Stickman Readers' Submissions January 22nd, 2024

Bangkok Clubs, My Story

You briefly mentioned clubs in Bangkok in last week’s column. You may be interested in my history over the past 33 years visiting Bangkok. I have not mentioned Pattaya as I feel that place is a dump. This is my thoughts on clubs and hostess bars over the past 25 years.

Bangkok, the only place like it in the world as far as I know. Having visited over 90 times during the past 33 years I have got to know the city quite well around the Sukhumvit area and have met and know many of the managers of these bars and clubs.

He Clinic Bangkok

When I first visited in 1991 the place to go was Patpong. Going there on my first visit with my then Falang girlfriend we visited King’s Castle and a number of other busy bars. I remember one night being in one bar that was packed with beautiful ladies and Falangs sweating all over the bars.

This was at the time of the first Iraqi war and not long after the Berlin wall had come down.

The song that was playing loud was the Scorpions, Winds of Change and this set the tone of the night. Everyone was happy singing along drinking and grabbing the girls who were all dressed in Stars and Stripes bikinis.

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One of my best nights ever in Bangkok.

When I next visited in 1998 on my stag night with 13 Falang guys we stayed in a hotel in soi 5. We were met by an accountant friend of one of my party and he showed us around Nana Plaza.

The first bar we went in to was on the ground floor on the left hand side which was buzzing. We could not believe our eyes or ears. We then visited Playskool. What a bar. Packed with loud rock music.

The song I remember was Bad To The Bone by George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Amazing music which we never really got to hear in a bar in the UK.

wonderland clinic

We tended to stay around Nana as some of the boys had met ladies and were spending their time being shown around Bangkok with them.

We visited the Death Railway at Kanchanaburi and witnessed the horrors in the museum.

We were taken to a military cemetery and we alighted from the coach. Very hot humid day so we all had sunglasses on.

We split up in the cemetery and viewed the graves and the messages. Our sunglasses hid our tears as we could not face each other or discuss this beautiful resting place for young guys who lived and died through those horrors.

Our average age was 40 years and all 14 of us were deeply moved by what we saw.

I recommend anyone to visit and go across the bridge on the train.

Over the years I got to know Nana Plaza, Clinton Plaza and the immediate area quite well and introduced many more friends to Bangkok. Some have moved there and now live in Thailand and especially Pattaya.

We frequented Chequers bar in soi 4 and made this our local. There were a lot of good guys in the bar which was owned by Woody and run by Peter, friends like Welsh Colin and Hatch were regulars. A few of us were in the bar around 2000/2001 and a Falang guy came in with a class beautiful Thai lady. I mentioned to Colin surely that girl is not a Nana worker and he said no she works in soi 33, a hostess bar area. Colin and Hatch used to drink in Monet in soi 33 so we accompanied them one evening.

What a soi. Monet was fantastic, again great music beautiful ladies and very friendly. I personally got to know 12 of these ladies extremely well over the years and still keep in contact with a few of them.

Welsh Colin was a guitarist in a band in the UK and his claim to fame was he was the first band to be signed up to Elton John’s Rocket record label. I mentioned to Colin and the boys in Chequers that I was involved with the security for Roger Waters Pink Floyd in 2002 who were performing at Mong Thong Thani stadium. One of the guitarists in the band was Andy Fairweather Lowe ex Amen Corner and Eric Clapton band. Colin stated he went to school with Andy and asked if I could get him backstage to meet up after many years. The show had a break in the middle and I went over to Colin and asked him to come up to the band’s dressing room. We entered and Colin and Andy were so pleased to see each other embracing and chatting for the complete duration.

I later took some of the band including Colin, Andy and Snowy White from Thin Lizzy another guitarist in the band down to Renoir where we had a brilliant night.

The bar next door to Monet was Renoir and again beautiful ladies, great Blues music from the Lady DJ including Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, early Fleetwood Mac etc.

I got to know one of the ladies in Renoir very well and she had no idea I was also seeing a lady from Monet. I still keep in contact with her on Facebook.

The thing is once these ladies are drinking and socialising with you they want to ensure no one takes their man from them.

One night I was in Monet chatting to my regular lady who had a reputation for being number one in the bar. I told her I was popping to another bar across the street Dali and on my way out of Monet another cracking Monet lady stopped me and asked what I was doing later and where was I going.

I left Monet and upon my return 30 minutes later my regular lady had hit the one asking about my whereabouts and the poor girl who had been clouted had been taken to hospital. Not good but I learned a lesson that night not to underestimate certain bargirls who are obviously number one in their bar.

On another occasion I was in Renoir drinking and Jimmy White the snooker player was drinking with us.

There was a very pretty young lady worked on the reception of Renoir (there were always 2 ladies to meet and greet patrons as they arrived)

The ladies in Renoir had a rest room upstairs where they prepared themselves for the night changing their clothes etc.

One particular night the pretty lady on reception was drinking with a Falang at the bar. This Falang had been seeing another lady from Renoir who was extremely jealous.

The jealous lady was upstairs ironing her clothes when the pretty reception lady walked into the room. An argument ensued between them and the jealous lady hit the other lady with the hot iron. The lady went down and the jealous lady held the hot iron on the pretty girls face which terribly dis-figured her for life. The police were called and I understand the jealous lady had to pay a lot of money to the other lady.

Luckily Alex the club owner kept the dis-figured lady on but she probably never took another customer from Renoir as her lips were terribly swollen and what was once a beautiful attractive lady was now finished in a bar where people basically went to meet beautiful ladies.

Over the years soi 33 became less attractive, bars were closing and now there are very few bars but when I have returned there are still some of the old faces hanging around or serving in the few bars that are left.

Renoir later had a lot of money spent on it turning it into a nightclub.

I went in one Thursday evening with 5 friends and the place was dead. We were welcomed and brought a lot of drinks but the music was unappealing so after an hour we left. We decided to try it again the following Saturday and turned up. The place was again empty and when we tried to enter the same welcoming staff from our last visit refused us entry, very strange as we were all smart, sober and had some Thai ladies with us.

The place only lasted about a year and then closed down. I’m not surprised when you are turning away people wishing to spend money across your bar.

There was sub soi that had a couple of good bars Mojo’s and the Office. The Office was very popular with some nice ladies, Mojos was quieter but had a good live band. Peter from Chequers was running Mojo’s before he left and went to the Queen Vic in soi 23.

Napoleon was a good bar and Livingstone’s. Not sure which one but one had a gorgeous swimming pool the ladies used to swim in with their bikinis on. <Livingstone’s was the placeStick>

Dali had a number of very good looking pleasant ladies but the Mamasan Joy could be a pain scrounging drinks but was always welcoming. Monet later moved across the road from its original location and joined up with Dali.

In my mind Monet was by far the best bar in Bangkok for fine-looking ladies.

We used to frequent Climax Club below the Ambassador hotel in soi 11. A very good club with extremely good live bands. The club was owned by Khun Mao that owns the Hillary bars and Morning Night. Sadly Climax closed around 8 years ago but rumour has it that it will be re-opening soon. I look forward to that.

The standards in her bars are extremely high with many of her 600 or more staff having worked for her for many loyal years. Her security staff are very welcoming and the prices are not a rip off.

There were some good clubs in soi 11. Q Bar was the place to be seen 15 years ago. For some strange reason the owners enlarged the club and it never really had the same atmosphere that it originally had. It is closed now and there is a 7 Eleven in its place.

Bed Supper Club just around the corner from Q Bar was also good and very popular, again welcoming reception and security staff but quite a few ladyboys frequented the club but this never detracted from the ambience or music and drinking.

It’s no longer there having been demolished some years ago.

I remember visiting a small club / bar across the road from Bed club around 15 years ago. It had a number of large cages in it which had girls dressed in Tiger suits dancing behind the cage bars. It was packed and a great atmosphere. Sadly it has gone and not sure what the name of that bar was.

Oskar is still in soi 11 and a very nice friendly trendy bar with a lot of nice freelance ladies frequenting the bar. Nice food and great music. Well recommended.

Hillary 11 is a great friendly bar with great live bands and some serious freelance ladies in most nights. Then move on to Hillary 3 that has a small club upstairs and is open to around 04:00 AM.

Soi 11 is a great soi with many good bars and restaurants, a really good night out as an alternative to Nana or Cowboy.

Strange but having myself worked on nightclub doors for 15 years and worked for many famous UK bands in my home and Bangkok it amazes me that there is very little trouble in a lot of the night life areas in Bangkok.

One night my pal and myself decided to take a trip to Thonglor where we had a few drinks in a bar I believe was called the Iron Fairy. We then moved on to a nightclub in Thonglor and upon entering a packed club (I believe we were the only Falangs in the club) we were approached by an older lady who said we could stay and drink but had to pay THB 30,000. We declined and left. Not sure of the name of that club.

We used to frequent a good club around the soi 11 area. Not sure what it was called. It was on the side of a large white building looking like a very high-class club. Not sure what the name was but it was a prominent entertainment place that I never got to go in to.

As you go down soi 11 about to enter soi 3 there are buildings on the right hand side that look like a line of garages. Each building has a large curtain type tarpaulin on runners. These are short time rooms and if anyone is using the room then the curtain gets pulled across to show the room is busy.

RCA has a lot of nice looking clubs but I’ve never been in as they appear to be for young Thais.

Spasso was the best club at the time in Bangkok. High-class and once the bar staff knew you your drink would be automatically ready for you. The security staff were top notch and friendly. The freelance ladies were the best and from various nationalities. Long-time THB 5,000 to 8,000 (no barfine) but the ladies were dressed beautifully and approached you rather than you having to make any effort. Top class International bands, great food if you were hungry.

CM2 was another great nightclub underneath the Novotel hotel in Siam Square. This club could hold around 1,500 people, again great bands but frequented by a lot of Russian ladies. Whether or not these ladies picked up a lot of business I don’t know as the opposition Thai ladies were out looking for business.

There was a club called Riva in the Sheraton Hotel by Asoke. This was a good classy club but I never saw it packed although the ladies were high class and available.

Also there is or was a club around Wireless road called the Pent. Again a large swimming pool in the club surrounded by nice ladies.

Insanity was a great large nightclub and was extremely busy. One of a few clubs where there was Falang security and their attitude at times was not welcoming. Whenever I was in Insanity it was packed. I can’t fathom why such a club has closed down as it must have been making a fortune. I had heard a figure of 1 million baht a night.

Mixx Club was good, I’ve not been in there for around 8 years and at that time it was frequented by multi-racial clientele. Again Falang security greeting you and not keen on the music. I have first-hand knowledge of an American bully security guy on the door at Mixx stopping people. A couple of frequent visitors to Mixx were turned away one night by this guy and after these Thai guys (Indian Sikhs born and bred in Thailand) stopped arguing with this guy one of the Sikhs called up his Army friends (he was Army). They turned up and arrested the security guy for working without a permit or licence and duly took the security guy away.

I’ve been to a club called Boss a few times, can’t remember where it is but it was busy and friendly again with a good amount of late night freelance ladies.

Not keen on Levels club in soi 11. One has to enter the club via a lift. I have never seen a fire escape in the place. Maybe they have one? Again, a Falang security guy who is not that welcoming towards fellow Falangs.

I remember one very hot day being in Chequers bar having a cool drink when 2 gorgeous blonde ladies walked into the bar followed by 2 large Falang guys in full leather jackets and jeans. I thought what is with these clowns in this weather dressed in leather jackets. They had Hells Angels Switzerland on the backs of their jackets with the Death Heads insignia. Not really sure why they felt it necessary to wear that gear in Thailand.

I remember one night in Carousel what is now Billboard.

The bar was packed with a large group of Falang guys drinking and being boisterous. The show on the revolving stage featured a Thai strong man and his lady assistant.

One of the acts was the Thai man took his shirt off and the assistant threw darts into his chest. Upon that act finishing he was given a rope by his assistants and she held one end and he held the other and they were sort of tug of war with each other. Suddenly one of the Falang guys jumped on stage and grabbed the rope. A very silly move as the Thai strong man had a set of nanchaks on the stage and laid into the Falang with them. The Falang got a severe beating and was dragged outside. Upon leaving Carousel we noted the Falang on the balcony with the Thai guy standing over him. The Falang was begging forgiveness from the Thai strong man.

Strange really as Carousel had a security guy, a small Thai man obviously with Police or Army connections who always had his revolver on display inside his jacket.

I used to drink in Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy with a group of Falangs. There was a big fella leading this group and his name was Alex. He later was arrested in Phuket with his mates by I believe the FBI for arranging a killing. This was around 10 years ago. I believe they were shipped off to the US and may still be in prison there. <A lot of stories about Alex including the very long overstay he was on when was arrested, around 8 years or so, I seem to recallStick>

There were some seriously heavy Falangs drinking in the upstairs bar in the Dollhouse in those days. The manager was a Welsh guy called Marc who later ran the Dollhouse in Pattaya. I witnessed some heavy antics on the stage there in Soi Cowboy Dollhouse involving some Thai ladies and some Falang ladies enjoying themselves together on the stage.

I remember one night at Angelwitch drinking with Dave The Rave who was managing the place. It was a Nanapong dance contest. The place was jam-packed and the tricks taking place on stage were mesmerising. Debauchery at the highest level with AC DC playing flat out in the back ground. What an atmosphere!

I remember a small bar in soi 22 possibly in Washington Square where there was a blues band playing. They called themselves the Soi Dogs Blues band. I’ve not seen them around for a long time but I was recently in a little bar in soi 7/1 with a  great little band playing. Can’t remember the name.

There was a small bar at the end of soi 7/1 called the Sweetheart bar. They had a ladyboy cashier / DJ Khun Shore. They had some pretty ladies in that bar some of whom were ex Monet girls.

For quite a while we used to hang out in a small bar where Hillary 1 is now and next door to Annie’s Do Do massage place. This bar was the HQ of the Bangkok Outlaws with the self-elected President, the infamous Gee. Gee used to park his Ferraris in the car park and hand out Outlaws T-shirts to people drinking in the bar. I still have mine.

A lot of these Outlaws were decent guys but Gee had an attitude problem. He was running a number of bars in Nana Plaza and decided to place Outlaws stickers on the doors to the bars.

He was also running Nana Nightclub for a while and would hold court with his hangers on in the club until the early hours. Rumour has it that one night he drove his Ferrari down soi 4 shooting a gun out of the open roof of the car.

My advice to anyone wanting to get to know Bangkok and the bars is to always be polite and sober. Thais never forget if you double cross them or treat them with disrespect. Always be polite to the serving staff and tip them.

If you want to get into a packed club or bar always pass a small bit of cash to the biggest security guard and you will be well looked after. They will remember you next time you enter their club or bar.

When meeting a lady in a bar for the first time that you like, make respectful conversation with her whilst sharing drinks together. Ask her where she is from and about her family. Ask if she has any children and if so how many and their ages etc. Show a genuine interest in the girl. Discuss what you want to do after her work if she wants to leave with you. Ask her what she is doing tomorrow and if she is interested, ask her if she will come swimming with you at your hotel. Many Thai girls like this and if she does turn up you can be sure you are going to have a great, relaxed time with her out of the bar.

Enjoy your time. Make sure you are insured and stay away from hiring motorbikes.



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