As ever, the Bangkok girls that work in the pay-for-play (P4P) industry remain a massive draw for visitors to the big city, and there's no denying that these ladies are often good-looking. However, there's more to this place than just short-time sex with bar-girls...
For most men, regular Bangkok girls (i.e. not working-girls) probably make the most suitable ladies for long-term relationships because the culture gap in the big city is usually that bit easier to bridge than it would be for ladies from a traditional rural area.
Bangkok is a massive cosmopolitan city, and the people that live there are more likely to have some understanding of western culture.
English is widely spoken and there are plenty of middle-class, university educated ladies that would like to find a western boyfriend. Also, given that Bangkok is so large, there are plenty of ladies that are ready to meet you and who are within easy traveling distance.
I’ll be writing a lot more about the virtues of regular Thai girls in Bangkok on other pages but here I want to write about the prostitution scene and the pleasures that it offers. After Pattaya, Bangkok is probably the most infamous naughty boy destination in Thailand, so a few words of advice are needed.
Click the link for details on: Bangkok working-girl prices.
I’ll also be writing specifically about the differences between Bangkok and Pattaya soon, so look out for that if you are undecided about which location you think you might prefer.
It tends to be guys who are visiting Bangkok rather than guys who live there that make use of the P4P sex industry in the city. Obviously that isn’t always the case, but expats in Bangkok often need to protect their reputation.
Anyone seen cavorting with Bangkok bar girls will ruin their local employment prospects!
Be aware that damaging your personal reputation in this way can easily have knock on effects for your business or professional ambitions if you need to deal with local people. However, for those who are undeterred by such things you’ll find that Bangkok bar girls can be a lot of fun.
You won’t find the ‘girlfriend experience’ as easily as you will in Pattaya, but there are exceptions. Prices for the company of these ladies are significantly higher than they are in Pattaya, but compared to your average western city you’ll think that prices are relatively low.
The best places to find Bangkok bar girls are in the three red-light areas; Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy and Patpong. If you are a fan of the naughty massage scene then you’ll be delighted to know that this is also very well catered for – the Bangkok Soapy massage is probably the best that Thailand has to offer!
The Bangkok sex industry is not what it once was, and it remains to be seen what the coming years will bring. The current focus of the authorities is on cleaning up the city's image, and that's not good news for fans of seedy Bangkok sex shows and the like...
When most men think of the Bangkok nightlife they imagine a place that's filled with exotic beauties and adult excitement, a place where the usual rules don’t apply and where a man can get lost in a kaleidoscope of hedonistic excess.
That was always my preconception too, and the first time that I experienced it for real I found that my imagination wasn’t too far off the mark.
A few years ago Bangkok was like another world, it was cool, and any western man that had the gumption to venture there was a man who refused to conform to western sense and sensibilities. Images of Vietnam servicemen resting up on R&R with a beer in one hand and parts of a sexy young thing in the other still get conjured up in my mind.
This sort of exotic appeal is a fine thing, but with regard to the ladies it does come with a serious culture gap that need bridging for any sort of serious relationship to survive. To give yourself a massive leg up, get my eBook:
A TV documentary from a few years back, profiling the Bangkok red light district and detailing it as a seedy underworld of sex and exploitation still lingers in my head, and I remember recalling one of the areas under the documentary’s spotlight being labelled as the seediest of the seedy…
I also remember the warm sense of satisfaction I got in thinking “b****cks… I've been there, that place is not seedy, it’s f***ing fantastic.”
The Hangover 2 film that
featured part of the Bangkok red light district also captured my
imagination… the “Bangkok has him now” statement that was repeated a few
times in the film resonated with me; it’s the seductive image of a
place where anything goes, and once you’ve experienced it you're forever
So, the question has to be asked, how does the modern Bangkok measure up as a place for party animals, and where are the best places to be found?
It's arguable whether or not the backpacker area Khao San Road is a member of the red light area district group of night-spots or not. There's certainly plenty of girls there who would be happy for a paid liaison but, in general I regard it as something different.
So, I haven't included a description below. However, if you want to know more about it, I have included a dedicated article that you can read here:
The three areas below are certainly members of the red light club...
The Nana Entertainment Plaza (NEP) dubs itself the world’s largest adult playground but, whilst there are lots of bars there, I don’t believe that this is a credible statement.
For one thing, it is nowhere near the size of Pattaya’s Walking Street. It is a good spot regardless of the dubious size claim and personally I favor it as the best Bangkok red light district; the other two just aren’t big enough for my taste. The NEP was the focus of the TV documentary that I mentioned above, and I’ve had plenty of fun times there.
Click the link to see comments about Nana Plaza on Tripadvisor.
The NEP had a big facelift a few years back which has done a lot to spruce it up. It was a much needed renovation and it brought a completely different feel to the place.
Different isn’t always better and the rough-as-nuts appeal that some may remember about the NEP has been replaced by a yellow paint job, improved lighting, removal of food stalls that used to clog up the entrance, and some new modern beer bars in the center of the 3-storey courtyard.
A-go-go bars occupy all 3 storeys, and some have ladyboys performing…
A lot of the gogo bars have changed theme from one thing to another in search of that elusive winning business formula, but the gogo bar business model in the plaza is often described as struggling at best… and some would say that it’s totally broken.
The beer bars that line Soi Nana outside the NEP have also undergone a lot of redevelopment in recent years, and most are now as modern and trendy as you’ll find in a typical western city, with lots of sexy ladies working in them.
To read a true story about one man's experience with the sexy ladies of the plaza, have a read of this:
Patpong has most history attached to it, and it is the place I always think of when I think of a Bangkok ping pong show or something similar.
It’s the sort of place where you expect a few touts to hustle you upstairs into one of the lady shows, and then charge you a fortune for a compulsory drink and so on. In fairness, these are all just preconceptions and the hassle factor here is not really all that different to the other areas.
Unfortunately, Patpong is a big disappointment to me these days; it is the smallest of the three red light areas and the market stalls in the middle of the set up doesn’t do much to help the bar scene. It is still famous for the Ping Pong shows that some of the bars put on, but you need to be careful with these as many are rip-off joints.
I think that this is intentional because, over time, Patpong is declining as a naughty-bar zone and is sort of reinventing itself as a more mainstream destination. There are some very attractive Bangkok bar girls to be found here though.
Its heyday was long ago, maybe the 1980's, and is now a mixture of all sorts of things. The variety may appeal to some, but to most people it will come across as being a bit of a mismatch… I mean who goes out intending to buy a shirt and watch a ping pong show?
Patpong is unique in two other ways; firstly, it is built on privately owned land and secondly, it is located within a designated entertainment zone, meaning that the bars there can stay open for an extra hour, until 2am.
The first time that I ever visited Soi Cowboy I have to say that I was left feeling distinctly underwhelmed but, to be fair to the place, my expectations were probably too high.
If I’d accidentally stumbled across the soi whilst on a wander then I think I would probably have felt quite differently about it, and would have been more appreciative. The problem was that I’d been reading that it was the best venue in Bangkok and so I was expecting it to be bigger and better than Nana Plaza, but it’s actually quite small in comparison.
The “Hangover 2” film has done a lot to popularize Soi Cowboy on account of a few scenes in the film being shot there. Some of the best gogo bars are to be found here too, Baccara being the most notable, and there’s a lot of neon lighting up the place.
If you are wondering how the soi got its name, it’s because of the cowboy hat wearing American who opened the first bar there back in the 1970's.
I want to turn now to an example of the sort of bar-girl story that people still associate with the city... and then I'll tell you where you can still find this sort of experience!
These days, a lack of Bangkok girls entering the bar industry has hit hard in the capital where alternative work, and alternative means of meeting westerners via online dating, has taken its toll. Compared to yesteryear it’s a major challenge for the bars to recruit enough of the quality ladies that the customers want to see, and that hurts trade.
It is no easy task to get customers into a gogo bar without a quality line up of ladies!
On the topic of gogo girls, click the links for a bit more information about what sort of things go on inside them, as well as an entertaining true story about one guy's experiences with these ladies:
The relative scarcity of available bar girls has meant that the prices asked by those that remain has soared in recent years. In summary, all three of these places still have their charms, but there is a feeling that some of the fun-factor has been lost.
The Thai smiles have not deserted the place but they aren’t as ready as they once were and worse still, the Bangkok girls working in the bars don’t offer the same sort of girlfriend experience that they once did – despite prices rising beyond all recognition.
I think that the last thing anyone would expect of Bangkok bars, given the anything-goes perception that people tend to have, is that there would be closing times. Well, there are closing times, and they are enforced!
By 2 o’clock in the morning your night is over unless you intend to drink in your hotel room, it’s a big disappointment to be honest.
I appreciate that not everyone has quite the same drinking mentality as myself and my fellow Englishmen, but I reserve the desire to occasionally drink myself into oblivion. If I don’t wake up from time to time in a strange bar with absolutely no idea of how I came to be there, then that dispels the whole anything-goes illusion for me!
The Bangkok red light district survives rather than thrives, that is the sort of impression that you get these days and especially so when comparing it to days gone by.
Happily, there is a solution to this problem… its name is Pattaya. It’s less than 2-hours away by taxi, the prices are much lower, the Pattaya girls are much friendlier, and the nightlife is second to none. For comparisons between Bangkok and Pattaya, scroll down the page for more details.
P4P sex prices in Bangkok are as steep as it gets in Thailand, and the pushy nature of the bar-girls to buy them drinks and so on makes for a night that is much more expensive that it once was.
Due to the expense I'm going to make a recommendation that I usually avoid with regard to working-girls i.e. that freelancers are worth consideration here. For details on that, have a look at:
Unless you have deep enough pockets to not care about the cost, I suggest Pattaya as a more affordable alternative.
My usual proviso applies - the prices are for short-time only (an hour or a single shot). Yes, there are many factors that will affect these prices, and strong negotiating skills my help on some occasions. The time of year matters (high season is expensive) and the time of night also matters (later on things gets more negotiable).
As I’ve maintained throughout the article, Bangkok girls are a really good option for anyone who is interested in serious Thai dating, and I give them my top recommendation for finding a lasting romance in the land of smiles.
If you like your ladies to be a little taller, fairer-skinned, and a little less strict about traditional Thai cultural values, then you will appreciate the advantages that the big city has to offer.
The last word has to be (and please excuse the shameless self-promotion) that if you choose to follow the strategy in my Thai dating Mega Book, and use it to target Bangkok girls specifically, it will put you miles ahead of the game and open doors for you that most western guys never reach.
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My Recommended Dating Site: