A brief history of Soi Cowboy

soi cowboy hangover2

Soi Cowboy as it appears today

Originally called Soi Gold Label after its first bar (opened in the mid 1970’s)

The Gold Label was regarded as the first real bar catering to foreigners on the street . It was also the first go go bar on the Soi.

soi cowboy old picture

Soi Cowboy as it used to be.

In 1977 a retired airman TG Edwards opened his first bar and ended up owning a couple of bars and a restaurant on the street. Sadly Edwards lost everything in a divorce battle with his Thai wife and ended up dying a poor man.

TG edwards mr soi cowboy

TG Edwards wearing the hat that started it all

 He was often seen wearing his signature cowboy hat but it was the legendary columnist Bernard Trink who is responsible for coining the name Soi Cowboy.  it stuck and Soi Gold label became known as Soi Cowboy and  the rest  as they say is history.

Bernard trink

The Legendary Bernard Trink in 1960’s

Original bars included Fanny’s, Dolls House and Midnight Bar..see if you can spot them on them on the tour.

 ‘Nuff said’ – as Bernard Trink would say!

We hope you enjoy the tour.

6 thoughts on “A brief history of Soi Cowboy

  1. Great to hear a bit of history about the landmarks of Bangkok – you should do more of these articles if possible as they are quite enjoyable. I’m looking forward to visiting Bangkok this summer and am brushing up on the greatest places to visit during day and night. Do you guys do tours during the day time?

  2. Dolls House was a much more recent addition, moving to Soi Cowboy when their lease at Clinton Plaza ended. It certainly wasn’t one of the original bars. No mention of Big Blue (The Original Hard Cock Bar), Crazy Jack’s Shadow Bar, how about the after hours Beluga where Country Road is now……… 5 Star is almost the same as it was 30 years ago except they moved the bar from the right to the left. Apache, long gone now. Dandy Bar or Dundee Bar, still the same, the name change came about after a crack-down and it was written as Dundee in Thai not Dandy which it was supposed to be. That is also why After School has a sign saying Sunshine Bar, the latter being the name on the license. There even used to be a toy shop and a dentist if you go back far enough

      • i knew cowboy from 1974, he was in the army, and was manager of the last american officers club, in bkk. the first time i was on soi cowboy was 1971, there was only one bar called the gold label, ran by a paki, one tony khim really started the boom there first cowboy, then building more bars for americans germans etc cost 25,000 to begin with, most lost everything, they should listen to trinks, my first visit to pattaya 1976, i went by car with cowboy, and tony khim, met bob carr, of wandee inn fame, don antonia, and a guy called patpong, who family still own patpong road area. all of them are dead now, of course there was tiger ryberg of lucys tiger den. my first visit was from vietnam oct 1967, stayed at the fortuna hotel soi 5. i return to bkk-pattaya in sept 2017 for my 50th. cheers gilbert

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