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Hints For A Newcomer To The Bangkok Bar Scene


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I thought I would write up a few pointers from a 20 year veteran of Thailand. After taking dozens of friends on trips to Bangkok over the years, I have come up with three sets of pointers for their first night out. Part 1 are general hints, part 2 hints
for saving money, and part 3 some Thai words for your night out.

Part 1: Top 10 Hints for a newcomer to the Bangkok bar scene.

10 Judge their English level
Without fail, the more a girl speaks English, the more she has 'been around the block'. 90% of the girls do not learn much if any English in school, so
what the learn is from their customers. While it is pleasant to have a conversation with someone at times, especially beyond the three questions, just remember her teachers were in her pants. Newcomers speak very little English beyond hotel, but
sometimes you don't need to speak much. You can usually find a friend to translate in the bar, and you will be fine once you are back in the hotel room.'

9 Use short time hotels
They are very convenient, very reasonable – though certainly not that fashionable. But you don't have to worry about missing items in your room or unwanted repeat
calls or visits to your room. As nicer hotels often have a 'guest' fee, it is often even cheaper to get the short time room.

8 Be specific in what you want & negotiate
If you are really interested in something very specific, be sure to ask and clarify before you leave the bar. Just because you are paying them,
doesn't mean they will do anything you desire. You can ever set 2 prices, for example 1000 baht if we do this, but 1500 for the 'extra service'. And although bar fines are pretty much set in stone, anything after that is up for
negotiation.

7 Unplug the phone in your hotel
You should mainly do this only if someone else (a loved one at home) knows your number and you have a guest over. But nothing is worse trying to speak in hushed
tones when you have a sleeping guest in your room – it also limits the calls your guest makes to friends and room service.

6 Don't be so serious / Keep your cool
Thai's are generally a very fun loving people, always smiling. Lighten up in the bar, relax, smile and have a good time. However if a girl is
doing something you don't like, pestering you etc, DO NOT lose your cool and yell, making them lose face. You are in their workplace in front of their friends, and there are often several large males working there also. You will ALWAYS lose
the argument and can end up getting hurt. Just finish your drink smile and leave to go to the next place.

5 Avoid empty bars or second floor bars
If you are the only one, or one of very few, you may get too much attention as well as be pressured into helping up the sales for the night by getting
over charged. 2nd floor bars applies only to Patpong and not any of the 'Kings' bars there, and Nana 2nd and 3rd floor is fine.

4 Set up your wallet
Before you go out for the night, get your wallet ready. Keep a lot of 100s and 50s, and line them up in your wallet big bills on the right, small bills on the left. It is
often very dark and hard to see in the bars. I will keep larger bills tucked away in a different part of the wallet – one to limit spending but also to keep prying eyes to see how much you have, it hurts any bargaining power you might have.

3 Go to Nana hotel lobby
Even if you don't stay here, this is a must see. The very best is closing time in front of the Nana disco (Angels disco) located at the back of the hotel. It is
amazing to see this swarm of lovely young girls come pouring out from the dark bar. The ratio must be 10 girls to every male, and this is not an exaggeration. A sight you will never forget.

2 First three questions
Almost without fail, the first three questions you are asked in a bar are "What's your name?", "Where you come from?" and "Where you stay
(hotel)?". #4 is often "How many times you come Thailand?". Your answers will automatically categorize you in the girl's mind. Well, the name question is just a nicety, but girls have stereotypes of customers depending on what
country you come from. They also judge your wealth by the hotel you are at – if you are in a 4 star hotel don't expect a bargain rate from the girl. And with #4 they want to know if you have been there before to know how much they can overcharge
or not. Choose your answers carefully, if I don't like a girl and want to be left alone, I always say I am a German (no offence) on my 12th trip to Bangkok and am staying in a youth hostel.

1 There are no 'regular girls'
If you are in or near the entertainment districts of Patpong or Sukhumvit and at a restaurant, disco, or 'regular' bar, any pretty, nice woman
you meet who is very friendly and might accept an offer to dinner or out for a drink is on the job in some way or the other. They may have a regular day time job, but will be more than happy to earn a little extra money. They might tell you they
are down in Bangkok on vacation for a month from upcountry, or they are students, but they would not go out with you if they weren't hoping to earn something extra. Once in a rare while there are exceptions, and you might get slapped if you
suggest a trip to your room, but that is 1 in a 100 at most. This does not apply if you are in the main business district or elsewhere in the country, while some gals there may also be looking to earn 'tips', don't assume this –
they could be just wanting to practice English so don't insult them. You are in their country after all.

PART 2: Top Ten ways to save money on your nights on the town in Bangkok.
Thailand is generally pretty cheap, but there are a few ways to save some baht here or there.

10 Don't buy flowers in bar
What are you going to do, propose marriage? Save the money. I have at times even seen a girl sell the flowers back to the flower vendor in front of the bar!

9 Drink a large beer at Minimart before hand
There are a couple stores located at all the major bar spots. You can buy a large, cold bottle of your favorite beer at 1/3 the price as in the bar,
they will even open it for you. And it is fun to sit on the stoop and watch the world walk by.

8 Use ATMs & Credit Cards
ATM's transaction fees are quite low, and the currency exchange rate you get on credit cards is as close as you will ever see to the official rate. This avoids
carrying too much cash around or needing to go exchange travelers checks all the time.

7 Hit the Happy Hours & eat
They have cheaper drinks and often free or very reasonable food can be had at many of the bars.

6 Wait until closing time
Make your pitch to your favorite girl 30 minutes before the bar is going to close, you will find that the rates have dropped dramatically. Be warned though that the
prettier and more popular girls will be long gone.

5 Eat at street vendor stalls
You need to be a little brave here, but you can often eat quite tasty food for less than a dollar. This is especially true if your date asks to go out and eat –
she will be perfectly at home here, and it is a fun experience.

4 Insist on meters in taxis
You will never get a better rate going off meter than going on. Get out of the cab if they say no. If it is rush hour, or you have to go across town, you will often
get refused, but hold your ground. Tips are not expected, but if you had a good ride, 10 – 20 baht are much appreciated.

3 Bring small change
Do not bring 1000 baht notes to the bar, and hold on to the 500 baht notes unless you need to. Keep a lot of 100s and 50s and pay your bar bills as close to the amount charged
as you can. Change usually comes back all in coin, which is hard to see in the dark. Leave a nice tip (10 – 20 baht is fine) if you had good service, but don't overtip without knowing it by leaving too much change on the little silver tray
they put in front of you, and sometimes change doesn't find it's way back to you at all.

2 Lose a beer receipt on floor
So this is pretty bad, and I have only done it a couple of times. Your drinks, and any ones you might buy for a lady, get written up one at a time and placed in
a cup that sits in front of you. If you have had several drinks and have a cup full of receipts in front of you, you might let one drop to the ground. When they collect those tickets to add up your bill, they might 'accidentally' forget
the one on the floor. If they remember, or see it, act surprised, apologize, pick it up and pay it. <Are you out of your mind? This is fxxxing stupid. Do NOT do this under ANY circumstancesStick>

1 Meet outside the bar
This is a little riskier than #6, but in order to save the bar fine, set up a time and place with your favorite girl to meet after her bar has closed. You can even set
up a date for the next day before the bar opens. They don't always show, and you might lose out on the one you really wanted to meet. There are also hundreds of girls who did not meet anyone and they all head out of the bars at about the
same time – this is a buyer's market! Be cautious with anyone you meet working the street that is not employed at a bar, they are usually not working at a bar for a reason – kicked out for fighting, too young, or a disease – NOT WORTH THE
BARGAIN!!!

PART 3: Top Ten Thai words for going to the bars So there are plenty of places to learn thank you and no problem, but these are some words that are very practical at the bars. They can go a long way in enjoying your stay if nothing else.
You will be taken advantage of less, and have a better time.

10 Core (Bia Sing) Kup
"Can I have a beer please" – change the noun in the middle to anything you like. For a male, adding 'Kup at the end makes it polite. Instead of 'Kup',
you can also say 'Krup' or the most formal is 'Krup-om'.

9 Phood Thai Nidnoi
"I speak a little Thai" – hey so you might only know 10 words, but that counts as a little. It can help avoid being taken advantage of, and if they call you on your
bluff just smile or go to the bathroom.

8 Mai Kochai
"I don't understand" – can be used if they call your bluff.

7 Dee / Mai Dee
"Good" or "Not good" – has countless uses.

6 Naa Rak / Suey
"Cute" or "Beautiful" – with any adjective if you repeat the word twice, it adds emphasis – i.e. very pretty. Any girl around the world, working or not, enjoys
a compliment.

5 Mai Ow
"I don't want it" – this is quite direct, but if you keep saying no thank you and can't get your point this will do it. The work "ow" alone means 'want',
and is often used. suggestively.

4 Shorp / Mai shorp
"I like it" or "I don't like it" – put 'Kup' at the end to be polite.

3 Bai Tieo Mai?
"Do you want to go out" – this can be slang for 'go with me and go back to my room' given the bar context.

2 Mai mee kang lang
"I don't have any energy" – a cute way of saying you don't want to go with someone, it can be construed to 'lack of ability to perform' though.

1 Mai Mee ngern / tang
"I don't have any money" – the quickest way to get someone to leave you alone. Money is the word tang or ngern. The word 'tang' is not as formal
as 'ngern', but a lot easier to say!

Stickman’s thoughts:


20 years you say? Hmmmm…..while there is some good advice in here, you still got a fair bit to learn…and the idea about losing a beer receipt was pure madness.