Soi Cowboy was named after the cowboy hat-wearing African-American who opened the first bar here in the early 1970s, this red-light district has a more laid-back, carnival-like feel to it than Patpong or Nana Plaza. Flashing neon lights up a colourful streetscape of 20 or so A go-go bars that line its sides. Don't be shy, it's pretty easygoing and open-minded, entry is always free and drink's prices are fixed.
Soi Cowboy is just next to Terminal 21, a very popular new shopping mall, so just cross the street and see it for yourself... or use Terminal 21 as an excuse to have a quick peek. Remember, you might not see this again anywhere else in the world!
Inside Soi Cowboy Go Go Bars
Each is brightly lit and colourful, playing loud music, offering lines of seats typically arranged in tiers around a UV-lit central stage. Another row of stools is available directly around the stage, but first timers tend to sit in the back. Bars usually close around 2.30 am, but it's not unusual to see them open until 3am. Weekends can be really busy, especially in the most popular ones such as Tilac or Baccara.
Soi Cowboy is fairly straight-forward, no traps or scams... so just sit and order a drink: expect to pay 100 to 150 baht, which is rather fair (some bars like Sahara and Kiss now charging up to 180 baht... ouch). Staffmembers might sit next to you and ask for a drink, but rarely in a pushy way. If you want to enjoy your new friend's company, it's a nice gesture to buy her one and it is not too crazily expensive.
The A Go-Go Bars
Baccara maybe the last A go-go bar in the street, but it is also one of the most popular. Unfortunately because of its popularity, you sometimes might not be able to find a seat. This recently refurbished bar is bright, clean and is even non-smoking downstairs - a good improvement. No less than three elevated rows of sofas around the room add to a slightly cramped feeling. Baccara is a favourite place for Japanese guests.
Deja Vu A Go-Go
Deja Vu A go-go is a fun place with a typical design - a long high stage with poles accommodating up to eight dancers and a transparent ceiling above. Staff members are friendly, not pushy and rather more educated than average (that means that their English conversation goes beyond "what's your name?", "where you come from?" and "you buy me a drink?"). Drinks are around 100 baht.
Kiss A Go Go
A nice bar but among the most expensive in the soi, with local beers starting at 180 baht and draft beer available at 110 baht. If you still can't afford this, you can take advantage of their rather short happy hour from 19:00 to 20:30. About eight dancers perform on a multilevel stage, surrounded by two rows of comfortable red sofas.
Midnite Go Go Bar
A nice place but as pricey as its sister bar 'Kiss' with local beers at 180 baht, but you can opt for the cheapest but very light draft beer at 110 baht. The place is actually nice and well maintained with a central stage an two rows of sofas around the room.
Sahara A Go Go
The large white room of Sahara a Go Go is brighter with a more creative design than average bars in Soi Cowboy. On the main floor 8 to 10 dancers perform on a a multi-level stage lit from underneath, but the upper floor seems to be unused. As this is a sister of Kiss a Go Go, prices are as high with a beer at 180 baht and ladies drinks up to 220 baht and staff are quite pushy, trying very hard to encourage you to offer them a drink.
Shark is a two-level A go-go with a classic layout downstairs - a central elongated stage with a small rotating platform and a transparent ceiling above. Well, it probably used to be transparent! Prices are normal, 145 baht for a beer but if you are an early bird you can take advantage of their Happy Hour from 16:30 to 20:00 and get your beer for only 80 baht (applies to lady drinks, too!).
Sheba's A Go-Go
Another long stage with eight to ten shiny poles and... what a surprise! A transparent ceiling almost unused. Friendly staff, not pushy. Shows are usually performed at the end of the week, when there are enough customers and sometimes include a dance performance set to rock music. Price for a beer is 100 to 150 baht.
Spice Girl A Go-Go
Spice Girl Bar is one of the smallest on Soi Cowboy, with only a few dancers. Drinks are priced on par with other bars on the strip, but there are few special shows.
Suzie Wong is a familiar name and has a similar look to the the famous Suzy Wong in Patong (Phuket), but the two are not actually related. The interior is not as Chinese as you would expect. With a centre stage, dimmed light and loud music, Suzie Wong uses a very traditional layout and has seriously aging sofas around the room. Drink prices are slightly higher than in other bars (160 baht for a beer and 200 for a tequila shot). Lady drinks costs the same as customers drinks and a detailed bill is brought to you with each drink.
Bigger, brighter and newer are the first words that come to mind when stepping inside the very popular Tilac Bar. Obviously a great deal of effort was invested in the layout, room design and lighting, even featuring large screen set on sports channels. A bar counter surrounds the large main central stage and six smaller stages are distributed around the room, with an average of 15 to 20 dancers performing at any given time. Prices are fair at 120 baht for a beer. The venue is very popular and gets busy in the late hours.
Here is the list of Go Go bars on Soi Cowboy, on the left side:
- Country Road
- Five Star
- Deja Vu
- The Dollhouse
- Shadow Bar
On the opposite side:
- Cockatoo (Ladyboys)
- Moonshine Joint
- Jungle Jim's
- Suzie Wong
- Spice Girls
- Cowboy 2
- Toy Bar
- Lucky Star
- Cocktail Club
- Location: Located just opposite of Terminal 21 and less than 100 metres from Sukhumvit Road, between Asoke Road and Sukhumvit Soi 23 (the nearest Skytrain station is Asoke, or MRT station Sukhumvit).
- MRT: Sukhumvit Station
- BTS: Asoke