The New Amsterdam

No, I’m not quoting a Counting Crows song. Marijuana—or ganja, as it’s known in Thailand—has been decriminalized in TLOS. This is a game changer for a country trying to recover from the devastating loss of tourism thanks to the scamdemic. Like a broken clock that’s right twice a day, the Thai govt accidentally did something great for the nation. The hordes of stoners, party animals, and Eurotrash that will inevitably flood the country with their dreadlocks, pachouli oil, and money will breathe life back into the economy and effectively rescue Thailand from the abyss. That is, as long as those same idiots don’t walk back the decision—a thing they’re teetering on the edge of doing. In the meantime though, opportunistic entrepreneurs (opportuneurs for short, copyright BKK7) are scrambling to make weed availableto the masses. Some sources feel odd, like Sarica Restaurant on Surawong Road. “We sell pizza! And weed.” Weird flex, but OK. Other sellers seem uniquely poised to peddle weed, like…oh….the redlight districts. Several gogo bars in Nana have already produced menus of maryjane and are happily doling it out. And Patpong isn’t far behind. Five bars in the Pong are gearing up to sell loosies. I don’t want to say which ones just yet, but they’re all on Soi 2, and the owner of these bars has enlisted the help of a ganja mad scientist to create a strain that will be unique to Patpong. I don’t personally partake of the green, but I’ve heard from friends that smoking it is an out-of -body experience. I think I got a contact high from it last week outside The Strip. Not sure who was smoking but wooh! Was it ever potent.

And for any business-minded bloke who’s maybe thinking about trying their luck in the RLD, I’ve a suggestion for you: What’s one guaranteed aftereffect of smoking weed? Getting the munchies. Ergo, what will every redlight rastaman want after a couple of joints? Snacks! Now, I’ve already heard tell of new eateries in the works, namely a pizza joint and schnitzel rolls. But I have an idea that I’d love to see someone run with—krapow tacos. It’s a perfect grab-and-go snack that could be peddled out of a cart. A Mexican-Thai fusion food to feed the weed-powered need. Someone please make that. Just thinking about it has my mouth watering.

Speaking of weed, the decriminalization push has also freed up people to incorporate the stuff in other ways. The Patpong Museum, for instance, has a new exhibit on the story behind the original owners of Superstar and their unfortunate run-in with the California Coast Guard that got them pinched with a boatload of stuff back in the 80s. And on display are two kilos of primo green.

Speaking of Patpong, the last few days have looked and felt like old times—as in, preplandemic times. The crowds of punters, mongers, slumming couples and business trip bros have been epic. At the weekend, dudes were hard pressed to find an open seat in any gogo bar after 10 pm. As someone who loves Patpong and the people in it, the collective, wild look of relief and joy on the faces of bar owners and dancers has been exhilarating to see. And this puffy old Pongmonger is equally relieved to see the gogos full of hotties again. During the lockdowns, I worried that once we were free again, the chicks wouldn’t come back to the pole. Two years is a long time in the life of a dancer, and I knew that many of them would’ve aged out. But thankfully, mums and dads in Isaan keep turning out hot daughters, many of whom board buses and head to the big city as soon as they’re old enough. And every night, I see new honeys who are perfect from head to toe. There’s a core crew of smoking hot babes at The Strip, XXX Lounge, and Black Pagoda/Club Black, along with new beauties appear every night. I’ve seen a slew of fresh faces in Pink Panther, Bada Bing, Radio City, and King’s Castle. Accordingly, the party in those joints have been absolutely bonkers—back to 2015 status (link to the photo slideshow at the bottom of this post).

And all this excitement came during a week where torrential monsoons soaked the RLD and booze was officially banned for two days thanks to one of the many Buddhist holidays that irk an confuse tourists throughout the year. The Pong was shut on Wednesday, yet while the other RLDs remained shuttered on Thursday as well, Patpong dared to open, and in a few places you could get a quiet beer poured into an innocuous container to sip gratefully whilst checking over your shoulder for the fuzz every few seconds. But that, too, will see remedy through weed legalization. As far as I know, there’s no rule against having a pot gummy on Big Buddha Day. The ganja go-ahead is the gift that keeps on giving.

With the combination of hot pole kitties and legal weed, I’ve lately been referring to Bangkok with a new nickname: Hot Amsterdam. It’s got all the redlight love and hotboxing of Amsterdam without the cold weather. Who wants to go to Holland now that you can get the sun, sin, and sinsemilla with a plate of pad thai, fresh mango, and a tropical beach to boot? Thailand is the new Amsterdam.

And to test that theory, my buddy Lucky and I shared a stick of Grape Pie in the front of Paddy Field on Saturday. As somebody who doesn’t partake of the green, two puffs knocked me on my ass for hours. One minute I was sitting there, enjoying the afternoon, watching a crazy lady scream at herself—a common sight in the Pong by day—the next I was awash in vibration, connecting synapses long dormant in my old brain. It felt like someone came up from behind and threw a blanket over my head. The next half hour—or maybe several hours, I couldn’t tell—were taken up with me and Lucky trying to get our bearings back, laughing hysterically at passing cars, and delving into the deepest conversations about nothing. Finally, I had to go home and sleep it off. It was a fun trip, but I don’t know if my old bones can handle that except on the rarest occasions. My biggest takeaway was, I smoked weed in a bar in the daytime, and didn’t end up in jail. That’s the new Thailand we’re all going to have to get used to. The new normal. The new Amsterdam.

Things were just as crazy in the Pong on Saturday night. There must’ve been 100 girls in King’s Castle, and more than a dozen of them are new young PYTs. I snapped a couple pics of new girls there and also at Radio City. And over at The Strip, the mamasan Anna coaxed me into buying dinner for the girls again. And at Club Black I got an eyeful of two girls in lingerie playing billiards all by themselves. I’ll throw all that into this week’s photo montage.

That’s all the Pongmonger that’s fit to ponder for now, friends. Check back next Sunday for another summary of red-light events. In the meantime, you can read more about Bangkok life on my Substack:

A video montage of companion photos for this post can be found at

For racier content, you can join a members only site dedicated to Patpong gogo dancers for just 5 bucks a month over at

Follow the Twitters of King’s Castle @SPatpong Bangkok Gogo Dancers @BangkokNi2 and yours truly @BangkokSeven

Until next time, keep your balls warm, your beer cold, and cheers to another week above ground in the greatest country on Earth: Thailand.