Massage parlors. Girls with numbers washing you with their bodies. Very sensual, but how wicked could a place be when you're being washed clean for an hour.
But back in the 90s Bangkok had dives. Bars your mother prayed you would never enter. Booze halls your father never visited. Dumps you don’t write home and brag, “Gee, you should have seen where I spent Christmas.”
My first dive in Bangkok was Kenny’s Bar off Soi Duplei.
Kenny’s purported to be a bar/restaurant. Walking by you wouldn’t think it was anything evil judging from the daytime bunch of losers searching for the chance of sex or drugs or whatever comes there way. There was even a little gambling going on and Kenny was always trying to get you to go with his girls or him or the three of them, but in the end he was a family man and sadly went off to the UK with a lover. Now his cousin Fat Pat maintains the same level of depravity.
The next three were godless haunts with no socially redeemable values.
If you even know of these places you have already sold your soul to the Devil.
Eden Club off Sukhumvit.
You walked into the bar.
The manager, a weedy frog, said, “The Eden is not for drinking. It is for fucking.”
The Frenchman clapped his hands like the Marquis de Sade. The girls separated into two groups. Michel, that’s his name, explained, “The girls on the right are 2 hole. The girls on the left 3. Do you need me to explain?”
If you’re there, you know which holes he means.
Hint, the count has nothing to do with the nose or ears.
If you hit the Eden right then you can choose two princesses, but if you show up with a friend, then you fight over the pickings.
And let’s face it going to a place like the Eden is no fun unless you can brag about your exploits to your friend afterwards.
3-holers were understandably not as pretty as 2-holers.
But they were good to mix and match.
The girls will do anything to each other for an hour; dildo, 69, XXX movies, but bring your party hat because the Eden costs about 3500 for an hour and the clock started ticking from the time you leave the bar. So no lingering on the stairs.
If you were stuck for ideas, the girls will provide inspiration.
Also Michel, the garlic eater, promised ’satisfaction guaranteed or your money back’.
Which was almost impossible after you’ve been a pig.
The Eden was a fine place to walk out feeling like you need to confess your soul, but it was far from damnation. That honor was accorded two legendary Bangkok establishments.
It’s 2am. everything is shut. You’re ready to go to hell.
Damn Satan. I’ll take his best shot.
For real sleaze you need some place when you mention its name, people scrunched their eyes and say, “You’re not seriously thinking about going there.”
The Thermae Coffee House was a legend of sleaze.
Entering the bar required courage. You descended into a firetrap populated by the possibly wildest girls in Bangkok. Their fun began way after where yours ended.
Thermae was not for the casual tourist as the male clientele was better suited for a police line-up in any country in the world; dealers, thieves, scammers, drunks, losers, perverts as nauseum.
If pets resembled their owners, then these guys own rats, snakes, and weasels.
In short the Thermae was a Disneyworld funhouse for deviants.
The girls could be scary. Ugly enough to make a train take a dirt road or else scary in the sense that you never knew what you were getting into; fight with an ex-, STD, psycho burn-out at your hotel, possible jumpers.
But that was the price of admission to the most depraved place in town.
The Thermae was sin and you know you’re a bad person sitting there.
Plus it was almost impossible to get its smell off you.
At the reception of your hotel the staff would take a sniff.
‘Eau de thermae’.
Their esteem dropped to the level of a street dog, especially when your date from the bar entered after you. Cheap slutty and drunk. Miss Dok Thong 2006. The next morning the staff checked your room for possible theft of towels. That was the mark of Thermae.
GRACE BAR was a dark star of depravity, which even scared the infamous Stickman.
Despite numerous edicts on early closure of bars in Bangkok, the Grace strove to uphold its myth. The girls were beasts and the men were lovers of beasts. No one seemed to bathe or change their clothing. Some smelled like they might have died in the past 2-3 days.
Everyone at the bar had inhaled enough second-hand to get cancer and their life expectancy was under constant threat from alcoholism and drugs. The males were drop-outs from the Osman Bin Laden suicide camp, Nigerian scam artists, Sikh tailors who haven’t washed in a year, and American expats too fucked up to realize they were not in a go-go bar.
The women were beastoids too fuggly to fuck unless you had lost four of your senses. Most of them were old, which was good because the people frequenting the Grace should be banned from procreating little trogg monsters. Customers and girls ODed in their chairs. No oen tried to revive them, because one deserved a second chance in the Grace. They had wasted those long ago.
The Grace was a hellhole.
Still you had to love these places, because without them Bangkok became one big shopping mall. And we don’t buy anything in those emporiums.
Well, maybe Ginger Crisps at Marks and Spencers.