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01 May 2016
William R.  Morledge

May's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   'Pretty Lady first?....
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #120

      s chance would have it, we were queried about Soi Thaniya (actually a thanon) the other day, to which we replied we didn't cover that Night Entertainment Area on a regular basis.   We vowed, however, to resurvey that most vibrant "Japanese" Entertainment Area.   (It had been 6 years).


      Known also as Bangkok's 'Soi Ginza' it is (almost) exclusively for the entertainment of Japanese residents and tourists.   It is renown for having the most beautiful bar hostesses in Bangkok, however most would agree that it would be more accurate to say the women are the most beautifully dressed.

      For the gaigin visiting Soi Thaniya, we would suggest that early in the evening would be the most interesting, as the ladies of the evening are sitting -en masse- outside in rows of chairs awaiting the first customers.   As soon as customers arrive, even if it is only a single customer, the entire barful of lasses follows the customer inside.   An unusual 'show' for someone not having seen this unique Japanese Nightlife style of operating a Nitespot.   BTW, don't be disappointed if you, a gaigin, walk down Soi Thaniya and find yourself to be invisible in every way to the ladies in waiting.   Their eyes are only for the passing Japanese, they can't see you....


      But perhaps the 'most unique' feature is the physical arrangement of the bars, lounges, snacks, karaokes, clubs, etc.   Likely due to space limitations, or perhaps from a national genetic disposition, the Nitespots are stacked, sometimes 7-deep on top of one another (see photos).   This, somewhat, tends to explain why the ladies are waiting streetside for customers in the early evenings - it is not likely a 5th or 6th floor bar is going to get much passing foot traffic....


      In comparing our earlier map from April 2010 and the current map, we see a slight decrease in the total number of Nitespots, which is likely explained by the number of Japanese bars proliferating in other areas of Bangkok in recent years (Soi 33, Soi 55, etc).




Try though she may, Miss May is unable to hide her 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.

'Pretty Lady' before

Midnight Hour,

      I'm trying to recall, settle an argument actually, what the first bar was in Nana Plaza at the location of todays Obsession?   I'm saying it was the Pretty Lady.   Concur?

Greetings, F.,

      The first Night Entertainment Venue at the location of the Obsession (now True Obsession) was the Private Dancer A Go-Go.   Ah, the memories....   Later it was the Pretty Lady, then, briefly, (believe it or not) the Hollywood Cowboy Bar, then the Pretty Girl.   It then went back to being the Pretty Lady, eventually becoming, in December of 1998, the Obsession.    (The girls, while it was still a girl bar, used to call the Obsession the 'Off Station').   At that time, the Pretty Lady moved over to what is now the Bangkok Bunnies side.


Email and "ASK US" - -   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 May 2016 Follies begin...
BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.
            It appears that the Pussy Collection (full name - Club Pussy Collection) is well and truly scrubbed from the map.   But it did have a rather long history (historians only need apply).   It operated in the early Nineties as an 'upstairs bar' in the current Club 66 digs.   At that time, it didn't have the best of reputations, sometimes calling itself 'Pussys Collection', at others 'Pussys Collections'.   It eventually closed down in May of 1994.   However it was reincarnated as a 'legitimate' A Go-Go in September 2001 in what was previously Habaneros / Gold Finger's.      And there it remained until it was closed down in January 2014, for 'infractions' (reportedly underage persons present within).   Depending on who pays their 'fines' and how quickly they are paid...., this can cause unilateral, arbitrary police-directed closures of anywhere from ~about~ 2 weeks to 3 months.   When that 3-month mark faded into the past, and the Pussy Collection had not reopened, word on the street was that it would be closed for an entire year.   A unique 'punishment', indeed.   Well, needless to say, the one year went by, as did the second year, and still no reemergence of the Pussy Collection.   Recently someone, presumably acting on the owners' directions, removed the Pussy Collection's unique facade.   The Midnight Hour reproduces below some of our archive photos of the Pussy Collection - taken back in the days when bar owners went out of their way to make their Venues uniquely attractive.   Yet another nail in Patpong's coffin - RIP, Pussy Collection.


            The success of the relatively out-of-the-way The Den on Sukhumvit Soi 12 spawned it's namesake in the then-closed Radio City on PPI.   It's success must have caught the attention of Bangkok's Name Gestapos, as we now see that The Den (on PPI) is now back to calling itself 'Radio City' - and certainly not by choice....   But don't be put off... the same friendly (The Den) staff, and shark, are in attendance....
            The New Screw Boys Karaoke has opened newly between D'Talk and Top Less Poolbar.   They are a branch of Screw Boys on PPII, and are also, obviously, a gay venue.   We didn't see any customers when we passed by on the weekend.   May they abide.


 Adult supervision...

Several of the bars in the Patpong area are exhibiting (sometimes boldly) the above sign.   There continues to be a disparity in closing times for various 'categories' of Night Entertainment Venues....   The sign reads (briefly) :

      1.   This is a Category 3 (4) establishment with operating hours from 18:00 hrs - 01:00 hrs.

      2.   Persons of less than 20 years of age are forbidden to enter the premises during hours of business.

      3.   It is absolutely forbidden to allow addictive drugs on the premises.

      4.   It is absolutely forbidden to bring weapons onto the premises.   The exception being uniformed officers, and only when enforcing the law.



            Quietly 'under renovations' since December 2014, speculation was rife as to what Soi Cowboy's next bar would be.   And what would it be called?   This last month it opened - as Spritz, and it wasn't a bar, it was (and is) a restaurant.   We don't know about it's daytime trade, but it appears empty most evenings.   Let's take the long view, and see how things progress - it would seemingly do well as a bar beer....

            Up in the back corner on the 2nd floor were the Rainbow 4 and the then-new A Fairy Bar, and things seemed to proceed normally.   Then the Rainbow 4 got nailed for having underage employees.   The long closure wasn't something the owners were looking forward to, so they changed the name of the bar to the R&B Bar (R&B - 'Rain' and 'Bow', geddit?).   There... that should fool the authorities....   No?   OK, then, how about if we take the katoeys out of the A Fairy Bar, and put them in the R&B Bar, and we take the real girls out of the R&B Bar and put them in the A Fairy Bar.   There, nailed it, we're clear now....   Nope.   The authorities, somehow, managed to see through that one as well.   OK, then, we will close BOTH bars, and reopen them as one big bar called Four Bar.   See ?   We knew we could eventually put the pea under one of the cups, keep moving it around, and eventually come up with the winning combination....
         OK, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but why do I think the other shoe has yet to drop in this endless game of Nana musical chairs?

            For the last couple of months, the previous Bubbles on the 3rd floor was sitting dormant, no signs of life whatsoever.   This month, some of the old Bubbles signage was taped back up at strategic locations.   Hmmmm... something afoot?

            The brand new Princess Massage has taken over, lock, stock and KY, from the now-extinct Chawan Massage.   Wish them well on that slippery slope.   Located on the 2nd floor of the Rajah Hotel outbuilding.
  SOI   NANA   

            Likewise, the Hollywood Salon has taken up from where the Relax Time Massage left off.   May they continue to slip and slide.   The Relax Time threw in the steamy towel this last month.   Located on the main Soi.
  SOI   NANA   

            A brand-new bar beer, the Rest Hub 2, has opened up on the main drag just between 4 Bar and Melodies UK.   And yes, they are the younger sister of the Rest Hub in the Rajah Hotel compound.   Wish them luck as they cast their dice against the pitted wall of Fate.
  SOI   NANA   


 The better water...


            The Balcony had, for the last few years, lain claim to the sidewalk area infront of the old Rome Club for their extended bar beer service.   Recently, they have taken posession of the shophouse as well, and now have themselves a proper 'annex'.   More and better and faster and stronger....

   SOI  22
             The Tina, tucked away in the corner of the Honey Plaza is perhaps Soi 22's only A Go-Go bar.   They also possess a long and varied history.   Starting out as the Three Roses at Sukhumvit Soi 16, they were forced to move due to roadway expansion - whereupon they moved into Nana Plaza (before it was known as Nana Plaza) as one of the pioneer 'big three' A Go-Go bars.   It kept it's name, Three Roses.   The owner eventually sold out and moved into Soi Cowboy, opening the Toy Bar.   He eventually sold that bar also, moving into Soi 22 as Tina Bar.   The original owner has finally retired, and the Tina is now being run by his daughter.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

             Abuilding adjacent to the abovementioned Tina Bar is a large soon-to-be Night Entertainment Venue.   Rumors aside, we will wait and see what the name will actually be before we put it in print.   We anticipate a June opening.   We'll have another look next time around, and get back atcha.
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

               Ocean (with their Pool Lounge, Gastro Bar and Spa) have, for the last year, been thrashing back and forth in collective spasms of death.   Some months they would be 'tentatively' closed, other months they would be nominally open, but no lights on.....   Someone finally came in and unplugged their life-support.   They obviously stopped caring a long time ago.

               The Amethyst Massage is the long-anticipated replacement for what used to be The Wall Street Bar.   The Amethyst is an 'ambiguous' massage parlor.   Let the nightgames begin....

               The Captain 33 Seafood & Lounge Bar is closed for further renovations, after having only been open for a couple of months.   (!?)

- File Photo      

               We note that both the Omotenashi Club Mitu and it's upstairs partner LB Club Mitu (in the S 33 Compact Hotel) have changed their only signs to read, "Love & Service".   There are no other identifying signages, to include the legally required signs in Thai language.   Further, we note that their sister Venue, previously the Honey, is also using that name as the main identifying sign.   We suspect there is more to come as the 'Mitu' bunch play the 'name game'...

             The Kazbar is a well-appointed open-air bar-pub, however custom has been falling since the tuk-tuk mafia decided to use the kerb in front to park their samlors, and the adjacent sidewalk to loiter, while they wait to overcharge wandering hotel guests.   Perhaps they could.. well.. never mind.
SOI  AMBASSADOR  - (Sukhumvit  Soi  11)

             The El Matador Steak House is the surprise replacement for the El Gaucho Steak House - we wouldn't otherwise mention it, but the El Gaucho was becoming an after-hours meeting (and drinking) spot.   Let's see if the trend continues with the El Matador....
SOI  AMBASSADOR  - (Sukhumvit  Soi  11)

             Only darkness shone out of the N'Joy Bar when we passed by on the weekend.   But this has happened before around the holidays.   We will take a look back next time and confirm whether it has closed, one way or the other, and get back atcha.
- File Photo

             The Sport 20-2 bar beer is, obviously, closed.   For how long, no one knows.   The adjacent main Sport 20-2 poolbar however is still up and running.

   SOI  EDEN  
            Renovations have begun on what was, up until two months ago, the Crazy Hot.   Expect completion of the new Venue in time for a June opening.
SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

            A photo for the Archives of the @ Chai Massage - the only non-gay Venue on Soi Twilight.   Located at the Rama IV Road exit.


 20 YEARS AGO  :


With thanks to Cool Text -

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 ?

Patpong I

   *  The upstairs Cassanova rip-off bar closed down, only to be replaced by the Octopus ripoff bar.   No Nitespot currently occupies that area.

Patpong 2

    *  The Bua Luang Karaoke 2 closed it's doors.   It was located next door to the Thai Room, taking up part of the space now occupied by the Tavern Three Saloon.

    *  The Princess Castle, located next door to the Pink Panther, reopened after a brief closure.   That area is now occupied by the Screw Boy.

Soi Cowboy

    *  The Pink Pussycat had a soft re-opening.   That real estate is now occupied by Cockatoo.

Nana Plaza

    *  No changes that month / year.

Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4)

    *  The Telephone Pub & Restaurant and the co-located Telephone Karaoke reopened after a one-month closure.   The Telephone Pub & Restaurant is still there, however the Karaoke is no more (absorbed into the Telephone Pub).

    *  The DP 2000 closed.   It was located next door to Helene's Place.

    *  Divine -the upstairs to Sphinx- reopened --again.   Those digs are currently home to the Fork & Cork.

Buckskin Joe Village (~ October 1988 to October 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)

    *  No changes that month / year.


A Film

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Bangkok Nightlife





Giant graf in Cairo suburb

This graphic excerpt from Internet is, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under copyright law.

      The mega-graffiti in the Cairo slum of Manshiyat Naser is actually just over 50 separate graffiti on as many buildings.   The trick is to be at exactly the right spot to be able to view it's various 'parts' as a whole.   The sum of the parts, when viewed from the precise angle forms a giant calligraphy, and is the brainchild of artist eL Seed.

This graphic excerpt from Internet is, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under copyright law.

      eL Seed, a Franco-Tunisian artist, has named this collection "Perception", saying he was inspired by the words of the Coptic Bishop from the 3rd Century, Saint Athanasius of Alexandria.   Saint Athanasius was to have spoken, "Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly must first wipe his eyes."

This graphic excerpt from Internet is, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under copyright law.

      Artist eL Seed has produced a number of such "calligraffiti" from New York to Doha to Paris, however his Cairo collection of 'pieces' is his most ambitious.   And it is as remarkable as it is ambitious, in that an undertaking such as this was tolerated at all under the strict local government administration, which normally frowns on graffiti of any sort.

Graffiti #876
Fog Hatters
10 ft high x 36 ft


Graffiti #877
Stacks Up
16 ft high x 23 ft

Graffiti #878
O.M. Goodies
8 ft high x 15 ft

Graffiti #879
8 ft high x 19 ft

Graffiti #880
Cappy Camper
8 ft high x 14 ft

Graffiti #881
8 ft high x 11ft

Graffiti #882
Miss Mittens
7 ft high x 12 ft

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

"The Archives" - All Our Back Issues Here
- 2016 -
01 JAN -   Railway Bazaar
01 FEB -   Sukhumvit Square Justice
01 MAR -    Paint the Neon Night
01 APR -    Udom Suk Reviste
01 MAY -    Soi Thaniya

- 2015 -
01 JAN -    A Go-Go Bar Ratings
01 FEB -    Are Cops Gouging Nitelifers?
01 MAR -   Bad Company
01 APR -    LK Metro - Pattaya
01 MAY -    Soi 33 goes East
01 JUN -    Rachada Fades
01 JUL -    Freelancers
01 AUG -    Nana Plaza Map 2015
01 SEP -    Soi Nana Map 2015
01 OCT -    Walking Street - Pattaya
01 NOV -    Rachada - The Giant
01 DEC -    A Go-Go's Story

- 2014 -
01 JAN -   Bangkok's Got The Blues
01 FEB -   Soi 26 - Stayin' Alive
01 MAR -    Nightscene rues Mob
01 APR -    My Friend owns a Bar...
01 MAY -    Soi's 3, 5 and 7
01 JUN -    Curfew's Costly Cut
01 JUL -    Soi 13 Makes It's Move
01 AUG -    Pattaya Does The Twist
01 SEP -    Soi's 18 & 20 - Quieter is Better
01 OCT -    Soi's 10 & 14 - Lesser known Sois
01 NOV -    A Good Old Boy...
01 DEC -    Lang Suan & Sarasin

- 2013 -
01 JAN -    Not Fade Away - The Survivors
01 FEB -    Rare Old Photos
01 MAR -   Copa Reprise
01 APR -    Arise, Soi 22
01 MAY -    Where to Next ?
01 JUN -    Bangkok Noir
01 JUL -    MAPS - The Major Update
01 AUG -    Lamai Lamai Lamai
01 SEP -    Tim 'Wanchai' Young
01 OCT -    Soi Wall Street
01 NOV -    Little Thonglor - Soi 11
01 DEC -    Mississippi Queen

- 2012 -
01 JAN -    Mama-San
01 FEB -    Our 10th Anniversary Issue !
01 MAR -    How Gay Nana ?
01 APR -    Sukhumvit' Soi 23 - The Big Picture
01 MAY -    Khao San Road - Unique Bazaar
01 JUN -    Ekamai - It Used To Be Too Far
01 JUL -    Nightlife Pioneers
01 AUG -    The New Puritans
01 SEP -    Nana - On It's Own
01 OCT -    FAIL - War on Nitespot Drugs
01 NOV -    Patpong Unbroken
01 DEC -    Drugs & the Nightscene in History

- 2011 -
01 JAN -    Patpong's 'Glory Days'
01 FEB -    Nightlife In A Digital Age
01 MAR -    Co-Co Walk Plaza
01 APR -    Soi 33 Marches On
01 MAY -    Nightlife Permissiveness
01 JUN -    Ghosts of Nitelife Past
01 JUL -    STATE - The Cinema, Soi & Area
01 AUG -    Soi Darling
01 SEP -    Sri Nakarin South
01 OCT -    Soi 8 Reprise
01 NOV -    Floodless in Bangkok
01 DEC -    Soi Udomsuk

- 2010 -
01 JAN -    Street Bars II - The Triple-Dip
01 FEB -    Our Kind Of Art - II    - Chris Coles
01 MAR -    The Dead Artist Bars - Soi 33
01 APR -    "Soi Ginza" - Thaniya Road
01 MAY -    Night Scene Blues (Red Shirts 1)
01 JUN -    Nitespots Recover Slowly (Reds 2)
01 JUL -    World Cup Special
01 AUG -    Those Old Photos
01 SEP -    The German Invasion
01 OCT -    Racism & Prejudice
01 NOV -    Soi 11 Revisited
01 DEC -    Soi 22 Updater

- 2009 -
01 JAN -    The Santika Fire
01 FEB -    Salt & Pepper
01 MAR -    Nana Plaza - Update & Maps
01 APR -    Soi Nana Update
01 MAY -    The Nightscene & The Riots
01 JUN -    "19" Re-Focus
01 JUL -    Rain Dogs - The Underground
01 AUG -    Soi Thonglor - A bridge-too-far
01 SEP -    Ban Chang - Our Little Secret
01 OCT -    The "Ginza Effect'
01 NOV -    Royal City Avenue (RCA)
01 DEC -    Sutthisan & The Inthamara's

- 2008 -
01 JAN -    2007 - Looking Back
01 FEB -    Owning A Bar
01 MAR -    Expat's Bangkok
01 APR -    Nude Dancing
01 MAY -    After Midnite
01 JUN -    Night Scene In Flux
01 JUL -    Our Kind Of Art
01 AUG -    Trendy Plaza Reprise
01 SEP -    The Elephants Are ....Back
01 OCT -    Grand Prix Intro
01 NOV -    Grand Prix - Rick's Story
01 DEC -    "Old Bangkok Hand"

- 2007-
01 JAN -    Bombs Blast Bangkok
01 FEB -    Bangkok's Nightscene Websites
01 MAR -    Prasitipol Dance Bar To Fall
01 APR -    Soi 5 Neon Review
01 MAY -    A Go-Go Bangkok
01 JUN -    Arise ! Soi 11
01 JUL -    Anatomy Of A Bar Area
01 AUG -    Soi 26 - Too Far ?
01 SEP -    Chuwit Guilty
01 OCT -    Daytime Nana Plaza
01 NOV -    Cowboy - All Of It
01 DEC -    Another Nitespot Area Falls

- 2006 -
01 JAN -    Pattaya Ascending
01 FEB -    A Go-Go Then & Now
01 MAR -    ' Madrid '
01 APR -    White Heat
01 MAY -    Politics & Nightlife
01 JUN -    Fagin's Bratpack
01 JUL -    King Bhumipol's 60th Anniversary
01 AUG -    Soi 10 - The Final Shaft
01 SEP -    Pattaya's Soi Bua Khow
01 OCT -    Rachada's Other Face
01 NOV -    Soi 22s Other Bars
01 DEC -    Soi Eden Goes A Go-Go

- 2005 -
01 JAN -    Asoke Plaza Crushed
01 FEB -    The 'Nana Scene'
01 MAR -    Asoke Plaza Smashed Again
01 APR -    Sukhumvit 1 Plaza 'Arrives'
01 MAY -    Welcome 'Soi Eden'
01 JUN -    Bangkok's Bareback Riders
01 JUL -    Soi 22 - A Macro View
01 AUG -    Nana's Slide
01 SEP -    Cowboy Street Scene
01 OCT -    The Pattaya Run
01 NOV -    Soi 19 In Focus
01 DEC -    Bad Girls

- 2004 -
01 JAN -    Bangkok's Darkest Year
01 FEB -    Where Is Trink ?
01 MAR -    Soi 33 Just Won't Stop
01 APR -    Cracks In The Crackdown
01 MAY -    In The Zone
01 JUN -    "Night-Scene Jumbos
01 JUL -    Easy Square 'On The Map'
01 AUG -    Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza
01 SEP -    Khlong Toey Revisited
01 OCT -    Koh Samui's Night Scene
01 NOV -    Soi 1 Opens
01 DEC -    The Bangkok Pub Scene

- 2003 -
01 JAN -    Cowboy Crackdown
01 FEB -    Sukhumvit Square Smashed
01 MAR -    Soi 10 Survivors
01 APR -    War & The Night Scene
01 MAY -    Entertainment Blues
01 JUN -    '13 Night Market' Reborn
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza Falls
01 AUG -    Soi 24 Nightscene Review
01 SEP -    Does Soi Nana Measure Up?
01 OCT -    Patpong - Legend & Myth
01 NOV -    Easy Square 'Launched'
01 DEC -    Soi Cowboy Urine-Swoop

- 2002 -
01 FEB -    January: Big Changes In Bar Scene
09 JUN -    Sukhumvit Square 'Explosion'

20 JUN -    Soi 22's Queen's Park Plaza
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza - Already Dead?
01 AUG -    Bar Beers Now "Major Players"
16 AUG -    July: Bar Beers Gaining Ground
01 SEP -    A Go-Gos A-building
17 SEP -    Virtual Bars
01 OCT -    A History In The Making
01 NOV -    Pool Bars Come Of Age
01 DEC -    November's Night Follies
15 DEC -    Genesis: Sukhumvit's Night Scene
- 2001 -
20 NOV ( The Seminal Emails )

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