Not ready for the weekend to end? Need a change from the Silom Soi 2/4 gay scene? Or just looking for a fun and fanciful night out in Bangkok? Look no further than one of Bangkok’s most fabulous hidden gems, Maggie Choo’s.
Tucked away at the bottom end of Silom road, Maggie Choo’s was designed by Ashley Sutton, a rambunctious cussing Aussie ex-miner who believes in fairies. Featuring an eclectic design (with a few sexy surprises), live jazz and blues and a handsome crowd, it’s one of Bangkok’s coolest bars. Every Sunday is gay night so last week we took ourselves along to see what all the fuss is about.
Located in the basement of the Novotel Fenix Silom, had it not been for several handsome men walking by, we’d have totally missed the small wooden Chinese entrance door. We followed the studs down a creaky staircase and a retro-chic Chinese noodle stand appeared before us. Panic set in…are we in the right place? Or are we just stalkers trailing random hot guys down dimly lit corridors?
The answer of course is yes, and we quickened our pace as they disappeared behind a large velvet curtain.
Boom! We suddenly found ourselves inside a sexy speakeasy styled art deco den of iniquity. Leather and satin couches nestled amongst exposed brick arches. Portraits and busts, softly lit by antique lamps, broodily watched your every move. Handsome waiters smiled from behind the bars of the 1930’s cashiers counter.
We dropped our shoulders, raised our chins, stuck one hip forward and sashayed on in.
Whoosh! A semi-naked Adonis on a swing almost knocked me over as I let out a scream of delight. Weaving through the vibrant crowd, there was a discernible buzz in the air. We found a table and ordered cocktails.
Just minutes later the music softened and from behind the piano sprung a gangly Australian drag queen with a booming deep voice and a scarily large bulge in her one-piece swimsuit. Accustomed to more feminine Thai drag queens, the crowd was shocked, horrified, entertained and mesmerized, all at once.
“Secretia” from Sydney put on a great show. At one point I was dragged up to the front of the crowd and made to accompany her in a “crazy” dance (my worst nightmare) however she and the crowd were good sports (lucky I’d had a few drinks).
A few more gags and games followed – something I’d not normally enjoy – however they were quite entertaining and everyone got involved, creating a friendly and intimate atmosphere. After the show we mingled…a handsome young banker encouraged me to visit one of the private “bank vault” rooms and make a deposit! I declined.
Later in the evening a second show featured a couple of local drag queens, an entertaining way to round out the night. I went home happy, tipsy and not alone (remember that handsome banker…).
Sunday night at Maggie Choo’s is an unexpected, unusual, funny and friendly gay night out in a fabulous venue. Whilst drinks are a little more expensive, it’s well worth a visit.
If you can’t make it Sunday, try another night. You’ll find beautiful women draped on the swings and piano (all identically dressed as decoys for the real Maggie Choo, a police fugitive). On Tuesdays our favorite fabulous drag queen Pangina Heels hosts the weekly Theatre of Oddities. Other nights feature a live jazz band. I haven’t yet tried the Chinese restaurant – if you do, let us know your thoughts. Enjoy Amazing Thailand. Go Thai Be Free.