A brief insight into the world of a Thai bar Girl
So after a week or so taking in the sites and sounds of Bangkok, i found myself heading to the infamous resort of Pattaya approximately 2.5 hrs drive east of Bangkok.
I’ve never visited the city of sin before as i’ve always been put off by the idea on en masse sex tourism and exploitation, however after talking to a few people in Bangkok i was told that the city had cleaned up its image in the last few years and was a good beachside resort to chill out in for a few days.
It’s also touted as being cheaper than Bangkok, a good thing i thought as im currently not earning anything and wanted to make my cash go as far as possible.
I deliberately choose a guesthouse out of town as i didn’t want perverts in my face 24/7 but unfortunately that’s not how things panned out.
You see, Pattaya is a haven for dodgy old Europeans and the new middle classes of India, Russia and China. There are condos (apartments) flying up everywhere with prices starting around the 1.5 Million baht range, not a small sum and way out of reach of 99% of the local population. Someone must be buying these.
The bus from Bangkok Ekkamai station down to Pattaya takes about 3 hours and is pretty efficient. You arrive at Pattaya North Bus Station and from there you have to take one of the local baht buses (songthaews) that seem to pepper Thailand wherever you may find yourself, fare always negotiable of course and normally at least double for the falang.
First Night in Pattaya
So i headed out around 8ish to get a taste of the town and to see what the fuss was all about.
Now this is not going to be a review as such of Pattaya, there’s plenty of sites out there that do that, but more about the brief interaction and time i spent with one of the ‘local’ girls and what i learned about the bar girl culture in Thailand during my short stay in the city.
The place is flooded with a tide of Indians, Bangladeshis and Russians with a liberal helping of Israelis Italians and Germans thrown into the mix. I didn’t encounter many brits during my stay although the owner of my guest house was from the North of England, having been there many years with his thai wife, Nok.
The majority of these are over 50, weigh 20 plus stone and look very rough around the edges. I can see the appeal of the place. If you look like that your chances with good looking slim women in the West is near zero, and if you’re willing to pay perhaps $250 plus for the night for something half decent.
Here, for around $30-40 USD you can get a slim 20something Thai girl for a few hours. If you’re willing to pay more the sky really is the limit, two/three girls at once and i dread to think what else can be bought under the table so to speak.
I met a girl in the club on the second night who was there to pick up guys after her shift had finished at one of the local massage joints that pepper the Soi’s throughout the city. This is common practice here if they don’t end up getting a guy from the massage parlour to take them for the night.
She called herself Apple, not her real name i guess but kinda cute nonetheless.
I was immediately asked for drinks and had the typical questions thrown at me ‘where you from’ ‘you first time Thailand’ and ‘what you work’
The girls do this to ascertain how much of a soft target you are, the greener the better as they know the basic sob stories will work on you and they can extract more cash from the unsuspecting falang.
What developed over the next few days was some kind of weird friendship in which no exchange of money between Apple and i ever took place but i was able to hang out with her during the day and get an insight into how her life worked and what the life of many thai bar girls entails.
It’s actually pretty interesting.
Now these girls are often expected to work 15+ hours per day, often 7 days per week. A typical masseuse or bar girl salary is around 3000 baht per month, about $110. But the money is not here.
Working at one of these joints opens the door to hundreds of foreigners who sift through the city week after week, day after day, all with plenty of holiday cash to spend, a high level of insecurity and an insatiable horniness.
Prices per night start typically at around 1500 baht so you can imagine in a few days she’s trumped her bar salary and is on the way to making a lot of cash by Thai standards; here lies the draw of bar work in Thailand.
Apple was talking to no less than 58 guys ( i counted with her one night!) on various dating sites such as Thai Cupid and Badoo and of course whatsapp via her Ipad. (a gift from one of the many guys).
These were men from all over the world although mainly countries such as Norway, France and Germany.
The messages sent were a real insight into the misery of some of these guys..there was repeated requests to marry her, ill leave my ugly wife for you and bring you over to my home country and pay for everything etc etc.
It was crazy.
She wasn’t even that good looking, pretty average by Thai standards but decent compared to many western women.
She definitely got off on the attention, but the main game here was money.
She was a little more discreet about this but the twice weekly trip down to the local Western Union to pick up cash that ‘boyfriends’ had sent over was a real eye-opener.
Her tablet would ping away constantly when i was with her, Klaus from Germany, Derek form Oslo…
It was a little disturbing to see the desperation of these guys, most who hadn’t even been to Thailand or met Apple but still craved her attention like nothing else. She wouldn’t even reply to most of them or would wait a few hours then give a one word answer. This slight bit of attention from her would cause them all to almost immediately respond within seconds with what would be a barrage of desperation, ‘come on guys’ i kept thinking.
I was more than glad to leave Pattaya in the end. It was good to meet Apple and get an insight into the bar girl scene first hand.
Perhaps she was playing me all along and working on the long game with me, who knows. I got the feeling though she was glad to hang out with a normalish western guy who made her laugh and bought her the odd coffee and drink.
I love Thai women, their resilience really shows and they exhibit a level of happiness that many of us in the west would love to have. So i wish Apple and all her comrades the best of luck, and may they find that rich falang they dream of…