We continue to resurvey Soi 8, hoping for the best (hoping it will reach a 'critical mass', where there is a synergism which draws the big crowds of a stand-alone "Night Entertainment Area"). But, while there is a goodly amount of general activity on the Soi, it continues to fall into the category of "close-but-no-cigar".
By headcount alone, there is certainly a sufficient number of Nitespots to be a self-sustaining crowd-drawing Area, however, many of the Venues are of the Massage/ Spa variety (which can be found in overabundance in virtually every Sukhumvit soi). It is also noted that many of the 'bars' are open-fronted restaurant-bars, lending themselves more to the dining-and-drinking crowd than the so-called "Night Entertainment" crowd.
On our various surveys these last few years (the last 2 years ago), we have noted 'change' rather than 'growth' - Soi 8 tends to 'morph' rather than 'develop'. Nevertheless, there is hope things will change - Soi 8 continues to be a work in progress - let's see what develops once the ongoing new construction on the left hand side is completed.
The Kasalong Bar & Pool has a unique location, able to be accessed from both Soi 6 and Soi 8 - see map, above. It is known more for special services than it is for 'Bar & Pool'.
Some suspect that the 'star power' of the nearby Soi Cowboy is such that prospective bar owners shy away from investing in new bars on Soi 8 - well... maybe. MIDNITE HOUR will, of course, continue to check back periodically.
Lolitas opened originally in December of 2000 in the now-long-defunct Cowboy Annex (oh, yes it did, you doubters...). Now a long-time resident of Soi 8. Modus operandi unchanged after all these years....
The long-standing Kiwi has not disappeared. It has moved into the first sub-soi on the right as you are walking in. Prime agendum unchanged.
Det 5 is the oldest Nitespot on Soi 8, going back to the late 1980's in Tobacco Road (Soi Zero) when it went by its full name, Sexy Night Det 5. Located deeper in Soi 8.
Hello Bangkok Eyes. Great job this month (July issue) on rehashing all the old haunts, some I remember well and some I never saw. Just makes me wish I wouldíve spent more time in places like Cowboy Annex and Clinton Plaza. Iím wondering how I never knew 13 Night Market was even there. I suppose probably because Cowboy and Nana were so good back then that I didnt spend much time at the lesser places. For awhile the Sukhumwit night scene was a bit overwhelming. I lament the places closed and the long gone people I knew. And I only go back to 1990. Someone with your history in Bangkok, well, I donít know how you get your head around it.Bangkok is a great city and I always have fun even now with the high prices and lesser range of places. I always find something new, but man I miss what to me were the old days. Keep up the good work.
Fantastic write up of the bar industry in BKK. This article was an amazing read and contained much information in an orderly, easy-to-read fashion. This was the most informative article I have ever read about this subject. WELL DONE, SIRS !!!
I'm surprised that anyone remembers the old Khlong Toey bars. On our journeys to Thailand (Asiatic commercial boats) in the 1960s we would always start our evening at the Mosquito or one of the other bars before moving into the city centre, but most of time we wouldn't get out of the Khlong Toey area places. So, really great memories. Thanks.
Agreed, great memories of Khlong Toey. In the 60's we'd start in the evenings, walking along the pier, and usually get invited onto one ship or another for dinner - fresh bread !, real unsoured butter !, cheese ! After dinner, we'd head out as a group to the Mosquito.
Best historical writeup on Bangkoks old bars. Some of those areas came and went after I departed, but I've tipped a few in all the old ones, including Venus and the Mos Bar. Keep up the good works.
Your writeup on last month's blog is almost a novel, places like the Khlong Toey Docks... are you planning to write one?
Hardly have time to do the website. So no book on the near horizon. Perhaps someday -in our dotage- we will attempt an illustrated history. But we shouldn't hold our collective breath.
I keep hearing stories that the Patpong Road is a private road owned by the Patpong family. Others say I am full of sh*t, and that is just an urban myth. Anything your end? Thanks for your efforts.
Last month we published photos of the old original signs (one of which appears above). Over the years, we, too, have noted in our column that the Patpong Roads were privately owned. Should you be a reader of Thai language - the bottom line on the signs reads, 'Thanon Suan Bukkhon Songwon Seet' or, roughly, 'Private Road, Rights Reserved.' To paraphrase Waylon Jennings,
"Everything I told you then was true,
Everything was true at the time..."
As it would be quite safe to assume that the Patpong family, making millions of baht yearly off the night market street vendors, has not recently 'gifted' those roads to the BMA.
(Regarding the) Supergirls bar in Patpong, there was a good report in the Rolling Stone paper way back in its heyday if you can find it online..in the boom yrs. And don't forget the Nana Disco which was the best ever for freelancers until the management drove it into the ground by sheer stupidity. All quality gals.
Regarding the reference to Supergirls, we searched over 300 articles in the Rolling Stone archives using the key search words 'Thailand', 'Bangkok', 'Patpong' and 'Supergirls' / 'Super Girls' - unfortunately without success. But that doesn't mean it does not exist.... somewhere. Should any readers have a link to same, please do forward.
We concur on your comments regarding the Nana Disco (in the Nana Hotel). The Disco's predecessor in the Nana Hotel was the (original) all-night Nana Hotel Coffee Shop in the mid-late 60's - early 70's, which rivaled even the Thermae Coffee Shop in the freelancer department.
The Chill Out Boy tried various gimmicks in their brief existence, but it looks like it all went for naught - they were boarded up solidly when we passed by last night - it looks like they have gone the way of the Suliformes.
The Bangkok Massage moved into Patpong 2 two months ago from Soi Twilight. Originally it was located upstairs - co-located with the Lucky Boys Bangkok (also an exile from 'The Twilight Zone'). This month the Bangkok Massage moved downstairs into what was (up until 3 months ago) the now defunct New Screw Boy Disco. May they continue to abide...
The newly relocated (from Soi Twilight2 months ago) Hotmale Bar Beer is in the process of renaming themselves the Midnite. Located next to Pinocchios. We'll attempt to get some comprehensive pics next issue....
The Cockatoo is down for renovations, although for the life of us, we can't imagine why. At the end of the day, you are still going to just end up with a room full of 'ladyboys'... But we will keep an open mind - let's wait and see... They should be reopening next month...
The Sahara has made a lock, stock & chrome-barstool move into the Kiss digs. The two are now co-located - the Kiss has not closed. Cozy. May they continue to rock 'n roll....
The Sahara-Kiss( ...I guess that's what we now call it... ) has maintained its stature and its "Las Vegas Neon" look. The best looking 'new' bar this month...".
The Sahara - as just noted above, has moved out of its old digs, and into the Kiss just up the Soi a bit. This leaves the old Sahara an empty shell with a plywood front. No "confirmed" rumors as to what will be moving in... A wait-and-see item...
The The Peep was supposed to have been open last month when we passed by, but wasn't - or didn't have its lights on.... At any rate, this month it is very much "open". This is the upgraded "Dundee" - welcome them back to the fray...
The back end of the Bangkok Bunnies (now the Twisters Bangkok) has been in unending flux - no one seemed to be able to figure out how to make it a viable, profitable part of the business. But that was then, this is now - it has returned to its roots : the Voodoo is back... Or, to be more precise, the 'New' Voodoo (same distinctive neon)... Welcome them back to the bright lights, big city...
The Geisha, up on the 3rd level, opened December last year with a deja-vu splash - some likening it to the old G-Spot, which occupied that corner location one floor down for many years. But it wasn't to last - it seemed to fade quickly - many reporting rumors that the A Go-Go was running out of money... Did someone forget to read their Business Plans For Dummies? We shall get back atcha later to confirm if this is a permanent closure - or not... We do confess we are curious about the 3 symbols at the bottom of their posted hours sign - does this mean it is forbidden to take pictures of someone shooting a smoker? Jus' askin'...
The King Night Club has finally put up some signage out in front, facing the Soi - where passing foot traffic is more likely to see it. Hmmm... maybe they are planning to stay awhile... May they keep on keeping on...
A For-the-Archives pic of the Bus Stop - which has proven to be a good place for a quick meal, a few drinks and a great spot to watch the 'passing parade'...
The upstairs Hugs has closed. Again. As we have noted before, statistically speaking, once bars fall into the Open-close-open-close mode - they have already failed, they just haven't realized it yet...
The Dolla Massage (spelled 'Dollar' in Thai) has taken over the slippery ropes from the Chitar Nuru Massage, which closed a month ago. Located deep in the Hana Sub-soi. May they continue to slip and slide....
The upstairs Luna Lounge appears to be sliding into its old bad habits of being open some of the time... (We noted it was closed when we passed by a couple of nights ago.) As we occasionally observe, the best way to have regular customers is to open regularly. Jus' sayin'.... Located in the Honey Plaza alcove.
A brand new bar beer, the Big Man Bar & Cafe, has squeezed itself into the front of the Soi. Welcome them to the city of lights & darkness...
The New Yorker Cafe & Cocktail Lounge has more going for it than just a cafe and a cocktail lounge. Their semi-freelancer hostess-waitresses will be pleased to greet you... Located deep in Sub-soi Lemongrass.
The The Bar Upstairs (upstairs in the Cordonnier) has closed. In fact, so has the Cordonnier - a 'Business For Sale' sign sits boldly out front. Being honest - the place was a little too highbrow for the Soi, and the closure was not unexpected. (It was located next door to the Apoteka.)
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
The unusually named open-sided Baobab Bar was bathed in blackness and covered in heavy tarps when we passed by last night... To be sure, we will pass by again and see if this is just temporary...
The Baan Beer, now the oldest Nitespot in the QPP, is slowly morphing into a pool bar - the old-time restaurant part slowly being eased out. May they make the transition without slipping into the Abyss...
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
The bar sometimes called the Bar Beer WTF which closed a couple months back has found a new tenant - calling themselves, tentatively, Nutz & Booze. May they be dealt all aces and faces...
The Mainichi has taken over from the Hana House Karaoke in the S 33 Compact Hotel compound. They need a new sign, one that people can read.... Welcome them to the hunger-games...
ARTISTS (Sukhumvit 33)
The upstairs Kizuna Bar next to the Pan Pan Italian Restaurant has closed again - twice this year. Too soon to worry? Wait-and-see better...
SOI DEAD ARTISTS
The on-again, off-again 33 Club (in the old Renoir digs) is closed and under a shroud - yet again. I fear it is just not going to make the grade.... But we'll keep an ear to the ground, and get back atcha if conditions improve...
Very quiet on Soi Eden this time around. We take a break to note that the street sign for Soi Eden doesn't say "Soi Eden" (duh...), but then it doesn't have any other name assigned either, like most other Bangkok Sois. One for the Archives...
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 ?
* The Muzzik Cafe was renovating in preparation to open - in the old book store. The Muzzik is still there today.
* The Pinocchio's Club reopened after dropping "& Xanadu" from their name. They are still there today.
*Sam's 2000 had their soft opening. They are still there today.
* The Love Scene Karaoke opened officially (soft opening one month previous) above what was the ground-level Love Scene.
*Carnival opened newly on the third level.
* The tiny Bubble opened in a previously unused corner under the left stairway.
Soi Katoey ( Silom Soi 4 )
* No changes that month / year. -
Buckskin Joe Village (~ December 1988 to December 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)
* The Pukadung Karaoke (Thai) closed permanently.
Washington Square (~ April 1999 to April 2014)
* The Garden SpaHealth & Entertainment Complex opened newly on the 'Island'.
(Soon to become 'Clinton Plaza' - Thermae Annex)
[ February 1999to May 2003 ]
*Boat Bar - Against main building - REOPENED *('Saloon') - On the 'Island' - CLOSED *Suzy & Crazy Bar - Back row - NEW (Ex: Beer & Coffee Hut) - CLOSED *White House Beer Bar - Back row - NEW (White House A Go-Go not yet open)
"Old Thermae Compound"
(Soon to become '13 Night Market' Entertainment Area)
[ August 1999 - February 2005 ]
Evidence supports the presumption that 3 young men were killed by a train the night of 18 June 2019. Their bodies were found on the railway tracks in the Loughborough Junction Station area between Denmark Hill and Brixton (South London, England). From spraycans found near the bodies, it is conjectured that the trio were preparing to spraypaint graffiti in the immediate area - a popular spot for graffiti artists to display their work.
The Loughborough Junction and the accumulation of graffiti.
The three, Jack Gilbert, 23, Alberto Fresneda Carrasco, 19, and Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, a crew using the tags, 'Trip', 'K-Bag' and 'Lover' were found dead the following morning. It is most likely they would have had to scale a fence to gain access into the restricted railway area, and that at the time they were struck down, they apparently were attempting to hide from an oncoming train. It is presumed that, at that juncture (estimated to be 01:00 hrs), they would have been in near total darkness - and that they did not correctly determine which one of the four tracks the approaching train was on.
Friends and fellow graf artists pay tribute to the dead graffers.
While the coroner, quite expectedly, ruled the deaths 'accidental', there was an almost immediate outpouring of tributes and regrets by relatives, friends and fellow graffers. The now familiar send-off to departed graf artists, "Rest In Paint" was seen sprayed on public surfaces. On the dark side, there were also those who believed their deaths was 'getting rid of common scum'.
8 ft high x 5 ft (main right)
6 ft high x 13 ft
Cherry Bombs V
7 ft high x 9 ft
Day Dog Perps
8 ft high x 8 ft
The Whole Catastrophe
36 ft high x 42 ft (est)
Bangkok Eyes is an historically based news outlet, and as such, all graphic excerpts herein are considered,
under current legal precedents and
prevailing interpretations, 'Fair Use' under Copyright Law. Copyright of any original artwork resides exclusively with the artists.
Bangkok's original site !
IDNITE HOUR Graffiti
is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman
(Boge's photo, above, is not a
se, although there are those who have insinuated....