October 14, 2018 By bangkok7
What’s up, I’m Seven. Livin’ the dream on your behalf, in case you can’t. After reviewing the bars down both sides of Patpong Soi 1 in parts 1 and 2 of this series, it’s now time to turn attention to Soi 2, the less-trafficked but probably better of the two sois, at least in terms of watering holes. So let’s not waste any time:
If you’re standing at the entrance to Soi 2 on Silom Road, you can’t see much because the alley bends to the left at The Steakhouse Co. But if you walk in that direction, the first bar on the left (west) side is the famous Bada Bing gogo. It’s seeing a bit of a lull in popularity these days, but then what gogo isn’t, am I right? But a lot of what made them a big kid on the block is still there. Their in-house DJ is great—arguably the best on the Pong. Their drinks are strong and not too expensive (150 for a beer or cocktail). And they still have a pretty good lineup of ladies, as well as very friendly and helpful staff. Hopefully one day, when the junta loosens their grip a bit and the global economy bounces back, this place’ll be rockin’ again like the old days.
Next comes The Patpong Café. 99.99% of tourists breeze past this joint without even noticing it, and that’s just how the café likes it. It’s not for tourists, or farang for that matter. It’s a Thai place. The décor is old-fashioned and ornate. They have a few hostesses and a guy on a guitar and keyboard who will play along with your karaoke tune, if he knows it. Drinks are reasonable at 150 for a bottle of beer. But I’d rather pay that to watch girls in sailor uniforms dance the boogie. The guy who owns this place is also owns Kiss and Crown Royal. He’s a cool dude. Went to high school in Glendale, California, which is a 20 minute drive from where I grew up.
Next to The Patpong Café is another hole in the wall not frequented by tourists—The Crystal Palace. The highlight of this bar is the bar, which is a large horseshoe-shaped wooden monster. In the center is a pillar that’s been decked out to look like a tree with soft moody lights strung from floor to ceiling. The bar also has a male-female singing duo, the Pong’s version of Captain and Tennille, belting out Carpenters tunes in between the usual Thai favorites. While I was there, the guy at the table next to me had dinner delivered from The Derby King restaurant on Soi 1. Beers here are also 150, and there are a handful of hostesses who will keep you company…..if you’re a Thai business man come to blow off steam. As the only farang in the place, I felt out of place. The bartender even awkwardly asked “Uhh, are you here to meet somebody?” I left half a beer, paid, and bailed.
After that comes Glamour A-gogo. I love this place. It’s run by the same guys that own Bada Bing, and they’ve moved some of the cuter Bing girls over to Glamour, as Glamour’s getting more foot traffic lately. The servers here are great, just like the ones at Bing, and the drinks are strong. And the girls are more relaxed and willing to let their hair down than many of the other gogos. It’s just a fun place to be in, especially later in the evening when the girls have had a few drinks. 150 for beers or cocktails.
Above Glamour (take the lift or hop the stairs to the 3rd floor) is Black Pagoda. It’s the gogo you can see from the street, because it extends across Soi 2 via a bridge. The gogo part is a bit small–one might say cozy–but it’s one of the best looking gogos, aesthetically speaking, and it has one of the best in-house dj’s and a bevy of beautiful babes who are happy to share one of the large, high-backed chairs with you. BP has some of the best butts in the biz right now, as they’v managed to snag a handful of the cuter girls from the former Electric Blue, as well as one of their outstanding bartenders, so you’re sure to enjoy the damsels as much as the drinks. It’s best to get there early if you want a seat, though if you arrive too late, don’t worry. The back area, which is currently being remodeled to make room for a dance floor, has some private sofas and a pool table. Also, there’s an upstairs area that’ll make the average dude feel like a VIP.
Then comes one of the best-kept secrets on the Pong—well, at least it was kept from me through my own ignorance. That place is Cosmo’s. Or is it Cosmos? Is it meant to be a joint owned by a guy names Cosmo, or a reference to the vastness of outer space? I’m not sure, but whoaaaaaa, nelly. What an awesome bar. It’s decked out, like so many Thai bars, in an American old-western motif. Wagon wheels, cowboy hats, steer skulls, and wood, wood, wood everywhere you look. I loved it instantly. It was absolutely jammed with people. All Thai. And there were quite a few very good-looking hostesses there, and one absolute knockout of a bartender. She was so excruciatingly beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes off her, even when she became noticeably uncomfortable from my blatant staring. The operating hours on the wall say “9 am to midnight” which I found hard to believe. One of these days I’m going to show up at 9 in the morning, just to check. What I found most surprising was how utterly hip it felt, being in there. It reminded me of the old chic dive bars in L.A. like The Key, Café Formosa, and El Coyote, where rock stars, novelists, and movie icons casually blended in with the furniture, and you felt like you were inhaling old-time Hollywood just by being there. Cosmo’s is just like that. Bottle of beer: 130.
Next is an outdoor ladyboy bar called King’s Garden. Yet another in the King’s Patpong holdings. It’s a nice place to sit and people-watch, if you can stand the heat. You can also listen to whichever live band is playing that night in Paddy Field. Beers are 140.
Across the side soi is an outdoor billiards bar, also owned by the King’s family. This place has lots of female hostesses anxious for anyone and everyone to grab a chair and have a conversation, or play some pool or darts. Also good for people-watching. Bottles of beer are 140.
Then comes an indoor pool hall called De Talk. And again, it’s full of happy hostesses. I used to go in there every night, because I was enamored of a girl that worked there. She was a pool shark, and she beat me every night, but I thought I was investing in an eventual future date. Alas, it came to nothing and she changed jobs. But when I was there, I believe the beers were 170.
Next to De Talk is Screw Boys Karaoke, a gay karaoke joint. I didn’t go in.
Then comes Topless Bar. It’s an outdoor pool hall staffed by some friendly ladies and even friendlier ladyboys. Nobody is topless. This used to be a jumping-off point for a night on the Pong for me and a group of friends that I used to carouse with. Now I only carouse with Thai girls. Drinks are similarly-priced. It’s not air-con, but they have lots of big fans and some flat-screens usually showing Thai football.
Then there’s a lot of empty commercial space, and then comes the end of the soi. Volcano Ramen restaurant right at the end, and they do serve beer so I guess they count. The food is terrific.
And that’s the west side of Patpong Soi 2. The list is short compared to the east side, which I’m slowly making my way through at the moment. Part 4 of this series might not come out for a week or two, but stay tuned. In the meantime, check out my weekly Patpong update at http://patpongnightlife.com/2018/10/14/sevens-weekly-october-14-2018/
and here’s to another day above ground, everybody. Cheers.