Thailand Night Fever

Bangkok skyline by Ralf Winkler

Bangkok skyline by Ralf Winkler


Many a bar boss in Thailand is singing the low season blues this June.  Similar to a scary rollercoaster ride, bar trade suddenly took a steep drop.  There are several factors contributing to this quiet period.  In fact, some people are labelling it, “The lowest of low seasons.”  Firstly, many people outside of the bar business in Thailand, are unaware that June ranks as one the worst months of the whole year.  As per usual, the low season arrives promptly every year.  It’s not called “low season” for nothing folks!  Secondly, we have had some very heavy rain.  In Bangkok on Monday and Tuesday, the rain came hammering down for several hours.  It’s a fact that some bargirls are not easy to motivate at the best of times.  Give them an excuse like heavy rain, and they won’t bother to leave their apartments.  However, this time around it was a valid excuse, because the rain was so heavy.  The sky wept intensely and those residing in remote areas were literally left stranded.  The timing of the rain was not at all favourable.  Well blow me!  Just as I’m writing this, silvery bullets hammer onto the ground.  Bangkok suffers torrential rainfall for a second consecutive day.  A loud clap of thunder from an angry sky makes my dog jump.  Parts of Bangkok are now flooded by several inches…


The Euro 2008 Football Tournament is a great event for football fans, but it’s not for certain venues in Thailand.  In particular, the beer bars, go-go bars and discos lose out.  Furthermore, the closing times in Bangkok make it difficult to see the late matches.  According to news reports, this is how the Thai authorities want it, because they are trying to prevent illegal gambling.  That’s rather strange logic don’t you think?     


An additional problem this low season is the oil crisis, which is starting to take its toll.  This week the price of a barrel of oil reached an all-time high of fractionally under $140 US Dollars.  Some analysts believe that the soaring cost might reach an astronomical $200 per barrel within the next six months.  Let’s hope not.  Meanwhile, airlines are forced to review their prices. 


Recently, I have been pondering this question.  What go-go bars endeavour to attract customers?  One factor that is sometimes overlooked is the go-go bar management.  Year after year, some go-go bars do nothing to improve their business.  This just adds to the deterioration process.  The vicious circle keeps getting bigger — fewer girls leads to fewer customers, which leads to fewer girls, etc.  The problem with some go-go bars is they do zero to improve their bar.  In saying, “improve” I mean more than just touch up the paintwork, and/or install a fancy lighting system.  And, in extreme cases keep raising the prices with little or no justification.

Years ago, it was essential to have a large number of very attractive go-go girls.  This is still true today, but I find nowadays that Westerners expect more.  You have to ensure that your go-go bar operates with an effective system.  This system needs to be operated by an efficient team.  Although the go-go girls are (normally) the most important element, good entertainment has also become a top priority.  Good entertainment combined with efficient service is an ideal formula.  Because some ex-pats have visited the go-go bars for years, they appreciate a go-go bar that is managed well.

I have known customers to leave go-go bars, because the DJ plays VERY LOUD techno music.  Also, customers can walk out when service is very poor, because too many unnecessary errors occurred.  One underestimated aspect is the atmosphere.  After a long period of intense work, people want to relax and enjoy themselves.  It’s no good walking into a graveyard!  If you create a party atmosphere and the place is pumping, it can rejuvenate even the most Jaded John.  Angelwitch Go-Go Bar, which operates to a “Show Go-Go” format, is a perfect example.  On a nightly basis, come rain or shine, the atmosphere during Angelwitch Showtime is unique.  A highly successful go-go bar owner said to me, “Some go-go bars have no management and no concept.”  I think that accurately sums up the root of the problem.  Although we are suffering the low season blues, some go-go bars are adding to their own demise.  In some cases, problems are beyond the control of the management.  But, in other cases it is the managent who are at fault.



All this conspires to create an extremely quiet June for some, (but not all) of the nightlife venues.  Regarding this less than positive news, I will not “dress it up” because this is the truth of the matter.  Sorry to have to give you the bad news sometimes, but this is the way it is.


The Thai authorities in Bangkok are starting to take the “NO SMOKING” law more seriously.  The Thais say, “NO SMOKE NO JOKE” and Dave The Rave replies, “You’re a poet and you don’t even know it!”  Warnings were issued during the so-called, “Grace period.”  Grace?  Grace?  Who the funk is Grace?  And, why do I care if Grace is on her period?  I’m in a state of confusion!

In Angelwitch Go-Go Bar, I kept thinking either my mates are avoiding me, or they have VERY weak bladders.  Fortunately, I’m wrong on both assumptions, because they simply step outside Angelwitch to have a cigarette. 

AFTER DARK ASIA MAGAZINEPardon the pun, but this smoking ban is blown right out of proportion!  Some smokers get very upset about it, but Thailand is only following the Western countries.  You cannot smoke in bars in the West, so what’s the big deal?  In Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, smoking areas are provided outside with seating.  In the long run, it will help to prevent chain smoking and that is a good thing for everybody.

Oh my lord!  Enforcing a smoking ban will kill Lolitas Bar.  Think about it…


Kampang School in Northeast Thailand has installed (are you ready for this) transvestite toilets.  This is a major breakthrough for the “TV” characters.  Toilet facilities are now provided for he, she, or wannabe!

Can you imagine what happens when the sales representative from Sony arrives?  “Do you need any new TVs?”  Then a teacher who is very light on his loafers replies, “No thanks, we have plenty of our own!”  This is clearly a case of TIT or “Transvestites In Thailand.”

Kampang School are pioneers of the “PC WC” (Politically Correct Water Closet).  I suppose they should be referred to as “katoeylets.” 

You can read the full story on this LINK HERE



Men play the game; women know the score.  (Roger Woddis)

I like two kinds of men:  domestic and foreign.  (Mae West)                    

Email Dave The Rave — [email protected]

Thanks for visiting.  Reporting live from the heart of Thailand…

Dave The Rave — Go-Go Guru