This article is about Thai Bar Girls, specifically Thai bar girls working in Pattaya, but it’s relevant to Thai girls working as bar girls anywhere in Thailand. A lot has been spoken and written about Thai bar girls, so let’s explore what a bar girl is ?, where they come from, and most importantly what is the bar girl mindset.
What is a Bar Girl.
A typical bar girl working in Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket or any of the sex tourist hot-spots of Thailand can best be defined as a girl who works in a bar to attract, entertain, and ultimately have sex with a customer in exchange for money.
Where do Bar Girls work ?.
The most popular places to meet bar girls are “Beer bars”. These beer bars are usually simple affairs often consisting of many small bars in one complex under a single roof, examples of beer bar complexes in Pattaya are the “Best Friend Bar” and “Siren” beer bar complexes on Pattaya Beach Road, there are many smaller beer bar complexes on 2nd Road, Soi Baukhow, Soi Diana, Soi 7, Soi 8, Soi 2, Pattaya Naklua Road, Beach Road and Jomtien.
Enclosed bars, occupying a single or double ( shop-house ) unit can be anything from a relaxed drinking, eating and pick-up joint to a rather intensive “short time bar” where the emphasis is more on one off sexual relationships.
You could also say go-go clubs and gentleman’s clubs come under the umbrella of bar girl establishments, except girls working in go-go’s are referred to as go-go girls, and ‘hostesses’ are girls working in gentleman’s clubs.
Some bar girls work the bar, and freelance in their off time. Some choose to move on and are very successful freelancing full. They look for punters in Pattaya’s popular nightclubs and discos, and also make themselves available for casual hook-ups online.
Where do bar girls come from ?.
The vast majority of bar girls who work in Pattaya originate from Issan “North-east Thailand”, the minority of the Pattaya bar girls come from other regions of Thailand, including Pattaya itself.
Why do so many Thai girls work as bar girls ?.
The reason so many girls end up working in the bars of Thailand’s tourist destinations is for financial gain. In Issan it is extremely difficult to find a job which pays a wage comparable to what a bar girl can potentially earn in Pattaya or Phuket, Samui, Koh Chang or Bangkok.
Issan is a rural region which relies heavily on agriculture, mainly rice farming to support it’s economy, unfortunately agricultural work is poorly paid and seasonal, even if a family is fortunate to enough own and work their own land they can only afford to live hand to mouth.
State pensions do not exist in Thailand, it is considered the norm for children to financially support their parents as soon as they are able. Sometimes due to peer pressure, sometimes for want of a better life than that offered by working in paddy fields of Issan, girls head for Pattaya in search of money to support their families, and for many the hope of finding a rich foreigner to marry and live happily ever after.
Most bar girls come from poor backgrounds, their parents cannot afford to send them to university or any form of higher education. Many parents cannot even afford to keep their children in school until leaving age. As soon as they are old enough they are made to work and support the family. Therefore they cannot get the necessary qualifications needed for professional and academic employment.
Many girls might be pushed by their parents to go and find a rich ‘farang’ husband, so the obvious starting point is a bar. Many, if not most of them will have a friend or relative who has been working as a bar girl and has told them of the easy money which can be made working as a bar girl, and of course, all these wonderfully rich farangs which might one day want her as a wife and look after her and her family for the rest of her life.
Advantages of becoming a bar girl in Thailand.
- No academic skills or qualifications are required.
- Opportunity to earn much more money than is possible doing other unskilled work.
- More spare money to send home and support the family.
- Perfect environment to meet Mr. Right, or should I say Mr. Rich farang.
Some Thai bar girls are married.
Not all Thai bar girls are looking for love, you might be surprised to know that many bar girls working in Pattaya actually have a Thai husband or boyfriend. For them, being a bar girl is simply a job.
More often than not the husband or boyfriend knows his wife is sleeping with men for money, and is very happy with the arrangement, it is also not unheard of for the husband to stay home and in effect be a ‘kept man’.
Not all girls working in the bar are prostitutes.
Just because a girl works in a girlie bar or a short time bar does not mean that she is willing to sleep with or provide other special services to customers. Quite often the position of cashier, cook, or mamasan will be taken by girls who would rather not “go with customers”.
Bar girls and sponsorship.
Some of the more beautiful Thai bar girls will have at least one sponsor, the sponsor being a customer she met previously, who now thinks that the girl is his own beautiful Thai sweet-heart and that they are in a relationship.
When the time comes for him to go back to his own country he will send his bar girl sweet heart money every month in order that she can afford to live without working in the bar.
Many girls are serious about the relationship and cease all bar work, or at least stop going with customers. On the other hand some Thai bar girls become very efficient, even business like when it comes to foreign sponsors.
Thai bar girls often accumulate several sponsors who each send their Thai bar girl sweet heart a monthly allowance until they can return, of course that can take a lot of juggling on the girls part, and they often arrange for their sponsors to visit at a convenient time so as not to have 2 sponsors visiting at the same time.
How long do Thai bar girls work as bar girls ?.
That depends on many things including how long she can keep her good looks, the time it takes to find her Mr. Right, or the time it takes her to amass enough money to either retire or move onto other things such as starting her own business. Many will end up running a bar of their own or managing a bar for someone else, some will fail at their relationship or business and return to work as a bar girl. If a bar girl kept her good looks she could possibly have a career of 10 – 15 years if she wished.
Thai bar girls personality.
For many visitors to Thailand, especially Pattaya, bar girls are the face of Thailand, and the impression they usually make is one of friendliness, welcoming and eager to please, which for the most part they genuinely are. But beneath the smile of the more experienced bar girls lies a cynical grin, no contempt or loathing, just skepticism brought about by the false and broken promises and mistreatment they have suffered at the hands of customers who promised them the world and gave them nothing, or just used them cheaply without even asking their name.
Summary of Thai bar girls.
Most bar girls learn to become detached and treat it merely as a job, they take the rough with the smooth and they become very adept at looking after number one.
Thai bar girl trivia.
- Sex tourism began in Thailand as a by-product of the Vietnam war, many American military bases were established in Thailand, and afterwards Thailand became a base for troops to enjoy some rest and recreation including female company.
- There is an estimated 300,000 women working in the sex trade in Thailand, some estimates put that number as high as 1000,000, and bar girls make up a large proportion of that number.
- Prostitution, believe it or not is actually illegal in Thailand.
- They say “you can take the girl out the bar, but you can’t take the bar out of the girl.