Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bangkok Redlight

An introduction to the main redlight adult oriented zones in Bangkok

This is a small briefer on the main red light areas of Bangkok which are adult oriented.  Since Google does not permit explicit details this will be a quick and general rundown.  As a tourist you should always do further research into these areas and anything more specific.  In this fast industry the rules will change over time.  There are some excellent websites out there which can provide more specific information.  But for now, we're going to concentrate on the big four entertainment zones in Bangkok.  There are a lot more places to visit but none are as compact and recognized as these are.

So let's look at the map.  I know the blogger only shows a small map down there with a few landmarks, streets, and the SkyTrain illustrated.  If you click on the map with your mouse you will be able to display a much larger map which I would highly recommend printing out.  As most tourists will likely stay on the Sukhumvit street you will notice you are within walking distance of two prime locations, Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy.  The other locations are long walks over 15-minutes away or a small taxi ride under 200 baht.  I'd take the taxi unless you really like walking down empty streets by yourself late at night.

PATPONG -  On the bottom-left section of the map you'll notice a small green shaded area called Patpong.  This area is named for the two streets which cut across the block: Patpong 1 and Patpong 2.  These two streets are full of adult venues along the multi-story buildings which line the street.  Parallel to these streets is Silom 4 where a large number of Japanese bars and karaoke clubs can be found.  If you can speak Japanese then you can get by pretty well on Silom 4.  If you go down Patpong and look across the Silom street to Soi 2 you will see a small area of nestled neon clubs which represents the major gay club scene in the city.
This is a great area to wander, check out the clubs, and chill.  Beware of places that try to get you to see a ping-pong show or don't tell you the drink prices before you order as there are some notorious places which will charge you over 1,000 baht for a drink.  If you're into the bondage scene there is a well known club called BarBar which can cater to your tastes or provide some shows.  BarBar is also an excellent place to take a bachelor to or for some couples fun.

To get to Patpong you can either take a taxi for under 200 baht from Sukhumvit, or take the SkyTrain. To take the SkyTrain (BTS) to Patpong from Sukhumvit get a ticket to the Sala Daeng platform.  From your departure platform on Sukhumvit you'll take the Skytrain which goes to the Mo Chit platform.  When your train gets to the Siam platform you will need to get off.  Next, you will need to go downstairs to the next level and take the Skytrain going to the Bang Wa platform.  At the second stop your train will arrive at the Sala Daeng platform where you will need to depart the station at exit 1.

To return to Sukhumvit go back to the Sala Daeng station and go to the National Stadium Platform to go back to Siam.  When you get to the Siam platform go upstairs and take the To Bearing line which will take you to the Nana, Asoke, etc stations on Sukhumvit.

NANA PLAZA - If you look towards the top-center area of the map you'll find a green shaded area called Nana Plaza.  This is a fairly new establishment set up inside a three story plaza with an open inner courtyard.  Once you enter the plaza from the small alley entrance you'll be greeted by an array of neon signs for all the various clubs inside.  On the outside of the plaza at Soi 4 are a variety of beer bars where customers can socialize or play some pool for the evening.

While the plaza is a friendly establishment one will need to keep their radar on at all times.  Some of the clubs cater to ladyboy customers and a few others have been reputed to mix ladyboys in with the normal staff.  If you are ever uncertain about the person you are with then there is no harm in just asking them.  Remember, if you are friendly then people are likely to be friendly back to you.  Around 10pm each night a number of the clubs inside will have shows and acts to entertain the crowds so don't miss out.

The plaza is easy to get to if you are on Sukhumvit by walking to Soi 4 and going less than a block down the street.  If you need to take the SkyTrain you will need to get off at the Nana platform and then walk about 5-minutes to Soi 4 on Sukhumvit.

SOI COWBOY - Looking back at the map you only need to go a bit to the right and you'll see the green shaded area called Soi Cowboy.  This is an old and historic area of Bangkok and known all over the world more than any of the other locations in Bangkok.  This is a single lane street with multi-story buildings on either side.  The sheer intensity of the neon lights brightens the place up a lot.  On the side streets leading up to Soi Cowboy are a variety of beer bars where travelers can relax and chill.

While Cowboy is quite famous it has recently added its first ladyboy bar.  There are also a multitude of girls outside the clubs who are very persuasive to get you into them.  Just like at Nana Plaza, several of the clubs and bars on Soi Cowboy will usually have some sort of a show or event which starts around 10pm.  This is an iconic street in the city which any first-time traveler must visit.

If you are staying on Sukhumvit it's very easy to just walk over to Soi Cowboy.  After you walk past the Terminal 21 building the neon sign of Soi Cowboy can be seen from the intersection of Sukhumvit and Asoke roads.  This is a major road crossing so be careful crossing the street.  If you are taking the SkyTrain then get off at the Asoke platform and you will be 1-minute away from the venue.

ARTISTS ALLEY - On the far right side of the map towards the middle  is the green shaded area called Artists Alley which gets its nickname from a large number of the bars named after famous artists.  This area is not well known or as popular as the other venues but it does have a small concentration of clubs and massage parlors in the area.  Along the street there are also a variety of other stops and restaurants along the way.  If you're looking to get off the beaten path for a bit then this area will work for you.

This area is a stark difference from all of the other venues.  There are no large neon lights or people out on the streets trying to get you into their establishments.  The prices, on the other hand, are quite cheaper in comparison.  For those who are curious about the BDSM scene there is the Demonia club further down the street.

While you can walk down Sukhumvit to Soi 33 where Artist's Alley is located it is not advised.  This is a long walk to get too.  A better option would be to take the SkyTrain to the Phrom Phong platform and then walk about 10-minutes back up Sukhumvit to Soi 33.  Taking a taxi may be even more convenient if this is your first time to the area.

Thx to MrFreeze from PA for the direction updates to Patpong.

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