At the beginning of January, as the can be seen from the graph below, the Omicron strain of the Coronavirus began to make itself felt in Thailand. The authorities anticipated there would be another large "wave" of outbreaks. But in spite of an initial steep increase in cases, the number of new cases started to plateau after the first week. As per global findings, these local Omicron cases were virtually all mild, almost always requiring only "home isolation" or "Hospi-Tel isolation" (Government-converted hotels). (...cont'd below)
Soi Cowboy, one of Bangkok's three main Night Entertainment Areas, is slowly getting back on it's feet, as Thailand cautiously rolls back the travel and lockdown provisions. Re-openings are slow, usually only serving in the outside verandah areas.
Simultaneously, the Government decided to continue with their 20 January plan to re-implement the "Day Pass" Test & Go scheme for arriving tourists and residents. Although Thailand's tourism arrivals for February were down from a year ago, the newly re-implemented Test & Go pass has already seen a surge in bookings (and re-bookings). In addition, the Government has included additional areas in the "Sandbox" scheme. For those planning to travel to Thailand, a summary of current Government guidelines is found in the box immediately below. As the Government can frequently revise requirements (without notice), it is advised that prospective travelers update frequently at the
Tourism Authority of Thailand <link>. It goes without saying that prospective travellers to Thailand also will need to check on restrictions, requirements and rulings for their country of origin and any other country on their itinerary.
A Summary of Current Government Guidelines on Covid-19
Bangkok, 20 January, 2022
ThailandísCentre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today approved the resumption of the Exemption from Quarantine (TEST & GO) entry scheme, the reopening of Pattaya and Ko Chang Sandbox destinations, and the reintroduction of the Sandbox Extension programme effective from 1 February, 2022, from 09.00 Hrs, Thailand time.
The Thailand Pass system reopens for new TEST & GO applications from 1 February, 2022, 09.00 Hrs. Thailand time, fully vaccinated travellers from any country around the world can apply for a TEST & GO Thailand Pass up to 60 days in advance. While other previous rules under the scheme remain unchanged, the CCSA approved additional requirements to ensure stringent COVID-19 precautions:
All new TEST & GO applications must submit a proof of prepayment for 2 separate nights of accommodation at government-approved hotel/s, such as, SHA Extra Plus (SHA++), AQ, OQ, or AHQ on Day 1 and Day 5, and the expenses for 2 RT-PCR tests on Day 1 and Day 5. The prepayment for Day 1 must include an accommodation, a test and a prearranged transfer from the airport to the hotel.
Travellers can book 2 different hotels for the accommodation on Day 1 and Day 5. However, on both Day 1 and Day 5, they must stay within the room for the RT-PCR test result.
The second RT-PCR test will not be required if the travellerís length of stay is less than 5 nights, or his/ her scheduled international departure date out of Thailand is on Day 5 or before. For example if the traveller plans to stay in Thailand for 3 days, then he/she does not have to undergo the second RT-PCR test, but he/she must leave for another country immediately. However, whether the traveller will be required to take another RT-PCR test depends on the airline and the final international destination.
Meanwhile, travellers who have applied/ obtained their Thailand Pass QR code before 22 December, 2021, with scheduled arrival dates in Thailand from 24 December, 2021, onwards, are still required to undergo their second COVID-19 test using the RT-PCR technique at government-designated facilities on Day 5-6 of their stay in Thailand, or when they experience respiratory symptoms (no additional cost).
The Covid-19 Certificate of Vaccination for International Travel
For Thais and foreigners living in, or otherwise vaccinated against Covid-19 in Thailand, your records have automatically been maintained at the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health. Your records can be accessed by you at any time by downloading the Moh Phrom app on your smart phone, and filling in the data - exactly as recorded on your hard copy vaccination certificate given to you at the time of vaccination.
Should you be planning to obtain your "International Certificate" (yellow booklet below) to travel outside of Thailand, open your Moh Prom app and scroll down to the International Certificate box - and click-and-apply. Note: foreigners are given a 13 digit ID number in lieu of the Thai National ID number, which you will find on your hard-copy certificate, and you will be required to use it when applying. You will be able to book an online appointment to obtain your Covid-19 Certification of Vaccination on the app - which, when completed, will usually involve a wait of approximately one week to ten days. When you go to pick up your certificate, bring your passport and hard copy vaccination certificate(s) for verification purposes. The pick up point is at the Bang Rak Hospital Building next to the new Saint Louis BTS station on Sathorn Road. The fee is fifty (50) Baht.. The earlier requirement to present your onward travel documents / airline tickets is no longer in effect, all are welcome to process for the new yellow booklet. We recommend all expats process for this certificate, as the rules and regulations on the international scene are in flux, and you may be required to show the certificate at many and various points of entry, etc, to include getting back into Thailand.
In summation : Bangkok Eyes will continue our efforts to encourage tourism by providing updated information on travel and entertainment which could be useful to those wishing to visit Thailand. Travellers to the Kingdom, once through the entry drill for testing, etc, currently have a great amount of leeway in travelling in-country, and visiting Night Entertainment Venues. However there are current regulations for wearing masks in most circumstances - public transportation, public and commercial buildings and other locations accessible to the public. However when in restaurants and pubs, bars, etc, there is no requirement to keep masks in place once seated. Social Distancing is technically still 'on the books' but virtually entirely ignored. Foreigners in Thailand must keep their vaccinations up to date, and should keep proof of vaccination with them when out and about. It appears that global attitudes are following England's example - they are treating the Coronavirus as an infection similar to the annual influenza flare-ups, and generally getting on with their (individual) lives. The fear of the virus, the 'Coronaphobia' of which we have often written, is rightly rapidly disappearing, and Planet Earth is tacitly admitting, inch-by-inch that which we have been saying for the duration : "Lock-downs Don't Work".
READER : Sirs,
Your soulmate Stickman will be writing again when more Bars are back in business. I (would have) never come to Bangkok if I never read his columns and seen his photos. And he introduced me to your site. Good news indeed.
Yes, the word is out that Stickman will return. We are in favor of more, not less, Bangkok Night Entertainment sites on the Internet. We are looking forward to Stickman once again providing us regular updates to his Stickman's guide to Bangkok<link>. At the same time, we hasten to warn against cheap imitations attempting to capitalize on the 'Stickman' name - Caveat Emptor....
Congrats on your upcoming 20th Anniversary. It will be this February, right? You stuck with it and you made it work, where everyone else has stumbled and fallen along the way. Bangkok's nighttime activities, at least some of them, will hopefully be preserved in the historical record, whatever that might end up being..
We are surprised at the number of readers who actually remember our earlier issues<link> from 1992. What started out to be an offline home-study exercise in "How to make a website" has grown and changed and grown again. The Bangkok Eyes team stands strong, and we are aiming at the next 20-year landmark....
Sure do appreciate your comprehensive, and I must say, unique coverage of the Night Time activities in Bangkok during these pestilent times, it seems no one else is giving it a thorough look-at. But kindly suggest that you please refrain from recommending treatments for Covid-19. This is something that should be left to the WHO and the CDC in the US. Other than that, keep up the good works.
We do appreciate the compliments, however it will be necessary to correct you on a couple of points. Bangkok Eyes does not recommend Covid-19 treatments. We have, however, reprinted the following for management of Covid : Mask-up, get vaccinated, practice social distancing (when possible), and personal & area hygiene. We have reprinted only that which the authorities have been recommending for the last 2 years, to include WHO. We do so, as our readers, those planning to travel to Thailand, will need to know what will be expected of them when they arrive in the Kingdom.
Additionally, we have gone to considerable effort to 'de-politicize' the Pandemic when writing about it on our site - we have separated the reality of the Coronavirus from the 'Coronaphobia' (the unsupported, unreasoning fear of the Virus exhibited by many nations - as exemplified by unnecessary, Draconian lock-downs, etc). An example of our depoliticization - last April (10 months ago) we made the Three-Year "Virtually All" Projection.
1 In Three years, virtually all populations will have been vaccinated.
2. In Three years, virtually all populations will have had the Coronavirus, (to include many asymptomatically.)
3. In Three years, virtually all populations will be getting annual booster shots.
When we made this projection, no one was even talking about booster shots. Our Three-Year "Virtually All" projection was ignored as ridiculous. Fast-forward to the present - recent news reports tell us on a daily basis how those who have already been vaccinated, to include triple-vaccinated, are still catching Covid - albeit mildly - (for example, virtually all of Israel, university campuses, aboard ships, etc.) Every day that goes by, our previously 'radical' Three-Year "Virtually All" projection becomes closer to reality. --As an aside, as of December, our staff are quad-jabbed - (2 + 2 boosters).
Two months ago, in early December, we analyzed what the scientists then knew about (not speculated about) the Omicron Strain. We stated that what was needed was to view it from a brand-new 'frame of reference'. To the dismay of friend and foe, we stated :
The Omicron strain of the Coronavirus is in fact the best vaccine.
It has, virtually across the board, mild side effects, similar to the common cold.
It kills percentage-wise less people than do the reactions to the current vaccines.
It propagates faster than the vaccines can be disseminated.
The acquired immunity from Omicron is better than from vaccines.
It hastens global herd-immunity.
Our assessment, 2 months ago, was likewise seen as nonsensical. However today, without coming out and saying Omicron is the better vaccine, scientists and politicians alike are coming around to telling us that soon the Coronavirus will be no more disruptive than the annual winter influenza. (Have a look at last week's UK reopening, for example.). So if we are wrong, show us the evidence. (However, time is on our side...)
Patpong 1 Road remains a dark and drear shadow of its former glory days - as other Night Entertainment Areas areas are rushing to reopen, only two of it's Venues, both from the pre-Covid days, have reopened.
The King's Castle 1 is the second Nitespot to reopen on Patpong 1. Welcome back to the machine. It's sister bar, the King's Castle reopened a month earlier. The window of opportunity to revitalize this once-vibrant Night Entertainment Area is closing quickly - if action isn't taken to reopen / open new establishments is not taken soon, Patpong 1 will be relegated to the history books.
Venues open December 2021 through 1 February 2022 :
*King's Castle - REMAINS OPEN
*King's Castle I - NEWLY OPEN
*Tip Top - REMAINS OPEN - As outside bar beer.
*Shenanigans - REMAINS OPEN - (On Suriwong Road)
*Unnamed massage parlor - (Last known name: "Thai Lady".) - REMAINS OPEN - Upstairs above Thigh Bar
The Pink - the bar beer adjacent to the Pink Panther has been open since January, however, this month they have added a 'giant-screen' - giving passers-by a glimpse of what is happening inside the Pink Panther. May they keep on keeping on...
Up on The Ramp, the Three Ladys Cocktail Lounge (also open since January) has put out some new signage - this time around, emphasizing 'karaoke'.
Venues in transition January through 1 February 2022 : We note a large number of Night Entertainment Venues have reopened, many (such as A Go-Go bars) only partially so, awaiting further Governmental approval to fully open.
*The Strip Bangkok - REOPEN
*Paddy Fields - REOPEN
*Spanky's Bar Beer - REOPEN
*Tavern Three Saloon - RECLOSED
*Chicken Divine Bar Beer - RECLOSED
*The World (Linda's Place) - RECLOSED - Up on The Ramp.
As government restrictions continue to ease, Nana PlazaNight Entertainment Area continues to reopen Venues, to include some 2nd and 3rd level Venues. The full listing of reopened Nitespots is immediately below.
By the time you read this, it is likely The Jungle officially will have become Nana Plaza's newest bar. It is located in what was once the Hillary 4. We'll keep an ear to the ground, and get back atcha once they are up-and-running...
Venues in Nana Plaza that have reopened in January 2022 through 1 February 2022:
The Swan Club has opened newly in the Koboot Noodles digs. The properties at the Soi' 4 - Soi 6 junction have long belonged to the Swan Group' - and they are now in the process of reinventing themselves once again. This includes a separate "Swan Bar Restaurant" immediately adjacent (see photo). May they prosper - where many such previous iterations have not...
SOI NANA - (SOI 4 SUKHUMVIT)
The three "Soi 6 bars", Bangcockney, the Hang Out Pub, and "An unnamed Venue" have been Covid-closed for months, but now are permanently closed. That real estate is being reconfigured into two new Nitespots. It may be April before they open - nevertheless, we will keep our eyeballs peeled, and keep you informed of any news...
SOI NANA - (SOI 4 SUKHUMVIT)
Venues that transitioned January through 1 February 2022. The several Nitespots - reported OPEN last month - remain open this month.
The Flavour 22 Bar Restaurant has opened in Sub-Soi Hana, just past the Marriott. They are named 'Bar Restaurant' but are currently functioning as a bar. Welcome them to the Big Uneasy.
The Narnia Bar, closed last month, has reopened. They are sporting some new signage. (Two months ago - when they first opened - we mistakenly had them down as 'Nadia Bar' - one more for our "We Don't Make Mistrakes Department".... Welcome them back to the neon jungle...
Yet another for the We Don't Make Mistrakes Department - last month we noted that the Hip Massage had closed for good. In fact, they did not - they moved upstairs, and the downstairs became the Pak Wan (which last month was a restaurant, but this month is a bar). Hmm... we'll endeavor to get a photo of the Pak Wan next time 'round...
Venues in transition January through 1 February 2022. Nitespots reported OPEN last month remain open.
*59 Bar - REOPEN
*Happy Bar - REOPEN -Soi Starlight -
*Keep In Touch - REOPEN -Soi Starlight -
*Love Me Bar & Massage - REOPEN - Soi Starlight -
*Ampa - REOPEN - Soi Starlight -
*Flower - REOPEN - Soi Starlight - (Now a pool bar.)
*BKK 48 Massage - REOPEN - Soi Starlight -
*Hangover - RECLOSED -
*J Star - REOPEN
*(A new bar with no name) - Ex: Lily Relax Massage NEW
*Singh Bar - RECLOSED
*Pak Wan NEW - Hip Bangkok Massage REOPEN upstairs.
The big news on the Soi is the brand-new Juicy has moved in lock, stock and barrel to the previous The Australian and the Bafros digs. The larger Venue is already doing a good business - and will be competition to the Oskar and Hillary 11 for the clubber set.
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Tony's has been around for a few months as just a restaurant, closed in the late evenings. But that was then, this is now.... they are now open evenings for inside and outside partying. Note their late-nite Happy Hour... Bright lights, big city...
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
The Oskar, one of our city's Instagram Girl magnets, has reopened after an earlier reported Covid scare. Welcome them back to the fold...
(Sukhumvit Soi 11)
Venues that transitioned from January through 1 February 2022. Other venues previously reported as OPEN remain open.
*Jewelry Bar - NEWLY NAMED - (Tewly Cocktail Group)
*PDT Bar (Please Don't Tell) - NEWLY NAMED - (Tewly Cocktail Group)
The Soi 7 Plaza continues on a roll - new bars keep opening (although now there are very few vacancies). It is undeniable that the Soi 7 Plaza bars' overwhelming popularity has been due to the fact that they have been virtually "the only place in town" that was wide open during the lockdown. However, now that Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza are slowly reopening, it can be anticipated that much of the custom will be trickling back to their old haunts. This will also apply to the Soi 7 girls, who for the most part, are working freelance, or semi-freelance at Soi 7 Plaza. Nevertheless, we can anticipate that the Plaza will continue to be a popular after-hours meeting place, as the bars within have made a lot of friends of late, and many new 'regulars' of their own. Let the good times roll...
The Bitch, under renovation last month, has opened, occupying one of the last available spaces in the current Soi 7 Plaza plot plan (see map below). We're not sure how they will fare with their 'edgy' name, but welcome them as they give a roll to the dice... It looks to us like the next door Boss has the right idea on attracting custom...
SOI 7 PLAZA
A photo (for the Archives) of the 789 Bar neon. We noted last month that they had moved into their new, expanded digs within the Plaza - (and shortened their name from Ida 789 in the process)..
The B R Bar, originally along the north wall, has expanded into the recently departed Phoenix 2021. -May the Phoenix find greener pastures... Currently occupying both areas, the B R Bar is now one of the larger bars within the Plaza - shake it, don't break it, ladies....
The Lips, last month opened softly without a single piece of signage having been nailed up. But it looks as though they are fully open now and have put up some neon in full view of the whole world. Get down tonight...
Last month's Nitespot updates are included on the map below. As the Soi 7 Plaza has it's full compliment of old and new bars in it's new configuration, we will not be publishing monthly map updates. The below map survey was on 01 February 2022. We also include the summary description of changes below.
SOI 7 PLAZA
Soi 7 Plaza Venues that transitioned in January 2022 through 1 February 2022
GONE SINCE JANUARY REPORT *Steel & Ink
*Big B's Bar & Karaoke - (Was open only 1 month - a Wait & See item.)
*Private - (Yes, that's the name of the bar) - (Temporary closure? - a Wait & See item.)
*Phoenix 2021 - (Taken over by B.R. Bar)
NEW / REOPENED THIS MONTH *Bitch - Was part of Together. - NEW
*The Lips - Was part of original Day & Nice. - NEWLY NAMED
In our January issue we noted the impending opening of another new bar, the Paco 19 Club, on Soi 33. This month we can confirm that it has opened. It took over the reins from the Fortune 17 Karaoke after a lengthy renovation. Paco 19, like the Fortune 17 before it, is aimed at Japanese clientele. Welcome them as they step into the firing line...
SOI DEAD ARTIST
(Sukhumvit Soi 33)
Deep into the Soi on Sub-Soi 6 (next to the two Tsubaki bars) the Izakaya Sazanka has opened its doors. Welcome them to the nightgames.
SOI DEAD ARTIST
(Sukhumvit Soi 33)
Opening new in the old Love Teen specialty massage is the Belle massage. We can assume from the 24 hour call out service info that it is also a specialty massage parlor.
SOI DEAD ARTIST
(Sukhumvit Soi 33)
Venues transitioning January through 1 February 2022 :
The three shop-fronts we noted last month (the former Good Time Massage, the former Kawinya Massage and one unnamed shop) have been combined to make two unnamed bar beers. Should they get names at some future time, we shall so advise. Let the nightgames begin...
This month we took a closer look at foreign entertainers performing in Bangkok's bigger Nightclubs - and were surprised to find, among the long list of those we had never heard of, a number of internationally recognized artists. We also found a few unusual clippings of BangkokVenues that deservedly became a 'part of the fabric' of that era.
Real Talent amongst the 'forgettables'...
March 1965 saw two renown celebrities entertain at the Sani Chateau. American born Ziena Amara, real name Gail Howard, spent her 20's and early 30's out-and-about on her own, traveling, living, and entertaining in over 100 countries from 1957 to 1968 - to include 'combat tours' in Viet Nam in the '60's. After her traveling days came to an end, she worked as a stock broker and in commodity futures. In 1982 she used her Wall Street skills to create Smart Luck lottery systems and strategies which have brought in a whopping $101,832,154 to herself and others. Her book, 'Born for Adventure: The World of the Sixties was My Stage' is available on Amazon. Tony Scott, as jazz aficionados will remember, played with the greats - some of whom were Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. He was voted 'World's Foremost Jazz Clarinetist'. Later, in the '60's he would tour the Asian Entertainment circuit, and was immersed in Asian cultures and meditation. He is remembered in jazz circles as a pioneer in 'New Age', 'bebop' and 'post-bop'.
Gaysorn Night Entertainment Area'sDomino was known as a 'specialty' restaurant, but occasionally threw its hat into the 'Live Entertainment' ring. In March 1965 they featured Miss Nina Medina.
Nancy was another 'barber-massage combo', a forerunner of today's single-shophouse Foot-Thai-Oil massage parlors.
Maurice at the 'Bamboo'
Maurice Rocco, renown jazz and vocals artist, would play at more than one Nitespot in Bangkok in the '60's and '70's, but the Bamboo Bar was his 'home'. His tragic death is covered elsewhere in our issues..
At first glance, we thought this advert was competiiton to Jim Thompson'ssilk empire. On further reading, it was in fact 'James H.W. Thompson' in his earlier years, heading up his Thai Silk Co., Ltd..
We mention the S & C Super Market (Gaysorn Night Entertainment Area), only because it was one of Bangkok's first such so-called 'supermarkets'. It should be remembered that supermarkets in the '60's in Bangkok were smaller than many of today's 7-Eleven's, and rarely had any 'imported foods' other than canned goods.
Who says Sukhumvit Road'sSoi Nana (Soi 4) was not 'a player' in the '60's? The Savoy RoomNightclub was a popular Nitespotmid-Sixties.
Temper, real name Arron Bird, first put hand to spraycan when he was 11. He was immediately hooked. As soon as he became old enough, and had enough money to buy his own spraycans, he graduated to graffiti on Wolverhampton's city streets. But for him, it wasn't the usual tags and rebellious protestations. Quite the opposite - he would quietly spray over vulgar or fascist type tags - usually with something of his own.
But he wasn't only dedicated, he was talented - as can be seen by his works - he has real artistic ability.
His first commercial break, in 2001, came when he was commissioned by Coca-Cola to design a one-off soft-drink can. After that, the commissioned work kept on coming. Shortly afterward (also in 2001), he did a 'solo' exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. From there, there was no looking back - he had stepped irreversibly through the looking glass - from 'graffiti' to 'commercial art'.
His most prominent, and most profitable collection (in 2008) was his ĎPost Graphaeliteí exhibition, which sold out for a cool £1.4 million, a record for graffiti art in the UK at the time. This collection was shown at the Royal Whitehall Palace, a '1st' for a graffiti artist (or should we say - more accurately, a former graffiti artist?).
Temper has exhibited a number of collections, so far, 28, all of which have sold out. He is planning another 54 or so before he hangs it up...
Our source for background material was Euro News<link> - an excellent source of broad-spectrum entertainment.
The photos below are outtakes from Temper'sYouTube video. For those interested in seeing the entire video on Temper and his artistic lifestyle - link to : https://youtu.be/3dgHJWdyGK0.
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....