One Night in Bangkok
Just when I’m back in San Francisco, I find myself sending tips on nights out in Bangkok to newfound friends. Here they are.
The best live blues and rock will be found at the Saxophone Pub & Restaurant at the Victory Monument. Great Thai and Filipino bands with good scene-view tables upstairs if you want to grab a bite. Even if I’ve never been a jazz fan, I have to say that the Brown Sugar on Soi Sarasin offers the best jazz gigs in Bangkok if only because it’s been a staple of the music scene for so long and has attracted so many talents.
In the Thai music department, there’s quite a bit to be said. After my younger brother converted me to Thai folk music a few years ago, I started listening to legendary Ad Carabao, a Thai political song writer who plays acoustic guitar. Given his fame and songwriting skills, he’d be the Johnny Cash of Siam. Now, if I wanted to listen to good Thai folk music, I’d probably head to the Raintree Pub & Restaurant another Victory Monument hangout. The Tawandang German Brewhouse at Rama III is known for its night shows mixing dancing girls, shadow puppets, Elvis covers, Thai ballads and the like.
Last but definitely least, Bangkok sports some great dragqueen shows, some in formal theatres such as the Mambo Cabaret, but the show I saw didn’t have the zing and efficiency of the slowest scene in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. For hot stuff, I’d say head to Patpong’s gay clubs such as the DJ Station. The midnight daily shows are famous.