Hold Tight Riders, Here We Go!
The very first edition of Thailand Tonight the Thailand nightlife newsletter from yours truly Dave the Rave – the Go-Go Guru. Not only will you get my reviews and reports, rants and raves, but all kinds of related topics, and eventually photos too. Yes, you heard me right it will include photos of Thai nightlife, and that means Thai babes too. From my “notes, quotes and anecdotes” comes this review column and I will endeavor to report objectively and with a true sense of accuracy. My goal is just two words – informative and entertaining.
How did Thailand Tonight come about? The idea for this Thailand nightlife newsletter emerged when I realized not only how fascinated people were with the Thai nightlife in general, but also everything that goes on behind the scenes too. A lot of people have inundated me with all kinds of questions over the years, hoping to gain a greater insight into this extraordinary world. My friend John kindly offered to build this website and so after some deliberation I decided to go ahead with the venture. I found myself so engrossed in my life here in the Land Of Sanuk (land of fun), that I began my own observational study into the LOS nightlife. The multitudes of interesting people I have met and the many engaging conversations that I have experienced have enabled me to thoroughly examine this truly fascinating realm. The exceptional incidents, anecdotes and encounters became too compelling for me not to record them and share them with you all. True life, especially in the aptly named “Amazing Thailand” is often far stranger than fiction. More extraordinary and incredible stories have emerged from these real life experiences than sometimes from the imaginations of the best fiction writers. What? You are not convinced? Here then begin my tales of Thailand.
The City Of Angels
To get to the heart of the matter where better to start than the capital. Krungthep (city of angels) is the official name for the Thai capital but the name Bangkok, (initially for international use) has remained. Call me old fashioned but I refer to Thailand’s capital as the city of angels, because I think Krungthep is a far more eloquent name than Bangkok (village of the wild plum). Mind you, in saying that the label “Bangkok” speaks for itself with all these gorgeous Thai girls around.
The whole name still commands a place in the Guinness book of records as the longest place name in the world. OK, like any big city Bangkok is not always angelic but it does have an alluring charm all of its own. The city of angels has been my home for the best part of a decade now and I think it has changed for the better in some ways. It is certainly cleaner than it was before, the BTS sky train and underground systems are enormous improvements to public transportation, not to mention very comfortable and convenient modes of travel. I cannot help but admire how immaculate the BTS stations and trains are, they certainly put London’s transport systems to shame. A lot has happened in Bangkok over the last few years, but to me the addition of the BTS sky train and underground stations have helped tremendously in making peoples’ lives so much more comfortable. I know some people say that they find Bangkok hard to travel around, but I never find hopping onto the sky train a chore at all. The real chore is shopping with the “trouble and strife”, or simply the wife. But that is a whole other matter and why I am known as the “prisoner in paradise” if you had not figured that out yet.
Within this massive heart spouts the aorta, or the mighty Sukhumvit Road and from the lower part of Sukhumvit are other major arteries that lead to Bangkok’s premier nightlife areas. One major nightlife artery is Soi Nana, which still remains a fascinating street lined with Hotels, restaurants, shops and yes, you guessed it loads of bars. Before long most of us enter Nana Entertainment Plaza and our lives change forever. We should always remember that the middle word “entertainment” is what we are seeking. So, with this in mind let us begin the journey inside.
The Big Mango And The Big Burger!
The Big Mango bar is located directly above Lucky Lukes on the right-hand side as you enter Nana Plaza. This is a welcomed addition to the Nana Plaza bar scene, as it is a refreshing “chill out” bar. It is a true haven that can only be described as an oasis amid the neon jungle. It is another good location to meet your friends in a relaxed atmosphere, where you can easily hear yourselves speak. Owned by two friendly young Americans Michael and Nick, I think people can do a lot worse than stop by here. Simply, but nicely furbished it is always immaculately clean and tidy. There are two 42 inch plasma TV screens, one on each level.
Michael and Nick have an excellent value-for-money Happy Hour from 5pm-8pm, where beers and well drinks are only 60 baht. As an Englishman I have no idea what “well drinks” means, but at 60 baht who is going to complain? I enjoy swilling down a lovely cold “VB” or Victoria Bitter for only 95 baht. VB is the popular imported Australian beer for the uninitiated. Probably the best bitter around because it is not flat or warm like some British bitters, yet it has a refreshing taste and it is reasonably strong too. When you drop by The Big Mango just ask for their full range of drinks, which include various exotic cocktails.
The hamburgers are great! Blackened, grilled cheeseburger with fries and salad at Happy Hour is only 109 baht. A hamburger with salad but no fries is an incredible gift at only 69 baht. Two good friends of mine from America both said that it is the best hamburger they have ever tasted outside of America. Now that sure is some compliment! As Khun Leigh quipped, “Us Americans are experts on fast food, we grew up on junk food!” So, I was convinced I should try a Big Mango burger and ordered accordingly. I recall Woodstock’s food being regularly consumed by many ex-pats (me being one), but I find these hamburgers even tastier. They are made from fresh and they are certainly not tiny, both extremely delicious and at a superb price. If anyone has seen me eat it is not a pretty sight and after wolfing it down I was forced to count my fingers. When you enter the battlefield of Nana Plaza, these burgers really keep you fuelled up for the night assault. As I was savaging my burger I noticed the excellent panoramic view of Nana Plaza from their balcony. This is a terrific view and a great vantage point for viewing Nana Plaza from a different level. They have another level where you can shoot pool for only 10 baht. There are a few friendly hostesses who will play pool and no doubt other sports.
The Big Dog Of Bangkok?
The mighty Big Dogs has certainly muscled in on the Soi Nana bar scene and remains firmly established as one of the busiest and most popular beer bars in the whole of Bangkok. For many people that I speak to this remains their firm favorite for starting the rounds in Nana Plaza. It is without any doubt one of the most consistently busy bars in Bangkok, with customers spotted swilling down a cold Heineken as early as 10.00am in the morning. Some of us are not even getting home until then! Big Dogs has to be the only serious rival to Morning Night (on Soi Nana), but both establishments are doing a very brisk trade indeed. This place still remains a very popular “OP” bar, and by “OP” I mean “observation post.” If you position yourself near the front corner you can see nubile traffic coming and going in several directions; both along Soi 4 as well as the entrance to Nana Plaza. This is the best observation post on the whole street for avid bird watchers, although this particular species is the much sort after dolly bird. You can see all kinds of dolly birds arriving for work from as early as 5pm. However, the best go-go dancers often do not arrive until between 8pm and 10pm. Just bear this in mind because the superstars do not have to be in the bar when it opens, in fact they could well be pre-booked before you even see them. I know one avid dolly bird watcher who stops them on their way into Nana Plaza, he asks them where they work and writes the all essential – name, rank and number down into his little black book. This is my good friend, the Aussie photographer Slapman.
Big Dogs is run by the very friendly Canadian Walter, who I have had the pleasure of knowing for the past several years. Walter is a very good host, he always has time for people and is one of the friendliest guys I have met in the business. I remember in the good old days at Hollywood Carousel if you got Walter in the right mood with some alcohol consumption, he is something of an exotic dancer himself. Occasionally Walter would get merry and go-go dance in the bar, which had everybody in fits of laughter. He certainly can be an entertaining guy and these are certainly some of my funniest memories. Walter runs a tight operation and only employs good workers as he politely puts it. I have to agree because there is always a good supply of bargirls here, although I know they are not all attractive I must say I always find the girls friendly. If you did not know, Big Dogs has so many bargirls on its books it operates in two shifts. Yes, that is right both a day and a night shift. Drop by Big Dogs and I am quite confident it will be a pleasant experience for you.
The Oldest Beer Bar In Nana Plaza
The oldest beer bar in Nana Plaza is located opposite Big Dogs – Lucky Lukes has always been something of an institution in Nana Plaza, especially in its early years with its unique rustic charm. Just why Boss Hog tore it down I will never know, but the new Lucky Lukes is not a shadow of the old timber bar with the famous wagon wheels. One observant friend commented upon Bog Hogs renovations, “It’s like a Doctors waiting room cold, isolated and charmless.” I did agree at the time, but since then it has been purchased by Peter from Play Skool, who has revamped it and brought some life back into the place. It is still not as popular as its rival Big Dogs opposite, but it has become more popular with PJ taking over the running of it.
I have been known to have the odd drink at Lucky Lukes chatting away with bestselling Bangkok author Dean Barrett. Mind you trying to have a conversation with Dean is not easy with so many lovely girls around. I have lost count how many times Dean has wondered off into fantasy land because yet another young dolly bird fluttered his heart. But, before stupid thoughts like marriage proposals begin to emerge, Dean snaps right out of it like the seasoned veteran that he is. It soon brought Dean back down to earth when the petite bargirl said, “Next time you pay bar OK.”
Viagra Is Not Candy!
A journey of a million miles begins with your first bar fine. And so, here we are. For writers many say getting started and keeping the momentum going is the hardest part. Many of us in middle-age find this a harsh reality in our sex lives too. However, thankfully we have Viagra and other similar assistants for the erection section. Available in various edible forms, I just wonder if this is wise. Some guys get a bit carried away and consume the Viagra too soon for my liking. One Englishman consumed not one but two Viagra doses whilst he was still in Pretty Lady go-go bar. Without question I made sure I was facing him at all times. I tried to no avail to persuade him that it is best to be with his teelak (sweetheart), and to already be in a bedroom at the time. If he could not find his teelak in time, being a short man he could well have been doing an impression of a human tripod.
Please explore the rest of the website, although I would guess many of you have already headed straight for Eye Candy at warp speed. The photo gallery will be updated along with the rest of the website progressively, but as this is a new website it will take a little time. Every edition of Night Fever will be archived for your convenience.
Please feel free to email me with your news and views. Feedback and suggestions are most welcome. You can email me directly here – [email protected]