Stickman's Weekly Column June 23rd, 2024

Stickman Weekly, June 23, 2024



Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of the pool at the Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit soi 11. One reader made an interesting observation: “One of the reasons I prefer staying in some of the older hotels with an old school pool is that they have a ‘deep end,’ and even in the middle of the hot season the water stays refreshingly cool.” This week’s mystery photo may look a little obscure but it is somewhere very much in the farang zone i.e. it’s somewhere on Sukhumvit Road.



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

Thumbs up for the babes of China.

mens clinic bangkok

On the subject of appealing-looking Chinese ladies in Bangkok, I regularly watch videos of nightlife (as in party, not sleaze) areas in one or two Chinese cities. If they are indicative of those in China, there are countless absolute stunners. And get this, tattoos are still a rarity among them, unlike in Thailand. There are videos of them going to and coming from clubs, and also of many posing for photos in what appears to be a high-end shopping area with designer-name shops. One personal experience I had was in Beijing, where I interacted with a group of what we’d call ‘pretties’, and they were great to be with. Chinese ladies definitely get a thumbs up from me.

Sexy, but untouchable.

With reference to your question about Chinese girls in Sukhumvit, I believe they are “untouchable”. They dress to impress in selfies and meal time photos.

Probably not up for a liaison.

Speaking of Chinese girls and big-name bars, I have also noticed an increase in attractive, young Chinese women in their 20’s around Sukhumvit. As you mention, they are not particularly modestly dressed and many are very attractive. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in Spanky’s when three attractive Chinese girls came in. They stayed for a reasonable time and seemed to enjoy themselves. One in particular was extremely attractive. She knocked the spots off all the girls in the bar. Whilst I get the impression they’re not actually up for a liaison, I may well have been tempted to try my luck if I was a younger man!

Barfines contribute to the cost of STD testing?

Regarding syphilis, I thought the barfine was cut up like a pie and part of that went to testing for STDs. I remember when the girls at TQ were tested once a week and a few others followed suit. I guess that doesn’t happen anymore and bar owners just pocket it. <See my comments below in the news and views section about STD testing in bars todayStick>

wonderland clinic

Prepay before you play?

Those were good anecdotes about why not to pay a lady’s fee up front due to the possibility of getting ripped off. As you know, that’s how the system works in Angeles City. I’ve never heard of a customer in Angeles getting ripped off that way.



More Readers’ Emails

Credit card shenanigans.

I once read a review of a well-known hotel in Sukhumvit soi 4. It said not to pay by credit card due to misuse, later linked to the hotel. Having read this sage advice, I stayed there and paid with my credit card regardless of the warning, which I considered was probably a one-off. Days later, my bank informed me that two small trial transactions had been followed by a major transaction which drained my account. The payments were for online gambling. I told the bank that I am not a gambling man, as my credit card history shows. Eventually, the bank agreed to restore my losses because the thief had given an incorrect address. Quite how it got that far with a false address, I will never know. But my funds were restored, and a lesson was learned. I stayed at the same hotel again a few weeks later. I proffered cash. The receptionist said that they are happy to accept a card! I just said, ‘Once bitten, twice shy’, which left him rather confused. When I go to Bangkok I always take sufficient cash for my needs. I’m usually only there for a day or two, so it’s not so much cash to carry. But I always carry my wallet in a very deep trouser pocket, hopefully out of a pickpocket’s reach. I never use ATMs in Bangkok for fear of skimming devices. The only exception is Scruffy Murphy’s in Soi 23 which I have been patronising for over 20 years. I use my card there with full confidence.

Why Indians travel in groups.

The Indians we predominantly see in Bangkok are bachelors or married males in groups, mostly from small towns or rising cities in South India. These are large groups because families in the South are, well, large and close-knit. Often, it’s the young adults or the middle-aged brothers and uncles in the family who plan a quick 3 – 4 day trip to the promised land, and because the families are so large, the group is automatically a large one. Families from the North or West or from well-off cities such as Bombay, Bangalore, and Delhi aren’t as close and are less likely to travel together. They also tend to include females – and they could often pass as an Arab group walking around. They look different than what the stereotypical out-of-shape “Indian” looks like, so it might not be as apparent at first glance. These young adults are likely to have a good disposable income, so they might use taxis much more, stay in better boutique or luxury hotels, and usually won’t loiter around the bar areas. The men might want to be discreet and would use ThaiFriendly or other apps to find a date, rather than go to Nana Plaza. Bangkok is not the destination for solo trips – it’s a place one would go with family or friends, usually as part of a broader trip that involves Phuket or Koh Samui. European countries (such as Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, and Italy), Vietnam, and Japan are preferred destinations for solo trips among Indians. Source? I was born and raised in Mumbai.

Dodgy geezers, dodgy gear.

I feel the same about Black drug dealers as I do about Indian watch sellers. They are all pests. But that is not the main problem. Rather it is the open display of corruption that bothers me. Drugs, contraband watches, fake Viagra, fake guns, porn movies, dildos and more are all illegal in Thailand, but they are on display and for sale everywhere. The government wants to stop fake goods, but accepts that they are being sold everywhere. It makes me wonder how much of the stuff for sale on Lazada is real.



Bunny Balcony, Nana Plaza’s newest bar. Check it out (if ladyboys rock your boat!)


This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

As last week’s column went live, signage at Nana Plaza’s newest bar was being installed. Bunny Balcony can be found on the middle floor in the space that was previously Balcony Bar and the Hollywood short-time hotel. Be advised that Bunny Balcony is a ladyboy bar.

Patpong doesn’t get a lot of coverage in this column because, well, let’s be frank, not a great deal seems to happen there these days. But that didn’t deter someone from sinking a lot of money in to Dok Pub. Two months after opening with aspirations of becoming Patpong’s equivalent to Hillary 2, Dok Pub is already pivoting. The attractive, glass-walled and usually empty pub on Patpong Soi 2 rebranded itself “Dok Club” this week after failing to draw customers or freelancers. (I guess that begs the question of what comes first – customers of freelancers?) Even at peak hour on Friday and Saturday nights, Dok Pub is more often than not empty. Fans blamed Dok’s choice of nonstop hip-hop played at the typically ear-splitting volume of Thai-run bars. No amount of fancy lights will overcome that. Will renaming the venue from Dok Pub to Dok Club do anything? Or is this just putting off the inevitable? Is the winning formula a bunch of chrome poles? Patpong’s established gogo bars aren’t doing that well at the moment so even that might not work.


Dok Pub, 1 AM, this past Friday.


It seems to be agreed that customer numbers around the traps have picked up a little since last month. Some venues are doing well while the bar next door might be quiet. And the long-term trend continues with Patpong faring much worse than Sukhumvit. Part of the challenge is that Patpong is not on the map for the hordes of Chinese and Indians who make up many of the bargoers at this time. With fewer white guys about, Patpong bars fight over the smattering of expats who favour Patpong over Sukhumvit.

Picasso allegedly said, “Good artists borrow, great ones steal.” So what does that say about the Thai group building the new Bad Beach gogo bar on Soi Cowboy? Artist renderings show a bar that bears an uncanny resemblance to the plush Lace Lounge in Nana Plaza. From its infinity-shaped low stage to its red interior and single-row red sofa seating, you get the distinct impression that the folks behind Bad Beach have frequented Lace, which is part of Nana Plaza’s Tycoon A Gogo. Tycoon’s management, upon seeing the images, just rolled their eyes, saying it was oh so typical of what happens in Bangkok!


Artist rendering of Bad Beach, which is being built in the space that was Lighthouse on Soi Cowboy.


Already having brought back its 5 – 8 PM happy hour, Lollipop on Nana Plaza’s ground floor rolled out two new promotions this week. The first is the Euro Patio Party where football fans can watch their favorite matches until the wee hours of the morning and enjoy 99-baht local beers all night. The low price is only for the outside patio bar, not inside with the dancing girls. But if it’s the girls you’re after, you’re in luck. Lollipop has opened a private party room where you and your mates can bring in two ladies and enjoy a bottle of your favorite spirits, mixers and ice for only 5,000 baht.

I have always thought the name Lollipop would be fitting for a ladyboy bar and some time back, Lollipop did indeed have a mix of ladies and ladyboys. That’s a formula that has never gone down well with punters who can get confused after a few drinks. Today, Lollipop is all lady.

The Euro 2024 football championships kicked off a week ago. Some of the Euro 2024 matches kick off late and run well beyond the usual 2:00 AM bar closing time. That means that not everywhere which ordinarily shows football matches will be open. Ask staff at your favourite sports pub if they’re open for late matches – plenty of bars are.

This begs the question of just what time do bars close these days? The honest answer is that closing times change often. If you want to know what time a bar or bar area closes, again, ask the staff.

In Soi Cowboy, Fanny’s is amongst a bunch of bars popular with locals, and once known for cheap drinks and particularly cheap lady drinks. Those days are in the past with Toy Bar, Moonshine, Jungle Jim and Fanny’s all now charging 200 baht for a lady drink. This has had quite an effect on the bar. First and foremost, those on a budget are staying away. But with higher commissions on lady drinks, the bars attract better-looking girls while the vibe remains laid back. It’s a delicate balance for bars to get the pricing right.

If you are watching every last baht, Jungle Jim on Soi Cowboy charges just 95 baht for water. Less than 100 baht for a drink in a chrome pole bar? In 2024, it’s a bargain.

Just be careful in Fanny’s where all may not be what it seems. The bar currently has ladyboys dancing amongst the ladies. Like I mentioned earlier when talking about Lollipop’s history, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to mix and match ladies and ladyboys. Ditto with Toy Bar, ladies and ladyboys mixed in the same bar.

Still in Soi Cowboy, following on from last week’s praise of the beautiful signage outside Déjà Vu, it should be noted that Spice Girls has similar signage.

In a sign of the times, the hottest spots in Soi Cowboy this week were said to be Rainbow and Baccara, both of which are dominated by Asian punters.

Do Asian punters tend to go out to the bars earlier in the evening than your average white guy? It seems that Asian men are more focused on finding their next victim so they go out early when there is a full selection. Late at night, the percentage of white guys in the bars is much higher.

On this note, I zoomed through a couple of YouTube videos of the streets of downtown Bangkok this week and was amazed how few white people were around. Plenty of Chinese. Some Middle Easterners and Arabs. Caucasians? Not many at all.

Following on from the news item in last week’s column about two customers in a super popular Bangkok gogo bar paying girls in advance who each went on to do a runner and never made it to the hotel room, in fairness to the girls, more than a few ladies complain they have had customers dine and dash on them. That said, I think the main reason why customers are asked to pay in advance in some bars is less about any concern the guy will do a runner, and more about the mamasan inserting herself in to the transaction and clipping the ticket.

In Angeles City, it has long been the norm to pay the barfine which includes the lady’s fee. I understand that the system works perfectly well there. In Thailand, punters who paid in advance frequently complain about a lousy experience with a disinterested lady who couldn’t wait to get out of there. If this system works ok in the Philippines, why is it such a disaster in Thailand? Perhaps this begs the question: Has any Stickman reader ever personally had, or know someone who has had a lady do a runner in Angeles City?

This coming Saturday, June 29, fetish bar Demonia in Sukhumvit soi 33 will celebrate its 21st anniversary. A 50% discount is offered on the entrance price (500 baht instead of the usual 1,000 baht) and it’s buy one drink, get one free all night long. There will be special fetish shows.

The reader’s email in last week’s column about 3 friends who contracted Syphilis from ladies in the same Bangkok gogo bar generated a bunch of emails. Some of you were surprised that this could happen. Reader Randy’s email started with, “Syphilis! This is the most shocking story I have ever read in your column. As you’re aware the bar is responsible for having the girls checked monthly for STDs.” Randy’s comment about girls being tested for STDs touches on something that is widely misunderstood. For as long as I have known the bar industry, very few bars have insisted that the girls are tested for STDs. Yes, some bars did carry out tests back in the day, but today are there any bars which insist the girls get tested? To be clear, there is no legal requirement for the bar to do any such thing. From the bar’s perspective, what happens in the bar is drinking and dancing, and it is a place of entertainment. What happens after the girl leaves the bar is between the girl and the customer – and nothing to do with the bar. With that said, when bars ask customers to pay for the girl’s services in advance then it becomes rather more difficult to make the distinction of whether the bar really is part of the transaction or not. Just as importantly, these days it is the girls who call the shots. How many would be willing to undergo a smear test and a blood test every month? The answer is close to zero. Yes, in the past some bars did carry out testing – and the likes of Eden Club and Devil’s Den come to mind. Devil’s Den was the most transparent of any bar, presenting the actual lab reports for inspection to anyone who asked. As I recall, Devil’s Den organised for minivans to take the ladies from the venue to hospital to get tested – no way do the ladies have the discipline to do this sort of thing themselves! There have been bars over the years which insisted girls provide a health certificate from a clinic to say they were STD-free – but the girls knew where to go to get such a certificate for 50 or 100 baht without the need to be tested, which made it all farcical. Ask the mamasan or any of the girls in your favourite bar when she last had a STD test and you’ll probably get a response along the lines of, “You think too mutt, teeruk, doctor say my cholesterol ok!” Many are largely unaware of STDs, other than HIV. Wrap up and don’t worry about it (while remembering that condoms don’t protect you against everything).

Down in Pattaya, Las Vegas A Gogo in Soi LK Metro has an early bird special whereby the first 20 customers each night are given a token to buy one, get one free on their first drink. It’s not limited to cheap drinks like draft beer or lousy local spirits, and applies to any drink on the menu.

Soi LK Metro continues its makeover. A couple of doors down from where Champagne & Rise are being converted into the Tuk Tuk Club music bar, the shuttered Bachelor Club is about to be reborn as Cheetahs.

Before Covid, Soi 15 used to be one of the most colourful and popular areas of Walking Street. But the pandemic brought an end to the street except for Sapphire Club. Angelwitch closed in 2019 (and today has been reborn as Akira Club). Misty’s failed before that. The building where Club Electric Blue and Beavers were (and, more famously, Baby Dolls) was gutted and turned into the Barco Pub & Restaurant. The Dollhouse Pattaya first merged with Electric Blue, closed and was sold. And long-running What’s Up and its Imagine upstairs show bar are now dark.

Today, Misty’s is now Runway, a bar where both female and male dancers work the floor. Sapphire is still the cream of the crop and Akira is off to a promising start. But Barco is dead and the opposite side of the street – Dollhouse – is set to be redeveloped into a ladyboy bar.

Dollhouse Pattaya’s current owner, David, also owns Windmill 1 and 2 and is said to be looking for a place for the creatively named Windmill 3.

Playgirlz in Pattaya is generating a lot of chatter. There are two young, energetic Aussie brothers behind it. They are innovative and love to try new things. Some Pattaya gogo bar operators are saying unkind things about Playgirlz and the owners which just goes to show they’re well aware that Playgirlz is doing very well. Some of the old guard love to talk crap about competitors, par for the course in an industry many have a level of jealousy that exceeds that of their dancing girls. Playgirlz has actually been around for a couple of years but may not be on your radar because of its location on Soi Boomerang. As a friend said, “Right bar, wrong location.” If it was located on Walking Street or Soi LK Metro, Playgirlz would really shake things up. If you haven’t stopped by, it’s worth a look.

The space in Pattaya’s soi 14 which was once home to Secrets – one of my all-time favourite bars – is now a gay bar. I guess by naming the club G.A.Y it should be clear to everyone just what sort of bar it is.

There’s no shortage in Bangkok of low-end knocking shops masquerading as massage parlours. But a higher-class of adult massage spa is emerging in Bangkok with the likes of Daisy Dream, Aya and BKK Vice putting as much emphasis on interior design, amenities and customer service as the services on the menu. These establishments feature in-room Jacuzzis and expensive lighting and furniture and make you feel like you’re a million miles away from downtown Bangkok. Now a relatively new club designed by one of the founders of Eden Club and run by the former owner of Nana Plaza’s Erotica gogo bar is making waves from high up on Soi 11.

Dragon Heart Exclusive Club is both a nuru massage club and a hostess bar. The club, as per its French designer, is beautiful to look at, both in the main lobby bar and themed rooms such as Crocodile, Tiger, Galaxy and Mumbai. The girls working at Dragon Heart are a cut above your typical rub ‘n tug in that they’re younger and slimmer, in part due to the owner’s gogo industry connections.

Dragon Heart is quite discreetly located, on the 4th floor of the office building across the car park from Hillary 11, so be sure to save the Google Maps location and visit their links page for contact details.

I know Thais love to show off but some take it to ridiculous lengths. Here in New Zealand, Thais love nothing more than posing with their new iPhone, holding it tight like it was the winning lottery ticket. Others fan out banknotes – anything from $1,000 – $10,000 – which is a bit of a head-scratcher given that not so many people in this part of the world use cash these days. The one that made me laugh this week was a Thai chef who posted his complete tax return online, boasting that with overtime and extras he had made $70,000 last year. I guess he doesn’t realise that 70K is well below the average salary and hardly something to boast about. But what does that matter, any chance to show off, eh?!

Peter Cannon dropped me an email this week about a full-length documentary he directed, which was released in 1989. Peter believes that Under The Sun, Olongapo Rose may be the first documentary about a bargirl ever made. The entire original movie, digitised from 16 mm film, can be viewed on YouTube. It’s grainy but would be worth checking out if the bar scene in the Philippines in the late ’80s interests you. On a related note, some artwork from the movie will soon be up for sale by auction.

Thailand-Related News Articles

Quote of the week comes from a former Tilac dancer (2008 – 2015) who revisited her old haunt this past week for the first time in ages, “The girls of Soi Cowboy have got fat!

From AP, Thailand has tried for years to solve its pollution problem, but haze season always comes back.

Thailand becomes first South-East Asian country to legalise same sex marriage.

A foreigner rescues a severely obese dog from the streets of Thailand and nurses it back to health.

In Pattaya, a Canadian arranges a threesome with two Ugandan beauties only to wake up with all his money gone.

In an only in Thailand story, monkeys storm a police station!

Dave The Rave took a closer look at Bad Beach.

Closing Comments

This was a funny old week. I wasn’t sure I’d have all that much to write about but in the end, I had plenty and actually held some non-time-sensitive stuff for next week. Thanks to everyone who contributed and helped with this week’s edition!


Your Bangkok commentator,



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