Nana Journals

An anthology of some of the best writings, photos, and information pertaining to the Bangkok
nightlife featuring comments and highlights from the best blogs and websites on the subject.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Behavior Tips While in Southeast Asia

Excerpts and Comments on Bangkok's Nightlife by Stickman, Bangkok Bad Boy, and Mango Sauce

1. Don't touch anyone's head in public, it's considered offensive.
2. Do not sit back and put your feet up in public. They don't like having feet being pointed at them.
3. Smile. Be happy that you are in such a wonderful place.
4. Honor the Royal Family with respect. They love their King.
5. Look both ways before crossing any part of the street. (You will find traffic going in either direction at any time in any lane, and motorcycles often drive on the sidewalks. People have no right of way.)
6. Roll up your pants legs before entering the bathroom. (The bathroom floor doubles as the floor of the shower stall.)
7. Remember that the girls think of you as an ATM machine, and they want to withdraw as much money as possible.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Englishmen and Their Viagra

Excerpts and Comments on Bangkok’s Nightlife By Stickman, Bangkok Bad Boy, and Dave the Rave

Some guys get a bit carried away and consume the Viagra too soon for my liking. One Englishman consumed not one but two Viagra doses whilst he was still in the go-go bar. Without question I made sure I was facing him at all times. I tried to no avail to persuade him that it is best to be with his teelak (sweetheart) and preferably be in a bedroom at the time. If he could not find his teelak in time, being very short he could well have been doing an impression of a human tripod.
Dave the Rave

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Katoeys of Nana

Photographs by Randy Magnus

This is a land where the boys are often prettier than the girls.
Someone told me that if it looks too good to be real, its a Katoey (Ladyboy.)
These girls are from Nana Plaza clubs Temptation, Cascade, Obsession, and Casanova.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pattaya, and Girls with Cameras

Excerpts and Comments on Bangkok’s Nightlife By Stickman, Bangkok Bad Boy, and Dave the Rave

It’s not that the town has attracted an influx of good-looking expats; just the opposite. With the seasonal downswing in tourism and the departure of US Navy personnel a week ago, working girls opine, “Farang law law”. In other words, those fat, balding, older expats who are still around are again being beckoned with such endearing terms as, “Hello, sexy man”, “Come inside, handsome man.” That pretty much sums up the Pattaya scene of late. Few tourists. Hungry working girls. Little business at all but the most popular bars and nightspots in town.

Girls with cameras:

Since digital cameras have become very popular, many punters have started their own collection of photos of some of the pretty ladies whose company they have enjoyed. But don't think it's only the guys who do this. There is one lady in Worldwide A Gogo on Beach Road who has a collection of photos of guys that must number in excess of 50. She joked to me that she wanted to put them online like guys do with pictures of the girls. So, if you want your Pattaya activities to remain anonymous, be careful of girls with camera phones.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Stickman Estimates The Number In Thailand

Outside of the most well-known spots - Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, there are the "secondary areas" like Ko Samui, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. Naughty bars with girls can be found in other touristy areas like Ko Samet and Ko Chang. And then you get into the places where relatively small numbers of Western holidaymakers venture, but where there are enough Western guys living locally to sustain a few naughty bars. This would include Songkhla, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen.

Nana Plaza has 32 bars, but only 28 of them have women available. Remember, Nana Plaza is katoey central and there are four bars where all you'll find are transsexuals. My best guess is that there is an average of perhaps 45 girls per bar in Nana. That is 1,260 girls. In the past the number would have been a fair bit higher. A lot of the bars seem to have fewer girls now than they did say 5 years ago. This is probably best explained by the fact that there are many more bars in Bangkok these days meaning more options in terms of places to work.

Soi Cowboy has a similar number of bars, but there would have to be fewer girls there than Nana. There are not so many big bars, and a couple of hole in the wall types. With the number of bars on Soi Cowboy totaling 30, I estimate an average of about 35 girls per bar, although that is perhaps a little on the high side when you factor in the likes of the tiny Pam's Bar. Assuming 35 girls per bar, that would make a total of about 1,050 girls. That's got to be in the ball park.

Patpong is perhaps the easiest bar area in Bangkok to estimate numbers. Most of the gogo bars are medium in size and have a similar number of girls employed. You do not have a lot of really big bars but there are a few of the smaller bars on the second Patpong Soi, which have only a small number of girls. There are about 50 bars spread over the two Patpong sois and the average number of available girls would again be around 35 in each bar, meaning a total of perhaps 1,750 girls, making it the most populous of Bangkok's major bar areas.

So Stickman estimates the number is as follows:
Nana Plaza 1,260
Soi Cowboy 900
Patpong 1,750
Sukhumvit Soi33 675
Bangkok beer bars combined 1,200
Bangkok freelancers 1,500
Phuket 2,500
Pattaya 17,000
Ko Samui 500
Hua Hin 300
Others (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Udon + everywhere else) 1,500
TOTAL 29,265

(Estimates 7,285 in Bangkok alone)

Hanging Out with Dean Barrett at Nana

Dean’s Favorite bar?
Any bar in which there is a beautiful woman who will refer to me as “hansum man.” I love to sit outside bar areas when the girls are arriving for work and watch the action. It has a charm to it that you find nowhere else in the world.

Mind you trying to have a conversation with Dean Barrett is not easy with so many lovely girls around. I have lost count how many times Dean has wandered off into fantasy land because yet another young dolly bird fluttered his heart. But, before stupid thoughts like marriage proposals begin to emerge, Dean snaps right out of it like the seasoned veteran that he is.
Dave the Rave

Dean Barrett comments later on:
The story of my life: Sitting on a stool in the Texas Lone Star Saloon. A pretty young thing (by Lone Star standards) sitting next to me stroking me a bit. Finally, I say: “Hey! Don’t get me excited. You know what would happen then.”

She responds with, “Yes. We walk to ATM.”
Wisdom out of the mouth of "babes."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bangkok Go-Go Clubs

Excerpts and Comments on Bangkok’s Nightlife By Stickman, Bangkok Bad Boy, and Dave the Rave

Bangkok has three main “go-go” nightlife areas - Nana Plaza, Patpong and Soi Cowboy.

Nana Entertainment Plaza (or NEP), located on Sukhumvit Soi 4, is a tourist’s haven of beer bars and go-gos. Possibly Bangkok’s most popular centre of adult entertainment, it consists of three floors of bars.
The ground floor, once you’ve negotiated the narrow entrance (filled with takeaway food stalls, freelance hookers, ladboys and possibly an elephant), has a number of beer bars in the middle, interspersed with commissioned reps who will physically drag you into their bars if you hesitate for too long! Around the sides of this arena are the entrances to several go-go bars - first-time visitors might like to know that Obsession is a ladyboy bar.
The first floor (in the British sense – ie. the floor above the ground floor!) consists of more go-go bars (including two more ladyboy-only bars – Casanova and Temptations), and can be reached by escalator if you’re fortunate enough to visit on an occasion when it’s actually working! The second floor has four more go-go bars (Cascade is the ladyboy one here), as well as a cheeky short-time hotel.
Beer bars offer the cheaper drinks, expect to pay less than ฿100 for a beer in these. The go-go bars all seem to charge about ฿110-฿130 (US $2.95-$3.48), although there are a few slightly cheaper exceptions. Average drink prices are slightly higher than on Soi Cowboy, but there’s more choice here and it’s a far better location. As for the girls themselves, it really does depend on who you are – and when you visit. A handsome twenty-something entering a desolate bar (Fantasia, for example) will probably find a girl willing to go with him for a lot less than the price quoted to a fat drunken pensioner in Angelwitch.

Those two bars probably illustrate opposite ends of the spectrum (very bad and very good, respectively), the general mix is pretty good though with a wide variety of choice.

Sandwiched between Fantasia and Rainbow 4, Temptations is Nana Plaza’s smallest ladyboy bar. The ladyboys are less intimidating than those at Casanova, but they’re still out to get you - even if it means “converting” you!

I was eventually able to convince them that this wouldn’t be happening - at least with me, and kicked back on a comfy couch with a cold Heineken. Long couches line the sides of this bar, with a long stage in between on which the ladyboys shuffle, gyrate and generally show off those surgically enhanced curves.

Two Japanese guys sat across from me looked utterly wasted, and were either incapable or unwilling to resist - both were promptly undressed and, um, “examined” by a couple of the bar’s more assertive ladyboys (and they all are)…

When one of the “girls” who’d been talking to me started to cry as I told “her” that I was leaving, I made my excuses and made a mental note to steer clear of this part of the Plaza for a while. There’s nothing quite like an emotionally unstable ladyboy to ruin your night…
Bangkok Bad Boy

Nana: Angelwitch Update

Excerpts and Comments on Bangkok's Nightlife by
Bangkok Bad Boy, Dave the Rave, and Stickman

Angelwitch is located on the middle floor of Nana Plaza - if you go up the staircase on your left as you enter the Plaza, it’s the third bar or so on your right.
Currently Nana’s most expensive place to drink, bottled beer sells for a depressing ฿130 (US $3.50), almost as much as back in Blighty! However, the bar is also one of the best go-gos in Bangkok - at least in this author’s opinion.
Whilst there’s not as much bare flesh on display as in Soi Cowboy, this is the same for all of Nana’s bars (at least, all the ones I’ve visited recently). What Angelwitch does offer, however, is decent rock music (a refreshing change from the usual techno-crap), and some of the best choreographed shows in Bangkok. We’re not talking the gynaecological shows of Patpong, but well-produced flashy (not to mention arousing!) dance routines.
The bar can get pretty crowded - a victim of its own success I guess, but like so many things it really depends on when you visit. The girls range in quality, there are certainly a few stunners here but also a few at least approaching their sell-by date. Still, everyone’s taste is different! Barfine is ฿600 (US $16.08), the girls’ prices vary wildly - some have quoted me almost double what others have wanted.
Overall, very much recommended - but perhaps not somewhere to drink the whole night , unless you want to spend top dollar!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nana: Hollywood Carousel & Pretty Lady

Excerpts and Comments on Bangkok’s Nightlife
By Stickman, Bangkok Bad Boy, and Dave the Rave

Hollywood Carousel:
Located on the top floor of Nana Plaza, directly above Angelwitch, this is one of the larger gogo bars I’ve seen. Part of the Hollywood chain, the Carousel part of the name comes from the two large circular rotating stages - alternately featuring either masses of girls doing the chrome-pole-shuffle, or a couple of girls performing racy shows.
Whilst the girls weren’t on the level, attractiveness-wise, of say Angelwitch, the shows were still pretty impressive. One began with a girl throwing a bucket of ice cubes over the stage, with two girls then waltzing onto the stage to play with them. In bikinis. They must have been very cold, is all I’m saying.
There’s a third stage above the bar, where four or so girls dance in a narrow cage. Chang was just ฿95 (US $2.55) a bottle, very agreeable. Other beers were ฿125 (US $3.35) though, with lady-drinks priced about the same.
If you can haul yourself up two flights of stairs in one evening, then it’s certainly worth a visit - the quality of girls was very decent overall, although both ends of the scale were certainly covered! Cheap beer, entertaining shows, and the bar’s big enough that you’ll rarely struggle to find a seat.

Pretty Lady (formerly Bottoms Up) at Nana:
(Closed again. No word on when it'll re-open.)
Located on the ground floor of Nana Plaza, about half-way along the left-hand side, Pretty Lady has apparently just re-opened. I wandered in for the first time last night, found a free table in the corner, and ordered a Singh (฿120)(US $3.22). Within seconds I had a rather attractive girl sat in my lap trying to put her tongue in my mouth. Which was nice, if a little startling.
Seconds later she was, of course, demanding a lady-drink, and as this was strictly a research mission I had to shoo her away. She was replaced by a colleague within seconds. This girl asked whether I had been to the bar before - I told her I hadn’t. She laughed at me, picked up my drink, cigarettes, bar bill, and beckoned me towards the centre stage. “You need to sit by the stage”, she said. Confused, I did so.
And then I understood. The girls here dance in very short, loose skirts. The surface around the stage is mirrored. A few of the girls wear underwear, but most do not. Now I understood why none of the men sat around the stage were looking up at the girls - they were all admiring the view in the mirror. And there was me thinking they were all staring into their beer like miserable pubgoers in the UK…

There are actually two stages - one along the left-hand wall and one in the centre of the bar. The girls dancing on the centre stage seemed far more lively to me, so this is the place to sit.
The music was lively dance rather than the all-too-common techno dirge, the beer price high but average for Nana, and the quality of the girls was very good indeed. The only downside is the immediate hassle for lady-drinks, but this is hardly the only bar in Bangkok where that’s a problem.
Overall, if you’ve got the willpower to say no to attractive but pushy girls (at least until you’ve found the one you want), you can have a great time here - recommended.