Stickman's Weekly Column April 28th, 2024

An Alternative To Sukhumvit

The average Thai is dumbfounded when they hear how much the ladies of Sukhumvit are paid by foreigners. In their eyes, most of these ladies just aren’t that attractive. Dark skin, heavily tattooed and outspoken, they are everything Thai men prefer to avoid.

In Bangkok, you don’t need to pay thousands of baht for a roll in the hay. You should consider going where the Thai men go – and to do that you don’t need to venture far from Sukhumvit.

He Clinic Bangkok

Like seemingly everything these days, it’s all online. Let’s take a look at FIWFans, a website with hundreds of profiles of available Thai ladies that is popular with everyday Thai men.

FIWFans is a Thailand website and app. Most of the ladies’ profiles are entirely in the Thai language. But even if you can’t read Thai you can still get the gist of it. Of course, you can set up your browser to automatically translate pages in to (sometimes mangled) English. But even in Thai, you can work a lot of it out. Take a look at the details below from this lady’s profile.

อายุ 30

CBD bangkok

ส่วนสูง 160 น้ำหนัก 47

สัดส่วน 34/ 25/ 35

This lady is 30 years old, 160 cm in height and weighs 47 kg. Her essential measurements are 34 / 25 / 35. See, you can read Thai!

30 นาที 1 น้ำ 1,100

wonderland clinic

40 นาที 1 น้ำ 1,200

60 นาที 1 น้ำ 1,300 + B2B + นวดไทย

These are the prices for full service. 30 minutes is 1,100 baht and gets you one “shot”. 40 minutes is 1,200 baht and also one “shot”. 60 minutes is 1,300, one “shot” and includes body to body massage and Thai massage.

Some profiles feature detailed info, outlining what is on offer for a supplementary charge, often an extra 200 or 300 baht. Some profiles have a long list of what they will do, others have an equally long list of what they won’t.

Some ladies point out that their breasts are natural – which is worth noting as many of these ladies have had various cosmetic procedures. Nose-jobs and the witch’s chin are awfully common – note my intentional emphasis on awful!

A profile might say that a customer is welcome to bring drinks with him, but may not use drugs. Some profiles specifically say she won’t do drugs with guys – which suggests that there are some girls who will.

Some of these girls are very clever with their profiles which can be subtle and at times, quite humorous. One profile had her name listed as “Bogus” which is rather clever when you consider that she is a totally convincing and very feminine-looking ladyboy.

Many profiles feature customer reviews, making it almost feel like TripAdvisor for Thai working girls.

Most of these ladies are full-time working girls but there are some freelancers amongst them. This lady claims to be a second year university student and is photographed in her university uniform, a huge no-no in Thailand.

Some ladies profiles are written in Thai and English, such as this lady.

Many of these ladies have a rather different look to the ladies you typically find on Sukhumvit. They tend to be – but are not always – fairer skinned. Many are more curvy than your typical Sukhumvit lady. Tattoos are much less common.

One downside is that profile photos can be deceiving. Many photos are edited to make the lady look fair, sometimes ghostly white, a look local men like.

Perhaps the biggest difference between these ladies and those you find in gogo bars is the way the ladies treat customers. Thai men simply wouldn’t accept some of the nonsense gogo girls get up to. The women on these site predominately service Thai men who expect them to be polite, sweet and demure.

Rates run from less than 1,000 baht for half an hour or so, and go up from there. This is an all-in fee and includes the room. In other words, it costs but a fraction of what foreign naughty boys typically pay on Sukhumvit.

This lady charges from 1,100 baht for 30 minutes to 3,000 baht for 2 hours which gets you two “shots”.

This lady‘s rates start at 1,000 baht which gets you 40 minutes and go up to 2,400 baht which gets you two “shots”.

Interestingly, many who offer overnight may actually charge more than a Sukhumvit girl. 7,000 or more is quite normal for an all-nighter. Short-time is a bargain compared to Sukhumvit, long-time is not.

There is one big drawback. You need to speak some Thai. As such, this is not for beginners. You needn’t be fluent, but you need to be able to make arrangements in Thai. You might get by ok with English with some ladies – but for the most part you need basic Thai. Tough for your average tourist but for expats it should be a cinch.

The way it works is simple. You make a booking and you’re told where to go – often one of a number of condo buildings on Rachadapisek Road known for being full of working girls.

A lecherous friend in Bangkok regularly uses these ladies services. Once a long-time Sukhumvit customer and for many years a resident of Soi Nana, he says the difference between these ladies and what you find on Sukhumvit today is night and day.

In his eyes, the ladies on FIWFans are more attractive. That part is subjective. But certainly, they are, on average, younger with many aged 20 – 25 and few aged over 30.

But to him, it’s not so much the looks that sets them apart, but their manner. They are unfailingly polite. Most wai you when you arrive, and again when you depart. They are sweet and service-minded. No doubt it helps that he is clean-cut and unfailingly polite himself.

These girls are said to provide good service, but don’t lose sight of the fact that this is still sex work. Unlike the girls of Sukhumvit who will listen to you, nod, smile and feign sympathy when you tell them all about your problems and share your demons with them. These online Thai temptresses don’t want a bar of that! They’re there to provide a service and they’re not interested in what’s on your mind. If you want to tell someone your problems, get a shrink….or go to Sukhumvit!

If you’re looking for sex – and only sex – what’s on offer is much cheaper than the gogo bars. Given the way many complain about gogo girls rushing things in the short-time room, this is a budget-friendly alternative.

If you’re looking for – and this is, admittedly, entirely objective – more attractive ladies than you find on Sukhumvit, my feeling is this is probably a better option.

If you’re looking for generally younger ladies, this is for you. Many gogo dancers are much older than they let on!

If you’re looking to party with friends and enjoy entertainment, Sukhumvit is the place to go. And if you fancy the idea of a night out with the possibility of ending up in a short-time room, stick to Sukhumvit.

Sukhumvit’s gogo bars offer great entertainment and the whole package is on offer, so to speak. But if all you’re looking for is a roll in the hay and / or you’re on a tight budget, FIWFans is an option.



Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of a ramp leading to the expressway at the intersection of Charun Wiang Road and Silom Road. I didn’t think it was that difficult but just one person got it right. This week’s photo is back in the zone and should be rather easier.



Stick’s Inbox – The Best Emails From The Past Week

Stripping a customer’s money from him.

I couldn’t walk past The Strip (as I will always call it) without popping in for a quick drink. It has become a truly awful bar, quite heart-breaking to be honest. As soon as I sat down two girls came and sat beside me, one on each side. Simultaneously, they said, “Drink for me” at which point the mamasan came over and asked for a drink for herself. Now, not only hadn’t I agreed to buy a drink for anyone, I hadn’t even ordered one for myself! Two minutes later the drinks for the girls and the mamasan arrived! This isn’t my first visit to Bangkok and I’m experienced enough not to pick a fight I can’t win, so I paid for the three lady drinks and left the bar without actually having a drink myself! I haven’t the slightest doubt, had I stayed, another three lady drinks would have arrived, followed by another three, etc. It’s behaviour like this that got Patpong its awful reputation.

Postcard from Pattaya.

A bit of boots on the ground info for you from Pattaya. Things here are getting very quiet now, as it heads into low season. Soi Buakhao is busy as per usual, but lots of bars are super quiet and empty. Lots of bars are for sale. I suspect quite a lot of cannabis shops will drop away too. A girl from Soi 6 tells me it’s very quiet there, which I saw myself. People are walking along Soi 6 and looking, but not drinking or barfining girls. I reckon the smart girls will start to become very negotiable and the ones that stay firm on their high prices will suffer financially. Indians are here in numbers. I am sure some are cashed up, but rarely do I see  Indians in bars. Take a walk down the Coconut Bar of an evening and there are loads of Indians in packs negotiating deals with the Beach Road girls. The best looking women in Pattaya are the Russian women on holiday partnered up, and all the good Thai girls here with their partner or family. For me, take away alcohol and the majority of bargirls fast become very unappealing looks-wise, and even more so personality-wise. I am a non-drinker and often enjoy stopping at a bar for a soft drink and watching the bargirls doing their stage show with their customer. A local friend’s prediction is a very quiet low season, with certain business to suffer and close.

Where the angels are kinky.

I went to Angelwitch in Nana Plasa. I like the show they put on and like the look of many of the ladies, often with a few extra pounds but with medium to large breasts. I only stayed a short time but liked it. They have a new shower show in a cubicle just beside the men’s toilet. One window faces outwards into the main room and one window shows inside the men’s toilets. So the girl in the shower can see the men relieving themselves. I guess some people are kinky!

More Readers’ Emails

Postcard from Phuket.

I just had 4 days in Phuket. Bangla Road was packed, and the bars and clubs down there must be making a fortune. There was an event at Illuzion Nightclub and entry was not cheap. My son bought 4 tickets which promised free drinks between 9 PM and 1 AM. The queues for the drinks were so long they only managed to get one drink. A total rip-off. The taxi mafia is out of control with the little pick-up vans all working their over the top prices together. Drinks were cheaper than Bangkok but overall it seems the average holidaymaker gets ripped off everywhere. I only saw 2 cafes with what appeared to be a Russian sign outside. A lot of Russians holidaying there but I saw no evidence of a lot of Russians working, legally or not.

Pollution and the retirement conundrum.

I took a couple of flights around Thailand. The pollution is noticeable and you feel it. There is a thick cloud of brown / black smoke just hanging over Bangkok and on final approach in to the airport you barely could see the ground. I plan on retiring in Thailand in about a decade or so and this will be a big determining factor on where I decide to settle down.

The confusing tax rules.

There has been considerable coverage on expat sites about the decision of the Thai government to tax expats’ foreign income from 1st January this year. Tax matters are confusing anywhere, and as usual in Thailand things are as clear as mud and people are usually directed on those expat sites to consult an expert. There are reciprocal agreements with many countries, which means that if you pay in your own country you can get a refund in the second (Thailand), but I’ve been told that isn’t necessarily how it works. My personal gripe is that although my pension incomes in the UK are below the tax threshold there (but perfectly adequate to live on in Thailand), I will still be taxed on it if I transfer that money to Thailand. That just seems plain wrong. Solution? I am thinking of not transferring money to Thailand at all in future, although probably enough to keep me below the taxable level in Thailand, and putting most expenses onto my UK credit card, especially easy in these days of contactless payments. Could this be a loophole and Thailand has shot itself in the foot? I might be completely wrong about how it will work, so it will be interesting to see how things unfold.


A great indicator of tourist trade downtown.


This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

To get an idea of how busy Sukhumvit is, you could try and get a room at the Nana Hotel. If it’s full, in all likelihood Sukhumvit is pretty busy. And if you want to know how busy the bar industry is, you could wander through the bars areas. Or if you’re more adventurous, you could dive in to the trash outside Lolita’s and count the number of empty Listerine bottles. But if you’re less interested in the bar industry and just want to know how tourism is generally on Sukhumvit Road, one indicator is the length of the queue at the Super Rich currency exchange booth at the Asoke BTS station, outside Terminal 21. And this week the queues were…..non-existent. From a friend with decades in business in Bangkok running non-nightlife businesses comes word that downtown Bangkok has gone from being very busy to feeling somewhat quiet, in a very short space of time.

From those within the bar industry who, let me be frank, are not the most accurate source of how good trade is, “We have been hitting record numbers. Not slowed at all. I’ve never seen this after Songkran.” In other words, I’ve received wildly mixed messages from Bangkok about just how busy it is on the ground.

It’s not often that there is excitement about a new venue coming to Patpong, but a lot of the talk this week has been about the large new venue on Patpong soi 2. Dok Club opened on Friday night, has live music and a good few ladies on the premises. Standard beers are 220 baht and there’s an opening special of a bucket (5 bottles) of beer for 989 baht. Lady drinks are 250 baht. A lot of money has been invested with the number 25 million baht bandied about. There have been all sorts of rumours about just who is behind it, with recent rumours claiming it is a Chinese venture.


Just one of the many new street art murals in Nana Plaza.


At Nana Plaza, the paintings of murals in common spaces is proceeding at pace, with the stairwell on the front right by the escalator nearly done and preparations under way to start on the opposite side of the main stairs. Nana’s chief said some of the new artwork needs to be altered, mentioning the woman’s face near the elevator. But completion is nearing and feedback has been very positive indeed.

The recently reopened Climax on Sukhumvit soi 11 has a special before midnight with buy one, get one free drinks when you pay the 300 baht entry fee. That makes the price per drink less than many regular bars. And reports from Friday night strongly suggest that the old crowd has rediscovered it with the band rocking and the venue busy.

The black ladies disappeared from Soi Nana for a day or two and then all of a sudden they were all back again. What was that all about?

Their male compatriots are still around with many black guys favouring soi 11 where they sit and chat in groups while keeping an eye on passers-by and attempting to engage with anyone who looks their way. So you were out on soi 11 and didn’t see them? They are night owls and their numbers are said to peak around 4:00 AM.


The interior of what was Lighthouse, Soi Cowboy.


Work has begun renovating the former Lighthouse gogo bar on Soi Cowboy with the Crazy House group set to open its newest bar before too long. Little is known about their plans for the space that has been empty since Covid came along. In addition to Crazy House, the group runs the 5-Star and Kazy Kozy live-music bars on Cowboy. That said, this space lends itself better to a gogo bar. Nothing was left behind from the Lighthouse days, so a total refit is underway.

A unique new venue for naughty boys has opened in an unusual spot on Soi 11. The Dragon Heart Exclusive Club is both an upscale hostess bar and a nuru massage house. Designed with the help of a founder of the long-gone Eden Club, Dragon Heart had a soft opening in March and is run by the former owner of Erotica in Nana Plaza. Dragon Heart is located in an office building next to Hillary 11 at the bottom of Soi 11, two floors above a weed shop. There’s no prominent signage, so those looking for a bit of fun who otherwise wouldn’t want to be seen going into a brightly lit bar area should feel comfortable. While massages are on the menu, they aren’t required. Think of it as a place to unwind and chill with elegantly dressed, well-mannered ladies in an upscale setting. A full bar is available and the music is clubby without being too loud. Booking, map and social links can be found on the Dragon Heart Connection page.

Why is it that girls wearing glasses get so much attention in gogo bars? Throw a girl with glasses on stage and every guy in the bar focuses on her and there’s always some who will tap their mates on the shoulder to get their attention and point at her. It’s almost like some punters have never seen a female in glasses before! Perhaps the most famous bespectacled gogo dancer was the lady who danced in Tilac for many years. Older than many of the dancers and always in glasses, some referred to her as “the secretary”. In a bar that was very much on top of its game, she was, to be fair, not one of the better lookers. She was certainly older than the average – probably north of 40 – and while she danced better than most, it always felt like she soaked up more than her fair share of attention. And at a time when the bar was full of lookers, she was barfined all the time. Mention Tilac to anyone who was a Soi Cowboy regular back then and inevitably she will be mentioned. I have never understood why gogo dancers who wear glasses seem to get so much attention. This invariably means lots of lady drinks for the wearer of the glasses and plenty of barfines. Do some punters have a glassed fantasy?! If I had one piece of advice for a gogo dancer, it would be to wear glasses. They set her apart from the crowd – and that is half the battle. And if I were a gogo bar owner or manager, I’d be tempted to put the entire troop in glasses and see what happened. Maybe it’s time for someone to open a bar with an eyeglasses theme. Four Eyes A Gogo, anyone?


What is it about the popularity of gogo girls who wear eyeglasses?


Not surprisingly, the 50-year sentence handed down to the former operator of a number of Patpong bars that I reported in last week’s column has rocked a few bar owners. They won’t admit it publicly but some are concerned because they knew it could have been them. As one former bar boss said to me by email this week, after he read that paragraph in last week’s column he has never been so happy to be out of the industry!

The underage issue has been stamped out on Sukhumvit where bar owners strictly enforce a policy where all staff must be of legal age (and Thai nationality). Nana Plaza takes it further, checking the ID of all ladies entering the plaza to ensure no-one enters who is not of legal age. However, rumours do persist about the age of some dancers in a Patpong soi 1 bar particularly popular with Asian men.

There is a curtain at the entrance of Spanky’s, but you’d swear it must be a revolving door judging by the merry-go-round of managers at the middle-floor Nana Plaza bar. Mario, an Italian who took over three weeks ago from a Pattaya bar veteran who lasted just three days, has given notice. This time, however, the departure appears to be health-related, with Mario saying a recent birthday-pyrotechnics accident damaged his ear and left him with tinnitus. His doctor advises him to stay away from loud noise, smoke and alcohol. So Spanky’s definitely is not what the doctor ordered! The Italian plans to stay on until a replacement is found.

Down in Pattaya, word is that the shows upstairs in Kink, Soi LK Metro, would make some Windmill veterans positively blush.

Still in Pattaya, does Sin City have a new Glitterman? I am told that there’s a new show in town with a guy riding around on a scooter that is dressed up like a Christmas tree. Apparently, there’s a flag on his scooter that looks like a Russian flag with an emblem on it. He plays music and is said to appear to be very keen to be seen. One Pattaya regular has seen the new Glitterman 4 or 5 times. If you see this fellow, I’d really appreciate it if are able to snap a photo of him and send it in.

A friend who has been travelling all over Thailand for some months made an interesting – and rather disappointing – observation about the south, as distinct from other parts of the country. In many of the touristy parts of southern Thailand, there seems to be little or even no restriction on smoking. Many visitors smoke in bars. And in restaurants. And some even smoke around other people’s kids. In one spot he stayed at recently, people were smoking at the breakfast buffet. When foreigners light up in bars and restaurants, staff do nothing about it. Disappointing.

Why in Thailand do so many people expect a commission or a kickback? You find it in all manner of businesses. It’s something I was not used to and something I was never comfortable with, even when I unwittingly benefited from it. I’ll never forget the first time it happened to me. I referred a friend from home to someone who ran a business brokerage, who also happened to be a good friend. I did this simply because I knew these two people and thought there was a chance they could do something together. Next time I met the friend who ran the business brokerage, he gave me an envelope. Inside was 20,000 baht. The friend I’d referred to him bought a business through him for 2 million baht, the commission was 200K and he gave me a 20K baht reward. Of course, I was delighted to receive 20K baht, but it was totally out of the blue. I always had the same attitude in Thailand that I had at home – if I help you with something I am happy to do so and there is no expectation of anything in return. Over time, I would find that many Thais – and a good few foreigners too – expected a kickback. Truth be told, I struggled with many aspects of doing business in Thailand and that is part of the reason why this site got to a certain point and never expanded beyond that.

The young homeless foreigner who has been a fixture on Sukhumvit soi 14 and has been mentioned in this column a good few times is still living rough. Despite frequently being seen conked out on the pavement on the main Sukhumvit Road, no-one has come to help him. He’s been there for several weeks at least, long enough, you’d think, for some government department to have tried, at the very least, to ascertain who he is, where he’s from and get in touch with his embassy.


This poor fellow has been living rough in and around Sukhumvit soi 14 for several weeks.


Thailand-Related News Articles

Reader’s Story of the week comes from Ghost 308GTS, Jumping In A Little Too Deep.

Quote of the week comes from reader Daniel, “You know you’ve been in Thailand too long when you actually prefer dipping your fries in green seafood chili sauce.

BK Magazine looks at Bangkok’s best 42 rooftop bars.

Are parts of Thailand suffering from over-tourism?

High temperatures in what is the hottest month of the year have seen dozens die in Thailand of heatstroke.

A 37-year-old British female is knocked out by a Thai security guard.

Dave The Rave features the beautiful murals that have appeared in Nana Plaza.

Closing Comments

The readership of this column has changed. What interests readers may be changing too. In last week’s column I reported on the Patpong bar figure who was sentenced to 50 years in prison for a crime he may very well have not known anything about. This was a huge story, but out of respect for the family of the fellow involved I intentionally buried it in the middle of the news section, rather than leading with it. Just three of you mentioned it. On the other hand, I received more than a dozen emails about the brief comments I made about Lolita’s where I said that full service was available and the venue didn’t only offer kicks above the waistline. The readership really is changing and I’m not sure what to make of it.

Your Bangkok commentator,


Stick can be contacted at :

nana plaza