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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Soi Nana

01 September 2012
William R.  Morledge

September's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - Internet Spies
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #83

n the beginning, at least for Soi Nana's expat Nightlife, there was the Nana Hotel Coffee Shop (mid-1960's).   Then there was Nana Plaza, which quickly built up into it's own Night Entertainment Area.   And every once in a while, a new Nitespot would open up on Soi Nana as well.   Over the years, we have been keeping an eye on the changes - would Soi Nana also become 'populated' to the extent that it would be yet another stand-alone Night Entertainment Area?   Our previous complete survey and report was in April of 2009.


That 2009 survey showed that there had indeed been a lot of development in the Night Entertainment scene, but we noted that it still didn't really stand alone as an independent Entertainment Area.   Nevertheless, the growth of Night Entertainment Venues, however slow, continued.   This month we paid an in-depth and lengthy visit to Soi Nana to review the overall scene, and were pleasantly surprised to see the changes.


One of the first things that catches one's eye when entering Soi Nana is that the entire front of Nana Plaza has become bars (or will be in a matter of days) - these bars have one entrance on Soi Nana, and a second entrance in Nana Plaza.   So are we going to call them Nana Plaza bars, or are we going to call them Soi Nana bars?   Or is there really any distinction anymore?   While the latter is most definitely true, for consistency we will continue to call them Nana Plaza bars - in that they are physically a part of that complex, and pay rent to the owners of that complex.   An arbitrary 'convention' on our part, but in that it is more consistent historically, we have made the call.


For those of you new to our column, you may be curious as to just what we look for when considering an area as a 'Night Entertainment Area'.   First of all the Nitespots must be contiguous - they couldn't be on the opposite sides of a major highway, or separated by a long walk.   Secondly, there must be a sufficient number of bars in a given area to provide a 'draw' to the public - for example, two bars out in the middle of nowhere would attract no one; an Entertainment Area should be where a person would, or could go and spend the entire evening 'out on the town'.   We find that critical mass is usually attained when there approximately a dozen contiguous Nitespots, even though there may be a mix of venue types (A Go-Go, or massage, lounge, pub, etc).   A "Nitespot' is defined for these purposes as a location where one could reasonably expect to 'find some action'.


When reviewing Soi Nana this time around, we noted that there were 'contiguous' Nitespots' from the front of Nana Plaza to the Rajah Hotel, to include the grounds of the Rajah Hotel itself.   See our new map, above.   And while we are on the subject of the Rajah, with the completion of the new Strikers "super-bar beer", the Rajah compound sports enough contiguous Night Entertainment Venues to be it's own Night Entertainment Area (13 venues).


Now that Soi Nana is a well developed Night Entertainment Area in it's own right, the Midnight Hour will be surveying monthly and will advise of any changes - plus or minus - in the entertainment scene.   We will also be including from time to time additional photographs for your viewing - and for our archiving.


A pleasant Thai Smile this month found on a passer-by.

? 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.

Internet Spies

Sirs/ Madames,

I found your article on Internet snooping this (last) month to be extremely informative, as I also believe we as individuals require a lot more protection from those governmental and commercial spies.   My question is you published quite a bit of information about the NSA's new secret facility in Utah.   How did you get this information?    (..........)   Aren't you afraid they will come knocking on your door?    (...message foreshortened).

Las Vegas

Greetings, B.L,

Thank you for writing in - the August lead article has been one of our most popular and most provocative articles to date.   There have been several letters similar to yours.   But rest assured, all information appearing in that article was obtained from publicly available Internet websites.   None of the information is 'secret', to include the satellite photos.   We verified our information on two or more different sites prior to publication.


  • Email 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 September 2012 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.

      PATPONG  I  

                The King's Castle 3 is closed for renovations - and the transgenderite A Go-Go dancers have temporarily migrated to the new King's Corner 2 - just across the way on Patpong II.   Look for them to reopen in November.
      PATPONG  I  

                The Nice Massage (the original downstairs one) has closed.   We see construction materials just inside the door, and suspect that they will be closed while the King's Castle 3 continues to renovate.   We'll keep you informed.
    - File photo        
      PATPONG  I  

                The upstairs Night Bar has answered Darwin's harsh call.   No big loss - they were a 'pay-for-show' bar, which many believe ought not to exist in the first place.
    - File photo        
      PATPONG  I  

      PATPONG  II  
                The Black Pagoda has put out some major new neon - you won't be able to miss it.   A unique bar, it is suspended on a bridge overlooking Patpong II.   It has a growing reputation for lively hostesses.   Let the good times roll.   - This pic for the archives.
      PATPONG  II  

                   Mike's Place has -finally- replaced it's ambiguous streetside signage.   Who says beer has to be expensive on the Patpongs?   Business as usual.   May they persevere.
      PATPONG  II  

                The Glamour Girls, or is it GlaMour on Silom?  (just say, 'Glamour') has closed it's doors for the second time in it's very short existence.   They never looked that busy - something tells me they won't be able to answer the bell for the next round....
      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
    Door Art Of The Month

              Check out The Corner (at the Asoke end of Cowboy) - now this is what we call 'Door Art'.    A Go-Go dancers are silhouetted on the outside glass ....and, yes, the place was packed.   Rock on.   

      SOI  COWBOY  

                The Penny Black has just opened their new ground floor lounge - tastefully done.   The smell of success.   Wonder what took them so long?   May the nightgods take kindly to their new venture.
     NANA  PLAZA  
                The Pretty Lady, true to the talk on the street, has in fact taken over the Red Lips.    They have already opened the new side, although there is still a bit of spit-and-polish needing to be done.   There's good rockin' tonight.
      NANA   PLAZA  

                The Stumble Inn has reopened in style.   It seems the "bar beer" is the common denominator these days.   They now occupy three slots, instead of just the one.   They are also the first of the ground floor 'front bars' to actually have a sign by their back door (that leads into the NEP courtyard).   May they continue to march.
      NANA   PLAZA  

      SOI  KATOEY  
                The venerable old Telephone Pub has got some new neon.   New neon same-same the old neon, just newer (?).   May they persevere.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

                The Cut & Relax now offers massage.   Located at the end of Soi Pan Pan - you'll have to look carefully to see it.   We wish them constancy.

                What once was Hibari is now Ko Ha Ku.   Ostensibly a 'restaurant' but also entertaining.

                The 33 Thai Sabai Massage - located above the Dali opened on schedule this last month, and has a bevy of very sturdy lasses to choose from.   May they be dealt all aces and faces.


                The best truly traditional massage, Hattasat 2, (along with their sister Hattasat 22 Foot Massage) has closed doors and moved to Soi 23.   See map attached.

                   The Popeye 2 bar beer has reopened in stride - as if nothing at all has happened.   And nothing did - everything status quo ante.

      SOI  EDEN  
                Dr. BJ's Nuru has just opened - almost directly across the Soi from the original BJ's (which is still open).   We'll bet you are wondering what nuru is.....   Nuru is a kind of gel which is used for their 'special body-to-body' massages.   Or to say the same thing another way, you both are covered in KY, and at this juncture we will not go into any further detail.....

    SOI  EDEN  -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

                The P.P. Beer has, suddenly and without warning, gone the way of the Andalgalornis.   Our file pic below shows the P.P. at one of it's happier times.   We hear tell it was bought over by a karaoke.   Time will tell - and so will we, once we know....
    - File photo        
    SOI  EDEN  -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

                The Star Dust Club Massage has run headlong into the Abyss without leaving a forwarding address.   Ashes to ashes - so be it, then.
    - File photo        
    SOI  EDEN  -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

                The new X-Boys extension (all outside) goes all the way forward to the Banana.



    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 2nd floor Lipstick reopened after a brief closure.   However this time around it reopened as a rip-off bar.   That location is currently vacant.
    PATPONG   1 -  September 2002

          The IT Room opened above the Bua Luang Target (-which is currently The Strip).   There is currently no entertainment facility at this 2nd floor location.
    PATPONG   2 -  September 2002

          The Dollhouse reopened after a one-month closure.   It is still there today.
    SOI   COWBOY -  September 2002

          Cactus Club newly opened in a location that was not previously a bar.   It is still there today.
    SOI   COWBOY -  September 2002

          Lollipop Mermaidium closed down for renovations.   One of Bangkok's landmark bars, it had a large glass swimming pool inside where naked and semi-naked young ladies swam for the edification of the customers.... and dived for thrown coins....   It would reopen as the Lollipop (sans swimming pool).   It is still there today.
    NANA   PLAZA -  September 2002

          Play closed it's doors permanently.   It was located in the current 4 Sport's digs.
    SOI   KATOEY -  September 2002

          Hip Hop newly opened on the 3rd floor.   Currently those digs are being held down by Bearbie Bar-Karaoke.
    SOI   KATOEY -  September 2002

          SuperStar Frank's Noriega's opened at the end of the Soi.   It would eventually become Nomads.   No entertainment venue is currently at that location.
    SOI   KATOEY -  September 2002

          The Yokohama Member opened downstairs in the Peep Inn Park.   (Peep Inn Park is now the S 33 Hotel.)
    SOI   DEAD  ARTISTS   (Soi 33)-  September 2002

          The Bar Za Bar on Sub-Soi 4 closed.   There is currently no entertainment venue at that location.
    SOI   DEAD  ARTISTS   (Soi 33)-  September 2002

          The Cafe Buongiorno at the end of Sub-Soi 5 opened for the first time.   That location is currently the home to Bistro 33.
    SOI   DEAD  ARTISTS   (Soi 33)-  September 2002

          The As Found newly opened deep in the Soi, past Sub-Soi 5.   No venue exists at that location today.
    SOI   DEAD  ARTISTS   (Soi 33)-  September 2002

          The Smile Bar opened new in what is now the N' Joy Bar.
    QUEEN'S   PARK   PLAZA  -  September 2002

          The Starlight Pub opened new in what is now the Sin Bin.
    QUEEN'S   PARK   PLAZA  -  September 2002

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /  ASOKE  CORNER - (previously Cowboy Annex) - 2002

    Asoke Corner / Asoke Plaza
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( March 2000 - February 2005 )

    Ten years ago this month, the following bars transitioned in Asoke Plaza / Asoke Corner (formerly Cowboy Annex).

                *  Luc's Bar (in the front 'Annex') - CLOSED
                *  Internet @ Route 23 (in the back 'Corner') - CLOSED
                *  Bottleneck (between 'Corner' & 'Annex') - CLOSED
                *  Fantasy Thailand (in the 4-Pak) - CLOSED
                *  Up To You Bar (in the 4-Pak) - CLOSED

    ASOKE  PLAZA  /  ASOKE  CORNER  PLAZA   - September 2002

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - 2002

    Clinton Plaza
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( November 1998 - 7 June 2003 )
    Ten years ago this month, the following bars transitioned in Clinton Plaza.

                *  Top Secret (outside against the main bldg.)
                   It would eventually move to Queen's Park Plaza. - CLOSED

                *  Windmill (Kangaroo) (outside against the main bldg.). - CLOSED

    CLINTON  PLAZA   - September 2002

    SUKHUMVIT  SQUARE   - 2002

    Sukhumvit Square
    Night Entertainment Area
    ( January 2002 - 26 January 2003 )

    Ten years ago this month, the following bars transitioned in Sukhumvit Square.

                *  Colorando (On the West side) - NEWLY OPENED
                *  Little Shinjuku Bar Beer (In the rear) - NEWLY OPENED
                *  Gwynne's (Ex: Mooney, West Side) - OPENED
                *  California (in the 8-Pak) - CLOSED
                *  The Little Mermaid (facing Soi 10) - CLOSED
                *  The Vibration (The Bar In) (West side) - CLOSED

    SUKHUMVIT  SQUARE   - September 2002



    But is it .... ART ?

    New to the world of 'Graffiti'?   See our "INTRO"


    [ Check out Bangkok's dedicated Graffiti page at " BKK"  <link>. ]


    Wagga's Unwanted Crown

    Wagga City Councilman Clark demonstrates one of the more popular commercially available graffiti-removing chemical compounds.    See details below.

    Many years ago, the township of Wagga Wagga, or just plain 'Wagga', in Australia's New South Wales very nearly became their Capitol.   That, as we well know, did not happen, but fate and fortune were not to leave them alone.   They now have become Australia's erstwhile Graffiti Capitol, at least if we look at the statistics on a per-capita basis.   This is a crown on their heads that most do not cherish - to put it mildly.

    Wanton, artless defacing such as this will surely raise the ire of Wagga's townsfolk.

    Wagga's graffiti problem has become so severe that the very honorable politician from Wagga Wagga, Mr Daryl Maguire marched to Canberra (the real Capitol) to register his official rant against this spraycan thorn in his side.   He noted in his diatribe to the House, among other things, that in a single 3-hour fact-finding tour of the city, armed with only a camera, he photographed no fewer than 192 individual locations that had been desecrated with graffiti.   He further noted that on some of Wagga's new bridges there was so much graffiti that there was not one inch of unadulterated space remaining.   

    The Wagga City Fire Chief is more than a little hot under the collar at having his own station 'bombed'.

    House still in session, Representative Maguire also pointed out to the Minister that he had issued stern warnings to authorities and corporations (such as the Roads and Traffic Authority, the State Rail, the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Department of Housing) to insure they had implemented their graffiti-cleanup programs, but despaired that any significant action would be taken.   He then demanded of the Minister; how many culprits had, to date, been caught and made to clean up their mess, and has the government yet proactively banned free sales of textas (marking pens), as they have already done with spray cans?   He then warned one and all that Wagga's graffiti epidemic would very soon become Australia's graffiti pandemic.

    Wagga City Council is currently employing CCTV in areas frequently visited by graffiti artists.

    We feel certain that honorable Mr Maguire feels a lot better, now that he has that off his chest.   However, it hasn't done the least bit of good.   Obviously spraycans and textas are still falling into the hands of Wagga's dark forces.   Spraycans don't tag walls, people do.   (Sorry, we just had to say that....).   Graffiti has become such a hot topic in Wagga that local politicians, ever hopeful of getting elected, have an anti-graffiti bit of boilerplate in their campaign platforms.   Local contractors are blossoming in the city, offering their own brand of graffiti-removal to companies, corporations and the government.   Even Facebook addicts have become enamored with the subject of local graffiti, actively registering their "Likes" - or not.

    Trains and other rolling stock are not safe from spraycan predators.   These graffiti, however, could have been thrown up in other cities.

    And now, perhaps less than timely, Wagga's School of Communication and Creative Industries at Charles Sturt University (CSU) has invited an internationally renown graffiti artist "Moose" (Paul Curtis) to "leave a lasting legacy".   'WTF?' you say?   Well, Moose's claim to fame is "reverse graffiti".   That is not a typo; reverse graffiti.   Listen up, dummies.   Reverse graffiti is accomplished by finding a dirty wall somewhere, then, using soap and water, create clean designs, patterns, tags and other graphics (a bit like using your finger to write "Wash Me" on dirty car windows).   If you are making something clean, you are doing "good" - it can't be "bad", right?    And yet, reverse graffiti already has it's detractors, many of whom say, entirely knee-jerk, that it is all the same thing.   - And they are, at least partially, right; some 'reverse graffiti' artists are not using just soap and water, they are using Chlorox and other solutions containing sodium hypochlorite bleach, which actually bleach out the original color.   Nevertheless, Moose will be feted and wined and dined, and will even hold a 'workshop', which will include demonstrations of his art on some of Wagga's public walls (in Fitzmaurice Street, and another near the Knights Meats shop, and yet another on a wall against the levy bank on the Murrimbidgee River near the old Hampden Bridge).

    Wagga's most prominent example of "reverse" graffiti, employing a cleaning agent, various stencils and freehand art work.

    Reverse graffiti lends itself to stenciling, as it often takes repeated applications for any given spot.   This is an example of a commercial application of reverse graffiti.

    This example of reverse graffiti is not in Wagga, however illustrates the use of a stencil and bleach.

    But where legislating new laws and penalties, and attempting to catch graffiti artists in the act have failed, the Wagga City Council are trying a 'third force'.   Using new chemical formulas which dissolve spraycan paint and texta scribblings, they are forming roaming teams that can be contacted by a 'hot line'.   The teams then mobilize and remove the graffiti almost as soon as it is created.   At least, that is the theory.   The idea behind this is if the artists can't show off their work to their peers and to the public, they will become discouraged, and feel they are just wasting their time.   Well..... not wanting to sound too cynical, let's just wait and see.....

    Below is a description of a popular, commercially available graffiti-removing spray available in Australia.


    Sure Seal® 300 A Graffiti Remover is the "next generation" of environmentally friendly Graffiti Removers.   300 A Graffiti Remover is based on a blend of low-odour solvents and emulsifying agents for removal of graffiti.   It contains a unique catalyst which dramatically reduces stripping times.   Developed specifically for the removal of graffiti from all substrates, including brickwork, concrete, metal, glass and timber surfaces.   Removes residue left from spray cans, felt pen based paints and inks.   Contents are listed below.

    (Derivative of their oils)

    d-LIMONENE (a clear hydrocarbon
    derivitave of citrus fruit - smells of 'oranges")

    ETHANOL (Ethyl alcohol)


    10 to 30%

    10 to 30%

    10 to 30%

    Up to 10 %

    CAS Number




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

    Recently an extensive area on Sukhumvit Road at the Washington Square entrance 'hosted' an art installation of significant proportion.   The installation appeared overnight, and drew quite a bit of comment from passers by.
    Graffiti #575
    Photo Installation Graff 1
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti #576
    Photo Installation Graff 2
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti #577
    Photo Installation Graff 3
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti #578
    Photo Installation Graff 4
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti #579
    Photo Installation Graff 5
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti #580
    Photo Installation Graff 6
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti #581
    Photo Installation Graff 7
    Each photo approx 3 ft high

    Graffiti, Graffiti , and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original 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 - 2012,   BANGKOK EYES /

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