Go-go bars and beer bars
The go-go bar is an institution of naughty nightlife in Bangkok. The average go-go, there are a dozen girls on a small stage to dance in bikinis (or less) to loud music while trying to make eye contact with the public. Some put on shows where the girls on stage a performance of it, but this is a lot tamer than you’d expect – nudity, for example, is prohibited. In a beer bar, there are no stages and the girls are wearing street clothes.
If this sounds like it tends to prostitution, it is. Some say it originated during the Vietnam War when many Americans lived in Thailand, others say it was much earlier and is part of Thai relaxed view of sex. Anyway, these bars are aiming primarily at the farang (foreigner) and it’s fairly safe to assume that everyone in the bar is for sale. That said, it’s no problem if you just go in to the show and you see more and more couples in various bars. The main areas that are around Patpong, Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy.
Behaving while misbehaving A few simple rules in a go-go bar:
- A drink in your hand is required you are inside. Most places charge around 100 baht for most drinks.
- Lady drinks are more expensive and give you the right to time with the girl of your choice to chat.
- Taking a dancer from the bar before her work will cost a bar-fine (bar fine) for about 500 baht. That is the bar, which you, the rest is up to you.
- No photos. If you’re lucky, your camera confiscated, but there are stories of people who are more than a few bruises are held.
- Look but not touch (unless asked). Too frisky you kicked out.
- Take your passport. Police raids are not uncommon and you can spend night in jail if you can show a passport.