Stickman's Weekly Column June 30th, 2024

Stickman Weekly, June 30, 2024




Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of The UOB Bangkok Plaza, the bank’s corporate HQ that opened in 2022 on Sukhumvit Soi 26. The photo was taken from 26. Just 5 of you got it right. A clue for this week’s photo – it’s not in downtown Bangkok, but it is an area visited by many foreigners.



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

Who’s the loud music for?

mens clinic bangkok

Maybe the less than enthusiastic response to Dok Pub / Club is another example of Thais running the place for themselves rather than for customers. Ear-splitting music doesn’t go down well with many. Reminds me of my experience at a pub near Sukhumvit Soi 4. I was there for a meal, the music was Thai-style loud, and a group of about 12 – 15 came in to eat and drink. They were struggling, especially in such a large group, to hear themselves speak as they discussed the menu, before one of them asked if the music could be turned down. The staff said no, so the party simply left to spend their thousands of baht elsewhere.

They run in Angeles City too!

You asked if anyone has had a lady do a runner in Angeles City. The answer to that would be, “Yes, indeed, it happened to me!” During my first (and last) trip to Angeles back in 2005, the fee paid to the bar was by default for a long-time session. However, a lady I barfined one night decided it was going to be short time, as she “needed to leave at midnight to go with her father to her aunt’s house to do something to prepare for Christmas.” Uh huh. So off she went. I didn’t bother to get a refund from the bar and wrote it off.

Paying upfront in Angeles.

My dozens of experiences in Angeles City date back 30 years. But considering that might qualify as “the good old days”, it could be of interest to some for me to assure you that town’s pay upfront system even then was far from superior to the pay after systems in Manila or Thailand. It wasn’t so much that the Angeles girls pulled a “runner” and bailed out early or disappeared, it was that, having already banked all the money at the bar, their #1 motivation in the room was to provide such god-awful service and lacklustre attitude that the customer’s best out was to “let her go early.” Now, that was not the way it was before the Western bar owners increased the commission on their lady drinks and modernised their bars with air-conditioning, quality sound systems and glitz, which was happening just about then. Sure, back when the bars were hot, dirty and boring shacks, every girl wanted to deliver 100% in a hotel room with air-conditioning, a nice bed and colour TV in order to earn the pleasure of staying all night. But once it became even more profitable for them to rack up as many lady drink commissions as possible in an environment that was cool, filled with the latest music, as glitzy as a Las Vegas showroom and packed with girlfriends their age, the choice to be “let go early” by simply providing crap service in the room so they could return there ASAP was too tempting to resist. Angeles’ pay upfront system is one of the reasons I stopped mongering in Angeles City 30 years ago in favour of good ol’ pay after Bangkok, and I have not been inspired to return yet.

The pre-pay system.

Having been to Bangkok, Pattaya and Angeles City, I have a few observations to make about the new pre-pay system in Thailand. I wonder about these guys paying up front in Nana, Cowboy, the Pong, Pattaya, Phuket or anywhere in Thailand. They must be a bit green. I don’t imagine they are hardened mongers. I can’t imagine an experienced player agreeing to pre-pay unless he was extremely confident that the goods would be delivered. I reckon the mamasans and the girls see these blokes coming and take the easy pickings. In Angeles, it’s pre-pay, but Angeles is even more of a monger location than Pattaya. There is literally no other reason that a person would find himself in Angeles City, whereas at least Patts has the pretense of a resort. So, the punters are very savvy. And being able to communicate in a common language, the English-speaking monger in Angeles is able to communicate exactly what he wants from the transaction and the girl can say yes or no. I talked to a pretty dancer late one night in a gogo bar in Angeles and she told me in plain English that she was only dancing for the extra money and not going with customers – and this was the only reason she was still on stage at 1:00 AM. The language barrier, if the punter isn’t fluent in Thai, can work in the girl’s favour or can just mean that both parties don’t have an understanding or what each other wants.

More Readers’ Emails

Don’t be shy to say hi!

wonderland clinic

I would like to respond to the comment of a man not approaching a Chinese girl in a bar, because he was older. What nonsense! In a world where you have nothing to lose by approaching a pretty lady anywhere, especially in Asia, why didn’t he give it a try? In my many stays in different countries in Asia, I have had success approaching girls, whomever, that supposedly do not go out with customers, or foreigners. Even when turned down, being an average guy, well, a little below average, older, overweight, bad posture, and totally uncool, I can still sometimes make headway with high-end Asian girls. How? I learn some of their language. You would be amazed that so little conversation can lead to a connection. Learning to be patient. Ask the group that she is with to join you for a meal. They don’t know their way around in a faraway country, and I do. They are often more comfortable going with a foreign man when in a group. So you spend some money…so what? Cute girls go out in packs, so maybe the girl you were interested in is not interested in you…but maybe one of her friends is. <My other half has commented on foreigners approaching Thai women in public in the News & Views section below. She thinks this is not a good ideaStick>

STD testing.

Last year in Butterflies, Nana Plaza, I met a delightful young lady who was doing a 10-day contract stint at the bar. It turns out she required a STD test before she started working there. She even went to her locker and produced it when pressed (I am extremely paranoid). She spoke good English and seemed on the level, so I’ve no reason to doubt her.

Beijing beauties.

I was living and working in the States when one of my best friends (Chinese American fellow) had his wedding in Beijing to a true stunner in 2015. As the best man, I ended up having an encounter with the bride’s cousin. A few months later we agreed to meet in Thailand as it was winter in Beijing. As she was a manager at an American multinational and the only child of wealthy parents, she fit the bill of the description of the Chinese out and about in Bangkok today. Tall, slim and extremely well-dressed. We went to one of the nicer clubs in Thonglor and she couldn’t hide her disdain for the locals. I was surprised as we weren’t in the real bar areas but she did not find the crowd to be at her “status”. Long story short, she wasn’t the one, but to Stick readers, if you can make it with an attractive girl from LA or NY on holiday in Thailand that would be about the same chance as with these moneyed Beijing beauties.

Great looks may not correlate with great performance.

I’ve had quite a few “encounters” with Chinese women from three trips to Dongguan back when it was mongering central in China, plus multiple trips to Macau and Hong Kong back in the day. I can honestly say that although many of them look fantastic, on the whole Chinese women are the worst lays in Asia. I hung out with a group of Singaporeans when I was in Dongguan, and they echoed that sentiment. They said Chinese girls were terrible in the sack, but they couldn’t resist them because they looked so damn good!


Red Dragon beauties in front of the Nana Plaza murals. Is there any better backdrop to shoot these ladies?


This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

It’s not as grim at Patpong as I wrote in last week’s edition. Regulars tell me that some of the King’s bars on soi 1 are doing ok. King’s 2 even had a few white guys in this week while other King’s bars seem to be dominated by Asian customers. And then on Friday night someone hit the turbo button with Patpong said to be very busy. It was the last Friday of the month so perhaps some people had just been paid and were making the most of being flush?

Soi Nana was described as very busy from early on Saturday night, and the mood said to be upbeat. This was from a friend who doesn’t actually like the Nana area and prefers to stay at Cowboy. He would later retreat to his favourite Soi Cowboy and said the mood was similarly upbeat, although it wasn’t as busy generally. That said, Crazy House was so busy, that he could not find a seat.

There have been reports on and off for a few years about a new beer bar complex coming to Sukhumvit soi 8 with some claiming to have seen plans. In the space where the beer bar complex has long been mooted to be built – where a school was located opposite Det 5 – will, in fact, be a new 8-storey, 216-room hotel. Plans have been posted at the site and construction is to begin in July. Is a new beer bar complex with 50 odd beer bars coming to another location on soi 8? Industry insiders seem to think not.

The pattern continues at Spanky’s in Nana Plaza where the recently appointed manager lasted just 3 weeks. Great bar – about that there’s no doubt – but it has terrible trouble retaining managers. Why do they all leave so fast? The question is pertinent given that Spanky’s offers the best package for a bar manager of any gogo bar in the country.


An African hooker at the Nana intersection, late afternoon Saturday.


The black women on Sukhumvit Soi 4 come and go. They appear to favour being out late in to the night. One regular reader notes that early evening, say 9 PM, you might not see any, but later in the night, after midnight, there are often black women up and down Soi 4. Some are getting even more brazen and are perching right at the entrance to the plaza.

Different bar areas get going at different times. Soi Cowboy used to fire up early with girls on stage in the likes of Shark and Tilac as early as 7:00 PM, and plenty of bars had happy hours. Things don’t get going so early these days, possibly because some bars which used to have happy hour pricing have axed it. This means Soi Cowboy is quieter earlier in the evening than it once was. With that said, Cowboy still gets going earlier than Nana Plaza where things don’t get pumping until around 9:30 or 10:00 PM. Some Patpong bars may not get going until even later still, although every bar is different. Bar trade is very much like a bell curve. Fewer customers early evening and not that many typically at the end of the night. Of course, lady numbers follow a very different pattern and if you’re keen for company, it pays to get in early.

What makes a good gogo bar? A lot of attractive, friendly ladies? Good music? Reasonably priced drinks? A happy hour, perhaps? Take your pick. This column has long cited the interior design, quality of furnishings, comfort, polish and general finish of a bar when evaluating Bangkok’s best gogo bars. Some might ask, does this matter? Actually, I think it does. Imagine walking into a gogo bar hong-nam only to find both urinals out of service and the toilet missing its seat. This is what happened in one Bangkok gogo bar this week. Yep, even the toilets are part of what makes a decent bar.

Speaking of hong-nams, the Long Gun Toilet Saga is not yet finished. The condoms are gone now but have been replaced with……coffee! One of these things is not like the other!

Various bars will be throwing a party for US Independence Day, this coming Thursday. At The Kicking Donkey and Chemistry Bar & Lounge on Sukhumvit Soi 6, happy hour will run all night long to celebrate Independence Day. There will be free hot dogs and a BBQ spread from 6 PM until it runs out. The Kicking Donkey has a decent following amongst locals so do stop by.

More and more gogo bars have signs threatening customers with fines for everything from smoking weed to having fun in the toilets. Signs in the Nana Plaza elevators threaten fines of 2,000 baht for smoking and 10,000 baht for taking photos or videos in the Plaza. These signs are born out of frustration and don’t seem to work with photos of the plaza popping up online, more often than not on Japanese social media. Perhaps the real question with these signs is who is going to collect the fine?

Serious question for readers – have you ever been caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing in a gogo bar and been told you have to pay a fine? I’d love to hear what happened, especially when they tried to make you pay. My best guess is that such fines are largely unenforceable. That said, while you might not actually pay a fine, you might come to the attention of security guards.


Signs in the Nana Plaza elevators.


In Soi Cowboy, add Midnite to the list of bars with fancy new signage. It looks like all of the Arab bars are getting new signage. The obvious question to ask is whether this is but lipstick on a pig?

Another long-running Soi Cowboy bar, Cowboy 2 bar is said to have an above average line-up of ladies at present. 250 baht lady drinks, however, is a bit of a shock and more proof that prices are moving.

Down in Pattaya, I hear talk of a new scam. Indian men approach you, point at your stomach and say you have a fat belly, a pot belly or words to that effect. A couple of readers have mentioned this and one reader said he witnessed others being approached by Indians saying / doing this. But just what happens next, or what the ruse is, I don’t know. Said reader engaged with other Indians who said that it’s a scam. Is this a variant of “the lucky man scam”? Can anyone explain how it works? And does it mean that those of us who don’t have a belly miss out altogether?!

Down in Pattaya, despite the city’s post-Covid resurgence, there are still large tracts of the city that have not recovered from the pandemic. Witness the levelled remains of the beer bar complex on Second Road between Sois 3 and 4 in the photo below, which remains an undeveloped mess of rubble.

What do you make of VIP areas in gogo bars? Few gogo bars have them, but the impression I get is that more bars are looking to differentiate themselves, move upmarket, and part of that would include introducing a VIP area. I have reservations. To me, it has the potential to make some bars feel more like Las Vegas than Bangkok – and I really don’t think that’s a good thing. Bars should be careful messing with a formula customers have long been comfortable with. Taking things in a new direction is not always the way to go. Like I say, at present, few gogo bars have a VIP area although some may cordon off space for special customers.

In the Emails To Stick section of this week’s column, there was an email from a reader I titled, “Don’t be shy to say hi!” Said readers admits he is no Adonis, yet he happily approaches ladies in public places and encourages others to do this. I chatted with the other half about this and she really doesn’t like this, and feels that generally, it’s not a good idea. She – and all of her friends, she adds – HATE it when they are approached by Western guys in public places, trying to chat them up. It has happened to her a few times and she hates it. Terminal 21 and on the platform waiting for the train at the Asoke BTS station are the two places where it has happened to her. This is one of a few reasons she’s not so keen on the general Sukhumvit area. She has the fortitude to take it in her stride and be polite, but one time she was blunt and let a guy know in no uncertain terms that his advances were not welcome. This sort of thing can be very embarrassing for everyday Thai women. Typically, when a foreign man approaches a Thai female stranger in public, everyone will watch to see how she responds – and most Thai women do not want to be put in a situation like that.

Earlier in the column I mentioned that a new 8-storey boutique hotel is coming to Sukhumvit soi 8. Look around the sois of Bangkok and you will see A LOT of 8-storey buildings. Not 7 storeys nor 9, but 8. What’s that all about? It all comes back to the width of the road leading to the building. If the soi is less than a certain width (10 metres?), the building cannot be more than 23 metres tall, which is where the 8-storey limit comes in.

Recent columns have included emails from readers who have had their credit card details skimmed / stolen from a famous Soi Nana hotel. A couple of readers noted that one easy way to get around this is to book the hotel and pay with one of the big hotel reservation sites like or Unfortunately, this won’t help as most hotels in Thailand require you to provide your credit card when you check in so they can place a security deposit on it, while some hotels ask you to lodge a cash deposit. If you remember the report from last week, the cashier asked the customer who had offered cash if they would prefer to pay with their credit card which really was rather suspicious!

Readers might be interested to know that some of readers’ submissions writer Bangkok Byron’s books are available FREE to download on Smashwords for the next few weeks.

Thailand-Related News Articles

A Reddit user is looking for the Thai ex-girlfriend of his father who met her while serving in the Vietnam War.

A Swiss barber loses his Ko Phangnan business after operating it for 9 years without the appropriate work permit.

Seeker Of The Way takes a look at nightlife in Saigon.

One gets the feeling the Thais cannot make their minds up about whether they should try and tax worldwide income or not.

Thais are in an uproar after a sexy influencer dresses provocatively near Phuket’s Big Buddha.

Thai police look to crackdown on, well, everything, after a Thai bar manager is murdered in a bar on Soi LK Metro.

Closing Comments

I am running low on photos to run in the mystery photo section of the column. If by chance you have captured an image that you thought would fit in that section of the column and would be willing to offer it up for me to use, please do send it in. And don’t forget to let me know where it is!


Your Bangkok commentator,


Stick can be contacted at :




nana plaza