The previous month Planet Earth continued to experience a rise in the numbers of new Coronavirus cases and deaths. The world saw this as a continuation of the "Third Wave" which had just become visible the preceding month. But the unanticipated surprise was Thailand's recent outbreak, and it's immediate impact on the Nightlife Scene. Thailand had been in its 'lockdown bubble' for several months, with no new cases arising from within the country. The only new cases were found on Thai returnees and the few VIP foreigners coming from abroad, (who were promptly quarantined.) We had come to trust that as long as we remained in our 'quarantine bubble', the Coronavirus would continue to pass us by, and we would be able to 'wait it out' until a vaccine could be produced. This, of course, was an unrealistic expectation. (Continued below...)
As Thailand's rainy season phased into the cool season, the rivers forming much of the border with Burma slowed to a trickle, thereby facilitating illegal border-crossings by Burmese looking for work in Thailand. To compound matters, Thai fishing boat owners in the Gulf were hiring illegal Burmese fishermen, scores of whom were found to be infected. Needless to say, Thailand's 'isolation bubble' had been thoroughly popped. Coronavirus cases started showing up slowly at first, then became a torrent. Aggravating the problem, the Burmese, afraid of retribution and repatriation, were lying about their origins and prior whereabouts, making back-tracing nearly impossible.
The above chart shows clearly the upward trending of the new wave of Covid-19 now hitting Thailand. Only a month ago, the announcements of coming vaccines and virtually nonexistent local Coronavirus figures were cultivating a "light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel mentality". Now, once again, Thailand's Nightlife, hotels and economy in general are in a state of disarray - bars are closing, the few hotels that have reopened are experiencing cancellations. Currently, no reasonable projections can be made as to when the Coronavirus (and the even-more destructive effects of 'Coronaphobia') will subside to a semblance of normalcy. Should Thailand's return to normalcy, in particular, 'tourism' be delayed much longer, many more Nitespots and hotels will not be able to survive.
As we enter the New Year, citizenry of the world continues to be cowed by the Coronavirus-Coronaphobia double-whammy imposed by the authorities of virtually all countries. It goes without saying that universal border lock-downs - without also taking into account that body of current epidemiological science will continue to destroy tourism worldwide. We at Bangkok Eyes continue to monitor the Coronavirus situation locally and abroad in order to provide our readers (in particular, those planning to travel to Thailand), with current cautionary data, and to provide realistic expectations as to timeframe(s) for a safe reopening of Thailand'sNight Entertainment Scene.
Coronavirus Overview GLOBAL 3rd WAVE MAY HAVE TOPPED OUT 01 January 2021
This January Bangkok Eyes continues our ongoing review & analysis of the global figures - as well as several 'typical' individual countries. For purposes of comparison, this month, as in months past, we are updating data for the same countries previously reported - with the exception of Sweden, which we are showing for the first time. Sweden has not (yet) imposed any 'lockdown' remedies - while adhering to other controls - therefore a certain perspective can be gained by comparing Sweden's trending with other countries shown herein. Note: 'typical' countries are so selected because of their accurate record-keeping and, not coincidentally, their implementation of internationally recognized precautionary and medical treatment procedures used in containing the Coronavirus. It is immediately apparent from the graphs below that the Coronavirus is far from gone, even as worldwide figures indicate a possible plateauing. Going forward, it will be necessary to continue to observe the already-proven protocols for viral containment - social distancing, wearing of masks, personal and area cleanliness. A very real 'expectation' is that if the number of new infections per day in Thailand continues to increase linearly, we will see ever-increasing lock-downs, local travel restrictions and other restrictive regulations.
As the above upsurges and declines are recent, we have used both 'new case' and 'death' data to best illustrate the actual trending by the most accurate and visually observable means. Bangkok Eyes has reproduced the above information as a public service - this information is readily available to the public on the Internet and through other sources. This information is not to be construed as a prediction, or an estimate, or a projection relating to changes in the prevalence of the Coronavirus, either as to length of time, location or severity.
All charts sourced at www.worldometers.info from W.H.O. data.
*We note the local Thai Night Entertainment Areas are open and doing reasonably well, as, of course, their main source of custom is not foreign tourism. (Examples of local ThaiNitespot Areas: Sri Nakarin South, Soi Thonglor, Soi Udomsuk, Soi Ekamai, RCA.)
I know you're not a Pattaya blog, but the most well known expat's bar in Pattaya, the Tahitian Queen has just closed, if the information I am getting on Facebook is accurate. Have you heard anything your end?
We have been in contact with the owner of the Tahitian Queen, and he has confirmed that they have in fact closed due to economic reasons. He has given us permission to announce the closure in print. Whether or not they have "returned the keys" remains to be seen. Of course all of us, we longtime residents, are hoping against hope that it might someday reopen.
I finished it (my 'Five Decades Of Nana' video on YouTube) after almost 6 wks of visiting Nana. It was awful, I swear!
It's a must for all the old timers! Thanks for the help on info and pics from the site.
'Say I'm old fashioned, say I'm over the hill,' as Bob Seger might say, but music in the few remaining Gogo bars is No. 1 crap-ola, and No. 2 too goddam loud. What ever happened to Gogo bars like the Madness or Crazy Horse or Mississippi Queen where they had rock music that the girls could dance to? And what ever happened to the Gogo girls that actually danced instead of just lining up on the stage and swaying to nothing at all, while they talk to their girlfriends? OK, disco, I get it - get stoned & get droned, until the full 120 decibels vibrate your feet off the floor. But please tell me you know of a Bangkok Gogo bar that has actual Gogo girls dancing to actual music, and not that thump-thump techno? And the music isn't so loud that you can't talk with a dancer or a mate? Or am I just another dinosaur on the way out?
Hmm, Madness, Crazy Horse... some of the old Patpong 'French Connection' - you do go back a ways. We must admit we have received a number of similar laments... Blame it on Disco. The evolution of disco since the Second World War has gone through a number of sea-changes - each louder than it's predecessor. In recent years, since disc jockeys at discotheques became super-celebrities(because, somehow, you deserve to be a 'celebrity' if you know how to play records), they 'make their mark' by being more 'fringe' and louder than the next guy.
It is regrettable to many (not just you) that most of the A Go-Go bars in Bangkok (in an attempt to 'stay relevant') have adopted that same techno 'music' - and even intentionally play it too loud to carry on a conversation. Unless the dancers are on bath-salts, there is no way they can dance to it, so they do the next best thing - they shuffle around. Patpong 1's Safari reopened last month, then closed again (promising they would reopen this month), but for the few weekends they did open, they actually had music the dancers could dance to, and at about half the decibels of the techno joints. But this is a big 'wait-and-see' - we are going to have to wait until this Coronavirus thing levels off...
Maybe you can explain the unexplainable to a relative new guy. I am reading that 21 people recently tested positive for Coronavirus in a Bangkok Karaoke that had 75 staff. Of course the amount of Covid cases is alarming, but where I come from a karaoke is where a group of friends, or couples go to sing-along to recorded background music, and have a few drinks. But 75 staff? To do what? - Serve drinks and assist us with changing the music tapes? What am I missing?
In Bangkok, and indeed, Thailand in general, 'karaoke' on a sign in front of a Night Entertainment Venue doesn't mean just one thing. One can visit the KTV karaokes, Karaoke Pubs, or Karaoke-Clubs. Or, you can find scattered about Bangkok Thai-style single-shophouse 'karaokes' lit only by a string of Christmas lights and perhaps a Singh or Chang sign, or two (they may, or may not have a karaoke machine). Or enjoy karaoke at Thai Entertainment Multiplexes* that can be found in RCA and on Sri Nakarin Road in Samut Prakan - among other locales.
*Entertainment Multiplexes haven't yet caught on in the Expat 'world of entertainment', but foreigners are welcome in these Thai establishments. An Entertainment Multiplex can consist of a pub, a karaoke, 'models', a massage parlor, a disco, and or 'coyotes', and or featured live music - all under one roof. Some, like Copacabana, even have 'weekender' rooms for rent...
The 'rest of the story' is the varying, loosely defined functions of Thailand'skaraokes. In the case of the Nong Mai Karaoke in Pingklao (which would be typical), most of the 75 employees were young women whose primary purpose was to provide services to men for money... Money talks... More money talks more...
This month we enter Bangkok Night Entertainment's most chaotic period since its explosive growth in the 1960s. But this current period is no 'growth period', it is in fact, just the opposite. With Thailand entering its "Second Wave" of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we could in fact be seeing the beginning of the end. On the one hand, we don't want to come off as melodramatic purveyors of doom, but on the other hand we are now in a position where there is no certain end in sight to the 'entertainment blight'. While the coming vaccines will offer a yet-to-be determined amount of relief, we neither know the extent of that relief, nor how soon it will be realized to that extent. If in fact we do not see a near-complete return to normal tourism before the end of the year, it could be too late for most of Bangkok's Nitespots. This month, due to many Night Entertainment Venues being closed due to the 'selective' mandatory lockdown until 4 January, or, closing traditionally over New Year's, or, just plain gone out of business for economic reasons, we will be reporting Venue closures without comment, unless we know the specific details of the closure. Should those closed venues reopen at a future date, we will provide a full report.
Would anyone have imagined a year ago that the below photograph would portray Patpong 1 Road on New Year's Eve 2021? The entire street had one A Go-Go bar open (Kiss), one massage parlor (Hanuman Massage), one bar beer (SuperStar) beer bar and one Restaurant Lounge (Madrid). The street is in almost complete darkness, and at this juncture, we cannot say with any degree of confidence if, or when things will improve.
The Safari Bar Disco - Go Go recently reclosed after having opened successfully for three weekends in a row in December. They are planning to reopen 16 January. A wait-and-see item...
The Black Pagoda continues to innovate - with varied entertainment (in spite of the Coronavirus) - not to mention their excellent ad graphics. Don't miss their Sunday Special... Located up on the 3rd level, just above the Patpong Museum.
The evolution of A Go-Go in Bangkok from 1967'sThe Naturist - to the Grand Prix's fully clothed A Go-Go behind a beaded curtain in 1969, to the introduction of bikinis and the 'chrome pole', to today's straight-out 'Pole Dancing' - and professional pole dancers for hire... The beat goes on... Below is a sampling of pole dancing at the Black Pagoda / Club Black this pre-Christmas season.
New Closures, Patpong 2 Road, regardless of causes, during the month of December 2020.
*Bada Bing*Glamour*Bangkok Massage*(An unnamed Pool Bar)*Dream Boy Paradise*Dream Boy Bangkok*Top Less Pool Bar / Thai Room*Tavern Two (Tony & Tooey)*Screw Boy*Pink Panther / The Pink Beer Bar*Matador (Linda) - On The Ramp
Soi Cowboy on New Year's Eve - partly open, mostly locked down. The video clip below shows Shark having a tailgate party for staff (and any customers that came along - outside seating only).
Soi Cowboy - New Year's Eve was more a hodge-podge of staff parties in the front, open areas of bars (which were technically closed until 4 January). Only Country Road, the Five Star, the Oasis and The Corner (Live Music) were full-on busines as usual.
New Closures, Soi Cowboy, regardless of causes, during the month of December 2020.Note : many of these bars were "half open" celebrating New Year's in the open 'bar beer' areas with staff parties.
*Spritz*Moonshine*Jungle Jim's*Suzie Wong*Cowboy 2*Cactus Club*Toy Bar*Lucky Star - Long Gun*Penny Black*@ Corner*Baccara *Shark*Sunshine*Lighthouse*Sam's 2000*Tilac
"Happy New Year" in Nana Plaza 2021. The only Nitespot open inside was the ground-level Nana Beer Garden in the central courtyard. The 'epitaph drear'? See the brief video clip below... We'll be updating next round...
It looks for all the world that the Rainbow 2 will be reopening in its old location (after a couple of months down time, and without any neon). A lot will depend, of course, on when Nana Plaza reopens...
The Nitespots fronting on Nana Plaza were open during the New Year's period. Let 'em rock. Hopefully things will remain unchanged....
It looks like what was the Rainbow 1 is finished with its remodelling, and getting ready to open. Staff on the ground say the new name will have the word, "Random" in it...
If, and when the new bar that replaced Diamonds Bangkok reopens, we shall advise...
New Year's Eve saw Soi Nana (Soi 4 Sukhumvit) unchanged from the previous month, with the exception of the reopening of Pine 26 Club. In keeping with our ad-hoc 'Pandemic' policy, we are keeping Pine 26's status as "Open Sometimes". So while we still can, let the good times roll...
Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4) was one of (only) two Expat Night Entertainment Area in Bangkok on New Year's Eve where every bar was open; there were no changes from last month's survey. Business as usual, in spite of any partial lockdown edicts by the authorities over the New Near Holidays.
A pic for the Archives. The J. Star opened last month, in spite of the Pandemic, and are somehow keeping busy. Gotsta get paid.
Re-openings, Soi 22 during the month of December 2020.
*Terminal 69 - a bar beer at the top of the Soi, (no sign).
*Shag Bar - a bar beer at the top of the Soi, (no sign).
New Closures, Soi 22, regardless of causes, during the month of December 2020.
*Happy Bar*Bit Style Massage*(Unnamed venue)*Ampa*Chawang Massg*Paradise Massg - in Soi Lemongrass.
*Honey Bee - in Soi Lemongrass.
*Rita Massg - in Soi Lemongrass.
*Bangkok Passion Massg - in Soi Lemongrass.
*Exotic Bangkok Massg - in Soi Hana.
*Hana Massg - in Soi Hana.
*Dolla Massg - in Soi Hana.
*The Connection*Am's Bar*SMCTM Men's Society - in Soi Titanium.
*Siri Massg*Bar Black Pinkie
The brand-new Hillary 11 has opened in the recently-closed (and recently completely renovated) Marshmallow Kitchen & Bar. Located at the end of Soi Ambassador where it 'T's off left and right. The nicest 'Hillary' yet... Welcome to the machine...
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
For the last few months we have tracked the three makeshift bar beers (the Tewly Cocktail 'group') that had appeared from seemingly nowhere in the now vacant land near to where Cheap Charlie's used to stand. This last month, a fourth (nameless) bar beer sprouted like a dragon's tooth... Welcome them to the sharkpool. We find ourselves wondering how many such temporary Nitespots will pop up (before the developers commence with their 'improvements')...
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
New Closures, Soi Ambassador (Sukhumvit Soi 11), regardless of causes, during the month of December 2020.
*Sugar Late Night*Bafros*Praew Spa 2*Baan Puan Massage*Crave - in Aloft Hotel.
*Levels - in Aloft Hotel.
*Insanity*Phoenix Massg - in a small side-soi.
*Chaba Massage*Mon Spa - in Soi Havana Social.
*Brew Beers & Ciders - CLOSED permanently.
*Bai Po Massage - in Soi 11/1*Niraon Massage - in Soi 11/1
The Dream Heaven Nuru Nuru Gel specialty massage (previously located in the front of the S-33 Compact Hotel) has relocated to the top of Subsoi 4. Modus operandi unchanged.
ARTISTS (Sukhumvit 33)
The 666 Class specialty massage has taken over from Hera's Massage specialty massage, which has just closed. Rub-a-dub-dub...
ARTISTS (Sukhumvit 33)
New Closures, Soi Ambassador (Sukhumvit Soi 33), regardless of causes, during the month of December 2020.
*33 Society - (OPEN SOMETIMES)
*Dozo - In S-33 Compact Hotel.
*Tsubaki Expatriate Japanese Club 2 - In Subsoi 6.
*Tsubaki 33 - In Subsoi 6.
*Tokyo - Reopened in December, but reclosed.
*Daisy Dream Massage - In Subsoi 3.
*Survey Entertainment *Akane Fashion Massage *Tenderloins / Bistro 33 *7 Heaven - In Subsoi Pan Pan.
*Club Kitty - In Subsoi Pan Pan.
*RIP - In Subsoi Pan Pan.
An Archive photo of the Magic Table, one of the more popular bars on Soi Eden. This last month, Soi Eden's inventory changed neither up nor down (one of only 2 Expat Nitespot Areas that remained unchanged.)
* The Friendship Bar bar beer opened newly in the just-closed Cat Bar. It was located along the side fence.
*Lolitas (Yes, thatLolitas...) opened for the first time in Bangkok. They were located along the back wall, behind in the 'Annex'.
(Total Nitespots that month: 21 )
* On the ground level, Alibi, the 3rd bar beer to open in the 'parking lot' (or 'central courtyard') opened for the first time that month. (Adjacent to Obsession.) Today, the three bar beers that were located there are now the Nana Beer Garden.
(Total Nitespots that month: 41 )
Soi Katoey ( Silom Soi 4 )
*The 114 Club was renovating that month, preparing to take over from the Escapé (which had just closed).
*The Film opened newly. Today those premises are occupied by 4 Sport's.
*The The Underground Music Bar opened that month. That real estate is currently occupied by Bas Living Room.
(Total Nitespots that month: 16 )
Soi Dead Artists ( Sukhumvit Soi 33 )
* The Club Dali, the Richmond Club Lounge, and Bacchus opened newly in the 33 Complex, which itself just opened for business. Setsu Getsu (under construction) would soon open there also. That entire area has recently been leveled, and is now under redevelopment.
*The Blue Sky Club (Japanese) located on the 2nd level of Peep In Park (now S-33 Compact Hotel) closed its doors.
* The Lucky Luciano's, located at the front of Peep In Park was nearing completion of construction, and would soon open. No Nitespot currently occupies that unit.
* The Goya (yet another 'Dead Artists bar') opened newly in the just closed Martini Lounge digs. No Nitespot currently occupies those digs.
* The 33 Center (to include its massage parlor) closed down. Currently the Akane Fashion Massage occupies that frontage.
* The Fairy Club (Japanese Karaoke Club) closed. No Nitespot currently occupies that shophouse.
* The Sa Thai Massage took over the reins from the Po Thai Massage that month. The Po Thai Massage eventually returned, and is still there today.
* The Blue Marine Pub & Restaurant opened newly deep in Subsoi 5. It eventually transitioned to the Cafe Buongiorno Bar & Restaurant. Today those digs are home to Tenderloins / Bistro 33.
(Total Nitespots that month: 26 )
Buckskin Joe Village (~ December 1988 to 9 June 2006)
(Also called 'Tobacco Road', 'Soi Rot Fai', 'The Tracks', 'Soi Zero' & 'Machim' [Thai] )
* - No changes that month / year.
(Total Nitespots that month: 20 )
Washington Square (~ April 1999 to April 2014)
* - No changes that month / year.
(Total Nitespots that month: 17 )
(Originally ''Entertainment Plaza'')
[ ~February 1999to June 2003 ]
*Tivoli Terrace (run by SuperStar Frank) opened newly in the main building.
*Wind Mill (Kangaroo) closed shop. They were located outside, against the rear of the main building.
*Rock Hard opened newly, located outside against outer wall.
*Hollywood East became Hollywood A Go Go East. Also located outside against outer wall.
(Total Nitespots that month: 21 )
''13 Night Market'' Entertainment Area
(Originally 'Old Thermae Compound')
[ April 2000 - March 2005 ]
The District of Shoreditch (East End London) has been an 'entertainment center' since Elizabethan times (16th Century), when it hosted Shakespearean theater. (What? You mean you haven't heard of it?)
In more recent years, in addition to the plethora of bars and pubs, it has also become a center for 'graffiti art' and 'artists'. (What? You mean you haven't heard of this either?)
Money, being 'Lord of All 'Progress'', the real estate developers Galliard secured a plot of land right downtown in the middle of Shoreditch - upon which they put up a £750 million 'luxury complex', which inlcudes 37 storeys of apartments, retail and office space. The land it sits on also happens to include the discovered remains of Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre (yes, the original historic theater). It also happens to be the site of Shoreditch's famous 'graffiti wall' (appearing in local guide books, etc.).
In an effort to appease the natives (and the Historical Society), Galliard has incorporated Shakespeare's Curtain Theater into the highrise development as an 'historical attraction', and by way of further recognition, has renamed the entire development "The Stage".
However, Galliard's gesture to the historical significance of Shakespeare's theater didn't pacify England's myriad graffiti artists in the least. On hearing of the new development, the hue and cry went up in defense of the graffiti wall - how it was an important part of the local culture; how it was 'iconic', ...you get the picture. Galliard, hearing the cries, decided it would also keep the graffiti wall as part of the development. How 'inclusive'...! We can further report that all is well with both Shakespeare's theater, and the graffiti wall - at least, for now...
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....