Thailand for Beginners

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FS can be inexpensive
Inexpensive lodging, shopping, and dining
Large selection of Asian women
Long flights (can be over 25 hours one way from the US)
Expensive flights ($600 or more round trip from the US)
Higher prevalence of STDs and other diseases
Limited to Asian women
Most women are unskilled at FS (GFEs are rare)
Communication problems (English is not common)
Prostitution is technically ILLEGAL
Male and female paid sex are side by side


Thailand is an impressive vacation destination. It has great, exotic things to see (beaches, temples, jungles) and offers low-cost medical services, shopping, and dining. Its people are friendly, warm, and considerate.

Thailand is also one of the most popular countries to travel to for adult entertainment. Although technically illegal, FS is available almost anywhere as the majority of people are poor. Since people are so desperate to earn money and support large families, sex has become one of the leading sources of income for both women and men. Another factor is the huge difference in the exchange rate. One US Dollar equals about 40 Thai Baht (THB).

Sex: Cost vs. Service
The cost of sex ranges from $5 to $100, depending on the level of skill and attractiveness of the provider, and the location of service.

The lowest end of the scale ($5-$25) is inhabited by independents (street walkers or freelancers). They are available to be picked up in cafes or bars, or on street corners. Many of them are fresh from the jungles of the north and have little physical appeal or knowledge of sex.

Bar women occupy the next step in the pricing scale ($25-$50+). In a typical bar, available women dance on a stage while wearing bikinis, or sometimes nothing at all. You select a lady, buy her a few drinks (mandatory), and then negoiate a price. You’ll then have to pay a bar fine of a few dollars to management for the privilege of taking her from the bar for service. In addition, you’ll need to figure in the cost of the hotel room where your session will take place.

With both independents and bar women, you have two options for your session: short time, which lasts 1 or 2 hours or until the act is done, whichever comes first; and long time, which can last several hours or the entire night. Prices for either session depend on the amount of time and the amount of your bar fine, as well as the skills/attractiveness of your provider.

One advantage of the bars: Since these women report to a manager, you can complain if service is not good.

One disadvantage of both bar women and independents: You won’t know what to expect until you actually begin your session, as there is no real way to gauge skills and the level of service.

Women who work in massage parlors usually command the highest prices in the scale. In a typical massage parlor, 20 to 70 women sit together in a room separated from you by a large window. From there, you select a lady according to a number fixed to her clothing. You pay the club before the session. (Sometimes, the women will also ask for a tip after the session.) Your massage parlor experience will usually be of higher quality than that offered by an independent or bar lady. Your cost will be from $50-$75, plus a $5-20 tip, for 45 to 90 minutes.

If service is what you want, then Thailand may not impress you. We found that, out of every 10 women we dealt with, only one had skills worth paying for. The rest were basically unskilled: they simply lay there during sex. In addition, Thai women are notorious for turning the lights out in the room and not performing oral.

In summary, the sex itself in Thailand can be inexpensive. But, don’t forget to add your travel costs to the equation, which you must do to get the true cost of sex. Adding your $900 plane fare to that $25 session actually results in the cost of sex being $925 for that first session. You’ll need many more sessions to bring that average number down.

Also, consider your time. How much is that worth to you? If you lost 2 days in getting there and 2 days in coming back, would that make a difference to you? What about jet lag, which will likely be the worst you’ve ever experienced?

And, while the large number of available ladies in the bars or on the beaches can look promising, it can be time-consuming to check the bars and walk the streets looking for that one quality woman. That must also be factored into your costs.

Finally, consider the elevated risks of STDs, including HIV, and the possibility of picking up an underage sex worker (both of which we’ll discuss later). Now, how inexpensive are those sessions to you? These are things you must consider in order to get an accurate picture.

But, there are those who want to pay to be seen in public with a pretty Asian woman, who will go out to dinner, walk along the beach, and do other girlfriend-type things with them. For them, sex is a secondary concern and the activities mentioned above are more important to them. In fact, if you go to Thailand, you’ll see women with very old men who need walkers or canes, or men with unattractive appearances or personalities who can’t get attention from women back home. That’s the appeal of Thailand for most of these men: the fantasy life they can lead. And, the language barrier even works in their favor; it’s best that they don’t know what the Thai women are really thinking about them.

Where to Go
Bangkok and Pattaya Beach are the two largest and best-known areas for paid sex with the largest selection. While there are many other places to find women, these two areas are best for first-timers.

How to Get There
There are a number of airlines (Thai Airlines, China Air, Korean Air Lines, Philippine Air Lines) that offer flights to Bangkok.

However, only Thai Airlines offers a non-stop flight, and that can be costly ($800-plus). Less expensive flights ($600 to $800) are available on the other airlines mentioned above, but these have multiple stops, resulting in a 2- to 3-day total flight.

Not only will this tire you out, but you will lose several days in coming and going, which is especially problematic if you have limited vacation time from your job.

Where to Stay
After your arrival and customs clearance at Bangkok International Airport, you can easily find an inexpensive taxi to take you safely to a hotel.

For Bangkok, we recommend the Nana Hotel, which is both inexpensive (about $25 a night, includes breakfast) and close to the action. The hotel is simple and clean. The rooms themselves are basic at best, but they include a small refrigerator, color TV, and full bath. The breakfast is buffet-style every morning. In addition, a drink ticket is included for the bar.

Just across the street are several bars that employ women. In fact, you can even find willing women in the lobby or dance club within the hotel itself.

The hotel employs security guards who check and hold the ID cards of any women you take to your room. This is done for safety reasons, as you don’t know who you are taking to a room.
Hotels almost always have staff that speaks English, thus e-mail or phone contact is not a problem.
Email the hotel in advance for available rooms and to confirm rates.

NANA Hotel
4 Nane Tai Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok 10110
66 2 656-8111
66 2 255-1769 fax

If you’re staying in Pattaya, we recommend:
Pattaya Centre Hotel
240 Soi 12
Beach Road Moo 10
66(38) 425 877/8
66(38) 420 491

How to Get Around
There are several forms of public transportation: bus, train, taxi, tuk tuk, motorbike. We would avoid the last two options, as they can be unsafe. Driving a rental car in Bangkok is also not recommended.

If taking a taxi, be sure to negotiate the fare before you get in. Usually about 700-1000 THB is fair. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for being ripped off. Most taxi drivers will know where the NANA Hotel and Pattaya Centre Hotel are located.

For example, we would fly to Bangkok airport, take an official taxi to the NANA Hotel, spend a few days in Bangkok, and then take a taxi to Pattaya Beach.

If you’re traveling alone, it may be less expensive to take a local bus from Bangkok to Pattaya. The hotel can easily arrange or direct you to a bus.

What to Bring

Condoms (difficult to find in Thailand, boxes are in Thai text, and sizes are smaller that what you’re used to)
Lubricant (helps with smaller Asian women and prevents condom breakage)
Clothing and toiletries (especially underwear, good walking shoes, suntan lotion or sun block, electric shaver)

Don’t bring too much clothing, as you can buy most of what you need (shirts, pants, shoes, and belts) cheaply. Thai knock-off brands are not of the same quality as the real thing, but they’ll last you for your stay. Try to dress nice. The ladies may respond better to you if you are wearing a polo or button-down shirt.

What to Shop For
Other than cheap clothing, watches, software, and DVD movies are among the popular purchase items in Thailand.

You can buy fake Rolexes on just about any corner. Expect to pay about $30-$50 for a good copy. Even so, half of the watches I’ve bought stopped working after a few weeks. Most aren’t waterproof, so don’t wear them into the shower or pool.

Check any software you plan on buying, as you don’t know if it will actually work until you try to install it. Some of the software disks are only trial versions.

DVDs are sold according to quality level: 4, 6, and 9. Nine is the highest. It’s of similar quality to US DVDs. The lower-quality DVDs are often camcorder copies pirated from the cinema. Some are of such poor quality that you can’t watch them. Even the best ones can freeze, skip, or stall during play. Out of 10 DVDs we bought, perhaps 2 to 3 did not play properly. In addition, they’ll have a Thai language track or subtitles on them that can’t be disabled.

What to Look Out For
Remember, Thailand can be a tropical paradise, but it is also a third-world country that can pose some real problems for travellers. Be especially careful to avoid the following:

Diseases. Despite what some Thailand afficianados and tour operators will admit, the country does have an STD/HIV problem, with large numbers of tourists with various health problems coming in from all over the world. Also, note that homosexual liaisons are common in the bar areas. This increases the pool of potential STD carriers. You may conclude that Thailand is not the safest place to visit, especially for sexual activities.

Ladyboys, Katoeys. These are common terms for men (either pre- or post-op) dressed as women. They are everywhere in the bar areas, and many unsuspecting tourists have taken them out by mistake. You can avoid them by studying their physical characteristics (height, tone of voice, prominent Adams apple) and mannerisms (they are more demostrative in public than actual women are). Still, the atmosphere in many bars is very dark, and it can be difficult to notice these things. Be careful.

Note that many Thai parents prefer a female child as they bring in more money. So, some parents raise their boys as girls just for this reason.

Unsafe conditions. Take extra care to keep safe. Don’t get money from an ATM after dark. (Any ATM with an armed security guard nearby should tell you how unsafe the area really is.)

Don’t eat anything off a cart or from a street vendor, as food poisoning is common.

Don’t drink the water, another sure sign that you need to take care when finding safe food. Remember, if you can’t drink the water, how can you safely wash the food?

Sex Workers with Fake IDs.
Any sex worker can buy a skirt and a halter top and work the streets. She may claim to be an adult and have the ID card to prove it. But, if you think you are safe, then you have something to worry about. Fake IDs can easily be bought on the street for less than a dollar. As real ID cards are simple and low-tech, fake IDs are easily made.

Remember, they counterfeit almost anything in Thailand, from the most advanced Rolex watches to Levi’s jeans, so it is not at all difficult to copy a black-and-white document.

Also note that most sex workers are in business to support a family. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that many sex workers begin to work the streets before they are of legal age.

This is especially dangerous, as Thailand hands down severe punishments (prison time) to those who have sex with minors, and your home country may not protect you.

What about taking a tour?

There are a number of outfits advertising on the Internet that will offer to walk you through the process, arrange your hotel, bus you around, and basically show you the ropes. In return, you’ll pay over $1,000 for the privilege.

That’s no bargain. We actually witnessed how one such tour operates, and we decided that you can do better on your own. The “experts” who ran the tour were no different than you or me, except they had visited the country a few times before, and they offered nothing more then what we offer. That is, information at a cost.

We found that this outfit charges a premium price for what amounts to little more than 10 nights at a $25-per-night hotel and a $25 bus ride from Bangkok to Pattaya. The guides that this outfit employs do not meet you at the airport, nor do they spend more than a few minutes at a time with you during the trip. They will also not be forthcoming about STDs and underage sex workers, lest it hurt their business. So, you’re basically left to find your own transportation to the hotel and your own way around the nightlife areas and various pitfalls.

This really isn’t difficult if you know what you’re doing. Save yourself the money, and book your own hotel and hire your own transportation. Also, do your own research for fun things to do and bad things to avoid.

This guide can be your starting point. Don’t depend on a tour guide for your information. They’re not looking out for you. There are literally hundreds of experienced English-speaking guys around wherever you go in Thailand. Ask them for free advice or directions, and make some friends in the process.

CONCLUSION: Do we recommend it?
That depends. On balance, Thailand has a lot going for it. It’s an interesting place to visit. But, the quality of sex can be disappointing, especially if you’ve experienced the better Canadian escorts or the German FKK clubs.

So, if you’re interested in Thailand, by all means go. But, remember to play it safe and not take chances, as it is not as problem-free as some might want you to think.


There are three major districts in Bangkok specialising in sex trade. Taxi drivers will know how to get to the areas described below. In go-go bars you choose the girl you like by inviting her to seat with you. You are required to pay for her lady’s drink while she is sitting with you. Bar fine is paid to the mama-sun if you take out a bar girl with you.

Some of the most beautiful women work here. Not as wild as Nana Plaza described below. Lady’s drinks are about $2-3. Bar fines are $14. Many beauties are not willing to do long time. The prices are $40-60 for a short time. Long time is around $80 and up. To rent a short time room $10. The downstairs bars are generally safe, upstairs are rip-offs. Many of the first floor bars in Patpong offer sex shows. They are illegal and sometimes get raided. However, there is no problem in that for the customers. In the shows the lady uses her vagina to smoke a cigarette, blow a whistle, open a soda bottle, deposits pebbles and live tropical fish into a glass of water. Sometimes she also inserts a live python (head first), a banana, razor blades, etc.

All bars close at 2 am. After that time there are a couple of discos nearby (see below). The following bars are recommended. Kings II. Most of the women here prefer short time. Safari. Music here has a lot of rock n’ roll classics. It is very friendly. Kangaroo Bar. For about $20 you can get a BJ while you are sitting at the bar. Rose. Like in Kangaroo Bar. Supergirls (upstairs). $100 you pay for long time. Touch Bar (upstairs). Butterfingers (downstairs). Longhorn has a few very good looking women. King’s Corner. Has excellent women. King’s Castle II has lots of beauties and excellent shows.

NEP, a new go-go bar area, is near the beginning of Sukhumvit Rd, Soi 4. It is a 3-storey complex of bars. Almost as popular as Patpong. Dancing in some bars starts at 2 pm. Closing time is around 4 am. Women dance topless in many bars. Prices are lower than in Patpong. Bar fines are $16. The women negotiate. Short time – $20-40, long time – $40-80.

The following bars are recommended. Hollywood Royale. After about 10 pm there are lesbian sex shows on stage. The quality of girls here varies. Farang Connection. More rock n’ roll than techno. Popular. Casanova is a transvestite bar.

Thermae coffee-shop
is on Sukhumvit Road between Soi 13 and 15, near the Ambassador Hotel. Considered the most famous pick up place in Bangkok. It has been here for several decades. It can be recognized by the Greek columns outside the entrance. It is full of freelancers from 16 years old and up. Prices start from around $20 for long time.

This is the area around Soi 20 at Sukhumvit road. Not as popular as the other two areas. It is generally cheaper than either Patpong or Nana Plaza. Women are below average. Tilac go-go bar is recommended.

The best time to go to get the best women is around 7-8 pm. The following establishments are recommended.

Mona Lisa
Top class massage parlor. Price $160-300 for 1-2 hours.

B Model
Typical price $200. The clientele is mainly Asian men.

There are two Chao Phraya parlors around Soi Ayutthaya. Chao Phraya I (tel 2453381, 2454810, 2454844) is in Sriayautaya Rd, near Phyayhai 1 and Hospital Bangkok. These parlors are very popular. Prices are $60-80 for 1.5 hours.

Near Chao Phrayas there is Atami massage parlor (tel 2528907,-08, 13) at 1573 New Petchburi Rd. It is not as popular as its bigger neighbors but is better value. Here you pay only $50 for the same quality women and the same time.

Other recommended establishments are Darling, James Bond, and La Cherie. Walk-in prices are $50-80 per hour. If you come by taxi you will pay around $100.

Women usually expect a tip of $10-20 on the top of the price. Afternoon is cheaper than time after 8 pm.

General procedure is as follows. Customers make a selection from 20-50 women with numbers pinned to their dresses sitting in the room behind one-way glass. If you have something specific in mind, a BJ or anal for example, call a manager and tell him exactly what you want. The manager will suggest women for you. You can bargain a little bit about the price. They all take credit cards. It is advisable to request a VIP room. It usually has mirrored ceilings and walls.

After you have made your choice you proceed to a private clean room with a bath. Waitress will take drink orders. An inflated air mattress will be brought in. You bathe with a woman. After that she will do a wet massage (‘tora-tora’ or ‘B course massage’) on you on the air mattress. Dry massage will follow on the bed. You have some oral and straight sex after that and finish off by showering together. Condoms are compulsory. Massage parlor is a great experience worth trying at least once.

Usual cover charge $2-5 and sometimes includes one free drink. Freelance sex workers can be found at every disco. Usually they approach you if you go to a dark corner of the disco.

Transvestites often hang out at the discos. There are 2 discos in Patpong that start around midnight. Kings Lounge is recommended. The prices on sex range from $20 to $40 for long time.

Here rooms are rented on the hourly basis. Some hotels have in-house women available for guests. There are also a couple by the airport. Ask any taxi driver to take you to a “short time hotel”.

These are brothels in private houses. Most women here are about 18 to 22 years old and are not long time professionals. Mama-sun usually speaks English, women don’t. You can only take women for long time. Prices are $60 or more. There is a discount of around 20% if you take a woman for a week. Tip of around $20 to the woman is expected.

Thailand vs. the Philippines
I’ve been to Thailand and the Philippines many times in the last two years. As far as daytime sex, try the Beer Garden on Soi 7 in Bangkok. Massage parlors and the lobby of the Nana Hotel are also common places. And the Bus Stop (cafe) near the Nana Hotel is open during the day too. Pattaya is very quiet during the day (party people are asleep) and a carnival at night. Massage parlors like the Sabai Dee are OK and many bar girls will want to spend all day with you (if you want that).

Pattaya is cheaper and there are a lot more ladies, but the percentage of very attractive ones is higher in Bangkok (in my opinion). Of course, most guys only need one, so you might find one in Pattaya you think is a knockout. I’ve found a few in the past.

The most stunning ladies in Thailand are not always ladies. Patpong (Bangkok) and Pattaya are famous for “ladyboys” and some of them (at first sight) are much more sexy than the “true” females. So be careful, unless that’s on your list of “things to do”.

Most guys prefer the Philippines over Thailand for finding love (not sex). The ladies speak English and want to marry and escape the Philippines. I’ve dated plenty of non-bar girls in Thailand (as well as bar girls) and prefer the Thai ladies. They tend to be more attractive and less fat than the Filipinos. Of course, most Thai ladies will care more about money than about a relationship, so it depends what you’re looking for.

A lot of guys head to Angeles City in the Philippines. The bar fine is cheap and includes the lady, but many ladies try to avoid sex by saying they are on their period. I’ve never encountered that in Thailand. And don’t be fooled into thinking the “cherry girls” are really virgins. Most are considered “cherry” because they haven’t had sex with a foreigner yet.

Some guys will ask up front about sex specifics (like finishing in someone’s mouth). I’ve asked if the lady smokes (oral) but that’s about it. I’ve only had one lady who asked me to take off the condom (while having sex) and cum in her mouth. I’ve had others who requested anal sex, but not many. All those ladies were Thai. For the most part the Thai ladies are less inhibited than the Filipinos, but it all comes down to how much the lady likes you and enjoys what you’re doing. Hope my two cents worth was helpful.

Laundry Services
Laundry is available in the hotels. There are also several laundromats around the Grace and Nana hotels. I am not sure the cost of the machines though the hotel service is fairly resonable and back next day IRC.

Don’t, I repeat, don’t, have your girl do your laundry. Take it to one of the numerous laundry services. They are cheap and good. If your girlfriend does it, she will most likely use bath soap and scrub the threads and stitching right out of your clothes. It’s fun to watch, the first time, as your girl goes to town on your clothes. But then sometimes the results are not so fun. Also, never over pack. If you need a new shirt, just walk out on Sukhumwit Road and buy a knockoff Polo or Nike shirt all up and down the sidewalk for a few dollars.

What to bring

Bring a good supply of your own condoms. Condoms found in Thailand are for smaller sizes, poor quality and not what you’re used to. Having gotten poor information from another wannabe Thailand web site which lacked the most important info I found myself in Thailand without proper fitting condoms. NO, the women don’t always have condoms, plus since Thailand is a country with much of it’s population in poverty they don’t carry quality condoms. If you do go on vacation to Thailand without bringing your own condoms then consider this. Condom boxes are displayed in the Thai languagen, thus directions, sizes and contents are written in Thai. Not very similar to the English language. There are some really strange condoms sold in 7-11’s and other stores in Thailand which you would not believe. Im not talking about ribs, lubricated or resevore tips either. One box I bought had a size so small they would barely fit my pinkey, while another box had condoms with a draw strap. (This pull strap to help putting it on). What a surpise to open the package and find a strap attached to the condom, actually made it impossible to install.

Bring travelers checks and even cash. I have never had a problem with Bangkok being dangerous, in fact I was out at 4:30 am the other day walking to the 7-11 on the corner, with no fear at all. There are Exchange booths everywhere, but you will need your passport to cash travelers checks, but not for cash (dollars). The hotel you are staying at will also exchange money for you, although now, NANA hotel doesn’t like to exchange travelers checks at night, after the bank closes. They would last year, go figure. You don’t have to worry about this a whole lot though, because a $100.00 travelers check will go a very long way in BKK.

The Go-Go bars of Thailand – everybody has seen them, at least on tv. They are located all over the country with concentrated areas in Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Phuket.

Bangkok has several locations where entertainment is offered. There is Patpong which the more expensive area, the famous two lanes where the interesting shows are performed. But other places offer similar entertainment, especially Soi Cowboy (Soi 20) at Sukhumvit road and Nana Plaza (Soi 4), both close to each other (two kilometers). Soi Cowboy is the more traditional place, whereas Nana Plaza always has new places opening up with new and different ambientes.

Thailand’s Go-Go bars have more or less the same construction: A central stage surrounded by a sill to place your drinks, and stools. By the walls you will find one to three tier rows of seating with a small sill or small tables in front of you. The walls are all mirrors so the girls can watch themselves dancing. The stage has a number of poles which the girls use for artistic activities which can be quite interesting when they are more or less nude. All bars have extensive sound and light equipment and loudspeakers blaring popsongs and rock’n’roll music at a thunderous volume which is quite deafening.

The girls dance partly or entirely naked, with each other or alone, and they sometimes perform sex shows, doing extraordinary things with their body parts. Some of the acts involve public display with a partner or partners, while others use the solo performing body as a set of almost autonomous genitalia capable of effecting, through muscular control, actions usually performed by the mouth, like blowing a whistle, or the hands, like serving a ping-pong ball, and taking apparent risks with delicate parts, like extracting a string of razor blades. Special programs include popping balls out of their vulvas, playing with burning candles and dropping wax all over their body, pulling strings out of their vulvas. And so on. Go to the third floor at Nana Plaza, the Hollywood Strip. These programs usually start at 23 o’clock. There is no extra fee for this performance as in Patpong.

Because it is illegal to show bare breasts the bars on the lower level usually do not offer topless dancing. But before the police reaches the upper level, the alarm system will guarantee that every girl is clothed. The police will typically move slowly enough, the officers know that there is some compensation in for them anyway. But I have seen situations where the police was on every level, and of course every girl was dressed. The programs are then reduced to what can be shown without tits and vulvas.

In the bars you will have various kinds of girls: waitresses, dance girls, “Hello girls” and the Mamasan. The Mamasan is basically the head of the girls – it makes sense for you to get a good relation with her. This could save you some trouble or even get you some advantages. The waitresses will always be dressed, but they accept a lady drink as well. You might even try to invite these girls to your room too. The Hello girls usually sit outside to entice customers to enter the bar. Usually they are quite attractive but clothed and free to negotiate as well. The dance girls of course are the ones with most chances to be invited as they present themselves on stage with all their attributes plainly visible.

Thai girls may claim to see this kind of business as something “bad”. But their apparent resentment does not go deep. Actually some of them have this as their choice of profession when they are young (“I want to become a prostitute in a Bangkok bar”). Of course there are cases where girls are confined in the bars or hotels. But this typically does not happen in the tourist bars, but in the bars and massage parlours only visited by the local people. Some prostitutes come from border provinces or even neighbour countries like Cambodia and Laos. The typical age is between 18 and 26. In general they help each other a lot, become friends, so that this business does not hurt them too much. Most of the girls do not have any extensive education, so their language capabilities are very limited. Nevertheless I have heard girls speak Japanese, English and German.

Usually wherever you enter a bar in the evening one or more girls will come up to you. In the afternoon (when their working “day” has not really started), she will tend to leave you alone unless you ask them to join you. When you do not explicitly tell her to leave she expects a “lady drink”, i.e. a small cola paid by you after a short while. She will actually say: “Cola for me?” even when what she gets is an orange drink or something like that. Around 50 per cent of what you pay for that will be her share. Typically the price for such a drink is 65 Baht at Nana Plaza (60 Baht at Soi Cowboy, 70 Baht in Patpong). The price of drinks vary between 40 and 50 Baht during Happy Hour and 60 to 80 Baht the rest of the night. You can always buy a girl free from her dancing activities, so that she stays with you for the rest of the day/night. This bar fine is typically between 300 and 400 Baht. When the bar offers afternoon dancing, the fine paid is valid only for the afternoon! Once you have chosen a girl you are usually safe from further nuisance from the others, except that every girl has some friends whom she wants to offer a bit of fortune as well, i.e. she asks you if you could pay a lady drink for her friends also.

You will have a glass or box in front of you where all bills will be saved, making it possible to calculate what you will have to pay in the end, which you should actually do from time to time to not run into some nasty surprises. Payment is always in cash, no credit cards are accepted. The waitress expects a tip of 10 to 50 Baht. Whenever you pay a lady drink, one token is torn of that particular bill and your girl will hide it some interesting places on her body.

Some bars even have a small “bedroom” directly on the premises. When you do business there, you will receive applause when you come out again with your girl. In addition lots of boarding houses are available where you can stay for some hours. Some of them have interesting rooms there with mirrors all over the place.

Girls who work in Go-Go bars are allowed to use condoms. Their salary depends on how much exposure they are willing to display. An example – the figures are not standard – is 4,500 baht a month in two-piece bikini, 6,000 baht topless, 7,500 baht in the nude. In time, virtually all opt for the last. A girl who performs in sex-shows may make between around 8000 baht a month. If she does so with a male partner, both may earn 2000 baht a night. The minimum legal age at which bar girls and Go-Go dancers are employed is 18. Still, those producing ID-cards of older friends as proof of age are usually hired. Do not believe any stories of naive girls seduced by evil pimps into the Go-Go bars of Bangkok. The girls know what is expected of them when they opt for the job, and more than a few are leaving babies upcountry.

Thailand, like every nation, is concerned with its image and you can only sympathise when the image perceived abroad is the opposite of the image the country hopes to project. Chagrin aside, it may be worth considering that there is something to be said for the perceived image.

The recently released latest official figure for the number of prostitutes in Thailand – 65,000 – is too low to be taken seriously. Multiply it by five (about one percent of the female population, adding thousands during the recession) and you would come much closer to the mark.

Official Thai attitudes to prostitution are ambiguous and hypocritical. The best example of this is when Thai politicians, especially ministers, raise the question of prostitution in the Land of Smiles. They will soon be condemning “sex slavery” in the “brothels” in the Patpong area. Then they are on about children and pedophiles in Patpong’s “brothels”. The kindest that can be said for these self-styled social critics is they hopefully mean well. However they have not got a clue, thinking in terms of stereotypes and half-assed TV melodramas which have some relation to the brothels frequented by Thai men – but none to the relatively small enclosure of tourist areas. There isn’t a single government expert on prostitution. In their ignorance, they fog the debate by talking at cross purposes. There are no brothels in the Patpong area. Patpong has bars aplenty, but bars are not brothels. Nor are there any slaves in the Patpong bars. Girls apply to work in them and may leave at any time.

Do brothels, containing sex slaves sold to them by their families, exist in Thailand? Certainly yes, but not in the Patpong area or Nana Entertainment Plaza or Soi Cowboy. People talking at cross purposes should be set straight. Otherwise they spread bewilderment and the unlikelihood of making rational judgments.

Terms of employment in the night entertainment field differ from one bar to the next and Thai girls choosing to enter the World’s oldest profession do a lot of moving around before settling at the one that best suits them. Initially, they go to the bars offering the highest monthly salary. Then, from talking with their mates and growing experience, they learn what is expected of them and the penalties for not measuring up. It is a business, after all, everybody involved in getting a piece of the action.

Bar owners are not noted for their kind hearts, any more than prostitutes are. Rule one is that they do not give it away. Whatever freebies there are, are calculated to turn to profit a short way down the road. Money is the name of the game. It buys a girl’s time, not her love.

Newly opened bars, aware that patrons are drawn to establishments with wall-to-wall hussies, pay high wages to attract quantity and quality bar girls and Go-Go dancers. Which makes the overheads unbearably expensive. Bar owners proceed to cull their stables. This is done by giving the staff quotas. Each girl is informed of the minimum number of times she is expected to be bought out for extra-curricular activities a month, as well as the minimum amount of lady drinks she must extract from customers. If she falls below those figures, her monthly salary is cut. Above those figures, she gets a bonus. Below those figures three months in succession, she will be sacked for not justifying her salary. The figures are arbitrary and rarely the same for any two bars.

Thai bar owners are no nicer to the women than their farang counterparts. Greed has no nationality. More often than not, salaries are cut for nit-picking excuses – arriving minutes late, a tear in the costume, not smiling. I know at least one mamasan who threatens the girls with bodily harm if they move to a competitor’s bar.

But of course there are exceptions – bar owners who give no quotas, few if any cuts, money advances when urgently requested (usually to pay gambling debts, though not the reason given), time off to visit a sick mother or to cremate her (this is a good many girls seem to have three to four mothers).

Sometimes I am asked which bars in the Patpong area, Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy have the loveliest girls. Alas, no single taproom can lay claim to this honour. For one, the girls move around a lot. For another, the best lookers are in the Japanese cocktail lounges on Thaniya Road close to Patpong 1 and 2 but they are prohibitively expensive. For still another, your taste in beauty may differ from mine.

When you go to Thailand to experience the bar scene, do remember that you are guest in a foreign country. Please behave as you would expect your guests to behave at your home, and treat the Thais and even more, the girls with respect. Then you will get some quite rewarding experiences.

Even if you believe that this kind of business might not require decent behaviour, Thai people see it differently. You will be treated with much more respect if you wear appropriate clothes (jeans and shirts are OK, shorts are out), and you do not get too drunk. In addition there are some basic rules: never touch anybody on her head. Children might tolerate it, but they feel uneasy about it. Do not wear shoes when you enter a private house – such as a girl’s private room. Do not point your soles at anybody. And keep your hands off your girl in public. Affection is usually not shown outside the bars. This is slowly changing, however, especially bar girls now will accept your hand for a walk. Thai girls do not like to be kissed on the mouth, especially not the younger ones.

In general, you are in the country of smiles. So forget your worries and be happy. Smile back and you will have much more success. Being rude does not pay. Even though the Thai people have a high tolerance against violence, once you have crossed that limit, they turn berserk.

When you arrive the first day, take it easy. Walk around the bars, have a drink in a few of them, just look and find out what is available. Do not try to have drink in every bar, there are too many. Do not hurry, the first time here you are likely to be too excited to make your perfect choice – which is impossible anyway. But typically you will end up with a girl that you want to get rid of the very next morning. Girls are abundant, you will always find a nicer or more interesting one later, so you will never find your ultimate choice.

Inside the bar, try to find a dark corner to sit. Avoid sitting by the stage. It is too close, and you will only see the ankles of the dancing girls, or you will get cramps in your neck. The best place to sit is the highest tier by the wall, where the girls object the least against being handled, and secondly, you get the best view. The girls usually do not like to be handled in the open. But in a dark corner she will more likely permit you to check her out without any objections. A few girls do not even dress up again after their performance on the dance floor. They can make you real hot in front of all people. Do not bother, to most of them it is just fun.

You can have a lot more fun when you have something to offer to the girls. You get a lot of attention if you bring even simple things like wrapped sweets. You will be king if you got some cheap jewellery. Actually the girls will ask you whether this is from Thailand or the high quality stuff from your country. And sure, you should lie about the price of that trinket.

Playing games is just as good. You will hardly believe what attention I got when I played around with my laser pointer. As the dancing girls see themselves in the mirrors on the wall they will notice that there is some red dot somewhere on their body. Usually some other girl will ask immediately for that pointer and start her own playing. After 20 minutes you know most of the girls in the bar.

It is generally not allowed to take pictures inside the bars. You can take a photo of your girl outside (of course dressed), or try to do this as innocently as possible. A good relation with Mamasan might help. The girls themselves usually do not object, they even will pose for you. Remember when you use a camcorder in the bar, you should use Manual Focus because it will not focus right in the dim light.

Business at Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy usually starts around 11 AM, the first dancing round starts typically in one of the clubs at Nana Plaza at 14 hours. The clubs vary, depending on rules I do not know. Some other bars have Happy Hour time between 11 AM and 20 o’clock. Girls are already present at this time in the bars but not yet much interested in business. Real business starts between 19 and 20 hours. The program usually means girls dancing on the stage, mostly topless (at Nana Plaza, not that much at Soi Cowboy), some without any clothes (not in the afternoon). Typically the girls dance a suite of three to four songs until they get of the stage again. This way every dance girl will be upstage during the night.

In all these areas (Patpong, Nana, Soi Cowboy) you find at least one bar with “ladyboys” – transsexuals. Do not be surprised, they look like beautiful ladies, their tits are amazing, and they go with just as well for Short or Long Time. Look for the Adam’s apple! Otherwise you may be in for some real surprise. In Nana Plaza the ladyboy bar is called Casanova, to be found in the left corner of the second floor.

Official closing time is two o’clock in the morning. Depending on the presence of police some bars may continue till three, or even switch of all external lights and serve drinks till four. When you still did not find your girl till then go to the 24 hours coffee shops such as Thermae or the one at Malaysia Hotel.

Money exchange booths are abundant in these areas. They are open seven days a week usually until 22 o’clock. Typically traveller’s cheques get a better rate than cash. The exchange fee is small, so you will get nearly the current bank rate for your money. So you walk around the bars, see who are there, have a few drinks, and finally select the one with whom you can imagine to spend the days till your departure. It is better to not choose any girl before 21 hours, then everybody is there and you get the widest selection. Usually you have limited choice as the girl chooses you. But when she notices that you are not interested she typically leaves. Then you are free to look around. When you find the girl you like just try to get into visual contact with her. Smiling to her will usually be sufficient to get her over. Otherwise beckon her to come over (and do it the Thai way: with the palm down and the fingers hanging downwards making light motions towards yourself – it is offensive to beckon the way Westerners are used to!) Or ask her via one of the waitresses or the Mamasan. As the dancers usually have a number attached to their body you can easily point them out. Typically you start the relation by buying the girl her lady drink. By her behavior she will let you know if she is open to further business. Her hand on your thigh is a sure come-on. Her light “incidental” touch of your genitals is also a “yes”. This does not mean that you will be fixed on this particular girl. You can easily say a friendly “goodbye” to her, go to the next bar and spend a lady drink on another girl. Once you have decided to pay the bar fine, though, you are stuck with your girl.

My advice is, try to look for older girls. They have more experience and understanding. They are not as tight. Of course it is an interesting experience to have a girl of 18 in bed with you, but actually you will have more fun with the older and more experienced ones. Remember that “older” is a relative concept. To us Westerners, Thai women appear to be about 7 years younger than they actually are. If you see a girl that you think is 21, she probably is around 28! Mothers typically have a lot of experience but got belly stripes.

Try to find a girl that speaks English. It is more fun when you can talk with her. Body language, as nice as this can be, is not sufficient. Ask for her name – they all have three letter “nicknames”, like Lai, Sow, Dau, Kuk, her age and number of babies. She will ask for your name as well but do not expect her to remember it.

When you have established a relation the girl expects that you will keep coming back to her during you stay. She considers it her legal income, the money she gets from you, and even in this business jumping from girl to girl is not appreciated. It is called “to butterfly”. But do remember that you might find “your” girl in the arms of somebody else when you come the next day. It is her trade and livelihood, so do not complain. As most of the customers will move on after a short while, you will get her later again.

If you want to get rid of a girl because you found a better one, try to avoid the bar where the first girl is working. But be not too sure that she still may find you. Remember that in addition the afternoon dancing girls may come from different bars in the vicinity. So in the evening you may find the girl in another place again. And they do walk around to have a look at the other bars. This implies that you should not change girls from the same bar. The first girl will take this as a “loss of face”, that you consider her not good enough to you and this will cause her a lot of embarrassment. In some cases make the girl try to commit suicide. I have seen quite a few girls with cut marks on their wrists. Thailand is the country with the highest suicide rate in the world.

Do not expect to find “your” girl if you come back to the same bar, say, in six months. These girls change bars quite often. If you do not have her picture, you would not be able to recognize her again anyway – different hair style, clothes etcetera.

After successful flirtation, you will typically pay a bar fine of 100-400 baht. Once you have paid the bar fine, you are free to negotiate with the girl the further activities, including her fee, 100% of which goes to the herself. You have the options between “Short Time”(between 500 and 1500 Baht) and “Long Time” (between 1000 and 2000 Baht) which is typically twice as expensive. Short Time means just one visit to your room (or the upstairs room in the bar), and then the girl leaves. Long Time means the girl will stay with you the whole night and leave early in the morning. You should let her go, you will meet her again at the bar in the night again anyway. Keeping her for the day will result in expensive shopping trips.

Some hotels do not object against you having overnight female visitors. Some, like The Landmark of Bangkok, wants her out of your room before 23 hours. These girls expect you to shower before business. They do this themselves as well. They like it clean. Actually when you do this together it starts the fun already. Always use a condom! 50 percent of the girls do have the hiv virus. Do not play with your life.

Do not be surprised if the girl who danced naked for you in the bar suddenly is to shy to let you see her naked in your room. Many girls – especially newcomers to the sex trade – wrap themselves in the bathing towel and remove it only under the blanket. They actually believe their nakedness is ugly. So you will have to do some convincing that she is beautiful even when naked. She may offer to accompany you to the airport when you leave Thailand. This is nice, and you should pay an extra 500 Baht for this. But actually whether the girl stays with you another 60 minutes will not make any difference.

If you take a liking to a friend of your girl you might consider to ask her along as well. This does not give you any “butterfly” problems, but you yourself might have some problems keeping up with two girls.

When you do not plan to spend the day with sightseeing activities, stay up till the bar closes (2 o’clock in the morning, some now stay open up to three or four), and sleep long. So you can cut down the time until the bar opens again. Again and again you will be stopped on the street with somebody showing pictures of beautiful naked girls and ask you if you would like some “massage”. Others will ask if you want watches, showing pictures of Rolex and other high value watches, jewelry and tailors. I never accepted an offer of these people to get a girl from them. It is much more fun to choose yourself, and actually these guys will get them from the bars anyway, but more expensive. Nothing is for free, and they also need some money.

Likewise taxi drivers always will ask whether you have “hotel room already?” Even if you don’t have a room waiting for you, lie and tell him you have a reservation, otherwise the hotel is forced to pay them their commission, which you will have to pay afterwards. But when you want some special services you can basically ask anybody, tourist guides, taxi drivers, hotel personnel. Nothing is impossible. They will help you, but you will pay for that of course.

As usual in such an environment there will always be some guys or girls who take advantage of people who are drunk or uncautious and steal their property. The police tries to control that as much as possible, but it always happens like in other cities. It is however a relatively rare occurrence. I have met two persons in seven years who have had that experience. Never carry anything you really do need, especially no credit cards as they are not accepted anyways, and always protect your wallet, even when a beautiful lady or boy embraces you or grabs your balls. I know one story from a man who was still savoring the sensation when he finally realized that his money was gone. And by the way, these people do have knifes in their pockets. The best way to protect yourself is to stay as sober as possible, not carry any valuables not required, never keep your wallet in the back pocket and simply avoid potentially dangerous situations.


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