In Thai 'Loi Kroh' means 'wash your bad luck away'. There is a book on this very subject. Loi Kroh Road is the place that all locals and expats in Chiang Mai have heard about. It is a small area full of bars and eateries as well as go go bars. If Chiang Mai has a red light district it is Loi Kroh Road. The irony of the road name is obvious - for many naive tourists the bad luck begins with falling for a working girl.
It is hard to be prudish when writing about a place in Thailand. There are red light districts in Bangkok (Soi Cowboy and Patpong), Pattaya (Walking Street), Phuket (Bangla Road). Koh Samui has hundreds of working girls in Chaweng and Lamai. Even the hippy island of Koh Phangan has a mile stretch of sordid beer bar places. Prostitution is common in Thailand and attracts both sexpats, sex tourists and Thai men. In this way, Chiang Mai is no different.
On Loi Kroh Road you will find bars where you buy the girl a drink and she will sit with you. Then of course after pleasantries there is the option to pay a bar fine to release the girl for however long it takes for the customer to gain his satisfaction. There are both go go bars where the girls dance and beer bars where the girls stalk the bar looking for a friendly response from newly arrived clients.
The street also have massage parlours. The girls are often outside trying to drum up trade by claiming passing by men are 'handsome'.
Those really into such sex enclaves will be happy with the cheap prices for drinks, fines and girls but perhaps less so with the quality and quantity . Loi Kroh Road is a small red light district and numerous 'stickboy' types moan about the age and prettiness of the girls. Bar fines range from 300 to 500 Thai Baht.
For those just curious about Loi Kroh Road there are bars and cafes on the street which focus more on food and drink rather than on the skin trade. There is often a lively night scene in this area and many people like to be on the fringe of the sex industry enjoying the free atmosphere, the plentiful supply of eye candy and the possibility of watching some sordid drama play out in public.
Yes, the best and worst that Thailand has to offer.
Loi Kroh Road is outside the walled old city and not far from the river. See the map below.