As Thailand and the World are experiencing what appears to be the downturn of the Coronavirus - concomitant with the commencement of CoV vaccinations, we at Bangkok Eyes will attempt to assess 'realistic expectations' on the functional reopening of Bangkok's Night Entertainment Industry, and the reestablishment of a viable level of tourism.
Patpong 2 Road's Crown Royalwas an'early opener' on the easing of Government restrictions on Night Entertainment, 23 February 2021.
The widespread vaccination of populations of various countries (to include Thailand) will not alone bring about the reopening of international borders, the functional restoration of our tourism, or the full reopening of the Nightlife scene. Firstly, the execution of vaccination programs globally will take several months, during which adequate quantities of vaccine will be able to be produced and distributed - and then administered (usually over a one-month period). Vaccinations will be only the first step toward the return to any semblance of "normal". There will be other hurdles to clear before we can once again enjoy free travel. First, and foremost, the world community will need to come to agreement on which vaccines are internationally acceptable, and which documents will be internationally recognized as proof of vaccination.
The Thai Government's partial easing of restrictions on 23 February 2021 has allowed the Night Entertainment Venues (bars, karaokes and massage parlors) to reopen and serve alcohol, while limiting their hours of operation. Certainly a positive step toward a 'new normal', however little if anything is gained if tourism (the source of customers) has not been restored.
While tourists are actually starting to return to Thailand, the numbers are so low as to be insignificant. Firstly, tourists are still required to spend 2 weeks in quarantine - at their own expense. Secondly, there are a number of requirements that must be met by a prospective UNVACCINATED tourist prior to travelling to Thailand. The below listing is typical of what a person would be required to do prior to travel : -
*A valid visa must be obtained. (As per normal requirement.)*It appears there is no requirement for life insurance or accident insurance.*Covid-19 Insurance will be required for the entire length of stay in Thailand.This can be obtained on line, starting with contacting the Thai Government websites.*A Certificate of Entry (COE) must be obtained through the Thai Embassy / Consulate prior to travel. *A valid negative Covid-19 test result is required, taken less than 72 hours previous.*A Fit-To-Fly chit or document from a competent medical authority must be in hand prior to boarding the aircraft. Note: This is 'typical' for unvaccinated travellers to Thailand, and requirements may vary from country to country. It behooves the prospective tourist to Thailand to investigate thoroughly the Thai Embassy / Consulate website, inquire at your proposed airline, and be aware of any 'home' Government restrictions.
There is currently no equivalent 'typical' checklist for vaccinated tourists coming to Thailand. There will be a requirement, of course, to show proof of vaccination. Proof must be of an internationally recognized format - which to our knowledge, has not yet universally been agreed upon. (Note: we have earlier suggested the simplest solution would be continuation/ re-use of the old standard yellow WHO International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.) It is anticipated that over time, the list of hurdles to be cleared by vaccinated persons prior to travel will diminish - most likely the 'quarantine period' will be the first requirement to be reduced or disappear altogether. It would be an unrealistic expectation that restoration of a healthy tourism - and therefore, a healthy Nightlife Scene - could be realized before August 2021. Those vaccinated persons planning to travel to Thailand will, likewise, need to keep abreast of the now-rapidly changing requirements while obtaining visas, booking flights with your airline, and any travel restrictions at your point of departure.
Note to prospective tourists to Thailand: Currently, wearing of masks is generally required, however social distancing is only moderately adhered to. Freedom of movement, without curfew is in effect, although Night Entertainment is currently required to close down at 23:00 hours. Alcoholic beverages are now allowed to be served in both restaurants and bars (since 23 February 2021.) Vaccinations for non-Thai nationals is reportedly available in Bangkok at selected hospitals. The price for the series has been given at Baht 2,000.
Coronavirus Overview GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS ON DECLINE 01 March 2021
This March Bangkok Eyes continues our ongoing review & analysis of trending global figures, to include Thailand - touching on several 'typical' individual countries. For purposes of comparison, this month, as in months past, we are updating data for the same countries previously reported.
In follow-up from the last two months, we are providing updated graphs on Sweden. Sweden is useful as a 'benchmark' when analyzing trends in new infections and deaths because it has never implemented isolation as a remedy, but rather it has employed common-sense social distancing and masking. It becomes immediately and painfully apparent that 'isolation' protocols for the reduction of the Coronavirus do not produce superior results. The unintended consequences of 'isolation', as virtually ALL the evidence of the past year shows, is economic disaster.
As in preceding months, Bangkok Eyes continues our ongoing review & analysis of the global figures - and those 'typical' individual countries whose accurate record-keeping and implementation of internationally recognized precautionary and medical treatment procedures provide meaningful trending data :
As the above upsurges and declines are recent, we have used both 'new case' and 'death' data to best illustrate the actual trending by the most accurate and visually observable means. Bangkok Eyes has reproduced the above information as a public service - this information is readily available to the public on the Internet and through other sources. This information is not to be construed as a prediction, or an estimate, or a projection relating to changes in the prevalence of the Coronavirus, either as to length of time, location or severity.
Charts sourced from www.worldometers.info and W.H.O. data.
*We note the local Thai Night Entertainment Areas are open and doing reasonably well, as, of course, their main source of custom is not foreign tourism. (Examples of local ThaiNitespot Areas: Sri Nakarin South, Soi Thonglor, Soi Udomsuk, Soi Ekamai, RCA.)
Furniture and fixtures removed, lights out, door locked.
By the way, the owner of (Name Withheld) wants to tell you his bar is open. You said they were closed, but if you had entered inside you would see they are open for business. He says look inside before you publish on the Internet that they are closed. Just passing on a message buddy.
We appreciate your advising us on the status of that particular bar. In these last two months, where many bars and other Night Entertainment Venues were opening a-la 'speak-easy', it is understandable that those bars would be operating 'lights-out'. Recently, we have received a number of bits of feedback from other Nitespots advising us, likewise, that they were in fact 'Open' when we had reported them as 'Closed'.
However, we at Bangkok Eyes had long ago been warned of just such reports by none other than Bernard Trink, who decades ago grew weary of bar owners coming back at him with such claims, and claims of how successful their bars were, when it was plainly obvious this was not the case.
As a result, particularly during this time of the Pandemic, Bangkok Eyes is extremely careful when reporting that bars have closed - we take particular note of those bars which are very obviously closed, padlocked and dark - and have not left any sort of a "Be Back Soon", or "Staff Holiday" notice, etc. Out of self-defense, we have taken to snapping photographs of the closed bars for our records. On receipt of communications from bar owners claiming their bars were somehow really open, we offer to send them copies of our photo. We of course, do not hear further from them.
Our advice to Nitespot owners : if your Venue is not open, and you haven't gone out of business, (and yes, you are a 'business') - we kindly suggest you do as any barber shop, restaurant or jewelry shop would do - tape or staple a simple sign in the window or on the door advising of your return. That way, any of your regular customers, or for that matter, us, coming by will know that you have not gone out of business. Really, wouldn't this be something bar owners would insist their managers do as a matter of course?
Above, see a sample photo of the bar you mentioned as 'Open'. Had we not used a flash, the area would have been in darkness, the door not visible. In no sense of the word, would one call this Nitespot "Open" - the furniture and wall fixtures removed, door closed and locked with items stacked just inside preventing access - even if the door wasn't locked, and of course, no sign of staff... We don't know of any way for a bar to be more closed. It is not up to the customer to venture inside a darkened foyer to pull on doors to see whether or not an establishment is open.
Again, thanks for letting us know - and as it would be to their exclusive benefit, we hope Venue owners and managers will take note...
The freeze on Night Entertainment placed on Bangkok and beyond commencing at the end of December 2020 due to the sudden outbreaks of Coronavirus in Samut Sakhorn province and along the Thai-Burmese border was abruptly lifted on 23 February 2021. (Restaurants and some other venues were allowed to open earlier.) Many bars were able to open almost immediately (23 -28 Feb), while many others waited until 1 March to reopen. There were others that would not reopen at all.
Due to the number of Night Entertainment Venue reopenings for the month of February - through 1 March, our surveys for the 1 March issue will concentrate on those Nitespots that have reopened - and remain open. Nitespots that were previously open during February (Bar-Restaurants, massage parlors) which closed during the current (up to 1 March) reporting period are also shown.
Of all the Expat Night Entertainment Areas in Bangkok, Patpong 1 Road has suffered the worst. Since the Government easing and reopening of Nitespots on February 23, only the Madrid has reopened since we last posted (left side, accompanying photo). - Note: The Hanuman Massage remains the only other PP 1 Venue open - as per last month. We also note that Shenanigans, around the corner on Surawong Rd., has just reopened...) May they persevere.
Patpong 2 Road, unlike PP1, is reopening quickly. The photo below shows some of the 'early openers' (23 Feb - 29 Feb) - Patpong Cafe, the Crystal Palace, and the Black Pagoda (and of course, the Patpong Museum which is still on limited hours, however).
The V.L. Gallery Bar Beer, also re-opening right from the git-go, is once again "business as usual".... We'll be keeping a copy of this pic for the Archives...
The Triple XXX Lounge is another 'early bird' to get back up to full-steam, dancers once again gracing the stage....
The The Strip 2.0 and that nameless bar beer next to it, were also early 're-openers', red carpets (figuratively) rolled out...
The gay-bar end of Patpong 2 (Surawong Road end) is also re-opening rapidly, to include some Nitespots up on The Ramp.
Nitespots that have reopened on Patpong 2 since our last-month's survey (between 23 Feb and 28 Feb) :
*Bada Bing*Black Pagoda*Bar Bar*The Strip 2.0*Triple XXX Lounge*Crown Royal*Hot Male*Triple 888 Massage .
*Fresh Boys .
*Swing Club*Qeen 501*M Nine Bar Lounge Karaoke*V.L. Gallery BB*Midnite Bar Beer*Chicken Divine .
*Pinocchio's Club*Tavern Two.
*Old Other Office*Top Light Bar*(Unnamed Bar Beer)* (French Kiss and Le Bouchon -Open since last month, remain open...)
The colorful new signage at the Dollhouse dazzles the eye... They have just re- re-opened. Hopefully, with the Coronavirus appearing to be brought under conrol, this re-opening will be the last time? Welcome back to our new Dystopia...
The Country Road was one of the 'early openers' on Soi Cowboy (23 Feb - 28 Feb) - and, with the house band cranking on, they looked quite busy... Rock it up tonite...
About half of the Nitespots that existed on Soi Cowboy prior to the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic have reopened on or before 1 March 2021 : -
*Crazy House*Spritz*Oasis*Moonshine Joint*Jungle Jim's*Suzie Wong Bar*Cowboy 2*Toy Bar .
*Penny Black .
*The Corner Live Music.
*Country Road*Five Star*Sam's 2000*Sunshine After Skool*Dollhouse*Baccara*@ Corner (King's Bar) .
Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4) was as busy this month as it was last month - virtually all Establishments remained open. At the risk of being repetitively redundant, having a 'restaurant licence' (sometimes referred to as a 'day license') would be a wise consideration for any future Night Entertainment business plan...... The only NitespotsNOT to have reopened are :- Adam Massage, the Welcome, the Stranger, the Jupiter 2018 complex, the Eat Drink Man Women, and the upstairs Hugs which is only open half the time in any case....
The Keep In Touch closed last August, due to contractual differences (not Coronavirus), have worked a new deal and are once again back serving cold ones. They will be having their 'Grand Opening' on 13 March - the word is spreading, they could be back to their usual crowd by then. Located deep in Subsoi Starlight.
Below are the Soi 22 Nightspots that reopened during the month of February 2021, and are currently still open. (Not inclusive of those Venues already reported as 'Open' the previous month.)
*59 Bar*Happy Bar*Bit Style Massg*Love Me Bar & Massg*Keep In Touch*3-J Bar*Hangover*J Star .
*Secret Story Massg .
*Paradise Massg*Exotic Massg*Hana Massg*Yu-Ka*Hang Out*Otto Bistro (But not the Bar.).
*Shag Bar (no sign)
*(unnamed beer bar).
*Angel Bar 22*Am's Bar*Too Easy*Double Chill*Squeeze Inn*Chill Bar*No Idea .
*Siri Massage*Bar Black Pinkie.
*B 52 Cowboy Bar*Nang Mery Massage & Coffee
Below are the Soi 22 Nightspots that closed during the month of February 2021.
The Hillary 3 / Climax has closed, and is redirecting their custom to the brand new Hillary 11 (just reopened) located at the end of the Soi. The question begs.... will Hillary 3 reopen, and if not, where will Climax re-emerge? (We have the sneaking suspicion the Hillary Group won't let Climax die...)
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Nightspots that re-opened on Soi Ambassador (Sukhumvit Soi 11) between 23 February and 1 March 2021. (Not inclusive of Venues shown as 'Open' the previous month.)
The only Expat Night Entertainment Area that could be considered 'busy' by the end of February was Soi 7 Plaza. A person entering the Plaza on the weekend would have been walking into a time machine - a large birthday celebration was in progress, and all the bars (that were open) were busy, no one was 'social distancing', and few were wearing masks - it could have been a year ago.
Only four bars had NOT reopened - Friendly Bar (which had just been taken over by the brand-new Nordic Bar[pics soon] ), the Cho Cho (which had been taken over by the expanded After Sammy Bar), and the Star Bar and Butterfly Bar (neither of which ever re-opened). Soi 7 Plaza did not only inherit many of the Queen's Park Plaza bars, it also inherited QPP's arrangement with the 'Men-In-Too-Tight-Uniforms' to be able to stay open "'Til Late"... Gotta let the train roll on...
SOI 7 PLAZA
Last month, we could find neither hide nor hair of the After Sammy Bar - instead we saw a small (and tempting) Vietnamese restaurant in its place. The restaurant proprietress confirmed the After Sammy Bar was closed, as did the staff from the Ida 789, just across. We tried to order Vietnamese food, but the lady said they weren't allowed to seat customers, take away only. Bummer. We snapped a pic and wrote it off. But we couldn't have been more mistaken - this month we returned to find that not only had After Sammy Bar reopened, it had absorbed the real estate of the Cho Cho Bar, installed an airconditioned bar area - and a pool area..... AND kept the Vietnamese restaurant. Let the good times roll...
SOI 7 PLAZA
Below are the Soi 7 Plaza Nightspots that reopened during the month of February 2021, and are currently still open. (Not inclusive of those Venues already reported as 'Open' the previous month.)
*Lucky Bar*Rumors*Our Place*Together*Day & Nice Bar*Moonshine Pub*Long Shots*Leo's Wall (2 locations).
*Rich Bar .
*Big B's Bar.
*D-Nice*Heaven*Ida 789*Drop In Bar*Players*Beers & Birds*After Sammy Bar
Below are the Soi 7 Plaza Nightspots that opened February 2021 :
*Nordic Bar NEW.
Last month we noted that the Honey was renovating in the old Love & Service Massage, and that they would open 'if-and-when'. Well, if-and-when has arrived, and they are now open for business. Modus Operandi unchanged. Located on Subsoi 4. Rub-a-dub-dub.
ARTISTS (Sukhumvit 33)
The Kiss Japanese Snack Bar has reopened. Located next to the Pan Pan Italian Restaurant. Note: Japanese snack bars are not like Western snack bars, they are actually mini-lounge bars - usually with hostesses, sometimes with snacks, sometimes without. 'Snack bar' is just a name they've borrowed...
ARTISTS (Sukhumvit 33)
Nitespots that have re-opened on Soi Dead Artists (Sukhumvit Soi 33) during the month of February through 1 March 2021. (Not inclusive of Nitespots having opened prior to February - already reported in our previous column).
*Tsubaki Expatriate Japanese Club *Tsubaki 33 *Kiss Japanese Snack Bar *Survey Entertainment *Fortune 17 Karaoke *Fortune Club Girls Bar & Massg *Honey Massage *Demonia *Hideaway
Below are the Soi Dead Artist (Soi 33) Nightspots that closed during the month of February 2021.
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 ?
*Club Habanos closed it's doors for the last time. It was a originally part of Randy'sGold Finger's and was created for connoisseurs of cigar smoking. (Yes, it was the forerunner of Soi 23'sWhisgars - 'Whiskey & Cigars' - also run by Randy.)
*The 2nd level Thai Lady Bar became Thai Lady Massage. It was located above the Thigh Bar. An unnamed Nitespot of questionable quality has existed there on-and-off for years.
(Total Nitespots that month: 33 )
*Up on The Ramp the Cozy Club opened newly that month, having taken over the reins from the James & Vinai Club. (Yes, the Cozy Club was still Vinai's, and a reincarnation of the old Cozy Club on PP1.) No Venue currently exists at that location.
*Also up on The Ramp the Bé Bé ClubPub & Karaoke closed down temporarily - they would reopen the following month. No Venue currently exists at that location.
(Total Nitespots that month: 57 )
* The Love Scene Karaoke closed down permanently, and would later be absorbed by Tilac. The Love Scene would move to Soi 23, but not as a "karaoke". The Tilac remains at that location today.
*Tu's Bar & Massage opened newly in the then-just-closed U-Turn. It was located along the back fence.
* The Boomerang having re-opened the previous month, reclosed. It was located along the side fence.
*Friendsbar beer opened newly in a previously unoccupied space, behind in the Annex. It was located along the side fence.
(Total Nitespots that month: 22 )
* On the ground level, Sugar Beat reopened after a month's renovations. It was a small bar beer located outside Hollywood Rock. No Nitespot is currently at that location (since the closing of the London Calling).
(Total Nitespots that month: 41 )
Soi Katoey ( Silom Soi 4 )
*The Tapas expanded - adding another shophouse to their girth. It was located where Banana Room Club now resides.
*Next door to Tapas the 114 Club opened newly. It was located where today's The Adam Massage is now keeping shop.
*The Hyper Space became just Hyper that month. That real estate is currently occupied by Connections.
*The Icon 2000 became Icon 2001. It was located where 'Welcome' now resides.
*The upstairs Om Trance Club reopened. It was located where today's Hugs Bar - Karaoke now keeps shop.
*The Club became The Club Discotheque that month. That real estate is currently occupied by Jupiter 2018.
(Total Nitespots that month: 16 )
Soi Dead Artists ( Sukhumvit Soi 33 )
* The Lucky Luciano Club became the 33 Lucky Luciano Club. It was located at the front of the Peep Inn Park (now S-33 Compact Hotel). No Nitespot now occupies that space.
* The Po Massage reopened its doors after a brief closure. They remain at that location today.
(Total Nitespots that month: 26 )
Buckskin Joe Village (~ December 1988 to 9 June 2006)
(Also called 'Tobacco Road', 'Soi Rot Fai', 'The Tracks', 'Soi Zero' & 'Machim' [Thai] )
*The Last Stand Barbeer bar closed for good that month.
(Total Nitespots that month: 20 )
Washington Square (~ April 1999 to April 2014)
* - No changes that month / year.
(Total Nitespots that month: 17 )
(Originally ''Entertainment Plaza'')
[ ~February 1999to June 2003 ]
*A beer bar (yet to be named) opened between Checkpoint Charlies (Exhibition) and the Wind Mill (Kangaroo). They were located outside, against the rear of the main building.
(Total Nitespots that month: 21 )
''13 Night Market'' Entertainment Area
(Originally 'Old Thermae Compound')
[ April 2000 - March 2005 ]
A bridge spanning England's M25 Motorway had long been known for the somewhat humorously worded graffiti, "Give Peas A Chance". All agree that graffiti had been up for a number of years, however no exact date is known, other than by the graffiti artist himself.
However, recently, (again, no firm date) the old familiar graffiti was painted over by another (or same?) 'artist' - street name : "Helch". (Or perhaps not...) The new graff reads, "Thank You NHS".
Many, including some of Britain's Press, have treated the new graffiti as a sincere expression of thanks to their National Health System. Many others, however, feel it is a tongue-in-cheek gesture highlighting a bungled handling of the Coronavirus. ....You be the judge....
6 ft high x 10 ft
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....