Stickman's Weekly Column May 5th, 2013

Bangkok Escort Services

Tourist brochures, newspapers and magazines have long carried advertisements for escort services in Bangkok and now these same adverts can be seen on many Thailand-centric websites too. Where once the Bangkok escort market was the domain of businessmen passing through, escort agencies are today targeting the common man. New escort agencies are opening up in Bangkok seemingly every day. What is driving the rapid growth in the number of escort agencies in Bangkok?

Strictly speaking an escort may be a sex worker but unlike everyday hookers, escorts are generally regarded as being of a higher class, someone who could accompany a client to meetings or dinner parties, someone who is presentable in mainstream society. Like so many things in Bangkok, an escort here might not be quite what you expect.

The term "escort" in Bangkok doesn't necessarily mean a higher class girl. It tends to be used to describe a sex worker who is ordered over the phone or online, and who visits a customer at a hotel.

Bangkok has a variety of escort agencies. There are massage houses where it's unlikely any of the masseuses have received even a minute of training in massage which have sought to expand their customer base to include services off the premises. In-house is termed massage and out-call is an escort service.EZ Massage
is a good example, describing itself as a 5-star massage and escort agency. With this type of agency, the cost is typically lower than escort agencies with outcall rates around 2,500 or 3,000 baht all in.

There are many dedicated escort agencies which do not have any premises. They are typically run by one person who has a website listing a few to a couple of dozen girls, along with a telephone number and email address for customer contact. When a booking is received the lady is contacted and given the name and address of the customer. This type of agency tends to use girls who work in bars and freelancers and Bangkok bar hounds browsing local escort agency websites may see girls they recognise. Some agencies operating in this manner have websites featuring misleading information with the girls' ages wrong. One escort site has a lady listed as being 35 years old when she is in fact 50! In a bar you get to see what a lady really looks like. The photos are often heavily Photoshopped with the girls' skin lightened and blemishes and sometimes even tattoos removed. These agencies don't want you to know that the girls on their books can be met elsewhere for half the price as essentially all they're selling is convenience.

One agency operates in this manner but is up honest and front about it, stating they
provide gogo girls delivered. The agency's catchy slogan explains that you don't have to deal with the BS in the bars. They're selling convenience and open about it.

The best escort agencies in Bangkok have a dozen or so girls exclusive to them. One such agency rewards their girls' exclusivity with a 100,000 baht per month income guarantee. The girls are not available on any other Bangkok escort site nor can they be found in any bar. They are carefully vetted before they are listed on the site and the information listed is generally accurate.


The standard service offered by most Bangkok escort agencies is 2 hours for 5,000 baht. Overnight bookings are usually possible with rates running 8,000 – 10,000 baht. The 2-hour rate isn't such a bad deal when you consider that the combined cost of drinks, barfine, short-time hotel room and the girl's fee may not be dissimilar to the cost of finding a girl in a gogo bar. The difference is in the service and escorts are more likely to stay the full 2 hours.

For girls, working as an escort can be a positive lifestyle choice. They don't have to follow the (many) rules that bars impose on them. The fee is generally split 50 : 50 between the agency and girl meaning the girl makes about the same amount per liaison as she would if she were working in a bar. She can relax at home, watch TV, spend time with friends or do whatever she wishes so long as she has a mobile phone and can be reached. There's no need to hustle all night in a bar and none of the onerous 3-baht deductions for every minute she's late etc.

One downside to customers using an escort service is timeliness. There's no guarantee what time the girl will arrive. One escort agency owner told me of his frustration trying to convince girls of the importance of being punctual. Some girls refuse to travel to see a client by skytrain, notwithstanding that most clients are in hotels within walking distance of a skytrain station. Many girls insist on driving their car to the client's hotel.

With a girl working in a bar, you can always go back to the bar if there's a problem such as theft (which admittedly is remarkably uncommon). With an escort agency all you have is an email address and a phone number. One escort agency owner managed to get a customer's watch back from the girl who claimed it had fallen in her handbag. It was returned to the customer and the girl was removed from the agency's listings.

Bangkok escort agencies would have you believe that the class of woman they provide is higher, and the service provided better. The jury may be out on that, but what escort agencies do offer is convenience and discretion. There's no need to go out. If you're not a drinker, don't like smoky bars or just can't be bothered going out and dealing with all the BS, escort agencies offer an alternative. You won't be seen parading a working girl in public, even if it is just traipsing across a bar area to the nearest short-time hotel. Escort agencies are discreet.

In many ways escort agencies are offering the same service as bars, without the drinking, the dancing and the general bar experience. They're marketing an alternative way to meet girls and are nibbling away at the bars' customer base. With girls in bars asking more than ever for their services and word out that they don't always deliver, escort agencies will benefit.

The reason for the huge growth in escort agencies is the profits and the potential to make a lot of money for not a lot of work. A Westerner who started an escort agency just a few months ago is already pulling in 300,000 baht plus per month profit – not bad for an agency small and still largely unknown. All that is needed is to be organised, have a dozen or so girls' phone numbers and keep your mobile phone turned on 24/7.

But not all escorts in Bangkok are just a hooker who comes to you. There are some genuine escorts, refined women, women who know how to dress, women who could accompany you to a business dinner, women with the grace, manners and language skills who could fit in almost anywhere. They tend to be sole operators with their own website add there's no agency clipping the ticket. They are often university-educated and fell in to escorting. These genuine high-class Bangkok escorts usually need to be booked in advance and they don't come cheap.

Escort services make up a small part of the naughty nightlife industry but with so many opening it's a segment that's growing.. Gogo bars offer entertainment and massage houses offer a unique experience, but for those looking for convenience and discretion, escort agencies in Bangkok are an alternative.

Where was this photo taken?

Last week's photo was taken at Khao San Road. There are two prizes this week, a 300-baht voucher for Sunrise Tacos
and a 500-baht voucher for Firehouse in Sukhumvit soi 11, known for its excellent hamburgers.

Terms and conditions: The prizes are only available to readers in Thailand at the time of entering and are not transferable. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize
per calendar month. You only have one guess per week! You MUST specify which prize you would like and failure to do so will result in the prize going to the next person to get the photo correct.

billboard bangkok

FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.

EMAIL OF THE WEEKIs home really that bad?

butterflies bangkok

I can never reconcile myself to the ultra negative attitudes that some Westerners have about life back home. Expats from English-speaking nations seem to be especially unhappy with life back home. However, as soon as they are finished trashing their home country they start on Thailand and the Thais! Sorry, you can't have it both ways. If things are so bad back home, then they should be overjoyed in Thailand, but they never are! Thanks for having the backbone to tell it as it is. Things are actually pretty good back home and most of the world's population wants to relocate to countries like New Zealand!

Why some speak bad of their homeland.

So many routinely bag their homeland simply to justify their whoremongering ways. Others do it because they cannot afford the same standard of living at home and feel like a failure. This change of pace was quite refreshing and has made me think about New Zealand as a vacation destination.

Aussies and Kiwis don't know how good they've got it.


I really liked your article this week and it's interesting how your attitude toward New Zealand seems to have changed with age. I have found the same thing with my attitude toward Australia as I get a little older. Up until my mid-30s I had a prevailing view of my homeland as, well, boring. I wanted to get overseas where I felt the pace and action were. To London, South-East Asia, anywhere but home! But now, instead of getting pissed and going on the rampage i.e. hungering a piece of skirt so badly I would have easily qualified as pussy-whipped, I am now drawn toward a different lifestyle. I no longer drink or utilise any mind-altering substances. I am now interested in and drawn to healthy living. And here south of Melbourne I love the clean, fresh air – as you enjoyed the clean air in New Zealand. When I was growing up I used to hear people who had been living overseas say that Australia and New Zealand are the greatest places on Earth to live. I thought they were full of shit. But as I have gotten older I can see I was wrong. Wealthy countries. The highest quality food. Environmentally as clean as you can get. I often wonder how it was that I got so lucky to be born in this awesome little corner of the globe.

Fond memories of Tassy.

Could not agree more with your comments about your feelings to your old home. I grew up and lived the vast majority of my life in Hobart, Tasmania. While I have no intention of returning in the foreseeable future, I too have more happy memories than bad. Of course it is family and life-long friends that I miss, but they come to visit nearly every other year. What I do miss are the crystal blue skies, the fresh crisp air, beautiful clean beaches and waters, even if they are a tad cool. Having said that, I do not miss having to walk up to a bar, wait 10 minutes to be served and then pay over $AUD 5 for a beer!

Asia gets too much at times.

I don't really understand guys who do not want to return to their homeland from Thailand. I spent the last year in Singapore on a project and then had 6 months off in Thailand, most of it in Pattaya where I have a place and have spent a lot of time over the last 15 years when not working. I was quite happy to leave Thailand, in fact I was busting to get out. I have enough money to spend it up big in Thailand and not have to work again but I was happy to come to Perth, Australia, on a new project. I love it here after spending the previous 18 months in Singapore and Thailand. The clean air, good food and wide open spaces are too easily taken for granted and forgotten. Australia and New Zealand have their issues and even though I will continue to spend a lot of time in Thailand, I will never live there full time as Asia just gets too much at times.

Keeping the ghosts out!

My dear wife believes in fortune tellers, ghosts, you name it. A few years ago we were on a kayak trip in rural Laos. At night we slept in grass huts. She told me to make sure I closed the door to keep the vampires out. Noticing that there was no glass in the windows I suggested a smart vampire would simply ignore the closed door (which had no lock anyway) and climb through the window. She still made me secure the door!

Beat the queues at the MRT.

In a recent weekly you mentioned the huge crowds at the Asoke MRT station. I don't know why the MRT does not put up signs stating that identical facilities (ticket machines, manned windows, direct access to trains) are available at the other end of the station and there is a toll-free walkway linking the north and south ends of the station. Almost no one uses the north end, while the south end is jammed. This is true of all the MRT stations. At the Rama 9 station, the north end is jammed up while the south end is hardly used.

Doomed from the get-go?

It was interesting to read the report on how all Farang / Thai relationships fell apart in a village, regardless of whether the ying involved was a bargirl or not. This doesn't really come as a surprise. I wonder how many of these bust-ups involved handing over a house and land package as part of the final deal? I know a guy who has been down that road, not once but twice and now broke, had to return home to work in his later years. Of course, the big question remains – will he line up for a third attempt? There's a lot to be said in favour of the short-time / happy ending scenario as opposed to moving one in and foolishly motoring down the love route.

The sidewalk expressway.

I see that one of your readers wants to launch a Facebook page against people riding motorbikes on the sidewalk, hoping the police will stop the practice. Maybe this person should inform himself first. I ride a motorbike in Bangkok and have on several occasions ridden on the sidewalk. Why? Because it is legal! The road code states that when traffic is clogged, motorbikes can use the sidewalk. This happens a lot on Sukhumvit during rush hour traffic and that is why you see so many motorbikes on the sidewalk there. But not only there, also in other places in Bangkok. I wish him the best of luck with his nonsensical Facebook page.

Girl of the week

new section

Zen Bar Bangkok

Nick, Zen Bar, Soi Nana.

30 years old, 152 cm, 40 kg.

Nick comes from Rayong, is cheerful, has a warm smile and loves to laugh and joke.

Las Vegas on the top floor of Nana Plaza was closed for a short while and reopened on Friday night with a big party and much fanfare. While the interior remains unchanged, word is that there will be a theme change with shows will feature small, white, spherical objects weighing 2.7 grams and 40 mm in diameter for which Patpong has long been known for.

At The Dollhouse, the little one – the smallest girl on the premises – who disappeared for a while is back sporting a new set of headlights. She is so small and they are so big that you can see them quite clearly from behind. Why oh why do the girls do this? I mean, come on, they look ridiculous. Do people actually like that look?

Lighthouse, the gogo bar that will replace Sheba's in the prime position in the middle of Cowboy, will open at long last this evening. A few comments on the new venue next week, but there's good pedigree so I am expecting good things.

Next Saturday is the FA Cup Final, Manchester City vs. Wigan. What better place to watch it than Stumble Inn on Soi Nana, home of the official Bangkok Man City Supporters Club. Kickoff is at 11:15 PM and there will be a free buffet, a free beer for anyone in a City shirt for each goal that City score, and a free tower of beer for anyone who correctly predicts the score! Oh, and there will be plenty of young ladies to take care of you both before and after the game. Should be a walk in the park for City, 3 or 4 nil, I reckon.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that progress at the new branch of Duke's near the mouth of soi 33 was also very slow and that a pile of torn fixtures and fittings from the previous venue, Coyote, was sitting in the middle of the venue. Said pile of junk is still there and progress seems to be, well, almost non-existent, despite workers being on the premises whenever I wander past.

Just around the corner from Soi Cowboy and beyond the Old Dutch, the long-running single-shophouse British pub, The Ship Inn, has closed. I guess the last pint was pulled around Songkran. The Ship Inn was a funny old place that despite being around forever you seldom heard anyone mention. With The Old Dutch, Bradman's Bistro, the Queen Victoria and Clubhouse all near within a stone's throw, perhaps the competition was too much? A couple of months back The Ship Inn installed a glass frontage, enclosing the small outdoor area. Signs were erected, stating that a visa service for India was available. Presumably someone in the bar was acting as a middleman with the Indian visa centre just around the corner, a strange service to offer and one that didn't last. The shophouse next door has been taken over and word is that the two shophouses combined will become a short time hotel. Given the way the industry is going with short-time liaisons now the norm, this is no surprise.

The Strip Gogo Bar Bangkok

In that fishing village frequently referred to as Sin City, a party will be held at the Shamrock Bar on Soi Pattayaland 2, around 7:30 PM on Wednesday, May 15th, for reasons triple-fold. The old fart that runs it turns 70, the bar was purchased 30 years ago and it also marks 32 years of survival for owner Terry in Pattaya. Regular customers and well wishers are welcome to feast on the roast pig. Balloon chasers are told not to bother!

An unreported crime explains why some Bangkok escort agencies are unwilling to send girls to a private residence and only send girls to visit customers at a hotel. A foreigner called a Bangkok escort agency earlier this week and made a booking for 3 girls, requesting that they go to an address at the Petchaburi Road end of Prakhanong. When the girls arrived they found one Thai man and two foreign men waiting. They were restrained, threatened, a knife was held to one girl's throat and they were robbed of all their valuables including mobile phones, jewellery and cash. They were scared to go to police fearing they would get in trouble for working as escorts. It's most unusual for foreigners and Thais to work together like this.

Coyote prices in Bangkok have got out of control. A bar boss from another bar area was in Soi Cowboy this past week in one of the bars with coyotes and found a lady to his liking who he thought it would be nice to get to know better off the premises. 4,000 baht barfine and 3,000 baht for one shot she told him. Needless to say he left alone.

I've long felt that bars need to try harder in the low season and do a bit more for customers and show some imagination with specials, discounts or other promotions to lure us inside. It's now May, traditionally one of the quietest months of the year, although here in Bangkok you wouldn't think it though with crowds of foreigners all over Sukhumvit. I haven't heard any bar owners complain about the low season…yet. Anyway, I hear that Pattaya isn't as busy as it was a month ago and one Pattaya bar is making an effort and giving punters a reason to visit. Private Dancer A Gogo in soi 15 off Walking Street has a May Madness promotion, with specials every Wednesday this month.

Private Dancer Pattaya

Tour guide is a restricted occupation in Thailand – only Thai nationals can legally work as a tour guide. It has however been widely reported recently that many foreigners are working as tour guides, particularly in Phuket, and also in Pattaya. Some work while holding a tourist visa; others actually have a work permit with their position listed as something generic like supervisor or manager. Reports have it that the main offenders are Russians and Chinese. The Thais are not happy and feel their jobs are being stolen. What I think needs to be acknowledged is that there is a desire from visitors that tour guides be someone they can relate to – and that is often easiest when that person is someone of the same nationality. It has been my experience that English-speaking tour guides tend not to add value to sights and attractions, rather they tend to drone on in a monotone covering minor historical details. They run often through a script without making any effort to engage visitors. Ask the simplest question and often they cannot answer it! It's long overdue that it was acknowledged that maybe, just maybe, foreigners might prefer their own nationals as guides. A number of previously restricted occupations have been opened up to foreigners in recent years and I believe it would be a step in the right direction to allow foreigners to work as tour guides in Thailand. They would still have to pass the stringent tour guide exams. If they can manage that then why not?!

There are two branches of Starbucks in the lobby of Exchange Tower, 30 or so metres apart, probably because the building is home to the Thailand head office of Starbucks. A few months back notices appeared in Starbucks about the practice of teachers and students using Starbucks branches as places to conduct tuition lessons. One drink would be ordered and the group would then take over a few tables for hours, preventing other customers from sitting down. Starbucks identified this and issued a notice. Every day in one of the branches on the ground floor of Exchange Tower an odd-looking retired Westerner sits in one of the Starbucks branches, grabs the Bangkok Post and The Nation, sits down and reads them. Nothing unusual in that, however he never orders a coffee, in fact he doesn't order anything! No-one says anything as the Thai staff, bless their hearts, avoid confrontation at all costs! This has gone on for months. Here he is pictured below, enjoying those comfy Starbucks seats!

Starbucks Exchange Tower Bangkok

I am no fan of these multi-coloured contact lenses many Thais go for. To me, they make their eyes look like those of a reptile! It's one of the reasons I prefer the look of Vietnamese girls to Thai girls – the Viets just look more natural.

I long ago gave up covering the teaching industry in Thailand, but this week I heard whispers from a Thai friend who attended a meeting with some bigwigs from the Teachers' Council of Thailand. The Council is again seriously looking at the rules regarding the issuance of teaching licenses for foreigners. The Director is aware that many foreigners teach in Thailand because it provides an easy way to stay in Thailand, not because they are teachers, nor because they actually want to teach. Amazingly it was acknowledged that the 20 hours training requirement for foreign teachers is just to give business to certain people and does not actually help. It's nice to hear this stuff talked about, even if it was not said publicly. Being a government office, changes won't come quickly but indications are that there may be a further tightening of the requirements for the issuance of teaching licenses for foreigners.

Westerners often try to get to the truth of a matter, whereas many Thais are less concerned about the reality of a situation. The image and perception can be more important. If you debate or argue with locals, you may find their whole perspective can be quite different to that of a typical Westerner. Often you'll hear a Westerner say that something here is not logical. To many locals logic doesn't even come in to it! How they / the situation that is close to them are perceived is much more important!

Sunrise Tacos' 7 Bangkok branches will celebrate the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo today, tomorrow and the next day with drinks and food specials. Details below.

Quote of the week comes from Napster, "Foreigners at the Ko Phangnan full moon party make Pattaya farangs look classy!"

Reader's story of the week comes from Professor, "Arranged Marriages".

The 93-year old Aussie facing charges of kiddy fiddling
in Thailand has appeared in court.

An American cheated by his late Thai wife wants his daughter and
assets valued at 20 million baht back.

An Aussie is the latest member of the Pattaya Flying Club, with uncertainty over whether
he jumped or was pushed.

To see what Pattaya is like at Songkran without witnessing it first-hand, check this out.

A young Frenchman has written a fascinating article about being a Western teenager growing up in Phnom Penh.

Stepping off a plane for a night of fun in Bangkok can be hazardous if you are wanted in America.

CNNGo highlight some of the most clichéd Bangkok tourist photos.

Ask Sunbelt Asia Legal

Sunbelt Asia's legal department is here to answer your questions relating to legal issues and the law in Thailand. Send any legal questions you may have to me and I will pass them on to Sunbelt Legal and their response will run in a future column. You can contact Sunbelt's legal department
directly for all of your legal needs.

Question 1: In the not too distant future, I will be going to live mostly with my wife's family in Petchabun. While I am there I hope to be able to assist with the daily
running of the farm and also to assist with work on other family farms when it is necessary. Will I be required to obtain a work permit, bearing in mind that I will not be paid money for this work? There is also a suggestion that I might provide
a tractor for use on the farm. Can I operate this on the farm also without being paid?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: Regardless of the reason for working or the fact that it is unpaid labour, foreigners still need to apply for a work permit. However, due to the nature of the job that you have described, you would not qualify for a work permit as farming (farmer) is a restricted occupation. You can own a tractor rental company and obtain your work permit under your company, but bear in mind that it is to manage the company, not to drive tractors for farming purposes.

Now that's the legal side. You will find Thais in the village very nice and friendly. Odds are high a number of readers work on their farm and never ever have or ever will be visited by the Labour Department.

However, it only takes one jealous neighbor to call the government because maybe you bought your wife a home or now a tractor. They may or may not visit after getting the call. If they do it might be a light fine or a warning or you may be deported. There are many variables. Nothing is black and white except for the law and then it's a case of whether or not it will be applied.


The girl of the week section is a new addition to the column and based on a suggestion from a reader. I don't know quite how it will evolve and what the actual criteria will be for the photo. My initial thoughts are to include a photo of a pretty lady along with a short bio. Whether I will strive to find the prettiest girl I can each week or use the best photo from the week, I just don't know at this stage. Over the years I've tried a few new things to mix things up and keep the column fresh and they haven't always worked. There was the change of the where is this photo to when was it taken which upset A LOT of readers, even though I thought it was a great idea (not mine). There was the idea to write articles in Thai which never eventuated, something I had hoped would expand the local readership but never happened. There was a weekly teaching column which fell away and which I have to say I didn't really like. There was the ill-fated section on nightspots away from the naughty bar areas which never gained traction. Do give me your thoughts on how I can make the new section work best.

Your Bangkok commentator,