Soi Cowboy: Bangkok's red light district
Soi Cowboy, at the core of Bangkok’s Asoke district, is undeniably one of the city’s most iconic locations—a red-light street synonymous with adult entertainment. Discover the vibrant allure and excitement of Soi Cowboy, Bangkok’s lively red-light district.
Soi Cowboy: A Small Street with a Big Reputation
The Asok district, lining a stretch of Sukhumvit Road, boasts an array of bars and restaurants, ranging from high-quality establishments to cozy joints. At the epicenter of this bustling scene is the renownedSoi Cowboy.
The first notable aspect of Soi Cowboy is its size. Despite being frequently touted as Bangkok’s go-to nightlife spot, the street spans no more than 200 meters. However, it’s fair to say that these 200 meters are effectively utilized. On both sides of the street, you’ll encounter gogo bars, girls in various attire, open-air terraces, revelers, and individuals enjoying their drinks.
What is Soi Cowboy Exactly?
Spanning a 200-meter stretch, Soi Cowboy comprises approximately forty establishments, featuring:
- Go-go bars,
- An all-ladyboy establishment: Cockatoo Ladyboy Bar.
Soi Cowboy, why such a name?
For those not acquainted with Thai vocabulary, the term ‘soi’ translates to ‘street.’ Cowboy Street, or Soi Cowboy, holds a significant historical background. The name ‘Soi Cowboy’ was initially coined by the renowned chronicler of Thai nightlife, Bernard Trink, in his column for the Bangkok Post called Night Owl. The street retains the moniker from a former GI named TG Edwards, who, back in 1977, established a bar named Cowboy’s Bar. The choice of ‘Cowboy’ was quite straightforward, as this Afro-American individual possessed a style reminiscent of characters from a Sergio Leone film.
A Few Things You Need to Know:
Soi Cowboy, with its distinctive atmosphere, has served as inspiration for numerous authors. The street has also made appearances in films such as Bangkok Dangerous and The Hangover Part II.
Why go to the Soi Cowboy?
Let’s be honest, Soi Cowboy is the street synonymous with girls, prostitution, and excessive consumption. It’s not a place for a quiet drink, nor is it where you go to meet your better half… even though some might leave with a sense of affection!
While it’s true that the girls are beautiful, alluring, and sexy, caution is essential, especially if you start indulging in drinks. Bills escalate rapidly, reaching unimaginable heights. The principle is to charge the customer as much as possible, so vigilance is crucial, though not always easy. The girls are skilled at encouraging consumption, particularly the infamous Coyotes Girls—scantily clad girls with expertise in enticing newcomers, only to confront them with the stark reality of the trade.
Despite these aspects, Soi Cowboy is consistently bustling on weekends. It attracts expatriates and tourists alike, converging for a lively evening.
The best bars in Soi Cowboy
Baccara Bar is the most renowned go-go bar in the vicinity. While the drinks may be pricier compared to other bars, you get to savor your drink while enjoying the view from upstairs. The clientele here is predominantly Japanese, Korean, and Chinese tourists, providing a more relaxed environment for you to enjoy your drink without much disturbance.
Open every day from 7pm to 3am.
Beer: 180 THB
Girls’ glass: over 200 THB
Rawhide isn’t the go-go bar with the sexiest girls, but it is a unique establishment that features special shows involving balloons, razor blades, fluorescent paint, and more. It’s one of the bars to visit if you want to experience something truly different! However, be cautious, as it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Open every day from 5 pm to 2 am.
Beer: 120 THB
Girls’ drink: 200 THB
Tilac is a classic and one of the oldest go-go bars in Cowboy Soi. It offers a traditional go-go experience with sexy, friendly girls, premium drinks, blaring music, and eye-popping neon lights.
Open every day from 7pm to 2am.
Beer: 150 THB
Girls’ glass: - 200 THB
Top tips for having a good time at the Soi Cowboy
As in any red-light district or party area, there are a few rules to follow to avoid issues. Here is a brief list of tips, especially useful for those looking to immerse themselves in the experience:
Regularly Settle Drink Bills:
Pay for drinks as you consume them to avoid surprises on the final bill, especially with shots or larger drinks.
Enjoy your drinks in moderation and be mindful not to overindulge, especially when interacting with the girls.
Handle Issues Diplomatically:
Resolve any issues or misunderstandings amicably and with a friendly attitude. Maintaining a positive demeanor is key.
Avoid Physical Altercations:
Refrain from engaging in physical confrontations. Conflicts should be resolved peacefully, without resorting to Soi Cowboy-style aggression.
Navigate Intimate Conversations Respectfully:
If you’re interested in a more private conversation with a girl, politely ask if you can leave the premises. The girl must seek permission from her supervisor. If approved, be prepared to cover the costs, including drinks, the bar fine, any agreed-upon activities, and accommodation.
Exploring the Diverse Nightlife around Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza
Around Soi Cowboy, the Asok district offers more than just the vibrant atmosphere of Soi Cowboy; it features several bars that are less flamboyant than those in the main area. Exploring the side streets off Sukhumvit Road towards Nana is a convenient option. In this vicinity, you can also visit Nana Plaza, another red-light district and a lively hub for various gatherings.
Practical Information about Soi Cowboy
Location: Soi Cowboy ซอยคาวบอย
Address: Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Proximity: Just opposite the Mall Terminal 21.
By BTS: Asok Station (exit 3)
By MRT: Sukhumvit Station (exit 2)
Opening and Arrival Time:
People typically start arriving around 7 pm, coinciding with the opening time and the commencement of happy hour in most bars.
Signs at the street entrance indicate that access is restricted to individuals aged 20 and above.
Staying Near Soi Cowboy
Soi Cowboy is situated in the heart of the Asok district, surrounded by a plethora of hotels that provide excellent value for money. The accommodation options in this area primarily range from mid-range to upper-range hotels, making it a favorable location for a stay. Additionally, the area is well-connected and offers convenient access to various amenities.Booking.com
Discovering Soi Cowboy: Bangkok’s Electric Nightlife Hub
In summary, Soi Cowboy, nestled in Bangkok’s Asok district, promises a vibrant nightlife experience. This compact street, renowned for its reputation, hosts an array of distinctive go-go bars. For a memorable exploration, heed our advice and enjoy Soi Cowboy responsibly. Whether your evening involves discovering the best bars or simply observing the local hustle, savor the experience with caution and delight. Embrace Soi Cowboy with both responsibility and enjoyment!
Nana Plaza: Bangkok's red light district
Nana Plaza is a red-light district, a prostitution area popular with many tourists. Strangely coincidence, this district near Sukhumvit Road (soi 4) is named after Zola’s famous heroine.
Bangkok Hanging Out
Bangkok is one of the capitals of Asia where the possibilities of going out to have fun are very large: from the starred restaurant to the street-food, from the fashion club to the small typical bar, from the popular districts to the hot districts, from the romantic evenings to the hottest gogo bars… the list is impossible, so here are some plans to hanging out!