This month Midnight Hour continues with our Bangkok Night Entertainment Area map updates. Last month, we updated the Nana Plaza Night Entertainment Area map, so to maintain a bit of continuity, this month we will update the Soi Nana Night Entertainment Area (Sukhumvit Soi 4).
Since our last update in July 2013, we have noted the disappearance of a few bars, some of them long-standing, such as The Big Mango and Naughty Girls, but there have been a number of new Nitespots coming on board these last couple of years, giving Soi Nana a slow-but-steady growth record.
Time permitting, the remainder of the expat Night Entertainment Area maps for Bangkok will be updated in upcoming issues this year.
Hate to say it but bored in Bangkok - been coming for 10 years, now living here, and it seems to be on steady decline the last five. Like Bangkok has given up on the sex trade and just giving it a typical Thai halfhearted flailing end, with only the olds ones hanging on to an old dream. Nana's buildings are renovated but the girls seem older than the buildings.
Anyways my question: Where do I find attractive, young independents? What are the current hot spots? I used to find 'em in Gullivers in Soi 5 playing pool, Q Bar used to be loaded with hot young non-pro Thai women flirting with the Farang, or Spago or Bed Supper Club for a little more upscale, but every where I turn places are just half empty, or gone, and the women are um, mature.
I just want youngish, hot girls to mingle with.
The Entertainment Scene is shifting, as you may have picked up from some of my previous articles. The most recent article was the 01 July 2015 issue on Freelancers<LINK>. That article names a few places of the type you describe where you will find a good mix of female customers.
The center of gravity is moving away from the A Go-Go bars and towards Pubs, Clubs, Sports Bars, and open bar beers, the latter likely not your cup of tea....
Nevertheless, there are still many young, attractive ladies around, it is just a matter of seeking out the places that have the flora and fauna suitable to you. This is something I cannot select for you. May I relate the story of three farang friends here in Bangkok, all whom I have known for more than 25 years ? Each of them has an entirely different take on which young ladies are, and are not, attractive. And each of them talks about how the other two have such bad taste in women.
However, for starters, you might try, Bangkok Betty's on Soi 22, or Levels or Oskar on Soi 11 (near where the Bed Supper Club used to be.. -Again, depending on your tastes. You may also want to have a look at The Den on Soi 12.
The Kiss A Go-Go was suddenly and inexplicably closed - yet again : (they closed May and June of last year). Too soon to say that this is the final death knell - will keep an eye out, and advise if they spring back into action.
The Glamour Girl has popped back up out of it's crypt after an almost 3-month closure. Welcome them back to the nightbeat.
Below is a list of bars on The Ramp which closed for 2 or more days last month for the religious holiday. We are pleased to say all have reopened.
Spanish Eyes 9501 Studio Bar Swing Club Rig-1 Pub The World
The 2nd floor A Fairy Bar, first mentioned herein last issue, opened on schedule last month. Welcome them to the machine. It didn't take much imagination to fathom what kind of bar it would be. This is Nana Plaza's7th katoey / predominantly katoey bar, now that London Calling also has gone (mostly) over.
Bangkok Bunnies has taken over the reins from Spellbound - and then some. They have also expanded into the old Voodoo (Underground) premises, taking up half of that real estate creating an extended outside beer bar area. The exterior neon is massive (and attractive), inside not much change from the Spellbound. Welcome them to the nightcircus.
What the Bangkok Bunnies didn't take of the old Voodoo (Underground) is being transformed into the Bangkok MILFS which should open within the month. We know what the acronym means in Internet chat parlance, but we will wait until it is open before we make further comment.....
Lucky Luke's reopened just days after we 'went to press' last month, having reincarnated as the Lucky Lukes Tiki Bar. We're guessing someone had some leftover Polynesian paraphernalia from Benihana's.... Now much brighter and lighter. Wish them the best as they keep on keeping on.
The Paradise in the Rajah Hotel compound plummeted headlong into the Abyss this month. Coming to this location in a month or two is The Mexican, with the promise of some great Mexican / Tex-Mex cuisine along with our cervezas.....
- File photo
Renovations at the G Terminal now complete, it's status quo ante, so if you were a regular, it's time to go back....
Amongst the various improvements made in the recent renovations, the Sphinx has added Fork & Cork - somewhat reminiscent of their "Sphinx / Divine" days... Hmm, Fork & Cork sounds a bit like a Paul Theroux gag from Saint Jack.....
The Christie's Club / Velvet (most recently, just "Velvet", and before that, just "Christies Club") reopened this last month after extensive renovations. Looking good, and already fairly busy.... The best of the best 'Door Art' we came across this month.
SOI DEAD ARTISTS - SOI 33
The katoey bar Dark Side, located at the back end of Soi Wallstreet, has closed down. It doesn't look like they will be coming out for the next round.
- File photo
SOI DEAD ARTISTS - SOI 33
The Bistro 33, located at the back end of Sub-soi 5, has come back to life - all systems 'Go'.
Opened 2 months ago -while the last of the renovations were still taking place- The District has suddenly and mysteriously closed down. One of the current excuses for closure is they will wait out the rainy (slow) season and then reopen. Wanna bet? After what obviously has been a several-million-baht investment (in renovations, staff and stock), for it to close down almost immediately upon opening, without any advance notice, is indicative of a sea-change in direction, a major setback. There's way more to this than someone forgetting to read their Business Plans For Dummies. We will of course be checking back regularly to see how this saga plays out....
This sign was put up in place of the original sign just before they went out of business - and shows, for the first time, the names of the four separate entities, or 'entertainment areas' of The District. In our previous editions we had named three of them, but the fourth entertainment area we referred to only as the 'back portion of the old Q Bar'. By the time they got around to officially designating that area as the Le Derrière, they closed everything down and put up a high metal fence around everything, and walked away.
SOI AMBASSADOR - SOI 11
The Brew Beers & Ciders located in the Novotel at the end of Soi 11 shows signs of taking off. Easy street access and an inviting decor may see them through. Welcome them to big city lights.
A 'For-The-Archives' pic of the Hideaway Pub, one of the QPP's long-standing Nitespots.
QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA - SOI 22
The Cockwell Inn closed down as quickly as it takes to say, "I'm not going to pay next month's rent." Owner-manager Steve had nursed his Cockwell Inn along since April of 2009, sometimes making money, sometimes not. He has headed to higher ground - he is now managing the newly spruced-up Lucky Luke's Tiki Bar in Nana Plaza, where he invites friends and familiar faces to come and visit. The old Cockwell Inn is reopening as we speak, however it is not clear whether there will be a name change or not - we'll get back atcha next issue....
A 'For-The-Archives' pic of the Hot Male Beer Garden, which opened the previous month.
The long-standing unnamed bar beer located beside the now defunct Zeus has reopened after renovating last month. Note the below 'file photo' was taken some time ago the Ocean Boy closed ages ago, preceding the Zeus.
Bangkok Eyes goes back in time to
Who was new - And who was through
in the Expat Night Entertainment world.
How many of these old 'oases'
do you remember ?
* The upstairs Super Pussy had it's grand opening. No bar was previously at that location. It is still there today.
* The Dream Bar opened in the upstairs digs which was, up until the previous month, occupied by Pantera Rosa.
* The 2nd floor Cicciolina became the Cicciolina Erotic Bar. It was a name change only. It is no longer at that location. Currently home to an unnamed rip-off bar.
* The Condom Club on the second floor of the stairway opposite Foodland closed. There is currently no Nitespot at that location.
* The (3rd Floor) Bua Luang Karaoke moved from the stairwell opposite Foodland to the old Cin Cin Pub & Restaurant digs. The Cin Cin, of course, having closed down. The Le Bouchon now makes itself at home in the old Cin Cin digs.
* Up on the 5th Floor of the stairwell opposite Foodland, the New Center Pub & Restaurant closed down. No Nitespot currently occupies that real estate.
* The In Traffic Sports Man's Lounge took over from the Top Light Bar, immediately after the Top Light closed it's doors. Currently, the reincarnation of the Top Light Bar is back in those same digs.
* The Opium Club opened up on The Ramp. It was located between the Sawasdee Cocktail Lounge and the Marina Cocktail Lounge. None of these bars exist today. The Opium Club was next door to Rig One Pub (which is still there today.)
* No changes that month / year. -
* Pretty Girl A Go Go closed. Today, that space is part of Spellbound.
*Star Pub & Restaurant closed. Today, that space is also part of Spellbound.
Soi Katoey(Silom Soi 4)
*Milk Bar closed. Today, that space is being used by The Balcony as an 'annex' (located next to the Telephone Pub).
*(Unnamed bar) opened on the Silom Road side of Tapas Cafe. Today, no Nitespot occupies that space.
Buckskin Joe Village(~ September 1988 to
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or,
'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)
* The following bar beers closed in Soi Zero (Soi Rot Fai) ** Volvo Bar ** Shopper Bar ** Happy Bar
Eye-opening Graffiti ...WHILE THE GOVERNMENT CLOSES IT'S EYES
Kabir Mokamel's centerpiece : The woman's eyes admonishing one and all against corruption : 'God and the people are watching...'
Artist Kabir Mokamel says he has a plan to make Kabul the graffiti capital of the world. While it is certainly a lofty and unattainable pipe dream, his goals are well-meaning. Kabul (yes the one in Afghanistan) has a network of concrete blast walls running through it - and they are as drab as concrete walls can be. Kabir looks upon these walls as his canvas. He, and numerous volunteers, are, bit-by-bit, covering the walls with graffiti. And the local Government officials don't seem to mind - in fact, the occasional policeman has been known to come to help with the graffiti painting.
One of Kabul's real local heroes : the city street
His thought is, "When you put a picture on a wall, the wall disappears and you are in a new space...". His sentiment is a little on the artsy-phartsy side, but nevertheless, he and his minions are slowly changing the drab, battle-weary inner face of Kabul.
His artistic subjects are 'social responsibility' and the daily 'heroes' in Afghanistan life ... for example, the street sweepers. And he has an unusual method of transferring various scenes to the blast walls. He projects a photo of the painting onto the wall, and it is then traced with pencil. Later, the pencil outlines are painted in by himself and by passers-by, to include women (!) and children, who feel like contributing.
While there are many who fear for his safety, and for the safety of the many 'helper' graffiti artists, he continues to maintain a great amount of support from the locals.