The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Bachelor in Bangkok: Khun Lee on the life story of a 21 year old Thai bar girl

Written By: herbrunbridge - Sep• 11•11

She is only 21 years old but already has 4 ½ years of working as an “entertainment provider” under her belt.  Now fluent in both English and Thai while studying Mandarin Chinese, this confident young lady and I sat down this week for a cup of coffee and she told the entire story of her life from age 15 to the present.  I have always been curious as to how the gals enter the naughty nightlife industry and I hope you readers will find her story as interesting as I did.  Noon is from Isaan in Northeastern Thailand and we first met when she was a go-go dancer in a Nana Plaza bar.  I didn’t know it at the time, but she was just 16 years old back then and she was new to the business.  Unfortunately this is not at all uncommon and many gals from the poor Isaan region are expected to begin helping the family financially well before they reach the age of 18.  We became friends as her roommate at the time was one of my regular companions, and much like most of the gals she has come and gone many times from the bars and freelance places, as well as having short to long term arrangements with customers and a few spells back home just relaxing.  This is a synopsis of her story: 

“When I was 15 my family moved from Isaan to Bangkok because my parents wanted to open a business making the inexpensive clothes that you see sold on the street and in the inexpensive places like Pratunam and Chatuchak.  We didn’t have the money for me to continue high school so I took a job working at Tesco Lotus Super Market for 5,000 baht a month.  One day while I was working there a female customer who was about my age told me she was working in Nana Plaza as a go-go dancer and she was making more than 10 times as much money as I was!  I had often heard stories of how much money these girls made, but until I actually met someone who gave me the details I really never believed it.  Thai men normally pay only a couple hundred baht for sex and I still can’t understand why foreigners pay so much.  Anyway, she brought me to the bar and introduced me to the manager and some of the other girls.  I decided to try working there just to see if I liked it and could make good money as my parent’s business wasn’t going so well and my family really needed the money.  It was actually a lot of fun at first as you only have to work 5 or 6 hours a night as opposed to the 12 hour days I was used to, and I had customers take me out of the bar nearly every night.  I made nearly 60,000 baht my first month and also had a lot of gold, jewelry and clothes bought for me by customers.” 

“After 6 months a guy from England wanted to live with me so he payed the bar 15,000 baht and we stayed together for 1 ½ years.  He was a pretty good guy but smoked too much and he almost never showered.  Then I returned to the bar and met another guy who was from Switzerland.  We stayed in Europe a year living in 4 or 5 countries.  I liked him a lot but he was old and never liked to do fun things.  He told me I couldn’t go out of the house except with him and it got really boring staying inside all the time.  I left him and went back to my old bar. I danced another year and then met my current guy who is from England, too.  I have been with him 6 months.  I really loved him at first, but I went home to see my Mother last month and when I got back the Thai guy at the front desk of our apartment building told me he had another girl in the room for sex.  Now I know he doesn’t love me.  You know I am a Thai lady (she gets a glint in her eye) I want to have love, but if I cannot have love I will have money.  Now I just spend all of his money and buy whatever I want.  He is stupid like a buffalo. When he has no more money I will return to the bar again.  In our language we like to say “it is impossible to have both money and love.”  The guys who are smart, confident and sexy will never give you money.  And the guys who give you money are never the guys who you can love.  It’s OK because I have a really sexy Thai boyfriend now but I don’t have much time to see him.  He works in a shipyard near Chonburi.  Now I am an old lady (almost 22) so I have to be serious about my future.  What do you think I should do?” 

Noon’s story is very normal in many ways.  She is from Isaan, has a poor family and hasn’t saved any of the money that guys have spent on her and given to her.  One comment I need to make here is that it is very important not to make your main gal lose face.  Her current boyfriend (sponsor) had sex with another gal in the apartment he is sharing with Noon.  The gals will ALWAYS find out about this as Thais stick together and a security guard, clerk, neighbor or someone else will tell her for sure.  Use the short-time rooms guys!

Read Khun Lee’s other WoWasis columns for more advice on navigating the adult dating scene through the backstreets of Bangkok

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