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

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

Postby Bangkokian » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:44 pm

Gaybutton wrote:If I were a Bangkok bar owner about to be forced out of my venue and I want to relocate, I'd certainly be taking a serious look at Pattaya.

Well I would NOT.
Why would a Bangkok bar owner imagine that his customers would follow him to Pattaya? People want local bars.
Do you think that the existing customers of soi Twilight would just stay at home at nights?
If you came to Bangkok, you could see the hundreds of customers in Silom soi 4 or in some bars in Twilight nightly.

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

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:27 pm

Bangkokian wrote:Do you think that the existing customers of soi Twilight would just stay at home at nights?

I have no idea what the locals would do. I'm sure some of the bars, maybe all of them, will find places in Bangkok to relocate, but where? In Bangkok, where can they relocate to that would have all the attributes I listed? If they can find a suitable area, I expect them to remain in Bangkok. But what if they can't find a suitable area? Then what?

I also believe if enough established go-go bars with preexisting names and reputations moved to Pattaya, and Bangkok ends up with no more go-go bars to offer than Pattaya currently has, the holiday makers would be flocking to Pattaya.

By the way, I do come to Bangkok - quite often - but I'm not among those who look to the bars for my entertainment. I don't go to the Bangkok go-go bars and haven't for years. I'm not about to pay those prices. You also rarely find me in go-go bars in Pattaya anymore either. I probably would go if the gay hook-up apps didn't exist, but they do and that's how I prefer to find all the willing young gents I want.

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

Postby SP55 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:21 am

Bangkokian wrote:Why would a Bangkok bar owner imagine that his customers would follow him to Pattaya? People want local bars.

Soi Twilight as "local bars"? Are you kidding? 90%+ of the customers are from China or other Asians visiting briefly. That's the whole business model of the soi. Squeeze every satang you can from the tourist. I doubt many locals see it as their regular local hang-out.

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

Postby thaiworthy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:06 am

SP55 wrote:
Bangkokian wrote:Why would a Bangkok bar owner imagine that his customers would follow him to Pattaya? People want local bars.

Soi Twilight as "local bars"? Are you kidding? 90%+ of the customers are from China or other Asians visiting briefly. That's the whole business model of the soi. Squeeze every satang you can from the tourist. I doubt many locals see it as their regular local hang-out.

Not necessarily Soi Twilight. The way I read it, Bangkokian meant Silom Soi 4 as local bars, and some other bars scattered about. But just because a local farang does visit a go-go now and then, that doesn't make it his regular hang-out.

When I was a tourist I went to go-go bars a lot. Now that I'm a resident I will visit a go-go maybe twice a year in Bangkok, and maybe 6 times in Pattaya.

I am starting to favor host bars. And strangely of all, when I visit farang friends upcountry, these young gentlemen find me, I don't find them. I think everybody has different experiences however it may be, including the apps, and most go-gos will survive wherever they happen to be.

It looks impossible to me for anyone to try and predict what bars will move where. These are only possibilities, after all.
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#35 Re: Soi Twilight to be Demolished in June/July for Redevelopment?

Postby fountainhall » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:26 am

Like thaiworthy, I was a regular in the bars when visiting as a tourist. From Apollo in 1980 through Twilight and Barbiery, they were great fun, each had its own character and the boys for the most part were obviously enjoying themselves. At some point around the turn of the century, the individuality of the bars changed. A blandness crept in, a sameness in the offerings, and it gradually became difficult to distinguish one from the other. My friends and I found ourselves gravitating to those which did try to break that mould. Extreme Bar on a first floor of Twilight with its troupe of young professional dancers who were fun to interact with. Solid near Soi Tarntawan was far from a classic go-go bar but we enjoyed it, largely because of cheaper drink prices and again the easy interaction with the boys. In Twilight, only Classic seemed to stick to the same successful model with its concentration on twinks. But even that began to change.

Apollo, Barbiery, the original Twilight, Extreme, Rome Club, My Way, Super Lek, Solid - all died for a variety of reasons. But it's inevitable that times change, costs rise and if bars don't adapt they too will surely die. The economics of the bar go-go business in the 80s and 90s depended on a certain model - largely oriented towards western tourists, some expats but also with a fair sprinkling of Thais. Where have all those Thais gone? On Saturdays, there used to be more Thais in Barbiery than westerners!

The Thaksin government’s social order campaigns no doubt freaked owners who had operated largely by ensuring the BIB received their tea money up till then. Yet the increasing flood of youngish gay western tourists should surely have been an encouragement for the owners to adapt to keep their businesses more than profitable. Or was it perhaps the knowledge that tourists would either be one-offs or merely very occasional visitors a disincentive to change? Did the owners assume that out of the increasing visitor numbers there would always be some group wanting to try the Thai go-go bar experience? Was this why the bars became almost museums?

Now with Asian tourists who mostly have a different agenda for visiting the bars, the result has again been no change – apart from ridiculously high drinks prices that are putting off the locals and many tourists.

In fairness, the apps will have had an effect on bar business, improved economic conditions in the countryside and HIV now make it more difficult to find Thais prepared to strut their stuff in the bars. I guess too that many former regulars are finding their way to places like Cuba and Brazil which are now no more expensive than Thailand.

Even though I have predicted the go-go bars in Bangkok will soon die out, I do believe there is a niche there for adventurous owners prepared to adapt the model and bring back the enjoyment and enthusiasm of the 1980s and 90s. Could there be anyone prepared to try that? Would government agencies and the BIB permit it? Sadly. I doubt it.

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

Postby bobsaigon3 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:25 pm

Just to cloud the issue a bit: I asked a long-time Dreamboys capitan about the shut down of the soi, and got this reply last night: “Yes, I heard the same things you heard, but I think it will not happen soon. Maybe one year from now. Now my boss looking for some place to open new bar”.


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