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Thermae coffee shop and bar

Thermae might not everybody’s idea of a great hangout. To some it would seem like little more than a last chance saloon, attracting moth-eaten old souls to the lurid colours of its neon strip-lights. But to those in the know Thermae is MILF central.

I don’t know how long it has been as such, the bar opened in the mid 1960’s (see pic above) as the coffee shop for Thermae Massage Parlour but soon the bar became more famous than the massages.

So famous that it featured in Christopher Moore’s Book, A Killing Smile:
“Zeno, Headquarters, HQ, the Star Wars Bar on Sukhumvit. You can’t miss it. Fake Greek columns in front of a sign that reads Turkish Bath, Barber, Massage, Espresso Coffee Shop. Fritters fried in big pots of palm oil outside the entrance. Beggars, bar girls, diplomats, spies, writers, bums, ex-Nazis, merchants, gangsters, tourists drifting in and out, eating at makeshift sidewalk cafes beside food carts and stalls. Cuttlefish and lottery vendors working the crowds. Like you, they’re all looking for shamans and ghosts.”

Sadly the Greek columns have gone, but much of the atmosphere remains. These days Thermae is in the basement of Ruamchitt Plaza at 199 Sukhumvit Road, about half way between Soi Cowboy and Soi Nana, on the same side as Cowboy. If nothing else it is a great place to stop in for a cold one on the march between the two. It’s not easy to spot. Keep an eye for the yellow sign on the wall. A number of motorbikes and a gaggle of streetwalkers are usually parked outside.

It is open from 8.00pm until 02.00am but it doesn’t start filling up until about 10.30. The bar consists of one large room with a huge ‘S’ shaped table in the middle. It’s a rather clever design because it ecourages people to look at each other. Those on the hunt for a companion orbit the table while those waiting to be ‘found’ sit still.

There’s no demarkation between the sexes here, both men and women are as likely as each other to be hunters. Though I would suggest that, since women tend to be then first to arrive, guys who fancy the idea of being the prey animal would probably do better in the earlier part of the evening.

In an acknowledgment to the idea that some people might like to sit in smaller groups regular sized tables around edges. The bar itself is along the back wall behind your left shoulder as you go in. There is never any need to go to it, waiters - who can make even the most tired old hooker look glamorous - hover, ever ready to fetch you another beer.

A juke-box plays mostly soft pop and country ballads though never too loud to drown out conversation - which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective.

For more information go to the unnofficial Thermae Home page I would also like to thank them for the original picture


Comment from Thermae Bangkok
Time: February 23, 2010, 5:33 am

I was just there last night, good cheap foods (I had a sandwich and chips, I love their potato chips lol).
Some hot girls, but I still never really know how you work the system there
I’ve approached 1 chick b4 and got DENIED! haha

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