Thailand is known around the world for its adult entertainment. Although beaches and cultural aspects surely attract many people I would guess that sex is one of the first things most people think about when they hear the name of the country. And out of all the adult oriented venues in Thailand the go go bars are the most famous.
Go go bars or “agogos” are upfront and obvious with big bright neon signs. They often have scantly clad women outside with signs trying to beckon customers inside. Yet many people still aren’t sure about how the Thai go go bars work or exactly how widespread they really are. So here is my contribution to the study of Thai agogos. I hope you will enjoy it.
What is a Thai go go bar?
Although go go bars might appear to be shrouded in mystery to the uninitiated they are in fact rather straight forward. Inside there are usually plenty of seats around an elevated stage with poles. Some women dance while others sit about the place. Some dancers may be nude or topless though these days more women wear bikinis or more.
The dancers each have a badge with a number to identify them. Customers who want to talk or sit next to a particular lady offer to buy a lady drink. The lady drinks cost more than normal drinks. The excess money goes to the ladies as commission.
Thai go go bar prices
Guys who want to leave a bar with a lady have to pay a barfine. This is meant to make up for income lost by the bar when a lady leaves. Barfines can range from 600 Baht ($20 USD) into the thousands. Some places have “models” or “coyotes” on staff with higher barfines. Others drop barfine rates after midnight. Some dancers don’t do barfines at all.
There are exceptions but most guys who pay a barfine want to have sex with a dancer. They negotiate payment for this with the dancers in most cases. Though nowadays more mamasans in the bars seem to want to get involved in these negotiations. Dancers can get anything between 1000 Baht ($33 USD) and 10000 Baht ($331 USD) depending on the situation.
Go go bars can be found in many major cities in Thailand. Some go go bars in smaller regional cities like Ubon Ratchathani have closed in recent years. Other provincial cities like Udon Thani are simply go go bar free. But go go bars are common in all the main cities frequented by foreigners. In these strongholds there are now more bars than there ever were before.
Go go bars in Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the country’s largest city. It is home to four go go bar areas. Nana Plaza is a multi-level entertainment complex filled with go go bars on Sukhumvit Soi 4 which is also known as Soi Nana. Some Nana Plaza agogos like Erotica and Butterflies have teams of topless dancers.
Soi Cowboy is a short street lined with go go bars like Lighthouse and Kazy Kozy on both sides. Most of the gals on the street wear bikinis sometimes over underwear or stockings. Soi Cowboy is home to several hands on bars like Fanny’s, Jungle Jim’s, Toy Bar and Afterskool. Crazy House with its fully nude dancers is just around the corner on Sukhumvit Soi 23.
Patpong is a larger area in Bangkok that spans a few streets. Years ago it was a premier destination for tourists. Nowadays it is known more for its night market and aggressive touts pushing questionable massages and “ping pong shows”. Yet there are still several go go bars in the area such as Pink Panther, Black Pagoda and The Strip. They can be found on Patpong Soi 1 and Patpong Soi 2.
There are a few more go go bars scattered around Bangkok. Magic Table on Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 is one example of a dwindling few. Magic Table is usually low on staff but it has a VIP room in the back that makes the place stand out from the pack and may even help keep it in business.
There are a few more go go bars like T Ded 88 around Sutthisan Road. They are oriented to local Thai guys but they do accept foreigners. Women are less likely to get up on stage and dance in these places. They are more likely to sit with customers for an extended period of time. Especially if customers buy some of the inexpensive drinks.
Chiang Mai go go bars
Chiang Mai is actually one of the largest cities in Thailand but you may not notice if you visit. It has a sort of small town feel in certain ways. There are many adult oriented venues in town. But there is really just one street oriented to farang bar goers. And then there are two go go bars since the third closed up shop.
For years Spotlight sat in a prominent location next to the moat near Tha Phae Gate. Not long ago it relocated to a new and larger venue on Chang Moi Road. Star Xix on the other hand was in the same shop house near the Loi Kroh Boxing stadium since 1988. But it closed its doors. Foxy Lady is still in business however. It is not far away on Thapae Soi 1.
Agogos in Phuket
Phuket is one of the most popular cities in Thailand for tourists. The prices reflect that both in an outside of the bars. The go go bars of Phuket are concentrated around Bangla Road on Patong Beach. There are many bars with some being more popular than others.
Club Lover and Harem are two popular but pricey bars. Suzy Wong’s on Soi Seadragon is probably the most well known and popular go go bar in Phuket. Nude dancers can be found there and at the nearby Devil’s Playground which is owned by the same people. At Money Night on Bangla Road proper the performers still do the old ping pong shows which are apparently popular among a certain set of visitors.
Pattaya go go bars
Pattaya could probably be considered the capital of Thai go go bars. The part of the city popular with tourists is filled with agogos. Some go go bars like Silver Star 1 and Silver Star 2 almost seem to stand alone on their sois. But the trend is definitely more towards concentration in key areas.
Walking Street is the most well known and popular go go area in Pattaya. Because of that it can also be the most expensive. Walking Street go go bars like Saphire’s and Baccara are very popular. Some of the more adventurous and open go go bars like Windmill, Heaven Above, and The Dollhouse can be found just off of Walking Street on side sois.
LK Metro is home to the second major concentration of go go bars. It is not as popular as Walking Street but many expats and regulars seem to prefer it. There are many go go bars in the L-shaped street and immediate surrounding area including the previously reviewed Kink, Paradise and Crystal Club.
You can find go go bars in various other parts of the city. All are within walking distance of the beach. At least one long standing go go bar existed right on Beach Road for many years. Time will tell if it will continue to function in the future after the effects of the 2020 Pandemic. Another notable go go bar in a place of its own is Dolls on Soi 6. The place has a reputation for hiring unattractive women that is not exactly undeserved. Yet most of them seem much more interested in making money through tips and lady drinks than actually leaving the bar with customers. That makes the bar seem a little out of place on Soi 6 which is most known for its many short time bars.
There are also a few places that cold be described as a sort of hybrid between agogos and other sorts of businesses. One such place is Papagayo on Soi Diana. It almost looks like a pub or steakhouse except there is an elevated stage in the middle where women dance in revealing clothes. Since the place is visible from the street through large glass windows it is not really naughty at all. Another place is Area 51 which is not far away on the same street. That bar is like a mix between a sports bar and a go go bar. There are elevated areas for women in shorts to dance. But there are a bunch of pool tables too.