AsiaWATCH — It was probably the worst kept secret along Sukhumvit, the main thoroughfare through Bangkok that’s host to every kind of trade imaginable – legitimate or otherwise. Hush money was paid and the girls were sworn to secrecy.
Behind the scenes it was possibly the greatest diplomatic coup ever for the folks along Soi 7-1. Former US president and occasional bad boy Bill Clinton had come to town and true to form was looking to whet his whistle.
Soi 7-1 is a leafy lane off Sukhumvit, with an array of international businesses that have blocked out the traffic and lined the pavements with an assortment of trees, some local wildlife, decking and created a fresco dining atmosphere.
There’s an Australian bar, an English pub and an American pizza joint. There’s also a dozen massage parlors, among the most famous is the Eden Club, which takes requests and offers an ala-carte service. It boasts a significantly high number of Japanese clientele.
But amid all the temptations Bill was well behaved and Hilary can’t complain. There were witnesses including an entire Hollywood film crew who were recently working the Soi producing a sequel to the 2009 unexpected hit comedy The Hangover.
To everyone’s surprise Bill – or Bubba as he is sometimes known — had turned up, smiling and shaking hands he could have been back on the hustings but instead he was setting himself up for a cameo role in The Hangover II due for release later this year.
But as, industry insiders said – including Hollywood entertainment programs – there were no guarantees Clinton would not end up on the cutting room floor.
For the uninitiated, The Hangover follows the misadventures of five male, drugged-up and drunk, friends on a bachelor party through Las Vegas, including a run-in with former boxing world champ Mike Tyson.
The sequel brings the cast to Bangkok and the coastal town of Krabi where Bubba and a few other celebrities also get in on the act. But producer Todd Phillips would prefer people didn’t know Bubba was here, or whose on the list of other special appearances and what follows.
Bar girls earned hundreds of dollars to keep quite. Bar owners were also paid for use of their premises as a backdrop for the main set. One received $US 2,000 after witnessing Bubba entering Tarn Tip, where he said a brief hello.
“He was only here for 20 minutes, but it was one hellluva commotion,” one witness said. “He was surrounded by men in black with dark sunglasses who kept looking skyward but we’re not allowed to tell, it’s all a secret.”
However, if you’d like to know more head down Soi 7-1 and ask for a bar called the White Lion. All might be revealed, if you can find it.