Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

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#1 Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby fountainhall » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:16 am

There is a post on the Sawatdee forum that Soi Twilight is to be demolished in June/July. I can find no other information about this on google.

We do know that large swathes of Rama 4 are due for major redevelopment to make way for yet more 5-star hotels and shopping malls. I am wondering if that entire plot opposite the Jim Thomson shop is to be included in this plan. Mere conjecture. Does anyone else have news of this?

http://www.gaybuttonthai.com/viewtopic.php?t=8450

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#2 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby Trongpai » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:19 pm

I was told by some of the business owners on Soi Twilight and the adjacent business that face Rama 4 that they have been informed that all leases are going to expire on 1 May 2018 and there will be no renewals. So, the speculation is redevelopment. The adjacent block on Rama 4 behind Classic Boys has been demolished and is now covered by a construction curtain. I see pile drivers at the site and that means a high rise.

It's a little more than a rumor but not a done deal in my opinion. Often plans don't come off as announced and seldom on time. I don't know if the fat lady is singing but I hear her behind the stage warming up her voice.

As for the site of the former SuanLum Night bazaar, Rama 4/Sathorn. It's still all surrounded by a huge construction curtain but nothing is going on inside. The property developer kicked all the rent paying vendors out almost 10 years ago and then just let the land stand vacant.

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#3 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby fountainhall » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:37 pm

If it does close, I for one will be very sad. It's not that I am particularly concerned about the fate of the go-go bars themselves as I find their quality has dropped so much. Presumably some will find another location if they intend to continue in business. It's much more that part of my history will come to an end. I've been going to Soi Twilight since about 1982, much more regularly in the first couple of decades when I was a tourist and a regular at the original Twilight bar. Even though my visits have redically declined in recent years, despite price increases, the gradual erosion of the fun element in many of the bars, the closures of and changes to some of the best ones and so on, dining at Dick's and drinks at Hotmale 2 have always been a pleasure, if only to people-watch. It will truly be the end of an era.

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#4 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby Dodger » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:22 pm

I have a feeling that sad news like this will be a regular event for all of us LOS veterans as time moves on with the lack of gay customers supporting these venues. There is simply not enough cash flow to keep these venues operating, coupled with the governments plans to "change the image" of Thailand as they say.

I have many good memories of Soi Twilight and will miss it.

The same is happening to Sunee Plaza in Pattaya, and I'm afraid Boyztown will disappear one day as well. Fortunately, we have the memories of what it used to be like to cherish. Trying to describe what it used to be like in the good-old-days to newcomers will be almost impossible.

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#5 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby Gaybutton » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:50 pm

Those of you who go to Soi Twilight might want to make some inquiries as to whether these bars are planning to reopen elsewhere and if so, form a clone of Soi Twilight somewhere or find individual places to open. If you are able to find out anything, please let us know.

I would find it hard to believe that all the bar owners are just going to simply "retire" when their leases run out. I have a feeling at least a few of them will reopen elsewhere and may already be looking for suitable locations.

If they do open elsewhere, the next question will be where? They may not stay in the Silom area at all. Years ago there were a few go-go bars in the Saphan Kwai area. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find some of those Soi Twilight bars opening in that area.

I can also envision it becoming a silver lining on Pattaya's current cloud. It would certainly be far less expensive for those bars to relocate to Pattaya and if they do, that could mean the resurrection of Pattaya's gay bar scene. There are certainly plenty of spaces for go-go bars to open in Sunee Plaza.

Who knows? I guess we'll be finding out soon enough.

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#6 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby Jun » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:34 am

The bars will probably benefit from being in close proximity to each other, as tourists are not going to want to travel too far from bar to bar. So I hope they find somewhere close.

Screw Boys manages OK a short distance away & no doubt more bars can find premises there or along the same soi as Golden Cock etc.

As for leaving land vacant, well according to an article in the Bangkok Post in December, the government is going to introduce taxes for urban land left undeveloped & that tax would go up a tier after 5 years. That's to discourage people holding land just waiting as it appreciates in value.

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#7 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby fountainhall » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:41 am

Soi Twilight is like Silom Soi 4. I agree with Jun that it is the proximity of a large number of entertainment outlets in one small soi that has helped create its atmosphere and attraction. It is also an integral part of the larger, concentrated gay area that includes Soi 4, the Tawan/Super A/Golden Cock/Nature Boys location, Screw Boys, Sauna Mania, Senso and other Spas and the DJ Station soi. Each sub-section benefits from its relative closeness to the others. If some owners re-open but in scattered locations further away from the centre, I cannot see them lasting long. As Jun also points out, potential customers don't want to travel too far from bar to bar, no matter how good or their previous reputations. One example is my favourite massage spa, Albury. Whenever I visited in its Sukhumvit Soi 11 location, business was always brisk. After its move to the location between Sukhumvit and Rama 4, it just died!

There are three other problems in finding a new location. The first is that land prices and therefore rents in the central area have risen dramatically since the original Twilight bar opened in that soi. There are still plenty of under-developed areas but the second problem is they have to be in an identified "entertainment zone". The third issue is: in Thailand how likely is it that all the owners will be able to agree where any new location should be?

As has been mentioned, one possible new area could be near the Suriwong end of Silom Soi 6 where there are already four bars and where Solid and Super Lek used to be located. But it is far from ideal. 15 years or so ago the hugely successful Barbiery moved there from its old location across Suriwong from Soi Twilight. Like Albury it then died fairly quickly. I believe that was as much because the bar layout/atmosphere was completely different from its earlier incarnation - far less intimate - and the boys line up changing from principally twinks to bigger, slightly older guys, as it was to the location. But we also know that that area has also seen big rent rises. As I understand it, this was a reason for the death of Solid Bar - although in the case of that bar, bad management was also responsible in my view.

On the other hand, take Tawan away from that area and the number of punters presently is minuscule. Plus, unlike Soi Twilight, it is in the middle of a lot of high-rise buildings. Could owners really create any sort of Twilight-like atmosphere there? Would open-air beer bars be permitted? Is there enough roadside space? The more I think about it, the more I doubt the location works.

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#8 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:39 am

fountainhall wrote:The more I think about it, the more I doubt the location works.

That's why I won't be surprised if some of these bars end up in Pattaya.

Again, if anyone gets a chance to talk with any of the bar owners and can find out what their plans are, please let us know.

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#9 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby a447 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:01 pm

The Mango Tree restaurant wouldn't be too happy to find themselves in the middle of lots of new gay action.

At the moment the gay bars there are fairly discreet.

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#10 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby Jun » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:36 am

If they manage to squeeze into Patpong (like Screwboys) & in between Tawan & The Golden Cock/Nature Boys, then we still have some kind of proximity of the bars.

I am surprisingly unconcerned about this.

OK, Classic Boys has gets my "best selection of twinks" award on over 50% of my trips to Thailand & they finally seem to have shipped the evil mamasans out of that bar, so losing that bar will be a loss. It was clearly the best bar I saw in December. In fact, if I put the best twinks from the 8 Pattaya gogo bars I visited together, this combined selection might be comparable with Classic Boys.

However, the Soi Twilight bars take so much money for short short time, after one or 2 trips to the bars, I'm looking at the phone apps.
Now why get stressed out about the loss of bars that I hardly ever visit, as a result of pricing? [And I believe they should charge what the market will stand, so I'm not going to moan about it]


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