Follow the bouncing Wood Ball

Now with two locations, the popular karaoke bar offers a choice - 'My Way' or 'Highway to Hell'

The new Wood Ball on Sukhumvit Soi 53 is open daily from 7.30pm to 2am. Call (02) 662 4549

We heard that the always-smiling Japanese expat Toppi was moving his karaoke bar Wood Ball from Silom Soi 6 to Sukhumvit Soi 53 next to Thonglor. "No, it's not moving!" he says. "I just expanded this branch to reach our many Japanese clients who live around there."

We stand corrected, and are amazed to find that the new Wood Ball is exactly the same as the old one - same song list, same service, same menu, same furniture inspired by the "Alien" movies.

The only difference is that the new outlet is much smaller. They won't be able to squeeze more than 30 Japanese in there on any given night - or any other nationality for that matter.

But the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd will still enjoy belting out favourites with the aid of the same Joysound karaoke system. Folks pour in after work and stay until very late.

The bar is a plain open room with no partitions, so you're singing for everyone, whether they like it or not. You key in your choices on the cute karaoke device and wait for your moment of fame. No hogging the microphone!

"A Joysound representative comes in to update the tunes for us every month," says Toppi, tapping a songbook that's as thick as the Yellow Pages. "So we have lots of songs, in Japanese and English, both very old ones and the most recent ones."

The cover charge is Bt80 whether you're singing or not, but that buys munchies all night as well as Wi-fi access.

The drinks menu is quite extensive, including draft and bottled beer, wines, spirits, liqueurs and the usual cocktails, plus Japanese-style cocktails and whiskies.

An Asahi draft is Bt100 and cocktails cost Bt120 to Bt180. Recommended are the China Blue, with vodka, lychee liqueur, grapefruit juice and Blue Curacao, and the Blue Moon, with violet liqueur, gin and lime juice.

Sweet and fruity, a Blue Moon proves quite strong - perfect for loosening up bashful performers.

If you like to sing (and drink) a lot with your own crowd of admirers, groups of five or so can book the upstairs VIP room. It costs Bt500 per head for three hours but the beer and mixers are on the house.


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1854 Bangna-Trat Road, Bangna, Bangkok 10260 Thailand.

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