The Road is Wrong With Many a Lisp and Burn

Thailand is hardly painted on the world’s great canvas in a complimentary way, not a dull black and white, more a mish mash of vivid colours. Some would say the original has been stolen, and a replica of Mother Thailand is now in place. After all, isn’t Thailand the top dog in counterfeit goods.

Counterfeit handbagsA visit to the BBC News website highlighted news about new tough laws in certain European countries in a bid to crackdown on counterfeit goods. In France and Italy, the authorities are now targeting those who buy counterfeit goods, with France imposing a maximum fine of 300,000 euro or three years imprisonment. You’d need one big fake handbag to hold that kind of money.

Thailand doesn’t get a mention in the report, but China is cited as the main offender for the 178 million fake items seized by custom officials in 2008. The United Kingdom is not taking the same tough stance against the buyers of such goods, and instead have launched a campaign to educate people about the root source and safety hazards attached to copied goods.

Fake suitcases

Fake watches, designer handbags and football shirts, of which many are better quality than their expensive peers, are sneaked through European customs on an hourly basis each day. For the most part, the cheap copy is for personal use or a present for family or friends, but many have their suitcases crammed full of goods for sale to help fund trips abroad. Why not buy a fake Polo suitcase to put it all in? Many do.

So is the ‘fake run’ a one way journey from Asia to the western world?…. those who believe that, probably pass Santa Claus on their way. Isaac Newton’s theory of what goes up must come down is nearer the truth.

The ‘fake run’ is on two-lane highway with goods on one side, and human traffic laden with a distinct lack of morals polluting the other. Maybe its about time the Tourism Authority of Thailand educated the bar girls of Pattaya and Bangkok about the fake tourists heading their way. Day, after day, after day.

Thai girlThe common theory goes that all the bad people in places like Pattaya and the drinking dens of Bangkok are bar girls. Those happy, respectful, vibrant young schoolgirls from the likes of rural Isaan, somehow turn eighteen and regenerate into lying, cheating hookers, whose morals are left to suffocate in the stifling hot air of their parents homes.

Mr Newton’s apple hit me bang on the head years ago and I don’t subscribe to that theory at all.

Most of the bar girls in Thailand are mothers of young children, single parents who have left their partners because of his infidelity or general non compliance to a reasonable relationship. Young mouths need to be fed, take a look at any chirping birds nest.

Most of these girls have not had a good education, and the lack of decently paid employment make their choice of a life pleasing drunk tourists, a difficult, but necessary one.

Believe me, if you took away single parent child benefit payments in the UK, before long there would be a hooker in every bar and on every street corner. The United Kingdom’s pyramid education system peaks to life’s most important lesson. Money means survival.


Most of the male tourists that hit the streets of Pattaya and Bangkok are packing a wedge of hard-earned cash, and carrying a damn good heart. It’s the others that to me are the imposter’s posing as rich men on white horses, riding to the rescue of the rural wench.

In 2002 I went to Thailand for an extended stay, in those days Pattaya was my killing fields, but hand on my heart, I ‘massacred’ with total respect for the bar girls. There was never any blood on my white horse.

PattayaIn 2002, I was in Thailand to relax and view England’s latest attempt to wrestle the football World Cup from more deserving hands. The 17th FIFA World Cup was staged in South Korea and Japan, but Pattaya was flush with European football fans feasting on their beloved sport and the extra time offered by the girls in the beer and go go bars.

One afternoon I was sat in the Bodega Bar on Second Road and two middle-aged Englishman came in sporting England shirts and both had a bar girl on their arms.

It wasn’t too long before the men were on their mobiles and it was clear they were talking to their wives back home in the UK. The patter was obviously preplanned, and they went about telling their better halves of the great time and wonderful weather they were enjoying in Japan, but complained about the country being so expensive.

I found the farce rather amusing. The type of amusement you’d get watching a school playground bully pick on a quiet, bespectacled, skinny bookworm, and then take one hell of a beating from the kid. I hoped their wives ‘heat’ was more intense than Pattaya’s afternoon sun and the two of them were sharing their ‘fruit’ with someone cute.

Well ladies the choice is yours, what would you rather have on your arm. Would it be a fake Cartier De Pasha watch that needs a bang every so often to get it going, or one of those guys whose gonna bang the minute your backs turned. Just one story of many.

Who’s to say that a better education in the rural schools would stop the bitterness, and I dislike the word, hatred, that many bar girls have towards certain tourists. It’s a bitter, hard to forget taste, brought on by broken promises, open lies, and the realization that your hope of a better future is walking past your bar with his arm around another bar girl.

France, Italy, England and whoever. Your policies may help stem the flow of cash into the hands of the criminals who plough their profits into drugs and prostitution, but the road you’re treading is a two-way stretch. You may be correct in addressing the ‘fake’ economy, but how about educating some of the bums you allow on aeroplane seats about Thai bar girls and the true life they lead. Your road is wrong with many a lisp and burn.[dublin-core-metadata]


Photograph Thai girl by ekollin22


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

19 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn, having never experienced that side of Thailand I find this post quite revealing. Not that I should really be surprised since I do read Thai Visa!

    I am not sure how “conned” the Thai bar girls are by the fake tourists, but their(tourists) behaviour certainly doesn’t help us ordinary folk trying to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in this beautiful country.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Thai Tourist Police-"Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand." =-.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Hello Mike – I have always said and always will say that the worst people in Pattaya are the falang, not all by any means but a smallish percentage. The amount of bullshit and promises they dish out is unbelievable. Promises to send the girls money when they have no intention of doing so. Some even move the girls back to their village and send money for a couple of months and then think sod this, I ain’t wasting what little money I do have on her. The result is humiliation for the girl amongst her family and village community. Many just bullshit their way around the resort on their credit cards making their girl think how rich he is when in reality he hasn’t two baht to rub together back home as well as a wife. Eventually many of these rural kids wise up, harden and take it out on whoever in the future comes along. Hence you land up with some very mentally tough bar girls. Believe me some of the best westerners I have met in my life were befriended in Pattaya but hand on my heart I have also met the biggest scum there as well. When you are a 40 something bastard with limited money and arrive in Pattaya for the first time and 20 year old women throw themselves at your feet believe me the bastard that arrived appears a far far better person than the one that walks around the resort one week later. Don’t get me wrong some of the women are bad from day one but that’s life.

  3. Talen says:

    Martyn, I Agree with you that the worst lot in Pattaya are the falang and certainly there are some girls fresh off the bus with bad intent in mind. And the past few years it has gotten worse with the younger crowd coming in and really causing some havoc.

    All in all though everyone involved knows the game and protects themselves accordingly. For all the Thai girls that have been hurt just as many falang have been as well.

    Unfortunately the Thai girls have the advantage of years of friends and relatives that have worked in bars at one time or another and they get educated real fast about the falang and some poor guys coming to Thailand for the first time don’t stand a chance.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Kieng Piman Hotel in Mukdahan =-.

  4. Adullamite says:

    Good post that!
    .-= Adullamite´s last blog ..Now I’m not one to complain =-.

  5. expatudon08 says:

    its just a game of life the whole seen
    i must admit the sex scene really interested me at first but the first time in pattaya i just stayed there 2 nights it was good but a shit hole i have been back a few times and enjoyed it but as you say the place is full of 10 bob millionaires the girls see the money and get it into there heads that these customers have this kind of spare money 52 weeks a year
    i don’t feel sorry for the girls as they wont the money and don’t wont to live in the village with mum and dad
    and the boyfriend aka leach
    many westerners can not understand that a girl with a boyfriend can sell her body then go home to him and they do
    from what i understand they have big hearts Thai people have a very strong resolve and for that i respect them
    don’t be convinced that you are walking all over them chances are you are being led
    .-= expatudon08´s last blog ..Expat Money Worries udon thani issan =-.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Talen – I thought that as an experienced Pattaya lad you would agree about the falang being the worst in the resort and I see by your comment you do. Unfortunately the innocent tourist does get hurt and I put a lot of it down to many of the ‘fakes’ who have lied their way around Pattaya in the past and hardened many of the girls into a once bitten twice shy attitude. Sure some of the bar girls arrive armed with knowledge from family and friends but when you are stepping into the lions den then it would be advisable to seek advice from someone who’s survived it. I just think that the bar girl gets a bad deal from all concerned when it comes to analysing the wrongs of Pattaya and I personally feel they ain’t half as bad as they are made out to be whereas many of the falang I’ve met eventually turn out to be twice as bad as I originally thought they were.

    Adullamite – Thanks for your comment and I am a little surprised as I thought the previous post would have been more to your liking. Cheers.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Hi John nice to hear from you and I like the 10 bob millionaires quote. When I wrote the post I always had in the back of my mind and I’ll quote you as you’ve put it so good… ‘I don’t feel sorry for the girls as they want the money and don’t want to live in the village with mum and dad and the boyfriend aka leach.’
    Yes many of the girls have boyfriends aka leech but how many of the punters have girlfriends,wives or a ship in the night. It is also a fact that a large proportion of the Thai women arrive in Pattaya as single parent mothers and do I admit get involved with a Pattaya Thai man. That’s life. Your average tourist picks up a girl, falls in love and sends her £100 a month when he gets back home. Thats ‘look jiab’ chicken money, not enough to live on yet the falang expects absolute loyalty from the girl and what does he return. You can bet your bottom baht that every weekend in his hometown he’s trying to get laid. That’s life. John thanks for a much appreciated comment.

  8. Catherine says:

    ‘Believe me if you took away the single parent child benefit payments in the UK then before long there would be a hooker in every bar and on every street corner.’

    This is the hard truth. And real poverty (not a coddled western poverty) does present a shocking change to the choices available.

    And what is not mentioned here is the sexual abuse some of these girls were subjected to before arrival. Abuse does taint experiences, leaving them open to make life decisions others would not consider.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..What Makes the Thai Language Easy to Learn? =-.

  9. Talen says:

    Martyn, I think you made another good point there that the lies filter down to the newbies and they fall for the crap fed for them and end up getting taken for a ride.

    One thing is for sure…if I believed half of the crap I’ve been told in Pattaya then the place is full of Millionaires, CIA operatives and of course the most handsome men in the world.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Life Lessons in Learning English =-.

  10. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine that is a good shout. I’m sure a lot of lesser experienced Thailand lovers do not realise the abuse that some of these girls have been put through. When that sexual abuse has come from your father, brother or uncle then it must change your outlook on life forever. I didn’t mead the child benefit quote disrespectfully to UK women as I am only talking a small percentage but I believe it to be a hard possible fact.

    Talen your quip about the CIA reminds me of the amount of ex SAS men I used to meet in Pattaya. Most had put on a lot of weight since their ‘glory’ days and they did make me wonder how they had survived in the jungle or desert without an alcoholic drink for so long.

  11. expatudon08 says:

    yes the c.i.a are just as thick on the ground in Udon Thani but to be fair there are some genuine guys up there but mostly i give them a wide berth the dreamers that is
    from Airline Pilots former S.A.S troopers super successful business men former porn stars actors and my favourite obese ex boxers you get them all in Thailand
    not forgetting the guy who hooks up with various sexy girls and does not pay for it he just buys them the odd 2 baht chain which he forgets to mention
    and the worse ones for me are the educated ones who have no common sense and let the girls do there banking it.s all smiles and trust until you see them down the line
    i have made lots of mistakes but i learn from them if you don’t then Thailand will eat you alive
    .-= expatudon08´s last blog ..Expat Money Worries udon thani issan =-.

  12. Hoo Don says:

    John I know Udon city fairly well but more from a stay and go point of view. I tend to spend about 3 days there and then hit the village which I much prefer. I’ve stayed in Udon about 25 times but don’t tend to use the falang bars much and when I do it’s normally during the day. The folk you describe make it sound like a mini Pattaya and I have had enough of that for now. The ‘ex SAS’ boys are the ones that make me laugh, the assault course must have been a two minute run to the nearest pub and staking out a curry house after.

  13. Catherine says:

    ‘I didn’t mean the child benefit quote disrespectfully to UK women as I am only talking a small percentage but I believe it to be a hard possible fact.’

    I’m not as kind as you I’m afraid. I don’t have a lot of respect for those who make a career choice out of having babies on the UK system.

    The UK is drowning under those who abuse the nanny state.

    It’s one of the reasons why I left the UK. I got tired of paying £200 a month in council tax while others sat on their butts collecting money from the government, with some working and being paid under the table as well.

    But I do reaslise that this is a totally different subject… it’s just a pet peeve of mine is all…
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..What Makes the Thai Language Easy to Learn? =-.

  14. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine I am glad to read that it is not just us men who get damn annoyed about the single mothers who have no intention of working, for many it’s a natural earner after leaving school. A walk down easy street. What I meant by the added comment was that not everyone would or could do it because lying on your back and thinking of England, Thailand or wherever must take a certain amount of guts and desperation. The guts side of things would rule out many of them.

  15. Dutchie says:

    The mass sex industry in Thailand has been going on for 4 decades. I think the newbies would hv wised up abt this fleeting world of make believe where the whole business is abt money changing hands for a good time, as far as the punters r concerned. It would be very naive for both parties to think otherwise.

    I also wondered if a collective change of mindset might benefit the girls to choose another profession, even if it means working very hard for very little ? Self respect is a priceless virtue, I would hv thought.

    On counterfeit items out of Asia, the dutch Customs r diligently checking the bags ! They raised the penalty to 180% of the original price n then cart the items for destruction. We often debate abt how our purchases r keeping the asian manufacturers n retailers in bread-n-water. If tourists were to stop buying them, a great part of their economy will surely collapsed ? Besides, it’s part of a holiday fun n the Customs r bent on spoiling it for us 🙁 We hv stopped stocking up on pirated DVD music ,films n software (where it’s legal for the locals there). Brand clothings we could do without. Food we could not do without, hehe. So far the Customs hv allowed it even tho the bills were well over the S$ 600 limit ;-p The only nuisance is having to carry old bills for our digi cams as proof that we didnt purchase it overseas where a levy is due in NL ;-s

    We r of the opinion that if the prices of branded goods were reasonable, we would gladly pay for them instead of this cat-n-mouse game with the Customs. Very much the same abt capital gains tax (which is on our minds recently due to UBS n the USA govt), isnt it ? Perhaps u could touch on this cash cow issue some other time ?

  16. Hoo Don says:

    Dutchie the girls have little chance of work let alone profession. The better paid jobs are off limits due to their poorer rural education and the lesser jobs are in short supply but I will agree that if they really chose that road a good proportion would eventually find work. A lot of the problem is that nowadays most villages have a foreigner or two staying there and the younger women see the wealth and security that comes with it and not all but a high percentage of these foreigners village wives have met their man whilst working the bars.

    You are absolutely right that by stopping the counterfeit chain then precious money would be depived to thousands of people. Unfortunately some of the big players in the counterfeit game use the profits on drug supply and other unsavoury acts. A real no win situation.

    Customs is a whole new ball game. In the UK customs are hot on drugs, booze, cigarettes, porn and excessive counterfeit items but a half dozen football shirts and 600 fags normally doesn’t bother them. I will add your cash cow issue to my list and give it some serious thought. Thanks.

  17. Catherine says:

    ‘What I meant by the added comment was that not everyone would or could do it because lying on your back and thinking of England, Thailand or wherever must take a certain amount of guts and desperation. The guts side of things would rule out many of them.’

    I see what you mean. And yes, it would take guts. Guts, and (from what I’ve read) an astounding ability to be believable. With all the talented actresses out there, Thailand could have a highly successful Hollywood.

    Desperation, for sure. Because after seeing photos and reading about the activities of some clients in the ‘hot spots’ in Thailand, I often wonder just what these girls think of when they are alone with their thoughts. Even in a ‘mai bpen rai’ culture, it can’t be pretty.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners: Glenn Slayden =-.

  18. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine I am sure the girls do have immense guilt but in some strange way that I don’t know the meaning of their Buddhist upbringing somehow gives them the belief that what they are doing is for the better of their families. Not a good explanation but I think the answer is somewhere in that mix.

  19. John says:

    Dutchie great post but the only trouble with this world we live in is the minority have the money and a even smaller percent have any common sense and the will to change things
    unfortunately if your education is poor you have little chance of making a decent income that goes for any country
    its easy to judge the girls but they are faced with much harder choices then i have had to face our likely will in my life
    Catherine yes the girls are talented to a certain extent but i think this is compounded buy the gullibility of a large percentage of there clients and to give you a further prospective from a male point of view its easy to lose yourself having sex with a slim sweet smelling female when the female.s back home drink pints swear and stink because they are so fat and sweaty yuk give me a flat footed issan farm girl any day but don’t tell the wife

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