Readers' Submissions

Why Do You Find So Many Thai Women Abroad Working As Prostitutes?

  • Written by Samui Lou
  • December 8th, 2011
  • 5 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

I've found over the years that Thai women you see out of Thailand seem to mostly be involved in prostitution. As most people know, Bangkok and Pattaya are world-renowned as red light districts and Thai ladies who are not in the trade suffer from their fellow citizens who travel abroad for the purpose of prostitution. It is unfair for the ladies who have nothing to do with prostitution to be labeled or thought of as loose woman because of their fellow citizens. This submission will shed some personal insight to my observations over the years about why this phenomena occurs.

First I will give some background information about my observations from countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Many years ago I lived in Hong Kong and was brought by friends to Wanchai where you can find numerous bars that had only Thai prostitutes and over the course of 20 years of doing business I only found Thai women who were either in the restaurant business, Thai massage or in the bars. There seemed to be only two categories of woman.

In my travels to Singapore you also found the same thing. Three years ago I moved to the Middle East after living in Thailand for seven years and my Thai wife and I observed these two classes of Thai women. We are involved in the Thai community going to many of the Thai events and functions arranged either through the Thai community or the Thai embassy. At these events you will find that 75% of the women are prostitutes and they act like they are in Soi Cowboy. What is that saying? "You can take the woman out of the bar but you cannot take the bar out of the woman." As a side note, I would like to say the Thai embassy is a lot different than mine because they are so actively involved in their community. They sponsor many events and they give Thai language classes on Fridays where my two children go so they can learn Thai.

Most of the Thai ladies in this Persian Gulf country are prostitutes and they are brought here by a Thai mafia who arrange their visas at exorbitant fees. A lot of these ladies are rather old, fat and ugly and it seems like it's a place where Bangkok or Pattaya rejects go as a place of last resort. You can find these stunners at certain bars located near an American military base and they also cater to the local Arab market.

There is also a part of the Thai community that has businesses such as Thai restaurants, hair salons and Thai massage. Since it is forbidden under law for hair salons or massage establishments to have ladies massaging men or even cutting their hair, there are quite a few ladyboys imported who partake in this trade. Some of the Thai families have been here for over 30 years and are quite established in the community.

My wife who goes weekly to a Thai hair salon and tells me stories about the Thai prostitutes who are there most of the time. They talk quite openly about the trade and how they have many men giving them money. They are very proud of what they do and boast about their conquests. I think most other nationalities would not be so open about their exploits with men because prostitution is so stigmatized in their country but it's an accepted practice in Thailand.

We have also found that many of the Thai wives of husbands who have worked in the Middle East for a long time were once in the trade. They are easy to point out with their bargirl vocabulary, how they dress along with their propensity to gamble. I've heard stories about how they stay up all night gambling and often fight with their husbands over money.

There is a recurring theme on the Stickman site about bargirls going straight and marrying their customers. Does this work or is it a marriage doomed before it starts? I've found these former prostitutes have a difficult time to shed their habits of drinking, cheating, gambling and lying. The stories my wife hears in the hair salon are appalling and would make any man wonder what their wife was up to. Some of these women tell their husbands they are going out with friends and still turn tricks for extra money to support their gambling habit.

In my opinion, the propensity of Thai women to accept prostitution as a trade has to do with Catholicism versus Buddhism, where sex is such a taboo in the Catholic religion. Another reason has to do with the low earnings in Thailand even if you are highly educated versus the perceived easy money of sleeping with men. My wife's niece is college educated and works in Bangkok office and only makes the equivalent of USD 400 per month. On the other hand a hot lady working the clubs in Bangkok can make that in a weekend. Until there is a better distribution of wealth in Thailand and better wages for women, you will find one of the leading exports are Thai women for the purpose of prostitution.


Stickman's thoughts:

I remember going to the Songkran Festival in my hometown a few years back and there may have been a thousand or more Thais there, the majority female, and the majority hitched to a Kiwi guy. And it has to be said that the majority were for the poorest art of the country and didn't behave in what would be considered a "proper manner" in Thailand. In fact some of them were very lippy, uncouth and even downright coarse. That led me to believe that a lot of these couples probably met in Pattaya.

Indeed it is a shame that these women cause decent Thai women's reputation to be seriously harmed.