My mate mark has come over to Bangkok for a couple of weeks and last night we hit Soi Cowboy, and boy was it quiet. Compared with a year ago the customer numbers were at least 60 per cent lower.
In conversation with what tourists I did see they ALL said that the exchange rate, the much higher prices, and the lack of money in their home countries, is the reason people are not coming to Thailand. The trouble with the yellows and reds has very little to do with it.
This is exactly as I have thought for sometime. Apart from the curfew for a few days the trouble with the redshirts had little effect on me. Actually in a funny sort of way the curfew may have helped me and my bank balance by keeping me from straying too far :)
Anyway, the lack of customers in Soi Cowboy is certainly having an affect on the girls. They seem more forward with 'You can buy drink for me or not' They seemed to ask for a drink as soon as we got in a bar and ordered our first drink !! But I can live with that. A laugh and a 'no' had the desired effect.
It is also possible to negotiate other activities down to 500 - 1000 baht short time, and 1500 - 2000 baht long time - or so I have been told.
The lull in the customer numbers has been taken advantage of by the boss of Cowboy 2. He has refurbished the bar and it looks really nice. He has got the balance right in my opinion. That is the balance between a new look and making the bar look an expensive place, which it isn't. I love the place !! With a bar fine at 500 baht and draught Heineken at 90 baht all night, you can't go wrong. Buy a jug of Heineken and you can get it cheaper. Cowboy 2 is well placed for the upturn in business that will surely come.
All in all Soi Cowboy is still a great place to go.