Middle Road Way
• Oriental Riverside Hotel
• Purple Mountain Hotel
• Radisson Pudong Century Park Hotel
• Renhe Hotel Shanghai
In the course of visits and meeting the Thais and from reading the submissions I have found a kind of middle road way when it comes to dealing with the nightlife people and places.
On my last visit, just ended, I tried to put my middle of the road ideals to practice and managed to come out relatively unscathed.
Before I would stay in the Dusit but this time I chose to stay in an appropriately named boutique hotel in soi 33. The boutique I suppose being the in house bar where you could buy what you want, when you wanted it, all in all not a bad place to stay.
The soi 33 experience
Apparently there are some that think soi 33 is different and more snobby as compared to the other sois. Myself I wouldn't know as I have avoided the NEP and Patpong areas lately as I find them too pushy and in your face.
In soi 33 the experience is pretty laid back and the girls seem to be better able to hold a conversation and some of the bar owners I met and talked to were quite straight forward about the fact that they told the girls to cool it so as not to scare the punters off.
One bar I frequented had introduced a very reasonable 55 baht price for a Singha if you weren't too late and that sounded fair enough for me. If you just hang out outside and make small talk late at night (near closing time) with the girls you soon enough begin to hear the background noise that is their collective lives and see the bruises on their arms and legs inflicted by their Thai teeruks.
Indeed if one or other likes you enough they might just take the evening off with you to get away from it all.
Thai whack Thai (word game on Thai rak Thai)
During my stay I decided to revisit the Dance Fever disco on Rachada soi 6 (easy to reach by the metro). I went alone and was quickly eyed up by what looked from a distance (about 10 meter) like a lady with long hair. On getting closer it turned out to be a fairly well turned out katoey, so that was that, however nearby there were several girls dancing and I got hauled into a family party with brothers, sisters and boyfriends.
These guys sure knew how to kill a bottle of 100 Pipers whisky and after the show had ended (superb near topless dancing girls on the stage) we all trooped off to a soi near the Victory Monument to have an open air meal at about 3 AM.
I'm tucking into my meal and suddenly, right in front of me a guy begins to knock the crap out of his girl knocking her to the ground in the process. All the others just go on eating as if nothing had happened and I keep my head down trying to avoid being next on the list. What a strange way to finish the evening!
I wandered around and came across a bunch of small bars in a place called queens park in soi 22, many of which are open air. I got trapped by a sudden rain shower there (that's my story and I m sticking to it). I makes a change to the indoor places and the girls seem to be pretty straightforward and give you no hassle. What seems to be case with most of these girls is that they get knocked up by a local and then the guy moves on to greener pastures when the kid arrives. Then they have to start earning more money than is possible in a shop job and so they go to a bar. They may not be highly educated but by golly they can play a wicked hand of connect four though.
It seems that every Isaan girl I've ever come across loves MK and the boil in the pot meat and veg. Beats me why, but you will never get a no to an invite to take them there.
I was introduced to a after hours disco called Spice, near the national stadium. Packed, smoky and full of young Thai girls and eager young farangs if that is your scene. 300 baht get you inside and a beer.
I checked this old favourite out but it was full of Russians and I didn't go to Thailand to pick up a Russian, what a pity, and 600 baht to get in on a weekend – ouch.
Emporium cinema (movies)
I went there with a friend to see Potter (not Harry) and came out frozen despite keeping close to my friend for warmth, (still getting over the sore throat). If you decide to go there take an overcoat as it is freezing inside.
Royal Bangkok sports club. This is a nice upper crust Thai club right in the city center. In fact there are 2 locations. The original one (that you see from the skytrain) with the horse racing and the newer one not far from the Lumpini night market. They do a wicked lunch buffet at 300 baht, but the membership price at 1m baht might just put you off applying. Mind you if your Dad is already a member then you can inherit his membership for a small fee. Bit of useless information. The racecourse was the first landing strip in Thailand apparently.
General attitude going down
Since my last visit last October the people seem to have lost that all familiar smile and to have gone a bit cold. Also the prices of near everything seems to have moved up significantly, except the taxis. Maybe time to go further afield to find the exotic Thai experience?
I have to endorse what you say about the buffet at the Bangkok Sports Club – it is outstanding.