If you are headed to Thailand to take in the raucous and notorious nightlife, you are bound to run into the most beautiful (and sometimes feral) of Thai wildlife, the bar girl. Bar girls (also known as beer girls or go-go girls) are a common sight across Thailand, particularly in Phuket and Bangkok.
So, what are Thailand bar girls? Thailand bar girls are beautiful girls that are employed by bars and nightclubs in the tourist districts of Thailand to host bar patrons. These bar girls are often dressed in provocative clothing or may walk around partially nude. In some cases, bar girls at these clubs may moonlight as prostitutes.
Thai bar girls are arguably one of the most alluring attractions of Nana Plaza and Thailand’s red-light districts, but it is easy for foreigners to get fleeced by these forward ladies of the night. Read on to find out more about Thailand bar girls and how to avoid Thai bar girl scams.
Is Prostitution Legal in Thailand?
In a word, no. Prostitution is not legal in Thailand. Although prostitution is not legal in Thailand, most brothels get around this technicality by posing as karaoke bars, nightclubs, and massage parlors. It is an open secret that despite its illegality, prostitution is practiced commonly across Thailand, particularly in its metropolitan areas.
One of the factors contributing to the proliferation of bar girls in Thailand is the corruption of the Thai police force. While prostitution is technically illegal, Thai police often turn a blind eye in exchange for bribes or other favors from local merchants. Police are also encouraged to ignore tourist prostitution and other revelries because these activities form a large part of Thailand’s tourism industry.
Bar girl prostitution was formally criminalized by the 1996 Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act. However, attitudes towards prostitution are so lax that most bar girls and prostitutes in Thailand will openly approach potential clients on the street. This means that while it may be illegal to solicit bar girls in Thailand, the chances of a tourist getting charged with doing so is extremely low.
In fact, there are many pushes in Thai intellectual circles to legalize prostitution in much the same way as progressive countries like The Netherlands and France have managed to do. However, many conservative Thai vice laws (such as those that surround drug trafficking) impede progress in this area.
How Much Does a Thai Bar Girl Cost?
One of the significant advantages of Thai bar girls is that they are inexpensive company. To spend a few hours with a Thai bar girl, you can expect to pay anywhere from a thousand to fifteen hundred baht. This is the equivalent of roughly $35-$40. To spend the night with a Thai bar girl, you are looking at paying closer to two thousand to three thousand baht, or the equivalent of sixty to ninety dollars.
These charges include the following aspects of picking up a Thai bar girl:
- Lady drinks: Lady drinks are small overpriced beers or watered-down cocktails that you will be encouraged by a bar host to buy for the Thai bar girls to keep their attention. Thai bar girls encourage their patrons to order drinks for them because this ensures that both the bar girl and the bar get a cut of the profits involved. While overpriced, the drinks will still be relatively cheap because it is Thailand.
- Bar fine: A bar fine is the amount of money you pay to take a bar girl out of the bar for a few hours, to compensate the bar for the loss of the girl while she’s in your company. Bar fines vary wildly from bar to bar and can depend on a variety of factors such as bar location, bar type, and how classy the bar is.
- Short-time hotels: Like contemporary brothels, many hotels in Thailand cater to “short-time” engagements, allowing Thailand bar girls to take patrons back from the bars for a few hours of intimate time. Many Thai bar girls prefer short-time hotels for sexual engagements because it limits the amount of time they are expected to stay.
There are bars and massage parlors all across the red-light districts of Thailand that are crawling with bar girls, so if you’re looking to pick one up, you’re going to have a harder time picking one out than finding one in the first place.
Romance and Bar Girls in Thailand
If you are looking for romance in Thailand, it is essential to learn the distinction between Thai women who are potentially looking for a longer-term attachment and Thai bar girls (or working girls). The bar girls of Thailand can be enticing and very flirtatious, so it’s easy to get the wrong idea—while a Thai bar girl may be thrilled to go out on a casual date with you, she’ll expect to be paid well at the end of it.
Here are some of the telltale signs to distinguish a Thai bar girl from a regular Thai girl:
- She came up to you. Because of cultural norms, most unattached Thai women will not approach foreigners on the street unless they are prostitutes. If a Thai girl who is all dressed up comes up to you and starts flirting, especially if you are in a bar, chances are she is a bar girl.
- She asked you to buy her a drink. Again, this kind of forward behavior is par for the course with Thai working girls, but not with a native girl who is not on the clock. The “lady drinks” purchased by patrons for Thai bar girls is an integral part of the bar culture there.
- She is by herself. Thai people are very social people, and it is not typical for non-working girls to be out socializing at a bar or club alone. If you see a Thai girl in a bar alone all dressed up without any company, she is probably a bar girl.
- She is handsy. Traditional Thai women will not be kissing and touching all over you moments after meeting you, so if you have a girl at the bar plop herself down on your lap, congratulations—you caught a Thai bar girl.
- She is in the tourist or red-light district. Your chances of running into a Thai bar girl are much higher in notorious bar girl hangouts like Asoke and Nana Plaza. Thai girls are highly unlikely to be caught hanging out in these areas if they are not working girls.
- She seems extra caught up on her phone. While many women in Thailand (and elsewhere in the world) are attached to their cellphone at the hip, Thai bar girls use it as their central hub of business to manage their boyfriends and dates. Seasoned working girls in Thailand are already multiple dates ahead of you.
Chances are if you are in a bar in one of Thailand’s red-light district, any of the beautiful women around you can be yours—for a price. It can be a little less nerve-wrecking to meet up with a Thai bar girl if you know what you are getting yourself into.
How to Solicit a Thai Bar Girl
If you are in a bar that is famous for Thai bar girls, you are not going to have to try that hard to get a girl interested in you. They will flock to every person who walks through the door as a potential patron. Most beer bars, go-go bars, and karaoke bars in Thailand will feature anywhere from ten to twenty working girls at a time. While in the bar, these girls act as hostesses and entertainers.
When a bar girl approaches you, as mentioned in the earlier section, you will not have to do much of the soliciting. However, if you’re out on the Beach Road, at a mall, or some other area where you aren’t quite sure that the girl you’re talking to is a working girl, you’ll have to be more careful at starting negotiations. You do not want to inadvertently insult a girl by assuming she is a prostitute if she is not.
A polite way to inquire whether a girl is working as a bar girl is to ask her whether she is working or just hanging out. Thai bar girls will openly admit that they are selling sex if that is their trade. Many of them will even pull out photographs of themselves in the nude to prove that they are entirely female since pre-op transgender prostitutes are quite common in Thailand.
Once you have contacted a bar girl, you will often be encouraged to buy her a few “lady drinks” at the bar to break the ice as well as make sure that the bar gets their cut. After that, you can offer to pay a bar fine to get the bar girl to leave with you for either “short-time” (a few hours) or “long-time” (overnight or even a few days if you can pay for it).
Thai Bar Girls and Safety
It can be exciting and fun to find Thai bar girls while you are in the country, but there are several safety considerations you should consider before you hit the red-light district. You need to be mindful of both your safety and your financial safety when you are partying in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand because if you get scammed by a prostitute, you are not likely to find any sympathetic police.
When meeting bar girls in Thailand, here are some safety tips you should adhere to:
- Always wear a condom. Always. Thailand has one of the highest incidences of HIV and AIDs in Southeast Asia, and much of that infection affects the red-light districts of the country. A condom will also protect you from any other nasty venereal diseases you might potentially catch. Keep in mind that even at bars who do STD checks, they typically are not compulsory.
- Do not bring Thai bar girls back to your hotel room. There are plenty of “short-time” hotels available for spending time with Thai bar girls outside of the bar scene. It is dangerous to bring a stranger to your hotel room in a foreign country regardless of who it is, so try to meet with your bar girl in a neutral place.
- Beware of lady pickpockets. Under normal circumstances, it would be extremely flattering to have a gaggle of gorgeous women swarm you like you were one of the Beatles and lay their pretty hands all over you, right up until the point that they lift your wallet. Keep your valuables secured and hidden while walking around in Thailand.
- Do not fall for the sick buffalo. There is a common scam in Thailand where a bar girl will tearfully explain to a bar patron how the family water buffalo is sick (or some other variation of the sob story) and insist that the bar patron’s intervention is the girl’s only hope. Spoiler alert: There is no buffalo, and this girl tells the same sad story to every other sucker who walks in.
- Keep an eye on your bill. The seedier Thai bars and nightclubs are notorious for padding a tourist’s bill, especially if he is buying tons of drinks. Even if you dispute the amount, it comes down to a “he said, she said” situation. To avoid getting your bill padded, pay off your entire tab every two or three drinks, so you know exactly how much you are paying.
- Do not get super intoxicated. This is a good safety tip when visiting any country, but it is not a good idea to go to a foreign bar and get smashed. Best case scenario you are going to spend your entire next day of sightseeing feeling like you are staggering around in the third circle of Hell, and the worst-case scenario is that you are going to get extorted or robbed.
- Do not leave your drink unattended. In the West, it is women who have to worry about having their drink spiked, but in the red-light districts of Thailand, it is young men who are more often the target of this scam. Do not leave your drink unattended or—if you do—toss it and buy another one. It is not worth the risk.
- Do not take recreational drugs from people you do not know. Even if this might be one of the reasons you came to Thailand, taking drugs with sleazy randoms in the red-light district can leave you vulnerable to being dosed with GHB or ketamine instead of the ecstasy you were expecting to take.
It is okay to have fun and enjoy the company of these beautiful women, but it is also essential to keep your safety in mind. Never forget that you are in a foreign country, so situational awareness is crucial to staying safe and having a good time.
Meeting Thai Bar Girls Online
One convenient way to meet up with Thai bar girls is through an online dating app geared towards them, such as Smooci. Smooci is geared towards prostitutes and escorting services, while other dating apps such as Thai Friendly can be used to secure a date with a regular Thai girl before you even get to the country.
A significant advantage of using a dating app to find a Thai bar girl instead of going to the bar is that you can circumvent the expense of lady drinks and bar fines, saving your money directly for the girl herself. Many bar girls who are freelancers (working girls who are not associated with any particular bar) will perform escorting services through an online dating app.
Escort apps like Smooci are also a good idea for guys who want to pursue a particular look or body type in a Thai bar girl since filters on these dating apps allow you to pinpoint the exact types of Thai bar girls you’d like to hook up with. Communicating on an app also helps break down any potential language barriers as well with the help of online translators.
While online apps can be an excellent way to meet bar girls, it is still a good idea to meet a bar girl at a public place or nightclub rather than at your hotel room. Not only is a bar girl more likely to feel comfortable with this arrangement (especially if you intend to include “short-time” intimacy as well), you will be safer as well.
Meeting Thai Bar Girls is Easy
Working as a bar girl can be one of the most lucrative careers for a young woman in Thailand, so chances are if you are in a tourist district, you will not be able to turn around without running into a group of them. As long as you have enough money to show them a good time, many of them will be happy to show you a good time in return.
As long as you are respectful, smart, and are willing to pay generously for your fun, hanging out with Thai bar girls can be one of the most exciting experiences you have on your trip to Thailand. Sources: