Hostesses at Suzie Wong Soi Cowboy on Loy Krathong 2023. (Photo: Digital a-Go-Go)
Hostesses at Suzie Wong Soi Cowboy on Loy Krathong 2023. (Photo: Digital a-Go-Go)

Thailand’s most romantic night of the year, Loy Krathong 2023 faded further from view in Bangkok’s red-light districts, but where it showed up, it was big.

Once a night when bargirls up and down Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy would dress up in traditional Thai costume – or sexy variations of it – Loy Krathong 2023 had less allure among bargirls. Part of it may be the cost to hire a dress and do all the hair and makeup. Part of it may be that long dresses don’t get as many barfines as bikinis.

Inside Nana Plaza, Loy Krathong 2023 was celebrated in one place: Red Dragon Club & Lounge, although Nana’s three outside beer bars all had many hefty matrons dressed up. Things were exponentially more sexy at Red Dragon.

Loy Krathong is always celebrated on a full moon, so Red Dragon combined its monthly Full Moon Party with the holiday. The result? Girls dressed in neon bikini bottoms and hot pink or fluorescent orange sabai, the traditional long sash Thai women once wrapped their breasts and shoulders in.

It was a striking look and different from any Loy Krathong effort seen in any bar in a long time. The girls, however, were less keen on the costumes, with them constantly repinning, adjusting and rewrapping the sash all night. Sabai and go-go dancing are not a good fit, it seems.

Soi Cowboy Loy Krathong 2023

Wardrobe malfunctions also were common at Shark Club on Soi Cowboy, which held its own Loy Krathong Full Moon Party. Shark’s party seemed a bit more festive than at Red Dragon, perhaps because Shark continues to have Soi Cowboy’s best happy hour, with all drinks 95 baht until 9:30 p.m. and draft beer 95 baht all night.

On the patio, customers could play a dart game, popping balloons to win stuffed animals for their favorite Shark girl (or take home to the kids). The girls were certainly having fun, with more than a couple more than tipsy by 10 p.m.

Suzie Wong Loy Krathong 2023

Suzie Wong threw its own Loy Krathong 2023 party, with all its hostesses dolled up in their traditional best. No modern spin on the classics here.

Some were reticent to take photos at first, but after they saw Digital a-Go-Go’s fine work for the first couple of ladies, everyone wanted theirs, more than once.

Elsewhere on Soi Cowboy, though, Loy Krathong 2023 was hard to find. A handful of Baccara hostesses were done out in traditional dresses – no photos please! – and two middle-aged greeters at the 5-Star music bar were dressed in Thai pantaloons and frilly shirts, but that was about it.

Both of Bangkok’s red-light areas now will turn their attention to December with Christmas and New Year’s Eve set to be big events.