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).
You'd like to see one more photograph from the opening of the Titanium Club on soi 22, wouldn't you? Especially if it was of a lovely Thai woman in an ao-dai with no bra? Sure you would. So click on it and enjoy. The girls are waiting for you.
Did you see the picture in the local English language paper 15 June? It shows part of an initiation ceremony on a Thai college campus (Rangsit, I am told) and several girls are simulating giving oral sex to boys while lots of other girls and guys look on laughing. And the girls are in their darling school uniforms! Obviously there is far more action on Thailand's university campuses than there is in the bars. Sorry, lads, we've been frequenting the wrong places.
I was chatting with a friend late one recent evening at Nana Plaza when the subject turned to girls from the northeast of Thailand, Essarn ladies. Although our remarks were flattering, he made the comment that “there’s only so much you can say to an Essarn girl.” I like that quote. It might make a good book title or a title for a chapter of the book. But I can’t help but wonder if Essarn girls say much the same about us, namely, “there’s only so much you can say to a punter.”
Whore House Charlie sez: "Best way to get rich in Thailand? Easy. Buy a police station."
Now that there are no fewer than four Rainbow bars in Nana Plaza maybe they should change the name to Rainbow Plaza. Speaking of Nana, did you know Peter, he who owns lots of bars and restaurants including Suzie Wong and Playskool, has now bought Temptations Bar and has turned it into a very successful katoey bar? That makes FOUR gay bars in Nana. Every time I talk to anyone they say they hate the idea and want nothing to do with katoeys. Well, OK, but if there is business for all four bars, SOMEBODY must like katoeys, no?
Great Conversations overheard in a Patpong Bar: "I know she wasn't faking her orgasms because the whole time she was in bed with me she only checked her watch twice." Uh, huh.
By now you may have heard of the fire at Nana Plaza. According to Dave the Rave, there was lots of smoke and a nasty stench that suggested an electrical fire. Transformer, apparently. Fortunately, it happened early in the morning when only writers and fools remain embedded in Nana. I was up at the time but thanks to whatever gods may be I had elected to be at Soi Cowboy that night. By the time you read this all should be normal again so go ahead and head for Nana.
This just in from Dave the Rave:
NANA PLAZA is now open after the electrical fire. Most of the main bars in NEP had been without power for two nights running! Staff and owners were kept anxiously waiting only to be told TWICE that there was no electric power! Some Bosses are rightly very angry, they have lost a lot of cash.
The story is that NEP tried to get the job done on the cheap and had to call the Electric Company after two failed attempts. This cost NEP bars two nights trade.
While on the subject of Nana, I was sitting by the rail of Big Dogs watching the girls and their dates exit the Plaza as the bars were about to close when I noticed two scruffy Muslim guys walking out. One of them grabbed a bargirl who just laughed it off and kept going. I heard him say, "I am Mohammed." He then noticed me and I saw his face register shock, then hatred, then he made a gesture as if my head should be cut off. As he made it, he turned toward the exit just in case I might go after him.
But as my right hand was on a lady's smooth curvaceous leg, and my left hand on my gin-and-tonic, I wasn't about to get up to chase vermin. Why the hatred? I have written lots of letters to editors about the many faults of Islam and did counter-picket the nut cases in New York City when they wanted to kill the writer Salmon Rushdie. But how could this guy have recognized me so easily? It's a puzzlement. Actually, I'm flattered. In a movie he was in, Paul Newman once mentioned that "a man who has no enemies probably has no character." So I am pleased to have Muslim fanatics as enemies. But should I turn up missing, do ask the Thai police to place Muslim extremists on the top of their to-be-interviewed list. Much obliged.
Besides having some fun, the goal of this website is to interest people in my writing. Readers might even go to a bookstore or to Amazon.com to buy a book or two. So I don't go around selling ads but when I saw the owner of several bars recently, I mentioned that if he took an ad on my site I would put his banner up; and then I also mentioned that if didn't take an ad, I would probably put it up anyway. He laughed. I only hope to God I'm a better writer than I am an ad salesman.
13 June, Monday night, enjoyed a cruise through Soi Cowboy. The first bar I went into, Spice Girls, about 7:30, and the action was rather slow but the girls friendly. I never did find the light switch in the bathroom though. Is there one? The girls also didn't know the nationality of the owner. The second bar, Deja Vu, the one open for only about two months, had a bit more action. And the upstairs action is fun because one can shoot pool with or while groping or while watching sweet young very scantily clad dancers cavorting on the glass floor for the benefit of those below.
Then headed across the lane to Rawhide and then Long Gun. Happy to say things are much better now as far as the shows. Changes have been made and I no longer saw the two bored girls lying back in the beach chairs. I believe these two bars have the same Thai owner. Some good looking women on stage these days who know how to dance. Ended up taking one to a nearby establishment and upon exiting the soi noticed over a dozen boys in brown standing about. Taxi driver said "fistfight" but one never knows. Reports have reached me that it was a fight between the girls of Midnight Bar and the girls of Suzie Wong bar. Another report says it was between the owners of those bars. Rather unlikely, that last one. Anyway, if I would stop taking girls out for a casual stay, I might stop missing all the action.
Meanwhile at Nana, the popular bars continue to be popular, such as the Rainbow group, and the Katoey bars, and of course Angel Witch with its fetish show, but smaller bars seem starved for business. Pssst- tip of the week: an underrated bar in Nana is Erotica on the third floor or on the way up to the third floor. Some very pretty dancers, one of which agreed to accompany me back to my apartment recently, and there is a glass ceiling with still more dancers up there. In fact, one of the great moments in sport recently happened there: Steven Leather buying an entire bucket of ping pong balls and allowing girls nearby to throw them at the dancers by the handful. As far as I know, he did not sign the balls first. (Perhaps his balls were already taken by the Private Dancer?)
Like to have a pleasant night out in Bangkok? Try this. Head for the Black Swan Pub on Sukhumvit at Asoke. (The Skytrain drops you right there at Asoke Station. After a beer or two go out the door, make a left, and then another left at the first soi you come to, soi 14, I believe it is. Walk in for just about 20 seconds and voila! there is a large partly covered Thai-Chinese food restaurant with outside seating as well. It has been "discovered" because it was talked about in a German guide book, so you may see lots of farangs eating there but don't let that put you off because the food is very good. The name of the restaurant is Suda and it is opposite the Volvo Show Room and there is also a computer cafe right there.
I couldn't figure it out at first because the European types weren't leaving all in a group so I knew it wasn't a tour but then I learned about the guidebook, so that is why they come individually or in families. Good food but they can be a little slow bringing the bill when they are busy so be sure to ask for the bill about ten minutes before you actually need it.
The thing about this place also is that you may think you are back in Nana Plaza because when I was last there I saw two elephants and vendors of all sorts including the Akha hilltribe ladies with their silver. Quite a place. Of course, if you prefer Western food, then just eat at the Black Swan. The pub also has a few shelves of interesting paperbacks.
Anyway, when you are finished eating, then just cross back over Sukhumvit Road and walk down under the subway to cross to Soi Cowboy and finish up the night in style. Ah, Bangkok. This city has it all, doesn't it? And I got my retirement visa and a multiple entry visa. So ah is one happy dude!
Corleone's on soi 8 is a fine pub-restaurant with pool tables, darts, live music, etc. But the really great thing about the restaurant is the Friday buffet which is free if you just buy a drink! And it is a very fine buffet indeed. And of course just across the street on the little subsoi is Lolita's. And you all know what's that's about, right? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
By the way, on the wall of Corleone's is a photograph of the late John Gotti, the gangster in New York who was known as the Dapper Don for the way he dressed. I lived in New York City for 14 years and read about his exploits at the time. You might not know that the Dapper Don died in a prison hospital. He got head-and-neck cancer and despite radiation treatment ended up in a wheelchair weighing less than 100 pounds. (Gotti not the wheelchair.)
Our Man in Pattaya,Sensual Sam, warns that on weekends even during this hot period many hotels are full so book ahead. When asked what you should bring on your Pattaya visit, he replied: "Have phone numbers of a few close friends and family, a local lawyer, a health insurance company, the police, the tourist police, the terrorist bomb squad, the mayor, a motorbike taxi, a Baht bus, a Doctor, the fire department, an ambulance, lost credit card phone numbers, your e-mail list, and your embassy e-mail address."
Congratulations to Charlie Brown who has taken over as manager of the Texas Lone Staar Saloon in Washington Square while the owner, Big George, is back in Florida. Charlie was the night manager of the place when I came back to live in Thailand 4 1/2 years ago. He moved to Pattaya but still makes his presence felt in the Square.
True story: A guy recently took out a girl from Nana Plaza and in the morning informed her he didn't pay for sex. She went after him with a bottle. I don't know the outcome but I hope she brained him a good one.
Another true story: A few weeks ago, a friend of mine got an urgent call from someone who needed an industrial filmscript written and they needed it ready for a meeting the next morning. He agreed and was working hard at it at 2 in the morning when the phone rang and it was three girls he knows who dance at Angel Witch. The poor lasses didn't have a CD and wanted to practice their new routine for the show and could they come over and use his. So at 3 in the morning he was pounding out the script while behind him three girls in panties and bras were dancing to a routine and saying things to each other like, "Is this the part where I kiss you?" Only in Thailand, folks, only in Thailand!
Wow, is Thailand getting cultured or what? In addition to the book club I mentioned a few months ago, there is yet another one forming this month at the Dasa Book Cafe and used bookstore, located on Sukhumvit Road not far from the Emporium. Don Gilliand, the owner, says the book club is open to anyone interested in reading and discussing recent novels, non-fiction books, or even old classics. Male or Female, young or old, Thai or Foreigner: everyone is encouraged to participate. The group will meet once a month at a time and date agreed upon by the book club members. For more information, contact Don or Kiwi at Dasa Book Café.
Dasa Book Café is located directly on Sukhumvit Road, between Soi 26 and 28. It is about a 5-minute walk from the Emporium and the BTS Phrom Phong Skytrain Station. The shop is open daily, from 10am until 9pm. And I have found a lot of interesting titles there.
Tel: 02 – 661 2993
Fax: 02 – 661 2994
Web Site: www.dasabookcafe.com
And the Bookazine chain in Thailand is really booming and expanding as well:
I'll add this information to the books on Thailand section of this website.
And while still on the subject of books, the Bangkok Book House, owned by publisher George Gensbichler and his lovely wife Sarika is now open at Nana Square, ground floor, Sukhumvit soi 3. This plaza has only been around for two or three months. Buildings in Bangkok are once again mushrooming like mushrooms after a spring rain. This store is small but has lots of magazines and sells only books on Thailand so it is a nice selection. Give it a try.
Did you see the piece in the paper about the Cambodian man who strangled his wife and hung her from a tree trying to make it look like she killed herself? He said he was tired of the way she always woke him up, that is, "by yanking his penis and testicles." I suppose that is a bit far from "Wake up, sleepy head, your breakfast is ready."
And of course there was yet another news report of a Thai wife cutting off her husband's Big Bamboo. But that kind of thing happens so often in Thailand I won't bore you with the details of yet another "happening."
Like to see a great movie: Try Sin City. Hope it is not cut in Bangkok; I saw it in New York. Stylish noir! Like to try a boring, idiotic movie apparently written by an 8-year-old? Go See Star Wars.
In Chiang Mai, a British tourist pissed off at Thai Airways International camped out in front of the sales office at the airport. Try that in the West and you get hauled off, right? Well, Thailand ain't the West and "airport staff have placed mosquito traps near the protest site out of concern that the man might fall sick from insect bites or even get dengue fever." Only in Thailand, folks, only in Thailand.
Special Report on the Thai scene and nightlife scene in Bahrain fromOur Man in Bahrain:
To give you a picture, Bahrain is an island off the Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia. There is about 20 km of sea separating the countries that is crossed by a causeway so it is possible to drive from one country to the other. One important factor in the Bahraini economy is the influx of Saudis every weekend who come looking for wine, women and song - none of which is readily available in their homeland. Big numbers come over on a Wednesday afternoon and go back Friday night - or early Saturday morning when their Thursday - Friday weekend is over.
The island can be pictured as a rectangle, about 20 - 25 km wide and 60 - 70 km deep. Virtually the whole population lives in a 10 km strip along the north coast. The city area is in the north east (top right hand corner) and as you move westward it becomes more suburban with houses and more open space.
At this stage, I can report that there are a lot of Thai women about. The ability to speak Thai is less common among farangs here than in Bangkok, so I go down as a bit of a novelty. In fact, one young lady (Dang) recently started getting a little over enthusiastic to the point where she offered to become my "mia" in Bahrain. I politely declined and now try to avoid her - for a while at least.
Unfortunately, the nightlife scene is aimed at the Saudi market, not primarily farangs. There are a few farang bars. One is called "The Warbler" In day's past, the staff were females from the Philippines. Now they are males from India - not a positive change. Not a lot happens earlier in the evening and you have to wait until 9.00, or even 10.00, before the Thai ladies emerge in significant numbers. Closing time generally is 2.00 am but that is a little late if there is a need to get up next day for work. The Warbler gets a fair share of them and that is where I met Dang.
Further down the road is a place called Mai Thai, in the Semiramis Hotel. All bars in Bahrain are in hotels, by the way. The Mai Thai was interesting and I have not been there long enough or often enough to fully work out exactly what is going on. They had an all male Thai band, playing mostly western music but with the occasional Thai pop song.
The waitresses were not Thai, but there were a number of "hostesses" floating around who were. Their job appeared to be to go up to the customer, chat for 30 seconds and then move on. I managed to detain one of them a little longer with an offer to buy her a drink, but whether this is what they expect I don't know. She referred to a farang sitting at the next table as her "boss" and said he was married to a Thai. Whether this meant that he was the manager of the bar, or had some other role was not entirely clear.
Soon a friend and I will indulge in a real night out, starting at Diggers, an Australian bar in the Delmon International Hotel, calling also at the Bab Al Bahrain Hotel (very down market), Bahrain International Hotel, and to round the night off, the Awal Hotel. When I was here before, a sign of a truly worthwhile binge of a night out was to end up at the Awal hotel - possibly the seediest spot in town, at that time.
To be continued...
Stickman is a friend of mine and I enjoy his column, but it is difficult enough for a long-in-the-tooth type like me to chase after the beautiful women working in Londoner Pub without Stick mentioning in his column how beautiful they are thereby giving me yet more competition. I may have to thump that boy up side of hiz haid.
Still drooling over the dozens and dozens of beautiful dancers in Rainbow 1 at the opening. As usual, there were lovely girls on stage, girls in the changing room, girls in the girls room, girls in the boys room, girls sitting on laps, etc., etc. The katoey cabaret show was OK but went over really big with the screaming girls who work at the bar. Later there was a dance show with girls in cowgirl hats, etc. A bit like the Long Gun dance routine and it was cute but not spectacular for us jaded residents. But some of those women have such exotic faces and perfect figures and gaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
One of the katoeys from the show came around asking for tips and when he/she came to me I gave her a tip and asked which show she was from. She was from somewhere in Sapankwai. I told her in the 60's I was a GI stationed in that part of Bangkok. I don't think I convinced her that there really had been hundreds of Americans stationed there once. How soon they forget.
Men who solicit prostitutes in Oakland, California may find their faces plastered on billboards under a new program to shame men who like prostitutes. Here in Thailand, we enjoy their company and in America a man gets fined, maybe jailed, and maybe has his picture on a billboard. As an American, let me ask this question: how and when did Americans become so pathetic and so puritanical?
Contrast that with Berlin where cops recently stopped a car due to suspicions of kidnapping and found that the guy in the trunk, dressed only in thong and collar, was the slave of the female driver. The cops told the man to ride inside the car not in the trunk, then let them drive on their way. No doubt in puritanical America they would have been arrested and had their faces on a fucking billboard.
Don't forget I'll be signing THE GO GO DANCER WHO STOLE MY VIAGRA & OTHER POETIC TRAGEDIES OF THAILAND at the Texas Lone Star Saloon, Washington Square, soi 22, 18 June, Saturday, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. I'll have past titles as well and books will be sold at a discount. Free lunch begins at three o'clock. And of course the lovely Lone Star ladies, always sweet, always virginal, will be in attendance.
So there she is, the ultimate go go dancer. Hope you picked up a copy of the book by now. It's in Bangkok bookstores and should be in American bookstores by now (or they can order it). The book is also available on Amazon.com. Just click on the cover and watch her get real big.
(Check contest results below)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!"
Back to the Welcome Page
No one got the contest that was up for two weeks despite valiant tries. The novels were SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER by the late hard-boiled writer David Goodis and made into a film by Francois Truffaut. The other was A HELL OF A WOMAN by the late hard-boiled writer Jim Thompson.
As no one got the right answer, the prizes now total 4,000 baht in food and drink at Larry's Dive, the Londoner, and Bourbon Street Cafe. Plus one of my books, of course. To win the prize, just answer the question, Where was this photograph taken? It's not that difficult, just - Oh, shit, I didn't put up any photograph yet. I gotta stop drinking Wild Turkey on the Rocks and eating Caramel Crunch Supreme ice cream just before bed. OK, you should be able to guess it even if I don't put the picture up, but I know there would be some upset readers who would claim that isn't right, you know what I mean? The world is full of crybabies. So, instead, let's try this. What famous novel is this quote from?
"Now I am inserting the member," he explained, as he parted the tender quavering lips of the pink honeypot and allowed his stout member to be drawn slowly into the seething thermal pudding of the darling girl. "Oh my goodness," (the girl said), squirming her lithe and supple body slightly, though remaining obediently closed-eyed and with her hands clasped tightly behind her head. "Now I shall remove the member," (the man said), "...not all the way, but just so, there, and in again. You see? And again so, I will repeat this, several times - while you do your Exercise Number Four."
This novel, a satire of Voltaire's Candide, was also made into a movie and when it was published Life Magazine said "Sex in America, after this event, will never be the same." OK, first one to get it right, wins the prize. Good luck!