Cheap Charlie’s ~ A Piss-cutting Experience

I am no stranger to unsavory and dodgy places, I have seen many in Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. So my friend, John, an experienced journalist based in Bangkok, decided to show me around, I was all too eager to see Cheap Charlie’s ~ in the heart of the metropolis.

An outdoor concept with a mix-matched assortment of chaos to its old ambiance. High stools, low heavy chairs and flimsy-looking tables, but the drinks were cheap compared to “hi-so” establishments ~ beats going to a go-go bar when you’ll spend THB120 for a bottle of local beer. The open air, the smog, the noise was not that bad, I have been to worse pisspots. At least here, one is able to smoke in peace, and keep an eye for any unexpected incidents, such as a police raid, a riot or someone trying to rip-off your vehicle.

Charlie’s is a bar, a common watering-hole for foreigners, and despite its lack of invigorating music, air-con and what-ever-not, John and I came back a second time weeks later. This spot is a good place to talk, to bitch, to vent and to share stories. By the way, be alert to the commanding tones of the head waitress (possibly the bodyguard to the owner) who has an unnerving fascist-like behavior. And you must make a trip to Charlie’s painfully small lavatory, it is truly a piss-cutting experience.



An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at and @bedlamfury

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