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01 May 2019
William R.  Morledge

May's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Reader's Corner: Mizu's Remembered
Bangkok's Graffiti Update  - #158

            MIDNITE HOUR has, in the past, celebrated some of the Patpongs' seminal venues and their colorful owners, but heretofore we have not featured the real key to the success of the Patpongs - the young ladies who graced those venues and brought the clamoring crowds from the four corners of our planet.   This month, all will change - with a 'thumbnail-documentary' from professional producer Peter Du Cane who was on the scene in the Patpongs' golden years.

         In light of the recent news that the surviving twin of Mississippi Queen fame had also passed away, the following reminiscence is reprinted - with kind permission of the author.
Bunkham 'Joy' Intarasuwan    22 Nov 1957 - 3 Apr 2019
Joy in March 2018 with a photo of her twin sister June
Sad news for all those who frequented the famous Mississippi Queen Soul Music Bar on Patpong 1 during the late 1970s and early 1980s.   JOY, one of the spectacular dancing twins that graced the MQ at that time, has passed on aged 61, from cirrhosis of the liver.   Her twin sister JUNE pre-deceased her in April 2000 from kidney failure.

I'm Peter Du Cane from Australia and I first met Joy at the Mississippi Queen in 1979 on my birthday the 14th Feb.   Yes, Valentine's day! I was working for Pan Am Reservations in London at the time and used cheap or free tickets to take short trips to Bangkok.   That night I was on my own and decided to listen to some good music so headed for the MQ.   I usually liked to hide in the small recessed section upstairs at the back, but it was full, so I was in one of the benches facing the bar.   I had stuff on my mind and hadn't really been paying attention to the dancing and other goings on as I normally would have.   Joy told me that it was that quiet distraction that intrigued her.   When she got my attention I was astounded by her lovely personality and stunning looks.   For the next couple of years we would hook up when I managed to get tickets for another visit.   But from 1981 onwards I had left Pan Am and England for Australia (via a year and a half in India).   In the process I lost track of Joy, and soon afterwards the MQ was sold and its name changed.

'When I was young! working at mississipy bar patpong 1rd.   how is wow!....Am I   ?look like a seinsitive or not ?   Sorry my english not so good because l'm a Thai..100% ha ha...'
Joy Facebook Post 12 Aug 2018

Joy at the Nana Hotel in 2004

I know that many have similar fond memories of time spent with Bangkok's lovely ladies and often wonder what happened to them later.   Finding them can be very hard, or impossible, partly due to the complex naming system - many would only be known by their nicknames such as Noi, Joy, Lek, etc., and there can be thousands with the same one.   It wasn't until 2004 that I managed to find her again.   This I managed by asking some older girls around the rails at the Beer Garden on Soi 7.   One called Toi realized who I was talking about.   She had worked with the twins at the Butterfly Bar in Patpong.   Even better she still knew Joy and was able to get in touch with her.   Joy was a bit confused as she knew a Peter from England but not Australia (I had failed to explain this to Toi)!   Fortunately she showed up at the Nana Hotel where I was staying and we caught up and later visited her family for the first time.   I am a documentary film maker and over the succeeding time, especially since 2015, I have been interviewing Joy (and others who knew the twins and their times) about her life through conversation, correspondence and on video as well as collecting photos and other items from the 1970s Patpong era.   Gradually I have been able to piece together much of the essential Joy & June story.   Although the work is incomplete this seems the right moment to share some of what I have learned.

The twins were born in Saraburi, north east of Bangkok on 22nd Nov 1957 (Thai year 2500).   Joy was proud to point out they were Scorpios from the Chinese year of the Fire Rooster.   June arrived first followed by Joy 55 minutes later.   Their father, Narong Intarasuwan, was a policeman who later moved to Udorn Thani in the Isan Region of North Eastern Thailand, and they went to Junior High School there.   At that time Udorn was the site of a large Thai/US base for the Vietnam war effort.   The family was neither poor nor well off and Joy & June led relatively normal lives, their ambition to finish school and go on to University.   Joy wanted to emulate an elder sister by becoming a nurse or doctor.

Father Narong, June (Left) & Joy (Right) at school aged 16, at school in Udorn, Joy's first ID Card photo at 17.

For the twins everything changed when their father died whilst they were still at Junior High School.   Their mother, Tongmak Intarasuwan, moved the family to Bangkok.   Overnight they were suddenly poor because there were 7 children (the twins were the two youngest), with all but two still needing education.   Somehow they managed and Joy & June went to High School in Bangkok, from the age of 17, for a year and a half before they both (deliberately according to Joy) became pregnant at the same time aged 18 and a half.   Their baby girls, Poupée and Lu Ket were born 12 days apart in March and April 1977.   Joy put the events down to 'puppy love' and they both chose not to ask help from the young Thai fathers involved.   Instead they taught themselves English from a large conversation book and, in search of badly needed extra money, eventually found their first work in a bar in Patpong.

The Mississppi Queen exterior in 1970s Patpong and twins' mother Tongmak babysitting her granddaughters Poupée and Lu Ket

The bar that hired them was already quite famous for a number of reasons, including having just been used to represent a Saigon bar in the Oscar-winning film The Deer Hunter.   It was the now-legendary Mississippi Queen Soul Music Bar at number 60 Patpong 1.

The MQ's iconic Sign & the matchbox Joy gave me the day we met in Feb 1979

The MQ had a unique history.   Until sold in late 1972 it had been the Patpong Café, a hangout known for high stakes gambling and also for hosting the Foreign Correspondents Club.   Australian Tony Douglas, the new owner, completely re-designed the interior to have the look and feel of a Louisiana paddle wheel riverboat.   But that wasn't all as Tony once explained:  "Mississippi Queen was the first to introduce great music - in our case, American soul music.   We were also the first to place Go-Go dance stands over the bar.   In our case, we had no other room.   I believe we were also first with the brass bars for the dancers to hang on to.   And we had fabulous dancers who seemed born to dance."

Joy said she reckons they got the job partly because of their extreme innocence.   But they were also beautiful identical twins, and turned out to be arguably the most fabulous of all the MQ's exceptional dancers.

The dance platform arrangement at the Mississippi Queen

Joy explained their routine to me.   In the day they might sleep in, then do some shopping, maybe get their hair done, before resting again in the afternoon.   As Go-Go dancers at the Mississippi Queen they would arrive for work at 5pm.   They'd change into bikinis or similar and would notionally work through until 2am, for a salary.   Their primary work was as dancers.   This they would do on the MQ's elevated platforms, dancing to Soul, Blues and Rock & Roll - usually not together, only doing a double act on special occasions.   Their personal music favourites included Santana, Bad Company, Jimi Hendrix & Tina Turner.

The twins on the stairs at the back of the Mississippi Queen - can you pick Joy from June?

Bob F from Pattaya sums up the impact they had:  "They were dynamic, especially when they both danced together.   They'd feed off each other and they were little balls of energy, so tiny and so cute and so dangerous ...they had a certain glow about them...and being two of them it was squared, it was four times special because there were two of them....   They were like princesses and they acted the part and looked the part and it was just so much fun to be around them when they were around.   And they were having a lot of fun with it as well, and it was infectious you know - they really were superstars of their time.   There were a lot of beautiful women in Bangkok at that time but wherever they went they'd shine."

Because of the energy they were expected to put into their dancing (a far cry from the desultory shuffling now the norm), each girl would dance for only 3 songs.   They'd come down, usually dripping with sweat, towel off, and then normally talk to the bar's customers.   The MQ didn't feature sex shows or similar like many other Patpong establishments of the time.   It had paid staff running the bar and music and paid the dancers salaries.   However, the girls were still very much a part of the main bar girl economy.   The twins were popular enough to pick and choose, but nevertheless relied on the extra income gained from going with male customers.   Their income was also augmented by a share of the bar's take on 'lady drinks' bought for them by those they interacted with.   Joy says that the split was a straight 50/50 at the MQ.   Unlike many girls their strategy was not to ask to be bought a drink but rather just to initiate conversation.   They found the drink offers eventuated naturally from there.   If they wanted to go out with a man prior to closing at 2.00am he'd have to pay a bar fine in the usual way to compensate the place.   They didn't encounter too many problems with the clients but did have a minder to offer them some protection.   Joy said they also learned to be adept at turning potentially nasty situations into something harmless.

Many consider the 1970s & early 1980s the 'Golden Age' of the Thai bar scene and Patpong in particular, coming as it did before the sobering advent of HIV in 1984.   Of course they had to deal with a common male fantasy - to take them both out at the same time.   This Joy assured me, they never agreed to, despite being offered some significant rewards.  "Never get same guy on bed. Never!"   In her exact words.   In fact she said they never even knowingly had the same boyfriend, however long apart.   It was just a no-no between them.

June & Joy (Right) with author Dean Barrett in the MQ

Author Dean Barrett featured photos of Joy and June in the 'Night Moves' section of his classic photobook 'The Girls of Thailand'.   He was a regular at the Mississippi Queen at that time and knew the twins better than most:  "I remember them well because I was there practically every night.   I got to the point where I could tell them apart.   They had good attitudes and were a lot of fun and I'd buy them drinks and stuff like that but they knew we were local so weren't going to spend a fortune on them.   The Mississippi Queen had soul music and these girls were really good at it and they had their own shelves along the wall, which I think was unique in those days...and there was one girl per shelf and they just danced, wow did they dance, they'd come back down in a mass of sweat, unlike today..., they were really good at what they did and they enjoyed it as well, they loved dancing.   I vaguely remember some of the other girls there but they were really the stars of the show, the twins.   Because they were twins it was unusual but also they really danced, they had talent - soul music dancing, wow, they were fantastic!   You don't see much like that now in any of these bars."

Joy & June with babies Poupée & Lu Ket outside the Mississippi Queen (from Dean Barrett's The Girls of Thailand)

They did, of course, make the most of their appeal as cute identical twins.   If a boyfriend wanted to buy one twin a present, they'd find they'd also have to buy an extra one of the same item 'for my sister'.   The bond between the two was incredibly strong, even for twins.   They didn't just live together, they did virtually everything else together as well.   In the process they were making a lot of money by Thai standards at that time, but it went quickly enough on supporting the large extended family (this was normal and expected) and buying nice clothes, makeup and so on.   One larger outlay was when they became amongst the very first in Patpong to have breast enlargement work done.

They both had passports and occasionally would travel to boyfriends' homes overseas in places like Europe & Australia.   Joy had 5 passports in all and spent two 6 month stays in Switzerland (' cold' as she recalled), the first time with sister June along as well.   They both had numerous 'fiancés', most or all farangs, but in the end always decided not to marry because they didn't want more children (though June did have another baby, a son, on her own by an American boyfriend in about 1993).

From their start at the Mississippi Queen, which was sold around 1983 or 84, they also worked at the King's Castle, the Butterfly and the Pink Panther.   Occasionally the two would decide to go to dance together at a large bar like the Super Star - they'd ask first but were, not surprisingly, always more than welcome!   And drugs?   Joy told me that to kick back they'd often smoke ganga and occasionally eat small balls of opium.   Fortunately they never got sucked into using smack - the heroin scene that started to devastate many of the bar scene's finest, including several of the top dancers at the MQ.

The twins were inseparable to the last

As the years finally took their toll and the twins' dancing days drew to a close, they considered the possibility of remaining in the Patpong bar business, probably as respected mamasans.   Many of the high profile dancers went on to this calling, but Joy & June both decided to 'kick themselves out' (as Joy put it) and move on to more traditional pursuits.   They did try a Bar Beer (maybe on a soi off Sukhumvit) but despite the loyal patronage of the Dutch Ambassador it wasn't a success.   They bought a small land property together at Prachuap near Hua Hin (possibly with a view to fish farming).   They even tried working a Laundry, but this was difficult work for the two women.   They remained incredibly close, living together as always.   Around this time, in the late 1990s, June started to have trouble with a kidney complaint.   Even before she got sick June had told Joy that she couldn't live if Joy died first, but told her that she knew Joy could manage to go on if it was her that died first.   After June died in 2000 (Thai Year 2543) Joy realized she did indeed have to live on to look after their three children and many other family members.

Tongkoon 'June' Intarasuwan (22 Nov 1957 - 19 Apr 2000) in her early days at the Mississippi Queen

Three Generations - Lu Ket (June's Daughter), Poupée (Joy's Daughter), Joy, Tongmak
(Joy & June's mother, 90 years old), P'Dang (Twins' elder Sister by 4 years) 20 Feb 2015

Joy as a Grandma with daughter Poupée and granddaughter Sprite (SP) March 2018

More recently the extended family had started to pay Joy back for all the years of support and, in turn, to look after her.   She enjoyed the advent of Facebook, but her 'friends' were family and friends rather than ex-bar scene colleagues.   She liked to drink (Hong Thong in particular) and smoked heavily but chose to accept the growing damage to her health with a defiant good humour.

In one of her last messages on Facebook she posted a photo of herself I had recently scanned for her.   It was one she had given me the very first time we had met at the Mississippi Queen.   The bright eyes and amazing smile capture her perfectly.   Her accompanying comment with the post said much about the attitude and spirit of this wonderful lady.   "Hello friends of the earth, all lovely people.   Here is a photo of Joy not yet drunk on Hong Thong for you all to enjoy....I love all you lovely people of the world."   I'll miss her a lot.

Joy at the Mississippi Queen 1979


Celebrating my birthday with Joy in 2015 & Joy with the draft Photobook of her story

Joy's trust in me with her story and photos meant a lot to me and as I progressed with my work on them I decided to put together a present for her.   It was a somewhat 'instant coffee' photobook of pictures of her and June's story with brief linking text.   The cover was titled JOY & JUNE - Bangkok's Dancing Twins and I put it together through an online system and ordered 2 copies (one for each of us) as I was about to leave Australia for Thailand.   As it happened, the draft turned out much better quality than I had expected and Joy loved it.   As I went around seeing as many people as I could find who knew the twins and their times, I showed each the photobook and asked if they wanted to write something to Joy in a couple of blank pages at the end. I am glad to say that the last time I was with Joy I was able to show her my copy of the photobook and the list of messages and comments from what amount to a veritable Who's Who selection from the era.   Those that know the ex-pat history of early Patpong days will no doubt appreciate the list and understand how much it meant to Joy, who was deeply moved by it.   Joy also added a comment, as did I.   I attach the handwritten text as is.

Writings in the back of Peter's copy of the Joy & June draft Photobook

Joy enjoying a quieter moment at the MQ

May your song always be sung.   And may you stay forever young. -Bob Dylan

The author of the Mississippi Twins retrospective is Peter Du Cane.   The text and photos in this work are Copyright 2019 by the author, with the single exception of the two "Dean Barrett" photos.   Novelist Dean Barrett is the owner of the 'Dean Barrett' photographs, permission for use having been obtained by author Peter Du Cane.   Materials may not be reused without the permission of the owners.   Bangkok Eyes republishes this narrative with permission.


May's Thai Smile is from a border afar...

BOOKS ...worth a read !

( Click on book covers to order. )



Join the 'Comments' page...

   READER :   Sirs,
      Great reminiscing the Mizus Kitchen, but I think you missed the photograph on the Mizu Facebook page of the original Mizus in 1957.   The photo shows Mizus on a corner, not inside Patpong Road.   This would mean that Mizus moved into Patpong at a later time.   Keep up the great history pieces.

      Great minds, (or is it small minds?) think alike.   We noticed the same thing.   We queried the sharp-eyed Hanuman, and he explained that at the time Mizu's Kitchen opened, nothing was next door to it (right hand on the photo).   He noted that the buildup of other structures came later.   We did a "trust and verify" recon, and found that this was the case - the upstairs windows on Mizus was a give-away, and show identically today.

   READER :   Sirs,
      Fascinating account of the early development of Patpong.   Please keep me on your mailing list for future editions.

   READER :   Sirs,
      What an incredible story you've written.   A ton of research weaved perfectly to make a compelling story.   This will be the definitive history of Mizu's of Patpong.   Well done, ....

   READER :   Sirs,
      That's an amazing effort that goes into that.   How do you classify it, Tourist Brochure, Bar / Restaurant Advertising, Local Living Articles, What?   I'm assuming someone pays you guys for the time and quality of the work, you don't just do it as a hobby do you?   I like the History part, always have been and always will be a History buff especially when it involves Indo China and it's neighbors.   In the end though the bar thing is not for me, my time has come and gone for that kind of stuff, I am more content to just sit in the yard with the dog and watch the grass grow or walk on down to the beach in the off hours when there are very few tourists. ...

   READER :   Sirs,
      Mizu’s finally closed!   No idea it had been there that long.   In the 90s, we used to start nearly every Friday evening at Mizu’s, and then venture off to nearby places…

   READER :   Sirs,
      Love the Mizu's story.   Kudos for 'declamatorily'!!!

      All your comments are greatly appreciated.   (Due to space considerations a number of reader comments were not included. )   Thanks, all.
   READER :   
      I'm taking another longshot here but I recall you published a description of a "bargirl slum" on Soi 22 some years back.   Should you be able to find it, could you reprint it?   I have been telling people about this, and they are starting to doubt my sanity.   It really existed maybe thirty years ago (?) right?

      You are not losing your mind.   A number of requests have come in for this reprint over the years.   The original write-up of the "Soi 22 slum" was contained in the story, "Arise, Soi 22" in the April 2013 edition.   The story described the timeframe 1970's - 1980's.   We have reprinted that portion below:
      There is still a number of long-time Bangkok resident expats and return visitors who remember when Soi 22 boasted nothing but the Starlight Hotel - an un-air conditioned 2-star hostel located down a small side soi, and a seemingly unending tract of swamp.

      Built above the swamp, and cut off from the rest of 'Bangkok civilization' were myriad shacks - all for rent.   Their occupants were almost exclusively bargirls from the Soi 16 bars, the Grace Hotel Coffee Shop, the Thermae, Soi Cowboy and other Sukhumvit Nitespots stretching all the way up to, and just past Soi 26.   The shacks were connected to each other, and to the 'outside world', by a network of wooden planks supported on wooden pole 'pilings', sometimes with a handrail, sometimes not.   Barring flooding in the rainy season, the planks which comprised the inches-wide web of 'boardwalks' hovered just above the black viscous stench that was, at one time, probably water.   It's overwhelming 'aroma' was that of raw sewage and Fab detergent from the hundreds of one-bucket-laundries.   The shacks themselves were constructed of whatever was available - sheets of tin with printed Fanta or Singha labels still visible on the never-to-be fabricated cans, as well as plywood forms from building sites, reused construction board, scrap crating and dunnage, and if you were lucky, corrugated sheet metal roofs (which became eyes-wide-open amplifiers for each individual raindrop during the torrential Southwest monsoons).

      Scores upon scores of Ladies-of-the-Evening called this chum chon their 'home-away-from-home' - a mattress on the floor, just wide enough to accommodate an occasional one-night john or a Thai mangda 'boyfriend'.   A few small cushion pillows (including one long-pillow) sufficed.   No mattress, regardless of condition, was complete without a floor to ceiling mosquito net - and mosquito coils to burn, just in case.   The desk fan (on the floor) was mandatory, and the refrigerator (unheard of) was supplanted with an ice bucket or a small Styrofoam cool chest.   Also mandatory were the thoop (joss sticks) - paying respect to the luck-bearing Buddha, but also to ameliorate the pervasive reek of the underlying Black Lagoon.   To hide the bareness, and to discourage peeping toms, calendars and large posters of the King Rama IX (alternate; King Rama V, or movie stars, flower-filled fields, babies and / or far-away places) were taped, tacked or glued to the walls.   A time and place -some would say an era- almost forgotten for many expats; a 'rite-of-passage' for others.   But, that was then, and very long ago - and with nostalgia not being what it used to be, it is time to move on.

Note: Text may be edited for brevity and/ or clarity.

'Reader's Corner' moderator -

'Boge' Hartman
Historical Research
*   Zootramp Publications


Let the May 2019 Follies  begin-

            How the mighty have fallen...   The 'upstairs bar' that started the revolution of 'show bars' in the 80's, the Fire Cat, had lain virtually fallow for a number of years (the occasional attempt at a rip-off bar in those digs never succeeding).   This month, it was reoccupied by Superboyz, one of the (renamed) gay bars from Soi Twilight.

            In the digs that were home to the original, and world-renown King's Castle in the 70's and 80's (most recently King's Castle 3, a katoey bar) a new gay boy bar, Sweet Bannana (sic) has opened after a 2-month renovation.   

            O.K., gang, what're we thinkin'?   Is this upstairs bar the Pussy Magic, or is it the Cute Girl?   Or is it, as the Thai sign says, still the Super Pussy?   And does it even matter?

            The Hot Male gay boy bar has moved into three loc upstairs on The Ramp (we note they remained open at their other Venue on Soi Twilight, while they were moving.)   

            The Lucky Boys Bangkok gay boy bar (newly renamed since arriving on PP2 from Soi Twilight) reopened upstairs in the long-vacated Super Queen digs.

            Bangkok Massage gay massage has relocated from Soi Twilight into the area adjacent to the abovementioned Lucky Boys Bangkok in the long-closed Super Queen area (above the rear of the old Bat Boat).   

            Dreamboy Paradiso has moved from Soi Twilight into the long extinct Executive Lounge digs.

            Candle Light Studio is not a Night Entertainment Venue per-se, but if you are in the area, it is a most entertaining 'aside' - showing works of art from local and foreign artists.   Located up the stairway (3rd level) above Bar Bar at the Silom Road entrance.

            Soi Cowboy has been most crowded these last few days - but it remains to be seen how many are 'just selfie-ing', and how many are young lady dancers out on the Soi enticing passers-by, and how many are actual customers...

            This here "Coyote" thing's done got outta' hand.... 30,000 Baht a month...   Many bars are offering high wages to attractive girls that would otherwise not dance in a bar.   The offers often stipulate the girls do not have to 'off' - the word 'coyote' being the 'tell' that the girls do not have to go out with customers....   (Not to worry, though, mates, the bars will let you pay extra to buy a coyote a drink...)   Or to say the same thing another way, the A Go-Go bars of the past are turning into 'show venues' for the tourists to 'come inside, have a look, suh'.
Gotsta Get Paid


Accepting Employment Applications

Beautiful Girl Coyotes - Good figure
High Pay
And Receptonists
15,000 - 30,000 (Baht/Mo)
Apply In Person
From 18:00 Hours Onward

(The tiny red sticker lower left is the 1191 hotline number for AHTD - the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, like, for example, if you see a bar owner forcing a dancer to take 30,000 baht a month....)

            Butterflies, (3rd level), have a new dynamic LED sign - obviously not aimed at Western clientele, but very colorful indeed.



            The Nana Plaza's central beer garden has finally put up some visible signage: "Nana Beer Garden".   Not that it matters - it was busy before they had a sign, and it is busy now...

            We seldom mention anything that even smells like a rumor, but last month we went out on a limb and mentioned that Hanrahan's Pub was possibly going to change hands (much input from the street).   Well, this month we welcome the new Fitzgeralds.   Modus operandi unchanged.   Welcome them to the neon jungle...

            Last month we mentioned the opening of King's Night Club, observing somewhat pessimistically that it didn't seem to be any busier than its two failed predecessors.   Well, that was then, this is now - when we passed by last weekend, the place was jumping...   Located 2nd level of the Rajah Hotel outbuilding.   May they keep on keeping on...

            Here we go again...   The EQ Late Night Club was closed yet again - and this was on a Saturday night - no excuses.   Since the days of the original 'Nana Disco' which was a huge and enduring success, there have been several Night Clubs that have tried their hand at getting something going - and all have failed...   This is EQ's second try at it; let's see if they pop back out of their coffin, or if they have really fallen into the abyss...

            The only 'refugee' from Soi Twilight to put feet down in Soi Katoey is the newly reopened Banana Boys (ex: New Banana Bar).   They are located on the 2nd level above the Banana Bar on 4.   

Feral Cats...
At the risk of sounding like your nagging, wing-nut Aunt Martha, feral cats can carry rabies, a disease that, as of this writing, has NOT been irradicated from Thailand.

 SOI  22  
            In what can only be described as a massive "Musical-Chairs" exercise, the Specialty Massage Parlors on Subsoi Hana and Subsoi Lemongrass have moved themselves around like chess pieces..   Rather than try to describe the goings-on, we have included a new map, below.   The only new entry was the Check Me (pic below).

 SOI  22  

            The ground floor hotel club scene at the Holiday Inn seems to be doomed by ghosts from deep dungeons.   Last month, the Kick Club went out of business. This month the Juicy Club has opened in its place.   Lets see what the Fates have in store.   I'm not taking any bets, and neither is my bookie...
 SOI  22  

            The Keep In Touch Sports Bar opened a few months ago (see our earlier issue), and was off to a slow start.   But that was then....   We don't know what has happened exactly, perhaps the Washington Square orphans (like myself) have found a new roost...   Barely big enough for a small pool table, the place is usually crowded - with (mostly local expat) customers.   A best kept secret - but perhaps not for long...   Located all the way down Soi Starlight in the old Taffy's Faulty Towers digs...
 SOI  22  

            The Miss BJ Massage has gone through a Sign-Ge.sta.po-induced name-change. They are now proudly calling themselves Miss BS.   Hmm.. were there no other choices..?
 SOI  22  

            The Tuk Tuk Bar has opened newly in one corner of Indian Tadka - perhaps they are taking my earlier suggestion that they get something going on Soi Ambassador to replace the relocated Cheap Charlie's...   A long row to hoe, but you never know...
 SOI  AMBASSADOR  (Sukhumvit Soi 11) 

A 'Party Hostel' with a Bar...

 SOI  AMBASSADOR  (Sukhumvit Soi 11) 

            Occasionally during the more important holidays, the sanuk overflows and the A Go-Go girls will provide entertainment outside the bars on the sidewalks for the benefit of the passers-by (usually from bars populated with young ladies from Isan)...   In this instance, the ever-popular Maew Maew Bar.


 QUEEN's  PARK  PLAZA  (Sukhumvit 22) 

            The tiny bar beer aside the Sin Bin, sometimes calling itself the WTF Bar has rolled the shutters down and faded quietly into the heat...   Greener pastures, ladies...
 SOI  AMBASSADOR  (Sukhumvit Soi 11) 

            The SKV33 massage has taken over the slippery ropes from the Nyan (was Nyan Nyan).   Prime agendum unchanged.   (Of course, they can't put the word, 'massage' on the sign...)   May they continue to slip and slide...
 SOI  DEAD   ARTISTS (Sukhumvit 33) 

            Love Teen is back in the saddle, after becoming D.D Massage for several months.   The D.D is no more...   Note: they have even used their old sign.. and have taped over the words, 'massage'.   All is as it was...
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The Soba Juban, a Japanese snack-lounge, has said its final sayonara.   Located deep in Subsoi Pan Pan.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The 33 Club has closed again.   So what is it this time?   They closed some months back, and had just reopened a couple months ago.   All we can really say is, statistically, when a Nitespot starts the 'close-reopen' cycle, its days are numbered...
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            Closed last month, for whatever reason, the Love & Service Massage is once again open for play.   Welcome back to the nightgames.   Located in Subsoi 4.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The upstairs Kizuna Bar next door to the Pan Pan Restaurant has reopened after a brief closure last month.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            Joy, located on the 2nd level of S 33 Compact Hotel is yet again REOPENED.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            Y'Not Bar has reopened - after a fashion...   When we passed by on the weekend, no one was inside: no customers, no staff.   Shortly, the manager showed up because I was there.   Heck of a way to run a bar.   
 SOI  EDEN  (Sukhumvit 7 / 1) 

            Our lead story this month was to be the wrap-up on the demise of Soi Twilight, and a rundown as to where the bars were relocating.   However, we had to postpone - as 'The Twilight Zone' did not close down at the end of March 2019 (contrary to a lot of talk on the street).   Mid-month April saw Hot Male, Maxis and Dream Boy still open (see clip below).   Although most of the bars have relocated, it appears the final close-out is to be at or about the end April / first of May.   So instead of getting out ahead of our headlights, we'll wait until the dust has settled and do a proper thumbnail history and close-out next issue.








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
March 1999

   *  The upstairs Thai Lady Bar (above the Thigh Bar) closed.   Today, an unnamed "pay for show" bar occupies those digs.

   *  The upstairs Pussy Galore / Pussy Alive dropped the "Pussy Alive".   No Nitespot exists at that location presently.

   *  The P.P. Superbar changed to P.P. Superstar".   It would eventually revert to SuperStar.

Patpong 2
March 1999

   *  The Bua Luang Restaurant closed its doors.   It preceded, until recently, The Strip A Go Go.   No Nitespot currently occupies those digs.

   *  The The French Kiss closed temporarily for renovations.   It is still at that location today.

Soi Cowboy
March 1999

   *   Jungle Jim's opened in the Moonshine Pub digs (then closed).   The Moonshine Joint Whiskey and "Go Go" were still operating next door, and both are still there today. -

Nana Plaza
March 1999

   *   No changes that month / year. -

"Entertainment Plaza"
(Soon to become 'Clinton Plaza' - Thermae Annex)
[ February 1999 - May 2003 ]

May 1999

   *      Below are the changes to the Nitelife at Night Entertainment Area (Soon to become Clinton Plaza).

      *    You & Me   - Outside Main Bldg. -  NEW
      *    (Unnamed Bar Beer)   - Against Side Wall -  NEW

"Old Thermae Compound"
(Soon to become '13 Night Market' Entertainment Area)
[ August 1999 - February 2005 ]

May 1999

   *   INITIAL REPORT :    This "Old Thermae Compound" was slow to reach 'Critical Mass', appearing on our survey for the first time as "13 Night Market" in August 1999.   The compound was located next door to Clinton Plaza.   Below are the 'seminal' beer bars as of April 99:

      *    Thai Angel Bar - Left Side
      *    El Burrito Feliz - Left Side
      *    Elephant Bar - Center Section
      *    Arcadia - Right Side

Soi Katoey
( Silom Soi 4 )
May 1999

   *   Edoya (Japanese lounge) opened newly next door to Tapas Café.   The Body Star is now The Adam massage.

   *  The Que Pasa ? opened newly in the recently closed X Bar.   It was located just past today's Telephone Pub.    Welcome Bar now occupies those digs.

Buckskin Joe Village
(~ December 1988 to December 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)
May 1999

   *  The Linda Bar reopened.

Washington Square
(~ April 1999 to April 2014)

   *   INITIAL REPORT :    Washington Square had long been a casual drinking spot, but the bars were too few and too spread out (not contiguous) to be considered an Entertainment Area in its own right.   However by May 1999, we could no longer ignore the growth within the compound.   Below is the original April 2009 'inventory' of bars as found on site at that survey..
May 1999
   *  The Silver Dollar Bar
  Texas Lone Star (Lone Staar Saloon)
  Wild Country Bar
  No Problem Cocktail Lounge
  Bourbon Street
  The Prince of Wales   P&G
  (A bar with a Japanese sign)
  New Square One Pub
  Dennys Corner
  Huttasat 2 Tradional Massage
  Sumire (Japanese)
  Crystal Bar
  Happy Pub




Click Here



*Click Here*
Christopher G. Moore



















































But is it ....ART ?

Check out Bangkok's dedicated page at "BKK" <link>


       From the preceding decades up until about 10 years ago, graffiti painting on trains, subway and other, had slowly dropped off.   A lot had to do with stricter and more efficient law enforcement, but that was not the only reason.   Another major contributing reason was the graff crews were becoming more diversified and, yes, even international - things were becoming more interesting, more competitive in more places...

      But as of about 8 years ago, the downward trend reversed itself, and train "" began to increase again.   Officialdom, which doesn't necessarily have a good grip on what goes on in the 'world of resistance against the machine' have come up with the explanation: its "Social Media's" fault.

      And they may not be entirely wrong.   From the outset, from the 60's and 70's, graf crews were in competition with one another - who could hit where first with the most, and, yes, occasionally overpainting other crews' work.   If any one, or any crew, wanted to retain their 'street art', they would also have to photograph it and keep the pics in their sketch albums or on their desktops.

      Nowadays, as graf crews even make 'world tours' (such as 1UP), they have found that using social media solves both of their problems:   They put their photos of their pieces up on the Internet, such as on Instagram, in order to 'compete' with / against other crews, to include international crews (added benefit - their works can't be overpainted), and they no longer have to keep physical photo albums or photos on their desktops, which at least potentially could be self-incriminating.

      Many of these graffiti social media sites have a huge 'following', and these artists are becoming 'Internet-famous' - most of them doing it all on their smartphones...   (And, saving the best for last... it is whispered that any graf artist who "hasn't done trains" should stick with Sharpies.)   Oh, the unintended consequences...!


With thanks to Cool

Graffiti #1088
One-Angel Band
6 ft high x 5 ft

Graffiti #1089
12 ft high x 10 ft

Graffiti #1090
Emoji Sun
5 ft high x 12 ft

Graffiti #1091
Deserted '96
6 ft high x 17 ft

Graffiti #1092
6 ft high x 12 ft

Graffiti #1093
7 ft high x 9 ft

Graffiti #1094
3 ft high x 4 ft (center piece)

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 !

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

- 2020 -
- 2019 -
01 JAN -   Soi 71 + "W District"
01 FEB -    Back to Soi 26
01 MAR -   Soi 1 & Soi 3
01 APR -    Mizu's of Patpong
01 MAY -    Mississippi Twins

- 2018 -
01 JAN -   The Pub Crawl
01 FEB -   Bobby Passes On
01 MAR -    Nana - The Plaza - The Soi
01 APR -    Soi Dead Artists - Downsizing?
01 MAY -    Soi's 5, 7, 7/1 Eden
01 JUN -    Soi 24 - Going Nowhere
01 JUL -    Street Bars - They're Back
01 AUG -    Udorn in the 60's & 70's
01 SEP -    Potpourri - Odds 'N Ends
01 OCT -    Khao San + Rambutri Rds.
01 NOV -    Night Market Sri Nakarin
01 DEC -    Soi 23 - Running Hot
- 2017 -
01 JAN -   Soi 22 - the Survivor
01 FEB -    Hua Hin Nights
01 MAR -   Hooking-Up
01 APR -    Soi Than Tawan
01 MAY -    Our Saloon-Count Surveys
01 JUN -    Soi Bua Khao
01 JUL -    Soi 8 - Work In Progress
01 AUG -    NO PHOTO (more or less)
01 SEP -    Stickman Calls 'Time'
01 OCT -    Sweet Black Angel
01 NOV -    Thai King At Rest
01 DEC -    The Dark Arts

- 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
01 JUN -    Soi Thonglor Re-up
01 JUL -    Massage Parlor Row
01 AUG -    Check Inn 99
01 SEP -    Pattaya A Go-Go
01 OCT -    Bangkok's Nitelife Maps
01 NOV -    Nitespot Demographics
01 DEC -    Pattaya's Soi 6

- 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 Decemberes 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 Bhumibol'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

01 JAN -    Seminal Survey -Paradisio Closes
- 2001 -

01 JAN -    Baccara opens in Cowboy
01 FEB -    Club Habanos Closes - PP1
01 MAR -    Ferang Connection Closes - Nana
01 APR -    Rock Hard BB Open - Clinton Pl.
01 MAY -    Las Vegas Opens - Cowboy
01 JUN -    'Wall Street' Opens - Soi 33
01 JUL -    Vixens Closes - Nana
01 AUG -    6 A Go-Go's Shut - Clinton Pl.
01 SEP -    Pussy Collection Opens - PP1
01 OCT -    Girl Friend Closes - PP1
01 NOV -    Rainbow III Opens - Nana
01 DEC -    White House Reopens - Clinton Pl.

- 2000 -

JAN -    'Cowboy Annex' Starts Up
FEB -    Agogo 2000 new at Nana
MAR -    Flowers - Clinton's 1st A Go-Go
APR -    Angel Witch new at Nana
MAY -    Dubliner now at Washington Sq
JUN -    Coco Loco opens at Clinton Pl.
JUL -    Bottoms Up new at Nana
AUG -    Crack House opens at Clinton Pl.
SEP -    Doll House / White House open at Clinton
OCT -    Rock Hard to open at Clinton Pl.
NOV -    Big Dogs opens at Nana
DEC -    Lolita opens in Cowboy Annex

- 1999 -

JAN -    Masquerade Closes @ Nana
FEB -    "Entertainment Plaza" Start-Up
MAR -    SuperStar is PP SuperBar !
APR -    Washington Square goes Critical
MAY-    New Klymaxx closes (Cowboy)
JUN -    'Wet Lips opens (Cowboy)
JUL -    Sam 2000 opens (Cowboy)
AUG -    Monica's opens (Clinton Plaza)
SEP -    Muzzik Cafe open on PP1
OCT -    No Probl'm now Cat's Meow
NOV -    Titty Twisters opens at Nana
DEC -    Londoner Brew Pub new on Soi 33
- 1998 -
JAN -    Nancy Bar opens on Floor 2, Nana
FEB -    Tabasco Charlies opens - (NEP)
MAR -    Cowboy 2 is a 'Pizzaria' - Soi Cowboy
APR -    New A Go Go Duck opens - Cowboy
MAY -    Raw Hide opens on Cowboy
JUN -    Para Disio opens - Floors 2 & 3 - NEP
JUL -    Patpong Cafe opens - PP2
AUG -    'Funny Girls' becomes 'Girlfriend' - PP1
SEP -    Masquerade opens on 3rd Floor - NEP
OCT -    Virgo opens on Cowboy
NOV -    Obsession, Beverly Hills, Red Lips open
DEC -    Lucifer Disko Tk opens atop Radio City

- 1997 -
JAN -    'Hot Rods' opens @ Nana
FEB -    Crazy Lady closes (Nana)
MAR -    3 Lounges closed - 'The Ramp'
APR -    Blue Sky Bar closes - PP1
MAY -    Crackdown at Nana
JUN -    Crystal Palace opens - PP2
JUL -    Limelight closes - PP1
AUG -    Rainbow II opens @ Nana
SEP -    Cowboy's Butterfly Gone
OCT -    Shadow drops Crazy Jack (Cowboy)
NOV -    Hollywood 2 now on 3rd Floor (NEP)
DEC -    Susies opens @ Buckskin Joe Village
- 1996 -
JAN -    Shooters opens on 3rd Floor (NEP)
FEB -    XTC Closes, then Reopens (NEP)
MAR -    Tapas back on line (Soi Katoey)
APR -    Long Gun expands (2X) [Cowboy]
MAY -    Apache reopens on 'The Boy'
JUN -    Pink Panther "upstairs" closes
JUL -    Iconic Mile's Place gone...
AUG -    Upstairs Touch Bar closes (PP1)
SEP -    Pharaoh opens in NEP carpark
OCT -    Spirit House opens in NEP
NOV -    Crazy Lady opens in NEP
DEC -    Long Gun 2 opens (now Rawhide)

- 1995 -
JAN -    PP1 Butterfly Closed
FEB -    Camelot Castle Opens
MAR -    NEPs Bubble Gum gone...
APR -    Tiny 'Imagine' Closed
MAY -    (Quietest month on record)
JUN -    NEPs Mon Cherie axed
JUL -    Play Skool opens (NEP)
AUG -    Opium Club new on The Ramp
SEP -    D.L Irish Pub (ex: Bamboo's)
OCT -    NEP 3rd Floor Opens
NOV -    Klymaxx 2 opens on Cowboy
DEC -    Chick's opens upstairs (PP1)
- 1994 -
- 1993 -
JAN -       -
FEB -       -
MAR -   Saloons - More Areas Added
APR -    Saloons -Adding "Nana"
MAY -    Red Diamond Closed
JUN -    Saloons - Tomatohead Closes
JUL -    Pretty Lady A Go Go
AUG -    Mars Party House closed
SEP -    Matterhorn & Star Pub
OCT -    Sawasdee Cocktail Lounge - New
NOV -    Thigh Bar name change
DEC -    Smile Club to open...
- 1990 -
JAN -   Buckskin Joe - Initial Survey

- 1989 -
01 JAN -    (Coming Soon)
Copyright 1989 - 2019    BANGKOK EYES -