Nana Journals

An anthology of some of the best writings, photos, and information pertaining to the Bangkok
nightlife featuring comments and highlights from the best blogs and websites on the subject.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guess Bar

Rumor has it that the upscale ladyboys bar, Guess, is closing its doors on November 1st after being open for 1 year. May be worth a stop on Halloween for a feel of the place before it closes, its right down the street from Nana Plaza, located at the end of the first floor (upstairs) corridor in the dreary building known as Sukhumvit 1 Plaza. It has been mentioned as the best katoey bar in Bangkok.

I read it was closing December 1, then re-opening near Rajak Hotel.

Update II:
For those who prefer the third sex, the new Guess Bar and all the staff are now located in the car park area of the Rajah Hotel, the space that used to be the Red Dragon, just two doors away from the Metro Pool Bar.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Setting Up For Business - Looking Back at The Big Mango

Following is our experience with getting a simple food license.

We had already filed all the needed paperwork and had opened the bar already but had yet to open the kitchen. We already had all of our other licenses and were told the food license would be pretty easy but that it might need a little greasing. Yes folks - we probably needed to pay a little money to get the license. At first this bugged me since we had the proper permits, a clean kitchen and on paper there would be no reason to pay a “bribe” but supposedly the word was the food guy for our district was on the take. Meaning even if there was no reason to pay a bribe he was expecting one anyway. Welcome to Thailand.

So inspection day dawned and our lawyer met us to discuss the plan. He said we needed to agree ahead of time how much we would pay because he felt no that no matter what the inspector did he would be expecting to make some money - even if there were no reasons not to pass inspection. Yes - folks. No corruption here. So we readied our bribe device and waited. In Thailand all the under the table payments “sinbon” is done with simple white envelopes. U can pick yours up at 7/11.

The inspector came and the lawyer gave him a tour. He proceeded to check out all the floors and spent very little time if any in the kitchen. We assumed he was looking at everything so he could figure out how much we spent and therefore decide how much to charge us for something that we deserved to receive anyway. The funniest thing was him asking to test the stereo and asking us to turn it up loud. He then deduced that we had a stereo with a capacity over and above what we needed and calculated that the stereo could output more decibels than needed. I did not know the average food inspector was a sound expert. God knows all the gogo bars don’t have any high capacity sound systems.

So the inspector finished his inspection and talked with the lawyer. The lawyer came over and said that our place was unacceptable for food production. He had a list of about 25 things written in Thai. Our lawyer went on to say though that with, a figure quoted in Baht, that we could have our license anyway. Nice. I figure the salmonella cart downstairs that some people refer to as the burger cart was in much better shape to be serving food than our kitchen. Okay cool. Basically the lawyer went on to say that the items meant nothing and that if we did not pay something we would never get our license. So we cut the proposed figure in half and said we would pay.

He went back to the inspector who looked somewhat perplexed but countered. Lawyer returned with a new number. We cut it down again and the lawyer went back. Inspector frowned, talked some more and went out. I thought we might have had a problem but it turns out he had accepted our number but would not take the money onsite. Cool. Can’t be a bribe if u don’t pay it onsite? We added money to the envelope since we ended up paying about 2000 baht more than we had budgeted. In Thailand the under the table payments are a regular part of business that u have to factor into your expenses and budget accordingly. My buddy used to say that even if u started a vacation bible school in Bangkok that u would still pay the cops.

We handed over our money and the lawyer said we would get the license soon and to disregard the list. We watched as the food inspector walked around the plaza, lit a cigarette and waited in front of Cassanova. So telling to have the shakedown go down in ladyboy corner. Our laywer met him - handed over the envelope and the meeting was adjourned. License arrived days later. We have never seen the guy since but we always make sure we don’t turn our sound up too much. The joys of Thailand.
The Farang Speaks 2 Much

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Big Mango Bails Out of Nana Plaza

This Friday will be the last day of The Big Mango in Nana Plaza. So go have a burger, a Lao Dark, and barfine one of the girls for me.
I like what David had to say, "If you don’t need the girls any more can I have them?"
(But if they are as crazy as most Thai bar girls, they may be more than a handful.)
Another one bites the bullet at Nana.
Sorry to see you go.
Keep in touch.

It’s 10:30pm on Friday, October 26 — Mango’s last night. The bar is crowded and the girls are in party mode. The owners have just put free food for all on the bar. The customers are a bit subdued, talking about the good times past at The Big Mango, kissing the girls goodbye, and the bell was rung. Best to Smitty, Joe, and all the Big Mango crowd in their next incarnation.

"I want my 30 day closure order. Close me!", he bellowed, his voice ringing out over the plaza. The unmistakeable American accent with a hint of alcohol had zero effect on the girls scurrying out of Nana to soi 4. Someone yelling out at the top of his lungs rates almost zero interest, unless the number "5,000" and the words "time" and "short" are said together in the right order. The few Westerners still in attendance found it rather amusing, although most didn't have a clue what was going on.

It was 2:25 AM, Saturday 27 October. That's the early hours of yesterday. Nana had closed and the plaza's angels were drifting out on to the main road, looking for a late night snack, or preferably, a customer. As the Bangkok night enveloped the plaza with more and more lights slowly being turned off, this lone bar owner vented his frustration, saying goodbye to Nana in his own special way.

He retreated inside and walked to the back of the bar and cranked up the volume of the sound system. Music blared out across the plaza half an hour after the official closing time. The bar owner was tempting fate, but even if he was to receive the closure order, it really wouldn't matter...

Halloween at Angelwitch

Dave The Rave has informed me about the special Halloween shows to be held at Angelwitch. Someone go check it out and send me some photos.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Straight to Suzie Wong

photo by Eric Sten

We did not get going until 10:30 pm so that means we headed straight to Suzie Wong’s. No better way to start the night in my opinion.

Sure enough - we cruise on to the 5 girl lesbian show. It just kills me. I think I will never tire of it but if I do, somebody shoot me.

What really kills me is when one of the girls while in the process of doing one of the other girls will start to play with herself just to keep herself busy. Hips grinding and squirming on the floor waiting her turn.

It takes 2 drinks for me to make it through this ordeal.
Farang Speaks 2 Much

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Private Clubbing at Pent

...I took my first bottle and headed for the hip hop room. By this time it was about midnight, and the club closes at 2 am.

The girl who sold me my membership (Joy) never left my side. She drank with me all night (from my bottle, but in very modest amounts) and continually was GENUINELY helpful, introducing girls, pouring drinks, dancing with me, and trying to make sure I had ’sanuk’ (a fun time). At 2 am, she walked me out front and got me into a taxi home.

The girl I thought was so hot earlier spotted me and came over. She mentioned that she saw me watching her dance earlier, so I invited her to have a drink with me.

She talked with me for a few minutes then asked me to buy her a shot of tequila. Having just spent about 21K I declined. Within a minute she told me she had to ‘go dancing’.
Okay, I thought, it’s not any different from a gogo… buy a drink or say goodbye.

To my surprise, when her dance was over, she returned to me. I’ll stress, there were probably 1,000 men there so she had plenty of choices. Since she came back, I bought her the tequila.
In return, she hung out with me to closing time. I had the 30-ish sales lady in a suit on my right, and the 24 yr old dancer with braces on my left. Lots of dancing, hugs, conversation, kisses and fun.

On the stage, things got more enthusiastic as we approached closing time. The girls started pouring water on each other and shedding clothes. They were drinking Chivas straight from the bottle. The dancing got more energetic, with water flying. It was like a high-energy go go bar.

At the end of the night my girl asked about coming home with me. I need to work in the morning, so I told her I’d save it for another day. We traded phone numbers, and I told her I’d see her again soon.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Historical Bar Bits

Comments made to me inside the bars of Bangkok:

"So why don't you take me home to my village for the weekend?
My mama is a virgin too."

Right after coming off stage from an extremely lewd sex act with three others,
the very young girl, clad only in panties and topless,
slid along my knee with her legs wrapped around my thighs and leaned close,
whispering into my ear,
"If you take me to the room upstairs, I won't be so shy."

Loong Jaidee
(Stories from Thailand, 20 years ago.)

temple photo by Jerry Burchard
(Click on his name to see an interview with him on Youtube)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Patong on Phuket Update

In Patong, which once saw almost no-one but single men,
the streets are now packed with groups of Asians on guided tours,
families and 'Derby and Joan' oldies,
very few of which spend any money in the bars.

They just walk around gawping at the ladyboys and glaring at any farang male who sits, talks or walks with Thai girls.

Could this be the future of Pattaya?

Email to Stickman

photo from Nightlife in Southern Thailand

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Patpong II

A lot of what goes on at King's Garden goes on outside at the sidewalk tables. These dek promote are part of the scenery each weekend.
Bangkok Eyes