Thailand Tonight – Sep 30th, 2009


Tough times are facing the nightlife scene in Thailand, as the majority of bars, go-go bars and nightclubs are feeling the pinch in one way or another. There are fewer foreign visitors frequenting Thailand’s nightlife scene than previous years and less bar girls in Bangkok’s multitude of bars. Out of Thailand’s main nightlife regions, sections of Pattaya, Koh Samui, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai appear to be hit hard by the downturn.

Here in Bangkok, although some areas are just as quiet as anywhere else is, several areas and popular venues continue to do a brisk trade. Fairly recently, I have made another visit to Soi Cowboy and I must say Tilac Go-Go Bar remains very impressive. Tilac always has an abundance of go-go dancers on display, which also includes HOT coyote dancers on Fridays and Saturdays. Note that the coyote dancers wear a different outfit and they perform from 10:00pm until Tilac closes.  During a recent visit to Tilac, I sat enjoying the splendid eye candy on view, casually sipping a Tiger Light Beer. Tilac Go-Go Bar was still in full swing at 2:30am. I don’t think there was a policeman in sight, which is a stark contrast to some of the other bar areas in Bangkok.


In some parts of Bangkok, the MIB or ‘Men In Brown’ walk into the bars. The sudden appearance of a Thai policeman in full uniform flashing his torch just kills the night for some venues. It’s as though we have committed a crime for going out to enjoy ourselves. It’s a shame that the ‘Men In Brown’ on patrol in other districts, are not as subtle as their Tonglor counterparts who take care of Soi Cowboy. This is a prime example of how differently the various police districts in Bangkok are regulated.


The turnover of bar girls in Bangkok’s go-go bars was always much less frenetic than Pattaya, but times are changing. Fairly recently, go-go dancers from several go-go bars in Patpong and Nana Plaza have moved to Soi Cowboy. The Bangkok dolly birds are migrating! Even some of the most popular go-go bars are fighting to keep a respectable number of dancing dolls to embellish the go-go stage. This leads us to ponder, “Where have all the Bangkok go-go girls gone?” If there are fewer bar girls in the go-go bars, they must have gone somewhere. I decided to look into the Thai bar girl shortage…


From what I can ascertain from my initial investigation, the turnover of go-go dancers is at an all-time high, whereas trade in certain go-go bars is at an all-time low. Some bar girls tell me that they are going home. I cheekily say to the little cuties, “I know you are going home, but going to who’s home?” I think you will agree that the majority of Bangkok’s bar girls can’t all be hiding out in the remote villages of Northeast Thailand. I have noticed that even the most familiar faces amid the neon jungles of Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy are working less frequently. Some bar girls have told me that under the circumstances, they are forced to take good care of their ‘sponsors’ or payment providers. These 3-M or ‘mobile money machines’ are human cash dispensers. With an unpredictable amount of cash available from the go-go bars, these particular Thai dolly birds have to improvise.

Here are some of those improvisations:-

FREELANCE – Some go-go dancers have decided to go ‘freelance’ in its various guises. Usually, this means a bar girl has taken the option to become a streetwalker. It is a different environment, but a bar girl can do quite well as a freelancer, if she is deemed available, adorable and affordable (‘AAA’ Factor).

CALL GIRLS – Modern technology has definitely influenced the world of boy meets girl in Thailand. Every Thai and their pet seem to have a mobile phone these days. Thai girls can even call ‘Yai’ (Grandmother) on Yai’s very own mobile phone. (Now that’s technological advancement for you!). With a reasonable memory capacity, a bar girl can become a ‘call girl’ very easily. It is quite simple for bar girls to build up their own database of customers via mobile phones and alternatively via email addresses. These particular Thai women bring a new meaning to the term call girls!


SPIDERS WEB – The internet is another way for Thai girls to meet ‘n’ greet foreign men. There are many online dating websites, with Thai Love Links being one of the most popular. You most certainly don’t have to have the fame and fortune of a Hollywood movie star to acquire dates with these Thai women. Online ‘dating’ has become a cheap, trendy and popular way to meet Thai women. But, be cautious because not everybody is genuine on the net. When you are searching the web for Thai women, make sure it is not a spider’s web!

PUBS & CLUBS – Seeking greener pastures, some former go-go dancers chance their luck in beer bars, pubs, discos and nightclubs. This especially applies to go-go dancers who are older, with fading looks and those with a pear shaped figure. When the face fades and the flesh flops, it takes a lot of courage for a Thai woman to parade herself upon a go-go stage. With Thai girls wearing just a bikini or less, it is advisable for a go-go dancer to look her best. Certain go-go girls decide to go ‘plain clothes,’ because a lot can be hidden under carefully selected clothing. On the other hand, some go-go dancers might just want a change of environment from the neon jungle.


PROVIDE THE PROVIDER – With the global economic crisis taking its toll, the ‘sponsor’ or ‘payment provider’ could well become an essential financial resource. Therefore, more time and effort is needed to protect the provider. Basically, the ‘pleasure provider’ takes care of the ‘payment provider.’ Similar to most governments, somebody is getting funked somewhere along the line!

THAILAND TONIGHT – My new bi-weekly Thailand nightlife column is published on Wednesdays and Sundays.  There will be ‘Daves Raves’ plus additional posts from time to time.  As always, thanks for your loyalty and support.

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Reporting live from the neon jungles of Thailand…

See you again soon, thanks for tuning in!

Dave The Rave – Go-Go Guru.