Readers' Submissions

The Bargirl Experiment

  • Written by Stick
  • May 29th, 2003
  • 6 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Anonymous submission



Let me start of by saying that I have been going to Thailand for 20 years. My first trip was in the 1980’s and Thailand has changed so much over the last 20 years. I was in the US Military on my first trip and had R & R in Pattaya. I did the young guy thing, we drank a lot, had a few girls, but formed no attachments.

My brother worked in Thailand at the US Embassy so I returned about once a year. I visited Bangkok, did the tourist stuff, went to Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Samet and some of the other tourist places. I have read numerous books, internet sites and of course Stickman Bangkok and was well aware of the Bar Girl Games, their stories, ploys and ways of trapping farang men.

Last year on one of my trips to visiting my brother I met a young 19 year old bar girl, her name was Nong (name changed to protect the not so innocent). She was a freelancer working in Pattaya. Some of my friends knew her and she began hanging out with our group. I thought she was cute and nice so we developed a friendship. I know what you are thinking, but no I didn’t sleep with her, and I still haven't slept with her. She gave me the usual sob story about having to support her poor farmer parents in Isaan and that she had to work in the bar for the money. She told me she wanted to learn English and some kind of skill, maybe computer, and that her granny was very sick, so was auntie…

Well after 20 years of hearing it, I thought OK, this girl is pretty cool, let’s try something different; “The bar girl experiment”. The premise: Can you take a girl out of the bar, no strings attached, no emotional ties, give her money and see if she will change. Well that is exactly what I did. I told her that she needed to leave Pattaya, go home to the farm, go to school, learn English and take a computer class. I agreed to send her 12,000 baht per month (US 300 dollars). This is more than enough for school, living and helping out the family in a farm town. I went home to California, and I put her on the bus home to Isaan.

She went home, started English school and emailed me. She told me that she had given half (6,000 baht) of the money to her mother and that she needed more money. I emailed back sorry, but 12,000 baht a month was what we had agreed upon. She lasted about three weeks in the school in the country. She emailed me that she was bored in the country and could she go back to Pattaya. She wanted to go to school there. I told her fine, just keep going to school. So she went back to Pattaya, and had another month of English lessons. I later found out that the class was one hour a day. She emailed me several more times over the next two months asking for more money, but each time I politely told her no.

I returned to Thailand about three months later. I was told by some friends that the young girl I had been sending to school was out every night partying it up and telling everyone that I was her boyfriend. I had a long talk with her and tried to explain the concept of wanting to help someone out because you liked them like a friend, not girlfriend. This concept was totally lost on her and she did not understand.

She then asked me if I would help her find an apartment to live in because the one she was living in was shared by her aunt, aunt’s husband, four little children and other relatives, it was only one bedroom. This actually worked out well, as a friend in the US Military had just married a Thai girl and wanted to get her an apartment as well. I again told Nong that I would pay for her school, but she still had to go. I wanted to see report cards of her progress. So we agreed on this. The apartment was a very nice Western 2 bedroom located between Pattaya and Jomtien. She immediately complained (after the 6 month lease was signed) that it was too far to walk and could I buy her a scooter. I again told her no, she agreed on the apartment before and she had never mentioned a scooter.

So again I went back to the States. I got an email about three weeks after I had left from my friend’s wife (the other girl in the apartment). She told me that she was lonely because Nong had not moved into the apartment. She asked me if she could move someone else in. I emailed Nong and asked her what was going on. She said the apartment was too far (about a 5 minute walk from South Pattaya & 2 minute baht bus ride), and that she didn’t like staying there. I was now upset. I didn’t mind trying to help her get through school, but now she was just wasting my money. I told her this in an email, but she never responded back. I later heard through my friend’s wife that Nong had gone over and gotten mad at her for telling.

So I stopped sending Nong money. About a week ago the friend’s wife emails me and says I was too hard on Nong and I should give her another chance. I don’t think so. Bar Girl Experiment Over.

The conclusion of the experiment:

1) You can take the girl out of the bar but you can’t take the bar out of the girl.

2) Thais have their own pecking order and we are last.

3) If I had any emotional ties to this girl then I would have been wrecked.

4) I have found that most country farm girls that become bar girls in the big city, like the big city and do not want to go home because their homes are boring.

5) Most bargirls are very lazy.

6) Most bar girls look at us, as a source of income. It is very rare when they actually like you for being you.

7) No more experiments.

Moral of the story; I knew better but I wanted to try. I am wealthy by American standards and all of my friends in Thailand know this. So do many of the bargirls. I couldn’t have a bigger target painted on me if I had tried. I thought I could make a difference in this young girl’s life. I had no emotional ties to her and I actually encouraged her to find a nice boyfriend, but this did not work, she could not change.

Changing a bar girl is an almost impossible task. My brother married one and is happily married. He tells me that it is and was a lot of work, patience and understanding. You have to remember that these bargirls are only educated to about the second grade, some have more but not many. Most farang come from different backgrounds and it has taken me the last 20 years to understand the Thai mentality and I learn more every trip.

I have 20 years worth of bar girl stories but I will save those for another day.

I will return to Thailand next month with one hand on my wallet and another on my heart. Good luck in your search.

Stickman says:

I really agree with points 2, 4, 5 and 6. You were very kind to this girl and she displayed a complete lack of gratitude, something that is not exclusive to the bargirls in Thailand.