Nightlife Advice & Tips
Ladies working in can be taken out of the bar for the evening. If they agree to go with you and you wish to take her out before the bar closes, you have to pay a fee (around 300-500 Baht) known as a “bar fine”. This is to compensate the bar for the time that she is out of the bar, where she would normally be entertaining and attracting more customers. She will normally also receive a share of the bar fine.
The bar fine only entitles you to take her out of the bar. Anything else has to be negotiated between you and the lady in question. However, the bar fine system does offer the customer some protection. In the unlikely event that there is a problem you can go back to the bar the next day and the bar will be able to assist you in resolving any problems. At the very least they will be able to ID her.
You’ll come across this in beer bars and à go-gos. When you buy a girl in these bars a drink, they receive a commission. Its entirely up to you if you buy them or not and you should not feel pressured to do so. However, if you like the girl buying a few lady drinks will make her look good to her employer while she is entertaining you.
If you prefer to meet girls outside of beer bars and go-gos, head over to the discos in Patong later in the evening (after midnight). Many of the bar girls will be freelancing there after their bar closes. Payment is sometimes discussed beforehand and other times not, however, if the girl normally works in a bar it will be expected for you to pay her for her services. (Having said this, please don’t assume that every girl you meet in a disco is on the game, although in Patong is this often the case).
A word of warning: Although enjoyable company can often be found in this manner, it is much riskier than taking a girl from a bar or go-go. You could end up being robbed and you would have no come-back if something goes wrong. If you don’t know your way around its better to only take girls out of bars they are working in. This is especially important in the case of ladyboys who are often found freelancing on Bangla itself in the early hours of the morning.
Phuket has quite a few ladyboys or katoeys, as they are known in Thai. Just a heads up to avoid confusion on your nights out. Love them or loathe them they can be found in Soi Crocodile just off Bangla Road. Many can be stunningly beautiful and can easily mistaken for real women. Some things to look out from a deeper voice (which can be disguised) is their height, ladyboys being males (at least genetically) are often taller than regular girls, and have larger hands and feet.
Thailand has an epidemic of HIV infection and AIDS. Heterosexual transmission accounts for most HIV infections in Thailand, though HIV is common among prostitutes of both sexes. Always wear a condom.
Phuket is generally safe and there is very little chance of trouble finding you if you don’t go looking for it. In general, if you keep your wits about you and act respectfully towards other people you will have no problems. Don’t be aggressive towards people and they won’t be aggressive back. You definitely don’t want to get in a fight here, especially with locals. You will always lose.
You should be wary of thieves and pickpockets, especially if you’ve had a few drinks. Also, your date may have sticky fingers so keep an eye of your valuables and be sensible. This is one of the reasons why its better to barfine a girl from a bar than to pick up “freelancers”. If something happens you will be able to take your complaint up with the bar.
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