Thailand Nightlife Roundup

Welcome to my website.  In case you're new, you might care to know that 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 is 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 such as free food and drink from Larry's Dive, The Londoner and Bourbon Street Cafe. The prizes will build up in case anyone doesn't win it immediately so the bonanza for the eventual winner could get quite interesting.

I will also add information to a column as I receive it or report on nightlife as I encounter it so check back now and again as there may be much new even within a week or ten days.  And please remember a part of all money received from the sale of my books goes to needy Thais (in the form of payment to go go dancers, waitresses and hostesses).


Three scenes from the Thai ghost film P, starring Suangporn Jaturaphut (Fern) directed by Paul Spurrier.  In the first picture the lovely lady dances.  In the second, she steals my heart.  She seduces Yours Truly into taking her out.  In the third, alas, she turns out to be the type of ghost who eats people.  Now she eats my heart.   I always did go for the wrong type of women.   (The center picture will enlarge if you click on it.)   Paul gave a talk about the making of the film at 8 p.m. on the 20th of July at the FCCT, (Foreign Correspondents Club - Thailand) Maneeya Building, Chidlom.  The film was also shown at that time and got a fine reception.


A former Prime Minister and dictator of Thailand, Sarit Thanarat, is said to have had 171 concubines.  He would buy them an apartment, car, etc., and maybe only sleep with them one time.  When I was teaching English in Thailand in the late sixties there was a beautiful student in my class.  Her friends told me they had once hidden her behind a gate when Sarit visited Thammasat University where she has been a student when Sarit was still alive.  They said she had the pink skin shade that Sarit loved.  She was gorgeous but, no, I never nailed her.  I have principles, you know.  Or, rather, I did in those days.  Now, of course, I sure wish I had nailed her.  Sob.

Heaps of rain and flooding and then sunny, sunny days.  What to make of Bangkok weather.  Well, we can predict that the 21st and 22nd of July will not be sunny for those who enjoy the bar scene.  Why?  Bars are closed for the Buddhist holidays.  But, hey, we can all enjoy just one Thursday and Friday without bar-hopping, right?  We can, uh, um, sob.  Anyway, pubs should be open.  Enjoy.

Did you see the article about the gang in Thailand who robbed beauty salons eleven times?  By the eleventh time even the Thai police had tracked down the baddies.  What I love about the story, though, is the name of the gang: Uan-Phom (Fat and Slim Gang).  Mutt and Jeff comes to mind.

Stephen Leather (Private Dancer) he who was recently seen buying an entire bucket of ping pong balls in a Nana Plaza Bar is at it again.  Rumor-Control has it that Stephen plans yet another Thai nightlife-based novel called something like Killer Dancer.  Looking forward to it.

So what do you think?  Does the lovely, sweet thing on the right look better in her black leather dom outfit on the opening page of this site or in her Thai-style sarong?  Either way, she's a winner, no?  I suspect Sarit Thanarat would have gone for her in a big way.  Of course, if you're smart, you've already got your copy of Thailand: Land of Beautiful Women and you know where you can find her.

True story: A friend of mine who speaks very good Thai was walking along a Bangkok soi with his friend and his friend’s Thai girlfriend. The girlfriend has very light skin. Two Thai motorcycle taxi drivers were watching them walk by and one said to the other: “We’re in trouble. Now they’re starting to like the same women as us.”

Remember the lying bimbo in the US, The Runaway Bride, who skipped out on her wedding then pretended she had been abducted, etc., etc. Lots of people thought she was dead and lots of money was spent on searching for her. Turned out she had three shoplifting convictions before she pulled that stunt. Her punishment in today’s America? You guessed it, sure enough, she now has a book contract worth half a million dollars. Judith Regan, an editor who specializes in such junk books, talks of how much she learned from it, yada, yada, yuck. If you know of anyone who buys the book do something evil to them, will you? Thanks.

Don't forget Peter's birthday at Sheba's, soi Cowboy, on the 26th of this month.  Peter promises a bang up affair.  Don't miss it!

Remember some time ago I mentioned the computer company Blesssky on Sukhumvit, soi 13? Recently, they looked over my computer for over an hour, I think added a program, then decided they hadn’t done much of anything, and charged me – wait for it – nothing. These Thai computer guys are great so if you have a problem you may not have to lug your computer to Pantip Plaza. Give Khun Arthit a call at 661 933 6690 or e-mail him at Obviously, they can’t do everything that all the shops at Pantip can do but they are a really good and really cheap alternative.


You think that older men with younger women get harassed only in Thailand? Nope. Remember Caleb Carr, author of The Alienist and Devil Soldier and other books? A fine writer. He now lives alone in upstate New York. The New York Times interview says: “He talks about his resistance to marriage, the reason, he insists, for his habit of dating much younger women. They’ve got time to waste. Not that he doesn’t take a lot of flak from his friends about it: ‘You could be dating a horse and you wouldn’t get the nonsense you get for dating a younger woman’, he says.” 

Dating a much younger woman pisses off other guys who wish they could but are stuck in their dead marriage or relationship.  It pisses off other women because of course the situation is a threat to them as such innovative ideas might spread to their man.  That's why everybody hates us.  Such is life.

How come I never noticed where the staff of the flag is passing?  And I pass this soi 33 sign all the time.  I must be getting old.

The Bangkok Post sometimes publishes my letters and sometimes not but more often chops them up.  Of course, any newspaper has the right to edit letters but I notice the more I criticize either the Post itself or else criticize their embedded Muslim fanatic columnist, the more they cut.  I may put up some examples of this nonsense on the Rants page in the near future.  And isn't it strange they have plenty of room for the pathetic writing of the Muslim fanatic but not enough room for letters?

Rainbow 3 has reopened after completing its renovation but remains quiet compared to Rainbow 1 and Rainbow 4Rainbow 2 is closed for renovation hence the other rainbows are shining brightly.  When all four Rainbow bars are finished with their renovations and are all open at the same time, according to my calculations, all other bars in Nana Plaza with be left with only 3 or 4 dancers per bar.  Do you suppose bar owners in Bangkok will soon have to import go go dancers from other places?  Pattaya?  Philippines?  New Orleans?

Vietnam Report

Our Man in Hanoi says not to give up on Vietnam as a destination for lovely ladies willing to play.  True, the bars are not particularly of any interest, the women in them are older and very gruff, and the correspondent stresses VERY gruff and crude and unattractive.  However, hang about the main square of Hanoi after 11 at night or simply walk along a sidewalk.  It won't be long before two lovely young things on a motorcycle pull up and in the sweetest voice you've ever heard, one says: "Massage, Monsieur?"  Don't worry, they really are women and they will take you to a "closed" hotel at which you will pay a mere US$6 for the room but about the same money as you would for a tryst in Bangkok.  The correspondent claims he had a wonderful time for the night.  All night.  To make it clear, you will get on the same motorcycle as the girls.  Apparently, because all you are doing is riding on a motorcycle and because the hotel is "not open", all is well.  Anyway, if it happens to you, let me know and I'll post your adventures here.

It finally happened. Last year 52 percent of all American households with Internet access used dial-up but now broadband connections have for the first time overtaken dial-up. And they ain’t lookin’ back. It’s a brave new world, lads.

It seems that Rainbow 1 started a kind of revolution in dancers’ salaries (although the Hollywood bars were actually first).  It is true that many of the dancers in Hollywood followed the mamasan, Khun Ann, because she was well liked by the girls.  But Rainbow raised salaries of the dancers to 8,000 baht a month and business was good.  They got flooded with dancers all right but now other bars have raised their salary level for the girls as well. Good for the dancers, I say, but now prices of everything seem to be going up faster than a short time during the high season. Drinks, prices of short times, barfines, etc., etc. Of course, if you talk to bar owners they talk about the prices of everything they have to get for the bar is going up. In fact, one owner recently told me “We work for them (the dancers), they don’t work for us.” I have the feeling that owning/running a go go bar isn’t all fun and games.

So is there any hope on the horizon for us punters?  Well, yes, one thing we have on our side is the cell phone.  Once you have taken a lovely creature to your home, you get her number, and next time you call her take-in style.  That way (if you live in Thailand) you avoid the barfine at least.  

A friend who lives in Pattaya says with great authority that Pattaya has only enough water for two more months. I guess he means the reservoir then runs dry (or wherever they keep their water, in buckets behind bars on Walking Street for all I know). They better do some kind of Water Festival and throw some virgins onto some water beds and deflower them or something and they better do it fast.  (He lives just over the Jomtien border in Sattahip so he's fine for water, laughing all the way to the well.)

Bars on soi 33 which have established a local and loyal clientele such as Office Bar, Green Parrot, Wall Street, Lookie Lookie, and others have a steady and quite good business.  Those who have not done this are hurting.  And by the way did you know that barfines on soi 33 go up as high as 1800 baht?!  Some bars drop the prices later at night but, still, that's a lot of dough just for the bar fine.  Most of these bars do well because although girls are available they don't push themselves on you.  As you walk in the door you will not be attacked by four or five young women pushing you into the Naughty Boy's Corner unlike with another bar on soi Cowboy we all know and love.

A few readers have written and asked if I’m married. I guess they figure if I can do what I do and I’m married how do I get away with it. Well, the answer is no, I’m not. I’ve had long-time affairs with Koreans, Japanese, Thais, Americans, and Chinese and my only wife was Chinese. That was many years ago in Hong Kong. She was P.R. Manager of the Mandarin Hotel and we were married for five years. But she spoke Cantonese and I speak Mandarin and after five years of not knowing what the hell she was talking about, I decided I’d better get a divorce. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. If she worked at one of the world’s most prestigious hotels surely she spoke English. Yes, mate, she did, but that is where the problem was exactly the same. Because she spoke British English and I speak American English and she would say things like, “Right, we’ll meet Monday week half seven,” and, like I said, after five years of not knowing what the hell she was talking about, I decided I’d better get a divorce.


An article in the paper about up-market strip clubs in Manhattan makes me blissfully happy that I left Manhattan to return to Thailand. The ladies can make US$1,000 a day and yet the customers are not allowed to touch them. One guy gave a stripper a US$3,000 tip on behalf of his friend who couldn’t make it but didn’t want to disappoint her. Of course there are lap dances and of course again customers are not allowed to touch. A Thai friend of mine referred to what men get in these clubs as “air.” Men from many countries are always puzzled as to why American men pay big bucks to get nothing. I don’t begrudge these siliconers, sorry, I mean, strippers their right to make big bucks from suckers but why are American men such suckers?

When I was in Las Vegas attending a Mystery Writers conference just over a year ago, I was there for a week but never went to one of those places. Why bother? You pay a lot of money. You get nothing. There is no sanuk. No fun. No joy. Think of the fun that guy could have had with US$3,000 on Soi Cowboy. The mind boggles!

I ran this picture several months ago but many people don't realize that when a cellphone explodes it emits a substance very similar to what I can't mention by name here because this is a family website.  In fact, many say it isn't similar but it is the same stuff.  But do click on the picture to enlarge it.  The amazing thing, however, is that despite having that unmentionable stuff on her face, and knowing there is no way to ever get it off, the girl continues calling her next customer.  Amazing Thailand.

Over the last several months, I got a bit bored with the usual question-and-answer response when meeting a new pretty go go dancer. The “Where you from?” “Where you stay?” etc. We all know the formula. So I decided to spice up the intro and speed it up as well by cutting to the chase. After considerable planning over several bottles of Tiger beer, I began my experiment which I carried out on five separate occasions: Within a minute of a girl coming over and sitting down, I told her (in Thai) I would make her an offer. She could choose one of four: I would be her boyfriend, her sex toy, her customer or her friend. Which would she like me to be?

Well, believe it or not, every time the response was the same. They wanted me to be their boyfriend. But, again believe it or not, as time went by, I began to realize that “boyfriend” to them means not quite what it meant to me at Robert E. Fitch High School in Connecticut so long, long ago. It seems to mean more like “frequent customer who gives me money without any strings attached.” So, guess what? I’m now back to the old “Where you from?” routine and happily so, I might add.



The Make-Certain-the-Job-is-Done Award goes to...A 15-year-old Japanese boy in Tokyo who was arrested for allegedly killing his parents "by crushing their skulls, slashing their bodies and then bombing their room."  Whoa, baby, that is one thorough dude!

OK, so you took a girl home from a bar and now it's morning and you're both awake and you can't remember her name to save your life.  Relax.  A friend gave me an almost perfect method on how to handle the situation.  Here's what you do:  You get your cellphone out and say (earnestly): "I really want to see you again so I want to put your number in my phone but I want to make sure I spell your name right.  How exactly do you spell it?"  He said it works beautifully.  But, remember, I said it was an ALMOST perfect method.  Because one morning he did exactly that and the girl looked at him and said something to the effect:  "How many ways are there to spell "A"?  Whoops!  Well, nothing's perfect. 

More complaints about the American Embassy and their visa policy for granting Thai women a visa.  I don't envy those people their job and I do know that an awful lot of Thais do lie to them about coming back, etc., etc.  But the embassy has a policy of asking when your departure date is and then saying "We will let you know our decision 7 days before that date."  Which means, of course, that if you wait to buy your plane tickets you will pay top dollar at the last minute.  If you buy cheaper tickets earlier and then are told she cannot go, many types of tickets are not refundable.  So it seems to me that this policy is an unnecessary hardship on the locals and whoever is buying the tickets.

Special offer to readers of this column! Go to a bookstore and buy a copy of Skytrain to Murder at the regular retail price. Mention this column. This will entitle you to buy as many copies as you like at the same price.

Works for me ;-)

Peter, owner of lots of bars including Temptations katoey bar at Nana Plaza, says Temptations is doing fantastically well. He also says the “girls” in there are incredible dancers and go all out. No shuffling and standing in place shifting weight from one foot to the other. Real dancing! I don’t doubt that but I guess I’ll just have to take his word for it. By the way, Peter says I can assure readers that he does NOT mix up katoeys in any of his other bars, all straight bars. So fear not, brave punter, that is NOT an Adam’s Apple you see before you.

I am proud to announce a new literary breakthrough in the novel I am working on now. I have nearly 50,000 words finished and all through the novel, the go go dancer character (Yes, there is a go go dancer in the novel; this is after all a Dean Barrett novel) has been bitching about how she doesn’t want to be in a Dean Barrett novel and just recently she offered me a blowjob if I would write her out of the novel. I’m mulling the offer over but I think writing her out of the novel at this stage would involve too much rewriting. But if I do take up her offer, it will be the first time in literary history that a character gave an author a BJ just to get out of the author’s novel! Yeah!

Uncle Dean’s Thai lesson that they don’t teach you in Berlitz. Rongram maan rood: Rongram is hotel, maan is curtain, rood is to close the curtain. That’s right: a sex hotel or love hotel if you prefer. May this information come in handy for you.

Have you ever wondered what the telltale signs are that you are at a gay party?  Just  click on the photo below:

A met a girl from China who gave me her name card upon which her last name is spelled “Heu.” As I know the character is pronounced something like our “huh” and as Chinese usually romanize that character with “He” I asked her why she used “Heu.” She then pointed out to me that it would be pronounced as “he” and reminded what “he” means in Thai. At that point, the penny dropped.

Speaking of Chinese characters, I recently paid a visit to the Dollhouse on Soi Cowboy. One of the dancers had the characters for “Love Me” on her back. I wanted to ask her about why she chose those characters but she was with a customer and I doubt he would have appreciated my dropping by to say, “Excuse me, folks, but I can still read some Chinese and I wonder if I could discuss the characters on this lady’s back.”

As I said before, I care about the beauty of the women, not whether or not beer is ten baht cheaper in one bar than another. However, in the case of Dollhouse, they do have a great deal for 30 baht for chang beer and other beverages during happy hour. Management might want to coordinate the happy hour times on the menu with the running happy hour times on the wall because they don’t match. Also, on the menu, it says “30 bath.” Hell, I’ll give those lovely girls a bath anytime.

Needless to say, it did cost me as much in there for that drink as anywhere else because when the girl with the bucket of ping pong balls came around I couldn’t resist buying 100 baht worth. I wish they would occasionally do it the other way around and the girls throw ping pong balls to the customers for free drinks.

Bars they come and bars they go but dead bar scenes don’t last long because there is just too much happening in this town. Earlier this year Easy Square on Soi 22 bit the dust. I had only been there a few times. It was just too far out and I never quite figured out who they thought their customers would be. But Soi 22 still has Washington Square and Queen’s Park Plaza and various bars along the soi including Titanium with their ladies in Vietnamese aodais and with a “cold room” upstairs. And even one quiet go go bar, Tina’s, in the complex behind Larry’s Dive.

Charley Brown has departed the Texas Lone Star Saloon on Washington Square rather abruptly and we now welcome back as manager, Hedley, our Welch friend and famous raconteur. So rest assured the bar is in good hands until the arrival of owner George which should be in a couple of months.  The Lone Star has quieted down a bit now after a brawl or two and a drunken farang in the toilet, etc., etc.   Mehkong Kurt can still be found most mornings sitting in a booth writing his column and imbibing a bit. He looks right at home.


As you may know by now, I believe the world is full of beautiful women needing attention as well as full of great books waiting to be read. Hence I find watching sports to be both boring and a waste of time. So when I see Londoners rejoicing that they were awarded some Olympic Games, well, thinks I, if thousands of sweaty lads kicking balls into nets along with their sometimes-less-than-polite followers descending upon your city turns you on then by all means, congratulations. If I were in London, I would feel like Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds.

I do understand why businessmen and city officials and sports people will be pleased but I cannot understand why average people in places like China (2008 games) were seen crying on TV when they learned the games were going there. They said it was a great honor for China and people would see what China can do and blah, blah, blah. Crying!? Am I supposed to think more of China because they can put on a successful sporting event? Does this somehow add to a city’s stature? How about releasing dissidents from prisons and unblocking the internet? Then maybe the world will think more of China.

Taffy, that irrepressible owner of New Square One Bar in Washington Square, tells me that his second bar is doing even better than the New Square One.  That bar is called the Corner Bar and is on soi 11 very near the Q Bar.  At least I think that is what he said.  Taffy being part Scots, part Irish, following the accent can be a bit tricky at times.  Of course, it might also be doing well precisely because Taffy stays away but don't tell him I said so.

The last winner of this contest was a fellow named Jannik from Denmark.  He came to town on July 5th and the next day he and his friend, Lars, and yours truly painted the town.  Well, actually, the Londoner, to be exact.  Good fun these Danes!

Did you ever notice that the waitresses with the nickname Roong (rainbow) are almost always good looking?  Now, why is that, I wonder?

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

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OK, easy contest for you this time.  Just be the first to say where that picture below was taken and you win a total of 1,500 baht in food and drink at the fabled Londoner Pub, Bourbon Street Cafe & Larry's Dive.  And a Dean Barrett novel of your choice.  Wait a minute, nobody won last column's contest so if you are the first to identify this picture you win 3,000 baht in food and drink and two novels.

Answers to last column's questions:  The first person James Bond saw when he woke up was Pussy Galore.  (Some guessed Moneypenny.)  The novel Ray Milland was trying to write in The Lost Weekend was The Bottle.

That's all for this fortnightly column.  Drop by again.  Explore the rest of the website.  Meanwhile, as the girls used to tell me during the 1960's: "I no lie you, GI, you number one!"

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