MIDNITE HOUR continues this month with our periodic review of this city's Expat Night Entertainment Areas. This month we revisit Soi 5, Soi 7 and Soi 7/1 (Soi Eden).
Magic Table remains one of the more popular Nitespots on Soi Eden (Sukhumvit Soi 7/1).
SOI 7 / 1 Sukhumvit Rd.
Since our original survey in 2003 we have noticed a slow, unwavering diminishment of the number of Nitespots in Sois 5 and 7, and an upward swing in the number of Venues in Soi Eden (Soi 7/1). Each of these three having their own histories and reasons for 'change'.
Currently Soi 5 is populated with little more than massage parlors, and pretty much in the quantity that would be expected for the number of hotels on, and adjacent to that Soi. The ethnic & sociological demographics of the Soi have continued to change in favor of African and Middle-Eastern tourism - and potential Nitespot investors do not expect to see favorable returns on their investments in this immediate area. Therefore, the number of Nitespots has been reduced over the years through attrition. There is no indication that there will be a turn-around in this trend. The exception breaking the rule is the long-surviving Venue, Gulliver's Tavern, which continues to thrive.
The long-standing Gulliver's Tavern on Soi 5 remains a popular melting-pot of nationalities.
SOI 5 Sukhumvit Rd.
Known mainly for the Bier Garten (Beer Garden Soi 7), Soi 7 had, at one time, a number of bars - several of which it shared with Soi 5 in the connecting lane called The Tunnel. Those days are long gone - as developers have inundated virtually the entire Soi with ongoing or recently completed highrises. Nevertheless, the Bier Garten (and a couple of small massage parlors and a slew of late-night sidewalk 'cafes') just might be able to wait it out - and see a resurgence of Nightlife activity. (Note: this is at least 2 years away from the looks of things.)
The Bier Garten (known to some as ''Afternoon Thermae'')
is surviving the massive redevelopments all around it...
SOI 7 Sukhumvit Rd.
Soi Eden (Soi 7/1) has continued to edge up to almost full capacity (there are very few locations on that Soi that are not already dedicated to Night Entertainment in one form or another). Having reached 'Critical Mass' a number of years ago, they have been able to generate their own Night Entertainment crowd of 'regulars' and returnees. While there are regular turn-overs of Nitespots on this Soi, it continues to be a popular attraction for both Expats and tourists.
Reader 1 : Great write up on Bobby. Probably get ton of mail. One day, will get the exact dates for everything. A lot of work went into this and I am sure Bobby will be pleased. Then again, he could come back from his fake death to kill you. Sure, he was just kidding.
Midnite Hour:Ha! Yes, in spite of a rather universal acceptance in local Nightlife circles that Bobby passed away, we never did get a notification of bathing rites or any other details on date or cause of death. Oh, and not to mention unconfirmed reports of sightings of Bobby, well disguised, on the BTS... ahennnh.... We neither believe nor disbelieve either account - but what a story it would make if he were found to be still alive....
Reader 2 : ....an excellent write-up on one of the great characters of the golden age of Patpong.
Reader 3 : I knew Bobby had died of course but this is quite a write-up.
Reader 4 : Was asked to write Bobby's Obit. You may find something you can use here: <Link>.
Reader 5 : Really nice article / tribute to Bobby. I don't think I met him but would never leave Patpong in the mid-70s without having a hot dog at the corner on PP2. Don't remember the burgers though. Maybe you could create a virtual Patpong Walk of Fame!
Reader : Hi All team of Bangkok Eyes,
Do not hesitate to update the information on your website > Papapolo became SugarLand Bar Club there few month ago... SugarLand pub bar club is located Soi Bintabath... SugarLand bar club is a clean and a nice place for families, individual tourists and expats... Try it, you will appreciate...
Midnite Hour:We don't normally publish puff pieces for Nitespots, esp if written by the management, but we do remember your predecessor, the Papapolo. This is a wake-up call to us to get back to Hua Hin for a follow-up. In the last couple of years, Hua Hin has transformed, Night Entertainment-wise - no longer just a stretch of bar beers on Soi Bintabaht, there is now the beginnings of a thriving 'club scene' : Papapolo - and now your SugarLand are examples of this.....
Reader : I notice on your Bangkok Eyes maps, at least the recent ones, you have what appears to be a GPS pin drop, and a referencing group of grid coordinates. Are these for real? And also, are your maps made from Google Maps?
Midnite Hour:The GPS 'pin drops' and the grid coordinates are for real. We take that info from Google Earth. You can, of course, punch them into your Google Earth and verify this. The maps themselves (usually) start out as Google Maps outtakes, and we add in the missing side-sois, etc, to match our survey.
The Radio City Lounge has once again foundered on the rocks. It was buttoned up tighter than Alcatraz when we passed by the other evening. They have had a number of starts and stops... lets wait and see if they get back on the wagon...
The renovations of the old Kings Castle 1 and Camelot Castle were completed on schedule. And as expected, they reopened as the now-triple-wide King's Castle 1. The KC1A Go-Go dancers that had temporarily moved over to The Club Kings (The Club) have all moved back to the newly renovated Venue - leaving the upstairs of The Club abandoned in place (the downstairs outdoor area is still business-as-usual).
'Charlie' is holding the fort down at the KC1, making sure the customers are treated right - and, yes, as before, when you receive your drink, you also are asked to sign your chit - and you pay only for the chits you sign. BTW, Charlie is running the best looking couple of floors of dancers in Bangkok - on weekends nearly one hundred ladies on stage. Welcome them back to the machine.
The new black, chrome and glass facade gives the King's Castle bars a very 'club-like' appearance. The new larger "King's Castle" sign serves both King's Castle 1 and 2 - to see which is which, you need to look over the entrance doors... not that it makes any difference. An outstanding improvement to a mostly very drab Patpong Scene.
Fresh Boys has branched out from their existing Venue in the Soi Twilight Night Entertainment Area. This new Venue is located on The Ramp in the old, long-defunct Sideline A Gogo digs. May they persevere...
The Spritz Restaurant & Guest House is more guest house than restaurant. They have had a symbiotic relationship with the Baccara since they opened, with a steady stream of guests renting by the hour. (Guests from other bars also welcome.) We note with interest their sign, "Est. 2010". For the record, they opened April 2016. "Watch 'em come and watch 'em go, they've got the fire down below..."
Yet another pic For-the-Archives - of Hanrahan's Irish Pub. We note that they have some new, brighter signage nailed up... Let it rock.
The Elegance Salon 2 (which provided massage on the side) has changed to Elegance Salon & Massage - the reason being, the original Elegance Massage near Nana Plaza has closed and consolidated with 'Elegance Salon & Massage". (See below, those digs have a new occupant...) May they continue to slip and slide.
The Princess Massage has taken over -lock, stock and KY- from the Elegance Massage. The Elegance Massage, has consolidated with its sister Venue just up the street.. Welcome Princess Massage to the slippery slope...
For many months, The Balcony has occupied this kerbside area across from its main Venue. It was more or less an 'annex'. Now a new sign (behind a thin veil) has appeared : Welcome Bar. Well, welcome the Welcome Bar to the sharkpool...
Last month we noted that the Thai Candy Massage might be opening soonest. And, that, it did... they have replaced the Liola Massage. Located in Soi Hana, welcome Thai Candy Massage as they join the fray...
SOI 22 (Sukhumvit)
Is you is, or is you ain't going to stay open? Luna Lounge is once again closed - they open and close like a screen door banging in a hurricane. This month they join the ranks of the "Closed"... again...
SOI 22 (Sukhumvit)
We featured the Kaede refurbishment and reopening a few months back. This is just a photo For-the-Archives. May they keep on keeping on...
SOI 22 (Sukhumvit)
The Radha Massage was closed down and undergoing renovations when we passed by the other evening. Fare thee well. Up until last month they were located in Soi Titanium.
The 8 on Eleven is now featuring SCORE, which is either their new name, or the name of a disco they are in the process of opening upstairs or the name of an advertiser's new alcoholic beverage. I'm sure we will make heads-or-tails of it eventually.
Last month we noted the small unnamed bar beer across from Sin Bin had closed. This month they have spruced-up and reopened - but this go-round they are calling themselves (very discreetly) the Bar Beer WTF. Welcome back to the dogfight...
The 33 Thai Sabai Massage is the next domino to have fallen in the row of Nitespots along the lefthand side of Soi 33. Greener pastures, ladies... The two remaining Nitespots in the redevelopment area are the Dali and Monet - and they are slated to go the way of the Sphenisciformes within the next 60 days (a wait-and-see item).
The Cool Sports Bar has replaced the short-lived Cheers Bar (which took over from the Bai Fern Massage before that). (Note: both the now-defunct Cheers Bar and the new Cool Sports Bar had/ have a discreet massage service in the back... Welcome the Cool Sports Bar to the neon jungle.
QUEEN's PARK PLAZA (Sukhumvit 22)
We note that the Kawinya Massage has opened up in (part of) the old New Wave digs - having just relocated from one of the commercial lanes within the Ambassador Hotel, Soi 11. We hope to have a pic next time 'round.
Great Britain'sIndependent recently carried a story on the graffiti scene in Athens, Greece. An interesting bit of coverage based mostly on their contact with an Athenian graffiti artist / tour guide - street-named 'Rude' (real name : Nikolas Tongas).
The gist of the story is graffiti has increased exponentially in Athens over the last 10 years : most of that increase being graffiti of a political nature. This, in turn, because of Greece's economic hardships during its years as part of the EU. At first reading, the reader might detect that the 'politics' angle is a bit of a stretch, that author of the article is straining a little too hard to make his piece more 'relevant' than it might otherwise be....
Nevertheless, a number of interesting points are discussed, to include, for example, Athens municipality is creating a number of 'legal walls' for graff artists to vent upon. Another revelation is, while graffiti remains illegal in Athens, the populace is surprisingly accepting, and often appreciative of the 'art' - which many say brightens up their otherwise quite drab city.
Graphic excerpts above are from Internet sources, and are, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under Copyright Law. Copyright of all original artwork resides exclusively with the artists.
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....