Maps & Histories     About Us     Movies      Community     Archives

01 January 2016
William R.  Morledge

January's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   Not "The Tunnel" ?
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #118

      our months ago a Night Entertainment Area did not exist within the Railway Bazaar.   Currently there are over 30 Nitespots, and still growing.   Not since the ill-fated Sukhumvit Square exploded onto the scene in January 2002 has there been a Night Entertainment Area to rise this quickly - from 'scratch' to 'critical mass', and then some...   

The entrance to Labor Bar, perhaps the longest, skinniest bar in Thailand.

      Railway Bazaar is more than 90% Thai-oriented, only now beginning to attract farang.   It remains to be seen if this will become an area-of-interest to foriegn nightcrawlers.   It is this writer's opinion that it will be only of moderate interest to expats, but then, we have been wrong before....

      To keep our terminology straight, the name 'Railway Bazaar' translates as 'Talat Nat Rot Fai', which is what most currently call it.   To further complicate matters , the original 'Talat Nat Rot Fai' relocated out of its original digs to the area behind Paradise Park on Sri Nakarin Road around 2 years ago.   This new Railway Bazaar (as reported herein) is going on one year old and is located behind the Esplanade Shopping Complex on Rachadapisek Road.   (Note: The 'Talat Nat Rot Fai' behind Paradise Park is still in operation, however is not discussed herein.)

      Railway Bazaar Night Entertainment Area, generally 'vehicle-themed', is unique in some ways; firstly almost every bar has an outside area, and more than half of the Venues have converted their rooftops to open-air seating.   -As well they might - in that the rains have gone, and it looks like we are not going to have a 'cool-season' this year....   Secondly, in addition to the few permanent structures, there are a number of innovative Nitespots, made from Volkswagen vans, shipping containers, school busses - or whatever materials come to hand.

A couple of Volkswagen vans, an awning frame, barstools, booze - and.... walla ! ...a full-scale bar-beer on wheels....   (Pardon our Internet French....)

      The Railway Bazaar modus operandi ranges from quiet hideaway bar to live rock music to mega-karaoke to restaurant bar.   (We suspect the latter, the 'restaurant bar' is because of licensing restrictions - while food is usually available on premises, virtually all the Nitespots advertising as restaurants are, functionally, drinking-bars.)

      One aspect of the Thai 'bazaar' in general is that it's opening hours / days are 'by appointment only', which translates as : it only opens on certain days of the week.   Railway Bazaar is no different in that respect - originally it was open only Friday through Sunday.   Currently, the Night Entertainment Area has a waiver, in that they are closed only on Mondays.

      'Survival', of course, is in question - the Railway Bazaar now sits upon land that will soon be of high real estate value, and therefore subject to redevelopment.   We have referred to other similar Nitespot Areas in the past as "opportunistic" - the businesses within are semi-permanent at best, and are doing all they can to make a profit before the land is redeveloped.   Nevertheless, for as long as it lasts, the Railway Bazaar Night Entertainment Area is, in itself, an interesting and unique 'exploration' for the curious expat, and combined with the rest of the market, it can provide for an entertaining evening out on the town.   

Bus Bangkok was originally just that - a bus.   Now it has
grown outward and upward....   Busy on weekends.

      Below are a few of the other pics we snapped on our last visit.

The Apache is located next door to the.... Apache.   Two identically named bars, one having taken over it's next door neighbor.

The always-popular Retro Cafe located in the end slot.
They manage to maintain that essential 'festive mood'.

The indoor-outdoor Rod's Bar, one of the biggest bars (in total square feet)
we know of, has a good rocking band most nights.


January's Thai Smile sees in the New Year.

? 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.

'The Tunnel' isn't 'The Tunnel'


      Last month you had a Q & A on that dark little pathway from Soi 5 to Soi 7 which had a few low class bars, the shortcut to the Beer Garden.   You referred to it as The Tunnel, but actually it was just that shortcut path, it didn't actually have a name.

Just sayin'
Greetings, Bob,


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 January 2016 Follies begin...
BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.
             The King's Castle II wasn't short of Christmas spirit this year.   Keep the party rolling.

             Likewise, the Thigh Bar celebrated Christmas in grand scale - not to mention flashing some new neon...   Looking good.

             The upstairs Queen Bar (Queen 1), after having been briefly closed last month, popped out of it's crypt and is back in business.   Roll on.
- File photo           

            G's (in the old Bobby's Hotdog location next to Foodland) is being renovated - but when renovations are completed, they will not be moving back in - they have moved lock stock and beer barrel to Soi Katoey.
- File photo  

            A for-the-archives pic of Spice Girls (Cowboy 2 in the background) from one of our semi-regular contributors.   Good shootin', Pard.

            Cowboy 2 has added yet even more new neon - now we know how to write 'Cowboy 2' in Japanese....   All else unchanged.   Let 'er rip, then, gents and ladies.

            There was no shortage of Santa-ettes at Nana Plaza on Christmas.

            In the "We Don't Make Mistrakes" department, the sign "Bangkok Milfs" is not the name of the bar behind Bangkok Bunnies, rather it is part of that name (see our last-month's entry).   Bangkok Bunnies now runs all the way back, utilizing (almost) all the area of the old Voodoo.
- File photo           

            The Monster Ink (nee Spirit House) has tanked, and the slack has been taken up by the new Short Time.   Ostensibly a restaurant, it's modus operandi is that of a bar beer.   May the force be with them....

            Technically, it is Lucky Luke's Tiki Bar, but from the visible neon, most will know it as just Tiki Bar.   May they keep on keeping on.   Another pic for the archives.


Door Art Of The Month

            The Hooters at the Nana Hotel opened softly on 22 December, and by the time you read this, it will have had it's "Grand Opening".   In spite of the myriad Prophets of Doom, the new Hooters is doing just fine, thank you very much.   They pulled off a surprise : the layout is that of an open bar beer, much as was it's predecessor Golden, except that it is now very much larger.   The big differences between Hooters and 'just-another-bar-beer' are - they serve food, and don't allow 'freelancers'.   And check the layout (pics above) - our first choice for Door Art of the Month.   Welcome them to Darwin's trials of attrition.....


            Starting out years back as the Nana Disco, it has gone through several iterations, to include Angels Disco, then later, Nana Liquid, then back to Nana Disco, then to Mai Peng, and now brand new out of the starting blocks; the Equality Nightclub.   Katoey disco is the prime agendum.      Each iteration, each time there has been a name-change, the new Nitespot has lasted a shorter time than it's predecessor.... (personally, we wish it was still Angels).   Nevertheless, welcome them to the machine.
  SOI   NANA   

            After missing their original opening date of 31 October, The Mexican has opened it's large pintal doors to everyone.   If you appreciate good Mexican food, we think you're going to like it.   If you're an aficionado of tequila, we think you're going to like it even more - they have their own tequila bar within - all blue agave - all major brands.   Five-Star all the way, at reasonable prices.   Wish them all aces and faces in this sudden-death game of Night Entertainment.
  SOI   NANA   

 The Night of the Dragon

       Come the festive Christmas / New Year's Season, so come the dragon dancers.   You want your Nitespot to have good luck, just give them money, and they will do their thing.   Very colorful.


            For you regular customers who haven't got the word, G's Bangkok has relocated from Patpong II to Soi Katoey - in the old One Night Only digs (after extensive renovations).   Bigger and, business-wise, better.   May they continue to beat the wolves at their own game.....

   SOI  22
             The Asia Health Massage, a highly successful, and highly ambiguous massage parlor has expanded into the unoccupied next door loc (the second of three loc of the now extinct May Massage).   The beat goes on....
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             The Baan Sabai Thai Massage has taken over, lock, stock and Tiger Balm, from the Wild Orchid Massage 2.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             Ah, the moon is a harsh mistress, as is the Night Entertainment game.   Just ask the long-standing Aloha Bar.   They have cashed it in, lock, stock and chrome barstool.   Wishing them a soft landing, wherever, whenever....
- File photo           
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             The never-very-popular Dreamz 22 Discotheque in the Soi 22 Holiday Inn has seen it's end of days.   And nights.   We suspect there was too much in-house competition, what with the ground floor Bangkok Betty continuing to jump -as it tends to do - picking up passing foot traffic as it goes along.....   
- File photo           
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             The Top Secret 22 has stuffed the last chit in the last plastic cup, and wheezed it's last.   All that remains is an historical footnote.   Greener pastures, ladies.
- File photo           
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

               Christie's Club was originally replaced by Velvet (May of 2013), however, it went out of business after a moderate run.   Then, at the end of last August it reopened as Velvet / Christie's Club. But this month the Velvet neon has disappeared, to be replaced by 100% Christie's Club signage.   What goes around, comes around.   Welcome back.... if you were ever really gone....

               The My Theraphy (sic) Spa & Massage has added some digital scrolling neon, which can be seen from a thousand yards...   May they keep on slippin' and a slidin'.

               The i-Bar (Bar Krus), which took over from the Degas in July of 2012, has plummeted headlong into the abyss.   However, if current signage is any indication, it looks like the Degas will soon be returning from the crypt.   What goes around comes around....   We will follow up and get back atcha.

               The Yumeji Club in Soi Pan Pan, opened in November of 2010, has said it's last sayonara - only windblown leaves decorate its darkened doorway.   A decent 5-year run, nonetheless.
- File photo           

               Escape Club - at the end of Soi Ambassador (across from Fire House ) has replaced, ostensibly, the Elite, which earlier replaced the St Moritz.   Welcome to the neon jungle.

               Play 'Taps' for the Champions Sports Bar, for they have fallen on their sword.   Perhaps they have found a way out from under it all....
- File photo           

               Zaks Dining & Lounge, a low-key Night Entertainment Venue, tends to emphasize the 'Lounge' in the later hours.   May they persevere.   A file-photo for our archives.

             The grande dame of Queen's Park Plaza, the Baan Beer Restaurant & Bar was not dead, it was just playing 'possum.   This last month, it has reopened - de-emphasizing the restaurant, and emphasizing the pool bar.   Welcome back to the night-follies.


   SOI  EDEN  
            Last month we noted that the B & A Bistro Bar had more than doubled in size, and we put up a photo to prove it (see again below).   Little did we know that the right-hand side was primed to be a brand new bar : "Shots Bar".   Welcome them to the slippery slope.

SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

            The X Size has put out new signage.   For the life of us, we can't figure out why - it is much harder to read than the previous sign - almost unreadable at any distance greater than 25 feet.   The show must go on....



 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

   *  No changes that month / year.

Patpong 2

    *  King's Love Boat opened newly in what is now The Club Kings.

    *  Princess Castle closed it's doors.   Located next door to the Pink Panther in what is now Screw Boy.

Soi Cowboy

   *  No changes that month / year.

Nana Plaza

    *  Shooters Wild West A-Go-Go opened up as Nana Plaza's second 3rd floor bar, next to Slitz ! A Gogo.   There is no Nitespot at that location today.

Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4)

    *  The Blue Castle Pub closed it's doors for good.   It was located next door to Tapas, nearer Silom Road (Tapas is still there today).

    *  The Redwood 23 reclosed, yet again, after having reopened for only one month.   There is no Nitespot at that location today.

Buckskin Joe Village (~ October 1988 to October 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





Migrant plight in French murals

This graphic excerpt from Internet is, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under copyright law.

      The one and only 'Banksy', whose identity is known only to his spraycan dealer, who is from, presumably, England, has thrown up three pieces in France recently.

      The first (pic above) is just outside the migrant camp in Calais.   A second 'Banksy' mural, at Calais beach, depicts a child peering at England through a telescope - a vulture making itself at home atop the telescope.   A third 'Banksy', this time in Calais city (close to the French Immigration Office by design) reproduces, in black-and-white, Theodore Gericault's painting, "The Raft of the Medusa", which depicts the plight of ship-wreck survivors.   Gericault was a 19th Century French painter.    

This graphic excerpt from Internet is, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under copyright law.
Syrian migrants hold Banksy's "Steve Jobs" mural for ransom.
They will remove the blanket for only 13 Pounds Sterling (per peek).

      As journalists found out about the Banksy murals, they flocked down to Calais to get their pics and their story.   --The 'story' being Banksy's empathy for the hoard of draft-age illegal migrants who have now inundated Europe - as illustrated most blatently in his "Steve Jobs" mural (-who just happened to be the son of Syrian migrants to the US.)--   However, by mid-day, a raft of male migrants from the Calais Refugee Center had covered the 'Steve Jobs' mural (pic immediately above) with a blanket, demanding that journalists pay a fee to see it.   Saaaaay, it didn't take them long to get the Capitalist Entrepreneurial Spirit, did it?

      Never mind, the Calais city officials to the rescue.   They are gearing up to put protective covers over the murals to keep them from the weather, and other destructive elements.   One might be tempted to compliment the Calais City Council for their concern for "The Arts", however this is not, repeat not, about art - this is about money.   Banksy murals on display will bring in the tourists and their Euros and their Dollars....   Imagine that... migrant camps as tourist destinations.   "Look out, here comes another tour bus !"

Graffiti #848
Mona Lala
6 ft high x 4 ft


Graffiti #849
8 ft high x 54 ft

Graffiti #850
8 ft high x 12 ft

Graffiti #851
8 ft high x 12 ft

Graffiti #852
8 ft high x 25 ft

Graffiti #853
6 ft high x 13ft

Graffiti #854
Nest Broke
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
- 2016 -
01 JAN -   Railway Bazaar

- 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
01 JUL -    Freelancers
01 AUG -    Nana Plaza Map 2015
01 SEP -    Soi Nana Map 2015
01 OCT -    Walking Street - Pattaya
01 NOV -    Rachada - The Giant
01 DEC -    A Go-Go's Story

- 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 - 2016,   BANGKOK EYES /