Have you ever wondered what Thai
guys do for kicks? Have you ever wondered what the naughty
nightlife scene for them is like? Stickman went on an adventure
to find out.
First there was a massage parlour in the sticks. It had a fish
bowl with perhaps 40 or 50 Thai women looking bored, most
watching one of the two TVs that were placed inside the bowl.
On the glass window of the fish bowl prices were written clearly
for all to see. 170 baht per hour for a Thai style massage or
650 baht for a two hour oil massage. It also noted that early in
the day it was just 100 baht per hour for traditional Thai
The girls in the fishbowl ranged from pleasant on the eye to
very attractive. There was not one old, one fat, and most
certainly, not one ugly girl. Frankly, in terms of their
appearance, this sort of quality cannot be found anywhere in the
farang nightlife areas. Believe me, it just doesn’t exist.
We chatted with the papasan about the deal in this place and he
confirmed that the prices posted were for massage only and any
extras were to be negotiated directly with the girl, with him
suggesting that such services would likely be in the vicinity of
1,000 to 1,500 baht. Whether this was accurate or not, I do not
know, but that would seem to be in the ball park. Given that
this was what I would term a massage parlour of medium quality,
but in a less prosperous area, the figures might have been a
little on the optimistic side. But frankly, I do not know for
If you have driven around Thailand at night you will have seen
small venues with lots of neon lights and coloured light bulbs
outside. These are karaoke venues. They range in size, but in
the smaller ones there is usually one karaoke machine playing
videos of popular songs with the words there like subtitles. You
can choose your song from what is often a huge list, a
microphone is given to you and you can sing along, all other
customers getting the pleasure, or otherwise, of your singing.
The girls in these venues sit with customers and they too sing
songs. And of course arrangements are often made to go
elsewhere. That's not to say that all karaoke girls are up for
it, because that is not the case. Some only sing songs, and some
sing songs, and, well, you know.
Next was a street of bars. Each of the venues was a single
floor, single shophouse. Surprised to see farangs at such a
venue, we were invited into each venue Pattaya beer bar style,
with girls calling out to us. The only difference was that
everything was in Thai. Finding English out there isn't easy. We
found the biggest venue and entered.
The bar, if you could call it that, was dimly lit and the
furnishings were similar to what you would get at a typical food
vendor on the street. We're talking basic. I couldn't help
thinking that this is the closest the Thai guys have to the gogo
bars that cater to Westerners. From a looks perspective, the
girls in this particular spot were probably on par with the
better gogo bars, such as Angelwitch or Rainbow 1. Some of the
girls were seriously cute. They were all relatively young and
from what I could see, all were in the 20 - 25 age bracket.
The girls were mostly from the surrounding district and had not
been shipped in from the North or Isaan. All were there of their
own accord. Sadly, some were of a very modest education, and two
could not even read or write. I asked the girls about broken
marriages and babies and no, most hadn't been married and NONE
had had babies, major difference with the girls in the farang
sector of the industry. Frankly, if you were to pull all of the
girls out of there and put them into a Nana gogo, you’d probably
be running the gogo bar with the prettiest girls. And absolutely
without a doubt, the most polite.
This is what I found perhaps most interesting of all. The girls
were VERY polite especially when compared with the girls in the
farang oriented sector of the industry. They used polite
vocabulary, used all of the right pronouns showing their
understanding of the customer / service provider relationship.
We chose another venue and wandered in, grabbing a seat. Looking
around the shophouse, there was a fridge out the back full of
Chang Beer, and signs up on the walls in Thai saying that no
weapons were allowed, no drugs, and no gambling. Everything was
basic, plastic chairs and tables and the glasses which were
presented with the beer must have come from the Vietnam era, and
perhaps only been cleaned a handful of times since. Despite the
rudimentary surroundings, even there, at the very bottom of the
food chain, in what essentially was a rural brothel, the girls
were polite, very polite in fact. There was no pressure placed
on customers apart from some gentle words of persuasion and
while I wouldn’t say everyone was smiling and having a jolly old
time, neither did it seem like I had expected a low class
brothel to be.
Chatting in hushed tones to find out the score, the deal is that
the lady gets half and the brothel gets half of the fee paid,
but the lady doesn't get her share of the money until the end of
the month. The lady has a degree of control over everything and
it is her who sets her price, and not the establishment. We were
told the prices were generally 300 baht, or 400 baht short-time,
that being the only English we heard all night. Inquiring about
what the 300 baht got you, "30 minutes upstairs was the
response", short-time being one hour. This is an all up fee.
Apparently the most expensive ladies go for 600 or 700 baht
although they would represent a very small number. These women
come from very poor backgrounds and the sight of a purple
banknote is a lot of money to them. They have to work every day
except during menstruation, and if they miss a day they are
docked 2,000 baht at the end of the month.
The girls sit on one side, and the Thai guys on the other. The
guys drink and chat together and then they simply pick a girl
and take her upstairs, with no communication beforehand, and
absolutely no rapport at all. It's not indifferent from a
massage parlour in that respect.
From an anthropological point of view, this was one fascinating
evening out. And contrasting it to what is available to the
average Westerner in Sukhumvit, well let’s just say it is no
wonder the average Thai is puzzled at what farangs end up with.
The girls we met and saw were friendlier, prettier and more
It was a fun adventure.