Bangkok Red Light District: What to Expect, Where to Go and How to Stay Safe

Bangkok Red Light District is a mysterious and tempting entertainment spot that attracts many visitors. If you are touring Bangkok, you might want to check it out. In this article, Travel Authentic Asia will give you a comprehensive overview of this place and some helpful guides and tips for your visit.

The origin of Bangkok Red Light District

Where is Thailand’s Red Light District? Thai prostitution industry can be traced back to the 1960s, to serve American soldiers in Vietnam War. If the red light districts in Pattaya - the ghost city - are famous for sex shows, Bangkok is also popular with its 4 red light districts: Patong, Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy, Khaosan.

This is a prominent place for its variety of entertainment options including bars, brothels and sexy shows... All are legally operated under the control of the government. And these venues attract a lot of foreign tourists when travelling to Thailand. That is the origin of the red light district in Thailand.

Patpong: the very first red light district in Bangkok, Thailand

  • Address: Khwaeng Suriya Wong, Khet Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Opening hours: from 19:00 to 2:30 the next morning.

Patpong is the oldest red light district in Bangkok, Thailand. Despite being a small street, it has a huge number of bars and nightclubs. Patpong is divided into 2 zones: one is a famous shopping market and the other is zone for “sexuality party”. Patong has a lot of massage spas, pole dance performances, strippers...  And the servers here can communicate in many languages such as Thai, English, Japanese, Chinese.

Patpong Street at night
Patpong is divided into 2 zones

A “common” cheat you could be trapped into in Patpong is “no entrance fee” and if you order a bottle of beer, it only costs 120-200 baht. But when you charge your bill, it can be up to THB 2,000, even though you only have 1 bottle of beer. And if you complain about the bill, it turns out that just sitting and watching the dance for 5 minutes will cost you 2,000 Baht.

If you want to have a “completely happy” night out in Patpong, you’d better go to the famous and reputable bars to avoid being scammed by the price or else.

Here are some reliable bars in Patpong:

  • King Castle: This bar belongs to and is under the operation of King's Group. This is the biggest entertainment spot in Patpong. The beer here is about 120 Baht.
  • Gold Fingers: A medium-sized bar with a classic design. Beside, this bar has a nice view to Patpong area. Beer price here is about 150 Baht.
  • Bada Ping A Go Go: A prominent bar in Bangkok, entrance is free all weekdays. In addition, the drink is extremely affordable, just about 140 baht in average.

Soy Cowboy: Top "Entertainment Paradise"

  • Address:  Sukhumvit Road, between Asoke Road and Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Opening hours: from 19:00 to 2:30 the next morning.

Soy Cowboy red light district was operated after Patpong. However, Soy Cowboy was rapidly ranked as a "top" entertainment paradise in Bangkok. Because of all the legal and professional services served here.

According to Thai travel experience of the previous visitors; Soy Cowboy is safer than Patpong. The streets are also more bustling with music from the bars on the series of red light streets next to each other. Many pretty and sexy girls stand in front of the bars and will try to invite you to come over. The girls work for the bars here are considered better looking and more seductive.

Soy Cowboy Dejavu bar bangkok
Soy Cowboy at night is full of neon lights

Unlike Patpong, Soy Cowboy has its own style since it is only for foreign tourists. If you want to experience a “sleepless night” here, you must present your passport. Soi Cowboy usually closes at 3:00 am. The later at night, the girls standing on the street will "more confidently" attract the guest. Note that if you go to a sex show, you should avoid sitting in the first row in case that you do not want to be invited onto the stage.

Some well-known bars in Soy Cowboy include: Baccara, Dejavu A go-go bar, Cocktail Club, Dundee, Kiss A Go Go, Midnite, Sahara, Shark, Sheba, Spice Girl, Tilac Bar, Lucky Star.

“Bustle” Khao San Road: not just a red light street

  • Address: Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
  • Opening hours: from 6pm to 1-2am

Khao San Road night walk bangkok
Khao San Road

Khao San Road is not really a red light district like the others. This place is mainly for Western backpacker to gather. Therefore, it can be said that Khao San Road is very balanced, extremely fun and exciting that anyone can go to. The dining and entertainment services here are also cheaper than other areas.

Source: Lazy Tourist@Youtube

Nana Plaza

  • Address: 31 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
  • Opening hours: from 6pm to 1-2am.

Nana Plaza is a building consisting of 1 ground floor and 2 upper floors. The outdoor bars on the ground floor are a little “calmer”. But they are still in harmony with the bustle on the roadside.

Nana plaza, bangkok red light district, thailand redlight
Nana Plaza

In Nana Plaza, there are some types of bars that you could easily see:

  • Go Go Bar:  The most popular type of bar with girls who dress sexy, striptease and pole dancing.
  • Beer Bar: The normal bar, just drink some beer, there is nothing considered "red light".
  • Ladyboy Bar: Like Go Go Bar, but the dancers are transgenders.

And the unique here is that on the 3rd floor, there are 2 large bars which are famous for its “high-level” things. There are also Jacuzzi shows include Wild Thing and Billboard; a Ladyboy bar is The Cascade. Besides, there are 2 hotels for rent by hour, the price is about 300baht / hour.

Bars will not charge an entrance fee. Both men and women can enter the bars. In some cases, you may need to show your identity card to proof that you are 18 years or older and are a foreign tourist. The price of beer and cocktails is around 110-200.

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Useful guide and tips to visit Red Light District in Bangkok

Be aware of pick pockets

In Thailand’s Red Light Districts, you need to pay attention when using the services here. There used to be foreign tourists reporting that bars in Patpong scammed them when their group of 8 people only drank 8 bottles of beer in just 5 minutes. However, it is really shocking that they had to pay up to 6,800 baht, equivalent to 225 USD, including:

  • Show tickets: 2,000 baht
  • Service charge: 2,000 baht
  • Deposit: 2,000 baht
  • Beer: 800 baht

Always ask for the price before ordering at any bars

This is a tip to keep in mind when going to Thailand Red Light District. Always carefully ask for the price list before deciding to enter a bar on the street. And more importantly, you should refer to the list of reliable bars above!

Most of scam reports are about the price. Initially, the quote is different and when the final bill comes out, there is a different price. When visitors are trapped, they will normally get frustrated, but still have to pay the bill and leave. Because you are on a foreign land, no matter how much you try to argue with them, your night is just ruined.

Do not take random photos without asking for permission

The beautiful and hot girls standing in front of the bars will catch the eyes of many people. And some tourists might have a habit of taking those special pictures. However, the next “survival tip” for visiting Thailand Red Light streets that we want to remind you is do not take any random photos without asking.

One tourist shared his "unforgettable" experience in a Thailand tour. That time when walking around Patpong Street, she saw the girls here and immediately took out the camera to take some pictures. After she took the photos, and walked away, suddenly, a fat man, tattooed, stopped her and said: "You haven't tipped them yet". Since she has read about these situations online, the lady quickly understood the problem and had to pay for the photos.

Is the red light district in Thailand safe?

While many foreign visitors may visit the red light district in Bangkok - Thailand without any problems, there is still a risk of theft, assault, and other crimes.

If you do choose to visit the red light district in Bangkok, it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety. You should travel in a group, avoid drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. It is also important to use protection during sexual activities to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Generally, while the red light district in Thailand may be relatively safe for visitors, it is important to consider the potential risks and take appropriate precautions.

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