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Bangkok is known for a lot of things. But there is one thing it has that has either appealed or thrilled visitors for decades.
That would be its adult nightlife, venues, and experiences, in particular the red light districts.
It could be argued that Bangkok has some of the best red light districts in the world.
The thing is, they might have been very popular in the past, but in recent years red light districts have been dying.
In this post we are going to tell you a little bit about Bangkok’s 3 main red light districts but also where you should be going instead.
Where Are Bangkok Red Light Districts?
In Bangkok, there’s not one but three main red light districts, each with its own character and atmosphere.
Situated within a 5km radius, these red light districts include Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong with the latter being the furthest from each other.
If you want to hit them all in one night, start by Soi Cowboy, take a short 10 minutes walk to Nana Plaza, and then take a taxi ride to Patpong.
In these areas you’ll find a mix of regular bars, live music bars, but what they’re most famous for are the adult venues.
You can find dozens of gogo bars, a few ladyboy bars, a couple of blowjob bars, and even a BDSM club.
Want to know more about each red light district?
Let’s take a look inside these infamous areas.
Soi cowboy is the busiest and most vibrant red light district in Bangkok.
Nestled in a small soi near the intersection of Asok Road, Soi Cowboy is packed with over 30 bars, most of which are gogo bars.
The bright neon lights and pumping music is its biggest draw to a passerby as if attracting a moth to a flame.
How did it get its name? The story is that back in the 70s, a US officer opened a bar in this soi and would often dress up to work looking like a cowboy, all fly with a hat and large belt buckle.
The locals then started calling the 150m street: Soi Cowboy.
Now it is the most popular red light district for tourists and people wanting to party till late night.
While there are some normal bars and clubs on this street, most establishments here are lined with bar girls waiting to take you in for a good time but not before asking for some lady drinks.
Soi Cowboy is mostly filled with gogo bars, with a few ladyboy bars, and even one gogo bar with the famous ping pong shows and other erotic shows, Suzie Wong.
In total, you’ll find hundreds if not over a thousand girls there working in Soi Cowboy every night.
It’s quite a feast for the eyes.
Compared to other red light districts, however, there are less scams here and the energy is less aggressive.
You can easily go up to a bar, have a drink, pay, and leave. No hassles. You just have to be on your guard and know when to say no.
According to the sign in front, Nana Plaza is a self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Adult Playground”.
While argumentative, it is quite large, encompassing a 3-story complex a few meters down Sukhumvit Soi 4.
Each floor gets crazier and crazier, so it depends on what you are looking for.
If it is just a good time drinking with friends, the first floor has the perfect vibe as if you are at any of the pubs in Nana area.
The other two floors house over 30 gogo bars where patrons can come drink, watch nude girls dance, experience sex shows or take one of the girl back to their place.
There are even some BJ bars in Nana Plaza and around the area. If that is something you fancy.
Nana Plaza has a lot to offer for those who seek transgender women as well. Several bars are known to be transgender (ladyboy) bars. It tends to get pretty crazy in there.
The entire plaza gets busy at all hours starting at 7 pm until it closes around 2 am or if the cops decide to shut it earlier.
Anyone who ever visits Bangkok for debauchery knows about Patpong.
Located in the busy Silom area, it is the oldest and most notorious red light district in Bangkok.
After losing ground to Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy in the last few years, Patpong got hit hard during COVID and has become a lot less busy and popular since.
They even removed the famous night market that was taking place there every night.
It is now a shell of its former self but there are still several gogo bars that pull in the random customer.
And one of the best BDSM clubs in Bangkok, Barbar.
Are Red Light Districts Safe?
Red light districts in Bangkok, and Thailand in general, are really safe.
In each area you have police posted near the entrance.
The whole thing is pretty clean and well organized.
As a general rule, stay polite, be nice to everyone, don’t get too drunk, don’t do anything stupid like touching the girls in inappropriate places or taking photos without permission and you’ll be fine.
Being safe doesn’t mean you can’t be scammed though.
We recommend to staying away from ping pong shows, especially in Patpong.
A lot of them might advertise free shows or some small entrance fee but when you go inside, staff can push you to buy overpriced drinks or ask for tips for the performer all the time.
Also keep an eye on your bill.
In red light districts in Thailand it’s common for bars to put the bill in front of you and to update it every time you order a drink for you, or the girls.
Double check every once in a while to make sure they don’t overcharge you.
Prices At Red Light Districts In Bangkok
Now if you’re wondering how much it costs to go out in the red light districts, here are some figures to give you a rough idea.
A regular drink or a beer costs between 150 and 300 THB.
Ladies drinks start at about 150 and can go as high as 350 THB.
You pay a lady drink to the girl(s) you like when she comes to your table, and she stays with you until she finishes it.
To take one of the gogo girls or Thai hookers back to your place, you first have to pay somewhere between 500 and 2,000 THB as a bar fine.
A bar fine is what you pay for the bar for the time the girl will not be working there.
Then there is the matter of negotiating the actual price for the girl, which can be as low as 1,000 or high as 5,000 THB.
But be careful when negotiating with the mamasan (the old lady who manages the girls) as they’ll often try to inflate the price.
The Best Alternative To Red Light Districts in Bangkok
Red light districts, while still in operation, are definitely a thing of the past now. They are a dying breed.
There are many other nightlife zones, bars and clubs that are a lot better and worth going to instead.
Bangkok is transforming and evolving, making it a more VIP destination that is seeking to attract affluent tourists who want to have a world-class experience.
These days, gentlemen clubs are becoming increasingly popular because there are no hidden costs, the girls are way hotter, and you can actually have a proper full-on nightlife experience.
Instead of regrets, you have fun.
Gentlemen clubs provide an array of adult entertainment that make red light districts pale in comparison.
They feature some of the best artists, performances, VIP benefits, sex shows, and of course beautiful women.
At the forefront of this trend is The PIMP, which is known to be the #1 Gentlemen’s Club in Bangkok.
We pride ourselves in having some of the hottest party models who are clearly much better than any of the gogo girls you’ll find in any red light districts.
Actually, we have a complete guide explaining why pick party models over bar girls and the main differences between the two.
Click here to learn more about it.
Many of the girls at The PIMP and other gentlemen clubs are young students or hot models who give quality experiences for your parties.
If you want to party with hot Thai girls in a safe environment, and have a memorable night, come to The PIMP.
What are the names of the main red light areas in Bangkok?
The 3 main red light areas in Bangkok are Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong.
What is the best alternative to red light district areas?
The best alternative to red light areas and gogo bars are gentlemen clubs such as The PIMP.