SOI COWBOY – BACK TO BASICS
Hold tight riders! I think it is time for a little nightseeing tour of the after dark scene in Bangkok. And so, recently I visited Soi Cowboy…
I feel that Soi Cowboy has become ‘Little Las Vegas’ with its increasing kaleidoscope of neon lights. The amount of neon on display is a visual delight in itself, but we must not get too carried away. Some people have become obsessed with the neon signs in Soi Cowboy. It is a very nice touch, but the most important thing is what is on display inside the go-go bars. Pretty lights outside are one thing, but pretty sights inside are another. Show me all the pretty lights, brass bands, fancy decorations and circus acts you want, but I am old school. To reinvent Shakespeare, I would say, ‘All the bars a stage.’ Let me elaborate on that theory. When you receive a beautifully wrapped present, it is great that is presented so well, but it is the gift inside that is the real gem. I believe that the display upon the stage is the most important attribute and then, the entertainment, such as the standard of the shows, closely followed by the atmosphere. The additional aspects (hospitality, bar design, facilities, pricing policy, neon lights, etc.), help to make it a pleasant experience, but these are all secondary in comparison to the talent upon the stage. We need to get back to basics. You can call me old fashined, but whenever I talk about a steakhouse, I only want to know one thing, ‘How good is the steak?’
The latest addition to the neon display is Rio, which is simply Our Place renamed and still under the same ownership. I guess you could call it ‘packaging’ because it did not impress me. I took a peak inside but as I thought, the new name has failed to persuade the masses to enter. In stark contrast, Baccara Bar situated directly opposite Rio was doing a roaring trade. I am still surprised why so many people sit downstairs in Baccara, because the go-go dancers wear unimaginative and unflattering bikinis. Furthermore, the go-go girls downstairs are most definitely not the best of the bunch. However, the art of severe neck cranking seems to keep the Japanese customers happy. Voyeurism is a pastime of Japanese men. Several go-go girls have told me that some of their Japanese clients are into the weirdest stuff imaginable. The vertical view in Baccara must be one of the most extreme ‘sightseeing’ attractions in Asia. The see-through ceiling is so simple and yet, it is surprisingly appealing. The mind boggles! As an afterthought on go-go bar design, I would imagine that one-way mirrors on connecting walls and ceilings could be very effective. I am surprised that this concept has not been implemented already. Anyway, I must not digress…
Instead of unnecessarily straining my neck, I shot up the steep, narrow stairway like a rat up a drainpipe. However, I do strongly advise you to come down this tricky staircase at a much lesser speed, or you might just come a cropper! Do not feel you are a wimp for using the handrails. It might come as a surprise to some of you daredevils, but the handrails are there for a reason! We hit Baccara later on in the evening, but the line-up of dancing dolls was still easy on the eye. I spotted one little cutie who had a cheeky smile, as she was shaking her stuff. The ‘students’ wear white blouses, with blue mini skirts and white training shoes. They are naive and forgetful, because various items of clothing are always missing… Ah, bless them!
A standard drink cost me 150 baht and this is Soi Cowboy’s prime Jap Trap, so nothing is on special offer. In fact, the Japanese clientele spend large amounts of cash, regularly running up big bills. To a large degree, the Japanese have commandeered Baccara, but this should not stop you from visiting. I usually include Baccara on my go-go bar rounds, even if it is just for the eye candy and the pulsating dance music.
Dollhouse is what I would describe as a booby trap, with all shapes and sizes on display. It can be hit or miss, so you must get in here early, before the cash ‘n’ carry crowd take the best of the bunch. We sat down and surveyed the scene. Crazy Horse told the Mamasan that he wanted to buy a lady drink for a rather well endowed go-go dancer. We were disappointed when she refused to come and sit with us. She was still dancing on the go-go stage, so she was not engaged with another customer. The Mamasan apologised profusely, but I told her it was not her fault. We voted with our feet, as Crazy Horse told the Mamasan that we would go to another go-go bar, where the girls DO want to sit with us. You must be delusional if you believe that all the bad attitude resides in Nana Plaza. Soi Cowboy obviously has its share too! On a more positive note, Dollhouse Go-Go Bar continues to offer a rainy season special on Heineken Draught Beer. This is a generous drinks deal, especially considering that the rainy season ended months ago. Half pint glasses are only 80 baht all night, every night. Dollhouse continues to run its popular Crazy Hour from 7:00pm until 9:30pm, where all standard drinks are just 60 baht. Now that’s what I call a Crazy Hour!
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUZIE
Accompanied by Sanook Sean and Crazy Horse, we entered Suzie Wong and we were pleased that we did. I rate the line-up in Suzie Wong as average, but the show was about to start. Suzie Wong’s format is a prime example of doing away with the fancy stuff and getting back to basics. Four sexy girls in their birthday suits were extremely intimate, busily getting to know each other very well. One show that you rarely see these days is the luminous paint show. Many people used to like this show, when the erotic artists used to do the rounds in Patpong, Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy. Nowadays, it seems limited to Suzie Wong and Sheba’s, which are not surprisingly sister bars. Standard drinks are 150 baht in both Suzie Wong and Sheba’s, which I think is value for money during Showtime. Don’t turn up too late or you will miss Showtime.
NANA PLAZA – NEON JUNGLE NEWS
Last night (Tuesday, January 5th) an electrical blackout put most of Soi Nana into darkness from approximately 8:00-9:30pm. The whole of Sukhumvit Soi 4 had quite an eerie feel to it. However, the good news is that Nana Hotel has a backup generator, so guests could make a hasty retreat to their rooms. An almighty cheer went up in Nana Plaza, when the electricity finally came back on again.
Nana Plaza has recently taken a step in the right direction. Mono bikinis and birthday suits are the format in 10 go-go bars. (A list of the go-go bars ‘showing’ in Nana Plaza is two paragraphs down). Spankys is sticking to the fun factor and appear to be whipping the place into shape. Spankys fun ‘n’ frolics style shows feature nightly from 10:00pm onwards. Right next door to Spankys is Angelwitch, the home of the most professionally choreographed shows in Thailand. Angelwitch continues to draw a good crowd on a nightly basis. Note that there are a few new faces amongst the showgirls. The very sexy Vun, who is arguably the most stunning model in the After Dark Asia 2010 Calendar, has recently joined the Angelwitch Show Team. Incidentally, if you buy the 2010 After Dark Asia Calendar from Angelwitch in Nana Plaza, you will receive a FREE copy of After Dark Asia Magazine. Awesome!
As I walked into Hollywood Carousel my first reaction was, ‘WOW!’ The main stage was sporting an improved line-up that definitely meets the approval of the Go-Go Guru. I am referring to the large carousel, because the smaller of the two carousels does not come anywhere close to matching the talent upon the larger rotating stage. The go-go attire is birthday suits tailored by Mother Nature. And, very lovely they are too!
MONO BIKINIS AND BIRTHDAY SUITS RETURN TO NANA PLAZA
Here is a list of the go-go bars in Nana Plaza that are ‘showing’ with more on display – Angelwitch, Erotica, Hollywood Carousel, Mandarin, Mercury, Rainbow 1, 2, 3 & 4, and Spankys. The 3 main show bars in Nana Plaza are – Angelwitch, Hollywood Carousel and Spankys.
KA-TOYS ‘R’ US – LADY BOY GO-GO BARS IN NANA PLAZA
The 5 ‘katoey’ (lady boy) go-go bars are – Obsession (Ground Level), Casanova and Temptations (Middle Level), Cascade and Carnival (Top Level). Whether you love or loathe lady boys, this is important for us all to know.
THAILAND TONIGHT & DAVES RAVES – My weekly Thailand nightlife column ‘THAILAND TONIGHT’ is now published on Wednesdays. In addition, ‘DAVES RAVES’ and other articles will be published throughout the week. Check the Side Bar (right-hand side below REVIEW PAGES) and you will find the daily updates.
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Reporting live from the neon jungles of Thailand…
Join me again soon, thanks for visiting!
Dave The Rave – Go-Go Guru.