CELEBRATING ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN BANGKOK (PART ONE)
Today is a special Monday, because it is St. Patrick’s Day. For the uninitiated, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide, but it is a particularly HUGE celebration in America… As I walked inside, I surveyed the scene and within a few seconds, I spotted my friend Rob. We had arranged to meet at Bully’s Pub, which is located next to the JW Marriott Hotel on Sukhumvit Road. There was a large table available, so we sat down and soaked up the relaxing atmosphere. Previously, this place was nothing more than a mere shell, but the new owner ET has done a terrific job of improving it. We can forget those early days, because Bully’s Pub is now established as one of the most popular pubs in Bangkok. And, I was about to find out why. Although it was only 6:00pm, already a crowd was starting to build. Bully’s Pub draws large crowds and even though it is a large pub, it fills up at peak trading hours.
Rob does not mess around and he soon ordered Bangkok’s latest arrival. Being a beer drinker, I was in for a real treat, because Kronenbourg draught lager has just become available. Upon inspection, my initial thoughts were that it looked very promising. Having a conversation about beer might seem unusual to some people, but Thailand has waited a long long time to import some world-class beers. Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, us beer drinkers could not even find a handful of bottled beers, and that was your lot! Furthermore, this also applies to spirits and other alcoholic beverages. Thank the Lord that Thailand got with the times! When I was in Pattaya back in the late 1980’s, Heineken Beer, Singha Beer and Kloster Beer were all the rage. A Thai company based in Bangkok even tried to produce Guinness in cans. Yuk! It tasted like drain cleaner, but without the strength. A lot of this horrendous Guinness was sold to American Servicemen who were clueless as to what Guinness really tasted like. I’m sure that some of you Thailand veterans remember those days. Nowadays, Irish imbibers would be horrified to see this imposter being sold in Thailand. Thankfully, it did not last long and we now have real Guinness.
Two glasses of Kronenbourg arrived at the table. They were served by a lovely beer promo girl who had a smile that could melt the heart of the devil. My glass of Kronenbourg had a thick, creamy head and it was chilled to perfection. After just one sip I knew that I was about to fall for both the Kronenbourg Beer and the promo girl. Like an excited schoolboy, I said to Rob, “Ooh, she’s a cracker!” We both joked about what a “terrible” place Bangkok is for a night out on the town. For us both, it sure was another world away from the “Dog & Duck” in England. As I drew the comparison between Bangkok and England, Rob rolled his eyes upwards and said, “Don’t remind me Dave, I have to go back to England soon.” Well guys, it is always a good reality check, especially when you look at the state of the farang women!
I must say that the Kronenbourg was very smooth and it was going down like real amber nectar. It is not excessively gassy like a lot of lagers, and it tasted great to me. Thank you Mr. Kronenbourg because I have found a new friend. Within no time at all Kronenbourg will firmly establish itself in the beer market in Thailand. You can mark my words on that too! In only two weeks, Kronenbourg is already outselling a few rival draught lagers. OK, enough about Kronenbourg, it’s a bloody good beer and you get the picture!
There is a distinctive look and feel about Bully’s, it really is a proper pub. It’s no wonder Bully’s is one of Rob’s favourite pubs in the whole of Thailand. The music mix is eclectic and you will certainly here some classic tunes. Seeing as it was St. Patrick’s Day, Bully’s Pub laid on a special buffet for 290+ Baht. I did not participate on this occasion, but the pub grub looked scrumptious upon a visual inspection.
Part Two of “Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day In Bangkok” continues next week. Stay tuned folks!
THAILAND’S NIGHTLIFE HIT BY EARLY CLOSING
Suddenly, this week early closing has been enforced upon the nightspots across Bangkok. Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy and Patpong are being closed at 1:00am by the authorities. Few bars are unaffected as confusion spreads throughout Bangkok’s nightlife scene. Some bars are being ordered to close at midnight. Down in Pattaya, Walking Street is being closed at 2:00am. Apparently, the word on the street is that this order comes from high up in the Thai government. If you can understand Thai politics, then you are a better man than I am! We have been told that this will continue for the rest of this month. Let us hope that the early closing eases off next month.
ANGELWITCH GO-GO BAR — THAI TWINS UPDATE
Due to me hanging out a lot in Angelwitch Go-Go Bar in Nana Plaza, I do get asked what is happening with the Angelwitch showgirls. Well guys, I am pleased to report that Miss Bee, who is one of the twins, still performs on (almost) a nightly basis. This leads me to class Bee, as one of our resident showgirls. And believe me that is some achievement when you see the inconsistent attendance records of go-go girls. There has been quite a bit said about Bee in the past, but if you get to know her, she is quite a character. Bee is not a sultry showgirl, those of us that know Bee can see that. If you have a chat with Bee sometime, you might well discover her fun and friendly side. Bee’s twin sister Ae is currently not working at Angelwitch. Ae has acquired a farang boyfriend and has already visited Europe with the lucky guy. We do miss Ae on the stage, but the main thing is that her boyfriend is good to her. I am pleased to report that the relationship is going well and Ae is happy. As Sanook Shaun always reminds me, “I am so pleased when I hear that a bargirl is leading a happy life.” Sanook Shaun went on to say, “It makes me feel much better knowing that.” By the way, a belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Sanook Shaun!
SOI COWBOY SUPER SAVER
Down in Soi Cowboy, I have discovered yet another great drinks deal. Both Suzie Wong and Sheba’s Go-Go Bars offer Beer Lao at only 60 Baht during their Happy Hour. This is very farang friendly and could well have Beer Lao fans frothing at the mouth. Cheers for the cheap beers!
PATTAYA — PLEASURE PLAYGROUND
Down in Pattaya there is currently a large police presence in and around Walking Street at closing time. Unfortunately, I have to report that most of the bars in the Walking Street vicinity are being closed by the authorities at 2:00am. Reports state that this will probably continue for the rest of March. This is a BIG blow to Pleasure Playground, which is usually classed as the late night party capital of Asia. Another sign of the times for Pattaya is that two go-go bars have been forced to close their doors. Magic Palace Go-Go Bar has closed after only being open for less than three months. Following the same fate is Taboo Go-Go Bar, which at one point was starting to improve.
Due to the inconsistency of the supposedly enforced early closing, a meeting has been called to talk about this sensitive issue. Some bar owners are upset that their bars are forced to close at 2:00am, but some other bars are not. Being the most high profile area in Pattaya, the Walking Street vicinity is being hit hard. Tomorrow bar owners will meet with officials at Pattaya Town Hall.
Sisterz Go-Go Bar on Walking Street have acquired the services of a new mamasan. Mamasan Nang has decided to become one of the Sisterz, which is much to Ricky’s liking. Mamasan Nang who previously worked at Club Boesche, is an established and respected mamasan. Sisterz did take a drop in the number of go-go dancers, but the line-up has recently been replenished. I was chatting away to Ricky, when he suddenly said, “I’ve got to go to show practise.” I think that’s ridiculous, Ricky will never get into that lingerie!
COYOTEES GO-GO DANCE CONTEST WINNERS
Well guys, better late than never as they say, here are the Dance Contest winners from the competition held at Coyotees Go-Go Bar… In reverse order; 3rd place was awarded to Boom from Champagne Go-Go Bar, the runner up was Nok from What’s Up Go-Go Bar, and the winner was Koy from Coyotees Go-Go Bar. In what was a closely fought final, some people did not think that there was much between Koy and Nok at all. Yet again, it was a very successful Dance Contest. Hopefully, it will not be too long before there is another Dance Contest in Pattaya. As always, I will keep you informed.
BAR MANAGER VACANCY IN CAMBODIA
A European bar owner has developed an entertainment complex in Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Last week they had a soft opening. Currently there is a vacancy for a manager and a Westerner is the preferred choice. There is a good salary on offer (by Cambodian standards), plus FREE living quarters. The owners are looking for a hands-on manager with the financial acumen to develop the business. The manager will run an entertainment complex with a very long lease on 1,000 M2. It features a restaurant, a beer garden and a nightclub. The focus is on live music.
Job application and additional information is available via – firstname.lastname@example.org
PHUKET — PEARL OF THE SOUTH
In the all action area of Patong, there is an ambitious new project to build an entertainment complex called Nana Plaza Patong. A former go-go bar owner from the original Nana Entertainment Plaza in Bangkok is the leader of the business venture. Those interested in owning a beer bar, go-go bar, or restaurant in Phuket can call these Thai mobile phone numbers:-
Anton in Phuket — 0817730317 or James in Bangkok — 0813987346
Alternatively, you can visit the Nana Plaza Patong website on this LINK
By the way, down Patong in Phuket, the old VIP has been demolished. I learn that Rock City is building a new venue on this spot. Sadly, a bit of Phuket history is gone.
BANGKOK FCCT HOST ACCLAIMED AUTHORS
The Foreign Correspondence Club in Bangkok will host four acclaimed authors’ on March 26th. The “Fantastic Four” comprises of Dean Barrett, Christopher Moore, Colin Cotterill and Stephen Leather. This special event features a writers’ panel, which commences at 8:00pm. Entrance is free for FCCT members and 300 Baht for non-members. The topic under discussion will be; “Fiction on Asia: Niche Market or Entering the Mainstream.” This writers’ event promises to be a fascinating evening. I can understand that Colin Cotterill, Chris Moore and Steve Leather are on the writers’ panel, but Dean Barrett? Please excuse me, but some folks think Dean is just an eccentric womaniser, who writes when he gets the time! (That was a joke and Dean knows that!). However, you can discover the real Dean Barrett at the FCCT next Wednesday at 8:00pm or in a go-go bar in Bangkok any night. Enjoy!
GETTING THERE — Take the BTS Skytrain to Chitlom, which connects to the Maneeya Building. The FCCT is located inside the Maneeya Building.
TALES OF THAILAND
During his recent trip to Thailand, Geoff from Thai Oasis decided to venture into a beer bar. Upon entering the bar, the first bargirl he met said, “Hello Papa.” Oh dear Geoff, that sure must hurt your pride! I think Geoff is a healthy guy who looks in good shape for his age. Oh well Geoff, I guess you can’t win them all, but keep battling on with the hearts and minds campaign!
NOTE THE QUOTE – INFLATION
“Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars’ worth of groceries. Today, a five-year-old can do it.” (Henny Youngman).
XXX FILES – LIFE’S A FUNNY OLD GAME
These self-service buffets are similar to a night out in the go-go bars. You pick what you fancy… Then, when you see what one of your mates has, you want some of that too! (Dave The Rave 2008).
EMAIL DAVE THE RAVE — email@example.com
Thanks for visiting. Reporting live from the heart of Thailand…