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This is spam! Please revert this edit immediately

A spambot likes to edit the first section of certain pages on this wiki -- including this one. This is a trap.


Drink does not mean prostitution and therefore the bars in this section need to be changed to actual bars not places to meet prostitutes. As the section stands now it is quite insulting and not appropriate!

Insulting to who? I've yet to find a first-time visitor to Bangkok who wasn't interested in checking out a go-go bar; it really is entirely possible to go in, have a beer, and leave. Jpatokal 06:16, 1 Feb 2006 (EST)

Medium term

What do people think about a section on medium term stay (1-2 months). In BKK. How to rent an appartment for several months, the costs, how to get internet connections, etc? -- 23:33, 28 Feb 2005 (EST)


I'd like to suggest revising the districts a little -- how about this:

  • Sukhumvit (Downtown + Sukhumvit, everything on and around the long road that is Th Phra Ram I/Th Ploenchit/Th Sukhumvit)
  • Silom (Th Silom, Th Sathorn, Patpong and surroundings)
  • Rattanakosin (Banglamphu + Chinatown)
  • Khao San Rd

Comments? Jpatokal 11:43, 18 May 2004 (EDT)

Sounds good to me, as long as we describe them with their links so people know what is include where. Good to see someone working on this-- it was one of the first articles we had! Majnoona 12:12, 18 May 2004 (EDT)
Done. I'm in Bangkok again for the 10th time in the last 12 months as I write this, so it's about to time to record what I've learned! Jpatokal 00:16, 19 May 2004 (EDT)

Airport district

I'm going to add Bangkok/Airport for the airport district (not the airport itself ;) ). It isn't an especially exciting destination, but it would be useful to have some info for people making an overnight stop since it's such a major hub. I know this now from personal experience. And of course as an added bonus if there are hidden tourist gems near the airport, well, someone can add them. - Hypatia 23:37, 27 Nov 2004 (EST)

Why not just place the airport under Bangkok/North? As a name, "Bangkok/Airport" also has the major problem that the airport is supposed to move next year to an entirely different location... Jpatokal 00:21, 28 Nov 2004 (EST)
Sure -- the description of the North district didn't let me know it covered it. I wonder what will happen to the hotels when the airport moves? -- Hypatia 00:58, 28 Nov 2004 (EST)
Good point-- I was going to say that it's a valid district because of the train station and hotels, and cause plenty of people have 9-12 hour layovers in the area and don't make it inot town... but if it falls within the North district that'll be a better spot. Just out of curiosity, when and where is the airport moving? I've spent a lot of hours there ;-) Majnoona 01:01, 28 Nov 2004 (EST)
OK, I'll expand North to cover the airport (you're right in that it wasn't really covered before). Anyway, the new Suvarnabhumi airport is around 30km to the east of BKK (on the road to Pattaya) and in theory is supposed to open in September 2005, but in practice I'll be quite surprised if it's ready before 2007. Jpatokal 01:16, 28 Nov 2004 (EST)


Moved from "Do" -- This info is good background info on the issue, but I don't think it goes under "Do," that looks abit too much like an endoresment. Should this be under "Understand" or "Cope" or what? Also, maybe this belongs in Thailand or even Southeast Asia as it isn't just a problem in Bangkok

A major part of Thai tourism is prostitution, and a significant proportion of tourists visit to sample the local girls. Something like 1% of the female population of Thailand works in the sex business (most originating from the Isaan, a poor farming region in the North of Thailand, and in Bangkok to make their fortune), and it is almost impossible to avoid at least limited exposure to the business, whether it be from taxi drivers offering 'massage' (something to be avoided, as they will get a big commission), or the catcalls of 'hello handsome man' from female and katoey (ladyboy) prostitutes alike.

In particular walking through Patpong, with its night market, you will see literally dozens of gogo bars with their gaudy fronts and solicitous door girls leaving you in no doubt about what lies inside. Other well-known areas in the city are Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy (Soi 3), a street off the main thoroughfare Sukhumvit in the heart of the city.

Understand is probably the right place for it. Southeast Asia would not be a good candidate, since it is too general a statement for all of SE Asia. It really is quite particular to Bangkok.

Some removed extlinks

Here's a couple of extlinks I removed that might be worthwhile, so I'll drop them here with my comments about why I removed them:

Gay Scene

Someone added some presumably good info on the Bangkok gay scene. Unfortunately, it was intermingled with violations of the Wikitravel:Sex tourism policy. If anyone wants to try to rescue the wheat from the chaff, the previous can be retreived here. -- Colin 14:21, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)

I added the section, which is to the best of my knowledge accurate, and certainly relevant. I am unable to access this sex tourism policy link from my Saigon cybercaf, it just makes the window close. Please explain why you have deleted the section. Adam Carr 21:42, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)

Your Saigon cybercafe probably has keyword filtering or something... anyway, the sex tourism policy basically dictates that prostitute pricing info is no-no (I personally think this is a little arbitrary, but that's another kettle of fish).
On what grounds does Wikitravel impose such a restriction? Is Wikitravel a moral authority? Many thousands of people visit Thailand expecting to pay for sex, it is an accepted part of Thai culture (most Thai men pay for sex, not just tourists), and it is extremely important for the Thai economy. Any useful travel guide to Bangkok should provide this information. Adam Carr 21:59, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)
You're preaching to the choir, brother. =) I also think it's silly, but a significant portion of Wikitravel's users disagree. Please see Wikitravel talk:Sex tourism policy for further discussion on this. Jpatokal 22:38, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)
How about the grounds that the current host of the Website would like to not be arrested? -- Colin 00:38, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
I didn't see any references to child prostitution in Adam Carr's edits. What part of them would make Evan liable to prosecution? Jpatokal 00:42, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
The word "especially" in the policy is not a synonym for "only." Mentally delete the clause that starts with the word "especially" and see if it parses better for you in this case. -- Colin 00:47, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
Any way I read it says "sex tourists may be subject to prosecution". How does this make saying "there are prostitutes in Patpong" illegal? Last I checked Canada does have some approximation of free speech... Jpatokal 01:05, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
Thus spake the Sex Tourism Policy: "There are legal ramifications for listing sex tourism information". -- Colin 01:29, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
Thus spake Evan in the very first edition of the policy. Given this [1], which basically says anything goes unless there's a specific law to the contrary, I'd like to see a legal cite for this interesting claim. Jpatokal 01:36, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
Listing prices for prostitutes could be seen as pimping/encouraging/advertisement/whatever. It is a very good idea to err on the side of caution here. You are of course welcome to pay a lawyer to write up a policy that has any chance of reflecting US laws (where the site is hosted, no?). -- Nils
Actually, the site is hosted in Canada. --Evan 08:11, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
I've never actually seen a travel guide that provides prices and buyers' guides for prostitutes. I'm sure they exist, but the travel guides I usually use (Let's Go, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide) usually have vague info on prostitution, or none at all. --Evan 11:40, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
I've added a new Drink section to the main article (I cannot believe it was missing!!) and condensed most of your excellent input into it. Please also feel free to expand the bar listings in Bangkok/Silom. Jpatokal 21:51, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)
I prefer to refer to the actual policy document. I'm sorry you have a broken connection, but that's kinda your responsibility to work around. -- Colin 00:32, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)

This is the most absurd discussion I have ever seen. Colin seems to be asserting that because something is illegal, it is therefore illegal to refer to it or describe it. The last time I looked many encyclopaedias, including Wikipedia, have articles on murder, arson, rape, incest and other crimes, and are not so far as I know prosecuted for them. It is frequently asserted that prostitution is illegal in Thailand, and this may well be true although I have not seen the text of the law referred to, so I don't know what specfic acts the law criminalises. It may be that it criminalises only street prostitution, as is the case in many jurisdictions. I do know that the gay go-go bars I describe in my text operate completely openly and under the noses of the police. If they are illegal the police don't seem to care very much. If the acts themselves are not prosecuted, I think it highly unlikely that an encyclopaedia is going to be prosecuted for describing those acts. Colin is going to have to come up with a better justification for his views, which I suspect are motivated by moralism and/or homophobia. If I am wrong in that suspicion, prove me so. Adam Carr 07:25, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

I don't have to come up with a justification to implement existing policy. The burden of change is upon you to alter the existing policy first. -- cj
Thai law criminalizes all forms of prostitution. But the issue is not Thai law, the issue is an IMHO rather suspect interpretation of Canadian/NZ/whatever law. Further discussion → Wikitravel talk:Sex tourism policy please. Jpatokal 11:17, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)


Regarding our friend the sexpat, having spent several months commuting through Patpong (no joke!), I can assure you that there are many, many tourists in the City of Angels who can be described as "fifty-plus, bald, beer belly, stained shirt, lovestruck expression and a hairy arm wrapped around a girl too young to be their daughter." You might not like it, and the above is needless to say a slightly exaggerated stereotype — and so are all the others in the peoplespotting checklist. So on what grounds do you justify nuking this? Doesn't sound terribly neutral to pretend this group of people doesn't exist. Jpatokal 11:17, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)

In my opinion, the sexpat peoplespotting was neither derogatory about the sexpat nor was the description stylistically different from the rest of the list. But maybe Adam can eloborate? -- Colin 20:08, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)


I've never actually seen a travel guide that provides prices and buyers' guides for prostitutes. I'm sure they exist, but the travel guides I usually use (Let's Go, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide) usually have vague info on prostitution, or none at all. --Evan 11:40, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

>>>>> The reason why these guidebooks don't mention this is that they are edited by feminists who hate the idea of heterosexual White men paying to have sex with willing partners. They overlook the other sex-tourists from Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Nigeria though. These books have a subtle to blatant contempt for White heterosexual tourist who play around. "Frommer's" tries to be neutral but "Lonely Planet" is the worse besides being horribly inaccurate and incomplete.

The guidebooks however do gush over Gay/Lesbians and tell them where to party and cruise for sex.

BTW, I'm not even White and have been happily leaving in LOS for years.

Last round of changes

So some items about the last round of changes.

1. The description of generousity after sex. The text says
Thai culture expects the older and / or wealthier partner in any transaction to be generous.
If that is true, could we move it to the Understand section since you are saying it's a cultural norm?
2. The descriptions of why Bangkok is a great travel destinations for gays. The article implies that it's a destination because of the sex scene. What nonsense! Our you trying to say gays go to a cool place like Bangkok just for sex? While for some gays (and heteros) that will be the case, I think the cultural ascpects, the history, the architecture, the food, and the acceptence of homosexuality (in that their lives will not be endangered for going to a gay bar unlike some societies) are all more important reasons to visit Thailand!
3. The reference to people going because sex is cheap
Thailand being a relatively poor country, even those young Thai
men who do not find western men attractive, or even are not gay at all,
are willing to fake it for what is by western standards a very small
amount of money.
This smacks of hawking sex tourism participation (as opposed to merely viewing the carnival) and must go under the policy.

-- Colin 20:21, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)

Is Colin gay? If he is, he needs to get out more. If he is not (as I suspect), he has no business opining about what gay people (western or Thai) think or do. Adam Carr 06:41, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)

Is Adam Thai? If he is, he needs to get out more. If he is not (as I suspect), he has no business opining about what Thai people (gay or otherwise) think or do.
Does the previous sentence make it clear to you why your argument is bogus? Could you address the questions? Hint: I live near San Francisco, a place where many Gays are role models in the community and there are many interesting aspects to their lives that do not involve sex. If a hetero said that gays only go to Thailand for sex, I'd call him a f*ing bigot. Being gay does not give you a free pass in this matter. Colin 10:51, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)

(There is a separate gay scene in Bangkok for Thai gays who don't like westerners. Its location seems to be a closely guarded secret.)

Is this sentence a travel topic? I would skip that... -- JanSlupski 18:33, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)

I have deleted the section altogether, since it is impossible to get a truthful and useful text past the homophobic and/or sexophobic gestapo who appear to run Wikitravel. It is better to have nothing than the bowdlerised piffle which now appears. I am now withdrawing from this article so Colin can write his own version. Adam Carr 21:30, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)

Body Tune

FWIW, I've been to Body Tune and they do a pretty good job. If you think US$7/hour is too much for a massage, try $1000 for a package at the Oriental's spa... and if you know a place that does good massage for 150B/hour, add it in! Jpatokal 04:09, 1 Apr 2005 (EST)

Spelling of Kathoey

User Jpatokal states that Kathoey is a correct RTGS transcription. This is not correct, it should be Kathoei. However this is so unusual as a spelling in English, that I propose to leave it as non-RTGS. −Woodstone 17:43, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

My vote would be for "katoey" as that's the least confusing for non-linguists.

Just an Outline?

Is this article really just an outline? Why not a guide? Majnoona 14:42, 24 Jan 2006 (EST)

One reason might be that Wikitravel:Article status is really focused on smallcity or bigcity articles. We don't have a good metric for what makes a "usable" (or "guide" or "star") huge city, district, region, country, or continent. --Evan 14:44, 24 Jan 2006 (EST)

What kind of drug tests?

The Drink section says: "police occasionally raid bars, subjecting all customers to drug tests." What sort of tests are used? I'd be extremely reluctant to co-operate with a blood test, not for fear of being busted for dope, but for fear of disease. Pashley 01:51, 21 May 2006 (EDT)

Urine tests, normally. Not cooperating with the boys in brown is, however, highly contraindicated. Jpatokal 06:10, 21 May 2006 (EDT)

Ladyboy vs kathoey

I've never heard of a distinction between kathoeys as transgendered and ladyboys as 'just' crossdressers, and I don't see any of that in the Wikipedia article either. If Mr. Anon has sources to the contrary, let's hear 'em. Jpatokal 21:14, 21 June 2006 (EDT)

How do Thais distinguish the two? Obviously, there's a distinction that be made. English has transvestite, drag queen or cross-dresser for one and transexual for the other. Are you saying kathoey and ladyboy both mean either? That there's no distinction in Thai, or at least not in the bar scene? That seems odd. Pashley 04:11, 22 June 2006 (EDT)

Links to dedicated Gem Scam info pages

I reverted the deletion [2] of two external links from Bangkok#Stay safe:

  • Be particularly wary of any and all offers of gems. These highly professional "special discount" scams, often involving large quantities for resale back home at a supposedly huge profit, sometimes employ foreigners to act as satisfied (but completely phoney) customers. See The Gem Scam and How the Scam works for more details, including advice on what to do if you're reading this just a little bit too late.

The URLs in question are:-
- The Gem Scam:
- How the Scam works:

These are primary sources for important info that is directly relevant to, but very helpful detail beyond the scope of, the section. Both sites are reputable, well established, and responsibly maintained; neither are competing guides and they do not contravene the What not to link to guidelines. ~ 02:06, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

You appear to misunderstand what a primary source is. The primary source for a hotel is the hotel's own website. The primary source for a city is the city's own website. The primary source for the police department is the police department's website. There is no such thing as a primary source for a scam. Being a good website -- or even the best -- about a subject does not make a website primary. Keep in mind our motivations here: we want this guide to be sufficiently complete here so that it can be useful to a traveler who does not have access to the internet and the website you mention. -- Colin 02:15, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
I understand what you say. I would however have thought that with a topic such as "Bangkok gem scam" where an "official" primary source is impossible, these sites are the direct equivalent. Undoubtedly, if there was an official site, we would most certainly include a link to it, yes? 03:09, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
Links are always of secondary interest to us. The primary goal is to be complete here. So if you think we have an inadequate guide to scams, we'd rather you make it better than add an extlink. -- Colin 14:29, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
Again, I understand what you say; in general, I don't disagree with either the policy or the goal, although it seems that where I see "primary", you read "official".
I think that for advice on what to do if you've become a gem scam victim, external links makes sense; I think we have an inadequate guide to the Bangkok gem scams if we don't include those links resources.
We try to tell people the best places to go in the event of other difficulties - provide the number for the police, give the address of the embassy, list the most reputable hospitals, etc - it seems ironic that we can't tell them the best place to go if they've been scammed simply because the information is being provided and distributed for free by unpaid volunteers. ~ 15:56, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
'...where I see "primary", you read "official".' Yes. That is what we mean by "primary source". There can be only one official web site, and that's how we keep Wikitravel from being loaded down by lots of "best" web sites about a particular topic. We have nothing aginast "information being distributed for free by unpaid volunteers"; that's precisely what Wikitravel is doing. If the information is valuable to travelers, we want people to find it here, to make Wikitravel the only "guidebook" they need. For example, someday Wikitravel will probably be distributed on CDs (or whatever) for people to read offline, and we want everything they need right there in their hand, not off on a web site they can't get at. - Todd VerBeek 16:32, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
I understand all this (except I didn't understand that "primary" means "official" - if the policy means "only official", surely it ought to simply say "only official" and "no unofficial"?)
There's no information that could be useful to a traveller that's beyond the scope of a Wikitravel article? ~ 16:46, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
Since you seem determined to find a gray area in our rules (and that's a good thing) maybe you should bring this up again at Wikitravel talk:External links so we can get wider input from folks. -- Colin 17:55, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
Wikitravel talk:External links#Clarification - primary/secondary sources ~ 18:19, 18 July 2006 (EDT)


The Khao San Rd service is just one of four airport express bus routes. Unfortunately I'm seeing conflicting info on what the others are, but according to the official PDF [3] there is most definitely a stop directly at the main terminal. Jpatokal 22:30, 27 September 2006 (EDT)

I've posted the confirmed list of actual services. Jpatokal 22:46, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

Go-Go Bars

The opening sentence of this section is currently:

  • "It's perfectly OK to check out these shows without actually partaking, and there are more and more curious couples and even the occasional tour group attending."

The naive reader knowing nothing of Bangkok is left asking "What shows?". I think it needs some description of what a go-go bar is in Bankok. There used to be some, but it is gone, perhaps bowdlerized?

I could write something, but I don't realy know Bangkok. Could someone who does please insert a basic description of what go go bars offer? Pashley 02:29, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

You're correct about needing some description of the shows. Bangkok/Silom describes a small number of specific things, so maybe you could pick some examples out of that to make an introduction? -- Colin 02:38, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

I just restored the deleted text that was there originally. Someone could probably improve it though. Pashley

I'm still ignorant. What exactly is a go-go bar? Brothel? Strip club? Brothel fronting as a strip club? or just a bar? -- Sapphire 03:26, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
A bizarre combination of "all of the above". They're usually pretty tame as far as strip shows go, and they're not strictly speaking brothels because there is no sex on premises and the bar doesn't set or enforce rates, but the dancers are still all prostitutes looking for customers. Anyway, I've added a brief description, let me know if it makes any sense. Jpatokal 04:39, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Your explanation makes perfect sense. I had heard the term before, but in the Midwest it means something completely different. Thanks. -- Sapphire 04:42, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Looks good to me too. Thanks. Pashley 04:51, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Doh. Now I see what was wrong. I've edited it a bit to make to emphasize the "this is what go go bars are and why you might be intersted in going and watching" and tried to derail the "this is how to buy a girl" stuff. But let me know if I've failed on that primary goal of "what it is and why the shows can be worth going to." It seemed to me that the restored text failed to really say that some of the shows might be worth going to for their own sake rather than to gawk at mere patheticness, so I tried to add that too based on the Silom descriptions. (And I think I just set a new record for edit conflicts in a row). -- Colin 04:55, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Whoah baby -- why are you nuking the lady drink/bar fine bits, which are already explained on Bangkok/Silom at that? I've bought lady drinks eg. when a transvestite sauntered over and chatted with my curious girlfriend, and the bar fine system — in particular, the fact that paying it does not get you any sexual services whatsoever — is (AFAIK) unique to Thailand and quite unintuitive. FWIW, LP Bangkok explains the system (5th ed. p.33) and, shock horror, even gives sample fees for "extracurricular services" (their term). Jpatokal 05:07, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
I like Jani's text - It helps me understand what not to do if I don't want to take a nice ladyboy back to the hotel. -- Sapphire 05:14, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
The lady drink got thrown out with the bathwater of context. How about we move that whole rules box over into this one since it applies citywide, and I'll grit my teeth and ignore the bar fine rule since the issue isn't overdone in that infobox? It kinda formats badly versus the photo, so maybe you can finesse the formatting better than I could. (Another two edit conflicts. This isn't my day for that). -- Colin 05:27, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Whee, consensus! Infobox moved and pictures tweaked, looks OK at least on my browser now. Jpatokal 05:34, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Also, most gogos actually don't do "shows" (eg. I don't know of a single 'legit' bar in Patpong that does); the main differentiating factor is just who has the prettiest girls, a quality so ethereal it hardly makes sense to record here. For most part, the few selected in Silom and Sukhumvit are there because they've been around forever and have a reputation of not ripping off customers. Jpatokal 05:18, 28 September 2006 (EDT)
Whoa, indeed. I much preferred the text before Colin's edits. Pashley 05:22, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

Removal of overview image?

Exactly why was this image removed from the article? Sure the city looks crappy in it, but Bangkok is a *ell of a crappy city! I think the photos in the article are missleading since they try to picture Bangkok as a green, nice city. It isn't. -Adestro 17:13, 1 October 2006 (EDT)