The dozens of go-go bars in Bangkok's red light districts range from proper entertainment places where everyone is welcome to dark pits where you will be scammed and certainly should avoid. In this article we will list some general explanations as well as long-standing and popular locations with foreigners who enjoy this experience for the first time without the risk of being ripped off.
Generally speaking, to interest of foreign visitors there are 3 famous red-light districts in Bangkok. These are Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong. All the establishments in that areas are safe, won't surprise you with a padded bill and the dancer and staff there are friendly and deal with foreign customers on a daily base. Firstly, the entrance to Go-go bars is free though some might require that you order a drink at an outside waitress or bar before you can enter. Prices should be clearly visible and best you pay instantly for every drink or order to avoid any confusion.
Once you are inside take a seat, relax and enjoy the show. It is absolutely legitimate to just order a drink for you and enjoy the show. You are not obliged to buy the dancers or staff any drinks. However, sooner or later some dancer might ask you for a so-called lady drink at a slightly higher price than your own drink, because she gets some share for each drink she sells. Buying her a drink includes that she gives you company for a while, anything else is up to your or her negotiation skills. It should be mentioned that there is a two-tiered model of payment for anything that goes beyond lady drinks. One is the bar fine, that is the amount that the establishments charges you for the temporary “loss“ of one of her dancers, because she can't sell any drink during that time being outside the bar. The second part of the payment needs to be negotiated with the woman itself and you also will pay this amount to her directly, this is her own income for additional services for a few hours (short-time) or overnight (long-time).
Coming back to recommended bar and favorites of foreign visitors, in Patpong we've received positive reviews and feedback from the Bada Bing Go-Go bar in Patpong Soi 2. Don't fall for any touts directing you to shady locations or the infamous ping-pong shows — those are all scams. Good and honest operating bars don't need touts to attract customers. In Soi Cowboy, forever immortalized in the Hollywood movie Hangover 2, Tilac Go-Go Bar is one of the biggest in the city and highly popular spot. For the city's third red-light district, Nana Plaza, Angelwitch is a renowned go-go bar that’s known for having the best live performances in town. One advantage of this location is the plethora of good and reasonably priced hotels near Nana Plaza, so you can easily walk there and enjoy your (first) go-go bar experience.
So when you’re ready to venture out from Lohas Residences make sure you hit the Ploenchit BTS stop and enjoy a different kind of fun in Bangkok.