Thursday, 21 August 2014

App Arena Ratchada Soi 8

App Arena Ratchada Soi 8

Saturday 16.07.2014

Ratchadapisek Soi 8, behind exit 2 (south-west) of MRT Thailand Cultural Center.

Arrive 00:20 (i.e. on Sunday morning). At the entrance, there is a sign โต๊ะเต็ม (All tables are full), and staff doesn’t let me in! I observe others who enter: ID is checked, many have a stamp (APP) on their arm. After a few minutes, one of the staff asks me what I want to drink: beer. That means I can go in, because I don’t need a table. Beer Singha 330 ml bottle 150 Baht.

One of the rare occasions where I drink beer is in Thai discos. Single customer without table is unusual, and I had serious disappointment with coke before in Singapore (former ICK): the coke had room temperature and the straw was as long as the bottle, i.e. as soon as my lips touched the straw it disappeared in the bottle. With beer, at least you know it is cold.

The place is packed like DJ station on weekends. Estimate more than 500 customers (total 3 Farang) I have not seen a disco of this size that packed before (other places have similar size, but were less than 50 % full when I went). Difficult to move around, would be highly arousing for a frotteur, but not for me.


There are about 10 cute boys and about 20 boys who show an interest in me (all a bit drunk), 3 asking me to go with me or to come with them. I never got that much attention in a Thai disco. However the intersection set was zero.

Toilets are cleaner and better maintained than in other venues, interesting arrangement of sinks and mirrors.


No smoking in the disco, people go outside or smoke in the hallway to the toilets, disgusting. There is a karaoke room on the way to the toilets, an oasis of peace and space (there are less than 5, and it could accommodate 100), I stop there every time I go to toilet (which is quite a lot, not to pee, but to have a look at other customers in good light and lower music volume).

A group of boys invite me to their table, they all are a bit drunk, none of them my type. I will stay there for the rest of the night and exchange Line with one of them H. That gives me a place to return from my frequent trips to toilet (but if someone else shows interest I still could stay with him and not return – I can choose between “I am here alone and have nowhere to go” or “I go back to my friends’ table”).

The disco has many steps, from 3 to 20 cm, even if you are not drunk very annoying.

Music level 86-88 decibel (Sound Meter by Smart Tools on i-mobile IQ6), I use earplugs.

Some shisha/hookah smoking in the disco.

Police does a drug test in the toilets, music volume is a bit lower and an announcement is shown on the screens. I see about 20 police and army leaving.

From my entry (00:20) to about 1:30 a band is playing, about 2:00-2:10 four coyote boys in underwear are on stage and do a soda show (4 boys, 10 minutes, a bit lame for a disco of this size and 150 Baht for a beer).


I leave about 2:20. H insists on accompanying me to the door, even offers to call a taxi for me, but I want to have a look at Hollywood disco before going home. Having stayed that long (2 hours), I can as well wait for closing (3 am), so I take a seat on one of the benches outside. A good vantage point, the light is behind me, so I can see clearly who is walking past. Already at 2:50 a steady stream of customers leaving the disco, gets weaker at 3:15, so I take taxi home.

There are only few foodstalls along the street, and no tables and chairs (compare other places like Ramkhamhaeng 89/2 or G-Star Pavilion who have a foodcourt nearby).

Most boys spoke decent English (even when drunk), so I didn't use my Thai. In fact, there is nothing I can gain from speaking Thai, so I don't even tell them that I speak Thai. I use Thai as a secret weapon, should a cute boy who does not speak English come along, or to read or listen to boys unaware of my understanding of Thai. I will definitely not tell a boy who is not cute and wants to talk with me, but doesn't speak much English, that I can speak Thai.

I will go back on a weekday.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC

4 comments:

  1. I like your phrase and an idea itself to use your Thai speaking abilities as secret weapon as at times when with strangers its good to know what they are talking about without knowing you understand them.

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  2. Very interesting as usual. I think it's great that you go to all these places where
    farang rarely appear.

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  3. It´s funny and very interesting to read your opinion about one of fav. thai pub in BKK, my first visit of App Arena was in 2013 when It was near Huay Khang Market, which dirty location and very small uncomfortable place.
    Eventhough there are many funny discos in BKK, I was decided to go there cause some friends are working there as a manager and waiter and I also know the CEO personally.
    Actually I wanna tell you some points why some local thai pubs is not such fun for Farang alone traveller:

    1. thai people are always going in a big group like at least 5 per.
    thats why it is better to share a bottle of whisky
    2.if thai people gonna drink a beer, than we prefer to go to beer garden which offers many type of beer from many country, see many beer gardens in bkk
    3. like also many europeans or farangs who is not interested into asian people, there are also many many of regular gay thai boys, who are not interest into farangs. In this case if the farang prefer to date thai boys, than better go to silom, I´m very sure, there are enough boys for free or also for pay.
    4. I wouldn´t say that app arena is not welcoming farang, of course they are welcome any type of people and I think they are trying thier best to do good service for the customer :))
    I´ve sent many friends from europe to party there, so everyone were happy.

    My point is just, if you are as alone traveller farang who prefer to know thai local boys and thier life style how thai local gay gonna celebrate, than is this pub the right one for you. So that means that you also have to pay for a bottle even you are there alone, but dont worry all the waiter will entertain you as good as they can :)

    But if you prefer a one night stand with cheap money boy, than I would recommend to go to Silom Area, there you will find thai local boys with good english skills and best available rate on thoes night ;)

    have fun and enjoy Krung Thep.

    Ps. I´m sure that I do understand both side of people, even thais or farangs
    almost 20 years experience in Europe, which I came here when I was 5 and grew up, there I can say I´m half of their culture ;)

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  4. Ps2. I do write this only for new farang travellers who want to see some local pubs, if any questions or obscurities, do not hesitate to contact: toni.atthavorn@gmail.com ;)

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