How much does it cost for a night with a Thai bar girl ? That’s a question I get asked a lot, mainly from 30 – 50-year-old single guys. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the bar girl scene but the rules will be just the same, and money as ever the name of the game.
Beyond The Mango Juice takes a look at the world of the Pattaya bar girls, aiming to arm Thailand newbies with some rules, etiquette and information on the “dancing queens” of Pattaya.
All photographs in this post are used for illustration purposes only and do not imply the girls pictured sell sex.
Pattaya Bar Girls
They say it’s the oldest profession in the world but I think the word “prostitute” is a little too harsh to label and slap on Pattaya bar girls. Working girls is what they like to call themselves and I couldn’t agree more. Anyone new to Thailand needs to understand that the country has no social benefits system in place for unemployment or child care – if you don’t work, you don’t get any money.
Given the life that most of the bar girls tourist customers have, I’m certain the girls – if they had the same opportunities, would also hold down jobs in offices and factories and not lay on their backs and think of Thailand. Most of the them are from the poorer provinces of Thailand and are single mothers with young kids to feed and that makes it harder to ignore the lure of tourist resorts like Pattaya.
Pattaya Bar Etiquette
Respect is the main word you need to know and put into practice. In any walk of life if you have to do something that you consider beneath you, then you hope you receive a little respect from others when carrying out those humble tasks. Thai women feel exactly the same, but will deep six their morals and self respect with a smile.
Anyone who is planning to hop from bar to bar and pull a different bar girl each time then that’s fine, but… if a punter returns to a bar and ignores a girl he’s taken before in favour of a different one, then sparks may fly.
If you do return to the same bar then do not pick up a different girl unless the one you bar fined before is with another customer – and even then think twice. If the girl is not with a someone and you bar fine a different one she’s going to lose face big time, and big money too, that’s a combination which often leads to trouble. There are plenty of bars with plenty of girls about, don’t play with someone’s dignity, or put Thai style, don’t make the girl lose face.
A Little Bit Of Spiel
- The Market – There are two market types, buying and selling. Peak season is the seller’s market where the bar girls hand is strong, plenty of tourists means plenty of customers and with it the price of honey goes up. Off season sees much lower tourist levels and this makes a buyers market, the tourist has many more girls to choose from making the buying price lower.
- No Money No Honey – After just a couple of days in Pattaya most middle-aged men feel ten years younger and believe their looks reflect that. A bar girl’s sweet tongue can iron out the most unkind and deepest of wrinkles, to the wearer at least. No matter how good you may think you look if you run out of the folding stuff then no bar girl is going to give you the honey she’s sat on.
- Bar Fine – A fee paid to the bar owner to release the bar girl from her hostess duties at the bar. Fees range from 300-500 baht for one day/night. The bar girl will receive a small cut of the bar fine.
- Butterfly – The simple term used by Thai bar girls for tourists who fly from one girl to the next. Also used for those farang who despite being in a lengthy relationship, still find the lure of other bar girls hard to resist. Helicopter is another word used.
- Short Time/ Long Time – Self explanatory. Some bars will have rooms upstairs where you can take one of the girls for a short period and do the business. Most bars haven’t got them and you’ll have to take the bar girl back to your hotel room for short time or long time. Long time normally means all night and the girl will hope to tag onto you for the next day and beyond.
Doing The Deal
A good place for any newbie to dip their toes in Pattaya’s night life are two very popular side streets off Beach Road, Soi 7 & Soi 8. They both have loads of bars and hundreds of bar girls and bar fining one is very easy to do. You just need to sit in a bar, grab a beer and wait – as a rule you won’t be waiting long.
The girls will come to you with baht signs in their big brown eyes and if a particular one does catch your fancy then don’t come on too much because her hand will be a lot stronger if you make the first move and she’ll want to charge you more. Act cool and have some fun with the girl haggling over the money she wants before you bar fine her. Just remember that simple word respect.
How Much For A Bit Of This And That
The following and all the above has been solely based on bars and not Go Go Bars, they have different rules, etiquette and prices. This takes us back to The Markets and we’ll start with the buyers one. Off season an experienced Pattaya tourist (remember this is 2008) can look to pay as low as 500 baht for long time with a bar girl. Newbies will probably need to barter hard to get a long-term deal for around the 700-1000 baht mark. Short term prices would be, if anything , only slightly lower. The bar fine is extra on top.
The seller’s market makes the stakes a lot higher. December and January are peak season and a lot more Thai women head to resorts like Pattaya to grab a slice of the tourist cake. Any newbie will be looking at paying 1000-2000 baht for the same service he would receive off-season. The experienced Butterfly might easily get the same girl for around the 500-1000 baht mark.
This post has merely skimmed the murky waters Thai bar girls float their boats on and the smiles and guiles that come with them. There are many factors that may come into play when dealing with Pattaya bar girls and the price you are asked to pay – she’s waiting on her sugar daddy to come back to town is one of them, she thinks you’re a Cheap Charlie another, they are things you’ll have to weigh up yourself and decide if they green light the ‘price’ and any hassle that may be an add-on. There’s not a set fee for a bar girl and they are out to get the best dollar they can.
Finally the last words go to Pink and a verse from her song Respect.
‘Mirror on the wall, damn I sure look fine
I can’t blame those horny boys, I would make me mine
When I pass you in a club, “Ooh, lala!” you gasp
Back up boy, I ain’t your toy, or your piece of ass.’
Have fun in the sun and show that simple country girl respect.
© 2009 – 2014, Martyn. All rights reserved.