Thai Bar Girls – Food, Phones and Thumbs

Udon Thai bar girls

I recently spent a few days in the city of Udon Thani – something I do on each of my holidays to Thailand. I look on Udon Thani as my barometer of how well tourism in Thailand is doing. In Bangkok the long tail boats on the Chao Phraya River may be bobbing empty and the tuk tuks nearby stood still, but what about Udon Thani and my true barometer test. Is business for the bar girls good? If Udon Thani bar girls are doing good trade then I think it’s likewise for the Land of Smiles too.

Thai bar girlUdon Thani has a good parcel of expats, but as far as tourism goes  if you take away the peak Christmas season, then Udon receives just a gentle ebb and flow of hormone fuelled sex hungry tourists. And any spike in numbers is easy to notice because Udon Thani’s bars become much busier and the bar girls smiles are even more eye-catching.

Media reports suggest Thailand could lose over five billion US dollars in lost tourism revenue this year, ‘ Big Trouble for Thai Bar Girls in Tourist Thailand ‘ could be another crass TV series about to happen. On second thoughts, who would have the ‘Bravo‘ to produce that one. If you believe the media buzz then there are more lucky charms being rubbed in the bars of Thailand than breasts in hotel rooms.

My stroll down Sampantamit Road in Udon Thani’s city centre started at the Irish Clock Bar and I headed back to the main road stopping for pick-me-ups (beers) at the New York Bar & Grill and the surreal sounding Orange Moon. There may be life on Mars but Major Tom would discover the Moon and the lonely planets nearby had very little.

The Irish Clock has its regular fill of expats – its excellent food pulls in a steady crowd throughout the day, but your easy-to-spot typical tourist was thin on the ground. The ‘Clock’ has bar girls but they solely serve food and drinks and do not come on to customers.


The New York Bar & Grill is one of Udon’s newer bars and is smart-looking with the added pull of a pool table and a Nintendo Wii game screen…. but very few customers. The approach by the bar staff here was straight forward and head on.

A young bar girl immediately placed herself next to me and her intentions were soon as clear as the mischievous glint in her eyes. I whispered a few kind words in her ear and she backed off to where she’d come from. When a punter doesn’t want to shunt her and there’s nowt else about, a Thai bar girl gets back to the basics of food, phones and thumbs.

Udon Thani bar girlsIf you ever come across a charity with the slogan, ‘ Thai bar girls are starving ‘ – keep your hands out of your pockets and don’t believe a word. No matter what fix the Thai economy might be in a Thai bar girl and her food will not suffer. A stroll around Udon Thani’s Nutty Park is proof of just that. Thai bar girls always find the time and money to eat. Udon Thani girls are no different.

I had a chat with the New York Bar & Grill’s owner, he was American (I’m terrible with names) – New York Bar & Grill kind of gave it away anyhow and what he told me I knew already. Udon’s bars were struggling, just like the rest of Thailand and he was anticipating foot traffic would pick up toward the year-end. I hoped so for his sake because he struck me as a genuinely nice man.

Udon Thani girls

The Orange Moon had one customer, me, and this time there was no rush to sweet talk me – just distanced politeness, and as always, a show of respect. I was either past my sell by date, or the girls had given up – I think my passport held the clue. Food, phones and thumbs.

In good times farang phone bar girls and during the bad – even the fat Brit with the bad breath becomes a very sexy man.

Right now in the bars and apartments of tourist Thailand bar girls phone conversations to their rural parents must be going a lot like this, ‘I’ll send more money next month mama, now the factory has no OT (overtime).’

I could hazard a guess at what juice they produce at the Orange Moon factory – I drank my beer and paid my bill – my barometer read dead and I was late for my date with my partner Wonderful Wi.

I met up with Wilai at the Steak Sizzler on the fourth floor of the Charoensri Shopping Mall and as we ate I couldn’t help wonder if life on Soi Sampantamit Road had picked up. My guess was it hadn’t and Udon Thani’s bar girls would be still be busy with their food, phones and thumbs. [dublin-core-metadata]

Read more about Udon Thani nightlife and bars.

© 2009 – 2016, Martyn. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “Thai Bar Girls – Food, Phones and Thumbs

  1. I have a feeling it’s going to be a tough year for the Bar girls of Thailand. I know how slow it is in Bangkok and Pattaya so I can’t imagine Udon Thani will fare any better.

    Another thing we can blame the boys at Goldman Sachs for. Hopefully President Obama will come up with some sort of stimulus bill that will have a trickle down effect that can help the girls out in a roundabout way.

    Until this economy breaks it’s going to be a rough ride for a lot of people.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Remembering Those Who Served in Thailand =-.

  2. Thanks Martyn I enjoyed that one!

    By the way remind me where is Udon Thani?
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Road Safety in Thailand =-.

  3. Talen it will be a tough year but right now they will all be looking forward to the December peak season. I wonder if the price of a bar girl will rise to compensate for previous lost earnings, I think not. It will be interesting to hear how busy Pattaya is this Christmas. I am heading for Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and possibly Loei.

  4. Mike I not sure if you mean the city or Province. The city is in the north east tip of Thailand about 55 kilometres from Nong Khai and the Laos border. It is about 550 kilometres from Bangkok. WW’s village is a further 65 km west.

    BTW your Google Friend Connect thumbnail seems to have disappeared from the box, have you been tweaking again.

  5. Not guilty, I’ve just put it back!!

    I was joking about UT but thanks for the info since it puts it in perspective as I am a mere 330km South of BKK.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Lucky Numbers Thailand-Lucky Sticks =-.

  6. I just came back from Kanchanaburi and it was the same there. Dead. Makes you wonder just when this down time is going to turn back up again.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Learn Thai with Psycho-Cybernetics =-.

  7. Catherine – Kanchanaburi was fairly dead during my short stay and talking to some of the bar owners they weren’t to hopeful of things picking up until Christmas. There’s a world money crisis going on and it ain’t gonna bypass Thailand.

  8. Hi Martyn,
    If only I had the money I could help a few of these girls out! lol I’m sure Christmas will have quite a few stocking filled with gifts of a kind.

    Hope you are well of course, your writing continues to entertain to the hilt.

    .-= Martin In Bulgaria´s last blog ..More TIme To Write At Weekends In Bulgaria =-.

  9. Martin nice to see you have found some time to write again, I have been looking in and read your latest post. Christmas stockings in Udon Thani, I don’t think Wilai would be too happy if I dipped my hand into one of them. Thanks.

  10. Chrsitmas has just gone by and business must have been on the serious up, considering how busy things are in Koh Samui.
    .-= Camille´s last blog ..1st January, 2010 =-.

  11. I used to live in Koh Tao and I have, the best things in Thailand are the food… and mmm yep, the girls…
    .-= Gab´s last blog ..Breast Reduction Operation – An Advanced Surgery =-.

  12. Sad but true reflection. I wonder where Major Tom is now! You know what worries me more than the current tourist downturn and or low seasons is what happens to these beautiful girls when they are past their use buy date? The lifestyle must play havoc on their health and looks eventually unless they are “saved” by the over weight, old though somewhat wealthier, foreigner. How does a women who has used sex as a point of sale settle into a sedentary life after “bars”. Have you not seen the older Thai ladies in these bars?

  13. Mr Samui – I’ve seen plenty of older bar girls in Pattaya and some older men do prefer them. They are generally a little smarter and appreciative but as a rule they do tend to get left on the shelf.

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