Thai Bar Girls – Money for Honey
How much does it cost for a night with a Thai bar girl? That’s a question I get asked a lot, mainly from 30 to 50-year-old single guys. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the bar girl scene, but the rules will be just the same, and money as ever the name of the game – money for honey to be exact.
Beyond The Mango Juice takes a look at the world of the Pattaya bar girls, aiming to arm Thailand newbies with some rules, etiquette and information on the “dancing queens” of Pattaya.
All photographs in this post are used for illustration purposes only and do not imply the girl’s pictured sell sex.
Pattaya Bar Girls
They say it’s the oldest profession in the world, but I think the word “prostitute” is a little too harsh to label and slap on Pattaya bar girls. Working girls are what they like to call themselves, and I couldn’t agree more. Anyone new to Thailand needs to understand that the country has no social benefits system in place for unemployment or child care – if you don’t work, you don’t get any money.
Given the life that most of the bar girls tourist customers have, I’m sure the girls – if they had the same opportunities, would also hold down jobs in offices and factories and not lay on their backs and think of Thailand. Most of them are from the poorer provinces of Thailand and are single mothers with young kids to feed, and that makes it harder to ignore the lure of tourist resorts like Pattaya.
Pattaya Bar Etiquette
Respect is the main word you need to know and put into practice. In any walk of life if you have to do something that you consider beneath you, then you hope you receive a little respect from others when carrying out those humble tasks. Thai women feel the same but will deep-six their morals and self-respect with a smile.
Anyone who is planning to hop from bar to bar and pull a different bar girl each time then that’s fine, but if a punter returns to a bar and ignores a girl he’s taken before in favour of a different one, then sparks may fly.
If you do return to the same bar, then do not pick up a different girl unless the one you bar fined before is with another customer – and even then think twice. If the girl is not with a someone and you bar fine a different one, she’s going to lose face big time, and big money too, that’s a combination which often leads to trouble. There are plenty of bars with plenty of girls about, don’t play with someone’s dignity, or put Thai style, don’t make the girl lose face.
A Little Bit Of Spiel
- The Market – There are two market types, buying and selling. Peak season is the seller’s market where the bar girls hand is strong, plenty of tourists means plenty of customers, and with it, the price of honey goes up. The off-season sees much lower tourist levels, and this makes a buyers market, the tourist has many more girls to choose from making the buying price drop.
- No Money No Honey – After just a couple of days in Pattaya most middle-aged men feel ten years younger and believe their looks reflect that. A bar girl’s sweet tongue can iron out the most unkind and deepest of wrinkles, to the wearer at least. No matter how good you may think you look if you run out of coin then no bar girl is going to give you the honey she’s sat on, ever.
- Bar Fine – A fee paid to the bar owner to release the bar girl from her hostess duties at the bar. Prices range from 300-500 baht for one day/night. The bar girl will receive a small cut of the bar fine.
- Butterfly – The simple term used by Thai bar girls for tourists who fly from one girl to the next. Farangs, who despite being in a lengthy relationship, still find the lure of other bar girls hard to resist. A helicopter is another word used.
- Short Time/ Long Time – Self-explanatory. Some bars will have rooms upstairs where you can take one of the girls for a short period and do the business. Most bars haven’t got them, and you’ll have to take the bar girl back to your hotel room for a short time or a long time. Long time means all night typically, and the girl will hope to tag onto you for the next day and beyond.
Doing The Deal
A perfect place for any newbie to dip their toes in Pattaya’s nightlife are two trendy side streets off Beach Road, Soi 7 & Soi 8. They both have loads of bars and hundreds of bar girls and bar fining one is very easy to do. You just need to sit in a bar, grab a beer and wait – as a rule, and you won’t be waiting long.
The girls will come to you with baht signs in their big brown eyes and if a particular one does catch your fancy then don’t come on too much because her hand will be a lot stronger if you make the first move and she’ll want to charge you more. Act calm and have some fun with the girl haggling over the money she wants before you bar fine her. Just remember that simple word respect.
How Much For A Bit Of This And That
The following and all the above has been solely based on bars and not Go-Go Bars; they have different rules, etiquette and prices and that brings us back to The Markets, and we’ll start with the buyers one. Off-season an experienced Pattaya tourist (remember this is 2008) can look to pay as low as 500 baht for long time with a bar girl. Newbies will probably need to bargain hard to get a long-term deal for around the 700-1000 baht mark. Short term prices would be, if anything, only slightly lower. The bar fine is extra on top.
The seller’s market makes the stakes a lot higher. December and January are peak season, and a lot more Thai women head to resorts like Pattaya to grab a slice of the tourist cake. Any newbie will be looking at paying 1000-2000 baht for the same service he would receive off-season (700-100 THB). The experienced Butterfly might quickly get the same girl for around the 500-1000 baht mark.
This post has merely skimmed the murky waters Thai bar girls float their boats on and the smiles and guiles that come with them. There are lots of things to consider when trying to bargain hunt Pattaya bar girls and the price they expect you to pay – she’s waiting on her sugar daddy to arrive back in town is one, she thinks you’re a Cheap Charlie another, these are things you’ll have to weigh up yourself and decide if they greenlight the ‘price’ will there be any trouble that may be an add-on. There’s not a set fee for a bar girl, and they are out to get the best dollar they can.‘
Have fun in the sun and show that simple country girl respect.