One night in Bangkok, and the world's your oyster.
The bars are temples, but the pearls ain't free.
Oddly enough, when I visited the real Bangkok in 1988 to "rescue" Alan, I never heard the song once.
I guess the owner was a little short on Asian-themed pop songs. "One Night in Bangkok" was composed for the musical Chess (1984).
I haven't seen it -- reviews complain that it is over-long, over-wrought, clunky, and exceedingly dull. And it sounds rather homophobic. .
Chess champion Freddie Trumpeter (played by Murray Head in the British version and Philip Casnoff in the American) must face gay "accusations." His father states that he's "probably queer," and his Soviet opponent, Anatoly (Tommy Korberg, David Carroll) calls him a "fruit" (a "nut" in the American version), and steals his girlfriend.
"One Night in Bangkok" appears on the night before an early match between Freddie and Anatoly. Freddie wanders around town, trying to stay focused.
He disapproves of the drag queens: "the queens we use would not excite you."
And especially the gay men: "you'll find a god in every golden cloister, and if you're lucky, then the god's a she."
Not the message you want to send to patrons of a gay Asian bar!
But at least gay people and transvestites are mentioned, a rarity in the 1980s.
You can see the music video on youtube.
See also: Alan Outwits a Celebrity; The Theme Song of 1000 Nights in a Leather Bar.