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01 January 2017
William R.  Morledge

January's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   Other 'Seminal' Bars
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #129

                   couple of years back, give or take so many months, the rumor spread that the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel was going to close; it's fate unknown.   And immediately, the rumors started....   The rumors with the most traction were saying it would undergo a long renovation, and perhaps be reopening some two years down the road.   

   The Just opposite the Marriott Marquis Hotel the Park 22 Complex started and completed construction and opened for business - all while renovations were on going.   The Park 22 has since filled up with restaurants and a popular wine bar.
 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

                  We, at MIDNITE HOUR, heard the rumors as well.    Once the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel closed, the Night Entertainment on Soi 22 would dry up.   Nitespots would go out of business, and the staff would be looking for work elsewhere.   Nitespot owners and staff were convinced the end was nigh, and naturally, were very concerned.

                  The rumor, of course, came to pass - the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel closed, and renovations commenced - although, almost imperceptably.   We at MIDNITE HOUR were among the many bar-wags and Internet bloggers that put in our two cents' worth, prognosticating the demise of Soi 22 as a viable Night Entertainment Area.   And, to be sure, we did see a few Nightspots close down.    We too-readily assumed that this was because the big hotel closed down, and we were seeing the beginning of the end.   It didn't enter our minds that these fluctuations were part of the normal ebb and flow of the Bangkok Nightscene.

   The Marriott Marquis opened last month in the previous Imperial Queen's Park Hotel digs.   But how will it affect the Night Entertainment Scene on Soi 22?
 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

                  However, several months after the closure of Imperial Queen's Park, we noticed that while there were variations in the number of Nitespots, none of the variations, when considered individually, or as a group were statistically significant.   What did this mean?   It meant, 'Wait and see'.

                  Fast forward: last month the successor to the Imperial Queen's Park, the Marriott Marquis opened.   It was time for us to get busy and dig into our old surveys and see just how Soi 22 fared during the predicted draught of customers due to the absence of a large hotel.   At this juncture, we already had our suspicions, but the facts are the facts....    The results of our review are shown on the graph immediately above.

                  Our preliminary observations were confirmed : there were no significant statistical variations - starting from the period of 'hotel-closure rumors' up until the opening of the successor hotel.   The pundits, the bar-wags, the 'old-hands' - all were wrong - and that includes us.   It goes to show that scenarios which appear logical, and even highly likely, are not necessarily that which will transpire.   To finish on an upbeat note, it appears that there has been a minor surge in the number of Nitespots on Soi 22 over the last four months.   Time for some more 'Wait and See".



January's Thai Smile is an athlete.

Historical Minutiae Dept.

Other Seminal Bars


      I see that you put seminal bars up for the various Entertainment Complexes and even have the seminal bar that started the "A Go-Go" scene in Bangkok.

      I think some of the readers might like to know what the seminal bar is in, say, Pattaya (yes I know a bit out of your area), or better yet - what the seminal Ladyboy bar was in Bangkok, or in just one of the Nightlife Areas.

      Not entirely my cup of tea but as I'm a bit of a history want-to-know-it-all kind of guy, I thought I'd ask.

Just curious,


The seminal bars in Pattaya have been mentioned in our columns on a couple of occasions, however, were not specifically designated 'seminal'.   A note of explanation; a seminal bar may, or may not, be the first in it's respective area, but rather it is the Nitespot that 'started the fire' - the bar that began the trend - for what would be the mainstay type of bar for that Night Entertainment Area.

In Walking Street in the early - mid 70's there were three A Go-Go's, the Harbor Light, and Hank's Hideaway and Dino's (not to be confused with another 'Dino's' on Soi 29 Sukhumvit in Bangkok during those years).   All three Pattaya bars were near the 'Big Tree', but across on the inland side of the roadway (the roadway not yet called 'Walking Street').   Hank's Hideaway was a lounge format with eats, combined with A Go-Go, and not really typical.   The Harbor Light was in a single-shophouse, and had a small A Go-Go stage behind the bar, also not really typical.   Dino's was of the 'classical design', with a large raised center stage - A Go-Go interspersed with 'shows' (candle, etc).   The nod to 'seminal bar' would go to Dino's.      Footnote: The classic Tahitian Queen claims to be Pattaya's first A Go-Go, but it would be more accurate to say it is the longest running A Go-Go in Pattaya - it opened in 1978, or thereabouts.   It would not get the nod as the seminal bar.

Open at the same time at the top of what is now Walking Street, at the foot of South Pattaya Road, was the Fantasy Club, which was on / over the water, open-on-both-ends, overlooking the water.   It could be considered the 'seminal' freelancer bar (the Thermae-by-the-water), as well as the first 'Marine Bar'-style open bar.

Simon, the original one, at the end of what is now Walking Street, was the first gay-katoey bar, but mostly gay, few katoeys.   Also early - mid '70's.

The MIDNITE HOUR doesn't follow the gay/katoey scene as a separate category.   As a result, we are unable to single out the first, or seminal, katoey bar in Bangkok.   We do, however, report on Soi Katoey and Soi Twilight bar areas to the extent we provide an update based on a 'monthly survey' - as they are historically significant to Bangkok's Night Entertainment Scene.   As far as the Nana Plaza Night Entertainment Area goes, the Casanova was the first katoey bar, and is still there today.




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 2017 Follies  begin-

            Against all odds...   Kiss A Go-Go has reopened - as of 19 December.   They have shaken off whatever arbitrary extra-judicial street justice edicts that were plaguing them.   Welcome them back to partytown.
- File Photo

            The 5th Floor, 'for-Japanese-only' Tokyo Girl's Collection (TGC) have found a way out from under it all, selling out lock, stock and barrel to The Emperor Club.   - Which should be opening right about.... now.   Most need not make the trip up to the 5th floor, however, as it is just as 'Japanese' as it was last month....

             The venerable Tilac A Go-Go celebrated Christmas and the Holidays in a big way - as did virtually all the bars on Soi Cowboy.   Rock on....

            The Butterflies A Go-Go has taken over (after some minor interior renovations for the better) from the Jail Birdz.   Or has it?   Prominent amongst all the new neon is the Jail Birdz signage of old.   This likely due to the usual administrative delays in official name registration.   Nevertheless, welcome Butterflies to the vicissitudes.

     Butterflies A Go-Go have done a great job, not only on their new neon, but on their end-of-year decorations.   This month the Door Art of the Month Award is happily presented to Butterflies.



When it's time to Party -

         The EQ Late Night Club perhaps best typifies the 'Bangkok Night Entertainment Venue' in it's enthusiasm and elaborate preparations for the end-of-year celebrations.


            A 'For-the-Archives' pic of Hanrahans, an open-fronted Irish Pub - one of the longer-lived Nitespots on Soi Nana.   May they continue to march....

            Heaven's Bar, up on the 2nd floor across the street from Country Road, near the Soi 6 cutoff, has closed it's doors.   Let's see if this is a "New Year's Thing" - I'll keep an ear to the ground, and give you a come-back.

            Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4) was packed to the gunwales on 30th and 31st December.

 SOI  22  
            The Malaiseeda folk have opened their second outlet, the Malaiseeda Massage 2 in the second small soi past the new Marriott Marquis Hotel.   Wish them luck as they face that slippery slope....

 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

             The Sensual Massage have replaced the Tantra Massage (closed 2 months ago).   Located in Soi Lemongrass, just past the Marriott Marquis Hotel.   May they keep on a-slippin' and a-slidin'...
 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

            The Bangkok Passion Massage likewise has taken over, lock, stock and KY, from the just-closed Happy Massage in Soi Lemongrass.   Welcome them to the trials of attrition.
 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

            The Chill Bar is a brand-new bar beer near the Titanium.   Wish them well as they cast their dice against the pitted wall of Fate....
 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

            Gone, but not gone, Mulligans Irish Pub is morphing into Mullis Sports Bar.   No change in proprietorship, same great service.   May they keep on keeping on.
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            By this time next month, we should see the 8 On Eleven up and running full-bore.   It looks to be an up-market bar & restaurant.   We'll pass by next round, and get back atcha.
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            The Harmony 2 Massage has opened up not far from it's namesake - in the ground floor parking area of the Le Fenix building, near the old Q Bar.   May they soar above.
No photo available this month.
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            The Grace Spa has reopened - after some remodeling and an attempted (and failed) name-change.   We'll attempt to get a decent photo next time around.      Welcome them back to the sharkpool.
No photo available this month.
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            Three of Queen's Park Plaza's stalwarts have spruced up for the New Year by nailing up new neon : the Lucky Bar, the Meaw Meaw Bar, and the Sin Bin.   May they continue victoriously in the unrelenting neon wars.

 QUEEN's  PARK  PLAZA  (Sukhumvit 22) 

            The 3-Sister Bar have decided to come back to work again.   And good timing, at that - they had a substantial New Year's crowd.   Rock and Roll.
 QUEEN's  PARK  PLAZA  (Sukhumvit 22) 

            The Asuka Club in Sub-soi 4 ran headlong into the Abyss last month, making room for the new occupants : So Ra Japanese Karaoke.   They should be rolling out the red carpet right about.... now.   Welcome them to the piranha pool.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The Charming Massage has just opened up in Sub-soi 2, next door to the recently closed The Office.   They hope to get some additional neon tacked up soon.   Welcome them to the machine.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The just-relocated, just-reopened Love & Service Massage (Mitu) has closed down for at least a month.   Located in Sub-soi 4.   Let's wait and see whether or not it reopens....
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The New Wave have relocated to their new digs - into what was, up until two months ago, the Bangkok Beat.   'Pool Bar' remains the prime agendum.   Welcome back to the night follies.

 SOI  EDEN   (Sukhumvit 7/1) 

            Shots Bar has reopened again.   They looked quite busy in the run-up to New Year's Eve....
 SOI  EDEN   (Sukhumvit 7/1) 

            The Twilight Zone (Soi Twilight) was decked out for the New Year's celebrations this year.   This photo taken at the Surawong Road entrance.   - A 'file photo' for the archives.

            The Apple bar beer (no sign) is closed until at least after New Year's.   We'll check back next round, and get back atcha.
- File Photo






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
January 1997

   *  No changes that month / year. -

Patpong 2
January 1997

   *    The P.P. Thai Traditional Massage reopened on the 4th floor of the stairwell opposite Foodland.      No Nitespot currently operates at that location.

   *    The Noi's Steps Girlie Bar took over the reins of the Domus, up on the second floor above the Topless Beer Bar.      No Nitespot currently operates at that location.

   *    The Go Go Girl opened up on the 2nd floor in Soi Bookstore (the Soi connecting PP1 and PP2).   Those digs were previously the back half of The Mask.      No Nitespot currently operates at that location.

Soi Cowboy
January 1997

   *  Virgo is furiously renovating in the old Pink Pussycat digs.   This shophouse bar is currently occupied by Cockatoo.

Nana Plaza
January 1997

   *    Hot Rods opened in the just-closed Hollywood Country Bar.   That real estate is currently home to True Obsessions (the outside portion).

   *    The 3rd floor Hollywood Strip A Go-Go Bar opened in the just-evacuated Slitz!   Current occupants : Billboard.

Soi Katoey
( also Silom Soi 4 )
January 1997

   *  No changes that month / year. -

Buckskin Joe Village
(~ January 1988 to January 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)
January 1997

   *  No changes that month / year. -




Click Here



*Click Here*
Christopher G. Moore















































But is it ....ART ?

New to the 'World of Graffiti'?
See our "INTRO"

"The ART and the CONTROVERSY"   

Check out Bangkok's dedicated page at "BKK" <link>


Rama IX Revisited

      ince the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October of this year, a number of wall murals in his honor have appeared on the streets of the city of Bangkok, Thailand.

This 20-foot high mural of a now famous picture of the King Rama IX has been re-rendered in an out-of-the-way soi near Saphan Hua Chang.

      These professionally rendered street murals of King Rama IX have supplanted spaces previously the haunts of local and international graffiti artists.   We suspect that, unlike the usual Bangkok graffiti, these murals will not be painted-over any time soon.

"The King taught that we Thai people should love one another."

      There are several other 'Remembrance Murals' in and around the Bangkok area.   We have provided below some other examples for your viewing.

"We ask to be under the feet of the King each reincarnation.   With all our hearts, all the Thai people."

With thanks to Cool

Graffiti #925
Doggone Bull
7 ft high x 14 ft

Graffiti #926
A Santa Darkly
7 ft high x 15 ft

Graffiti #927
As This Earth Is Mine
5 ft high x 3 ft

Graffiti #928
Hath Faded Away....
7 ft high x 12 ft

Graffiti #929
Jar-Jar Banksy
7 ft high x 11 ft

Graffiti #930
Trainwreck Watchers
12 ft high x 17 ft

Graffiti #931
Jagged Tripper
4 ft high X 3 ft

Bangkok's original site !

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

- 2017 -
01 JAN -   Soi 22 - the Survivor

- 2016 -
01 JAN -   Railway Bazaar
01 FEB -   Sukhumvit Square Justice
01 MAR -    Paint the Neon Night
01 APR -    Udom Suk Reviste
01 MAY -    Soi Thaniya
01 JUN -    Soi Thonglor Re-up
01 JUL -    Massage Parlor Row
01 AUG -    Check Inn 99
01 SEP -    Pattaya A Go-Go
01 OCT -    Bangkok's Nitelife Maps
01 NOV -    Nitespot Demographics
01 DEC -    Pattaya's Soi 6

- 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 Bhumibol'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 -    January: 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 -    January's Night Follies
15 DEC -    Genesis: Sukhumvit's Night Scene
- 2001 -
20 NOV ( The Seminal Emails )

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