Thailand Night Fever

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NANA PLAZA - BANGKOK - THAILAND 002In conclusion, Bully’s Pub has a relaxing atmosphere that appeals to many different types of people.  Bully’s attracts singles, couples and even families.  It is an ideal place to meet friends, unwind after a long day, and/or enjoy live sports on a large TV screen.  Bully’s Pub is a bit more upmarket than other pubs in the area.  The prices tend to be higher and you will pay government tax on all food and beverage items.  Just to let you know where you stand.  It was time to leave the cosy comfort of Bully’s Pub…



SHAKERZ COYOTE CLUB - SOI NANA - BANGKOK - THAILANDRob and I agreed that it would be a good opportunity to check out Hanrahan’s Irish Pub.  As we were walking down Soi Nana, I noticed that Chequers Bar was very quiet.  Inside Chequers there were just a few diehard regulars propping up the bar.  We walked inside Hanrahan’s, which is located directly opposite Hillary 2 Bar.  Considering it was St. Patrick’s Day it was not very busy, but there was a scattering of customers around the pub.  The staff made an effort to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with painted faces and they were dressed in the obligatory emerald green of Ireland.  In some pubs and clubs, they even serve green lager.  You may well be thinking – what do they use to make the beer turn green?  Well, some people possibly used food colouring; others might have used a small amount of peppermint liqueur, and when Matt used to own Tony’s Bar in Soi Cowboy, he used Blue Curacao.  A little Blue Curacao mixed with amber lager would make it turn green.  And so, there’s some trivia for beer buffs!


The problem with Hanrahan’s is that it is a HUGE pub, so it never looks that busy.  And, it would be a tremendous struggle to fill it, because it has three floors.  I was a bit disappointed, because Hanrahan’s did not have Kronenbourg Draught Lager.  Rob and I settled for Strongbow Cider, which is selling very well right across Bangkok.  After sampling the excellent Kronenbourg 1664 Beer earlier, drinking Strongbow Cider was a bit of a strange mixture.  When I used to drink cider in the UK, during the English summertime, I used to add a dash of lemonade.  This made it a very refreshing drink, because it took that dry edge off some English ciders.  Sipping a Strongbow Cider was OK for a change, but I much prefer Bulmer’s Original English Cider.  You can give me a Bulmer’s Cider over a Strongbow any day!  It is much more to my liking, because it has a sweeter taste.  The most important thing is that Bangkok now has a good range of quality beers, ales and ciders. 

SOI COWBOY - BANGKOK - THAILAND 001One thing I find rather strange about Hanrahan’s Pub is that the bar staff are all male.  Why is that I wonder?  Rob and I noticed that (not surprisingly) nobody was sitting at the bar.  Any perceptive pub proprietor will know that a lot of money is often made from female bartenders who are both attractive and farang friendly.  The other week I met an Englishwoman who is a bartender in a busy pub in London.  Her job is to talk with customers at the bar and keep them spending for as long as possible.  In all fairness, she was a chatty and bubbly woman.  But, in terms of attractiveness, she was not in the same league as a Thai babe.  And so, why do they not employ female bartenders?  The same question can be asked of bars that insist on having an all male service staff.  In a country that has an abundance of attractive women, I can’t understand why the entire bar staff or service staff has to be male.  I have to say that it beats me!


While Rob and I sipped our Strongbow Ciders, we listened to a mature crooner called Johnnie.  This guy has been around a long time.  Ole Johnnie can perform quite a vast repertoire of songs.  I heard that Hanrahan’s live entertainer is of East-West heritage.  A group of Westerners sitting close to Johnnie enjoyed his renditions of yesterday’s classics.  We finished our drinks and waved good-bye to Johnnie.  As we crossed the road, I saw that Hillary 2 had a reasonable crowd.  Walking along I noticed that the space previously occupied by Steak One Restaurant is still vacant.  Passing by Jools Bar & Restaurant I spotted Peter chatting to his friends.  If you didn’t know Peter Law (unfortunately, no relation to the former Manchester United legend Dennis Law), is the recently hired manager of Jools Bar.  There was a fair amount of customers considering it was still early.  Next door to Jools, the Tavern was very quiet as I peered in through the window. 


Even as we approached Finnegan’s Irish Pub, we could hear the music and the enthusiastic chorus of singers.  Although Finnegan’s is a small pub, it was packed to the rafters.  Rob and I squeezed in and joined the sardines in the can.  I am not exaggerating when I say that customers were shoulder-to-shoulder at the bar.  Now this was much more like a St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

AFTER DARK ASIA MAGAZINE - THAILANDRob was greeted by a friend who insisted on buying us both a drink.  We had barely been in Finnegan’s Pub for a couple of minutes and two beers were cheerily thrust into our hands.  The Irish band took a break from performing, while they gave their right arms a workout.  In a broad Irish accent I heard, “Another tree pints of Guinness please.”  Although it was early in the evening, the party was well underway.  At the bar, we met Gerry the owner of Finnegan’s.  Gerry is a friendly Irishman who is running one of the very best Irish pubs in Thailand.  This is certainly not a theme pub; it is a traditional Irish pub.  Gerry runs a tight ship – the beer is cooled to perfection, the food is excellent, and the pub is immaculately clean and tidy.  I had a good chat with Gerry and he generously offered Rob and me a drink.  I tried a Guinness and it was superb.  Gerry had several drinks lined up next to him.  Merry Gerry said, “You won’t taste better Guinness unless you go to Ireland.”  Gerry told me that the cooling system came from Dublin, so he obviously takes his Guinness seriously!



Rob and I could not stay long in Finnegan’s, because we had at least one more bar to visit.  We said farewell to Gerry and Rob commented, “It’s going to be a long night for Gerry.”  I then replied, “It will be a long night for Gerry And The Pacemakers!”  Next stop was Soi 8 Pub in (yes you guessed it) Sukhumvit Soi 8 on the left-hand side.  I like the use of “Soi 8” because it lets you know the name of the pub and the location all in one.  The name is simple and effective.  Soi 8 Pub & Restaurant is a large establishment that is tastefully furbished.  Rob and I sat at a table near the stage. We were soon back on the Kronenbourg Lager again.  Soi 8 Pub is owned by Dave, who is a very amiable New Zealander.  Dave is a sociable bar boss who doesn’t take things too seriously.


It was a Monday night and we were in luck, because the multitalented Richie Walker was performing on stage.  Formerly a studio musician in New York, San Francisco, Honolulu and Taipei, Richie also fronted his own band in America and Canada.  Richie was a highly rated solo artist in Taipei and was awarded Taiwan’s “Golden Horse” which is a local music and movie award.  The title track single from Richie’s album “Why Are We Still Strangers” went into the top ten of the Taiwan charts.  Currently, Richie is “The Morning Show” DJ for the new 98.5 BREEZE FM radio station in Bangkok.  As you can see from this brief bio, it’s fair to say, Richie is a tremendously talented singer and guitarist.  As I listened intently to Richie’s superb renditions of Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Roy Orbison, The Doors and The Beatles, (to name but a few), I soon realised how versatile he is.  Richie has such a repertoire of songs from a various decades and artists, that I would hazard a guess he will suit most tastes.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening in Soi 8 Pub and I will return very soon for more of Richie’s renditions.



GO-GO DANCERS - NANA PLAZA - BANGKOK -  THAILANDAs you walk into Nana Entertainment Plaza, the elevator on the right-hand side remains closed off.  If you were not aware, a long overdue repair job is currently ongoing.  But, you can just as easily access the middle and top levels from lifts, and stairways on either side.  I think it’s great to see the entrance to Nana Plaza completely clear, and I must say looking quite tidy.  The most popular go-go bars in Nana Plaza continue to draw large crowds on a nightly basis.  In particular, Rainbow 1, Rainbow 2, Angelwitch and Rainbow 4 regularly attract the masses.  Also, if you did not know certain areas of Bangkok are suffering a spate of early closing due to governmental pressure.  However, despite the 1:00am closing, these four go-go bars are filling up regularly.  Unfortunately, for Soi Nana, one of the main areas hit by the 1:00am closing is Lumpini district, which is the lower section of Sukhumvit Road.  Hopefully, the early closing will ease off at the end of this month.

The vacant space left by Farang Connection on the middle level in Nana Plaza will become a restaurant.  Khun Num who runs Rainbow 1 and Rainbow 3 has taken over the lease.  It is expected that the menu will be a mixture of both Western and Thai food.  Combined with the recently opened Erotica Pool House, visitors to Nana Plaza will have a place where they can eat, and a venue where they can play pool.  I don’t know what you guys think, but I am pleased that the two previously vacant premises are at least being utilized.  I don’t think that losing two licensed go-go bar premises is such a big deal.  If you combine what Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy has to offer, there are plenty of go-go bars.



ANGELWITCH GO-GO BAR - NANA PLAZA - BANGKOK - THAILANDWe are pleased to announce that the sensational showgirl Jo-Jo has returned to the Angelwitch stage.  Recently Miss Jo-Jo went MIA (Missing In Asia), but she has since returned.  Now you guys can see why I refer to her as Jo-Jo the Yo-Yo!  Her attendance record is so up and down that Jo-Jo doesn’t clock her time card anymore.  Instead, the Boss asks her to sign the visitor’s book!

I had the pleasure of working with young Jo-Jo, when I was running the Hollywood Bars up on the top level in Nana Plaza.  Jo-Jo who is now 24 years old is especially good at the solo shows.  Jo-Jo has milk chocolate coloured skin with a tattoo of a snake that coils around the lower part of her right leg.  She has come-to-bed eyes and after numerous years as a showgirl, she still has a very sexy figure.  Jo-Jo performs vertical splits in the Shakira Show, the Lady Marmalade Show using a chair as a stage prop, and the acrobatic Ramstein Rammstein Show.  I am sure that you will agree Jo-Jo is a very talented showgirl and a sizzling hot babe!  How would I sum Jo-Jo up in one short sentence?  Jo-Jo is a super shaker of her moneymaker! 



“She cried — and the judge wiped her tears with my chequebook.”

(Tommy Manville, American millionaire with a record of multiple divorces).

“Alimony:  bounty after the mutiny.”  (Max Kauffmann). 


“I’m not into mass orgies.  These events get so very crowded and nobody ever keeps the noise down.  There’s never enough time for a meaningful conversation, so you don’t get to know anybody.  More importantly, you never know who to thank on the way out.”  (Dave The Rave 2008).


Crystal Images kindly supplied the photos of Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza.  Thanks Sean!


Thanks for visiting.  Reporting live from the heart of Thailand…

Dave The Rave — Go-Go Guru.