 4.   Once you cross the bridge over the khlong, there is virtually nothing at the rear but market stalls.

      The decimation of what was once a vibrant Night Entertainment Area was a surprise, but, nevertheless, the only conclusion that can be drawn at this late date, is that the lands on Rachadapisek Road are just too valuable for single and two storey bars.   That which is not already redeveloped (the Thai Cultural Center and MRT) will soon be.   ...And need it be said, if you were one of those with great memories of the "Hollywood" scene a decade or so ago, don't go back.   Or to say it another way, 'you can't go back'.


June's Thai Smile could possibly be the widest in the land....

         The new Vincent Calvino novel by Christopher G Moore has just been released.   It may be ordered on line.

? 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.

Cutting a Foreign Rug


My father passed away 7 years ago, and I have recently been going through some papers which I had never gotten round to.   During the late 70's and early 80's my father used to spend a few months of the year working in Hong Kong - well that is what he told my mother anyway !

To cut a long story short, it would appear that he was actually spending a lot of time in Bangkok, and I have just found a cutting from the Bangkok Post advertising the "Cosmic Club" at the First Hotel, 2 Petchburi Road.   In the advert is a large photo of a dance floor, with a man dressed in a suit dancing with a young Thai lady, and yes, you guessed it ... the man is my father !!   WTF.   The advert also has the wording "Royal Sprites Relation Shampoo" inviting you and your parties to dancing on our Stainless floor nightly from 8pm etc etc.

My question is ... would anyone know, or remember this Cosmic Club, and what type of club was it ?   Was it a pick up joint full of FL's (freelancers), like an old-day CM2 or Spazo, or a small hotel club with a dance floor, mainly for guests etc.   Any details about this Cosmic Club would be of great interest to me !!

Thanks in anticipation.

Kind Regards


Greetings, CS,

      While we are quite familiar with the 'action' during the '70's and '80's on Petchburi Road, and while we have visited the First Hotel on a number of occasions, we do not recall specifically the Cosmic Club.   (Any of our readers please corrrect us.)   Had the Cosmic Club been any other than a venue for mostly hotel guests, the word would have got around to those of us who were on the streets virtually every night.

      What with the new wing, demolition and renovations, there is now no trace as to where the Cosmic Club might have once been.   But certainly, the Cosmic Club could not have been a popular freelancer destination - those of us on the streets would have heard about it through the bamboo telegraph had it been so.    (The freelancers from the Thermae, Nana, and Grace would have known, and included it on their 'circuit'.   Also the taxi drivers would have known, and would have been readily touting it.)   Whatever it was, it was a minor player.

      A matter of set and setting.   Your father obviously was coming to Bangkok on-the-quiet for a reason, and that reason would not likely have been for work, or to relax at the First Hotel and to have a quiet dance at the club downstairs.   He could have brought in someone from outside the hotel, or even have met one of the few ladies that possibly did frequent the First Hotel.   Or he could have met a clerk at Robinsons that he kept on the side as a 'regular', ...any number of possibilities.   He did have the presence of mind to be terribly discreet, which counts for everything.

      As for "Royal Sprites Relation Shampoo", we haven't the foggiest ..... unless the group we Googled was the same Thai group "Royal Sprites" that played at the First Hotel.   Timeframes look compatible.   Could be a lead.....   Should we hear further on any of the above, we shall let you know.   (See pic above and ).


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 June 2015 Follies begin...
BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.
            A pic of the long-standing Gold Finger's - one of the oldest A Go-Go bars on Patpong I.   One for the archives.

Door Art Of The Month

             The Club Electric Blue has gone all out - inside and out.   In addition to the new, and spectacular neon, they have done everything from reupholstering the benches to sprucing up the bathrooms.   While not normally within our purview, the Pattaya Electric Blue will be reopening in the very near future - in the old Baby Doll digs.   Gotta let 'em roll on....

  PATPONG  2  

            The Barcelona Cocktail Lounge located up on The Ramp has reopened after a brief closure.   Welcome them back to the dogfight.
- File photo        
  PATPONG  2  

            Padlocks-on-the-deck and dark shadows were all that greeted passers-by and would-be customers at the Glamour Girls the other night.   They have closed down before - for various reasons, let's see if they pop back up out of their crypt yet again....   In the meantime, we'll be expunging them from the rolls...
- File photo        
  PATPONG  2  

            An on-the-fly, "for-the-archives" pic of Baccara.   May they persevere....

             We noted last month that Bubbles had closed their doors, their coyotes released back into the wild.   (Not quite true, they went to affiliated bars for the short-term.)   But Bubbles did not stay closed - they popped back to life mid-month, as though nothing had happened....   We suspect this is just a part of an elaborate game of Musical-Chairs, so let's wait and see how long they stay open....   But for the interim, welcome them back to the neon jungle....

             Candy Land closed at the very beginning of May, so we missed reporting the closure until this, our June issue.   But no time for tears, from what we hear, that was part of the Musical Chairs plan all along... to move them over to the new Candy Land 2 (which is still open, by the way).
- File photo         

            Last month we heard discussion that the Jail Birdz might resume renovations , and open in June (taking on the coyotes from Bubbles).   Well, as it happens, the first part of that came true - there has been significant progress on the interior renovations.   And the second part -opening in June- could just come true also.   We'll keep our eyeballs peeled and get back atcha next time.

            In the Rajah Hotel compound, the X Box closed down very quietly and was immediately taken over by the brand-new Rest Hub Pub & Bar.   Located on the ground floor of the hotel outbuilding facing Soi Nana 4.   Welcome to bright lights, big city.
  SOI   NANA   


            The For Fun has completed their interior renovations and are back to their rock 'n rolling ways.   (Note, the outside verandah, shown below, did not close during these renovations.
- File photo        

   SOI  22
The Most Beautiful Girls

      Asia Massage, that is.....

SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             The Soft Sense Massage & Spa has opened newly in the already overcrowded Lemongrass sub-soi (just past the now-renovating Queen's Park Plaza Hotel).   It hasn't stopped them from doing a land-office business, however - we showed up before 11:00 the other night and they had so many customers inside, they had to put up the "CLOSED" sign.   May they continue to slip 'n slide.

SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             One of the stranger Japanese hybrid Nitespots, Girls Restaurant Bar Pasela, is poised to open right about ....NOW.   Part restaurant, part karaoke, part bar, and part beautiful girls.   Don't ask, I have no idea how all this is supposed to work.   Located deep in the Soi, near New Cowboy Bar.   We shall report back next time and see how they are getting on....

SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             The Momiya Jasmine Massage has closed - but then again, they have been doing that on occasion.   Let's wait and see if they decide they want to come back to work, or not....   In the meantime - off the rolls until further notice.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             A side-door pic (for the archives) of the tiny Honey Bar (Honey House) - located at the front of Honey Plaza.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             The Fee Far / Fah Haircut & Spa was closed the other night when we passed by.   Too many customers, or not enough?    Located in Soi Lemongrass.   We'll keep our ear to the ground and get back atcha...
- File photo           
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

               The first we knew, they were tearing out the front of the Bar Fly; we didn't know then that it had closed.   Bar Fly had a pretty good run at it, however, opening in January 2010, having taken over from Powelly before it.    Opening in it's place this month is the Kangaroo Sports Bar.   May the nightwinds blow kindly....

               The on-again Lips, off-again Lips is off-again for good this time.   Time for a re-naming session : they will be called Renoir 2015 just as soon as renovations (which include an open patio) are complete.   Expect them to open before the end of the month.


               Taking over at the ex-Top Up 33 is the Isarn food emporium Baan Isarn 2 (for short).   This is their second outlet, after the first successful undertaking in Soi 31.    As they are not a Night Entertainment Venue, per-se, we will not continue reportage.

                The Hillary 3 Pub & Pool has some wild new neon adorning the front of their bar.   All else unchanged.   Let the rock continue to rock.

               A For-The-Archives pic of the Queen's Park Plaza as viewed from the center lane, street-side.

   SOI  EDEN  
            The Sweet Heart Bar having moved into Soi Eden in the ~ 2004/ 2005 timeframe was already in place when Soi Eden reached critical mass as a Night Entertainment Area in May of 2005 - except it was then called Sweet Heart Club.   It changed over to Sweet Heart Bar in November of 2008, and remained such until last month, when it closed.   In recent times, it became a katoey bar, which was not very successful, and it was only a matter of time before it closed.   The new bar, New Life Bar, has, from all that can be observed, female staff once again.   May the Fates deal them all aces and faces....

- File photo  

SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

            Gone, but not gone, the Down Under (which was battened down last month when we passed by) is back full-tilt.   (We had suspected a temporary closure, as the wooden kangaroo was still left out front....).
- File photo  
SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

            Balls The Sports Bar has closed yet again.   Something tells me they have run headlong into the abyss this time....
- File photo           



 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 upstairs Pantera Rosa commenced hanging out an additional sign reading La Panthera Rose.   There is currently no Nitespot at this location.

Patpong 2

    *  The upstairs Pantera Rosa (also having an entrance on Patpong I, see above), continued using Cassanova - the name would 'officially' change to this in subsequent months.   There is currently no Nitespot at this 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 (~ June 1988 - 9 June 2006)
(Also known - originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)

   *  No changes that month / year.


A Film

Click Here



*Click Here*
-read ALL About it....










Bangkok Nightlife





Graffer sprays Bangkok court

-Photo made available to public by Court official.  

   Nattapol Kemngoen, felt that the police had accomplished nothing in their investigation of the incident last February, where a soldier shot dead his friend.   He decided to express his anger in a direct, if illegal manner.   On 24 May 2015 he spraypainted two "Anarchy Symbols" on the front of the Bangkok Criminal Court complex.

   The authorities took the dimmest of views, and after reviewing the CCTV footage, it was just a matter of going out and rounding him up.   He was charged with damaging public property, and may face further charges of contempt of court.   He has confessed to painting the symbols on the front of the Criminal Court.   The case is still pending.

   Although less than 1% of all graffiti is of this nature and intent, because of it's high visibility and obvious disrespect for law and order, graffiti continues to be viewed in the lowest of terms.

Graffiti #799
My Broom
7 ft high x 11 ft

Graffiti #800
7 ft high x 17 ft

Graffiti #801
6 ft high x 12 ft

Graffiti #802
La Pat
7 ft high x 10 ft

Graffiti #803
Air And Then Some
7 ft high x 16 ft

Graffiti #804
7 ft high x 10 ft

Graffiti #805
Halo Hex
7 ft high x 10 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 -    A Go-Go Bar Ratings
01 FEB -    Are Cops Gouging Nitelifers?
01 MAR -   Bad Company
01 APR -    LK Metro - Pattaya
01 MAY -    Soi 33 goes East
01 JUN -    Rachada Fades

- 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 )

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