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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review



"19" Re-Focus

01 June 2009
William R. Morledge

June's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 5, 10 & 15 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - New HeadlineR
Graffiti  -Bangkok's  Vandals - #44

         It has been over 3 years since we have given Sukhumvit Road's Soi 19 the top-to-bottom, front-to-back overview - (our Nov 2005 issue), so this month we will provide the long-overdue update.
The "new kids on the block" - perhaps with a large up-market investment such as the Bangkok Rocks, there will be encouragement for further expansion on the Soi.

Our updated map shows there has been a diminishing of the number of Night Entertainment Venues since our last visit.

         Our survey of last night shows that there are actually less Night Entertainment Venues than there were three years ago.   But seemingly contradictory to this, most of the current venues are venues that existed back then - we would have expected a much higher percent turn-over.

The Chivit Chiva is a larger and slightly upscale "spa" type venue.   Again, it's appeal is mainly to the hotel guests from just across the street above Robinsons.

         Historically, the Honey Hotel (a partially 'curtained hotel') was the only expat-oriented Nite Venue on Soi 19 back in the 1960's.   In the 1970's there were a couple of new additions: the Cock 'N Bull and the upstairs Joker Club, both big hits with the resident expat community of the day.   The Cock 'N Bull and the Joker Club were eventually torn down to make way for Robinsons and McDonalds (abomination!), so at that juncture, it looked like Soi 19 was dead as far as Night Entertainment.
The "Honey" used to be an out-of-the-way curtained hotel for those wanting a little privacy.   It has kept up with renovations, and has made the transition to the present day as a good inexpensive hotel near the main shopping areas.

         But as time went on, the area slowly built up to about a dozen Nitespots - however, most of them were massage parlors to serve the new hotel.   Thus the trend was set; it is essentially the same today - an abundance of massage parlors, and a paucity of bars.   Hopefully with the arrival of the Bangkok Rocks on the Soi 19 scene, the trend can be broken.
The Lisa's Massage and the Friend's Massage have been next-door neighbors for years, both seemingly able to make a living doing the same unambiguous things.

         Although it appears that Soi 19 possesses adequate opportunity for the development of an expat Night Entertainment Area, it just has never come to pass; it hasn't grown like, say, Soi 11 or Soi 22 have over the same period.   Below are some additional photos of the Nitespots currently found on Soi 19.
The Sukhumvit 19 Beer Garden is one of the "survivors", despite it's seemingly remote location, it manages to maintain a small customer base.

Senses Massage Therapy is another survivor - offering many of todays "spa" type services.

Luxury Spa - Massage is part of the Luxury complex, just inside, on the small subsoi connecting through to Soi 17.

The Ivory Snack is actually a mini-Japanese Karaoke.

Club Miyabe is a Japanese Karaoke - it has survived in the same location (the small soi connecting to Soi 17) for the last 3 years.

The Reflex Place Massage Therapy is yet another "spa" type massage venue that has stood the test of time.



          The evening rains this last month didn't put a damper on this month's Thai Smile....

? Old

Any old PHOTOS of
Bangkok's Nightlife ?

Please CLICK HERE and send to us for publication.   

Many Thanks,
William R Morledge

 Historical Minutiae Dept.


Bangkok Confidential



Hi There,

          Thanks the great article on the political situation and violence .... on Bangkok's streets. .....    We took some assurances from the article, but is it now safe to ..... visit yet?   We were planning to holiday there this month.

Thank you, L.A.

Hello L.A.

         Thanks for giving us the opportunity to elaborate.   Even during the riots it was safe for visitors.   The disruptions appearing in the international media were shown in their most sensational light, and at the same time, they failed to mention that most of the city went about it's business in an uninterrupted fashion.   The disruptions, while potentially dangerous, were limited in scope and were almost non-existant outside the city - people returning from Pattaya Beach said they wouldn't have even known about it if it weren't for the TV and other media.   Bangkok was, and is safe.   Enjoy your stay.

'Boge' Hartman

  • Email bangkokeyes@gmail.com and "ASK" - -   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 June 2009 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  
                The Supergirls upstairs all-nude, all-the-time A Go-Go showbar went the way of the touchhole cannon in November of 2007, so we were a little surprised to see their neon glowing brightly the other night.   (As we didn't have an archive photo, we quickly got down to business and snapped this one....)
    From Patpong's 'Golden Era'

      PATPONG I   

      PATPONG  II  
                The Cafe De Paris is now presenting live jazz - and a new name may be in the offing.   Look for it to be called something similar to "Jazz On Patpong".   It looks like Bobby is once again on the march.....
      PATPONG  II  

                Vinai's Cosmos Club took over the reins of the old Club Sawasdee in December of 1995, and hasn't looked back since.   We note they have some new neon nailed up this month - let the good times roll.
      PATPONG  II  

                The (Unnamed Short-Time Hotel), it seems, is once again back into sheets and towels.   Welcome them back to the fray.
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                Our Place is, by all appearances, not letting up in Soi Cowboy's "neon wars".   This attractive addition was noted on our month-end survey this time 'round.   While all the neon on The 'Boy is certainly attractive -in a Vegas sort of way- we do wish the Soi's drink prices had stayed put....

    No let-up in sight in the ongoing avalanche of new neon signage on Soi Cowboy.
      PATPONG  II  

     NANA  PLAZA  
                The Hollywood Inn is surely acting like they are open - we can assume from this that the actual event will be taking place in the next few days...


                Below is a for-the-record archives shot of the Morning - Night, one of Nana Plaza's most successful bars.   The format remains bar beer / pool bar.   Keep on keeping on.

      SOI  KATOEY  
                Almost as if they heard our last-month's comment about a lack of neon....   The BAS Living Room now have nailed up some brand-new signage.

                Legends Sports Bar & Grill keeps on getting better...   They have added a large projection screen to the outside patio - for sporting events, of course.   Not to mention the addition of new staff....   Let it rock.


                The gay-oriented No-Body Body Center, located in Sub-soi Pan Pan, fell headlong into the abyss this last month - apparently nobody came.   It was replaced by the gay-oriented M.M.S. Men Massage & Spa.   Welcome them as they wade into the sharkpool.

                The Hanazono Club has bid it's final sayonara this last month, and the equally Nippon Jasmine Japanese Karaoke has bought up all the chattel - lock, stock and barrel, and should be opening right about.......now....

                The Asuka Club, after having virtually no visible neon two months ago, has gone on a campaign to make themselves seen by the outside world.   This latest addition is to be found at the top of their sub-soi - where it would be hard to miss.   Let the nightgames continue unabated...

                The Villa Italia, likewise have some new neon out on the main soi to attract custom.   Wish them well; call it feng shui or location-location-location, they have an uphill battle back at the end of that very far-away sub-soi.

                Having had their soft opening the month before, The Sportsman have now "officially" opened their doors, and are continuing to charge. They are already starting to attract custom - a good poolbar, with good tables and plenty of space between them....   Sports Bar / Pool Bar remains the operant descriptor.   Let 'er continue to rip, gentlemen.....


              The 3-Sister Bar have rolled out their own brand-new red carpet in the old B 52 Bar digs.   Welcome them to The Machine.
    Door Art Of The Month

                Colorful and bright, the 3-Sister Bar has the artistic "right stuff" to attract passing nightcrawlers.   Well done, ladies.


              The Happiness poolbar has handed the reins over to the Sport 20-2.   Up until this month, the Sport 20-2 was the small bar beer just outside to the right, however now both establishments are "under one roof", as it were.   The new renovations, including the glass front, have given the Nitespot a clean look; may they continue to grow.


      SOI  EDEN  
                The recently opened Bangkok Beat was summarily closed down last Sunday just prior to midnite by the Men In Too-Tight Uniforms.   To hear the staff tell it, it was the usual muscle-flexing by Bangkok's Finest - wouldn't it be nice if the Men In Tan were out there to "Serve And Protect" instead of living up to their reputation as the "National Mafia".....

                The (New) Boys Bangkok have recently added a King Neptune statue between their Japanese / Korean greetings.   We can't be sure of the significance of all of this, as we have seen very few Orientals on this Soi...   Nevertheless, let the goings-on continue to go on....



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    Bangkok Nightlife














    Bangkok Eyes jumps back in time to have a look at who was new - and who was through.   We'll be willing to bet that many of you "Old Bangkok Hands" will be reminded of some bars you'd almost forgotten.   (We also will be willing to bet you WON'T EVEN REMEMBER an even greater number....)

    10 YEARS AGO
    15 YEARS AGO
          The Queen's  Castle  III, 2nd level, near Madrid, reopened this month, 5 years ago, after having been closed since August 2003.   Interestingly, before it was closed down, it was going under the 'Show Girls' moniker - the name it is now using.
    PATPONG  I  -  2004

          Lipstick  Pub opened in the upstairs (2nd level) bar that was the old Lipstick.   There was no similarity between the two - the Lipstick Pub was gay; the old Lipstick was a Show Bar.   Those premises are currently unoccupied.
    PATPONG  I  -  2004

          In the Cosmos Stairwell (opposite Foodland) the Thai Traditional Massage (4th level) closed.   No Nitespot currently occupies those premises.
    PATPONG  II  -  2004

          Club Electric Blue remained closed this month while they continued to sort out name change issues.   They would soon reopen as just Electric Blue.   They are still there today.
    PATPONG  II  -  2004

          Never really gone, the Tavern Three Saloon 'returned' (it was running under Top Light 1 neon for a couple of months while they sorted out name change problems).   It is still there today.
    PATPONG  II  -  2004

          The Kiss Me bar beer closed down 5 years ago.   It was located in the Tobacco Road Night Entertainment Area, which no longer exists.
    TOBACCO  ROAD   (SOI ZERO)  -  2004

          Cowboy One Ago Go Go closed down for renovations 5 years ago.
    SOI  COWBOY  -  2004

          The Spice  Girls Pink Cadillac rolled out the red carpet for the first time this month in 2004.   They are still there today.
    SOI  COWBOY  -  2004

          The Apache reopened this month after a two-week closure.   It is still at that location, however it has more recently been renovated.
    SOI  COWBOY  -  2004

          The @  Corner opened up across the lane from The Old Dutch.   They are still there today.
    SOI  COWBOY  -  2004

          Five years ago the Playskool A-Go-Go reopened (inside) after repairing damage caused by a fire 2 months earlier.   Note: the outside bar beer area did not close.
    NANA  PLAZA    -  2004

          The No-Bra bar beer reopened after a one-month renovation, while The Corner pub-lounge closed down for a month - for renovations.   Both bars are still there today.
    QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA   -  2004

          In Asoke Plaza/ Asoke Corner (which was located at the intersection of Asoke & Sukhumvit) the Tuk Tuk Bar bar beer closed down.
    ASOKE  PLAZA  -  ASOKE  CORNER  -  2004

          Also in Asoke Plaza/ Asoke Corner the Latifah  Bar (previously the Ritchiy Bar) opened, while both the Ritchiy Bar and the Ritchiy Bar Pool closed that month.   The Latifah was the first Arab owned and operated bar in an Expat bar area.   
    ASOKE  PLAZA  -  ASOKE  CORNER  -  2004

          Still in Asoke Plaza/ Asoke Corner the Friendly Bar opened in the old C.J. bar beer digs, while the Fantacy bar beer remained open while relocating within the compound.
    ASOKE  PLAZA  -  ASOKE  CORNER  -  2004

          The Mic Choke-Dee bar beer closed down in the Thirteen Night Market (Thermae Annex).    (The Annex is now extinct, and was located at the original Thermae digs).

          Mook Bar bar beer opened up in the then-rapidly-expanding Easy  Square   Also note; the unnamed bar that opened last month nailed up it's neon this month - it became, officially, The Basement.    The  Easy  Square Nitespots disappeared in a real estate dispute not long after - they were located deep in Soi 22 Sukhumvit Rd.
    EASY  SQUARE  -  2004

          The Thai Lady Bar reopened this month 10 years ago.   It was located upstairs (2nd level) near today's Thigh Bar, but closer to Silom Road.     There is no bar occupying that facility now, however, typically, bars opening in this location have been rip-off bars that have only run a few months before dying off.
    PATPONG  I  -  1999

          Kob's Place 2 closed 10 years ago.   This was not the Kob's Place of long-standing up on The Ramp, this bar was located upstairs (2nd level) above the Memphis Queen (now the S.T.V. Bar).   There is no bar currently at that location.
    PATPONG  II  -  1999

          The Bua Luang Restaurant (actually a Poolbar), reopened this month.   It was located at the end of Patpong II where The Strip currently operates.
    PATPONG  II  -  1999

          The French  Kiss Cafe Bar Resto which closed down ten years ago, last month, commenced interior renovations.   Having opened in 1986, it is still there today.
    PATPONG  II  -  1999

          Up on The Ramp, the Three Ladies Cocktail Lounge closed down temporarily a decade ago.   It would reopen the following month.
    PATPONG  II  -  1999

          In the Entertainment Plaza (it would soon become "Clinton Plaza"), Lek's Boozer took over the reins from an unnamed bar beer.   Clinton Plaza was located next to today's Thermae - no Night Entertainment Venues exist at that location today (it is the site of a soon-to-open hotel).
    CLINTON   PLAZA  -  1999

          The New  Klymaxx A Go-Go Bar closed down for one month to make interior renovations.   It no longer exists, and after other name changes, the property was sold and now forms part of Deja Vu.
    SOI  COWBOY  -  1999

          Hyper  (Air Bus), the Un- Club, closed to undergo renovations this month 10 years ago.   It no longer exists; it was located in the current Souvlaki digs.
    SOI  KATOEY  -  1999

          Perfect A Go Go Bar opened that month - upstairs (2nd level) next door to Telephone Pub.   It is no longer in existence.
    SOI  KATOEY  -  1999

          Pussys Collections, on the 2nd floor above today's King's Castle II, closed this month, 15 years ago.   It was located in part of the area currently occupied by Club 66.
    PATPONG  I  -  1994

          The Kiss threw open it's doors for the first time a decade-and-a-half ago.   It took over the reins from the Lips  2, which also closed that same month.   The Kiss is still there today.
    PATPONG  I  -  1994

          After several months' renovations, the Smile  Club opened in the old and reviled Mars Party House digs (formerly the Napoleon).   The Smile Club is no longer there; the (under-renovations) Radio City currently occupies those premises.
    PATPONG  I  -  1994

          The Joy  Bar opened in what was, a month earlier, an unnamed bar (previously the New Castle Bar). It was an upstairs (2nd level) bar closer to Suriwong than Mizu's.   There is no bar at that location presently.
    PATPONG  I  -  1994

          The Elixer reopened upstairs (2nd level) in the Cosmos Stairwell.   It was previously located just downstairs in what was, until recently, Siam Drug.   There is no bar located there currently.
    PATPONG  II  -  1994

          Up on The Ramp, both the Mr  Natural and the Classic Cocktail Lounge reopened after brief closures.   Mr  Natural had a 2-month holiday, where the Classic -previously "Classic Music Lounge"- had been closed since August of 1993.
    PATPONG  II  -  1994

          The Pink  Pussycat opened, or should we say 'reopened' (?) in the old New Pink Pussycat digs, which, before that, was the Pink Pussycat....
    SOI  COWBOY  -  1994

          The Eros Bar A Go Go Theque opened upstairs, above the Salambo Bar in the old D (Hong Aharn Dee) digs.   For you vintage nitecrawlers, the Salambo occupied the old "Rolettas" (Loretta's) bar location.   It is currently Sheba territory.
    SOI  COWBOY -  1994

          The Asian  Intrigue closed down 15 years ago this last month.   It would become, after renovations, today's Fantasia.
    NANA  PLAZA  -  1994



    [ Check out Bangkok's own source of evil spraycans, etc, at Montana Land <link>. ]

    - And now to Bangkok's own brand of Graffiti....

    Graffiti #302
    Friezedried (& detail)
    10 ft. high x 20 ft..

    Graffiti #303
    8 ft. high x 12 ft.

    Graffiti #304
    Miss Piggy
    5 ft. high x 7 ft.

    Graffiti #305
    Mr Bunkie, To You
    7 ft. high x 14 ft.

    Graffiti #306
    7 ft. high x 12 ft.

    Graffiti #307
    7 ft. high x 13 ft.

    Graffiti #308
    Gee Whizzard
    5 ft. high x 4 ft.

    Graffiti, Graffiti , and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original and ONLY graffiti Site !

       The MIDNITE HOUR 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

    Copyright 2002 - 2009, BANGKOK EYES / bangkokeyes.com

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