As the sun sets in Bangkok, the red light districts become alive. Single male foreigners stroll the streets, the temptations of hanging out with lovely Thai women becomes very apparent.
And although prostitution is considered illegal in Thailand, it is still obvious that it is going on behind the scenes.
But is it really as Taboo as people think? Well, that is really for you to decide. Just keep in mind that most people are quick to judge what the sex tourism in Thailand really represents.
In The Land of Smiles, these areas can be a fun place for adults who want to experiences the naughty fun to be had.
In this article I will point you guys in the right direction. After reading this you will know exactly where the red light areas are in Bangkok, and more details of each place.
Intro to Bangkok’s 3 Red Light Districts
The industry is estimated to be worth around 6.5 Billion annually (as of 2015), and by now, it would be much more than that.
Due to the history of sex trade in this country, what really goes on in these parts of town is very well tolerated. It is even looked upon as a “site seeing” by many tourists. The locals accept it for what it is and nothing more, which is a way to monetize off the huge tourism industry in Thailand, especially in the capital city of Bangkok.
It my be illegal, but it sure doesn’t seem that way.
There seems to be some sort of harmony to these red light districts. And considering the type of traffic it gets, there seems to be an unspoken order to all things.
Most of the girls that work in the red light district bars in Bangkok are from the north eastern part of the country call Issan. It is a rural country side that is considered to be poorer than Bangkok, and other well developed cities.
Keep in mind that almost all of these girls choose to work in the bars, and are not forced to. Many do it to help their families, buy a home, automobile, or latest smartphones. In other words, they control their finances.
The Thai women try to make a living by attending to customers from all nationalities, especially Asia, American, and European single men. It is not uncommon to see all types of tourists in an around these red light areas. From single men, to couples, and even sometimes families, like in Patpong. It is also worth noting that many of Bangkok’s popular guest friendly hotels are located in and around these areas
These places are somewhat looked up as “entertainment” zones, as opposed to the traditional term.
The Best Nightlife Areas in Bangkok
Patpong was born out of the Vietnam War era, and gained popularity as it was frequented by the soldiers. And now this nightlife area in Silom is one the cities original adult tourists attractions — even if just visiting it for nostalgic reasons.
Patpong is Bangkok’s first red light district, and that is why I am listing it here first. It deserves some respect.
There are two alleys here: Patpong Soi 1 and Patpong Soi 2.
Back in the days, Patpong used to be a place where only single men, foreign businessmen, or soldiers would frequent. A lot has changed though, these days you will see all types of tourist here. The original vibes of Patpong, which represented “sinful” or “underground” nightlife vibe in Bangkok simply doesn’t exists anymore. It is more like a tourist attraction, mixed with a night market, with a backdrop of go go bars.
This whole area in Silom is somewhat of a night market which becomes alive as the night progresses.
Patpong is also famous for its “ping pong shows” where the bar girls perform some outrageous shows that will be sure to leave a lasting impression on you. But just be warned, there are tourist scams that sometimes happen. There are cases where the bars charge you extra, or tell you to pay more than what you were first told.
- Drinks: 150-180 Baht for bottles beer
- Lady drinks 140 – 200 Bah
- Bar Fine: 600-1000 Baht
Nana Plaza is a world famous red light district.
This complex hosts 3 floors of amazing go go bars in Bangkok in a courtyard style concept. Filled with tons of beautiful go go dancers, this place is home to some of the best adult entertainment in Bangkok.
Expect prices to be high as it is a very popular hangout for tourists, and one of the main nightlife attractions in Bangkok.
The atmosphere is almost surreal, and a few drinks will add to this dream-like state. Especially after you see some of the world most beautiful ladyboys that work in some of the bars. Sometimes you really can’t tell what gender they are!
You can chill out in the ground floor in one of the many open air beer bars. Sit down, relax, and take in the surroundings. Witness the huge amount of freelancers lined up across the entrance across Nana Plaza.
Listen to the music playing and plan which go go bar you would like to check out. There are many, but some of the most popular ones are Billboard, Angelwitch.
A good idea is to visit a few of the bars and see for yourself how you like them.
Prices in Nana Plaza:
- Drinks: Around 150-200 baht for bottled beer
- Lady Drinks:150-200 Baht
- Barfine: 600-1000 Baht
Quite possibly one of Bangkok’s brightest alleys, with neon lights creating a very enchanting scene. A lot can be said about this place, but boring is not one of them.
With plenty of bar girls around, Soi Cowboy attracts single male tourists like no tomorrow.
Do you wanna know how it got it’s name?
It was all thanks to an original African American bar owner who liked to wear cowboy hats. Over time this alley was referred to as Soi Cowboy, and the name stuck. It is now one of Bangkok’s best red light districts.
As you walk by, you will be amazed how many bars can be crammed in such a street.
Exciting, claustrophobic, loud, euphoric — those are a few words that can describe the feeling one gets when they walk through this alley on any given night.
The location of Soi Cowboy is not that far from Nana Plaza, which is another dedicated red light area in Bangkok. It would take around 15 minutes to walk to get there.
Soi Cowboy alley is the one that is adjacent to Sukhumvit Road, between Asoke and Sukhumvit Soi 23.
One of the great things about Soi Cowboy is that it is host to some Thailand’s best gogo bars. With popular places like Baccara, Tilac, and Crazy House just by the entrance on Soi 23.
You will experience some of the best partying of your life here, as you get to spend some time with the attractive go go girls.
Prices at Soi Cowboy Bars
- Drinks: 150-190 Baht
- Lady Drinks: 150-200 Baht
- Barfine: 600-1000 Baht
Personally, I have never had any issues at any of these places mentioned here. But keep in mind that I am a experienced traveler, and keep attention to what is going on around me.
I have seen some issues arise between customers (foreigners) and the bar manager/bouncers. Most of the problems that can arise can be avoided. here are the things that can happen in a bad situation:
- Disagreements with the bill
- Rude behavior from drunk customers
- Rude behavior from the waitress or bouncers
- Problems with the dancers (she leaves after you bought her drink, or the customer is too aggressive with the bar girl)
- Arguments with other foreigners (rare)
As you can see these are the things to look out for when you decide to party in such places.
Generally speaking, Bangkok has safe red light districts. The best thing to do is use your judgement. If you feel one of the places is not right for you then simply leave and check out another area.
If you feel you are being treated rudely, then simply leave. Never become confrontational in these types of places, especially in a foreign city.