Bangkok Nightlife – Washington Square, Off the Beaten Track

People conversant in Bangkok or researching for a go to find out about a few of Bangkok’s extra well-known — and notorious — nightlife venues. The greatest-identified is Patpong, which dates again to the 1960’s and was fashionable with troopers on depart from the Vietnam War. Also nicely-identified are Nana Plaza simply off Sukhumvit Road on Soi 4 ​​(Soi Nana) and Soi Cowboy.

In truth, there are a number of different leisure areas which have grow to be higher identified over the years, similar to Ratchadapisek Road, Rama IX Road, RCA (Royal City Avenue), Soi Thonglor, and Soi Ekhamai.

But there may be one venue not on the maps of most data sources: Washington Square (and environs).

Washington Square fronts onto the south aspect of Sukhumvit Roadbetween Sukhumvit Soi 22 and Sukhumvit Soi 24, nearer to the former than the latter.

Washington Square is definitely an enclosure with three cheek-by-jowl, longish buildings occupying a lot of the heart, with a drive going alongside all 4 sides, the drive framed by a row of buildings. The Square will be entered instantly from Sukhumvit Road through a brief entry drive to the internal drive or from Sukhumvit Soi 22 instantly reverse the Regency Park Hotel a couple of hundred meters from Sukhumvit Road.

The Square is a relatively curious place. There are a number of bars, together with two that serve meals as nicely, some that serve solely drinks, and but others which can be extra restaurant in nature than bar. There are some bars catering to Japanese. Nestled off by itself in the northwest nook of the Square there’s even a homosexual bar, however for many patrons of the Square, it might as nicely be on one other planet. There are additionally a number of therapeutic massage parlors. There are a number of corporations positioned right here, together with a printer and a journey company. The center of the three aspect-by-aspect buildings used to accommodate a film cinema however now provides a big pool-oriented bar on the floor flooring with a “ladyboy” cabaret present upstairs in the auditorium.

The largest single group of regulars in the Square — and it is extremely a lot a regulars’ form of place — is American, although quite a few different nationalities are represented, particularly Canadian, British, Australian, and New Zealander, however with quite a few others represented by a minimum of one or two people. For the most half, regulars of the Square (a bunch dubbed “Squaronians”) are a barely older group and nearly totally male.

The Western-oriented bar-solely locations and two of the bars that additionally serve meals should not for the faint-of-coronary heart, as they are often fairly raunchy. Not at all times, however typically. The similar holds for all the drinks-solely locations. When they’re calm, they’re nice locations to chill out, whether or not you wish to sit by yourself listening to music or watching tv — all the locations have each — or to strike up a dialog with different prospects or workers. Of course, for those who like rowdiness, yow will discover that, too. Drink costs are notably aggressive, particularly in comparison with lodge bars and bars in the nicely-identified venues. In all, there are a couple of dozzen locations catering primarily to Westerners.

Along Sukhumvit Soi 22 there may be the occcasional bar, plus one small block of (largely) bars on the different aspect of the soi from Washington Square and a bit additional down. These are all Western-oriented and have quite a few common patrons.

This is an effective space to get a really feel for the resident expat’s life-style that is very completely different from that of the company expat’s. Most people round this space are full-time *and* lengthy-time period — not rotating out after a tour again to their residence nation. Many have Thai wives, and a few have youngsters. A sizeable quantity are retired (together with fairly a couple of retired US army folks). The largest working group is made of individuals in the oil enterprise or building (typically oil-associated) as discipline employees.

A regionally-primarily based British author as soon as wrote an article by which he described the regulars of the Square as “males with thousand-yard stars,” and that is an excellent metaphor. Newcomers are at all times welcome, however Squaronians prefer to get a way of them (and do not endure fools in any respect, by no means thoughts gladly!).

I ought to notice that whereas I’m very a lot a Squaronian myself (and have been for means over a decade), I’ve no enterprise pursuits wherever in Washington Square. I typically get requested as a result of I do write about it regularly.

It’s value testing, and is near the Skytrain station at The Emporium in addition to barely farther from the Asoke Station; the stroll is simple from both one. Figure on about 4 or 5 minutes from The Emporium station and about eight-ten minutes from the one at Asoke.

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