A Go-Go clubs in Bangkok
I have been told that while I’m in Bangkok, I should go to an A Go-Go club. Do you think that’s a good idea? Well. Basically, an A Go-Go club is an entertainment venue where men – usually men, anyway – go to have a drink or two and watch attractive ladies dance in revealing clothing. If you enjoy this kind of thing, you will probably enjoy going to an A Go-Go club!
Are Go-Go clubs expensive? They don’t have to be. Most do not have cover charges, and a visit to an A Go-Go club will not set you back too much unless you drink a lot or buy a lot of drinks for ladies. Generally, these days, one should count on paying 100 baht for a drink – except at happy hours – and maybe more if one wants whiskey drinks. Cokes are less, but not a lot less. Lady drinks can be expensive – near 200 baht a drink – so one should ALWAYS ask how much they are before saying “yes.” One can enjoy oneself at a typical A Go-Go for between 200 to 300 baht, but hopping around from A Go-Go to A Go-Go will cost you!!
Are there many A Go-Go clubs in Bangkok? Yes. There are at least 60 to 70.
Where are they? Basically, most of them are concentrated in two areas. One is Sukhumvit Road. There are two concentrations on Sukhumvit Road and they are within walking distance of one another. The largest is the Nana Plaza Entertainment Complex, a three story, 60 bar venue located on Soi 4, right next to the Nana Skytrain station. The other is Soi Cowboy, which is about 100 meters from the intersection where Soi Asoke intersects Sukhumvit Road, between Asoke and Soi 23, right next to the subway station. The second major area of concentration is Patpong, an entertainment district off of Silom Road, fairly near Rama IV Road. This district is older than Nana or Cowboy, is served by Skytrain and subway connections and has around 25 A Go-Go bars.
Tell me more about an A Go-Go club. What is it like? The central part of an A Go-Go is the stage…larger places might have more than one stage and some places have small podiums scattered throughout the club. Ladies dance on these stages. Most stages accommodate at least four of five ladies, but usually no more than 12 to 15. Customers sit around the stage or stages. The customer seating is usually arranged specifically for viewing the dancing. Often, the seats are fixed into place so they can’t be moved. These places usually have lots of mirrors and are dark, except for the special lighting. And there is loud, loud music while the ladies perform.
You said that the seating is arranged mainly for viewing. Does this mean that an A Go-Go is not a good place to go with friends for a chat? Yes, that’s basically true. The seating can make conversation difficult and almost all A Go-Go’s have loud music. It’s a place for looking, not talking. There are better places to go for conversation with friends, but not for looking at lovely ladies. Clubs do have intermissions, and it’s sometimes possible to talk then.
So, what is the music like? Why is it so loud? An A Go-Go is for dancing so the music is important. It tends to be a disco or heavy metal style, but you hear all kinds, including Thai popular and country. It is synchronized with the lighting to create an erotic, fantasy effect. When customers hear the music and see the ladies dancing in the special lighting, it is very exciting. It also helps the ladies dance well, too.
Well, what about the lighting? Is the club awash in crazy lighting? No, A Go-Gos are usually dark…the lighting is focused on the stage and the dancers, and perhaps on special exhibits or decorations. All A Go-Gos synchronize the lighting to the music, and in the better clubs, a great deal of money is spent on the latest technology and it is very impressive. Sometimes customers complain about the lighting (and the music), but people should remember that a club is not a hotel…it is a place to come for an hour or two to escape from the real world…and maybe find someone to spend some time with.
It sounds like the clubs are all pretty much alike. Is this true? There is some truth to this but there are also important differences. One area of difference is size. Another is ambience.
Tell me about size, then. Are the clubs the same in size? No, they are not. In Nana Plaza, for example, there are some very large A Go-Go clubs on the first and third floors. Hollywood, the Rainbow bars, and Play Skool on the first floor; and Carousel on the third floor each have hundreds of girls. The bars on the second floor, with the exception of G-Spot, are smaller.
What about ambience? Is this important? Well, better clubs try to distinguish themselves from the competition by organizing around a theme. Everything in the club is designed to contribute to the theme, including the outfits the girls wear. The name of a club is a good indicator of the ambience. For instance, in Soi Cowboy, ambience is indicated in the following club names: Apache (American Indians and wild west), Afterskool (school and school girls), Cowboy (American wild west), Doll House (young and beautiful girls), Long Gun (American wild west), Rawhide (American wild west), Shark (ocean, beach and predators), Sheba’s (exotic), and Suzie Wong (the Oriental woman). Sports themes are also popular.
How can I know if I will like a bar? You can’t know for sure, and club hopping can be expensive, so you should take a look inside a club before you commit yourself to staying. Most A Go-Go managers will let you go inside and have a look. If they won’t, then you can know for sure that you do NOT want to go in that place! But you can only stay a minute or two without committing yourself to staying or leaving.
Oh, well, what kind of dancing to the ladies do? Dancing might not be an exactly correct word for what the ladies do. The ladies invent movements to go along with the music which the A Go-Go plays. They do not do a particular dance or dance style. When they feel good, they usually try to move in an erotic way to show off their charms. If they are tired, they sometimes just walk in place!!!
What do the ladies wear? When they are dancing, most ladies wear very revealing and skimpy clothing, usually some sort of bikini, often a thong bikini.
I have been told the ladies dance topless or even naked. Is that true? Well, it does happen, but not very often. There are laws about this sort of thing and most dancers and club operators worry about that. Sometimes the laws are enforced rigorously and, at other times, leniently. Ladies are most likely to dance naked or topless when the laws are not being enforced and late at night. Don’t worry too much about this. The clothes they wear are revealing enough for most men and you will see…a lot.
So how old are these ladies, anyway? Most are in their early or mid twenties. Many are university students but should be at least twenty years old. Some dancers are in their early thirties, but that is about as old as they get…don’t worry, everyone looks pretty good.
Can I meet a lady if I want? Sure. Ladies will almost always ask if they can sit with you. Most ladies wear numbers, so if you see a lady you like, you can ask the waiter to have her come to you. They will expect you to buy them a drink after a few minutes chat, and to get down to business. But if you don’t buy them a drink, they might continue chatting with you. As a general rule, you shouldn’t buy them more than two drinks as that is all that is really expected…and the drinks are expensive.
What do you mean , get down to business? Well, the ladies are often pressured by the club operators to go home with customers. This is because the customers must pay a “bar fine” to take a lady home. The bar fine at an A Go-Go club usually begins around 500 baht…a nice sum of money! Ladies can get in trouble with their bosses if they do not go home with enough men…and most ladies want to go because they want the extra money, which actually adds up to more than their salaries. So customers have an advantage in this regard.
Well, how much should I give a lady if want her to stay with me? The going rate is around 2,000 baht for her to stay all night, maybe a little more in high season or at a better club. The rate for a “short time” stay is around 1,500 baht.
Why should I pay more when I can find a lady on the street or at a beer bar? Remember, that these ladies are hired based largely on the attractiveness… they are usually better looking than girls in beer bars or on the street. And they are safer, because you have their names and numbers and you know anowhere they work, so if you have a problem, you can go back to the club manager or to the police.
How can I identify an A Go-Go club? Most A Go-Go clubs clearly identify themselves with the word “A Go-Go.” Some, however, are only identified with the word, “club,” so one must take a look inside before on e can know for sure if it is an A Go-Go club or just some other type of club.
What kind of hours do the A Go-Gos have? Most open their doors around six or seven PM but the ladies do not start dancing until between 8:00 and 9:00 PM. They begin to fill up around 10:00 PM. They generally following the closing laws, whatever they happen to be at a particular time!! Most of the time, closing is around 2:00 AM.
Video of Gogo Bars in Bangkok