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Thai Bar Girls 101 – What is a Thailand Bar Girl

I remember like it was yesterday, my very first experience with a Thai bar girl…

Having never been to Thailand before or knowing much about this country, I was about as naïve as they come regarding all things Thailand.  And no where was this more noticeable than in the Bar scene.

My friend and I arrived in Koh Samui from Bangkok by Lomprayah bus and boat.  It was not a terrible traveling experience, just long.  It took nearly 12 hours to arrive in Koh Samui.

Once we arrived, we booked a hotel room near the pier.  A couple hundred meters down the road from our hotel, we see a few bars with pool tables and each bar is full of very cute girls.

Walking past them to find a restaurant, three girls jumped out of their seats, take us by the arms, and try to pull us into the bar.

Not used to getting so much attention from women, I turn bright red, slip out of their grip, and proceed to eat an excellent Thai dinner which costs about 1.50usd.

Later that night my friend asks me if we want to go out and play some pool at the bar.  I agree and we head out.

One thing you need to know, my friend is from Mexico.  He is a short, stocky, brown man.  Some have even said he looks like he is from north Thailand.  But he has never been to Thailand before and is as unaccustomed to the culture as I am.

So we enter the bar and instantly have a Thai woman on each arm.  We look at each other smiling, we heard Thailand was easy but this was more than easy, this was awesome!

We order a couple Singha beers, and head to the pool table.  The girls are right next to us and ask if we want to play teams.  We agree and I choose the most attractive one.  She is short, tan smooth skin, great smile, incredible body, and in her middle 20’s.  For my first day in Thailand, things are looking great.

Fast forward an hour…

Things are going even better.  She is sitting on my lap and whispers in my ear that she likes me and would like a drink.  I agree and buy whatever she wants.

I tell her I’d like to take her out for dinner and drinks tomorrow.  She says why wait and wants to go tonight.

I agree and wait for her to change her clothes.

I go to the bar manager and ask for my bill.  I look it over and notice there is an extra 300 baht charge.  I ask about it this.

She says, “This is for bar.”

“What do you mean “for bar”?  I have to pay you 300 baht for the right to drink here?”

She says, “For bar for girl.” Then she looks at my friend and speaks to him in Thai.

Since my Mexican friend speaks little English and absolutely no Thai, we look at each other equally confused.

I challenge the manager again and say that I’m not going to pay 300 baht for just the right to drink here.  She attempts to explain it again, but I’m getting too worked up to listen.

The girl comes out and is looking even better in her short sexy black dress.  I never liked Asian girls before, but she is quickly changing that.  She puts her hand around me and asks what’s going on.  I tell her.

She responds, “You pay 300 baht to bar and you pay me 2,000.  I go with you.”

“What the fuck, now I have to pay you 2,000 baht.”

This was getting worse and worse…

She looks at me confused….

I look back at her equally confused.  It seems minutes pass until the only logical reason why this is happening pops in my head, this must be a scam….

“What kind of scam do you got going on here?  Forget this, here’s the money for my drinks.  I’m never coming to this place again.”

I slam down my money for the drinks and get the hell out of there.  Feeling scammed, embarrassed, and humiliated all at once.

I thought she liked me…

Then I do what any self respecting man would do for answers, I turn on the computer and go straight to Google.

Ten minutes later I feel like an idiot.  They weren’t trying to scam me, I just walked into a brothel without knowing it.

Here is what I learned that night surfing the internet:

Bar Girls 101

Definition:

A bar girl is a girl who works at a bar in Thailand.  She usually has a shift from open to close and works every day.

For her to leave the bar anytime during her shift, she must pay a bar fine.  The bar fine can vary from 300 – 1000 baht.

If she meets a guy after her shift, and does not return in time for her next shift, she still must pay her bar fine.

How Thai Bar Girls Make Money:

Bar girls make money three different ways.
1- They get a small portion of the bar fine.  If the bar fine is 300 baht, they usually get 100 baht.

2- Drinks.  If you buy the girl a drink at the bar, they will get a small commission for the drink.  This commission can be between 20 – 80 baht per drink.  Which is why drinks for girls is more expensive than normal drinks.

3- First and foremost, a bar girl is a prostitute.  When you are with her at the bar, she will negotiate with you on the fee to take her home.  You can pay for a short time (sex one time) or long time (she stays with you all night).

The fee will range from 500 – 3000 baht.  The girl does not have to split this fee with anyone else.

During high season, these girls will go with 3 or 4 different men every day.  They don’t usually discriminate if the money is good.

Turning a Thai Bar Girl into a Girlfriend:

If you meet a bar girl and god forbid, you use the words, “She’s different.”  Then you have the option to “buy her out from the bar”.

Instead of paying the 300 baht bar fine every single day, you pay one large sum to the bar and she will no longer have to return working at the bar.  This amount will usually be between 10,000 – 20,000 baht.

Note, she is not necessarily a slave to the bar.  But when she started working there, she made an agreement with the establishment.  This agreement states that she can not stop working and stay with a man that she met while working at the bar.  For her to stay with the man, he will have to pay for her to finish work at the bar.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, my first time in Thailand and my very first encounter with a prostitute.  It may have been my first, but it sure as hell was not my last…

Posted on Gods of Thailand February 27, 2011 in , ,

WHO IS SEVEN?

Seven is the founder of Gods of Thailand and Gods of Asia which are websites dedicated to teaching men how to have the best time in Thailand without the bullshit. He created the most extensive Thailand VIP Membership Program to do just this. In addition, Seven has written numerous Thai Guide Books to help travelers just like you.

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23 comments
  • Johnny says:

    I’m doing my own research on Thai bar girls and came across this article. I have to admit, I became embarrassed for the author of this piece as I was reading it. But hey, we all have to start somewhere right?

    By the way, I just did some quick Baht to Dollar comparisons. 300 Baht = $9.43, 1000 Baht = $31.44, 15,000 Baht = $471.62. So as you can see, it is really a drop in the bucket. Anyone complaining about these prices is very cheap.

  • Buffalo boy says:

    I will contest one thing in this article, It is not necessary to buy girls out from the bar, girls are under no obligation to the bar, they can quit the bar and come back as much as they want, barfines are paid to rent a girl for a day or a week, if you want to take a girl for longer she can quit the bar and then you don’t have to bay a barfine, you only have to pay her for her time, if a girl claims you have to pay a large sum to free her from the bar, its a scam, I have taken many girls out of bars for long periods and they just quit the bar and I didnt pay barfine

    • I guess maybe it depends on the bar.

      I have it under very good authority that if the girl quits the bar to stay with a man she met “while” working at the bar. It will create problems.

      However, if she met him after or before her shift, then there is no need to buy her out. Then she can simply quit.

      Maybe this isn’t universal across Thailand though…

  • Mark says:

    when you say “buy your girls out” how long do have them as a girlfriend? 3months, 6months, a year?

    • That’s between you and your girl. But when you “buy her out”, she does not “need” to return to working at that bar. So she could stay with you for a month or a lifetime.

      However, when you turn a bar girl into a girlfriend, there are often other fees associated. Like paying monthly to her or her family.

  • Pravin says:

    Sam, If that helps you sleep at night man….

  • Sam says:

    i mean same time this tissue thing, i dont know what u are talking about. haha
    what tissue?
    i dont change anyones tissue in the bathroom?
    u think im from thailand or asia and im changing tissues in malls and other places? lol
    what a stupidity.

  • Sam says:

    David if u were refering to me then i dont really know what u are talking about.
    Your comments sounds very weird.
    Im actually farrange and lives in Europe and i have only been in Thailand 1 time on vacation.
    I was only joking about paying that amount for a girl to be with u, a girl who will never really love u but who is only after ur money and a girl who will cheat on u and go back to her bar work when u go back home on vacation.
    A girl u cant trust and who might leave u after u wasted ur money on her.

    I dont know what u are talking about about buying “my girls”??
    im not from thailand and i dont live there and im not even from asia, and i dont have “my girls” there in thailand.

    So i dont know what u are talking about.

    And same time this issue thing u are talking about. lol
    i dont really know what u talk about.

    As i said im not from asia and i dont live there.

    And if u guys were laughing at me then u should laugh at urself. lol

  • Ryley says:

    I have not been to Thailand yet, but out of curiosity when you are in the beer how much does it cost to play pool?

  • David says:

    ^ Interesting take on the “farrange/foreigner” posts here. My guess is you couldn’t negotiate your way through half a year of Western commerce, business development and/or career advancement. That’s okay. We’ll take the money we make by very successfully negotiating our way through those world standard challenges and then “buy your girls out” for the mere pittance of 10,000 – 20,000 baht while you open the mall doors and replace the mens room tissue for us.

  • Sam says:

    haha stupid farrange/foreigner guys. u did not find out that night that its not a scam. u found out u are stupid. lol
    and buy the girl out from the bar to be your gf for 10,000 – 20,000 baht.
    yeah do that.
    that will just prove that u are even more stupid. lol
    do not travel other countries if u are too stupid and too easy to fool and if u believe in anything people tell u. lol

  • T. Roberts says:

    Who travels to ANY foriegn country without researching how your interests will be exploited and the local customs and laws?

    • Me.

      My first trip to Thailand was for kick boxing. Not girls.

      So I came in blind on my first trip to Thailand…which ultimately made it more fun when discovering new things. Sometimes too much research can ruin a vacation.

      Lonely planets are not my style!

  • Some Guy says:

    Ok I really liked that article, very well explained, well articulated. I just got back from Thailand and wanted to add some info. I’m an analyst by profession and have some reflections on the thai bar girl scene that I think could be really useful for people, especially men venturing into the unknown.

    Just stayed in Patong and slept with around 6 bar girls from memory. I was speaking with a bloke at a bar who said, “my mate met a girl and took her home, he was devastated when she asked him for money after they slept together”. So this article resonated with me.

    It’s like this, yes they’re prostitutes, but the Thais have taken the business model of a brothel and evolved it beyond what Westerners can understand, which is why so many Westerners fall in love for bar girls. I’ve been there before (not with a thai girl) and trust me it ends with the Western bloke feeling like a cash cow.

    The difference – Western Brothels
    1. A traditional/Western brothel involves entering, viewing the ladies, discussing time/price, going to a room, screwing. Shower, ‘goodbye’. Yes there are some bars/men’s clubs that promote an experience where men can play pool, lounge around, feel like a pimp and talk to mindless whores, but the ambiance and general vibe of such places are that they are brothels.

    2. Traditional Western prostitutes (and I generalize here) are whores. They look like whores, they speak like whores, they’re lazy, stupid, and generally provide the bare minimum in terms of service. They’re often ugly moles with just a hallway to throw your hotdog down. You dig?

    3. Traditional brothels are controlled by a madam/pimp. The transaction takes place at the brothel or at your home, the rules and times specified are very much adhered to.

    4. A traditional prostitute clocks on and clocks off, there’s no sleeping together then spending the following day eating panang curry together.

    Bar girls:

    1. Bar girls completely and utterly blur the line between there being a purely at arms length transaction on the one hand and on the other hand meeting a lady in a bar who one happens to find attractive and want to sleep with.
    2. Bar girls are found in bars… frequented by men/women of all ages shapes and sizes… I recently saw a bar girl playing computer games with an 8 year old westerner’s daughter in a small bar next to a hotel while their family had dinner. The bar girl was friendly, sincere, and I observed her to interact more than appropriately with the child.
    3. Bar girls begin the night often by just talking to you, having a drink with you, discussing trivial matters, life, friends, work, etc.
    4. Often bars will have games for westerners to play with bar girls (can’t speak each other’s language, Thais know how to keep you occupied!).
    5. A bar girl might decide she doesn’t like you, she may make you think that she’s really not that into you or not interested (and maybe she isn’t & on that basis will choose not to sleep with you, even for money)
    6. A bar girl may genuinely enjoy the sex, won’t use lubricant and will be dripping wet and throbbing hot.
    7. A bar girl will hug you in her sleep while you sleep.
    8. A bar girl will linger around the next day at your hotel, ask you what you want to do during the day together, offer to take you to see some tourist attractions.

    So you get my drift, it’s not black and white, the Thais are so seasoned at blurring the lines and distorting what would otherwise be just sex for money. The business model is so so fabulous, but there are reasons why in my opinion it couldn’t work in more developed Western Countries which I wouldn’t go into here.

  • Your story is so funny…lucky i found it.

    I was browsing about taking Lomprayah from Samui – Bangkok. do you think it’s really better than taking airplane?

    I am planning to do solo travelling next January to Samui, Phiphi and other places in Thailand. I am a girl though, so hope I wont have the same experience as yours :p

    • Hey Nova,

      It is better than taking an airplane? Hell no.

      Is it cheaper, yes. You can get to Samui from Bangkok for 1,000 baht with Lomprayah. If you fly, the cost is closer to 4,500 baht with Bangkok air.

      Flying takes an hour. Lomprayah takes about 10 hours.