Soi Cowboy Gogo Bar Trip Report, July, 2023
I have just visited Bangkok for the first time since April last year where I did provide a report on how the nightlife scene was slowly coming to life. So this year seemingly nearly back to full – well, Soi Cowboy anyway.
I always go here despite in the past atrocious music, surly wait staff, unfriendly dancers. I guess it’s the sight of 40 naked women wiggling on stage which is the allure. I have to say quite an improvement – unsure if it’s the negative publicity that has caused this. The music was a little too techno but they did play some recognisable dance hits in the mix. I even heard Ed Sheeran (not sure if that’s a positive though!). The wait staff were way more friendly – none of this buy drink for me, buy drink for dancer nonsense. In fact after a couple of days many smiled and nodded in my direction and knew my drink order. The girls walking around nude looking for customer interaction were not pushy – I just smiled and gave a slight nod and they moved on. There was one girl – age 24 – who was as pretty as a girl I’ve ever seen in Bangkok.. When dancing she had this beatific smile on her face. I motioned her down for a lady drink and again credit to the bar staff. They were very specific in pointing out that there would be a 400 baht charge before undertaking the order. I asked the girl about the cost of taking her to my room. 800 baht bar fine – 4,000 short time, I asked out of curiosity about long time – no chance, Converted to NZ dollars that’s around $230. I think my calculation wasn’t working well as that’s not unreasonable – especially compared to escorts in Wellington. Writing this I wish I had partaken now – she was stunning.
This time around I made a point of seeing if I could pay by credit card. Travelling around the world there are so many countries where you don’t need to carry any local currency – it’s just tap and go. I was in Costa Rica last month and I paid in US dollars once so I could get a souvenir Costa Rica note. I find it frustrating that you go out in Bangkok, have a great night and then you worry that you don’t have enough cash. So I paid by credit card twice at Crazy House. They had a markup charge. Once they took the card away and came back with my receipt. other had to go and enter my pin. Staff weren’t that keen I could tell – they lose their tips so I made a point of handing over some baht.
An old favourite. Lady drinks an eye watering 250 baht regardless of what type of drink. The mamasan running the show I have known for 23 years. I was her first ever customer in 2000. She was very attractive and I had commerce with her even when she was a new mamasan at Suzie Wong. Alas the years have not been kind to her and now she’s as big as a house. However I still felt obliged to buy her some lady drinks – tequilas which were dispatched in very short order. For the first time in ages the girls were not naked – some topless, most bikinis. For one of the shows the girls were naked but that was it. One of the real bugbears occurred when I was there, I was having fun and frivolity with one of the welcome ladies – very well endowed- and I had just bought her another 250 baht lady drink. She then sees an old customer , leaves the drink untouched and goes off to see him never to return. She was barfined. The next night when I went there I was going to make a point of snubbing her but alas she wasn’t there. Bugger! On a positive note credit card accepted with no hassle, No additional fees.
Another old favourite. I thought the crowd was down a bit on previous visits. But the shows are much the same – girls are friendly and it’s a comfortable place to visit. I inquired about using a credit card – not working tonight I was advised. I get the impression that’s probably most nights.
There is a woman there who intrigues me. She’s been there for at least 10 years. She is confident of going up to customers and seems always to be getting lady drinks. When I go to the loo if she’s not with a customer then she’s swigging something out the back. So most nights regardless of whether its lady drinks or swigging out the back she’s going to be a little worse for wear. She’s one of the show dancers even though as the evening progresses the alcohol has some effect on her gymnastic skills, I find it odd that she’s still in the bar after all these years and I find her situation sad. The girls say she is bar fineable but I have never seen her go with anyone – mind you I’ve probably left in a drunken haze before closing time. I like it that the lady drinks are priced at the same level as for the punters – I noted that I was paying 185 baht for my beer but a girl I was buying drinks for – whisky and something was paying 175 baht.
I only went to the Dollhouse later in my trip. Very much I regret not going earlier. A great atmosphere. I fancied sitting a bit closer to the action and sat in what I thought was a vacant seat. “Oy mate would you steal my grave” alerted me that it wasn’t. Looking bewildered, one of the dancers came to my rescue and got me in a seat on the other side of the stage. A really nice person – probably mid to late 30s. I asked a waitress if I can pay by credit card – no problem and she gave me the round O hand sign to say all OK. As the evening progressed and more nude dancers were wiggling their bums (I love an Asian bum) and I felt inclined to buy them a drink I ended up with 4 – the original nice person, an older friend of similar age and 2 younger ones – one who spoke very limited English. Expensive!
Anyway the next night all 4 descended upon me immediately but in a good friendly way, By this time another girl with a fantastic bum had drawn my attention – so suddenly it was five girls !! Now I explained to the girls that I couldn’t possibly buy a round for them all every time I got a drink. By the way, I was drinking handles of Chung beer – 95 baht, So I said that I would buy 2 drinks for them, rotating amongst the girls every time I bought one. They were absolutely fine with that and while I said please go and see other customers if you want, none did. Of course as the evening progressed I lost track of who was in the rotation and it became very confusing . When all the girls were dancing they would remind themselves it was the bum action I liked myself so they would like up in unison and jiggle their bums. At one point another girl seeing what was going on twerked very vigorously right in my face. I felt obliged to give her 100 baht. This caused a minor conniption amongst the girls but I managed to calm them down saying it was a one off payment and this girl wasn’t going to join the circle of 5.
All I can say is that it was a bloody good evening. Cost $216 NZ. If I was to have a night out in Wellington and then go to a so-called strip club, a “private dance” for 15 minutes in a murky booth would probably cost around $100. Then there is the admission fee and all the drinks bought at pubs beforehand. Here the girls are giving you continual dances and constant flirtatious attention.
Next night was my last and I had a very early flight to Bali. Mindful of costs I said that unfortunately it would be one drink rotation to my one. I did however sometimes expand to two. I was chugging the Changs down but was mindful of the time elapsing. They didn’t mind at all – always coming up and flirting, sitting on my lap, boobs in my face. I was sad to say goodbye and while I am not naive to think that it’s not all about the lady drinks, you can make a connection if you are a good sort and make them laugh. They all gave me a lovely hug and kiss goodbye. That’s always been my experience of Bangkok – the girls love to have fun and will reward you for a positive attitude. Cost for a 2-hour session $118.44 NZ. Value for money.
BTW bar fine 800 baht and short time not an unreasonable 3,000 baht. Girl I asked said that it is for 2 hours. So plenty of time – no rush. I asked about long time and was advised would have to be negotiated with the girl but got the impression it was not something that would often be discussed. Their lady drinks seemed to be either tequila shots or glasses of beer with ice in them (very strange). Both 180 baht
I want to conclude by talking about the cost of having ‘boom boom” in Bangkok. Bar fine plus short time is getting very expensive. And unless you know the girl its very much a journey into the unknown. The girl who’s all over you in the bar can be different when you get back to the room. First it’s the trip back to the hotel, then the compulsory showers for you and her (even if you only showered an hour ago). You find that when you are in the shower she’s found the remote control and watching a Thai soap opera. So you need to be diplomatic in reminding her she’s there for fun not to watch telly. The room’s too cold. The lighting is too bright. Have you got condoms? After all this the ardour has often gone and it can be hard to rekindle.
So it’s been a while since I barfined a girl. In past years I have used Smooci. Sure you don’t get the chance to have a conversation and build a rapport with the girl but you can see pictures, read reviews and it’s worked out well. Cost, depending on quality 3,500 – 5,000 baht for 2 hours. I booked a girl on my first night who I met last year and who had kept in touch with on WhatsApp.
Last year I tried a booked massage for the first time and it seemed ok. Anyway this time after doing quite a bit of research (internet very good on Bangkok massage) I tried Cherry massage, I walked up and was greeted by a sweet attractive girl and selected her. Cost 2,100 baht for one and half hours. She was so good that I had 4 times with her and that was my only girl action for my trip. She was so obliging, and really wanted to please. Again it’s not the same experience as meeting a girl in a bar, chatting and liking her. moving to the bedroom and I guess sometimes having a long term relationship, But if you want undivided attention and a very good expectation of what’s on offer AND a very reasonable rate then this is a pretty good option. So it was late afternoon fun, something to eat and then on to the bars for fun. Apart from the previously mentioned girl from Crazy House bar fines never entered my consideration.
Anyway sorry this was meant to be a short precis but I have gone on rather too long. Hope I haven’t bored you too much. Love your column and it was great to read about your experience of returning to Thailand.
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