Bangkok Red Light District
I lived in Thailand for thirteen years, and visited Bangkok scores of times because my wife has family there and most visa work is carried out there too, but I’m not completely sure that there is a designated Bangkok Red Light District as such.
Bangkok is the Bangkok Red Light District to put it simply. There are sex bars and non-sex bars all over the city, and then there are the hybrids – ie, those which are respectable by day, but turn into sex bars after dark. Many of these places have a microphone on a stand in a corner, so that they can play Karaoke songs later on. Many of the girls who come to sing will be on stage to draw attention to themselves, but they are not hoping to be spotted for a career in music.
If there is such a thing as a dedicated Bangkok Red Light District, I suppose that it is around Sukhumvit Soi 4, which is more popularly known as Soi Nana, after the first and largest hotel in the street. However, many of the most popular sex venues are around, not necessarily in that street
I know that many tourists to Bangkok head for the famous sex bars and night clubs in Soi Nana, but if you are staying in Bangkok for more than one night, check out the bars around your hotel first, you will find some pleasant surprises that are not overfull and not overpriced. Thais, other Asians and falang residents use these places, so they are more typical of Bangkok than what you probably think of as the Bangkok Red Light District.
One thing to remember when looking for typical examples of the Bangkok Red Light District, is that it is not like what you have seen on the films of American soldiers in Saigon, Tokyo, or even Bangkok. In general, the signs are not so flashy, and the girls promoting the bar on the street will be more modestly dressed, although schoolgirl uniform is popular.
If the Bangkok Red Light District is on your list of sights to see, don’t be worried about checking it out, you are not obliged to do anything you don’t want to, and you will probably have a lot of fun.
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Podcast: Bangkok Red Light District