Neon and naughtiness came to Soi Cowboy in a big way during the Noughties. It was cleaned up in terms of aesthetics and waste management so that it would not be too much of a blight on the immediate higher end developments that were occurring all around Soi Cowboy, and as Nana continued to struggle, Cowboy grasped the impressive mantle of being the best brass gaff in Bangkok. At the start of the decade, it ranked below Nana and an aged Patpong that had already seen its best days. The moving of Dolls House to Cowboy would prove to be the game changer.
Already a hugely popular venue in Clinton Plaza, the Doll House arrived in Cowboy with determined plans. They took over two shophouses and literally pimped it out. Again, the gauntlet was thrown down to the other bar owners and they too upped their game. This wrestled the title from Nana and the owners enjoy collective competitive success.
This strip arguably holds the best venues of their genre in Bangkok and while the debate goes on today as to who would prevail after a hoedown of Bangkok’s best, there are quite a few that would make the top ten that can be found here.
The paying customer is ultimately the one that decides and from recent first-hand experience, it is apparent that both Nana and Soi Cowboy today are enjoying high demand.
Today, prices are a little on the high side in comparison to other entertainment areas in Bangkok, but in terms of sound retailing sensibility, you get what you pay for. Beyond the confines of Soi Cowboy, this is blatantly apparent by some of the alternative high-end establishments along Soi 23.
There is a some poetic justice in the fact that one of Cowboy’s best, Baccara stands on the hallowed ground of the place which made this Soi happen, the Gold Label.
Sometimes it feels like the Wild West in down this little strip, and while the defining line between High and Low Season blurs somewhat in the centre of Bangkok, one can be assured that it is always Open Season here.
*This article is the last of a 3 part series about Soi Cowboy