For those participating in sex tourism – caution is advised, always wear a condom – it is just not worth the risk. If you do not have a condom then buy a few of them. Remember no matter how lovely the girl may seem, she is working in an industry that is likely to corrupt. When the girls first arrive in Phuket or Pattaya, they are usually well-mannered as any traditional Thai country girl. However, they very quickly learn the tricks of the trade. And above all else, they are working for money. This advice is not only valid in Thailand, but in any country – Always wear a condom!

 If you take a girl back to your hotel then many hotel receptions will ask to see the girl’s ID card. They do this to ensure the girl cannot get away with committing a crime against you. Theft is the main danger. You go to the shower and she takes your wallet and leaves. You go to sleep and she takes your valuables and is gone. You are not looking and she takes your jewelry before kissing you good-bye. Remember if the girl knows you are on holiday for two weeks, then she can disappear for two weeks. If you take a girl from a beer bar or go-go she will be easier to trace but it is no guarantee. You could consider asking to see the girl’s ID card yourself. It might not be romantic or charming but let’s face it, this is not romance.

In Thailand, two main calendar systems are used alongside each other: the Thai solar calendar, based on the Gregorian calendar and is used for official and most day-to-day purposes, and the Thai lunar calendar (a version of the Buddhist calendar, technically a lunisolar calendar), used for traditional events and Buddhist religious practices. The reckoning of the Buddhist Era in Thailand is 543 years ahead of the Common Era (Anno Domini), so the year 2020 CE corresponds to B.E. 2563. When you read a girl’s ID card, her birthday will be shown using the Thai lunar calendar. You can check her date of birth to be sure she is over 18 by subtracting 543 from the Thai year.

There have been many reports from Bangkok and Pattaya of girls doping customers. The last thing the customer remembers is having a drink with a girl and the next thing he knows he is waking up with a stunning headache and his valuables gone. There have now been a few confirmed reports of this happening in Phuket. Men are often reluctant to report these crimes so there is no knowing how prevalent this is in Phuket. We do not believe it is common in Phuket but still, it is a good idea to be careful with your drinks.

Theft from customers is not the most common scam. The girls know they can make much more money if the customer gives it voluntarily. The sob stories the girls tell their customers are brilliant heart-tugging tales of woe designed to elicit sympathy. The punch line will invariably be that she needs to make big money to pay for someone’s hospital care or to save her family from starvation. The old-hands call them sick buffalo stories and treat them with great skepticism. In fact, there is often an element of truth to the stories. The girls do come from poor backgrounds and their families are often suffering hardship. That does not mean the final punch line for money is true or that you have any responsibility to pay for it.

 Another common scam is the girl will tell the man she will stop working in bars and be faithful to him if he can send her money. The man will then go home and send the girl regular payments thinking he is keeping her out of the bar. Many of the girls have several western boyfriends on the go at the same time sending money and they are still making more money from new customers in their bars. It is not fair to portray all the girls as scam masters. Many are honest, hard-working girls trying to make a living as best they can. Lots of western men have married Thai girls they met in bars and are very happy. However, the sex industry is a corrupting influence and you should be on your guard. There are no hard-and-fast rules – every girl is different and should be judged individually. A good dose of cynicism is sensible.

Many men come to Thailand for his holiday and on one of his first nights, he goes around the girly bars, picks up a girl, and then keeps her for the rest of his holiday. She becomes in effect, his temporary girlfriend. She will not only be his sleeping partner. She will also be his companion. They will stay together, eat meals together, go on day trips together, and generally act like any other couple on holiday. It is an odd idea but when you think about it, you can see the appeal for a single guy on holiday. He not only gets a sex partner, but he also gets a companion and tour guide. He has someone to share his holiday with. He has the chance to get to know his sex partner, to even form some kind of emotional bond. He avoids many of the hassles of being a single guy in Thailand such as not being able to enter a certain type of bar without being jumped on by all the working girls. At the end of all this, the girl still expects to be paid for her time. It is amazing how often guys are surprised when they find out their temporary girlfriend actually expects to be paid. They point out that they have already spent a small fortune putting her up in good hotels, buying her expensive food, and taking her on trips. The thing is the girls do enjoy their little slice of the high-life but they are not that bothered about it. What they are actually working for is money, or even for gold. This is one of the great misconceptions that many men have about GFE (girlfriend experience). They think they are giving the girl something special by showing her good hotels, food and taking her on tourist trips. The girls really do not think it is that special. If they have been working for long, they have probably done it all before anyway. They come from poor backgrounds and they are accustomed to sleeping on mats and eating noodles. They are happy eating noodles. What they want is money.

GFE is so often followed by some sort of scam. It is usually the biggest scam of all, the ‘falling in love’ scam. Even trying not to be cynical, it is hard not to be cynical about girls who stay with a man for two-weeks because he is paying them and then say they are in love. And of course, she will remain in love as long as there is some form of payment on the horizon. These payments can come in many forms. She will need to pay so she does not have to work in a bar. Sometimes the girl says she needs to be ‘bought out of the bar’. That is a good one. She cannot just leave the bar, no, she has to pay to leave. Then she has to have more money because she is no longer making money from the bar. It is amazing that western men have been coming in large numbers for several decades now and year after year, there always seem to be new ones who will fall for this absurd scam. The old-timers try to talk sense into them but there is usually no reaching them. The charms of a pair of big brown eyes and a cute body are always more convincing than some guy in a bar saying he has seen it all before. Perhaps the most amazing thing of all, many guys actually find a great girl from the GFE. Despite the absurdity of it all, through all the scams and horror stories, despite the cynical old-timers, sometimes love does actually shine through. There are many, many guys settled down in Phuket, Pattaya, or Bangkok, happily married to their temporary girlfriend.

Stay safe!

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