Washington Square, Bangkok

Washington Square in Bangkok is home to some bars, restaurant-bars, massage parlors, a “katoey” [transsexual] revue and some other assorted businesses.

It’s not an open square. It is a ring of several separate buildings around the 4 sides and 3 long buildings cheek-by-jowl in the middle. A drive encircles the 3 buildings, separating them from the outer ring.

Washington Square is located near the intersection of Soi Asoke and Sukhumvit Road. It can be entered from 2 sides: there isan entrance from Sukhumvit6 Road almost directly opposite Sukhumvit Soi 33. That entrance is about 150 meters west of The Emporium, where thereis a Skytrain station — convenient for anyone coming from elsewhere in the city who has ready access to the Skytrain or subway. It also can be entered fromuSUkhumvit Soi 22, which runs along its west side. That entrance is directly opposite The Regency Park Hotel, about 100 meters from Sukhumvit Road.

There are two upscale restaurant bars: The Dubliner right at the Sukhumvit Road entrance — in fact, its front faces Sukhumvit, not into the Square — and Bourbon Street Restaurant clear around the back of the Square, practically in a straight line from The Dubliner. The rest of such places are largely Square regulars (“Squaronians,” as we call ourselves) — and can be raucous.

A local writer once did piece about Washington Square and its denizens, whom he aptly described as men “with thousand-yard stares.”

Most of the regulars are older (40+) Western men; quite a few have Thai wives. Many of the guys work in the oil industry; others are retired military. Americans make up the largest single national group, though there are quite a few people from other countries who also are Squaronians.

Squaronians, as a group, take a little time to get a newcomer’s measure, but once they decide the person’s okay, they open up (and this is usually what happens). Oh, the odd idiot or rude sort wanders in on rare occasion, but gets frozen out right quick. Which means the rest of us can enjoy visiting each other without suffering some fool — and if we do have to put up with one, we are noted for voting with our feet, right now.

For some reason, Washington Square is often completely ignored by travel writers, even those who don’t have their noses up in the air and would never consider going anyplace short of a 4- or 5-star joint.

One attraction is that prices are reasonable in the bars, especially compared to better-known areas such as Patpong, Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy, Sukhumvit Soi 33, Soi Thonglor, Soi Ekhamai, etc. A beer is typically about 80 baht; a mixed drink about 90-100 baht.

Drop by the Square sometime and poke around a little. . . .

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One Response to “Washington Square, Bangkok”

  1. Wolfgang Buettner Says:

    why not add a map -would be easier than the slightly confusing description.Thank you

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