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Hua Hin - Special report

        Althouth Hua Hin is not on the MIDNITE HOUR beat, our historian Richard D. "Boge" Hartman was recently there to watch an elephant polo match (really), and said he just couldn't resist recording some "history-in-the-making".  It's been a little over a year since we have reported on the Night Scene down there, so it will be interesting to see what has transpired   Follows is Boge's unexpurgated text on his September 2003 visit.

-Hua Hin, 17 September 2003

        Locals and Ferang residents refer to the main Night Entertainment Area in Hua Hin as Soi Bintabat, or just 'Bintabat'.  And sure enough, there is a small sign in Thai which announces that very name.  Soi Bintabat runs between Poolsuk Road at Wat Hua Hin to Naret Damri Road near the Hilton Hotel.  It has the lion's share of the nightlife, however there are several other lounges, pubs and bar beers on the adjoining sois and roadways.  Click here to see our updated "Bintabat" Night Entertainment Area map.

         We noted that on Bintabat itself, two bars have cashed it in; Checkpoint Charlie has gone without a trace.  The Good Luck Bar has also departed the scene, even though the old sign remains -unlit- above its shuttered doors.  Perhaps they should have named it the 'Long Luck'...

         The U Turn bar has replaced the old The Tulip Cocktail & Beer Garden on Bintabat.  The U Turn used to be down the side soi next to the Rainbow Cocktail Bar - but had to relocate due building demolition works.   (We can't help wondering if the demise of the Tulip had anything to do with the mixed signals passing foot traffic got trying to visualize sipping cocktails in a bar beer.  So, what IS in a name?)  Best of luck to the newly relocated U Turn.

         Further up Bintabat toward the Hilton, the old Adelphi Bar has given way to the brand-new Cleopatra Bar & Lounge.  Welcome, Cleopatra, and may you prosper at the feet of the night-gods.

         On Poolsuk Rd itself, the very unambiguous Catherine massage in the City Beach Hotel is gone, but the Star Planet Pub disco continues to rock'n'roll 'till the break of dawn, or 2 a.m., whichever comes first.

        New to the scene, also on Poolsuk, is the Spark Bar, located next to one of Hua Hin's veterans, the Hog's Breath 2.   If Feng Shui is anything like 'location, location, location', you guys should do all right.

         A little further down Poolsuk Road, we noted three name changes in a row.

  -First, the Bei Pop is now the Love Shack - with the nicest looking sign in Hua Hin.  In Thai, it reads, Love Shake, however, so once again we have some very subtle  .

  -Secondly, two doors down, the Cindy Latino has given way to the Siam Restaurant / Cocktail.

  -Lastly, the old Jay Food and Drink is now the new, and very originally named The Road Hole - (uh...one suspects Australians got into the act here).  

         A couple of doors north, still on Poolsuk, is the new The London Lounge, a double-shophouse and well-appointed.  It looks to be doing a good business, despite the rains.

        On the corner of Poolsuk and the soi running parallel to Bintabat to the north, we note the passing of the Suzy Bar, may she rest in peace.  

        Just across the street, at the same intersection is The Ship, which was there last year when we visited, but has only recently become a bar beer.  Long life in these 'interesting times'.

        Turning right off of Poolsuk onto the parallel soi, we come to another new bar, The Blueroom.  One hopes the upcoming 'tourist season' will improve the custom.

        Down further into the soi, next door to the Caddy Shack, is the new No Name bar.  The friendly proprietress told me that when they got around to making a sign, the name would probably change.

         In that same area, the Jail House premises are in ruin, however, not to worry, they have moved down a couple of sois, out of the mainstream Night Entertainment Area.  Kurt and Jen advise that they are content to wait for the area around the new Jail House to build up, feeling certain their business will improve over the coming years.  Good attitude.

         On that same side-soi, next door to the old Jail House, the Miami Bar has moved on, nearer the central market, selling out to the new and ever-hopeful Bon Bon bar.  They assured me that the first month they make a profit, they will buy a sign.

         The Pakarang Bar, just across the street from the still thriving Jungle Juice Cocktail Bar is no more.  Its premises now occupied by the Jasmine Restaurant.

         Just around the corner, next door to the Sabai Pub - and almost back to Naret Damri Road is the new Happy Days !!! bar beer.  A 'Smiley Face' sign might not exactly be the international symbol for a Night Entertainment Venue, but, hey, what do I know?

         On Naret Damri Road between the Hilton and the Sofitel, there is a large shopping area comprised of many individual retail shops selling local goods, however some of those have become Night Entertainment Venues over the last few years. Since last year, there have been some changes worth noting.

  -Recently closed is the 3'0 Bar bar beer.  They have a prime location; one suspects they will reopen come November, once the rains stop.

  -The Romantique bar has been open for about a year - located next door to the Bamboo Hut.

  -Nancy Karaoke has recently opened near Billy's Bar.

         We've been hearing good things about two lounges south of the Bintabat Night Entertainment Area.  Both Phillips and Gigolo's, as yet unvisited by me, are being talked about all over town.  If the stories are half-true, a visit would be the right thing to make.

- Boge Hartman

2002, 2003, BANGKOK EYES / bangkokeyes.com


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