I don’t mind because I quite like to shoot a rack of pool or two but have you noticed how many pool bars have sprung up lately just in the Sukhumvit / Nana area alone? Add to that the number of bars that just happen to have pool tables in them
and the clear message in downtown BKK these days is – POOL RULES, OK!!
Bangkok’s infamous nightlife is fast becoming Bangkok’s infamous day-life. The go-go bars are facing a stern challenge for the tourist dollar from a plethora of new and glitzy pool bars.
The go-go bars are looking positively old fashioned and tired by comparison. If they don’t start fighting back pretty soon we might see them go out of business and disappear forever.
“Yeah, but wait a minute, I didn’t just fly half way round the world for eighteen hours, squeezed into an Asian sized coach class seat just so I can play pool in the tropical freaking heat”!! “Where are all the girls at?”
Well, I didn’t say there weren’t any girls. Let me tell how things are changing in the new BKK.
Time was, in the not so distant past we had the bars opening around 4.00pm. The go-gos kicked into life around 7.00pm and there were naked girls everywhere. No one gave a rat’s arse what time the bars closed because, whatever time they closed you were either pissed-drunk and sleeping it off or banging the beejesus out of your latest almond-eyed, go-go doll. Either way, you weren’t out and about at that ungodly hour so closing times were largely irrelevant.
I, for one don’t remember wasting my time playing pool in those halcyon days.
These days, your focal point has moved. The bars close at 1.00am or 2.00am at the latest. Yes, there are special cases but we’re talking mainstream here. Add to this the go-go girls being covered up with bikinis and suddenly the whole nightlife scene, especially the sexy entertainment part starts to look like Croydon. If you’re not familiar with Croydon, suffice to say this is not good news.
Big problem looming here so the bars have no choice but to re-invent the wheel.
The Pool Revolution gets underway.
Now that it’s more difficult to sell sex into the NIGHT (earlier closing, no nudity), playing pool is how the bars sell sex during the DAY.
Take a closer look at some of these places. The girls who work these pool bars are mostly young and pretty. Most don’t even look like bargirls but they sure deliver. I know this first hand. This couldn’t be better for all concerned.
Your average punter for instance, now feels more like he really is a hit with the ladies and not just a loutish sex tourist who has to pay for sex in a foreign country. Why? Well, he’s playing pool with these beauties now and this involves a certain amount of interaction. There’s a bit more to it than “What you name?” “Where you flom?” “How much?” “OK. Let’s go!”
I suggest, some people actually like the idea of a bit of foreplay. (OK, maybe not if you’re from Queensland!!)
We have most pool bars opening around 10.00 or 11.00 am. The day shift girls like this because they can ply their trade in the daylight hours, knock off around 7.00pm and be home in time for dinner with their pimp boyfriends.
The nightshift girls love it because they don’t have to dance around naked for five or six hours until Joe Farang decides he’s ogled enough and is ready for some action. No, she can sit and chat and play pool with you. She gets the chance to shove her ass out a bit, show off her cleavage and tease you in a much more subtle way. She doesn’t have to rub her naked breasts in your beer soaked face to get your attention.
The bar owners have successfully shifted the earth's axis so they don’t go broke because of the early closing. They have re-organised things so that they still get their share of the tourist buck, but earlier.
Winners all round.
So are we about to see an entertainment revolution in Bangkok with the go-go bars eventually being completely replaced with glitzy-ditzy pool bars?
Maybe we are and maybe it’s not altogether a bad thing. As the pool bar business gets more competitive, perhaps we could expect to see the bar owners trying out new methods of pulling in the punters. Such as more and even better looking girls. Girls wearing fewer clothes. How about an inter-bar pool league? How about a ladies league, which might not have anything to do with playing pool. You gotta admit, its got possibilities.
Let’s be realistic for a moment, as long as we have Japanese tourists and Japanese ex-pats, we are always going to have go-go bars. I don’t see many Nips playing pool. Perhaps it’s the interaction and foreplay thing that puts them off. So the go-go bar is probably not going to disappear overnight but it makes you wonder who else will be able to afford to use them if the Japs start monopolising these places.
For now, there’s probably no reason to panic. After all, you can always slink off to Pattaya when you’re tired of the Bangkok Pool Bar Bonanza. The go-go bars there are under no threat at all from the Pool Rules Revolution.
Very interesting thoughts.