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43 Years ago in Udon Thani

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43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby malibujim » November 10, 2009, 12:20 pm

I found this forum some time ago when I was searching for some bars I used to frequent during the war. I am now searching for some info on the Trunk Room and the Bel Air Bowling Alley. I was stationed at Udorn in '66, and we used to eat at the Trunk Room. I think it, and the bowling alley were owned by someone in Air America. At least that was the rumor. I believe they were located on Umpur Rd, south of Srichomchum. Generally you can find something online about some of the old hangouts, like the Tip Top Bar, but haven't been able to find anything on these two places. It also seems that anybody stationed in Udorn after '66 never heard of them either! The bowling alley was fairly nice, with automatic pin setters, and I used to go to the Trunk Room for T-bone steak. Is there anyone here that remembers these places or what happened to them?
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby kakariki » November 10, 2009, 5:18 pm

Hi
I wasn't there back then, but a Thai gentleman we know owned a bowling alley near the airport I think, I'm not sure where Umpur Rd is, maybe a map reference would help. I'll ask him about it when I return next week.
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby polehawk » November 10, 2009, 6:53 pm

I worked in Udorn as a tech rep on defense contracts from 1966-68 and 1971-74. I can recall a bowling alley and the Trunk Room in that area on Amphur Road, one of the few places in town where you could get a pizza back then. Here is an old USAF map from 1968 that shows the Trunk Room location:

http://www.tlc-brotherhood.org/udornmap68.jpg

Not much is still recognizable from those days but there are still three traffic circles (roundabouts). The map also shows the Wolverine Bar/Restaurant which is still open. Oscar's Massage, not on the map, is still running. Udorn Hotel is still open as well as Sriudorn Hotel which is pretty run down these days. The Paradise and Charoen Hotels were built a few years later than 1966. I remember the Tip Top Bar being located in downtown Udorn on Prajak Road but a few others who have posted in here say it was just outside of the airbase. Can't really say what happened to these places but probably shut down after the US military left around 1976. Might be some veterans here now who can remember, members of the Udorn VFW or TLC-Brotherhood (I'm a former member of the TLC-B) come to mind.

If you haven't already checked out some of the old pictures on the TLC-Brotherhood site, worth a look:

http://www.tlc-brotherhood.org/pictures.html
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby polehawk » November 10, 2009, 7:01 pm

A Udonmap member who was stationed at Ramasun (Nongsoong) posted a map of Udorn that showed a lot of the bars in the downtown area, circa 1970-73. Can't find it now but will post it if I do find it unless someone else can come up with it.
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby kakariki » November 11, 2009, 3:03 am

Hi
I think this is the post you are referring to- what-was-udon-like-during-the-vietnam-war-t2785-45.html
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby malibujim » November 11, 2009, 4:32 am

Polehawk, yes I remember the Tip Top well, it was my life outside the Air Force at that time. And it was downtown, on Prajak, between the circle and the road to the Udorn Hotel. I have heard about the Tip Top outside the base, but also heard there was a Top Hat outside the base. Maybe a coincidence. Also frequented the Juke Box in those days. Have a couple pictures taken inside the Trunk Room, but none of the exterior. Will try to find them and post them.
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby malibujim » November 11, 2009, 7:57 am

Looking a a more recent map of Udorn, it appears the Trunk Room and Bel Air Bowling alley were on what is now Amphoe Rd. Don't know if the road changed names, or I couldn't read the small print on the other maps. They were just south of where the road crosses the stream, between where the vocational school and polytechnic school are today.
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby polehawk » November 11, 2009, 12:37 pm

kakariki wrote:Hi
I think this is the post you are referring to- what-was-udon-like-during-the-vietnam-war-t2785-45.html


That's the one, Kakariki. Bookmarked it this time. Thanks.

Malibujim, some memory joggers in the thread above and a good read. Map that cw posted in there shows the Bel Air bowling alley in the same area that I mentioned earlier, on Amphur or Amphoe Road. Same road but different spellings. There were a lot of bars on the strip across from the airbase but they're not mentioned on the maps. We called the town Udorn in those days but now it's more commonly referred to as Udon. Name at top of train station still shows it as Udornthani. :D

Thanks for confirming that Tip Top Bar was downtown on Prajak Road. I remember the afternoon tea dances there. Yeah, this was a party town in those days.
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Re: 43 Years ago in Udon Thani

Postby malibujim » November 12, 2009, 10:53 am

Here are a couple pictures of the bowling alley. As you can see, pretty nice for 1966. The picture inside is a little blury, but there are eight alleys with auto pin spotters if I remember right. Only remember being there once.

Image

Image
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