As those of you who read my recent diary of Philippines will know, I'm a big fan of gogo bars. So this week I thought I would imagine my dream gogo bar…
Firstly, where would my dream gogo bar be?
An important consideration is that it would have to be surrounded by other gogo bars. Part of the thrill of visiting gogos is moving from one to another, seeing lots of girls and wondering which to go with. That feeling of uncertainty and
excitement is lost unless there are plenty of bars to visit.
So where? There are lots of options in Thailand and the Philippines. Using process of elimination we can safely rule out Patpong in Bangkok and P. Burgos Street in Manila, as they are the rip-off areas, aimed at sucker tourists or businessmen
alike. EDSA in Manila is a gogo complex with eight bars but while I was impressed with the venues and themes when I visited, the place didn't have an exciting atmosphere and the prices were too expensive.
So if it's excitement we're after, it has to be between Pattaya (Thailand), Angeles (Philippines), or either Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza in Bangkok. Pattaya is certainly exciting and yet there is something about the place I dislike.
Too many drunk people perhaps or maybe that Walking Street is too touristy? I don't like being inadvertently filmed by Japanese tourists on Walking Street! Besides, Pattaya is not a gogo town – the beer-bars are the stars.
Angeles on the other hand is 'gogo capital of the world', yet I would not locate my dream gogo bar there either. The simple reason is that Angeles is purely a gogo town and any self-respecting sex tourist gets his kicks in as many
ways possible. My dream gogo bar would have to be near massage parlours, freelance venues and a vibrant street scene too. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
In which case, my dream gogo bar would be in Bangkok, the ultimate 'Sin City'. Although I like Soi Cowboy and the blaze of neon it offers, it's a fairly short street and cruising between bars can be a little awkward (I dislike
being harassed by the same 'hello girls' when I'm in one of my indecisive moods). So, my gogo bar would be located in Nana Plaza. It has a great location with hotels and transport links nearby, there are great massage parlours and
freelance venues nearby and, most importantly, I like the venue itself. It's three storey of gogo's and bars like Big Dog, located at the entrance, or the cluster of beers-bars in the centre, are ideal for watching the girls as they
Some might say Nana Plaza is a little run down but for me that adds to its character. I love the fact that when you walk up the stairs on the right, after you've been accosted by the many cute young girls outside Mandarin, you have to
walk through a hairdressers to get to the top floor. I'll never tire of walking past and getting smiles from gogo girls who are getting their hair done!
Photo courtesy of Stickman who wrote a fantastic article last year titled Nana Plaza Memories which I think
manages to capture the atmosphere of the place.
Perhaps my favourite gogo bar is Rainbow 4, located on the second floor of Nana Plaza. That's mainly because it's a small venue packed with a huge number of girls, a high percentage of which are good lookers (see video link below).
I also like how close you can get to the girls, their dancing leather boots within inches of your precariously perched bottle of beer. However, the place itself isn't that impressive. It's very cramped and you can only see the girls
right next to where you are sat. Far from ideal.
There are some decent venues in Thailand though. Baccarra on Soi Cowboy and Club Boesche in Pattaya both have glass ceilings, so you get a great view from below of the girls dancing above. In fact, when I went to Club Boesche, two girls lathered in soap
were writhing about on the glass, which made for interesting viewing. Another favourite of mine is Tilac, also on Soi Cowboy. It's very shiny with lots of glass, metal and mirrors and I like the fact that when you go to the toilets and you
are stood at the urinal, you can still see the dancers through a small window. That's what you call attention to detail!
But generally, the gogo bars in Philippines put Thailand to shame. Take for example, Atlantis in Angeles (pictured below). It's a large venue with tiers of comfortable couches surrounding a circular stage on which LOTS of girls dance.
There are girls everywhere you look, including high above on a balcony, and you get a great view of them all. It's the perfect shopping window.
So, it is decided, my 'dream gogo' would be just like Atlantis inside.
However, those of you who have been to both Atlantis and Nana Plaza, know that this presents a problem. Nana is three storey of gogo bars, so the bars are generally quite small with low ceilings. Atlantis on the other hand is BIG (at least
two storey's high) so currently wouldn't fit in to Nana Plaza. However, since this is just a hypothetical exercise, the owners would pay a hypothetical bribe to the Bangkok planners and the hypothetical two-storey 'super-venue'
would be situated in the far left corner of Nana Plaza, with the entrance on the ground floor.
My dream gogo bar is taking shape. 🙂
NAME / THEME
The name/theme is an important factor as it influences music, decor and the outfits that the girls wear. Again, this is another area where Philippines beats Thailand hands-down. For example Bedrock in Angeles has a Flintstones theme, so the
girls wear sexy tiger-print underwear, while Cotton Club in Manila has a country & western theme so the girls wear cowboy hats and leather boots.
The choice of music is important too as the girls get bored if a) they don't like the music or b) it's too repetitive. And of course if the girls get bored it results in unenthusiastic shuffling as opposed to sexy dancing.
So with that in mind, my dream bar would be called MUSIK – spelt with a 'K' (because everyone knows that you have to mis-spell things these days to make them cooler). There would be a big neon sign outside would say 'MUSIK
– the Food of Love' (couldn't resist using a bit of Shakespeare) and the music inside would be famous songs from all eras, that the girls can sing along to and have fun with. But right in front of the stage would be a jukebox and if
a customer paid, say 500 baht, they could select songs for the girls to dance to. Imagine, walking down to the front of the stage, all of the girls cheering, and you select Madonna's 'Like A Virgin'!!
The outfits would be skimpy luminous glow-in-the-dark bras and panties and knee-high leather boots. However, at regular intervals the girls would dance topless. I realise that this is now frowned upon by authorities but one of my favourite
bars in Bangkok, whose name I will withhold for obvious reasons, has occasional topless dancers and 'hello girls', stationed outside, warn those inside to cover up if the police are in the vicinity!
So, my dream gogo bar would be called Musik, the venue would look just like Atlantis and it would be situated on the ground floor of Nana Plaza in Bangkok. Sounding good so far, which brings us neatly on to the main thing…
It's all very well establishing location, venue and theme, but any gogo connoisseur knows that the reason you visit the bars are for the girls.
So Musik would employ young, slim, fresh-faced beauties with sexy vibes. Since I take my role of talent scout very seriously for my dream gogo, I spent a few hours collecting photos of the type of girls I would like to see in Musik:
All worth bar-fining don't you think?
But more important than the girls looks is their attitude. Management would offer incentives for the girls to be as lively as possible on stage, for example 'dancer of the night' competitions and spot prizes. In Angeles huge party-poppers regularly
go off with a loud bang and the girls jump in the air, trying to catch money which falls amongst the confetti. Those kind of things add to the atmosphere.
The girls attitude off the stage is important too. I dislike entering a gogo bar and immediately being pounced upon by groups of girls and pressured in to buying them lady drinks by the bar-staff. Pushy girls are a certain way of ruining
a good place. I like to sit down, get a drink and then make a choice of who I would like to sit next to me. It's important that I select the girl, not the other way around. In Cebu I went in to one gogo bar and before I had even taken ONE
sip from my San Miguel I was surrounded by FIVE girls! Contrast this with Atlantis and Forbidden City in Angeles, where you get shown to a seat and don't get hassled at all to buy drinks or select a girl.
Another factor that needs to be thought about are the 'hello girls'. In Thailand the system works perfectly. The gogo bar has two shifts of girls and when one shift isn't on stage, they are 'working the floor' or
sat outside as 'hello girls', trying to get customers in to the venue. This works perfectly as it means that customers like you or I can walk past a bar and get a good idea of the type of girls he can expect to see if he enters.
In Philippines, there often aren't any 'hello girls' (i.e. gogos in Manila or Cebu) and although Angeles does have them, they aren't necessarily a reflection of the girls you can see inside the club. I remember a group
of sexy young girls in pink persuading me to enter Pussycat Dolls in Angeles. But when I entered, the girls on stage were much older and nowhere near as easy on the eye! Perhaps they were the 'hello girls' mothers?
I remember visiting a gogo bar in Pattaya once and a girl pulling out a thirty meter long luminous ribbon out of her pussy. It didn't really interest me. I like to see lots of girls, not the stage cleared so someone can perform a novelty
However, I love the parades in some of the bars in Angeles. In Tropix I saw a 'Beauty Pageant' where each of the girls walked on stage and posed sexily at the front. Best of all, you are allowed to take photos. Dollhouse had a similar
thing and Atlantis had a 'Brazilian Thong Show' which as I'm sure you can imagine, was extremely enjoyable. These shows give you chance to see each of the girls up close, with the stage to themselves. The down-side though, is that
if you see a girl you like, you have to act quickly as everyone else is getting the same view!
BARFINE POLICY / PRICES
So all of the fun stuff has been decided upon but what about the prices?
I think the bar-fine policy works much better in Philippines. In Thailand you pay the bar-fine (usually 600 baht) and then it's up to the girl to charge for her services. The girl inevitably quotes as much as she thinks she can get and
since I'm young, I often get mistaken for a newcomer and quoted too much. In Philippines however, you pay a one-off bar-fine to the bar, from which the girl takes her cut. Then it's up to you whether you'd like to tip the girl next
morning. Since the girls rely on tips, performance is guaranteed.
Furthermore, in Thailand you have to negotiate whether you would like 'short-time' (a few hours) or 'long-time' (all night). I believe that this has a detrimental effect on the quality of service too, as often 'short-time'
girls like to leave as soon as the deed is done, hoping to get back to the gogo bar in time for more business. In Angeles, you only get 'long-time' which means there isn't the temptation for girls to leave early, although of course
As for pricing, as daft is it might sound, my dream gogo bar wouldn't be too cheap as I'd like it to be around for a while! The pricing policies in Thailand I often think are crazy. You'd think given the financial climate that
prices would be lowered to attract more custom but the Thai mentality doesn't work that way – they charge more to make up for fewer customers.
But imagine if my dream gogo opened in Nana and charged, say, an all-inclusive fee of 2500 baht (including bar-fine) for long-time. To me, that is a fair price and yet it's below the other big bars in Nana Plaza. But if one bar charged
those prices and proved to be popular, which of course my dream bar would, then others would surely be forced to lower their prices too. Musik would revolutionise the world of gogo bars and bring prices crashing down! I'd be promoted from
a 'sir' to a 'saint' for my services to the gogo industry and you guys would be the chief beneficiaries!
To summarise, my dream gogo bar would be located in the far left corner of Nana Plaza, with its entrance on ground floor, and would look just like Atlantis. It would be called Musik and only employ sexy young honeys, like those in the photo
strip above. They would wear skimpy little bras and knee-high leather boots and from time-to-time you could see them topless and partaking in Sexy Catwalk Shows. The bar-fine would be an all-inclusive fee of 2500 baht for long-time.
Sound like the kind of gogo bar you'd like to visit? If so, I'll give you an imaginary ticket to the imaginary opening night. 🙂
Maybe you've agreed with my choices and maybe you've screamed at your computer? If the latter, I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Nicely put together.