The exponential increase in the number of Coronavirusnew cases and deaths, especially in the 9 'central core' provinces and the 4 Southern border provinces of Thailand [the so-called dark red areas] continues unabated. (See chart for June / July 3rd Wave below). In June, the 3rd Wave Covid-19 surge began with increased medical testing by the Government, starting with factory employees and workers in construction camps. And - while initial supplies of vaccines lasted - they were testing and vaccinating at the same time. Needless to say, due to dire lack of planning, purchasing and distribution of vaccine at the National level, that "test & vaccinate" plan soon came to a screeching halt. Testing alone, however, continued in July at an even more rapid pace (a pace that many were saying should have been adopted months before). And the more they tested, the more Covid-19 they found.
Bangkok'sNight Entertainment Areas lay in darkness. The above : Silom Soi 4 (Soi Katoey).
As we head into August, the numbers of both new Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to increase dramatically. In lock-step with these increases, the Government is incrementally tightening down on movement and access (see detailed coverage below). Thailand's Night Entertainment Scene continues to be at a virtual standstill - only a few sidewalk bars and 'speakeasy' venues are open to those willing to take the chance.
The 10 + 10 Additions & Changes
to the Current Partial Lockdown
Parts I & II (July - August 2021)
Below are the latest supplemental revisions to the current partial lockdown for Bangkok and the adjacent Satellite Provinces, plus the Southern Border Provinces. These changes courtesy of the current Government's authority under the extended National Emergency Decree.
Part I Summary of Supplemental Considerations of the State of Emergency Notice
Issued on 17 July, Effective dates : 20 July - 2 August 2021, or as revised.
1. Limit movement / travel outside of residence. If absolutely necessary, persons going outside must exercise extreme care (as per current hygiene, distancing, etc.)
2. Do not go out of residence from 21:00 - 04:00 hours (unless having received prior permission).
3. Checkpoints / stop - points are to be implemented to restrict travelling in and out of 13 Provinces (listed below).
4. All Public Transport is limited to 50 percent of approved seating capacity.
5. Restaurants can remain open until 20:00 hrs. Eating inside restaurants is not allowed.
6. Department stores, Shopping centers, Malls, may remain open, however only the Supermarkets, pharmacies & medical supply outlets within may open for business.
7. Hotels may open normally. Seminars, meetings, catered events are not allowed.
8. Convenience stores & fresh markets are allowed to remain open until 20:00.
9. Hospitals , clinics, pharmacies, general stores, factories, stock exchange, banks. financial businesses, ATM, Communication enterprises, Post Offices, Pet shops, Construction equipment / materials outlets, cooking gas shops, gas stations, food delivery services, may remain open.
10. Gathering together in groups larger than 5 persons is not allowed.
Part II Summary Supplemental Considerations of the State of Emergency Notice
Issued on 19 July, Effective dates : 21 July- 2 August 2021, or as revised.
'Not withstanding those (types of activities) which the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has not yet considered, the following additional 10 types of activities in the Dark Red Areas having symptoms of Covid, to wit Bangkok and the other notified Provinces (13 in all - listed below), are closed as follows:'
1. Sports stadiums of all kinds, to include inside sports : badminton courts, footsol courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts. Also inclusive of open-area sports : Golf courses, Golf practice ranges, football fields, tennis courts.
2. Swimming pools used for sports, water recreational activities, public swimming, and other similar uses.
3. Other sports courts and fields.
4. Convention centers, large meeting rooms, exhibition halls.
5. Learning centers - Science education centers, science parks, science centers, cultural centers, and art galleries.
6. Public libraries, community libraries, private libraries, and 'book houses' (antiquated usage).
7. Museums - national, local, and similar, including historic places, and archaeological sites.
8. Child care centers for infants and pre-schoolers.
9. Hair salons and barbershops. Includes salons providing : hair styling, manicures, tattoo parlors.
10. All public parks and botanical gardens.
Part III ? Extension of Supplemental Considerations of the State of Emergency Notice
1. As we go to press, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is considering the extension to all of the above until mid-August, to include expanding the number of Provinces in the Dark Red Zone. Follow up forthcoming next issue.
The Affected Provinces as of 01 August 2021
The recently expanded 'Dark-Red Zone' includes the following 13 Provinces ; Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Ayutthaya — and four southern provinces — Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla. These 13 Provinces have road blocks and checkpoints in place to prevent unauthorized movement.
Gross mismanagement of Coronavirus vaccine procurement & distribution brought about by the initial 'What's the hurry?' attitude of officialdom, along with a bungled assessment of the severity of early outbreaks have led to a skyrocketing of both new cases and deaths in Thailand's major provinces.
In summation, the outlook for Thailand's Night Entertainment Scene (and Tourism in general) remains unchanged from that over the previous two months. All forms of Night Entertainment are officially closed, other than that which might be found in the Phuket Sandbox and the Koh Samui 'Plus Plan' (both BIG "wait-and-see" items). With Covid-19 worsening meteorically, it would be disingenuous to give a date for which Thailand will once again open its doors to tourism. Were we to venture an 'educated guess', even if the current explosion of new cases and deaths were to reverse at this juncture, we do not see tourism / Nightlife reopening before the end of the year. We will continue to update in future issues as conditions change.
IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO TRAVEL...
(REPRINTED BY REQUEST FROM PREVIOUS MONTHS)
General Information for Travelers to Thailand From the USA. (Not specific to the "Sand Box).
The following procedure / documents are required. Note: These procedures / guidelines are subject to change, so periodic coordination with the Thai Consulate nearest you is recommended. Those arriving in Thailand from other countries may find variations to these guidelines.
1. Negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19 Virus within 72 hours of boarding their flight to BKK or HKT [Phuket] airports.
2. Covid-19 vaccination certificate, dated within 14 days to 1 year prior to their arrival.
3. If the traveler is hoping to be in the 14-day Phuket 'sandbox program', then they can only fly directly into Phuket, no transfers in Bangkok allowed. Tourists will need to spend 7 nights in Phuket before being allowed to travel elsewhere in the Kingdom.
4. COE ( = Certificate of Entry) from a local Thai embassy.. https://coethailand.mfa.go.th . Fill in the online application for COE at least 15 working days before the intend date of travel. Please note, the following documents are required to be uploaded to the COE website prior to issuing the COE:
- Valid Visa and/ or re-entry permit.
- Certificate of Residence. [if you have one]
- Covid-19 medical insurance coverage of US$100,000.. The insurance should have the following information :
* Medical costs that cover COVID-19 treatment in Thailand;
* Period of the insurance policy ( start … / end … ) and cover the period of stay in Thailand;
* Minimum coverage of 100,000 USD of medical costs.
* ASQ – Confirmation of a 14-day booking of an ASQ hotel [ = Alternative State Quarantine hotel].
Note: the traveler must stay at an officially approved hotel, certified by the Amazing Thailand Safely & Health Administration. [called an ALQ?]
- A copy of flight confirmation/ reservation, showing going from US to Thailand. (The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly)
- Please note: use the “arrow” button to be sure the document is uploaded properly.
5. All arrivals will need to download the contact-tracing app, Thailand Plus.
6. ( For the 14 days in Phuket, the traveler must download this app and turn on while in Phuket. https://www.gophuget.com. )
With regard to the insurance requirement mentioned above, travellers to Thailand from the USA have found the below Insurance Company was able to provide them with the proper insurance.
BTW, one of the major last-minute changes in the Phuket Sandbox scheme was suddenly doubling the duration from 7 nights to 14 nights. I suspect that many people like myself don’t really want to go to Phuket. They are just using the Sandbox to avoid quarantining in Bangkok. Fourteen nights is really a waste of precious time if you’re actually headed elsewhere and have only 45 days.
Also the huge risk that has come to light is that even if you test negative before your flight to Thailand and at Phuket Airport upon arrival, you could find yourself abruptly kicked out of your hotel and confined to a quarantine hotel at your expense, just because you were sitting next to someone on the plane who later tests positive. Since you’re not sick yourself, no insurance policy is going to defray your quarantine expenses.
Flying into the 'Sandbox' sitting next to a passenger who tests positive will also land you in a Quarantine Hotel - at your expense - and your insurance doesn't apply...
I had high hopes to return to Thailand in May to take advantage of the 7-day ASQ, but they were dashed. Then I saw a new glimmer of hope with this Phuket sandbox scheme, but instead of simplifying things they made the requirements more onerous.
MIDNITE HOUR: For the last two months, we have attempted to advise readers not to get their hopes up regarding the Phuket Sandbox (and now the Koh Samui "Plus Plan"). Last month, we laid out the labyrinthine, time-consuming and costly processes that an individual is subjected to when planning to travel to the Phuket Sandbox - all things considered, the failure of the plan becomes self-evident. Considering the rapid rise of numbers of new cases and deaths in Thailand, the Government trying to push the Sandbox scheme is a bit like trying to rent deck chairs on the Titanic so passengers can view the beautiful icebergs...
...a bit like trying to rent deck chairs on the Titanic so passengers can view the beautiful icebergs...
While we wish, for the good of all concerned, that the Sandbox and similar programs succeed, one of the many nails in the 'Sandbox scheme' coffin was the recent discovery of cases of Coronavirus on Phuket - not exactly what one would call a PR "success story". Some Press reports show over 2,000 tourist visitors to Phuket at the start-up, however reports from people on the ground give a more accurate figure of 50. Had the Sandbox scheme been better managed (more rationally managed), it could have proven to be a viable and rapid step in the reopening of Thailand (however long this may take).
READER : Hi,
I just read your fine story about the Grand Prix in Bangkok. I had the pleasure of visiting there many times in the early 70's. My ship was on a steady run with jet fuel for Utapao and I also vacationed (3 months) in Bangkok and Sattahip then.
Usually stayed at the Suriwong Hotel. Had a few drinks at the “The Other Office” also. And of course had many drinks at “Tigers” place.
I had a trusty old Honda 350 cc to get me from Sattahip to Bangkok. I met an American guy at a motorcycle shop that owned “The Roaring 20's Bar” (3 floors) on Silom Road. Man, that 3rd floor had a “smoking” show that is hard to forget. MIDNITE HOUR: Such great memories. Rick's Grand Prix was one of the great ones, we used to head on over on Sunday afternoons to watch 8-mm boxing films. Keith Wright's Roaring 20's is hardly spoken of these days, and was one of the great 'off-Patpong' bars. We spent a lot of time in the Tiger's Den when it was on Silom, but rarely when it moved to Surawong. Tiger used to keep a copy of the most recently mailed-in 'Fischer Report' for those of us seeking work overseas. His 'Hobo feeds' were a great 'melting pot' for expats - new arrivals and 'old hands' alike.
We also spent some time in Sattahip-Samae San with the COE, and suspect you had a beer or two at the Swan Lake Hotel at Kilo Sip? At the time we were getting around between Samae San - Sattahip and Pattaya and Bangkok on a 250 cc Suzuki, and couldn't think of a better way to travel...
Terrific commentary on the vapid and banal US Embassy message!! Loved it. Who wrote the well-reasoned reply to the anti-VAX guy? Good point that polio vaccines etc were also rushed out in the day.
Thanks for writing in. We received a number of responses on last month's write-up of the Embassy circular, all of a similar vein. There is a lot of talk in the Media recently about large quantities of vaccines to be imported to Thailand from various countries, and while it is possible the U.S. Embassy's 'politicking' was somehow influential, it appears that these new efforts are brought about solely by Thai Government initiatives. Unless, and until all U.S. citizens in Thailand (who want to be, and can be) are fully vaccinated, the Embassy has not done its job. And with infections and deaths increasing exponentially, it is all the more important that they do their job quickly.
An ongoing history
of Bangkok's Expat
Vol. XXX No. 08
Bangkok, 01 August 2021
As the Covid-19 situation in Thailand continually deteriorates and Covid deaths continue to rise, there is no possible way to predict when the Thai Night Entertainment Scene will return to normal. The only 'normal' we see in Bangkok's Nightlife future is continuing bar closures. At the rate of deterioration of conditions on the ground, by the time there is a turn-around in the spread of the Virus (and the lessening of the lockdown provisions) we will be looking at a brand-new landscape, and a very long (measured in years) rebuilding phase. It is possible that some Night Entertainment Areas will disappear in the process.
The Madrid has posted an additional sign, "Closed until further notice". On the one hand, it perhaps went without saying, but it does infer that there will be a 'further notice'...
Another one bites the dust... The Hanuman Massage, opened in December 2018, has gone out of business. The 'For Rent' sign posted on the front (in Thai) tells all.
The below Patpong 1 clip filmed at a time when the Night Entertainment Venues would normally be opening, the young ladies would be streaming in to work, and Happy Hour would be ramping up for the 'early birds'. But that was then, this is now... (Filmed 31 July 2021 / 18:40 hours.)
The Rest Hub Pub & Bar, originally in Rajah Hotel, opened at this location, adjacent to the Nana Hotel, as a 'branch' (Rest Hub 2), but became the surviving Venue when the Rest Hub at the Rajah Hotel closed. When it is open, a good 'live music' bar.
SOI NANA - (SOI 4 SUKHUMVIT)
What was, for decades, the Swan 1 Bar Beer had recently gone through some 'upgrades' and experimentation with new names. But that all went by the wayside, now that the Koboot Noodle has taken over. We'll have to wait and see if they serve alcohol and/ or have any kind of a 'scene' once the Pandemic subsides....
SOI NANA - (SOI 4 SUKHUMVIT)
Last month we noted the Nit Massage opened in the long-closed Secret Garden Massage, and that we would supply a photo at the first opportunity. Well, we now have the photo, but Nit Massage is closed. As / if it reopens, we'll get back atcha...
SOI NANA - (SOI 4 SUKHUMVIT)
It doesn't get any stranger than this. The Jersey Pub had been opening and closing with the Covid vacillations over the last year and a half, at one point nailing up some brand-new neon. Only to close again this latest Covid surge. Now, a new bar, Champs, has taken over - rushing to open, only to remain closed for the duration of the lockdown... It seems there's something more to a successful business than 'location, location, location'. It's called 'timing, timing, timing'....
SOI NANA - (SOI 4 SUKHUMVIT)
Venues in transition on or before 31 July 2021 :
*O.K. D Massage - CLOSED
*T Thai Massage - CLOSED
*Jersey Pub - CLOSED
*Champs - NEW - Await opening.
*Swan 1 Bar Beer - CLOSED - Replaced by a restaurant (see above).
*V Good Massage - CLOSED
*Nit Massage - CLOSED
*Swan Massage & Salon - CLOSED (They have kept their 'laundry' open....)
The 'We Don't Make Mistrakes Department'. Last month we noted that the Tewly Cocktail cluster of lean-to bar beers across from the Ambassador Hotel had gone under. A contributor (you know who you are) noted that we had missed all the ongoing speakeasy action behind the barrier. This time around we stuck our head in - and found everything to be status quo ante... Below, our cup of ale.
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Hemingway (previously at Soi 16 Sukhumvit), a popular restaurant and 'after hours' venue, is continuing on during the lockdown for 'take-out meals' only.
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Ava, a popular upstairs-downstairs pub-lounge remains shuttered for the remainder of the lockdown.
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Sugar Club, one of two 'Till Late' Nitespots (the other being Insanity) on Soi Ambassador remains buttoned down behind it's steel doors. Will it survive the virus?
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Venues in transition on or before 31 July 2021 :
*Tewly Cocktail group bar beers - OPEN - (did not close last month, as reported)
*P.P. Bar & Massage - Ya Dong Potion - CLOSED - Sub-soi Havana Social
The Pool (see tiny sign in the photo) might, just might, be the newest bar in Soi 7 Plaza - but we won't know until the Entertainment Area reopens after the lockdown. That location was originally occupied by Long Shots. Long Shots moved over to larger digs on the other side of the Plaza, and the next door D-Nice Bar absorbed the space. Now it appears that that same space has become, or will become, The Pool. A wait-and-see item. (BTW, we note that the adjacent Soi 7 Bier Garten is once again serving speakeasy style...)
Once again, Midnite Hour digs deep into the dust-laden cupboards and old cardboard boxes in our attic - and discovers a variety clippings and pics of Nitespots from December 1964 - back when 'Night Clubs' (with Philippine bands) outnumbered the 'bars'... As time goes on, we will feature many of the same Venues as they grow and change, all the while featuring various local and overseas talent.
This rare photo excerpt is of the Sani Chateau in 1960. Submitted by contributor J. N. (many thanks).
The original photograph is, or was under copyright by the photographer. Bangkok Eyes displays the above excerpt for educational and entertainment purposes only, as provided for in 'Fair Use'.
The Sani Chateau in Gaysorn Night Entertainment Area, December 1964. Sani Chateau was one of the 4 International style Nightclubs in Bangkok at the time (also - the New Champagne Club on New Road, Cafe de Paris opposite Patpong 1 on Surawong, and Star Light also on New Road). They had an endless series of big international acts rotating through during the 1960's - 1970's, to include The Ink Spots (above) ....But wait... the original Ink Spots stopped performing in the 1950's - this group is one of the dozens of Wanna-BeInk Spots that popped up, along with all the law suits, in the ensuing decades. (In 1967, US federal judge Emmet C. Choate ruled that the "Ink Spots" name had become "public domain" by virtue of it's ubiquitous use by so many groups over the years. The ruling made the name "Ink Spots" free for anyone to use.)
The Moulin Rouge was located 'downtown' on Rajdamnern and was an attraction to both Thai and farang. In those days, there were a number of Nitespots and even a few of the historical old movie theaters in that neighborhood (none of which have 'made it to the future').
The Rick ShawSnack Bar wasn't so much a 'snack bar' as it was a lounge. It was located not far from where the Front Page would open (and close) years later. Note the identical wording on the above and the adjacent Mona Lisa graphic... related?
Expats of any tenure need no reminder of Patpong'sMax's Place. While Max's was open, anyone in town during those years would have stopped by more than once.
The Mona Lisa, a stone's throw from Patpong 2 on Surawong Road, was kind enough to include a map... We note the Mona Lisa and the Rick Shaw both used a now out-of-use term, "On Service", which meant, we think, 'proprietor on premises'? Hmmmm.....
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 ?
*The upstairs Supergirlsshow bar was closed for renovations. They would reopen at that location. No Nitespot currently occupies that real estate.
(Total Nitespots that month: 33 )
*-No changes that month / year.
(Total Nitespots that month: 56 )
*Shadow -- known previously as Crazy Jack's Shadow (until October 1997), reopened (was closed the previous month for renovations). It was located in between the then Rawhide and Long Gun - where (the newer) Crazy Cat most recently held court
It all started in 2013 when England's Ministry of Justice decommissioned and closed the Reading Prison in Berkshire. Since that time, the otherwise abandoned structure has been used for a film set and art exhibitions. In 2019, the Ministry of Justice put the facilities up for sale. This prompted a "save the building" group to advocate for its rescue. Among their justifications for its retention is its 'historical significance' - Oscar Wilde having been incarcerated there for two years for indecency.
Recently, a graffito of unknown origin appeared on the wall of the abandoned prison - described as 'Banksy-style' in the local media. However it was later confirmed by Banksy as his work. He 'announced' his authorship by way of an online video of him doing the 'artwork'. The video 'voice-over' was from well-known US television artist of times past, Bob Ross. The 'theme' of the graffito is seen to be a prisoner escaping, using tied-together sheets of paper emanating from a typewriter, presumed to be Oscar Wilde's.
Meanwhile, the Reading Borough Council, who have in mind making the prison facilities a permanent 'home to the arts', have joined in the preservation crusade, suggesting to the Ministry of Justice that the Banksy artwork be preserved. To be continued...
Bangkok Eyes adheres to a single, comprehensive definition of Graffiti :
"Unauthorized, often illegal markings on another's property."
Bangkok Eyes does not support or advocate any illegal activity. Content herein showcases the ongoing controversy over Graffiti in our Society and is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.
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 !
The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman.
(Boge's photo, above, is not a graffitiper-se, although there are those who have insinuated....