Pattaya is the most popular tourist destination of Thailand. Everything got started with the American soldiers looking for a break from the hopeless fighting in Vietnam. Today Pattaya has everything that an average tourist needs - sun, sand and sex.
Pattaya is an incredible place to visit. First of all, I had never seen so many women in a bar. Everywhere I could see middle age men, walking hand in hand with their 20-something girlfriends. Ladyboys, men transformed into women, had higher heels and more perfect bodies than 90 % of the natural women. Silicone and plastic surgery had done wonders. Fortunately, I got acquainted with two Dutch men who were to set up a gogo-bar in Pattaya and they explained a great deal of what happens there. Here are the highligts.
All the bars in Pattaya are a base for prostitutes. Some places are more discrete, some less. All have girls hanging around the bar, waiting for men. The Dutch guys will own a small place and they've hired 25 girls. The bar pays a monthly salary to the girls. If the girl only sits in the bar and talks with the clients, she gets 100euros per month. If she dances, she gets 200 euros. If she can perform or do something special, she earns from 250 euros up per month. The clients that come to the bars buy the girls drinks, from which the girls get a commission. Every drink, every discussion, is a way to ensure a continuation to the evening in the hotel room. If the client wants the girl to come with him, he first pays 10 euros to the bar, then from 20 euros up to the girl, depending on the services given.
Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. So, in order for the bars to be able to operate without problem, the bars pay a "service money" to the police. A small establishment pays 100 euros per month, a big one pays 700 euros. If no payment is made, you're out of business within 2 months.
Sometimes the client likes the girl so much that he decides to stay a longer time with her. The Thai lady feeds him, washes him, massages him, cuts his nails and has simple discussion with him. Just like in a retirement home in Finland. Oh yeah, there's the other activity as well.. Anyway, at some point daily payments are changed to monthly payments of around 250 euros. In addition a sum shall be paid to the family of the girl, around 200 euros a month. If there is affection involved, it is possible that the man e.g only pays the family and not the girl. Naturally the man pays for everything that is done together, including shopping clothes for her.
Pattaya is an experience, a surreal experience. I came across with many interesting things, some not so nice. The Thais don't like what is happening there but it brings in so much money that they can't complain. They won't complain. So they smile.