stopping and searching of foreigners in and around Asoke is at
I see it with my own eyes in the area and many readers have
relayed their experiences. One foreign
restaurant manager hears reports daily from customers and relays
these. The cops who perform these checks do so in a very specific area
unintentionally driving some away from that area. Their
actions have caused such angst that some are saying that they will
visiting Soi Cowboy - which is just a hundred metres or so from where
of the checks take place - and visit Soi Nana instead.
A Stickman reader added: Regarding the many reports of police stop-and-searches, it's getting outrageous. One downtown
police district is having a field day targeting Western males. I
rode my bike back from Silom to lower Sukhumvit on Friday and went through
FIVE separate checkpoints. It's downright oppressive these days. Today, however, was a different story. A guy I
know was randomly stopped by police while on a
motorcycle taxi. He was searched and found not to be carrying anything
illegal. However, they insisted on a pee test (at 4 PM in the
afternoon) where he tested positive for marijuana. The fact is that he
DID smoke marijuana - but in Holland yesterday where he wasn't committing any
crime. He had to settle the matter as he was told that if he didn't he would be
blacklisted from Thailand.
Recommendations if you are arrested:
As a westerner, whether a tourist or an individual living in Bangkok,
you may very well be stopped at random and subject to immediate arrest
by Bangkok police. If you are stopped and harassed by Bangkok Police,
especially common in the Thong Lor and Lumpini police district areas
popular with tourists, here are some recommendations:
1) If you are taken to a police facility,
do not sign anything. You will be verbally insulted and browbeaten
(there is no anecdotal data that suggests you will be physically
harmed). But refuse to sign. If you do sign, even an acknowledgement
that you have been detained can be interpreted by Thai courts as an
admission that you resisted arrest.
2) Demand that the police contact your embassy on your behalf. Again, sign nothing.
3) At least one person was able to get
the police to release him by saying he needed to go to the hospital “to
get my medicine.” Your dying while in police custody is a public
relations snafu that the police would prefer to avoid.
4) Particularly on a weekend, you may be
forced to spend a night in a Bangkok jail. Hang in there, sign nothing,
and sit tight until your embassy representative can assist you.
Wild Thing, Tokyo Player before it and Las Vegas before that
never set the world alight despite the fine job The Nana Group did on
the original casino-themed fitout of Las Vegas. Wild Thing may well be the
worst performing bar in Nana Plaza for the past 3
years with fewer customers even than the single shophouse bars on
the middle level. So when I heard that Wild Thing had changed hands this week
and has been taken over by a couple of guys
with much industry experience I scratched my head and wondered. These
guys have the pedigree to make it work, but its location makes it a
challenge. The plan is to install a bubble machine and rumour has it
that the renovated venue will be called Bubbles. Stickman
Nanapong Dance Contest has 'an innate ability to bring
the best out of gogo dancers, transcending era.
No-one else has organised such wild entertainment that
exceeds anything Bangkok's gogo bars have ever seen.'
The next Nanapong dance contest takes place at PlaySkool,
on Nana Plaza's ground floor, on Sunday, October 12th.
And if you're going to be visiting Bangkok over the high season,
mark these dates in your calendar for planned dance contests:
January 25th, 2015, Dollhouse, Soi Cowboy.
February 22nd, 2015, Club Electric Blue, Patpong soi 2.
Dave the Rave is now working for Peter, the founder and owner of Pretty Lady Bar, and Matt, the founder of Angelwitch. This dynamic duo now own and operate Spellbound. The self-styled gogo guru has parted ways with the Nana Group and will be keeping an eye on things at Spellbound. I thought Spellbound was excellent when I was in there a month or so back and I am sure with Dave in charge it will be one of the most fun bars of its type in Bangkok. Spellbound is located in Nana Plaza where Pretty Lady use to be on the ground floor.
There are two very
different types of police checks taking place in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok. From time to time
you might walk by, or more likely, be a passenger in a vehicle stopped at an
intersection where a police checkpoint has been set up. These
checkpoints may take place deep in some sois (between soi 23 and 33, on soi
16 and on soi 39 seem to be the main spots) but are usually carried out at
the Asoke intersection itself, where traffic coming up from Rama 4 Road
turning left on to Sukhumvit is stopped. It's a favourite late-night
checkpoint spot. Officers target motorbikes, pickup trucks, taxis, any
vehicle with foreign passengers and private vehicles with passengers in
their teens and early 20s. The officers shine torches in to the
vehicle and in some cases may ask occupants to get out.
The cops at these organized checkpoints are professional and
The other checks carried out in the area are made by
two coppers riding around on a motorbike who ride right up to and stop foreign males. They usually
ask where you're going, where you've been and then make a decision whether
they are going to search you or not. My experience has been that responding
in polite Thai ends it with no mention of a search at all.
The Silom Road end of Patpong soi 2 is where
you find all of the best bars in the Patpong area. There is in addition to The Strip is Bada Bing, and Club Electric Blue. Along with Pink Panther
and Black Pagoda, most locals agree these 5 bars are the best of Patpong.
If you think it's bad here in Pattaya.....
A pal's just got back from the P.I. and he says 7 bars in Angeles were
raided in the 2 weeks he was there. The raids are not police driven for
kick-backs but driven by American 'do-gooders' trying to put an end to
trafficking. When the bars are raided staff and CUSTOMERS are locked up.
My pal said it's really hurting Angeles.
At least here we only lose a bar-keep or two when bars are raided and let's face it, there's plenty of them to go around.......
A new BJ bar will open next Sunday, March 9th, between Sukhumvit sois 6 and
8. To be called Kasalong - the sign has yet to go up - it is the brainchild of an
ex-Lolita's employee. Kasalong is just around the corner from Lolita's
and less than 10 metres from the entrance to S6 Hotel - which until recently
was known as Crown Hotel. There will be a pool table on the ground
floor, but the real action will take place
upstairs. The decor is said to be nice but if it doesn't blow you
away, the girls certainly will. Standard service will run 700 baht
with full service also available.
Another one worth noting has been open for a little over a year is Som's Haven. If you walk on the side of Sukhumvit Road with the even numbers, there
will come a street named Sukhumvit Soi 14. You turn into that street and
in about 20 meter there will be a small alley on
the right side. Walk inside and about 50 meters in front you will
see the Som`s Haven bar on the left side. The girls are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed, not pushy and very open.
The old Big Mango Bar in Bangkok just off of Soi 4 (Soi Nana) will reopen in the next week as the M Bar, a sister bar to The M Pub at the Ascott Hotel in Sathorn Road. It will be operated by the same owner of The Pintsman in Silom, formerly the Duke of Wellington.
Major renovations have taken place and upstairs is now open with windows and natural light. It's not a girlie bar so there will be no hookers - at least none working or based on the premises and no drink quotas.
The new owners promise good food, live sport on TV and free pool.