Bangkok is famous for its huge high-tech discos that hold up to 5000 people and feature mega-watt sound systems, a giant screen video and the latest in light -show technology. The clientele for these dance palaces is mostly young moneyed Thais ex-perimenting with lifestyles of conspicuous affluence, plus the occasional Bangkok celebrity and a sprinkling of bloodshot -eyed expats. Cover charges typically run from 400B to 500B per person and include three drinks on weeknights, two drinks on weekends.
By and large these throwbacks are seedy, expensive and cater to men only, whether straight or gay. Unlike go-go bars in the West, virtually everyone working in these establishments is for sale tags are attached to the dancers' bikinis so that potential customers can discreetly pick and choose without having to point at anybody (pointing at people is considered rude in Thailand). Go-go bars are concentrated along Sukhumvit road (between soi 21-23), off Sukhumvit on Soi Nana and in the world-famous Patpong area, between Silom road and Surawong Road.
Patpong has calmed down a lot over the years and become a general tourist attraction in itself. These days it has more of an open-air market feel as several of the newer bars are literally on the street, and vendors set up shop in the evening hawking everything from roast squid to fake designer watches. On Patpong's two parallel lanes there are around 35 to 40 go-go bars, plus a sprinkling of restaurants, cocktail bars, discos and live music venues. The downstairs clubs feature go-go dancing while upstairs the real ranch is kept behind closed doors. Women and couples are welcome. Avoid bars touting free sex shows as there are usually hidden charges and when you try to ditch the outrageous bill the doors are suddenly blocked by muscles bouncers. The 1am closing law is strictly enforced on Patpong 1 and 2. The gay men's equivalent can be found on nearby Soi Twilight on Surawong road opposite the entrance to the Surawong hotel.
A more direct legacy of the R&R days is Soi Cowboy, a single lane strip of 25 to 30 bars off Sukhumvit Road between soi 21 and 23. By and large it's seedier than Patpong, and you will see far fewer women and couples in crowd.
If you are looking for gay venues without the element of overt prostitution, head to Silom road. In general, the Soi 2 clubs are more gays than bars on Soi 4.
Entertainment in Bangkok
Disco Clubs & A gogo
Major Pubs & Live Music
Dinner Theatres & Traditional Massage
Kick Boxing & Amusement Park