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If you’re as bored of reading endless gogo review as I am of writing them, here’s an incidental piece to break up the monotony. And don’t worry, I’m more than half-way there on the gogo bars now. Once the background information is complete, the site have the scope to become far more interesting.

I’ll be writing up accounts of forays into the wilds of Bangkok’s finest dens of sin, as well as where to go when you’re all gogo’d out. It’s tricky to push a site without a great depth of content, hence I’m still steadily plugging away writing a little about what feels like every bar in Bangkok – obviously it’s nowhere near that at the moment. But I’ll certainly try to break up the review posts with some light reading – like these little golden rules for the gogo virgin:

Bangkok Gogo Bars – The Dos and Don’ts

No photography – they really mean it. Yes, some people have got away with snapping illicit pics with their cameraphone, but that doesn’t mean you will. The girls take their privacy seriously – some may have families and boyfriends who don’t have any idea what their tilac does for a living. They don’t want them to find out, either. If you get caught you can expect to at least have your camera/cellphone taken away, and can possibly expect a beating for good measure.

Don’t wai – the wai is the palms-together head-nod gesture used by Thais to show respect. Thai culture is based on a heirarchy of social status. Don’t make yourself look like an idiot by bowing in deference to a prostitute. Shake hands, or even better just nod and smile.

Buy the mamasan a drink – you’ll notice one or more middle-aged women working in any bar. One or more of these is the mamasan. She’s basically the girls’ manager, and often acts as a surrogate mother to the younger ones. She resolves disputes between the girls, keeps things running smoothly, and is a powerful ally. Buy her a drink, and tell her what you’re looking for – either a certain girl, or a certain “service”. She’ll be happy to help you out, and will remember your kindness next time you visit.

Don’t go for the stunner – easy in some bars, where there aren’t any girls who’d qualify. Trickier to manage in Angelwitch, Baccara or Pretty Lady though. You know the situation, you’re sat watching them shuffle on stage, and spot one girl who’s absolutely gorgeous. You also know that she won’t come over unless she really wants a drink, or unless she’s invited (ie. ordered to join you). Yes she’s beautiful, and yes if you pay the barfine and give her a couple of thousand baht you can take her back to your bachelor pad for a good rutting. But these are the girls who get barfined every single night. How enthusiastic do you think she’s going to be, unless you’re Brad Pitt?

Do go for the enthusiastic ones – you know, the one who runs over and leaps into your lap as soon as you arrive. She’s not on your lap because she has to be, she’s on your lap because she wants to be. You can figure out for yourself how much extra fun this will bring you later in the evening…

Tip, if they earnt it – not only will your change come on a tip-tray, it’ll have been given in tip-friendly denominations. If they owe you ฿50 change, you won’t get a ฿50 note – you’ll get a ฿20 note and three ฿10 coins – easier for you to leave some behind. Tip if they’ve earnt it, but if the service was appalling (as sadly it often is in Thailand), take your change, remember that the markup on the beer is phenomenal, and perhaps they’ll try harder next time.

Don’t be a mug – if you buy a lady-drink for every girl who requests one, you’ll soon be the toast of the bar – why not ring the bell as well? You’ll also end up spending all your money before you’ve even taken a girl out of the door, so why not limit your drinks just to the girls you’re actually interested in, er, developing a relationship with?

Don’t be a cheapskate – at the same time, if you refuse to get anyone a drink and sit on your own looking miserable, you’re not going to get much luck at all! If you only buy drinks for the girls who sit and talk to you first, you demonstrate that you’re not a cheapskate, but not an ATM either…

Smile! – no, seriously. It makes a huge difference, these girls just want to have fun. They’re far more likely to have that with a happy grinning party animal (whether you are one or not doesn’t matter – as long as you look like one!) than with a scared-looking chap with a glum look on his face…