There are a few gogo bars out there that I wonder how do they survive? With little effort to attract customers they’re just an entity that exists. When I first started to explore Soi Cowboy I would have put Rawhide and Lone Star gogo bars in this basket. The only reason I ever went in to these bars is because of this website. What a shock finding two very good and lively gogo bars. Only people in the know would have headed inside. Three years on and both bars have dancers out front, now they are noticed by everyone.
I can remember reviewing what I thought to be my last bar within Soi Cowboy thinking ‘I’m glad that's over with’. A few weeks later whilst I was hanging out at the Toy Bar that I noticed a raggedy old large umbrella next door. With closer inspection it was hiding a small bar… FFS… The Cactus Bar. Heading inside I was shocked to see 5 naked dancers on stage albeit not the hottest chicks in Soi Cowboy but hey they were naked!! The Cactus Bar has a unique feel and can surprise when you walk in….. there are people inside, I always expect no one.
Cactus Bar next to the Toy Bar Soi Cowboy
Now In 2016 the old umbrella is gone and has been replaced by a new one, that’s it. You could walk up and down Soi Cowboy or even stop out front the Cactus Bar and you wont even notice this place. Your eyes will be wondering back at the Toy Bar, Lone Star, Crazy Cat and the Déjà Vu dancers and that's only looking back!! Looking forward you’re just as screwed as now you are looking at the Kiss, Cowboy 2, and the Lighthouse dancers. Why would anyone even think of blocking all that view out to stop and look at the front of a small bar with an umbrella?
I should mention that I’m a fan of the Cactus Bar. I like the older style of the bar plus on most occasions the music has been to my liking. Now the question has to be asked why doesn’t the Cactus Bar hire a couple of Coyote dancers to stand out front? It will put the Cactus Bar on the map for the herds of tourists passing by. Now they will be noticed and the added clientele would pay for the cost of the Coyote. More than a few people like the smaller bars and what the Cactus Bar has over all the other small bars within Soi Cowboy is naked dancers.
I hit the Cactus Bar on Thursday night and to be honest I was still expecting no one inside. What I found was a good atmosphere for a small bar with 7-
I enjoyed my brief time inside the Cactus Bar and for a moment there I was in seventh heaven with AC/DC’s Hells Bells blasting out of the speakers. I didn’t even care the chick in front of me had a flat arse, at least she shaved.
I’d go as far to say that 95% of people walking past the Cactus Bar wouldn't even bat an eye lid in the bars direction. That's a lot of potential customers passing by. Looking at the clientele they all looked like expats. It’s the people in the know that will go to the Cactus Bar. This is one bar that with just a bit of effort could increase their market share considerably.
Another bar in the same mould is the Safari Bar at Patpong, although not to the extent of the Cactus Bar. Once you enter you will be surprised to see a well maintained older style bar. This is another bar I have had a bit of fun inside but again here they have made little effort to attract the tourists to come inside. You may want to stick your head in since the front is well lit and has had a fresh coat of paint, that's it. The women of the Safari Bar are of older variety 35+ compared to the Thigh Bar next door 20+ (or should I say 25-
At Nana Plaza for me it’s Rainbow 1 on the ground floor. Located in a prime location. Why do I just walk by and don’t go in? Again very little effort is made to attract customers inside. The poor guy out front just points to the entrance that has a curtain. Have some gogo dancers out side and help the guy trying to entice people inside. At least people will see what is on offer. You do have several dancers come outside just to eat, It’s not an appealing sight seeing a gogo dancer hunched over tucking into a noodle soup. I’m sure if they followed what London Calling does with their dancers then more than a few passersby would head in for a drink.
The Rio Club -
I hit Soi Cowboy on Friday night. What a difference a week makes as I found the outside bars to be extremely busy. I had planned to sit out front of Jungle Jim’s or the Moonshine Joint for an hour or 2 but I couldn't get a seat. How good do the Rio Club dancers look in fishnets? It might be an acquired taste but hey I like it. In the picture above there are a couple of ladyboys standing next door at the Cockatoo Bar. They do look so much better in a dress/skirt, pity the rest of the ladyboys inside were in a bikini.
All the bars with a live band had a decent crowed inside. I haven't seen the Country Road Bar this full in a long time. The Corner Bar had a female singer and the crowd was getting right into the band. The Corner Bar can be such a rowdy bar, as are some of the bargirls. If you like to let loose whilst watching a live band then this is the place to go.
Next up I headed to Patpong and found Patpong 1’s Night Market to be alive, will the bars be busy? Sh.t yeah!! some were packed. Kings Castle 1 was the busiest, they were so busy that I kept on walking. Next door at Kings Castle 2 they had a good crowd inside, at least you could still get a seat. Kings Corner was kicking along just nicely. I nearly headed inside for a drink but the ladyboys were just finishing their set. This meant the women would be dancing on stage and I didn't feel like fending of a few ladyboys for 15 minutes waiting for the females to finish dancing.
I had a brief look inside Bada Bing and they were very busy. People were defiantly having a good time and why not as their dancer do look impressive. Club Electric Blue is another bar that was doing okay. When you look up and down Patpong 2 it can look deserted. More often than not you can’t make your way back into Patpong 1 quick enough just for the atmosphere of the Night Market and live bands.
Looking over at Black Pagoda it was lights out and then the same again on Saturday night. One can only speculate as to why they have been shut by the authority's. It will be interesting to see if or when they are allowed to re-
I was only at Nana Plaza for a short period on Friday night and the Twister Bar was firing on all cylinders with plenty of dancers on hand who are more than keen to please. The Twister Bar is one of the best bars in Nana Plaza.
I’ll throw some people a bone here and list the 4 best bars at Nana Plaza on a Friday or Saturday night RIGHT NOW!!! In no particular order.
MANDARIN TABLETOP DANCING
BILLBOARD AGOGO BAR
There are a couple of name changes at Nana Plaza. Finally they have removed the Candy Land 2 sign and are now called Diamonds Bangkok. The Rainbow 4 sign has also been removed and they are called Rainbow 5…. There must be a story to that name change but I really don't care.
Jail Birdz Pole Dancer -
The Jail Birdz renovations should be finished very soon. Say goodbye to the whole jail theme but not to the pole dancer. If you haven't witnessed her in action then head on up to the top floor of Nana Plaza, you will be impressed.
I was unfortunate enough to witness the Angelwitch dancers on the ground floor dressed as cowgirls with no high heals, this made a couple look so short and dumpy. The whole routine looks stupid and has nothing to do with the Angelwitch theme. Maybe some American tourist might think it’s ok. This is Nana Plaza Bangkok not a family friendly theme park FFS. I took a couple of pictures with a flash and cringed when I looked at the pictures. I never thought for a moment to put one in this weeks column.
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