The red light district of Soi Cowboy is definitely the best place to be if you want to enjoy the raunchy side of Bangkok nightlife scene. It is by far a much more momentous locality to escape the monstrous mob of mostly tourists and expats at the Nana Plaza Entertainment Center and Patpong Night Market.
This region of Bangkok was so named after a retired African-American airman opened one of the first bars here way back in 1977. He goes by the name T. G. "Cowboy" Edwards and got his nickname because he almost always wore a cowboy hat. Since then more and more go-go bars have sprung up as well as several restaurants. One of them is Bangkok's best fish and chip shop.
The location is near the intersection of Sukhumvit and Asoke Roads, that is between Sukhumvit Soi 21 and Soi 23. It's within easy walking distance from Asok Station on the BTS Skytrain route and Sukhumvit Station on the Bangkok Metro route.
The street on which this adult playground is situated is only one hundred and fifty metres long, but sports a large and diverse selection of bars. They range from standard bars where you simply sit down to enjoy a cold beer or two, either inside or outside and watch the comings and goings, or the other raunchier establishments where you can equally enjoy a cold drink or two.
A significant difference though to the latter is that you get to watch plenty of sexy Thai girls strutting their stuff to the rhythm of diverse types of music. And all this around shiny steel poles.
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If live music is your scene, then that too is on offer. Soi Cowboy offers you just about anything and everything your heart could possibly desire which is probably why so many tourists and expatriates spend their entire evening here.
That is to say before continuing partying into the wee hours of the next morning at a hotel of choice. If you should somehow awaken with the "wrong" girl of choice, never mind, there's always another "bus" waiting to pick you up. Same place-new day.
Go-go bars and Coyotes bars make up a fair number of entertainment venues on this street, many of which are a mixture of the two. Some of them have ultra modern interiors and almost all of them have bright neon exteriors. Below is a list of some of the better ones, however they are not in any preferential order.
Country Road is the first bar on the street to your left should you enter from Asoke Road. This particular bar will entertain you with live music which makes it extremely popular among expats, so much so that the premises has increased considerably in size.
Its popularity is attributed to the "cheap beer" on offer, but you'll only get this during happy hour. If you are feeling a tad thirsty, try a litre pitcher as they can be pretty good value. Did I mention that the music is free!
Tilac is located about a third of the way down the street to your left should you enter from Asoke Road. It has been rated one of the best go-go bars here, but then you best judge this for yourself. I am not going to let on too much here as this may spoil it for you later. Dare to venture and then give it your best shot.
Deja Vu is located approximately seventy metres down the street to your left should you enter from Asoke Road. It's right next door to Tilac. It's a fairly new go-go bar with some top-quality decor, much of which is spread across two floors.
Cactus is a small go-go bar located approximately ninety metres down the street to your right should you enter from Asoke Road. It's the one before Dundee Bar. Although a little shabby in appearance, it sure makes up in farang friendly charm. The girls here also tend to be more mature and are not pushy.
These ladies don't constantly harass you for drinks. Rather than that, they are far more willing to share their time with you if you do decide to buy them drinks. If a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere is what you are looking for, then you definitely need to head on down to this go-go bar.
Baccara is one of the first go-go bars located on the street to your right should you enter from Sukhumvit Soi 23. Together with Tilac go-go bar, it is one of the largest and most popular entertainment venues here with the prettiest of girls.
Coyote is located near the entrance to the street from Asoke Road on your left. For those of you who have been here before, you'll remember the go-go bar was originally named Apache. I'm not sure why there was a name change, but what the heck - as long as the women and drinks are still flowing, who the hell really cares. Though this place is not high on the list of glitz and glam, it still remains a fun and friendly place to hang out.
To mention one specific aspect about Soi Cowboy as opposed to the two other seemingly similar adult playgrounds in the city, and for that, you should spend a little leisure time here. To do this, all you need to do is plonk yourself down outside any one of the bars or restaurants, then simply watch the world go by.
It's the perfect opportunity for you to let go all your emotions and whatever else that may be of great concern to you. You will be so caught up observing all the diverse and unfamiliar alien characters walking up and down the street that you won't have time to even think of anything else but the actual moment.
While you're slurping your beer or for the ladies, sipping your cocktail, have some fun with your mates. Try guessing how long it might take the next virgin bloke on the block to pluck up the courage to enter any one of these go-go bars. It could take a while, but then again, you're not in a hurry, are you? The reward you get is to see the absolute shock on their faces. It's understandable that the bars here can be intimidating to the novice, especially if it's their first time.
Unethical activities and dishonest conduct at adult entertainment venues throughout Thailand appear to be the order of both day and night. Be aware of such misdemeanours especially if you are new to the areas or when visiting these bars.
Overpricing of drinks is fairly common practice so be mindful and watch out for those unwanted lady-drink-slips that could suddenly turn up in your bill holder. This frequently happens at go-go bars. Other than that, try to remain calm.
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