Bangkok's Go Go Bars - It's Nothing Personal - Just Business
From my own experience I have never been scammed at any one of Bangkok’s go go bars, oil and soapy massage parlors. Not once have I ever been short changed by a waitress. Nor end up overpaying for beers that have drink menus clearly priced.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s never happened to other customers. Because it all depends on the type of bar establishments you go to.
For example I stay clear away from the infamous bars with sex shows (pussy ping pong shows) in Patpong’s red light districts that take place on the 2nd floor above go go bars. The ones represented by touts are standing on the corners and inside Patpong soi 1. These are clip joints where you’re quoted a cheap price for beers and end up with a demand to pay 10 times the price once you pay the bill.
I’ve been to a couple of these clip joints and I can tell you, it’s not worth the headache. Whatever you do, do not follow anyone or let them take you somewhere. That’s the second rule I tell everyone visiting Bangkok. What’s the first rule? Look both ways when crossing the streets. Nope, I’m not kidding.
However the go go bars that I go to which are mostly big and popular in the go go bar circle I’ve never been cheated.
Most go go bars, oil and soapy massage parlors want to supply a very good time to their customers. This way people come back. And certainly if a customer has a bad experience they won’t return. Plus the internet is a good way to spread the word so most cases most red light district business try to avoid bad reputation.
However, they are a business. Which means they will try their best to turn a profit from the men (and women) who cross their doors. This means that they will try to make you spend as much cash as they can. This is not illegal of course and as a Capitalist Pig myself I am all for making money. As a customer you can always keep your money in your pocket.
I think this is what most people referred to as being scammed. On my own blog about guest friendly hotels I’ve had a comment from someone saying he would never go back to a certain bar inside Nana Plaza because the bar girl he had already bar fined kept pressing him to buy drinks for her fellow bar girls. Eventually he agreed.
He bought a total of 13 tequila shots. When the bill came it was around 2000THB. The commenter didn’t give too much detail and the numbers doesn’t sound right. Anyways he wasn’t happy about paying that much so he made a big stink about it. But it’s a bar business. And tequila shots are expensive. Even for Bangkok.
Now is that considered a scam? No. It’s a scam if the shot glasses were filled with water instead of tequila.
Moral of the story here is if you don’t know what the prices are for anything then ask.
Most of the go go bars in Bangkok, whether they be in Patpong, Soi Cowboy and Nana have many returning customers. And bars do rely on the patronage of returning customers and many have a strong and loyal customer base which is difficult to build because there’s so much competition.
An Important Tip
Plan ahead. If you are on a budget, know how much you want to spend.
Be prepared to say no to buying extra drinks. Say no with a polite smile and the girls will back off eventually.
If you really don’t like being pestered into buying lady drinks, I suggest not going to go go bars with very few customers. Or even bars that have just opened up for business.
Because go go bars are not just in the business of prostitution, they are out to make money on selling liquor too.
So if a go go bar has very few customers bar girls may come up to you begging you to buy lady drinks and shots.
Pushy Mamasans And Bar Girls
You may come across a go go bar where the ladies are way too pushy and annoying. And the mamasans are just as bad. Don’t take it too personal, because remember bars are a business. Though if all the pushiness makes you uncomfortable. Just leave and head over to another bar. Simple as that.
Here's a short list of bars I frequent often and enjoy
Club Electric Blue
King’s Castle 1 and 2
Nana Red Light District
Bars located inside Nana Entertainment Plaza :
Rainbow 1 and 4
Spanky’s and DC 10 (same owners)
Billboard A Go Go
All Ladyboy Bars in Nana Entertainment Plaza are quite honest too as I am told often by friends. But you really have to be firm on how much you want to pay. And As I always say, be prepared to say no to buying extra drinks as the ladyboys may be aggressive.
Soi Cowboy Red Light District:
If there is anything to learn and pick up on this page, it is “Be prepared to say no.” You are not forced to buy anything or do anything you don’t want to do. However, most bar girls will try to test out a customer’s generosity. Now I don’t know if that’s something the bar owner’s teach their girls. But when you have the eyes of 6 bar girls on you pleading for drinks you might just give in and buy them drinks.
In the world of business sales this is called an up-sell. You’re in already. You paid the bar fine. Afterwards you pay extra for tequila shots for girls you haven’t even squeezed their tits. And you can bet your ass that the bar girls will get a cut. It’s how they earn money.
I say who gives a shit if anyone thinks you’re cheap. If you have a lot of money and can spend it all blindly then go ahead. But if you’re still reading this then you’re probably not willing to overspend.
The Ol’ Switch And Bait Tactic
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a scam. Just a major annoyance at most.
So every go go bar position their best looking girls outside of the bar’s entrance to entice men to come in. It’s the best form on advertisement.
These bar girls are called greeters or welcome girls. Customers who see these hot looking girls will think there are plenty more inside. Or you can at least bar fine them and take them back to your room or a short time hotel.
You can have one of these hot looking bar girls sit with you provided you buy them lady drinks. Afterwards you assume you can bar fine them and go for a shag. Nope. Instead she tries to convince you to take another girl out.
She’ll explain to you she can’t go out for whatever reason. And the other bar girls inside are not attractive. And no matter how much you beg she still won’t go with you.
So you’ve just wasted some time and spent money on drinks. Now most people would consider this a scam. Especially if you’ve bought her a lot of lady drinks.
So the lesson here, is if you see a girl you like, ask her first if you can take her out of the bar. This is something I’ve always asked when I see a welcome girl I want to take out.
Because many go go bars do hire beautiful and attractive ladies to just stand outside with a bikini to attract customers. But these ladies don’t want to be full on prostitutes for whatever reasons. Their role, is to simply get customers through the doors and get customers to choose a lady.
If you’re prepared and know what to ask and look out for, your chances of being disappointed will be greatly reduced.