ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Soi Cowboy On Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok, Thailand

Updated on February 25, 2012
Soi Cowboy
Soi Cowboy | Source

Soi Cowboy, along with Nana Plaza and Patpong, are the most popular nightlife districts in Bangkok Thailand. The area that is today known as Soi Cowboy, is thought to have been named after a legendary retired American airman T. G. "Cowboy" Edwards, who opened one of the first bars there in 1977. He earned the nickname "Cowboy", because as a tall black man wearing a cowboy hat, he would stand out in Bangkok during the 1970s.

When Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra came into power in 2001, he introduced a "social order" campaign. During this campaign, all bars and nightclubs had to close by 2 am, and later this changed to 1 am for all areas not officially designated as "entertainment zones". Soi Cowboy is not recognized as an official "entertainment zone", the laws enforcing closing times of night spots are still constantly changing in Thailand. Currently most bars in Bangkok, and on Soi Cowboy close at 2 am.


Soi Cowboy is located in the Sukhumvit area between Soi 21 and Soi 23. Soi Cowboy is within walking distance from the BTS Skytrain's "Asok Station" and the Bangkok Metro's "Sukhumvit Station". Nana Plaza is just a 15 minute walk from Soi Cowboy, or 3-5 minutes by taxi. You will not have any trouble hiring a taxi to take you to Soi Cowboy, all the cabby's know it well. Normally the taxi drivers will drop you off at the entrance on Soi 23. At the entrance you can see a large sign shaped like an arch that says "Soi Cowboy".

One of the most popular bars on Soi Cowboy is the "Tilac Bar". In Thai language, the word "Tilac", means "Darling". So a direct translation would be "Darlings Bar". The bar is open from 6 pm until 2 pm, depending on how local law enforcement is enforcing closing times. The Tilac Bar has a reputation for being one of the cleaner and better managed bars on Soi Cowboy. They are well know for their low prices at happy hour as well as their body paint shows later in the evenings. Many Soi Cowboy regulars consider Tilac to be one of the tamer go go bars, with a pleasant atmosphere and friendly staff making it one of the most enjoyable and entertaining places to spend and evening in Bangkok. Tilac Bar gained notoriety in 2003 when actor Hugh Grant was spotted enjoying a few drinks after the filming of "Bridget Jones Diary". The Tilac Bar and several Soi Cowboy bar girls are seen in the film.

The Dollhouse opened in 2002 on Soi Cowboy, after the previous location was closed down. The Dollhouse is most famous for the waitresses wearing sexy school girl uniforms. One of the things that is most popular with expats is that The Dollhouse has a legendary 'happy hour'. If you arrive before 9.30 pm, most drinks are available at just 60 baht, which is a very good deal. There are happy hours at other bars, however the happy hour at The Dollhouse seems to be attracting more customers, perhaps because they have less restrictions on the type of drinks you can order during happy hour.

You want to be very careful in the areas of Soi Cowboy, and Nana Plaza. The working girls, the vendors and taxi drivers in this area are often hardened criminals. Be very careful with your belongings, watch your wallet and keep your valuables in the hotel safe. Avoid any physical confrontations, especially with the locals, as this will only lead to serious problems. There are several bars on Soi Cowboy with live shows, I suggest you avoid these places as they have a reputation for overcharging. It is common to go into a bar that has one of these "shows", order a beer or two and get a bill for 1000THB. If you don't pay they will threaten you with violence, overall you are far better off avoiding these places. There are a lot of drugs in this area, and it is not recommended to get involved with anyone who is using drugs, this can get you in far more trouble than you realize.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      10 years ago

      ismhmr .. what the hell are you talking about? A lot of good things happen at Soi Cowboy. Middle aged fat guys from all over the world get laid with hot teenage girls. What more can you ask for?

    • TravelinAsia profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      ismhmr, Soi Cowboy is not the kind of place you would take your mother, that is for certain. Some people spend a lot of time and money chasing women in the bars on Soi Cowboy, it is definitely not for everyone. What happened to you on Soi Cowboy? Robbed? Heartbroken?

    • ismhmr profile image


      10 years ago

      I have been to that place.. Nothing good happens at Soi Cowboy.

    • TravelinAsia profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      The previous hub was removed for reasons that were not clearly explained by hubpages. It seems to be a constant problem for me, the moderators don't seem to like what I write about?

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 

      10 years ago from South East Asia

      Have you done a re-write or something? Puzzled.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)