Thailand Nightlife Roundup
Wow, the second half of February and I forgot to send roses on Valentine's Day. (sigh.) Actually, just between us and the tape recorder, I didn't really forget. The folks selling roses wanted 800 and even 900 baht for ten roses. I told them what they could do with their roses. Anyway, as I have said, the purpose of this site is to offer rants, tirades, opinions and discussion about books on Thailand, give an overview of nightlife in Thailand and, yes, to provide a few news items which might not appear elsewhere. And to have some fun.
Bar, club and restaurant owners who would like to send material on their special events, birthday bashes, anniversary parties, etc., are welcome to do so but please remember men in Thailand are a bit jaded so if you’re just going to offer the usual free gourmet food and free full band entertainment and free beautiful and eager-to-please women, well, the lads have been there, done that. So do try to offer potential patrons something special. ;-)
There will be a contest every two weeks when this column appears and the first to answer the question correctly or identify a photograph correctly will receive a free book written by myself and other prizes. The prizes will build up in case anyone doesn't win it immediately so the bonanza for the eventual winner could get quite interesting.
Quick! What’s the biggest news you heard recently? Prince Charles is going to marry his main squeeze? North Korea is pulling out the going-nowhere regional talks? Not for folks who frequent Nana Plaza. The big news there is that the restaurant Woodstock has been sold. The sale is definite but I hear rumors that it was sold to the Crown group and other rumors that it was sold to the Rainbow Group or else the Tooth Fairy Anonymous Group. Whatever, the venerable restaurant may become yet another go go bar such as Rainbow 4. Needless to say, those working there are none too pleased by the turn of events. Peter, the owner, says the deal with the Rainbow Group should be completed in March and he will eventually reopen Woodstock in a Sukhumvit location if possible. Not to worry, whatever happens, there are other go go bars and still more restaurants in the area. Punters will, I am sure, manage to muddle through this alarming turn of events.
Speaking of alarming turn of events, if you walk along soi 23 near Sukhumvit, you will see that where some of the Asoke bars had moved to is now complete rubble. A very sad sight: piles of debris, concrete all chopped up, wooden structures destroyed, spirit houses shunted aside. On the fence outside is a No Trespassing sign informing one and all that this area is owned by J&P Mansion Co., Ltd., whoever they might be. Their sign: “Tresspassers (sic) will be Proscuted (sic)” needs a little work.
And now that Purachai has left us for New Zealand, things seem to be lightening up a bit at Nana. Bars sometimes close 15 minutes after 1 in the morning and sometimes a whole half hour after. Not much to grasp but still there is hope that the Thai authorities may relax their grip a bit.
Click on the picture at right and you'll see one of the reasons I love Nana's Hollywood Strip. She's 21, that is, pretty much in my age bracket, I mean more or less, give or take. Not that I stay in Thailand to dally with beautiful, succulent, curvaceous, lovely young women, understand. Thanks, Dave!
The former brother-in-law of Bob Everett, (Bob runs The Office Bar & Grill), was running Madame Claude’s at the end of the small sub soi near Dali Bar on Sukhumvit soi 33. Madame Claude has gone the way of all flesh, not to mention some bars, and it has been replaced and very nicely remodeled by Filip Van de Walle who has renamed it the Blue Heaven Lounge & Sports Bar. It has a pool table, football table, darts, computer games, and more but Filip is very much into promotion and will have various events, happy hours, etc. He will also have blueheavenbkk.com website with special offers available only to those who go to the website. I don’t know how many punters that will draw to the website, probably depends on what’s offered, but it’s a neat idea. And I don’t know if his bar’s big screen TV is LCD or plasma but, man, is it ever BIG.
The Thai election is over. And I thought I was all set for a great time while it was on. A lovely lady suggested that as she had two days off during elections why not spend a night in Pattaya. Righto! Why not? So I booked a hotel in Pattaya but, alas, two days before the election she informed me her mother insisted she go back upcountry to vote because if she doesn’t vote she can’t use the 30-baht hospital scheme or ever work for the government or several other benefits.
A farang friend said lots of Thais believed this but he wasn’t sure it was true. He had his doubts. He said at most they would only lose their right to run for election until they did vote. Anyway, I called the hotel to cancel and of course they said they didn’t have a reservation for me, anyway. So, the election giveth and the election taketh away. Hmmm, sounds familiar. There must be a moral there somewhere.
Readers with long and drug-free memories (if such exist)may recall that in my last nightlife roundup I said the Robin Hood Pub on the corner of Sukhumvit and soi 33/1 has very good food. Their chicken, sweet corn and fettuccini salad is delicious. You remember my saying that, right? Well, guess what? On or about the 4th of February the pub changed its menu and none of their delicious salads is on the new menu. Gone. Kaput. And the bartenders are still all men. Still, the Tiger Beer girl in her body hugging tiger dress – she lookin’ fine! Meow!
Bourbon Street Cafe's new cookbook is out: It's titled:IT'S HOT! Cajun and Thai - the sledgehammer cuisines. Herbs, spices, sauces, recipes, histories of spices and the like. Doug Harrison and Lowell Barton can be proud of a job long in the making. Click on the cover to get a better look. The book correctly makes the point that food is at the center of both Thai and Cajun/Creole cultures. So if you're into bow tie pasta with crawfish cream sauce, pick up a copy at the bookstores or at Bourbon Street Cafe.
You thought Thai bargirls could be vindictive? In China an 80-year-old man is asking officials for a restraining order against a 70-year-old neighbor whom he turned down five years before. This chick didn’t like taking no for an answer and so she “has terrorized him by spitting at his windows, dumping rubbish outside his door and making noises late at night.” As Freud might have said, her actions are obviously a case of sexual sublimation.
If I were the owner of a Soi Zero bar I don’t believe I would be too happy about the new bars that have gone up across Sukhumvit called Sukhumvit Plaza. The sign outside the three-story building says something like Morning & Night II and is owned by the folks who own the popular Morning & Night beer bar on soi 4 near Nana as well as the soi 4 Hillary Bar. Inside this building are six or seven bars on the ground floor and plans to put in Karaoke, etc., upstairs. The bars are quite pleasant, some enclosed in air-conditioning and quite spacious. With names like Oasis, Beaver’s, GoDiva and 02Chemo. Why “chemo”? Who knows. But Bumrungrad Hospital is just down the street between sois 1 and 3, so maybe those who named the bar thought people having chemotherapy would cotton to the name.
“God did punish him and deliver him into a woman’s hands.” – Judith 16:7
This below from our man in Pattaya known in some quarters as Sensual Sam:
I can die now. I have experienced heaven. It was at the 'Top 10' beer bar in Pattaya on Walking Street all this time just waiting for me to show up. After a couple hours at the 'Top 10' beer bar everyday living is just existence.
The endorphin effect is enormous at the 'Top 10' beer bar. It's a combination of loud sounds from the 60s and 70s music at fast beat with a few slow sounds thrown in to give you a chance to appreciate the up beat of the rock and rollin’ and the movin’ and grovin’ and the ramblin’ to the beat. It makes me want to dance and better yet it makes the girls I'm with want to dance . . . both vertically and horizontally . . . later.
The 'Top 10' is an open-air beer bar next to the Muey Thai arena, which is below the 'Marine Disco,' which is next to the 'Peppermint A Go Go.' The view from the 'Top 10' beer bar is of Walking Street with a parade of elephants, snake shows and monkeys and iguanas and a few zillion tourists from all parts of the world which include Europe, China and the Middle East, etc., etc., etc. They are all guarded by the US Marines shore patrol, Thai Police, the Tourist Police, undercover cops, Muey Thai boxers and the most dangerous of them all . . . Thai girls, which is better pronounced as 'tiger.' Cross one of them or make them mad and they will rip you to shreds with their long claws and bite you with there sharp teeth. Don't do it.
A few hours of feeling extremely good at the 'top 10' is an adrenalin rush brought on by the view, the pulsating music, the smells of perfume and the taste of a cold drink under the giant fans that cool everybody down. It's the best. The drums and guitars will make you feel that you are standing at heavens door.
If you want, they have a couple of pool tables. They open at dark and the place really gets busy the closer to midnite and after. After midnight until 4 a.m. or later is the time to be there because the disco clubs start to close and all of a sudden there are about 20,000 girls on walking street and they are all heading out to eat before they go back to their rooms. It's the last chance to dance. Ain't life grand?
A friend came to town and wanted a massage and so off we went looking for one. As we were in the Nana Plaza area in the early evening, I took him to Annie’s Massage but they had fewer than 20 girls there at the time and no stunners whatever. So off we went to the Chao Phraya II on Sri Ayudhya Road. Wow! Amazing. I had forgotten how good that place is. The glass is of course not one way and while we stood looking at the ladies sitting very close to us, the papa-san (he with the scraggly Ho Chi-minh goatee and the appearance of an aging revolutionary on downers) handed me a pair of – wait for it – binoculars! First time in how many decades in Thailand that happened. I wonder if he thinks some of us older gentlemen need help in seeing the ladies.
This same friend from out of town could not believe how beautiful the women were in the art bars I took him to on Sukhumvit soi 33. I think if he hadn’t been married he would have gone nuts. What can I say? Ain’t they perty?
The friend has been to Bangkok years ago and I hadn’t realized he had never been on a motorcycle taxi before. So I got two, one for him and one for me, just to go a few blocks up Sukhumvit during the daytime. When he finally showed up he was holding on to his driver for dear life, arms wrapped around the guy. He said he had never been so scared in his life. I guess we tend to forget that riding these things takes some getting used to. The next day I noticed a young Thai woman riding sidesaddle as they do, holding her cell phone to her ear with one hand and rummaging through her purse with the other, as if she were sitting in a chair at home. Yep, takes getting used to.
I first went to Hong Kong many years ago to work on Orientations magazine editorial staff. One of our valued contributors was Walter Vella, a professor at the University of Hawaii. He wrote a book on Rama VII, I believe it was, and he was invited to Thailand to receive an Order of the White Elephant. He was killed in Bangkok while crossing the street, hit by a bus or truck. A traffic expert from Korea who arrived in Bangkok was killed that way also.
Why am I telling you this? Because people who come from Western lands tend to think cars will slow down for pedestrians and pedestrians have the right of way, especially at crosswalks, as in their own country. As we all know, that is not the way it is in Thailand. So, please, make sure you inform your friends or family before they get here about how dangerous crossing major streets is in this town.
OK, so all the drivers of motorcycle taxis now wear orange vests or jackets; unlike in the past when we could tell what area they were stationed in from the different colors of the vests. So the downside is unless we read Thai we cannot tell what area they are from; the upside is this change may have ended the corruption that was squeezing these guys. Well, regarding the vests or jackets, it’s like this: the top line of Thai on the back tells what ampur or district of Bangkok they are in; the second line is their individual number; and the third line is the street or soi they await customers at. Also, in Thai, their name is on the front as is the government department responsible for them. Now you know. Or at least you know what I understood in a Thai conversation with these guys. Should be about 90 per cent accurate, although I suspect one of the lines on the front gives the names of their mia nois. So, anyway, if you run into any problems with one of these guys, just get out your dictionary, notebook and pen and copy it all down. Yeah.
The times are unpredictable as is the Thai government but that doesn't stop people from paying lots and lots of money to own a bar, go go or beer bar. Woodstock is an example and so are the beer bars in Pattaya where guys hunger to own one and renovate and change the girls and then finally come to the realization that just maybe nearly a thousand beer bars in a beach town is enough and in fact more than the trade can beer, sorry, I mean bear. Sunbelt Asia says the past year has set a record for the number of bars up for sale. God knows I do my best to support them all, but one man can only do so much, no matter how debauched.
Dollhouse on Patpong the other night had only about 12 or 15 guys in there but five of the guys were Asian and they must have bought up all the ping pong balls in Bangkok because they unleashed volley after volley at the dancers and waitresses and needless to say the girls loved it. Maybe they were rich. Or drunk. Or both.
The only Russian woman in the Pattaya Las Vegas show who turns me on. She's cute and petite. Almost like a Thai but with blonde hair. Of course, like you, I prefer Asian women, but my grandpa taught me never to kick any woman out of bed. So, if you know her, send her my best, would you?
A recent issue of BK magazine, published in Bangkok, talks about what is happening in fashion and says there will be “less ass and more class.” It says women should “lose the just-above mid-thigh minis and wheel out those just-below knee-length skirts.” Are they nuts? Then for men the magazine says we are returning to the 80’s: “casual and preppy. That means shirt collars poking out of sweaters…”
“Sweaters?” The last time I wore a sweater was when I visited New York. Maybe the writer lives in Manhattan. Or maybe the writer lives in northern Thailand during the cold season after the sun goes down. It concludes with the statement that “guys always need that perfect balance between dressing up and dressing down.” Well, actually, the perfect statement for the places I frequent here in Bangkok is to squeeze a bit of glue onto my forehead and paste a thousand-baht bill on it and then enter. That to me is the “perfect balance between dressing up and dressing down.”
“‘Women! Women! Women!’ Ma snarled, pounding on the desk. ‘Always the same: Barker, Karpis, Dillinger – they all went the same way – because of women!’”No Orchids for Miss Blandish, James Hadley Chase
Did you catch the story of the young Thai actor who was arrested because he was taking photos under the skirts of women on an escalator with his mobile phone? I love his response: “He conceded that his digital camera did contain up-skirt photos of women’s panties, but claimed that he had no idea how it had turned itself on.” Brilliant defense except that it seems the camera was also programmed to point in just the right direction, as well. Good luck with that one, son. The Mark Twain Award for best tall tale goes to you, fo shore.
It looks like those who have for centuries been joking about the small size of Michelangelo’s David’s willy may find the joke is on them. Experts have found that the sculptor’s intention was to depict David as he confronted Goliath, hence, the “contraction of the reproductive organs.” Apparently, the experts are amazed at how accurate Michelangelo’s work was. Next time I’m in bed and my Johnny-among-the-maids isn’t doing so well I’ll just tell the maiden that I’m afraid of her, hence the contraction of my reproductive organs.
Here’s the opening of the erotica-readers newsletter written by a woman:
“Dear Valentine's Voluptuaries,
Did you know that the familiar rosy Valentine's heart motif derived originally from the shape of a woman's buttocks? Seriously, I have this on good authority, from someone who has often spanked mine to a seasonally appropriate scarlet!
Let's be honest. Valentine's Day is not really about roses and chocolates, cherubs practicing archery and flowery sentiments. Fundamentally, Valentine's Day is about getting laid.”
Sound interesting? Into erotica? Check out their website and get their newsletter every month.http://www.erotica-readers.com
Sorry, I couldn't resist including this below in case you missed it:
Warning to older men: Beware of this scam! This scam is being pulled mainly on older men. What happens is that when you stop for a red light, a young, nude, woman comes up to your car and pretends to be washing the windshield. While she is doing this, another woman opens your back door and steals anything in your car. They are very good at this. They got me 7 times on Thursday and 5 times on Friday. I wasn't able to find them on Saturday.
I really have more than enough material on Thailand to talk about each roundup but I admit I sometimes see articles in the paper so amazing I do have to at least mention them. Like the woman in Sweden who found a penis in her bottle of ketchup. It is possible some woman somewhere did her man wrong; or it just might be that a ketchup company decided to follow the lead of the Mexicans who traditionally bottle a worm in the base of each bottle of Mezcal, made from an agave-heart wine called pulque. So they decided to place a penis in every bottle of ketchup. A nice advertising ploy, I guess. I wonder how much they pay for one.
OK, incredibly, no one won the last contest despite the fact that it was so easy as the novel was a famous one set in Asia and a movie had been remade not long ago. It was a quote from Graham Greene's The Quiet American. All you had to do was to recognize the quote, deduct the year Greene died (1991, as any taxi driver from Issan could have told you) then subtract it from the current Thai year (2548, as any taxi driver in Manhattan could have told you) and you get the figure 557. Simple? Almost insultingly so. And I included this famous quote from the book, the one in which the jaded Englishmen describes the naive American: I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused… OK, so now, this time, instead of a quote you get a photograph. Just identify the photograph provided. Be the first to get it right and you win. Click here.
Do you have a product or service you would like to advertise on this website? You can, you know. In fact, you don’t have to have a product or service at all; you can just send me money. Or perhaps you would like me to plug a product or service that you are involved in? Sure, just send me cash. Be sure, however, to mark the outside envelope:
“Birthday money for Dean Barrett –
Absolutely No Bribe Enclosed”
Got feedback to this column? Got information on Thailand you would like to share? Happy as a dung beetle to be living in Paradise? Been ripped off? Just write me at email@example.com.
That's all for this fortnightly column. Drop by again. Meanwhile, as the girls used to tell me during the 1960's: "I no lie, you, GI, you number one!"
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