Nana Plaza Review 1
THIS PAGE IS UPDATED FOR APRIL 2012
CLOSING TIME IN NANA PLAZA IS 02:00-02:30
THE DRESS CODE IN THE GO-GO BARS IS A MIXTURE OF BIKINIS, MONO BIKINIS & BIRTHDAY SUITS.
ANGELWITCH, EROTICA, PLAY SKOOL, MANDARIN, MERCURY, RAINBOW 4, and SPANKYS (all of these go-go bars are now ‘showing’).
PAGE NAVIGATION – Scroll down to read the latest Nana Plaza reviews. The go-go bars are listed alphabetically starting from the ground level. Each entry is dated for your convenience.
New Showgirls In Angelwitch (Update 2012)
A bunch of new Showgirls now embellish the Angelwitch stage. Also, there are also some new shows including an exotic erotic body massage show. Showtime now starts at 10:00 PM and lasts at least 3 hours nightly. Angelwitch still has the most professionally choreographed shows in Thailand. Now under new ownership but Angelwitch remains busy at Showtime.
SHOOTING STAR – MANDARIN GO-GO BAR
(Update June 2011) – A replenished line-up of young, sexy go-go dancers makes Mandarin well worth a visit. Has among the most attractive and sexy gogo girls in Nana Plaza.
NANA PLAZA UPDATE 2012
ALL QUIET ON THE EASTERN FRONT
Generally, hotels and nightlife areas in Bangkok are quieter, due to both internal and external problems. But of course, Thailand is by no means alone, as the world economy falls into a dark, deep abyss. In fact, some friends have made spontaneous decisions to visit Thailand, in order to avoid the rat race back in Farangland. It has been a long and heavy rainy season, but the cool season (aka high season) is just around the corner. The tourist season usually starts picking up pace in November.
THE NANA PLAZA MASTER HAS BEEN SECURED
(Update April 2012) – Despite some negative rumours flying around about Nana Entertainment Plaza, some bars continue to do business as normal. Well, that is as normal as the neon jungle can be! Admittedly, the go-go bars are not as wild as they used to be. Sadly, the ‘Skytrain shuffle’ has become the norm in too many gogo bars. Blatant ‘showing’ or nudity was outlawed several years ago, but it has returned to some go-go bars. Therefore, it is fair to say that Nana Plaza had previously lost the advantage of ‘showing’ to Soi Cowboy. (Never underestimate what a tremendous advantage this gives a particular district). These police politics may be confusing to some people, but remember that Soi Cowboy is under a completely different jurisdiction to Nana Plaza. Nana Plaza is located in the Lumpini Police District and Soi Cowboy is located in the Tonglor Police District. Incidentally, Patpong falls under the jurisdiction of the Bangrak Police District. Therefore, Nana Plaza is located in a high profile area. For example, The Landmark Hotel and the JW Marriott Hotel are just around the corner from Soi Nana. Despite what the killjoys say, Nana Plaza is very resilient and still thrives in high season, when the tourists arrive. In some ways Nana Plaza has become the new Patpong. There are still a couple years left before the end of the 30-year Master Lease on December 31, 2012. I spoke to Khun Rakesh of Nana Castle Company Limited. Khun Rakesh said that there were no plans to change anything at this time. Furthermore, even after the 30-year lease has expired, no final decision has been made. As most experienced people know, a lot can happen in a few years in Thailand. In the meantime, party on people!
NANA PLAZA GOES UP TO ANOTHER LEVEL
The OTIS escalator on the right-hand side as you enter Nana Plaza, is still working just fine. Also, the entrance to Nana Plaza remains clear of all motorbikes. In addition, their is a lift on either side. Following the tragic Santika Club fire in Bangkok, people are more fire safety conscious and rightly so.
BUTT OUT! The majority of the go-go bars in Nana Plaza are strictly “NO SMOKING” which includes the four Rainbow Go-Go Bars. The nights of constantly smoke-filled bars appear to be banished forever. However, there are still some go-go bars that allow smoking. Ask around and you will soon find out.
CALLING ALL SMOKERS
Note that you can smoke in Lucky Lukes Bar and in a few of the go-go bars in Nana Plaza. However, you are usually asked to go outside. I think this helps chain-smokers cut down on the amount of cigarettes, and it doen’t upset the non-smokers.
NANA ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA OVERVIEW
Nana Entertainment Plaza is known as “NEP” for short, or as some trendy guys say, “Nana.” It is not easy to envisage that Nana Plaza was once a quiet, shopping mall. Today Nana Entertainment Plaza is a three-storey atrium with a difference. The difference is that booze and babes are on offer. Nana Plaza comprises of a cluster of go-go bars and beer bars. NEP offers a rather different form of “entertainment” so think carefully before you invite your mother! Joking apart, Nana Plaza has shaken off its former filthy image due to much stricter control by the Thai authorities. Most people are pleased that the disgusting and degrading Patpong style “magic pussy shows” are history. However, nowadays it is still quite tame compared to previous years. But, considering the restrictions that have been placed upon Nana Plaza, it has remained extremely resilient. When you think that NEP is a red-light district, it offers something of a “carnal carnival” atmosphere. This is reflected in the fact that Nana Plaza has become something of a tourist attraction over the past few years. In fact, some people have labelled Nana Plaza as the new Patpong. Nowadays, tourists and other infrequent visitors make up the largest percentage of the clientele.
NANA PLAZA ENTRANCE REMAINS CLEAR
Hooray! The Nana Plaza management finally cleared the entrance of all motorbikes. Motorbikes have now been banned from blocking the entrance. Now it is much more convenient to enter and exit Nana Plaza. More importantly, the only available emergency exit remains clear on a nightly basis. This must be a record for Nana!
NANA PLAZA LADY BOYS (Update 2012)
Nana Plaza comprises of beer bars and go-go bars, but some of the go-go bars are full of katoeys, which is the Thai word for lady boys. You need to be aware that Nana Plaza now has FOUR lady boy go-go bars. The lady boy go-go bars are – Obsession (ground level), Temptations (middle level), Casanova (middle level), and Cascade (top level). Some Thai lady boys are like fashion models. They are glamourous and can be very deceptive. Make no doubts about it, they are transsexuals. For some visitors to Nana Plaza, this is where the curiosity factor kicks in. In an eccentric way, the katoeys in Nana Plaza have become a tourist attraction. So many times I hear farangs say, “Just taking the Nana Newbies to a katoey bar.” Currently in Soi Cowboy there are no katoey bars, so this makes Nana Plaza different in that respect. You should be aware that most Thais are not homophobic and therefore, lady boys are accepted in Thai society. Whether you love or loathe Thailand’s unofficial third gender, katoeys are part of Thailand’s nightlife scene.
LADY BOY ALERT (Update 2012) – Be aware that ‘katoey’ or lady boy pickpockets hang around lower Sukhumvit late at night. They often work in groups, so be streetwise. Do not be aggressive towards them (conflict avoidance), but never let a lady boy get too close to you. These katoeys are deviously good at distracting you, while they steal your cash and valuables. Also, be aware that katoeys do try to drug unsuspecting farangs. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
EXPLORING THE ORIGINS OF NANA PLAZA
The first bars in Nana Plaza emerged in 1982 and at that time, there was less than a handful. Lucky Luke’s Bar with its famous wagon wheels was the first to open. Lucky Luke’s made history by becoming the oldest bar in Nana Plaza. Remarkably, it is still open today, all these years later. In 1984 a farang haven appeared. Peter opened Woodstock Bar & Grill, which for many years was thought as the best music bar in Thailand. Woodstock Bar & Grill also won the prestigious award of “Best Burger In Bangkok.” Just before Woodstock relocated to Tonglor, I attended Woodstock’s 20th Anniversary Party. Incidentally, the 20th Anniversary Party was also Woodstock’s Farewell Party. As we were leaving Nana Plaza, an emotional Peter thanked me for being one of his most loyal customers. Woodstock Bar moved and took some of Nana Plaza’s nostalgia along with its departure. Those of us that were here during the golden years in Nana Plaza are fortunate enough to have experienced it. Whatever happens to Nana Plaza in the future, I know that fond memories will remain with me forever.
HOW DO I GET TO NANA PLAZA?
Nana Entertainment Plaza is located on Sukhumvit Road inside Soi 4. Nana Plaza is conveniently situated directly opposite Nana Hotel. You can easily get to Nana Plaza via several modes of transportation. You can take the Skytrain to the BTS Nana station. From the BTS Nana it is a short walk past the Landmark Hotel into Soi Nana Every taxi driver, tuk-tuk driver and motorbike taxi boy knows the location. Just say, “Soi Nana” and away you go. With tuk-tuk drivers and motorcycle taxi boys make sure that you negotiate the price in advance. When you get into a metered taxi, it is advisable to sit behind the taxi driver, especially if you are female. Before the driver sets off for Soi Nana, check that he has turned the meter on. Whatever happens try to keep cool and maintain your composure. It is most important to avoid confrontation with the Thai people. You might think you are arguing with one Thai man, but a gang of Thai men will appear from nowhere in seconds. Remember guys, we are on their turf. Always carry plenty of small change. Some taxi drivers are notorious for stating that they have no change. What is supposed to be a 35 Baht journey could cost you 100 Baht if you don’t have the exact amount. A supply of 20 Baht notes comes in very handy for travelling around Bangkok.
GO-GO GURU GUIDE TO NANA PLAZA
Below are descriptions and locations of the bars in Nana Plaza. They are listed in alphabetical order. We start on the GROUND LEVEL, move up to the MIDDLE LEVEL and go up to the TOP LEVEL. Updates will appear, so make sure you check the dates on each listing. Let me take you for a nightseeing tour of Nana Plaza. Welcome to the neon jungle!
NANA PLAZA GO-GO BARS (GROUND LEVEL)
BIG DOG’S BAR
The “Big Dog” of Soi Nana sits right on the left-hand corner at the entrance to Nana Plaza. It has the best location for observing the comings and goings in both Nana Plaza and along Soi Nana. It comes as little surprise that Big Dog’s Bar draws a reasonably busy crowd from early evening until closing time. Big Dogs Bar operates with two shifts of bar girls. Still remains the most popular beer bar in Nana Plaza. The friendly Canadian Walter is doing a good job of running Big Dog’s Bar with his Thai team. Big Dogs Bar has two plasma TV screens, which show major sports events. They stock a good range of bottled beers and spirits. Friendly bargirls are an added bonus, although Big Dog’s has less attractive bar girls than previously. In fact, I must sday the standard of the bar girls has dropped considerably. But, for most guys Big Dogs is either a meeting point, or a good location for people watching. Big Dog’s still draws a crowd from afternoon until closing time.
(Update 2012) – Bar trade has dropped but Big Dogs still remains more popular than most beer bars. However, there are fewer bar girls and definitely a drop in lookers. Pleased to report that Walter is still running Big Dogs Bar and he insists on cheaper drink prices. Standard beers and spirits remain at 95 baht. Cheers!
HOLLYWOOD ROCK GO-GO BAR
Hollywood Rock is located on the right-hand side as you enter Nana Plaza. This medium sized go-go bar is situated next to Rainbow 2 Go-Go Bar and Play Skool Go-Go Bar. At one time during the 1990′s, the originally named Hollywood Royale was voted the “Best Go-Go Bar In Bangkok.” In the beginning it was known for its raunchy and risqué sex shows. Then, under new ownership the name was changed to Hollywood Rock. This particular go-go bar developed a good reputation for having some very sexy go-go dancers. Following that the Crown Group took it over and remodelled it. Nowadays, farang veterans can barely recognise the new Hollywood Rock. When co-owners Kevin and Anton left Hollywood Rock, it was the end of an era. Today Hollywood Rock looks like a boxing stadium, because a square stage in the middle is surrounded by tiered seating.
(UPDATE 2012) – The go-go dancers wear full bikinis and currently there are no shows. Usually quiet and unassuming, but sometimes there are a few gems to be discovered here. Not much change, but a few of the service girls are attractive. This is another go-go bar owned the Crown Group.
LOLLIPOP GO-GO BAR
Lollipop is the first go-go bar on the left-hand side as you enter Nana Plaza. Walk past Big Dog’s Bar and you will see Lollipop Go-Go Bar sitting right next to the concrete staircase. The Crown Group also owns Lollipop. The outside bar area is usually more popular than the go-go bar inside. Unfortunately, an outrageous katoey (lady-boy) barks out across the room on the microphone.
(UPDATE 2012) – Currently, Lollipop has a replenished line-up of cute go-go girls. Some of the dolly birds are farang friendly. This place can get quite lively and the outside bar is another good people watching spot. Occasionally worth a visit. Unfortunately, the katoey management insist on a policy of harassing customers for drinks. You need to be aware of that. Lollipop is yet another go-go bar owned by the Crown Group.
LADY BOY ALERT (UPDATE 2012) – Outrageous ‘katoey’ or lady boy mamasans run this go-go bar. Katoeys in general are notorious for their aggressive attitudes. I thought I had better warn you straight guys!
LUCKY LUKE’S BAR
Historically the oldest beer bar in Nana Plaza, and old Lucky Luke’s is still going strong. It does not usually draw that much of a crowd, but it does have a slow, but steady flow of customers. Lucky Luke’s Bar is another good spot to watch the comings and goings inside Nana Plaza. Not surprisingly, Lucky Lukes can draw a good crowd on occasions.
(UPDATE 2012) – Still continues to draw a decent crowd and it is a great viewpoint for the comings and goings in Nana Plaza. The Thai girls here are farang friendly. Not a bad bunch of gogo girls, woth a visit.
ATTENTION SMOKERS (UPDATE 2012)
Because it is not an enclosed bar, smoking is still permitted. Lucky Lukes is something of a smokers haven.
OBSESSION GO-GO BAR
When the Crown Group took over Obsession Go-Go Bar it was turned into a katoey (lady boy) go-go bar. Obsession is next to Rainbow 2 Go-Go Bar in the far right corner on the ground level. Said to have some attractive katoeys, but I can assure you that I’m no ‘sexpert’ in this area!
DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY (UPDATE 2012) – Some guys might be convinced that they are women. However, be careful, because they all still have the full landing gear!
Pharaoh’s Bar stares you in the face as you enter Nana Plaza. It is the beer bar directly facing the entrance to Nana Plaza. Owned by the Crown Group this is quite popular with those who want to relax and people watch. A good observation post for watching the bargirl parade, as the multitudes of dolly birds enters and exits like a busy train station.
(UPDATE 2012) – Pharaoh’s Bar was knocked down and this block of beer bars in the middle on the ground level is replaced by mobile beer bars with large canopies for the rainy season.
PLAY SKOOL GO-GO BAR
Situated on the right-hand side as you enter Nana Plaza, Play Skool Go-Go Bar sits in-between Hollywood Rock Go-Go Bar and Rainbow 1 Go-Go Bar. For many years Play Skool has always been something of an institution in Nana Plaza. Renowned for playing classic rock music, it is one of the few go-go bars, where you can enjoy good ole rock ‘n’ roll. Still operating to a mixture of full and mono bikinis, but no shows. Unfortunately, the owners of Play Skool have other priorities (several bars in Soi Cowboy) and therefore, it is often left unattended. The go-go dancers are friendly enough and half the line-up comprises of very hot Thai girls.
(UPDATE 2012) - Play Skool has replenished its line-up and at least half of the go-go girls dance in mono bikinis. Worth a look on your go-go bar rounds in Nana Plaza, especially with several very HOT gogo girls on the stage.
PRETTY LADY GO-GO BAR
Located on the left-hand side as you enter Nana Plaza, Pretty Lady Go-Go Bar is the next go-go bar down from Lollipop. Back in the 1990′s Pretty Lady was classed by many people as one of the very best go-go bars in Bangkok. For many years, Pretty Lady had a loyal following and her reputation alone continues to this day to attract customers. Currently Pretty Lady run a Happy Hour up until 9:00pm. Standard drinks are 80 Baht, which also includes San Mig Light. With the added value of a Happy Hour, Pretty Lady is a good place to start your rounds in Nana Plaza. Furthermore, standard drinks are only 120 Baht, which makes Pretty Lady one of the cheaper go-go bars in Nana Plaza. Currently, Pretty Lady has quite a good line-up of go-go dancers, who will interact with you. Well worth a visit. The Happy Hour is still going and the go-go dancers are still flashing their wares under their skirts. Pretty Lady took on a new mamasan. The new mamasan is a pleasant woman, who has been going up to customers and politely introducing herself. As most of you know, a good mamasan can in some cases make or break a go-go bar.
(UPDATE 2012) – Pretty Lady previously took on a bunch of go-go dancers from one or two other go-go bars in Nana Plaza. Nowadays it is more like a single mother’s club. Although very hit or miss, occasionally Pretty Lady is worth checking out… Nana Plaza Reviews continue ON THIS LINK
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