THE THREE SEASONS
With global warming taking an affect upon the weather around the world, please understand that this is only an approximate guide and therefore suspect to freak changes in the climate. Currently, the weather is quite cold for Thailand and it always amuses me to see staff inside the bars wearing hats, coats and jackets. What on earth would they think of the harsh winter in Farangland?
Like the Thai seasons I think the bar business seems to have three seasons. The cool season starts in November and lasts until around the end of February. The hot season runs from about March until the end of May, and the monsoon season usually runs from around June until October. With global weather being so variable these are only approximate guidelines but you get the picture, or should I say forecast. The cool season has the lowest average temperature with the least humidity and rainfall, so this is the ideal time to visit. Not forgetting that so many Westerners want to escape the freezing cold winter months that are seemingly only getting worse. The cool season is therefore high tourist season with by far the highest number of visitors during this period. The hot season I class as the slow season, when the vast number of visitors starts to decline and the temperatures start to rise. The monsoon season is the low season, when both the sky and bar owners weep intensely.
Here is a summary of the three seasons – cool season November-February (high season), hot season March-May (slow season), monsoon season June-October (low season).
SPECTACULAR SIAM PARAGON
With Valentines Day (February 14) just around the corner, some of you might want to treat a special lady on this special day. If you are a Romantic Romeo you might wish to consider the following options.
Foreign visitors and local Bangkokians alike are spellbound by the luxurious Siam Paragon shopping complex. It really is something else especially being among the largest in Asia at 500,000 square meters. It features 300 “hi-so” (high-fashion) original brand boutiques and even an exotic car gallery with Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Some of you will be very pleased to know that there are Porsches and Jaguars too for the poorer people. For working class people this is surely just a museum.
The high-class boutiques stock the big names like Channel and Dolce. An abundance of various goods with luxury brand names jostle for space from Cartier to Armani. Computers, toys, cosmetics, latest fashions and accessories, mobile phones, household goods, and beauty saloons. It does not stop there either; gourmet food can be found along with inevitable international food chains like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. With more than enough to satisfy even the most curious shopper, there is also the Cineplex Movie Theatre with 15 screens and a seating capacity for over 5,000 people. The VIP lounge in the movie theatre is truly incredible and all for the cost of 600 baht. If you want to impress your more attractive half for the evening just take your lady along to the VIP movie lounge.
Do you still want more? Well, there is a bowling alley too. Want to go classical? Try the 1,800 seat opera house. The mind boggles! Letting her indoors or “The Mrs” loose with a credit card in Siam Paragon could well be financial suicide. You have been warned!
The powers that be have removed and replaced the Bangkok Police Commissioner, so this will lead to some cat and mouse games for a while. The pecking order will need to be established again. Hopefully, the nightspot areas will not be disrupted too much. On Monday night Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza were ordered to close at 1:00am, but like I say let us hope that this is just the new Police Commissioner flexing his muscles.
The fun and friendly but no frills Nana Hotel is located conveniently right in the heart of lower Sukhumvit Roads very popular nightlife area. Just inside Soi Nana on the right hand side is the entrance to the Nana Hotel car park (parking lot). The spacious car park is always busy as this is one of lower Sukhumvit’s most popular Hotels.
Inside you are greeted by the friendly and reasonably reliable Reception staff in a modern looking Hotel lobby. There is a 24 hour coffee shop and restaurant that has a fair selection of both Western and Thai food. The prices compare very favorably with other Hotels, although it is best to stick to basic dishes. If you expect top class cuisine then you need to go to a restaurant that specializes in that particular type of food. As an example the yellow or green chicken curry is good value for money and the club sandwich is not bad at all. For a decent entree the spring rolls are excellent, which come with a delicious sweet sauce. For those wishing to dine in their rooms you will be pleased to know that Nana Hotel provides 24 hour room service for food and beverages. Unfortunately you have to find your own Thai dolly birds as they are not on the menu.
Regarding rooms it is always best to book in advance if you can to avoid disappointment. Many Hotels in Thailand are now providing online booking services, but being Asia this service is suspect to errors. OK, it will not be like the efficient online booking service of a Hotel in London or New York, but then again it is a fraction of the price in comparison.
Down the hall from the reception lobby is Angels Disco which is currently open until 3:00am. From around 11:00pm until 3:00am there are many freelancers, bargirls and other Thai women out to enjoy themselves. It is well worth a visit, in fact for many years Angels Disco was a venue that I visited almost every night. Just outside Angels Disco is a cocktail lounge that stays open late.
One fascinating facet of Nana Hotel is that the car park area outside the entrance to Nana Hotel restaurant is a pavement pub, where many late night revelers continue to congregate in the early hours. There is the occasional police presence when a fight breaks out, or groups of katoeys (lady-boys) are rounded up by the boys in brown. Apart from a few incidents it is great for a spot of people watching, or street shopping if you do not want to go home empty handed.
All in all I think Nana Hotel is ideally situated for party people. It can be a bit noisy at night but you only have to look where it is located. Nana Entertainment Plaza is right across the street, so the clientele definitely goes with the territory. Please bear this in mind if you wish to stay here.
SUMMARY – For its price range I think Nana Hotel provides reasonable basic facilities and the complimentary breakfast buffet is superb. Currently a standard room costs 1,290 baht, but every guest receives a complimentary breakfast buffet coupon worth 150 baht.
NANA PLAZA – NEON JUNGLE NEWS
The oldest beer bar in Nana Plaza, namely Lucky Lukes celebrated its 25th birthday in Nana Plaza on Sunday, February 4. It was a special party celebration because the event coincided with PJ’s birthday. From early evening Lucky Lukes was packed to the rafters in what appears to be possibly their busiest party night ever. A live Thai band at the front of Pharaohs played enthusiastically throughout the night until 2:30am, which drew a large crowd of people all singing, dancing and enjoying the party. The standard fair of complimentary Thai food was provided and along with a packed house, party people rocked the night away. As anyone who has spent any reasonable amount of time in Thailand will appreciate, the Thais need no excuse to either throw a party or join a party. Although the vocalist was only average and partly drowned out by the noise level of the band, nobody cared as the Thais are natural party people. The musicians were consistently churning out a beat, so that was the main thing. The party at Lucky Lukes most certainly brightened up what was a dull and quiet Sunday night in Nana Plaza.
There seems to be more and more pavement pubs or side walk stalls setting up after hours. One of the latest is a modest cluster of cheap tables and stools right outside Big Dogs. They have selected a good location just inside the entrance to Nana Plaza opposite the fast food stands. When you are on your way home you can swill down your barbeque on a skewer, or your greasy burger with a cold beer. A beer will set you back 80 Baht. Who said you can’t get a late drink in Bangkok? As the sound old adage goes, where there is a will there is a way.
Here is an Angelwitch Bangkok update – Big Noi has returned to work as a showgirl, but Little Noi is still happily with her man. I know that Dean Barrett yearns for the return of Miss Noi, but alas she has no intentions of leaving her man from Farangland. Although that relationship is still going strong perhaps Dean can envisage Big Noi is Little Noi on steroids who has taken up power lifting.
I was standing in Nana Plaza talking to Dean Barrett on Sunday night, when he pointed out that the G-Spot girls looked like they were lined up for their rice rations. It turned out that they were lined up to receive their salaries, as I told Dean that Crown Group usually pay salaries on the 4th of each month. In addition, it is quite a sight to see the lads.I mean ladies from Cascade line up for their salaries.
YOU GOT ME ROCKING
Whether you are a fanatic of rock music or not, there is no denying that many Westerners prefer to hear rock music in the bars. I dare say for many bewitched visitors, they are so besotted that they could not tell you what music was playing. I am fairly sure that we have all been at that stage at some time or another. But, for seasoned veterans it is the icing on the cake to hear your favorite tunes playing, with your favorite go-go girls dancing, or attempting to dance to classic rock songs from AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Tina Turner, and many others. Some guys think that Nights In White Satin by the Moody Blues, is an absolute classic and it is their favorite show in Angelwitch. I know that my friend Bob likes the song so much that he sings it to his girlfriend every time the show comes on. Who said there’s no romance in Bangkok?
When referring to rock music that is played in the Bangkok go-go bars I mean classic and modern rock. I do not mean really heavy metal that accompanies leather jackets and head banging. A group of Hells Angels wanted to hear some really heavy metal and they were disappointed when I told them that we could not play their songs. What they failed to realize is the fact that the girls cannot possibly dance to it and they would be the only people appreciating it. What is the rest of the audience supposed to do?
In the quest to discover good music amid the neon jungle of Nana Plaza, you can find go-go bars that play classic and modern rock music. OK, they might not be in abundance but they do exist. In addition to two go-go bars that are very well known for playing great rock music, there are two more go-go bars that have fairly recently emerged as renowned rockers. And so then, in no particular order of preference here are four go-go bars in Nana Plaza that will get you rocking:
Play Skool, Angelwitch, Pretty Lady and a surprise contender Rainbow 4.
PATTAYA – PLEASURE PLAYGROUND
Coyotees Show Bar which is situated in Soi Marina Plaza is hosting a special Valentines Day Dance Contest. The fun and games will start at 10:00pm and the Dance Contest will start at 11:00pm. There will be contestants from other bars in Pattaya and Bangkok, and there will be 20,000 Baht in total prize money to be handed out to the winners. Coyotees fans will be pleased to know that the number of dolly birds or hot babes has risen again. As we have witnessed from these popular events, you should go early to ensure a good seat. On Dance Contest nights Coyotees usually fills up very quickly by 9:00pm.
Angelwitch in Soi 15 just off Walking Street are preparing for a special Valentines Day Party. There will be special shows for Valentines Day and Angelwitch Showtime is 10:00pm until 1:00am. For those of you who enjoy a classy show, then make sure that you go to Angelwitch because you will not be disappointed.
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