Nana Plaza 2020 Update
THE NANA PLAZA MASTER LEASE HAS BEEN SECURED
Despite some negative rumours flying around about Nana Entertainment Plaza, some bars continue to do business as normal. Well, that is as normal as the neon jungle can be! Admittedly, the go-go bars are not as wild as they used to be. Sadly, the ‘Skytrain shuffle’ has become the norm in too many gogo bars. Blatant ‘showing’ or nudity was outlawed several years ago, but it has returned to some go-go bars. Therefore, it is fair to say that Nana Plaza had previously lost the advantage of ‘showing’ to Soi Cowboy. (Never underestimate what a tremendous advantage this gives a particular district). These police politics may be confusing to some people, but remember that Soi Cowboy is under a completely different jurisdiction to Nana Plaza. Nana Plaza is located in the Lumpini Police District and Soi Cowboy is located in the Thonglor Police District. Incidentally, Patpong falls under the jurisdiction of the Bangrak Police District. Therefore, Nana Plaza is located in a high profile area. For example, The Landmark Hotel and the JW Marriott Hotel are just around the corner from Soi Nana. Despite what the killjoys say, Nana Plaza is very resilient and still thrives in high season, when the tourists arrive. In some ways, Nana Plaza has become the new Patpong. In the meantime, party on people!
NANA PLAZA GOES UP TO ANOTHER LEVEL
New lifts (elevators) have been installed on both sides of Nana Plaza. Also, there is an escalator on the right-hand side next to the Buddhist Shrine. The entrance to Nana Plaza remains clear of all motorbikes. Following the tragic Santika Club fire in Bangkok, people are more fire safety conscious and rightly so.
BUTT OUT! The majority of the go-go bars in Nana Plaza are strictly “NO SMOKING” which includes the Rainbow Go-Go Bars. The nights of constantly smoke-filled bars appear to be banished forever. However, there are still some go-go bars that allow smoking. Ask around and you will soon find out.
CALLING ALL SMOKERS
Note that you can smoke in Lucky Lukes Bar and in a few of the go-go bars in Nana Plaza. However, you are usually asked to go outside. I think this helps chain-smokers cut down on the number of cigarettes, and it does not upset the non-smokers.
NANA ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA OVERVIEW
Nana Entertainment Plaza is known as “NEP” for short, or as some trendy guys say, “Nana.” It is not easy to envisage that Nana Plaza was once a quiet, shopping mall. Today Nana Entertainment Plaza is a three-storey atrium with a difference. The difference is that booze and babes are on offer. Nana Plaza comprises of a cluster of go-go bars and beer bars. NEP offers a rather different form of “entertainment” so think carefully before you invite your mother! Joking apart, Nana Plaza has shaken off its former filthy image due to much stricter control by the Thai authorities. Most people are pleased that the disgusting and degrading Patpong style “magic pussy shows” are history. However, nowadays it is still quite tame compared to previous years. But, considering the restrictions that have been placed upon Nana Plaza, it has remained extremely resilient. When you think that NEP is a red-light district, it offers something of a “carnal carnival” atmosphere. This is reflected in the fact that Nana Plaza has become something of a tourist attraction over the past few years. In fact, some people have labelled Nana Plaza as the new Patpong. Nowadays, tourists and other infrequent visitors make up the largest percentage of the clientele.
NANA PLAZA ENTRANCE REMAINS CLEAR
The Nana Plaza management finally cleared the entrance of all motorbikes and other obstacles. Motorbikes have now been banned from blocking the entrance. Now it is much more convenient to enter and exit Nana Plaza. More importantly, the only available emergency exit remains clear on a nightly basis.
NANA PLAZA LADYBOYS
Nana Plaza comprises of beer bars and go-go bars, but some of the go-go bars are full of katoeys, which is the Thai word for ladyboys. You need to be aware that Nana Plaza now has a number of ladyboy go-go bars. The ladyboy go-go bars are — True Obsession (ground level), DC10 (middle level), Temptations (middle level), Casanova (middle level), and Cascade (top level). Some Thai ladyboys are like fashion models. They are glamorous and can be very deceptive. Make no doubts about it, they are transsexuals. For some visitors to Nana Plaza, this is where the curiosity factor kicks in. In an eccentric way, the katoeys in Nana Plaza have become a tourist attraction. So many times I hear farangs say, “Just taking the Nana Newbies to a katoey bar.” Currently, in Soi Cowboy, there is one ladyboy bar, so this makes Nana Plaza different in that respect. You should be aware that most Thais are not homophobic and therefore, ladyboys are accepted in Thai society. Whether you love or loathe Thailand’s unofficial third gender, katoeys are part of Thailand’s nightlife scene.
LADYBOY ALERT — Be aware that ‘katoey’ or ladyboy pickpockets hang around lower Sukhumvit and on Soi Nana late at night. They often work in groups, so be street smart at all times. Do not be aggressive towards them, but never let a ladyboy streetwalker get too close to you. These katoeys are deviously good at distracting you, while they steal your cash and valuables. Also, be aware that some nasty katoeys do try to drug unsuspecting farangs. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
EXPLORING THE ORIGINS OF NANA PLAZA
The first bars in Nana Plaza emerged in 1982 and at that time, there was less than a handful. Lucky Luke’s Bar with its famous wagon wheels was the first to open. Lucky Luke’s made history by becoming the oldest bar in Nana Plaza. Remarkably, it is still open today, all these years later. In 1984 a farang haven appeared. Peter opened Woodstock Bar & Grill, which for many years was thought as the best music bar in Thailand. Woodstock Bar & Grill also won the prestigious award of “Best Burger In Bangkok.” Just before Woodstock relocated to Thonglor, I attended Woodstock’s 20th Anniversary Party. Incidentally, the 20th Anniversary Party was also Woodstock’s Farewell Party. As we were leaving Nana Plaza, an emotional Peter thanked me for being one of his most loyal customers. Woodstock Bar moved and took some of Nana Plaza’s nostalgia along with its departure. Those of us that were here during the golden years in Nana Plaza are fortunate enough to have experienced it. Whatever happens to Nana Plaza in the future, I know that fond memories will remain with me forever.
HOW DO I GET TO NANA PLAZA?
Nana Entertainment Plaza is located on Sukhumvit Road inside Soi 4. Nana Plaza is conveniently situated directly opposite the Nana Hotel. You can easily get to Nana Plaza via several modes of transportation. You can take the Skytrain to the BTS Nana station. From the BTS Nana, it is a short walk past the Landmark Hotel into Soi Nana Every taxi driver, tuk-tuk driver and motorbike taxi boy know the location. Just say, “Soi Nana” and away you go. With tuk-tuk drivers and motorcycle taxi boys, make sure that you negotiate the price in advance. When you get into a metered taxi, it is advisable to sit behind the taxi driver, especially if you are female. Before the driver sets off for Soi Nana, check that he has turned the meter on. Whatever happens, try to keep cool and maintain your composure. It is most important to avoid confrontation with the Thai people. You might think you are arguing with one Thai man, but a gang of Thai men will appear from nowhere in seconds. Remember guys, we are on their turf. Always carry plenty of small change. Some taxi drivers are notorious for stating that they have no change. What is supposed to be a 35 Baht journey could cost you 100 Baht if you don’t have the exact amount. A supply of 20 Baht notes comes in very handy for travelling around Bangkok.
GO-GO GURU GUIDE TO NANA PLAZA
Below are descriptions and locations of the bars in Nana Plaza. They are listed in alphabetical order. We start on the GROUND LEVEL, move up to the MIDDLE LEVEL and go up to the TOP LEVEL. Updates will appear, so make sure you check the dates on each listing. Let me take you for a nightseeing tour of Nana Plaza. Welcome to the neon jungle!
FOR ALL NANA PLAZA BAR REVIEWS – CLICK HERE
Dave The Rave is a unique Thailand Nightlife Guru with professional experience in the Bangkok bar business since 1999. Dave is still closely connected to Bangkok’s nightlife industry and remains popular worldwide.