Out to Space

A freak who enjoys discovering and sharing a simple beauty of life even in a strange place

Decade of Drinking in Phra Khanong Part 3
2021-2023: Intoxicated Distancing

2023: Engaged Distancing

My latest return saw different vibes from 2021. Social distancing and other COVID-19 measures were lifted. It seemed we got back to the old normal. Since my apartment was a mess and needed a revamp, the estate agent got me a room in the Asoke area. Thus, I was distanced from Phra Khanong and for the first time in over a decade resided further away from it. Nonetheless, I remained engaged and always found my way for a night out there weekly. 

The neighbourhood reclaimed its unique vibrancies. The usual pubs were there: Uncle Jong’s Kitchen, the Rovers, the Last Drop, Paradiso, and Kosmo. More pubs and live music bars opened. But On-Nut beer garden moved away and P.J. O’ Brian didn’t attract me anymore. The companies of Phu Bao Phra Khanong and staff still got me attached. 

Another changing vibe was legal recreational cannabis. Weed shops popped up everywhere in Thailand. Of course, Phra Khanong embraced this development. You could get drunk OR/AND get high—no need to be discreet like in 2021. Soi scenes were usually elevated when having it both ways. (not recommend it if you have low tolerance.) Moreover, you met and chatted with like-minded potheads.

On the contrary, that could be risky since I didn’t have the luxury of walking back to the room anymore. Most of the time, the autopilot mode took me back to Asoke. And an incident happened. On the full moon in November (Loy Krathong night), I lost my mobile phone in the taxi on the way back. Eventually, it was returned but I should have learned better from the fall in Tbilisi.

Speaking of a recurring incident, the Last Drop closed the curtain in July/August. Unlike the taking over of the previous occupants, this time my prime spot in Pridi Soi 2 was discontinued. For the first time in a decade this premise that used to be Polish’s Lubliner/Japanese’s som tum joint/Belgian’s Tigra/Aussie’s the Last Drop was vacant. My favourite perching spot was forsaken. Sadly…

Decade of Drinking in Phra Khanong

Its closure motivated me to blog about my drinking experiences in Phra Khanong, finally. It all started there when I joined the table of farangs at that pub across from a Chinese funeral supply shop in early 2013. There have been loads of vibrant memories since then. The distance from the area also allowed me to look back more objectively. Nowhere else in the world is like Bangkok and nowhere else in Bangkok is like Phra Khanong.

Ultimately, those rich experiences were from the people: the loose gang of Phu Bao Phra Khanong, publicans and staff, and other patrons. No matter their professions, ethnicities, cultural upbringings, sexual orientations, gender identities, political affiliates, or levels of intellect—I encountered them all and built strong friendships with many of them.

This drinking series is just an aspect of Phra Khanong’s organised chaos. Its modern history is also fascinating. Unfortunately, the cinema series has only one entry. Other subcultures are worth mentioning such as the Muslim community and clusters of migrant workers (mostly from Myanmar) around Phra Khanong Market. 

Undoubtedly, Phra Khanong will keep evolving. And I will keep coming, at least, to enjoy it.

Next Post

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

© 2024 Out to Space

Theme by Anders Norén