Thaniya Road

Thaniya Road is sometimes referred to as ‘Little Tokyo’. This is on account of all the signage in Japanese and the preponderance of establishments catering (but not exclusively so) to a Japanese clientele. Thaniya has a number of clubs and bars for Japanese men to sample Thai delights in a Japanese context. There are also a few good bars and restaurants.

One of the most notable non-Japanese places on Thaniya Road is Flann O’Brien’s Irish Pub. Nearby is O’Brien’s Coffee Shop. This is a growing chain in Bangkok. The pub has draught Guinness, Kilkenny, Asahi and Magners. They serve pub grub and Thai food, show sport on the TV and often have live music. The coffee shop has ‘Irish’ sandwiches.

Another place not covered in Japanese characters is Carl’s Jr. It’s a small restaurant specialising in Mex-Tex dishes.

There are dozens of bars, karaoke bars, go go bars and clubs both on Thaniya Road and the nearby Thaniya Soi 2. They are open to anyone with money but the staff and girls are expecting Japanese salary men. They work for Japanese companies based in Bangkok. They want sushi, noodles, Asahi beer, Japanese karaoke and Thai girls. The girls are often very pretty in these places but the bar fine and fee are often higher. Allure Club and Thaniya Club are on ground level. Many of the more salacious Japanese orientated bars are on an upper level of a building, reached by elevator.

If you take the lurid elements out of Thaniya Road you are still left with some good Japanese restaurants. There is Matoi and Sushi Tsukiji for sushi, Gyu-Kaku and Yakiniku Hanamachi for Japanese BBQ, Takoe Mon for noodles and Kanazawa Gold Curry for Japanese curry rice.

As you walk down Silom Road you have first Patpong, then Soi 2 and Soi 4 and then Thaniya Road. The theme running across these three zones is unmistakable. It is all about catering to different desires.