Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy are all located on Sukhumvit Road. Nana Plaza is at soi 4 and Soi Cowboy at soi 23. The walking distance between Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy is about 20 minutes. Interestingly all major entertainment centers for foreigners are located close to Skytrain (BTS) stations. Unfortunately, the skytrain stops operating around midnight. After midnight you can easily take a (metered) taxi. But be beware that close to nightlife entertainment centers, taxi drivers often want to take advantage from unknowing or drunk customers. So it may advisable to just walk away from the bars, and flag down a taxi on the main road
Patpong is not very far away, but not in the same area as the other nightlife bars. It is not within walking distance from Nana Plaza or Soi Cowboy (would take about 1 hour) .(go back to top of page)
Hotels come in all kind of categories, from expensive and luxurious, to basic and cheap. Sukhumvit has its assortment of luxury hotels like Sheraton, Landmark, Marriott, Grand Pacific hotels. While policies vary over time and place, these hotels tend to charge an extra amount for the room when you want to bring in a girl from outside to spend the night. They also kind of embarrassingly tend to scrutinize this activity and will often ask for the girl's ID for them to keep. (which actually is some kind of good security for you too)
Cheaper hotels are more relaxed and often do not bother at all when you have these visitors with you. Some are quite accostomed to it, there is no haggling about ID or so whatsoever in most of them. I would personally advise to take hotel in the 800-1200 baht range along Sukhumvit located in between Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, so you have everything within walking distance.
My advise is to stay in the Sukhumvit area, not book a hotel at Silom Road, unless you want to stick to Patpong exclusively.(go back to top of page)
Patpong is well known the world over since the days of the Vietnam war. It has a lot of bars, located mainly in two parallel streets. It is advised to avoid the bars upstairs in general, unless one is very familiar with the place (some rip offs sometimes occur there) Lots of girls there, drinks are not more expensive there, but reportedly the girls ask for more money for out-of-bar activities, although this rule probably does not apply in the smaller establishments. A lot of bars are under the King's group which is rather well organized, but as mentioned you may be expected to pay more.
Nana Plaza has become very busy over the last few years. About 30 bars there on three floors (including ground floor) around a central plaza, which is occupied by beer bars. Up to a few years ago there was a lot of naked dancing, and all kind of shows were on offer, not all in good taste. However, since 2003 the girls are dressed up, although you can get sneak previews at certain bars. While there is a bit less candy for the eyes, certain bars are fully packed with visitors, and the lack of nudity has not really affected overall success of Nana Plaza. Drink price are a little bit higher than even Patpong. The standard asking fare for extracurrilar activities is around 1500 baht, though girls may try to start bargaining at at higher rate. If someone asks for substantially more, they are trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge.
Soi Cowboy has been around for many, many years. It is a 200 meter street with bars on both sides of the road, about 30 in total. As of the beginning of 2005, nudity (or topless dancing) has reappeared (at times) in some of the bars.It sometimes is relatively quite there, in any case you will have very few really crowded bars on a weekday. Expatriates tend to favor this place, it is somewhat more sedate, but attractive girls to be found, often newcomers that later on move to Nana Plaza. Drink prices are somewhat cheaper.New bars have opened, and some have been refurbished, and Soi Cowboy (relatively speaking) has become more busy over the last few years. Girls seem to ask for about 1500 baht standard for short time activities, but one can try to bargain the prices down. (go back to top of page)4) Should I be interested in freelancers?
If one walks down Sukhumvit road nowadays in the evening and during the night, one will notice lots of freelancers, just hanging around at outside eateries, and in front of some quite fancy buildings. This is a new sight that occurred the last few years only, possibly related to the economic crisis. These girls prefer not to work in the bars, and have the freedom to choose their own working hours and customers. The main disadvantages for the customers is that you do not easily see what you get, and that you do not have the same level of security as with girls working in the bar. If there is a problem with a bargirl (which in general is quite rare), you will know where to find her, find her employer etc. The advantage of freelancers is that you do not have to pay a barfine, and services might be cheaper. I would not recommend their services. Also, beware that a lot of the girls around in that area, are actually 'ladyboys', that is transvestites, whether pre- or postsurgery.(go back to top of page)
The barfine is the money the customer has to pay to the bar to be able to take the girl out of there. It ranges from 300 baht up to 600 baht at Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, Patpong. At beerbars it is more likely to be 300 baht. Sometimes there are different rates for different types of girls. For instance, some bars will ask more for girls who perform shows, some bars will ask more for service girls than for dancing girls etc. Also if you make long time(that is a few days or weeks) arrangements with a particular girl, you should consider that the barfine will have to be paid.
It is possible to avoid the barfine by making appointments with girls after their working hours etc. However, be advised that this is against the rules, even if you take a girl at closing time with you, you still are supposed to pay the barfine! If the barowner/manager finds out about this the girl will be in some kind of trouble.
Barowners often penalize the girls if they do not generate a sufficient number of barfines per month. For instance, it may be a rule to deduct from there salary if they do not reach 10 barfines per month etc. So sometimes, at the end of the month, the girls who did not reach their quotum, may be more easily willing to go with customers (be less discriminate) (go back to top of page)
Short-time you take the girl out of the bar with you for at most a couple of hours. She will not spend the night with you.
Long-time generally means she will spend the whole night with you.
Barfines for both are the same. If you have something particular in mind, discuss it in advance with the girl. While common in the past, most girls do not favor to go longtime with customers. One reason is that some of the better looking girls may want to go back to the bar, and pick up another customer. Most likely, some girls just want to get away from their customers. After all, there is some safety in not spending the whole night with someone you do not really know. Many girls will tell you they do want to go with you longtime, and after a few hours they will still try to get away. Be aware of that, we would suggest not to create a great fuss about it, and just pay the girl for the short time you have spent with her. (go back to top of page)
There are basically two ways to go about financial arrangements. One way is to settle the price in advance. The other to settle after the 'fact'. Since a financial transaction is involved, it may take away from the overall experience. We strongly suggest you treat the girls fairly. On the other end, do not overpay. Girls working in certain bars catering to Japanese customers, tend to expect more money.
When asked in advance, girls will try to get as much as they think possible. So it is not unusual to bargain a bit about it. There is much more detailed information on this website about this topic. Simply put, girls at Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy will go with a customer for between 1000 and 2000 baht short-time. Girls at some bars at Patpong will ask more than this. There are no fixed rules about this, and common sense should prevail. Obviously an attractive girl will want more money from an obese, poorly groomed old man, than from a handsome young fellow, and so on.
For long-time activities add 500 to 1000 baht to the rate for short-time activities. (go back to top of page)
Girls do not come with a certificate, describing their qualifications or specialties. There is always room for the unexpectedly good or bad experience. Girls who just start working may have very little sexual experience indeed, they may be appalled by a request for oral sex etc. Even some girls who perform shows and are quite exhibitionist on stage, will turn into shy, unexperienced ones, once they enter your hotelroom. Generally though, it is possible to figure out which ones have been working in the bars for a long time, and know all the tricks of the trade.
French kisses, oral sex(both ways) do not come naturally with Thai girls, and are 'learned' experiences. (go back to top of page)
I guess it can happen to the best of us, and it is always a good learning experience. Love is possible everywhere in the world, also in Thailand. Some people got married to bargirl happily. However, there are a lot of pitfalls. Be very careful about financial requests from bargirls, with the promise they will forever wait for you, if you send them enough money for them to live in an apartment, follow English classes, and for their family. I have been taking into confidence by some girls over the years. Some have explained to me at length how much money they get from different suppliers. It is apparently not uncommon for some girls to collect money at a rate of 20000-50000 baht a piece from three different suitors. At the same time, they still are working in the bars. So beware before you take any drastic decisions. (go back to top of page)10)What else is there to do in Bangkok and Thailand?
A lot. The fact that you are reading this page, probably suggests that you are mainly interested in the nightlife scene. However, I would recommend to make the most of your stay in Bangkok or Thailand. If you can avoid the nightlife scene, you are actually behaving properly, and I give you my respects.
Thailand has a lot of cultural attractions, both in and outside the capital. The Royal Palace and the main temples in Bangkok are certainly worth a visit. There are attractive seaside resorts like Phuket. Another famous seaside resort is Pattaya, but this is mainly a center of prostitution altogether. (you can actually visit Bangkok without noticing the nightlife scene, the same can not be said about Pattaya, where virtually everything centers around it). The northers provinces Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai attract visitors for their mountainous landscape and more pleasant weather conditions. The northeastern region(Isaan) has some remarkable Khmer ruins, that are the next best thing after Angkor Wat in Cambodia itself. (go back to top of page)