Soi Cowboy in Bangkok is something of a landmark and institution in the city.
The Soi, which was named from the days of American GI’s, continues to have an amazing ability to re invent itself, just when it begins to look a bit tired out.
This past year has been no exception with 3 or 4 of the clubs getting new facades and a re shape inside.
Glitzy new stages, mirrors and lighting, plus the never ending flow of dancers or hosts from all parts of the country, make Cowboy a favourite for residents and tourists who continue to visit in great numbers.
Soi Cowboy is simply one small street of about 150 metres long which runs from Asoke, very close to the underground MTR station, to Soi 23 at the other end.
It doesn’t matter which end you arrive from because there is a feast of bars and go go dance clubs on either side of the street.
In the space between the streams of visitors pass by food vendors selling everything from barbecued chickens to frogs and kebabs.
Novelties, clothes, flowers and all manner of items are paraded in amongst the welcoming invites of the girls whose job it is to lure visitors into their club or bar.
One great thing about Soi Cowboy is that it is in the whole, very friendly and casual, unlike some of the other entertainment places where there is some pressure to go in and buy drinks. Smiles are the norm on Cowboy regardless of custom.
Coming from the Asoke end, two of the best go go clubs in Bangkok are almost next to each other – LongGun and Rawhide. Both clubs are nearly always packed to the rafters every night, and both have dance shows.
The rules about what girls can wear or not wear changes constantly and whilst a visitor might tell friends that at such a club, such and such happened, the chances are that all will have changed in a week or so.
Down the right hand side the clubs continue, with Cactus, Toy Bar, Dundee, Spice Girls, Cowboy One & Two, Moonshine, Jungle Jims, Joy Bar and Our Place. Some of these clubs have been around with the same name for ages.
On the opposite side of the street there is Baccarac with its glass dance floor, Shark Bar, Dollhouse, Fannys - the list goes on.
A fairly new addition is the open Shadow Bar where there is no dancing, just a long narrow bar with three large TV’s on the side wall and one large screen at the end.
This is a good place for sports fans – no hassle from anyone, and a happy hour up to 9.30pm.
The most popular sport is the English Premier League on a Saturday night.