Readers' Submissions

How Much Does That Thai Woman Make?




This submission is a continuation to the previous ones I sent in studying the personalities of Thai women. I now am trying to further understand their personalities and include as I finally got their confidence in revealing to me how much money they earn. You may want to read them before reading this so you would have a background on the characters. They were submitted in two parts on 29/9/2003 and 30/9/2003. Also the “Where are they article” I submitted on 24/2/2004. I will not bother with the ladies who were involved with the naughty nightlife as I personally think that is a very erratic figure. I am also including new ladies that I have met in my last trip.

Anne: Told me she makes 7,200 baht a month at the Isetan dept. store and has one day off a week. She works from 10:00am till 9:00pm. From time to time her fiancé sends her a little extra though she did not tell me the amount.

Eve: I found out lives with a boyfriend all this time including the time I was dating her. I got out of it for fear that he may be one of those weird jealous types and tries to harm me for going out with his girlfriend. Still she is an excellent hairstylist who I think could make a good deal of money if she were here in the States. I talked to her boss who told me she gets a base pay of 2,000 baht per month and the rest is 30% commission for the cost of services. A good day is 1,000 baht total sales and 30% commission is at 300 baht. Multiply by 6-days a week is 1,800 times 4 weeks = 7,200 + the 2,000 comes out to close to 9,200 per month. The rest of the earnings are tips. There are days when she makes more like when she colors hair at 1,000 baht and haircuts there are 250 baht but it is rare to cut more than 4 heads a day. The tip varies as when I was there most locals hardly give 20 baht, some Europeans hardly tip either. I saw a Japanese guy tip 100 baht for a 250 baht haircut.

Fanny: Who is a massage person is also paid the same amount with the same scale except I see more tips given out in her shop as it is more I guess hands on and more physical contact involved. Fanny’s advantage over Eve though is she does not have a Thai boyfriend and has an American guy madly in love with her who sends her another 10,000 baht per month. I also pay her 1,500 baht for aromatherapy sessions on the side after her work as I like it done in my room as it is more relaxing with music and more private. She gets to keep all this money to herself too and all I buy is the Oil. So Fanny makes a bit over 24,000 baht per month with only 10,000 of it from her actual job! She claims I am the only customer she goes out to as I treat her with respect and no pressure for any sanuk.

Kathy: Only makes 6,500 baht at the Isetan Dept. Store and I figured she has not been working as long as Anne. Also she is just a cashier.

Oprah: told me she used to work at Fuji Restaurant part time for 4,000 baht a month. But after inquiring what part time hours were she said it was seven days a week from 4:00pm till 11:00pm. Excuse me but that sounds like a full time job to me. She said the tips are all divided equally amongst everybody in the restaurant so now I know why no matter what tip I leave I don’t get much of a smile back from my server. She said a total daily tip she gets is about 50 baht. Enough for a bus ride home I guess! She did not tell me whether they get free food or not!

Paula: My antique dealer who drives a Mercedes tells me she tries to budget 50,000 baht month expenditure. She said this is wishful thinking as she has never done it! Most of her workers are relatives and are not paid. She actually has only two paid employees. Since she owns a business it is unpredictable to assess her actual income. She does own two condominiums and rents one of them out.

Quixandra: Business has taken a big hit since March 1st when Taksin ordered the midnight closings at her massage facility on soi 11 by Sukhumvit. She says no matter what damage control Taksin does, it is too late now as we are going to be heading into low season soon and she does not know if she can keep her business afloat and will have to lay off some of her workers. I guess that is the reason she was glum the last time I spoke with her.

Rita: Tells me that her Australian boyfriend only sends her 15,000 baht a month and it is not enough so she goes back to Angel’s Disco for more. Smart lady as she never wants her bank account to go below 100,000 baht in balance. She also has back up boyfriends she is working on sending her money just in case Mr. Australia does not pan out! Always asks me for financial advice which is great. We established that we are just friends from the very start.

Tina: Administrative position at the hospital only pays her 9,000 baht per month which is not enough. She drives me crazy constantly asking me for input on what other type of work she should go for. I keep telling her I am not a career counselor and have no idea what different types of careers pay.

Wendy: My dive master makes 14,000 baht a month in base salary but said when customers like me and my group show up it definitely increases a bit with the tips but on average she makes 20,000 baht a month in tips! So she makes 30-40,000 baht per month total! Unfortunately, this is only from November till April which is the dive season! Base salary during off season drops to 7,000 baht per month.

Xiomara: Says she makes 2,500 baht every ten days at the foot massage place by Ambassador Square. Tips are about 100 to 200 baht per day but sometimes can be zero if there are no customers especially during low season. She did quite well though while I was there for two months as she had me as a customer for Thai massages after midnight and I paid her 500 baht each time which all goes in her pocket. Of course it was in my room and no sanuk included.

Zima: my trusted interpreter is not making a single dime right now because one of her customers forced her to spend time with her kids for the summer in Nakom si Thammarat and paid for the whole thing! She won’t tell me how much but that she is thankful to finally have some time to just chill out and be with her two boys. If anyone deserved a break, it was her. She really has good karma.

I am adding two other people as I think it is worth a mention as the contrast is really fascinating!

Angie: 31 year old native Bangkok Who I met after she broke up with her policeman boyfriend makes a good 30-35,000 baht a month as a professor’s aide at a university here in Bangkok. She is leading a tour group to come to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to go to seminars promoting foreign exchange students. In two months I was only able to see her twice due to her grueling work schedule. She works 8:00am till 8:00pm supposedly but afterwards has meetings and other study sessions including Saturdays and Sundays. Most of our dating was by phone, talking while she is on her way home from work! 20 minutes an evening.

Kamisha: From Nakom Phanom works at a very popular barber shop / massage parlor on soi 24. She is 19. We usually hang out after her work is over so the numbers I am giving here is not an exaggeration. She works six days a week from 10:00am till 11:00pm and has on average 5-customers a day paying 1,500 baht per service which she gets to keep all off. She is one of the most sought after service provider in her business and was written up in the internet web sites for the Korean and Japanese markets. I had never been with her when she had less than 6,000 baht in her wallet. I don’t know when she finds time to spend her money. She is an emotional mess. Her sister who also works there is the MOST sought after as she has silicon implants together with another lady who provides unusual requests. A conservative total I came to was about 150,000 baht per month! I am happy to report though that she says she and her sister are saving most of their earnings so they can open up their own restaurant. How much of that is true, I don’t know as it took me forever to get her to admit about her sister working there as they look alike, though sister is 28 years old.

So Angie makes 120,000 baht less than Kamisha per month but who really is more happy and satisfied with their careers. Angie could probably work at the University until she retires while Kamisha has the career life span of your average athlete of 5-10 years. But in your typical Buddhist way, LIVE for TODAY!

Bonus Lady!

Brandy: sold me some Buddha hands and I have known her for two years and she is all of 28 years young and still single. She used to have a business in San Diego but gave that up because she was lonely and all her relatives are in Thailand. Her hobbies are swimming and golf. She controls 8 stalls at the weekend market and has an antique store right across from Silom complex. She is the most popular utensil dealer at the market. Average sales of all her stalls are 1 million baht per weekend! When I asked her when she ever finds time to spend her money since she works seven days a week the answer I got was “What Money!”

The Bonus Man!

Byron: who I met at the weekend market is the artist who also sells his wares. He makes the wooden 3-piece Buddha carving frame that weighs a lot. His cost of materials for a 30 by 48 inch Buddha is 500 baht and sells them for about ten times that. Tells me he sells about 4 a week. He says he can make about 4 to 5 a week. He takes the bus from his hometown in Chiang Mai on Thursday to get to Bangkok and stays at a friend’s house to save money. And yes I bought one of his carvings.

Stickman says:

These figures would appear to be very accurate indeed. Nice summary.