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If you’ve ever walked around the electronically pulsating neighborhood of Akihabara in Tokyo, you’ve noticed the hundreds of girls dressed up as maids, luring male patrons (known as “masters”) into upstairs shops, or maid cafes. The concept behind a maid café in Tokyo is to stroke its patrons in a psychological way, not sexual. The maids are paid per minute to listen to you talk and then continue to verbally express how awesome you are, how brave and hard-working you are, and how impressed they are by your courage and dedication.
So it was much to our surprise when walking through Central World, of all places, to see Bangkok’s very own version of a maid café, Akiba Kiss – right there in front of us.
According to the staff, Akiba stands for Akihabara, and Kiss stands for kissa, meaning café. Akiba Kiss isn’t like your typical Tokyo maid café, though. It appears from the outside to be a store for teenagers that offer cosplay accessories. Also, whereas Tokyo maid cafes battle to boost your ego, in Bangkok they battle you at Nintendo Wii. No joke. For 100 baht a game, you can battle a maid, complete with high heels and stocking that end before they reach the skirt, at a Wii game. If you win you can earn a prize (worth less than 100 baht)! Amazing Thailand.
You can take photo stickers with your favorite maid for 200 baht. You can also put on make-up and costumes, or buy DVDs from Japan, or take a visit to their “secret box”, which looks like it’s just another place to play video games. Or so we think. Someone let us know.
They have unusual imported merchandise from Japan as well, including a face whitener that looks like glue and a two-pronged device you roll back and forth on your cheeks.
A dance studio costs 400 baht for one hour or 600 for two, reduced if you have a membership card. Being a café, it claims to have food, but all that was available on KohSpot’s visit was jello. Someone was attempting to make donuts, but they were burning so noticeably a security guard entered the store to inquire about the smell. Their reply was to laugh. We laughed too and chucked up a deuce sign.
Akiba Kiss is located on the seventh floor of CentralWorld, in an area called Centerpoint that caters to teenagers. Most of the patrons are students and judging from the pictures everyone seems to have a fun time dressing up and posing for pictures.
Maid cafes have sprouted up all over the world from China, to the US and the Czech Republic. It looks like the phenomena is now made it to Thailand. We’re curious to see where clever Bangkok entrepreneurs go with this one, should it become a trend, Krispy Kreme style, and folks look to capitalize.
Location: Seventh floor, Centerpoint, CentralWorld
Mass transit: BTS Chit Lom or Siam, Khlong station Pathumwan
Hours: 11 am-9 pm daily