Thai Bar Rules

When I first arrived in Pattaya 1991 go-go bars listed a set of rules on the wall.

No photos, no fighting, no guns, no hand grenades, no durians.

A few bars even had dress codes. Shirts and shoes were required by male patrons. No bare feet were allowed on the premises other than on stage. Otherwise most anything else was open game.

Farting, burping, groping, flirting, cheating, lewd suggestions, and sexual impropriety were forgivable as long as a customer’s money flowed into the cash register with the regularity of a Christmas goose’s bowel movements, however certain transgressions can provoke angry and even violent consequences threatening life and limb, which is why go-go bar veterans have assembled a rough and revolving code of ethics for behavior within a go-go bar.

RULE #1 Never fall in love at first site or sight.

You might not have had sex with a human being for a decade, but the blood pounding in your veins as a naked young girl sits on your lap is simply the re-activation of long-dormant lust sensors. Do not confuse this reaction for love.

RULE #2 Ignore rule #1.

If you haven’t had sex with anything human for ten years, then what’s the harm in fooling yourself into thinking someone could love you after meeting you for several seconds. The mistake only hurts your pocket.

RULE #3 Groping is acceptable, but within limits?

Check the bar. If you see a Thai or farang glaring at you for no reason, the reason is probably on your lap.

RULE #4 Flattery will get you everywhere.

Narcissism is a Thai obsession. Check out how crowded the beauty salons are before opening hours for the bars. Thai bargirls love hearing sweet talk or barg-wan and will believe anything you tell them. The downside of this trust is that they remember everything word for word. “But you say…”

RULE #5 Beware of getting rat-packed.

Generosity is all good and well, however buying drinks for the go-go dancer of your choice, the mama-san, the toilet girl, two waitresses, and the DJ can deplete your ‘fun’ funds faster than a crack binge. Within 30 minutes the bill could run into the thousands, so you experience ‘chek bin’ sticker shock. Better to buy your love interest a few drinks and tip her a 100 for her attention.

Lady drinks only earn them 20 baht?

If she calls you ‘kee-nio’ or cheap, then bail on this ungracious demi-montaine. You haven’t lost her forever, because one slow night that one-hundred baht tip will make her greet you with a smile and you return the smile and say, “I’m back.”

RULE # 7 Is it real or faked?

Beware of excessive amorous behavior from a dancer. This enthusiasm usually dies the second after you bar-fine them and back at your hotel room no candles or champagne will re-kindle their ardor.

RULE # 8 Don’t start fights.

Just because you’re 6-3 and fought your way through Iraq doesn’t mean that a 41 kilo 4-10 go-go dancer can’t KO you with a high heel. And once it starts, you’ll suddenly realized that Thais never fight one on one.

“Where’d all those Indians come from?” General Custer.

RULE # 9 Don’t speak Thai in strange bars.

Fluency in this language is the kiss of death to most spinners ie beauty queens. Speaking Thai reveals you have a wife, girlfriend, or have been here too long and they wonder why you haven’t been deported by Immigration.

RULE #10 Don’t dance on stage.

Nothing looks more ridiculous than a fat farang imitating a go-go dancer on the steel pole unless it’s a vid-cam recording of this foolish the morning after. All go-go bars have CC-TV. Smile.

Survival in the trenches of the go-go bars can depend on these rules or not. Who gives a shit what happens in the end? It was only money and there’s plenty more where that went. In the end there are only three real rules.

Rule #1 There’s always tomorrow night.
Rule #2 There’s more of that where that came from.
Rule #3? You never lose your girl, you only lose your turn.

All that said once you’ve been here it’s impossible to go back to the USA or any place else in the Western World

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