Ah… Bus No. 23 from Mega Bangna now it run only to Ekamai road.
This was one of reason I wanted to farewell from the RCA, the greatest place of nightlife in the past. Everyone were enjoyed together at RCA, but now RCA wasn’t famous as same as 00’s or 90’s age forever.
But… this place was the legend that still exist. Route 66 and Flix (now changed to ONYX) were available since golden age of RCA until present. But if you wanted RCA to the golden age again, that was in your dream forever.
And I prefer you to go to Thonglor. That is more awesome than RCA. Trust me.
History of RCA.
I researched in many website in Thailand about RCA. Looked like RCA wasn’t born to be the nightlife avenue or red light district. Don’t say about red light district. RCA wasn’t red light district as same as Patpong or Soi Cowboy. This place was fulfilled of music and entertainment extremely. With 1 kilometer length, it can say about this avenue was ever the place of nightlife in the golden age of music in Thailand.
But… actually, RCA wasn’t born to be nightlife avenue as everyone thought.
First time RCA was targeted to be luxurious shopping district. But this project was failed, RCA was changed to the center of selling cars or motorbikes. Yeah, this project was failed again. Finally at Q1 of year 1995, nightlife business started in this avenue and it will be the legend in the future.
Worapot Praponpan, Old Leng’s owner ever said about first time he started nightlife business on RCA avenue, this place was so silent. No one dared to create business to RCA. But he thought RCA was suitable to invest nightlife business due to RCA was in the center of Bangkok that was among with working district and Thai’s economy was so good, so he decided to invest at RCA. Today Old Leng in RCA was closed forever and transformed to resort at Nakornrachasrima province.
Another pubs or bars in RCA still competed to be No.1. At the golden age of RCA, there were many clubs such as Route 66, Baby Blink, Morgan or another pubs. For RCA, the golden age was at 1998-2004.
Actually Route 66 at first time (year 1995) was only small restaurant that nightlife travelers chose to eat meals after dancing in nightclubs or discotheques. Finally, it turned to be a nightclub that everyone could enjoyed with live musics from musicians. After that, in year 2000, electronic dance music (not EDM) was popular in nightclubs and every songs with dancing was really hot on every music chart in Thailand.
If you can’t imagine how about RCA at golden age? Let’s see video below.
In Thailand, drinking alcohol or entering to nightclub weren’t prohibit as same as year 2010 or later. That time before 2010 might be the paradise of drinker in Thailand due to law of alcohol products wasn’t strict much. Some minors went to nightclub and drank alcohol drink a lot. Someone used drugs for shifting their mind with Ecstasy. With colorful lights, that made everyone felt into the dream and that time alcohol drinks in Thailand was so really cheap, so everyone could drink alcohol drinks easily.
Although that would be illegal in 2003 or more.
Do you know why many people come to nightclub? For ladies, they want to listen musics, for men, they want to sight or say hi beautiful girls widely. But in darkside society in nightclubs at RCA, they appointed to have sex together. That was called “One-night stand”. One night stand relationship in Thailand was boomed when RCA appeared in Bangkok. That time oil was so affordable and everything were affordable too. Motel rent rate was so affordable so many one-night stand travelers decided to have sex and separated. That time condoms wasn’t boomed as same as this years and social values in Thailand with condoms said about “If you buy this, you will fuck someone.” And Thai people were so shy so suggestions of having sex in Thailand was so narrow and rare to know until people understood wrongly.
That meant one-night stand people had sex at the motel without condoms.
So having sex without condoms, girls would be pregnant. And that time abortion was boomed in Thailand at the dark society so nightlife girls who had sex and knew they were pregnant paid abortion services together that they didn’t know abortion was risk to their life. Many abortion clinics were a lot. That was one problem in society in Bangkok.
The dark age of RCA. (2004-2008)
If golden age was available, so dark age will occur too. Dark age of RCA occurred when government paid attention to eliminate illegal drug system in Bangkok. And image of RCA was so dirty. Dirty due to mafia influence, failed management. So Route 66 changed image to be more luxurious by qualifying customers who wore polite suits. First time slippers could enter to nightclub, but for year 2004 or more, slippers was so taboo and not permissions to enter the clubs. Then age verification was really more strict. Drugs using in Route 66 or nightclubs in RCA still be available, but they used it stealthy.
When rules increased a lot, Thai people who always hate rules felt bored to Route 66 and looked like this nightclub wasn’t fun as same as earlier years. Not only Route 66, many clubs in RCA were too. With many rules, that was so really bored. Until RCA lost old customers more than you think.
Reason of decreasing customers in RCA because not only RCA that was nightlife district, Suttisarn road, Korkwua, Khaosarn road were the rebirth of RCA due to nightlife business was growing and that place was near universities that called many students to enjoy together. For nightclubs, real target group was students from universities. For working men, that wasn’t much due to they didn’t feel enjoyable with colorful light, dance music. When RCA wasn’t boomed, many nightclubs in RCA had to adjust themselves to survive with low profit crisis. But finally, some nightclubs in RCA were defunct, but nightlife owners didn’t give up. They moved their nightclub to another place.
Until… RCA thought to make new campaign. Songkran Festival at RCA will be more fun and allowed to drink alcohol!! It was started since 2005. That called every travelers to enjoy with colorful lights. This campaign made RCA to be boomed again as same as the golden age.
But after Songkran day, nothing happened. That was so silent as same as temple.
When RCA was changed itself to be urban residence
At year 2008 or later, RCA readied to have condominium. When nightclubs were defunct, companies came to RCA and rented buildings to open headquarters. Nightclubs in RCA turned to be dessert cafe or generic restaurants. For bar or pubs, they appeared a lot due to resident people at RCA needed to hangout and talk together more than dancing and said without knowing what they were saying. But profit with opening bars or pub wasn’t much.
Now Route 66 that received low profit changed itself to new design and build nightlife to be more luxurious and professional to support another artist or international DJ to come to Route 66. I think this Route 66’s vision is really awesome. It is the revolution of nightlife society in Bangkok (or Thailand).
When investors knew RCA had residences, they invested and opened new nightclub again. But they were closed and defunct due to target group wasn’t correct and the road between RCA had many cars with traffic problems. One of the biggest problems was “no train services” such as BTS, MRT. Although RCA was near Airport link, but station near RCA was so far away.
It wasn’t fun when coming to RCA hardly because roads around RCA was so bad traffic. I ever sat at the bus to go to RCA on Friday and I felt disappointed a lot. At 19:00 hrs. to 21:00 hrs., Petchaburi road was same as the hell. Rarely to move the cars. This road was one of the worst traffic ever in Bangkok.
But luckily, Since October 2015, I worked at Asoke that really near RCA very very much. I could go to RCA early. But after I went to that place, I thought… I wasn’t suitable to RCA very much. Main reason was no bus could bring me to my home as same as last year. Bus No. 23 was same as Noah’s ark in nightlife. This could bring me to my village at the night. But bus No. 23 changed route from going to Mega Bangna to Samrong. So when I came to my home, I had to interchange at Udomsuk bus station first. That meant I paid bus service twice.
Now Route 66 and ONYX had entry fee although that day didn’t have event. Due to protecting Pick Up Artist who came to nightclub and didn’t purchase any drinks. They came to flirt another girls. Managers ever said these were cancers of nightlife.
There were 3 nightclubs in RCA that was so really popular, such as Route 66, ONYX and Live. Live @RCA was one of the most famous nightclub I have ever met.
In Songkran Festival I ever came looked like that was so awesome and nothing decreased standard of entertainment in Songkran Festival at RCA. It always be fun, but toilet in RCA was 15 Baht per entry. (Actually, it was free entry).
Finally, this place wasn’t suitable for me much. I couldn’t go back to my home easily. And nothing aroused me to excite. So I came to RCA for only main festival, such as Songkran, Halloween and Countdown.
Good bye RCA. See you again on Halloween day for 4 months left.
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