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Thailand – The Land of Smiles
The are reportedly tens of thousands of bar girls in Pattaya. A conservative estimate is that there are at least one thousand bars in Pattaya. I think that that’s on the low side, but let’s go with it, and there are, say, ten hostesses to a bar on average. So, we have 10,000 Bar Girls in Pattaya. It is not an inconceivable number. Many bars, even small ones, have 25-30 hostesses, a word I am using to include ladyboys.
However, Pattaya receives more than a million visitors per annum, most of whom are, or certainly used to be, Western men. So, it all stacks up to me.
Red Light Area In Thailand
There tends not to be a specific red light area in Thai cities, because hostesses have worked in the service industry (hotels, coffee shops, tea houses and bars) for ever. Certainly long before the American troops chose the quiet fishing village of Pattaya for R&R from Vietnam in the Seventies.
This is not to say that every girl in Pattaya is working in the sex tourism industry. Far from it. Even many of those who do, would deny it saying that they were just looking for a (rich) husband, which tends to mean foreign. This has led bar girls in Pattaya to get a bad reputation. Some undoubtedly deserve it, but not many. 1-5%? Something like that, I reckon. The vast majority of bar girls in Pattaya are great fun, despite some of their obnoxious clientele, and wouldn’t dream of ripping anyone off. In fact, Thailand is known the world over as The Land of Smiles.
The Story Behind The Smile
If you would like to learn more about the lives of some bar girls in Pattaya, try Daddy’s Hobby. It is the first volume in the series Behind The Smile by Owen Jones, who has lived in Pattaya and elsewhere in Thailand since 2004. Many Western expats living in Pattaya attest that it is true to life.
A few words of caution:
To those who are looking for titillation, this s not for you. However, there are a few non-graphic sex scenes – the book is set in the sex tourism industry after all.
Behind The Smile: volume one: Daddy’s Hobby – The story of Lek, a bar girl in Pattaya
by Owen Jones
First published by Megan Publishing Services.
Available in all formats, and from most bookshops, but here are three suggestions: