Bangkok; Where has the Fun Gone?

Bangkok used to be a city filled with fun and adventure, especially when it became dark. Now, due to a “social order campaign,” the city is loosing it’s flair. Jennifer Gampell, a writer for New York Times Travel, shares her experience with Bangkok nightlife in her article;“Social Order” Takes the Life Out of Night Life.

“Increasingly, going out on the town in Bangkok has become more of a hassle than checking in for an international flight. At least after clearing airport security and passport control, passengers can look forward to a smooth trip. But once inside the dwindling number of international-standard Bangkok night spots, patrons still face a potentially bumpy ride.

To change Bangkok’s decades-old reputation as a 24-hour party center, in 2002 the Thaksin government created three “entertainment zones” in which drinking and dancing were allowed until 2 a.m. (According to one club owner, four years later nobody knows the precise boundaries because the zoning law was never made official.) Outside these zones, dancing was illegal and closing times were 1 a.m.

Of the trio of late-night zones, only Patpong would be familiar to visitors. Significantly cleaned up over the last five years, the strip is naughty only in so far as sanitized parodies of sex shows and hordes of stall vendors selling overpriced tourist schlock could be considered salacious. Apart from the long-running bar Tapas (Silom Soi 4) and D.J. Station, nothing in the Patpong area qualifies as a trendy dance club.”