Bangkok's Bar Scene
The Bangkok bar scene - particularly go-go venues - isn't quite is wild as it was a few years back, but it is still thriving and still fun for those who enjoy letting their hair (nearly) all the way down.
The primary tourist nightlife areas are Nana Plaza on
Sukhumvit Soi 3, Soi Cowboy, which runs from Sukhumvit Soi 23 to Asoke Road,
and the legendary Patpong area, which is on a small soi between Suriwong Road
and Silom Road. All taxi and tuk-tuk drivers know how to get there.
Bangkok's nightlife areas are primarily frequented by males, but women are more than welcome as are couples.
Usually foreign women get a lot of good-natured attention - especially if it appears they are enjoying themselves. The Thai word for work and the word for party are the same word. Smile, laugh, joke, have some drinks and you'll see why.
There is one key to having a good time - leave Victorian principles and politically correct views in your hotel room.
Keys to being safe
- Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy are about as safe as you can get. The only key here is to relax, have fun and don't cause any trouble.
- There is an additional key in Patpong - do not go in ANY establishment
that has someone touting it. That is particularly true of upstairs
This has nothing to do with Victorian attitudes or conservative ethics. It has to do with being ripped off and possibly leading to an incident. Strictly avoid all touts everywhere, but especially in Patpong. (Polite people standing by the entrance to a downstairs bar saying, "Welcome" is not touting.)
Most couples that want a Bangkok nightlife experience would probably enjoy the larger go-go establishments in all three bar areas rather than the smaller, sometimes seedy ones. It's probably a good idea to avoid small bars in Patpong, as there are several that offer services that might offend.
Some of the smaller bars at Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy are fine, although there are a few where activities not generally seen in public may occur - albeit generally fairly discretely. To err on the side of caution, stick with the big, glitzy go-go bars.
Note: Patpong has a pretty good Night Market. If you don't like the bars, shopping is right at your doorstep.