Friendly hello girls have long been a feature of The Strip with a dedicated PR team outside the bar until closing. On the left, long-serving Ann has seen a few owners come and go as she has graduated from the stage to door duties. Dow, centre, and Ji, right, are more recent additions. Dao is a frisky number who is willing to do what it takes and has been known to make up numbers if there is a shortage of dancers. She will even perform a sexy shower show if need be…for a few extra baht, of course.
Make my dreams come true, says Dao’s tattoo. What are a Thai girl’s dreams? Would a house, a car and 40K baht a month send her to dreamland, I ask. I get an excited giggle that I take as a yes!
Can you remember when most had a big smile like this? What happened? The LOS (Land of smiles) moniker seems less appropriate these days.
Miss Ji is the star welcome girl. Early 20’s from Surin, she would make a fantastic girl of the week. North of 170 cm, she is tall for a Thai lady and works guys like a pro. She loves to sidle up close to those who are 50:50 on whether to go inside. Ah, the sales techniques Thai ladies use!
Sigh, the downside of being a good boy. This is what you miss out on!
Ann used to grace the dance floor but these days she runs the girls at the front door, but when it’s quiet she loves to fool about.
The legendary Thai female competitiveness comes to the fore. After Ann shows me what she’s got, Kwan grabs me, drags me outside and proudly boasts that she sports the biggest set in the bar. She jiggles them around and insists that I photograph them and tell the world about them. Done!
Seriously, you will be hard pressed to find a larger set right out of the factory anywhere in Patpong. No silicone which should be no surprise for she comes from an area where the maidens are known for being buxom.
The camera lies and makes the cashier look a little chubby. It’s deceptive and she isn’t. Please note that she is not available.
Like so many bars, The Strip has a mix of gogo dancers, coyote dancers and to confuse things, PR girls – a fancy term for hello girls, welcome girls or door girls. All are barfineable but in the case of the PR girls, they’re not the sure thing that those inside are. The difference in barfine rates is negligible; gogo dancer barfines run 800 baht while coyote and PR girls will set you back an even 1,000.
At just 38 kg, she is even slimmer than she looks here. Someone please take her over to Madrid in Patpong soi 1 for a pizza, preferably the large size. Small, slim and young-looking is a favourite look for many older guys – and that’s kind of creepy. What is it with old dudes who like small girls who look young? Why would anyone want to be with someone young enough to be their granddaughter? Why go for a 20-year old when there are plenty of 30-year olds who have more about them, who you can actually talk with and who will almost certainly make for a much better bedroom experience. What’s wrong with a 30-something like Nina, girl of the week, 30/11/2014? I’ve never been able to get my head around this thing some older guys have for small-framed girls who look young. Is it a manipulation and control thing? Are they latent paedophiles?
Cat has been a fixture at The Strip for a good few years. She might not be to everyone’s taste but Cat stands out as the best dancer in the bar and goes through a lengthy stretching routine before she gets up on stage. And I bet it’s not just up on stage where Cat could teach the younger girls a thing or two…
Whether this stretch was for the camera or part of her regular routine, I don’t know! Nice biceps, Cat!
Three different Bangkok nightlife website webmasters agree this really is the best butt in the industry, but does it look so good up close?
It’s still early and few punters are about. The drinks haven’t started flowing, the girls are stone-cold sober yet you still have that famous Thai playfulness. The Strip has gogo dancers who are employed by the bar, and coyotes on a day rate provided by an agency, two separate groups, yet they all play together on stage like a litter of excited puppies.
A young Japanese guy comes in to the bar and a coyote dancer scurries off to adjust her makeup. She really likes the look of the guy. It works, he barfines her and they leave the bar hand in hand!
One of the most photogenic girls in the bar, getting her to smile was beyond me.
I tried everything from making funny faces to telling jokes in Thai but no matter what I said or did, she would not smile. It wasn’t me – she wouldn’t smile for anyone. And it wasn’t that she was averse to having her photo taken – quite the opposite actually – but she just would not smile! She’s another who needs a trip Madrid.
But then if people were doing this to you, would you be smiling? I can understand how some girls fail to smile after guys who look like they just walked off a farm think nothing of prodding them, poking them and treating them like a plaything. But then on the other hand it is the girls who allow themselves to be subjected to this when they have every right to say no.
He doesn’t last long, she gets a handsome tip and soon she is bouncing around the bar again. Her smile is back and he joins a long list of bad memories.
She might not have the raw good looks, but she knows how to smile.
The randy owner thought I should make this lady girl of the week. She was a lovely lass and had a really nice demeanour and was upbeat and bubbly, but she wouldn’t have been my first choice.
This lady is consistently the most barfined lady in the bar. Month after month, I kid you not! Yep, she may be the biggest girl in the bar, but she is also the most popular. Visit The Strip and you will see why – she has a great demeanour, is sweet and friendly. The Strip has had a number of superstars over the years like First to Nina to Jubjang, all of whom have featured as Stickman girls of the week, but in terms of commercial success, this lady is the current star!
Speaking of former girls of the week, Muay, girl of the week in the column of December 7, 2014, was looking good this week.
Yam was girl of the week in late 2013 and used to danced in Club Electric Blue. Some say that a Thai woman’s best feature is their long shiny hair. Even with short hair, Yam still looks great.
Some of these girls seldom see daylight, they’ve only been awake a few hours yet the smiles come easily. And it is that which sets The Strip apart from so many bars. What’s the secret? I reckon it comes back to the boss. As untypical a bar owner as you will find, the American owner runs The Strip like a business and not like his own private bar and harem. He has his eccentricities like high-fiving the girls before he goes home and is known for goofing around, something that goes down well with Thais. He has helped out girls with problems, handing out a thousand baht here or there if the girls are short. When one girl’s father could no longer walk he bought the old boy a wheelchair. Many of us felt that the girls initially took advantage of him, but they have come to see that while he is a soft touch, he has a big heart – and that is one reason The Strip is doing so well while at the same time many bars run by those with much industry experience are struggling.
The Strip has long been one of my favourite bars and is currently one of the most popular bars in Patpong. The last few months have been its best period ever. The Strip is far from the biggest bar in Bangkok, doesn’t have the prettiest girls nor the cheapest drinks. The booths are no longer in service, some of the seating could do with replacing and I really don’t like it that smoking is allowed. But despite all of this, there’s a good vibe, most of the girls have a ready smile and it’s easy to wile away the hours. Like so many bars these days, the girls come and go as they please and The Strip is best on Fridays and Saturdays when most turn up for work. My final drink in a gogo bar before I leave Bangkok is going to be in The Strip.
Where was this photo taken?
What has become of the Nana Hotel? Last Saturday I booked two girls from Bangkokescort.com. Having stayed in the Nana for many a year and had numerous liaisons, what was there to worry about? At the agreed time (in fact, early) the two ladies arrived. The first I knew was when the phone rang in my room with reception saying “Your lady friends here”. Never had that before as room number had been given. When I said ok just send them up, reception replied, “No, you have to come down”. Somewhat surprised, I jumped in the lift to find two immaculately presented girls sitting in the lobby. I asked what was wrong. Reception at the Nana had called the girls on entry and questioned where they were going. Having given my room number, they were declined entry and, according to them, spoken to very badly in Thai to the point they felt embarrassed. Upon my arrival, they told me the story. So I go to the guy to see what the problem is. He replies that only one lady is allowed in the room. I offered him a thousand baht to waive this, which he declined! In the end we had to leave Nana, jump in a tuktuk and go to another hotel (which cost me 1,600 baht) for 4 hours of fun. I have never had this problem there before. And the girls (who were superb, but rightly pissed off) pointed out they go to 5-star hotels without problem. The first time they visit Nana they get treated like this. I was shocked.Hooking not taking off in Soi 12.
I walk past The Den getting outta my soi several times a day and have no idea how they make money. I did talk to some of the ไก่หลง (lost chickens), the Thai phrase for freelance streetwalkers and they said there aren’t many customers. A lot of the girls bail at 9 PM and go hug a chrome pole in Soi Cowboy. I asked one fairly cute girl in Thai how much short-time was and she said 3,000 baht. I replied, “I asked about short time, not lifetime!” Did you happen to notice the big waterfall “screens” they put up which blocks the entrance of the short time rooms from view of the street. I talked to the workers and it appears they cost a pretty penny. Funny how they could do that, yet they still they haven’t managed to change the sign which hangs off the back of the house which faces Insanity’s entry door. It still says “Monaco Gentlemen’s Club”. At close to 300K a month rent, we’ll see how long it lasts. I’d say you’re right on the money with the poorly marketed observation. Soi 12 is not the whore haven that the sois on the other side of the Sukhumvit are, or even that Soi 8 is.Working girls are tech savvy.
Tech is what most gogo bar owners have not embraced and how to leverage it beyond a system to track the alcohol they serve. Meanwhile, minimally educated young ladies from small towns are using mobile phones to build their own proprietorships. The bars need the girls more than vice versa, yet owners keep applying the old model, increasing their costs by paying ridiculous salaries to coyotes and increasing salaries for dancers. Then they try to make up for it by charging high prices for customer drinks, outrageous prices for lady drinks, obscuring the fact coyotes cannot be barfined or even which girls are coyotes, and having ladyboys work without clearly revealing their gender status. Even the most minimally tech savvy punter can easily circumnavigate the system. The level at which these businesses treat their clientele with disdain encourages them to do so.The smiles have gone.
I think the biggest change in Thailand has been the general attitude of the Thai people. I don’t know if it is the constant political upheaval or what but it is no longer a happy place.
We all have our likes and dislikes about what appeals to us in women. I often see couples that could be brother and sister in the way they look. An ugly guy with an attractive woman often means she has been “rented”. I have been to Thailand five times, have visited all the major cities and seen the country change over the period of 2001 to 2010. I have also spent time in Cambodia, Laos, China (Pearl River Basin), Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore (the five floors), The Philippines (but not Angeles City) South Korea, South Vietnam over the period of 2001 to 2014 and will be visiting Northern Vietnam next month. I seldom saw a fat Thai woman from 2001 to 2003. I think I can speak from experience about changes in South-East Asia. I do not like the looks of: 1) Obese women. 2) Tramp stamp tattoos and tattooed eyebrows. 3) Dyed hair on Asian women. In 2001 I seldom saw such women in Bangkok or Pattaya but by 2005 tattoos started to appear and the beautiful long hair was being displaced by bleached blonde and brilliant red. The only other place this happened was Hong Kong. By 2010, the last time I visited Thailand, the women were fatter, had more tattoos, and natural hair was no longer the norm in the bars. From your photos I would say that fewer than 10% of the bargirls, including coyotes, filled my requirements to be called attractive. Then there are the manners. Politeness has gone from the norm in Thailand to downright rudeness in the bars. I have been asked for a tip just to be seated at the back of a bar. Girls in the streets and shops do not smile as much. LOS has given way to LOG (Land of Greed). However, Vietnam and the Philippines are still nice places to visit.1,500 rides gets you your own ride.
I know a freelancer who worked the Golden Bar for many years. She was once a stunner with a 10 plus body but is now a drunk with a wide ass. She bought this small car years ago and told me she had to do 30 short-times a month to make the payments. Simple math tells me she has done 1,500 short-times and probably more to pay for the car. Now I think her brain is pickled in Thai whiskey. She starts her shift off with numerous Thai whiskies and Coke and drinks until someone short times her, day after day. I believe this lifestyle is common on Soi 4.Hibernation or blogicide?
Going through the readers’ emails the last couple of weeks, I see that a segment of longstanding Stick readers and Bangkok nightlife enthusiasts are in “exit mode” emotionally. It seems that the news of your departure from this landscape has triggered some sort of soul-searching in them. Economy, market conditions and all other indicators are not what they were a decade ago so they’re probably right in calling it a day. But there are many late joiners like me who didn’t seen those golden days, and are at the beginning of our tenure in Sukhumvit Night exploration who will terribly miss your weekly column. For a newcomer, Stickman Weekly has been a “Wisden”, a must-read to know the culture and history of the field, to know the key players, to quickly get up to speed and most importantly to prevent avoidable injuries. Your timely updates and advice will be truly missed. In my humble opinion, selling the website in order to keep it alive while you pursue other interests has probably not been materialized for the fact that the site loses its “Praana” (or maybe the charm) as soon as you step aside from Editor-in-Chief position. The site carries your philosophy, your aesthetics, your interest in people and your sweet-&-sour relationship with Thai culture. This makes the site unique. I don’t believe anybody will be able re-create the charm ghost-writing. In that sense, I’m kind of relieved that the site hasn’t changed hands. I would like to think that the weekly column is going to hibernate, only to give you a well-deserved break. People can change career, but can’t change their core so easily. So, I would like to believe that a revival is inevitable. All the best for your future endeavours but I will be waiting for the Stickman Weekly to come back!Girl of the week
Tanya, escort with BangkokEscort.com Mid 20s from Ubon Rachathani, she is tall and slim.
In Shark Bar this week there was an entire set of dancers on stage without a single tramp stamp to be seen. Amazing! With that said, a number had eschewed the au naturale look with about half sporting auxiliary headlights.An ongoing theme which goes back to the occupation of major intersections downtown in late 2013 by protesters which crippled the city is how tough Bangkok’s bar industry is doing it. At the same time, it should be noted that there are a handful of bars that are booming. I’d estimate there are 3 or 4 gogo bars in Bangkok making a 6-figure dollar monthly profit – and yes, I mean profit, not turnover. I imagine there are a few bars doing similarly well in Pattaya but am less familiar with that market so won’t stick my neck out. There IS big money to be made and the big players are doing extremely well. A word of warning for those driving from Bangers down to Sin City. Plan your journey well or consider postponing it…for 3 years! Work has started on the new underground tunnel on Pattaya’s Sukhumvit Road which it is estimated will take up to 3 years to complete. Some roads will become one-way, some u-turns blocked off, some roads leading off Sukhumvit have been blocked, all of which could make driving in Pattaya a right headache. The madness started this week and word from a long-time Pattaya resident comes word that it’s total chaos around Sukhumvit. It is going to be mayhem at weekends as Bangkokians head to the beach. Just how bad will it be at Songkran? One big change in the bar industry is in the freelancer sector. There once was a time when many freelancers hit bars without barfines a night or two a week to supplement their income. These days the freelancers are every bit as mercenary as the girls who clutch chrome poles. Fight Night where Thai boxing fights were held between the National Stadium BTS and MBK. Not long after I put that column together the season ended. MBK Fight Night is back and the fights are every Wednesday from around 6 PM. But just to really confuse things, this coming week Wednesday is a Buddhist holiday so this week it takes place on Tuesday.
Quote of the week comes from a Bangkok Post editorial, “Thailand continues to do what we do best, play one side off against the other.”
I expect to put together 5 more columns with the last column most likely published on April 5th. I’ve been reflecting on things and I wonder how they may have been different if I was living elsewhere in the country i.e. outside Bangkok and if I wasn’t doing this column. If I was living in Chiang Mai, for example, and doing something completely different, would I be so keen to leave Thailand? Am I bored of Thailand, or is it just that I have had enough of Bangkok? If I was not chronicling an industry I have little interest in, would things be different? They are questions I cannot answer. What I do know is that I can’t wait to get away from Bangkok and I don’t think I am going to miss writing the column. I will miss taking photos in the bars and miss all the email feedback. Still, I’ve get 5 more columns to get through first before I can think about relaxing.
Your Bangkok commentator,Stick