Expat – When a farang (foreigner in Thailand) or male tourist in Thailand refers to Adult Nightlife in the Kingdom, they are more than likely talking about Thailand’s notorious Naughty Nightlife for Men. The following report gives a good general description of what this is, and puts it to perspective. It is really only one small dimension of Thai life, but it always seems to be of interest to Westerners.
written by J. F. Gump
reprinted from Gather.com – 01 April 2007
Someone once said, “Once you have seen one naked woman, well, then you want to see them all naked.” That is a typical male perspective of course, but I have known a few women who probably feel the same way. I suppose it has more to do with hormones, physical pleasure, and animal instinct than procreation, but without it we would eventually would cease to exist as a species. But that is not the topic of this article; it’s only my feeble attempt to provide a reason for what follows.
First let me say that I am not a pervert. Or at least I don’t think I am. Certainly no more perverted than the average person you meet in everyday life. However, I am a human with hormones and I’m not opposed to seeing a naked lady or two whenever the opportunity presents itself. I know I am not alone or gentlemen’s clubs and Playboy magazines would not exist. Perhaps the country of Thailand wouldn’t either; at least not as it exists today.
I have been coming to Thailand on and off for the last 11 years on company business. Sometimes I’m in Bangkok; sometimes I travel to the resort city of Pattaya. On this trip, as on my last three trips, I am stuck in Bangkok.
Bangkok is a huge city of about 10 million people and it is hot. Sometimes it is really hot and sometimes it rains. I have been in Bangkok when the storm sewers are overwhelmed and the streets become mini canals. But this time of the year is relatively dry so rain is not an issue. The heat, on the other hand, is another story. Actually the heat wouldn’t be all that bad if I didn’t sweat. I can deal with sweat except when it forms on my scalp and uses my hair as an escape route. It is not my entire head that sweats; only the area where Mother Nature has allowed my hair to remain with ordinary thickness. So I have lots of hair on the back half of my head and whenever I am out in the heat it sprouts these geysers that would put Old Faithful to shame. The Thai people must get a real laugh at the ugly foreigner with water dripping from the back of his head. Trust me, it’s not easy being cool with this action taking place. And it’s uncomfortable too.
But I am getting off subject. Nightlife. Yes, I was writing about the nightlife. Bars in Thailand come in three different and distinct forms. There are go-go bars where the girls dance and put on shows on an elevated stage, there are bars that are indoor with air conditioned and the girls do not dance, and there are outdoor “beer bars” where the girls serve drinks and entertain the men by playing games and talking to them. Regardless of the setting, all of the bars are selling fun, booze, and sex. Due to my strong moral beliefs and my intense fear of catching some disease that might kill me, I do not indulge in the sexual aspect of the nightlife, but I do enjoy the fun and the booze (beer only). I will describe the scene of each venues to give you an idea of what one can expect if they visit any of the nightlife areas of Bangkok (or Pattaya or Phuket or Chiang Mai, etc.). This information could come in handy if you ever visit this part of the world.
Before you get the idea that Thailand is only about the nightlife, I want to set the record straight. There is much to do and see in the “Land of Smiles”. From the pristine beaches of Phuket in the south to the mountains of Chiang Mai in the north, adventure and natural beauty awaits each and every tourist. Ancient Buddhist temples, incredible floral gardens, elephant training farms, snake shows, butterfly gardens, exotic zoos, and more are all available to be experienced. And the Thai people are incredibly polite and almost always smiling. For these reasons, I highly recommend that everyone make at least one trip to Thailand before they die. The nightlife is only an additional adventure for those who are curious or deadly serious.
Now back to the subject. First the go-go bars. As mentioned, go-go bars have women dancing on a raised stage. Depending on whether the bar is owned by a Thai or a non Thai will dictate how many clothes the women will wear during their dance sets. In foreign owned bars, the dress will be a bikini at a minimum. In the Thai owned bars total nudity is more common than not. The laws are the same for both, but not equally enforced. Interspersed between “mass” dances by 8 to 10 women, the girls will put on choreographed shows of various sorts. Some of them are quite good. In go-go bars on the second floor of Patpong Road, the shows are crude, disgusting, and degrading. I don’t recommend those bars with their impolite shows to anyone except so you can say you have been there.
Whether the show-bar is on the second floor or at ground level, the tactics of the go-go girls are always the same. While they are dancing they will look at the customers (usually men) to see if anyone seems interested in them. If they spot a likely target, they will go to that man after they finish their dance set. They never sit naked, but they will sit dressed in their bikinis. The goals of the girls are universal: extract money from the wallet of the customers. The girls teach each other the basics of English (the universal language) so they can have rudimentary communications. The phrases include “What you name?”, “Where you from?”, “You like me?”, and “You buy me drink?” Since Thais don’t really say the “R” sound, drink usually comes out sounding like “dlink”. If a drink is bought, the girl will always be very grateful and sit close or give shoulder massages, sniffing Thai kisses on the cheek, and other simple things to show her appreciation. If more than two drinks are bought, the girls will decide the man really likes her and will eventually suggest that he pay her bar fine so they can go outside of the bar for eating, dancing, or even more intimate things.
Here I must explain a “bar fine”. If a man wants to take a girl from the bar, he must pay the bar for taking the girl away from her real work of dancing. The reasoning by the bar owners is that if the girls could go for free, all of them would be gone by nine o’clock and they would have no customers. This ruse allows the bar owner to make money if their employees leave the bar and it also keeps them from being accused promoting prostitution activities. What the girls may do after they leave the bar is beyond the bar owner’s control. It seems like a convenient arrangement for everyone involved. Now back to the subject.
It can actually be quite a lot of fun going to these places as long as you understand what is going on and keep your head screwed on straight. If you get drunk, you will probably end up with an inflated bar tab and maybe even pay a bar fine when what you really need to do is go home and to bed alone.
The non dancing indoor bars are usually the “hostess” bar types. Hostess bars are typically a little more upscale and a lot more expensive. The girls are always fully clothed in nice dresses or in uniforms dictated by the establishments. These bars are more like nice pubs found in the rest of the world but the girls are not. The girls are usually very good looking if not downright beautiful. They are not as aggressive as the go-go girls but their goals are the same: extract money from the customers. A lady “dlink” will cost you three or four dollars as compared to two dollars or so in the go-go’s. The girls will never be the first to suggest that you pay their bar fine, but they won’t refuse if you offer. (Note: if the girl doesn’t like you, she will refuse, but politely.) The bar-fine at the hostess bars is two or three times more than at a go-go. Clearly these bars are for people with more money than common sense.
The last type of bar is the outdoor “beer-bar”. Beer-bars can often be the most fun of all. The girls are usually from the Isaan area of Thailand and who were farm workers before escaping the poverty of their hometowns. Most of them are not well educated but they like to have fun. You can imagine the effect on them when they leave rural Thailand and enter the world of Bangkok, Pattaya, and other cosmopolitan cities. They are overwhelmed by the glitter and excitement they find. Their meager wages in the bars seem like a fortune compared to what they made in the rice fields. They want to have fun, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Their goals tend to reach beyond extracting dollars from the wallets of foreigners; they are looking for husbands who can make their lives, and the lives of their families, easier. Incredibly it works. I don’t know how many houses have been built in Isaan or how much money has poured into that area thanks to the men who fall in love with those girls, but I can assure you it is a lot. At the same time these are the same girls who are most likely to fall into the use of drugs and take up with Thai men who are abusive and take whatever money they make at their jobs. I have seen some very nice girls go this route and it breaks my heart. Most eventually disappear but I don’t know where they go. I can only hope that they go home to their families.
That is the naughty nightlife in Thailand. I hope no one is offended or bored to death. It is only the facts as I have observed them. Now I’m going out for a “dlink” at the hotel bar and listen to the band. At least the hotel lounges are safe for moral people like me.
Now, Go Take a Vacation!
*********** EXPAT OFF TOPIC VIDEO **********************
Want to get some fundamentals of Thai language? If you had a cute Thai teacher like this lady, you for sure would learn
Thai very well. She has a beautiful smile and a great accent, and I really like this teacher.