Bangkok Soi Cowboy is Bangkok’s third main go go bar and beer bar area. It looks quite respectable on the outside, certainly less decadent than Nana Plaza and less touristy than Patpong, though has more scantily-clad girls inside. Although it resides a fair way down Sukhumvit Road – between Sukhumvit Soi 21 and Soi 23 – it is right near Asok Skytrain station and easy to get to.
The lane itself is pedestrianised and just 100m long and has been in town since the 1970s. It takes its title from TG (Cowboy) Edwards, an American who set up the area’s first bar. Today, there are around 40 of them, including beer bars and full on go go bars with topless, or indeed naked, girls.
Being pedestrianised and out of the way, Soi Cowboy has a much better atmosphere than rip-off Patpong, for example, and is best for newbies to Bangkok. It is not stuffed to the gussets with vendors and shoppers, as with Patpong, or as pushy as Nana Plaza, and you will easily blend in as you mingle from one go go to the next.
Soi Cowboy go go bars are similar to those of other tourist areas of Thailand, with sexy, gyrating girls surrounded by gawping farang men (foreign men). Some have that stone cold, bored look and don’t make much of an effort, while other places are really pumping and fun. Waitresses are quite pushy with you buying drinks, especially for them (which are more expensive, about 150 baht), but you’re paying for the show.
Most of the go go bars on Bangkok Soi Cowboy are behind a dark curtain from the street and usually have topless girls on stage. The ones with the naked girls are usually busiest (for obvious reason) and are upstairs. This is something you don’t get in Nana, yet is without the tacky ping pong antics of Patpong.
Soi Cowboy bars
Bars in Bangkok Soi Cowboy go from casual beer bars at the entrances to the full-on go go bars with the naked girls. The selection of girls is as good as anywhere else in Bangkok – with the possible exception of Nana – with most coming from the poor Isaan region of northern Thailand. Some of the top bars are Tilac, Long Gun and Baccara. All are well stocked and popular.
Go go girls are more expensive than in the regular beer bars, usually from 2,000 baht plus the 600 baht bar fine. This is typically a short time price, going up to 3,000 or even 4,000 baht for all night. If it’s slow during low season and you’re good looking, you may get a better deal.
While you can take the girl out the bar and do the dirty deed without buying a beer, in our experience, it’s always best to have a few beers and get her relaxed and get to know her character (if any). Many go go girls and bar girls in Soi Cowboy may seem uber-sexy at first glance, but when it’s sex time they can be an uninterested dead weight.
For a respite from all this, Bangkok Soi Cowboy also has casual beer bars and regular bars nearby serving ales on tap and food as well as having sports on TV and pool tables. Soi 23 has several trendy cocktail lounges as well as regular bars, for instance.