Bangkok has a reputation as one of the best cities for its nightlife. The nightlife in Bangkok is lively due to the various options available for drinking and partying. Bangkok is home to some top-notch nightclubs that would rival those in any other large city, bars that are designed by world-class bar designers, dive bars and pool bars to grab a cheap beer and a quick game of pool or a game on TV. Perhaps the most notorious aspects of Bangkok nightlife are go-go bars. One of the most well-known areas for go-go bars is Soi Cowboy.
Soi Cowboy is located on Sukhumvit Road between Sukhumvit Soi 21 and Soi 23. You can easily access from either the Asoke BTS station or the Sukhumvit MRT. The name Soi Cowboy comes from the fact that in the early 1970’s, an ex-U.S. solider opened the first bar on the soi and would stand at the end of the street promoting his bar wearing a large cowboy hat. The first bar that started it all is still there today and a good place to stop in for a game of pool and cheap draft beers.
At the mouth of the soi is a large neon sign signaling that you have arrived. As you take a look down the soi you’ll see the over 20 go-go bars with neon lights and bikini clad girls standing outside trying their best to attract punters into their bar.
Most of the bars here have standard drink prices with bottles of beer costing 100 to 175 baht. Before you make your way into any of the bars and past their velvet curtain check outside the menu and their prices. Since most of the bars on the road are offering the same thing, you may decide to make your choice based on the prices of their drinks. As a word of caution, be aware that everybody in your group will be obligated to purchase a drink, alcoholic or not, to stay inside or to take a seat at one of their tables outside on the soi.
Since there are over 20 bars to choose from, you should make a night of it and go in and out of various ones having a beer or two. As you make your way down the road you’ll come across some that do have a bit of a special attraction. There are some bars offering blowjobs in a “naughty boys corner”, lesbian shows on stage or fully nude dancing. Most of the bars however are pretty straightforward in their offerings for punters to sit back and watch the girls gyrate on stage. You’ll also notice that in all bars they have two or three rotations of girls. As one group gets off the stage, the next group gets on stage. Those that are not dancing on stage are trying their best to get the customers to buy them a lady drink.
No matter which bar you choose to have a drink at you will definitely have an experience to write home about. Even if you don’t take a drink inside or outside of a bar, just wandering down Soi Cowboy is an experience in itself due to the neon lights, large number of punters easing their way down the narrow alley and the abundance of girls wearing next to nothing offering friendly smiles trying to entice you into joining them inside.