Udon Thani’s Nutty Park
They say the older you get, the nuttier you become, and Nutty Park in Udon Thani would seem as good place as any to test the theory. Surely, it had to be full of old nutters.
Nutty Park Udon Thani
Nutty Park is a gig of 20 or so bars based near to Udon Thani train station and is the nut sat next to the fruit of the Centrepoint Night Market. During daylight, the Park is quiet at best, with most of its punters a little past their prime.
The afternoons I’ve spent at Nutty Park the bars have always been quiet, and the few punters there are mostly old-timers with young Thai women in their company – daytime at the Park is a lot more fruity than nutty – and I decided I needed to check out Nutty Park after dark.
I was a touch apprehensive about going to Nutty Park after dark and didn’t know what to expect. I imagined I might see older men slapping each other with pension books fighting over bar girls. And Diana Ross songs crackling in the background. I also wondered if cortisone injections made elbows squeak, and If a sticky rice and Old Spice combo could strip nasal hair back to its roots. Nutty Park, after dark, had a lot of questions to answer.
Udon Thani’s evening air had a slight chill to it when I set off for the Park, – the cold I had was showing no real signs of abating, so I wrapped myself in a lukewarm hoodie. The samlor (a kind of tuk-tuk) ride to Nutty Park was drafty and glacial, but the thought warmed me that a 50-year-old English hoodie was about to hit Nutty Park that night.
Arriving at Nutty Park, I decided to leave my sardonic and wry thoughts in the back carriage. What the hell I thought, and took one last one with me. On the short walk to the Park, I questioned whether samlor manufacturers deliberately made their brakes screech when they stopped at traffic lights. I decided they did, took a deep breath, and entered Nutty Park.
A Quiet Night and Pretty Thai Bar Girls
Nutty Park wasn’t exactly bursting at the seams – there were far more people about than during the day, but the loud boom-boom music I expected was playing at low-level mayhem. Either Nutty Park’s bar owners were hanging-out a soft and gentle mood, or there were a lot of super-sensitive hearing aids plugged inside hairy earholes.
The age groups around the bars varied much more from my lunchtime lark in the Park. There were a few twenty-something men about and a more substantial sprinkling of revellers in their thirties and forties. There was also a fat chunk of old-timers too.
The winners of the ‘Youth Stakes’ were Nutty Park’s Thai bar girls, some of whom were cute, and as always, their cuteness was s-executed with a Thai Two Finger Salute.
Nutty Park has a gaggle of bars, and the Up2You Bar and Black and White Bar were signatures which proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that William Shakespeare hadn’t been reborn a Buddhist bar owner. Nonetheless, Nutty Park had started to taste good.
The Up to You Bar made a steady trade in Western and Thai meals for most of the time I was there – much of the food being high-heeled to the adjoining bars. The bar girls also picked at dishes bought just a papaya’s throw away at the Centrepoint night market.
I enjoyed my evening that much at the Park, I had to phone my Thai partner, Wilai, and arrange to meet up later than we’d agreed. It was a pleasant experience – eyeing pretty bar girls, listening to modern music and noting that Old Spice doesn’t deter mosquitoes. I stayed for a few hours enjoying my lark in the Park after dark to the sound of gentle modern music.
Nutty Park left me with the impression the Park was a big boys kind of venue, with a heavy accent on booze and laughter – and the bar girls? Well, zoom, my heart went boom, the Park was like a winter wonderland. There were some pretty Udon Thani bar girls posing the night I was there.
Nutty Park after dark was good fun, the atmosphere was courteous, and I sat back and relaxed without getting harassment from anyone. Perhaps I struck lucky that night.
I was quite impressed with Nutty Park, there were a few western couples dotted about among the mixed-bag of fruit and nut, and the mood around the bars was merry, not loud and boorish – even the bar girls were knowledgeable enough to know who was no-go, and who was available. Thai bar girls also realise you never approach a hoodie – you wait for an invite, and I never gave one.
If you ever find yourself in Udon Thani, then Nutty Park after dark is certainly a place to consider visiting. If you’re old enough, you never know you might enjoy it. I did.
Read all about Udon Thani nightlife.
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Martyn, I was surprised to read that Wi left you to your own devices among a bevy of bars and Thai girls…but then I remembered you had said she was shopping…a girl has to have her priorities.
Nutty Park looks to be a nice place to while a way some hours while having some fun. I hope to make it to Udon in the next year so hopefully I can find out for myself.
.-= Talen´s last blog ..The Bangkok International Tattoo Convention 2010 =-.
Nice post Martyn, the nearest we have to Nutty Park in Prachuap is when MTF goes to the local park to exercise on the machines that are provided to help you sweat even more.
I notice one of the charming young ladies appears to be giving someone the finger 🙂
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Ayutthaya Floating Market =-.
I wonder where the closest Nutty Park is to Ari… Perhaps Victory Monument… not sure. So, what does one do in a Nutty Park? Did you play pool? Or chat with the locals? Or both? I haven’t played pool in awhile but it sounds great to me.
(Btw – drinking beer… I got 😉
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..My 30 Day Thai Language Trial: Week Two =-.
Well, never heard of Nutty Park in Udon but then I hadn’t been there for three years. That is, until this past Thursday when I jetted through town, from Nong Khai to UT bus terminal to airport. Sounds like I missed a good place to visit, Martyn.
Query: how long have meter taxis operated in Udon? Don’t remember them. A misnomer anyway. A friend and I raced out of the downtown terminal, spied a real meter taxi. Piled the gear in the trunk and took off, then I told the guy to punch the meter. No way, would he do it. 200 baht to airport he said. WHAT!?!? We complained strenously and threatened to get out. He dropped it to 150. This is still a rip. I was ready to get out pronto but my friend seemed comfortable with the swindle. Gah!
.-= Siam.Rick´s last blog ..Vientiane a peaceful retreat from chaos of Bangkok =-.
dont worry Martyn you can bet your girl was still keeping a eye on you even in nutty park
those jungle drums would have been beating for sure
if you had stepped out of line
nutty park as been a good addition to udon thani for sure there are many bars and restaurants in other complex.s like the cow shed that seem to do very little business
the up-to-you and the black and white bar where two places i liked to hang out down there the the turn in the street and the open bar at the top with pool table makes the place feel like somewhere in the Mediterranean
nutty park as a good feel about it and not far to stager home to the irish clock for the last beer and bed like i did a time our two last time in town
.-= john´s last blog ..money and new year expat udon thani issan =-.
Talen – Wilai knows me well enough by now to know I was chasing a post and not a girl and like you say, a girl shopping….that says it all. Make sure you check out Nutty Park and also the big market next to it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Mike you would have to be nutty to exercise away from the air con in Thailand. I don’t think she’s actually giving the finger because the thumb is also raised, it looks like the gun sign or another form of the two finger salute. Surely she wouldn’t raise the finger to a hoodie.
Catherine I just basically had a few beers in Nutty Park, took some photos and clocked the action. I’m not really one for chatting to strangers as I really prefer to slowly get to know someone first. If someone starts a conversation then no problem but I kind of put a defensive wall around myself and over time I let it slowly get broken down.
Rick Nutty Park is relatively new and so are the taxis. When the cabs started I’m not really sure but I noticed them for the first time on my recent visit. The 150 baht in a cab to the airport is in my opinion not far off a reasonable price, perhaps the cheaper delights of Laos have spoiled you a little.
John the girls grapevine is a very powerful source indeed but I had no intentions of making them beat the drums. The Up to You Bar seemed to do a good steady trade both day and night and overall I was real impressed with Nutty Park. Rick has asked a question about the taxis perhaps you know the rough date they were introduced.
Just the name Nutty Bar conjures up many pictures before I even got reading your post Martyn. I often wonder what the word fun actually means and came to the conclusion that it means something different to every individual. ‘Fun’ in a Bar sounds rather naughty and a bit like living a bit on the edge. You put myh mind to rest though with your own idea of fun there. I like the fingers up from the ladies,I just hope they weren’t giving you a marks out of ten!
.-= martin in bulgaria´s last blog ..Work – That’s How It Is In Bulgaria For Bulgarians =-.
hoo don i guess the metered taxi.s are there in udon thani and many other new places around Thailand but the whole system is pointless unless they turn them on
but to be fair i would not mind paying 200 baht i could soon round up a few more bums on seats
.-= john´s last blog ..ban dung issan Thailand my favourite videos =-.
Martin the name Nutty Park conjured up all sorts of thoughts in my mind too. In fact it may put off a few of the more fainthearted type people from going there. If the fingers were marking me then I’m sure they would have just used the middle one. Thanks.
John if they turned them on they wouldn’t make as much money. I believe they have only been in operation since sometime last year according to a Udon Thani forum I was on last night.