Enjoying the nightlife gets a bit more expensive every few months
Update September 2009
One thing is certain : Prices increase regulary at both Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy. Drink prices (beers and short drinks) are generally in the 130-150 baht range at the moment. Prices for soft drinks and lady drinks vary more widely, and are a bit difficult to keep track off. Compounding the issue is that soft drinks can be presented in small or larger glasses. A bottle of water can be as expensive as any other drink.
What we found over the years, is that it are always the same bars to start a new increase in prices, with other bars following, sometimes shortly thereafter, sometimes after a year or two has passed.
At Nana Plaza, the Crown Group bars (like Lollipop, Hollywood, Carousel, G-Spot, Voodoo) often initiate new increases, thought their bars are not overly successful lately. Beer is currently priced at 145 baht in the bars mentioned.
At Soi Cowboy, prices now are at the same level as at Nana Plaza. For many years, they lagged behind, but since Soi Cowboy became more successful than Nana Plaza, prices have risen. Also here, the same bars are responsible for price increases, and they also are run by foreigners.
Baccara, arguably with Tilac Bar the most successful bar at Soi Cowboy, also has high drink prices. Beer is still only at 140 baht, but you have to buy lady drinks at 160 baht. Furthermore, you need to buy at least two lady drinks, before you are allowed to buy the girls out, adding more than 300 baht to the bar fine.
Tilac bar, very successful lately, and one of the biggest bars at Soi Cowboy, still charges only 130 baht a drink, while water bottles are available at just 30 baht!
Long Gun and Rawhide, long established smaller but successful bars, also still charge a modest 135 baht a drink. Both are run by Thai management.
The biggest drawback of high prices, is that regular customers become more choosy. One keeps on going back to the same bars one likes. There is less incentive in checking out other bars, if each time you need to part with a lot of your money, without the guarantee of an enticing environment. In the old days, when things were much cheaper, we used to wander around from bar to bar, but these days have passed.
One has to realize that the prices charged nowadays are objectively high. A drink in a bar costs more than a ticket for movie viewing in a luxurious theatre. And you can a decent meal for the same amount of money in a 2-star hotel. You may think this is worth the money if you can be entertained by mostly naked women. But realize that you may have entered a bar with few attractive ladies that just shuffle a bit on stage flaunting their oversized backsides and stretch marks.
See our present recommendations.
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