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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review



The Dead Artists Bars

01 March 2010
William R. Morledge

March's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! -
Graffiti  -BKK's  Midnite Vandals - #55

         In combing through our archives, we realized we hadn't done a thorough review of Soi Dead Artists (Sukhumvit 33) since 2004 - a top-to-bottom update was long overdue.   Our first objective was to perform a comprehensive survey and to update our map (see below).

         Although the first couple of bars appeared on Soi Dead Artists in 1987, it was more than twelve years before it would reach "critical mass" and qualify as an independent, self-sustaining Night Entertainment Area.   By late 1999 there were a dozen relatively contiguous bars thriving there - and since that time they have never looked back.

         As can be seen, growth over the last decade has been relatively constant - with today's 'headcount' at 66 Nitespots.   By way of review, Bangkok Eyes' surveys include any venue where we nightcrawlers would reasonably expect to find some 'action'.   Our admittedly arbitrary criteria would include night venues such as A Go-Go bars, lounges, ambiguous massage parlors, bar beers, poolbars, 'active' bar-restaurants, some 'coffee shops' and like venues.   We do not include in our count such venues as restaurants, hotel lobby bars or other outlets where persons "out-on-the-town" would most likely not be able to 'hook-up' (yes, we know that young ladies can occasionally be found working in Robinsons Department Store, thank you just the same...).

         Not counting the temporary 'opportunistic' bar beer areas of the last two decades (all now defunct), Soi Dead Artists can boast that it is the fastest growing Night Entertainment Area since the rapid build-up of the Golden Mile (Petchburi Road) in the '60's & '70's, and is now Bangkok's largest Night Entertainment Area catering to both Western and Japanese expats.

         Ten years ago, Soi Dead Artrists had a less than favorable reputation of being unusually expensive (drinks, lady drinks, barfines), and having hostesses somewhat over the hill (an accurate assessment for the most part).   But that was then, this is now - the times they are a changing.   Today's Soi Dead Artists has an increasing number of 'coyote' bars (read; 'A Go-Go'), and live music venues.   One of our staff recently bought a Spy alcoholic beverage for a young coyote dancer on Soi Dead Artists @ Baht 180, whereas on Soi Cowboy, one can buy a watered-down water for a coyote dancer @ Baht 200 (who, by the way, cannot be barfined ?!).

         Soi Dead Artists is also becoming known for it's specialty massage venues, where various packages can be selected, depending on how much entertainment is craved at the moment.   Many of Bangkok's expats -long time residents and return visitors- are choosing this type of 'no-muss, no-fuss' All-In-One Nitespot over Bangkok's now-too-expensive A Go-Go bars.

         The prognosis for Soi Dead Artists is good - it looks to be on an upward growth path (both Western and Japanese bars), and continues to offer an ever greater selection of Night Entertainment.   Keep on, as we are wont to say, keeping on.



          This month's Thai Smile Award goes to a young lady who hopes one day to be a model.

? 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.

1975, But Where?


Just thought you might like to add these (1975) pics to your archives?

I see there is a sign for the Heidelberg in one of the Soi 4 pictures.

Other pics are of Sukhumvit Road - not sure where, are you?

Best regards,

Greetings C,

Many thanks for the great old pics. We did a little digging and, in addition to the shot of the Nana Hotel (from the back side on Soi 4) we did note that the one photo had an arrow pointing to the Heidelberg, as you have noted.   Most people, even long time residents, don't realize that the Heidelberg goes that far back.   We noted that it was right next to it the sign for the upstairs Taverne Bar - which we had completely forgotten about.

The shot taken on Sukhumvit was the one that got our curiosity piqued - as we could plainly read in Thai and English the sign for Tommy's Gems, but couldn't for the life of us remember where it used to be.   (We knew that it closed several years ago.)   We took a chance and Googled "Tommy's Gems" and got some hits - one was a link selling a silver money clip with Tommy's address on it (see the attached pic).   It read "132 - 134 Sukhumvit" so we looked up the addresses and found that 134 was still a jewelry shop (Jazz).   We have included a photo herein.


We then backed up to what we thought would be the same place your original picture was taken, and took our own pic.   We then were able to double check, as we can see the arches across the street at the Nai Lert Building in both your photo and our new photo.   Your original photo was taken just around the corner from Soi 4 Nana, almost exactly in front of the Nana Post Office.


'Boge' Hartman

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    Let the March 2010 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  
                Last month, we noted the ongoing construction in Soi Bookstore where the 2nd floor King's Lounge once held court.   This month we see that they have created an outside bar beer at street level - of the same name as the inside A Go-Go : King's Corner.   The upstairs area which used to be the actual King's Lounge is now not open to the public.
    Door Art Of The Month
                   The King's Corner has used neon to backlight their brand-new signage - and the effect is most pleasing to the eye.   A job well done....


      PATPONG  II  
                An interesting shot of Vinai's Cosmo's Club. Vinai still holds court within on most evenings.   At the left of the pic - the ground-floor entrance to the Black Pagoda.
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
                A couple of months back, we noted that both Joe's and Tony's had closed, but that it was too early to "speculate" on the two becoming a new double-shophouse chrome-pole & mirror emporium.   Well, the hog is now well-and-good out of the tunnel, and it is way too late to speculate - it will be a new double-wide bar.   We understand on good authority that it will be the latest A Go-Go bar in the "Midnite Group" of bars - so expect yet another neon extravaganza.   It should be opening in April.
      SOI  COWBOY  

                The Apache Coyote is closed - and the hammers and saws are ablur in the rush to finish renovations.   It is said there will be no name change, no change of owner.   We'll keep an eyeball peeled and let all know when it reopens.
      SOI  COWBOY  

     NANA  PLAZA  
             In case you were not present at the unveiling, or hadn't otherwise noticed, the Nana Plaza spirit house has had a major overhaul.   Very spiritual.
      NANA  PLAZA  

             In the below for-the-archives shot of the Cat House, it seems that venue is, once again, suffering the neon blues....
      NANA  PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  
                An unusual for-the-archives shot of Soi Katoey - it seems to be attracting more mixed couples than in times past.....

                The premises that once housed the Massage-Sho, Japanese massage (next to the Telephone Pub) is up for grabs - we suspect it won't be long before there will be a new Nitespot at that location.   The sign reads, "Interested in this venue, can contact at (telephone numbers shown)".

                Once the Phoenix Lounge (Blue Power Shaft), then the New Phoenix Lounge, it is now the Strawberry Farm.   Located on the ground level in the Peep Inn Park.   Entertainment aimed at Japanese clientele.   Wish them luck as they venture into the neon jungle.


                The Nippon-oriented Joy has reopened after a one-month closure. Welcome them back to the sharkpool.

                The Wonderful Massage Place has bought out the Sunflower Massage lock, stock and aromatic oils.   They seem a little shy on traditional masseuses, if you get our drift......   Let the good times roll.


                The Easy Pub has popped up as though from a dragon's tooth.   They occupy the old Angel 22 Massage digs, which closed several months ago.   Welcome them to the big uphill.


                The Queen's, the most recent bar beer to occupy this hexed location, has plummeted headlong into the boneyard of busted bars.   May they find things more to their liking a little further on down the road a piece.   As can be seen below, parties interested in renting can call for more information.
    - File photo         


      SOI  EDEN  
                The below pic is a colorful for-the-archives shot of Soi Eden.
      SOI  EDEN    SUKHUMVIT  SOI  7/1

                Soi Twilight, Bangkok's prominent gay soi, has some new lines, or perhaps lanes, painted onto the roadway - we are not sure of the intended function, but they do seem to keep the center of the soi open.........

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    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  :
          The Agogo 2000 - second floor, rolled out the red carpet for the very first time a decade ago.   It would last only a couple of months before becoming the original location for Angel Witch Rock Dancers, and then the Silver Dragon - after which it was absorbed by the Mandarin.   Recently, these same digs were taken over by the relocating Mercury Bar A Go-Go (still there today).
    NANA  PLAZA -  2000

          Ten years ago, after opening and closing a few times, Mai's Bar bar beer - the tiny venue out on the 3rd floor walkway, closed for the final time.
    NANA  PLAZA  -  2000

          The Cowboy Annex (later to be Asoke Plaza / Asoke Corner) was building Night Entertainment Venues at a furious rate ten years ago; this month the total doubled to ten Nightspots.   The Cowboy Annex would soon reach 'critical mass' and become a Night Entertainment Area in it's own right.   The new venues which opened that month, a decade ago, were:
    - Sakura Bar bar beer
    - Oasis bar beer (which, after several homes, ended up on Soi 13).
    - "Karaoke" (it's only signage)
    - Tup Tim Siam Massage
    - Sawasdee bar beer
    - Black Ant bar beer

          The old Rome Club, which closed under mysterious and murderous circumstances in the last half of 1999 occupied large premises on both sides of the Soi.   These premises stayed vacant until this last month, 10 years ago.   On the left side going in the ICON 2000 opened (this was the original location for the Rome).   On the right side, as you walk in, The Club opened up for business.   The Club was the first of several Nitespots to occupy the digs now claimed by the brand-new For Fun.   There is currently no Nitespot in the old ICON 2000 digs.
    SOI  KATOEY  (SILOM  SOI  4) -  2000

           The Space Pub opened on the second floor a decade ago in what is now the Bar Bar.
    SOI  KATOEY  (SILOM  SOI  4) -  2000

           The Pharaoh's Karaoke reopened after a brief closure.
    SOI  KATOEY  (SILOM  SOI  4) -  2000

          In the now defunct Tobacco Road Night Entertainment Area, the Kiss Me bar beer closed down for renovations this last month, ten years ago, while it's next door neighbor, the Love You Bar bar beer, reopened.   Ten years ago, Tobacco Road was going under the name 'Buckskin Joe Village'.
    TOBACCO  ROAD  (SOI  ZERO)  -  2000

          The Studio 22 lounge / pub opened up under the now extinct Mambo Cabaret Show (old Washington cinema) ten years ago this month.   The Sportsman Bar & Restaurant now occupies those digs.

          In the Peep Inn Park, the Our Lounge called it an evening a decade ago.
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  2000

          Also in Soi Dead Artists, the Vif Ve Japanese Pub & Restaurant closed.   It was located where today's Cyclone Club (also Japanese) now does business.
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  2000

          The 33 Center massage closed temporarily a decade ago.   It is no longer there, having been taken over recently by The Best Massage (which is still there).
    SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  -  2000

          Last issue we noted that while the Nuch Bar bar beer had closed, it's Siamese twin Nuch Snack Bar had reopened.   This issue we observe that, 10 years ago, both were closed.   They were undergoing renovations to become what would be Clinton Plaza's first A Go-Go bar.   More on this next month.
    CLINTON  PLAZA  -  2000

          A decade ago, the White House bar beer reopened after a brief closure.
    CLINTON  PLAZA  -  2000

          The 13 Night Market, located next door to Clinton Plaza on the old Thermae Coffee Shop digs, had not yet reached "critical mass", and was not off to an auspicious start, what with as many bars closing as were opening.   It would eventually prevail and become a self-sustaining Night Entertainment Area, but 10 years ago, this month, it suffered the closure of the Thai Angel Bar, the 13 Thai Dance Pub and a snooker hall.   Currently, all structures have been removed from the plot of land forming the 13 Night Market, and the land is not now in use.
    13  NIGHT  MARKET  -  2000



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     --- Datzit Fernow

    William R. Morledge

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