Go-go bars are synonymous with Thailand tourism. On Samui they are a prominent feature in Chaweng and Lamai, with a few others at the likes of Bang Rak. Most of the girls are found in casual ‘beer bars’, while the limited number of go-go bars in Samui are more discreetly-set, operating as private clubs.
Most punters find themselves drifting into one of the countless, nameless beer bars which are no more than a counter, a few comfy couches or bar stools, a pool table and lots of waiting women. It’s part of the attraction of Thailand; a rather harmless activity which even the general public find to be a curious people-watching opportunity rather than a sleazy activity.
Samui go-go girls are freely available to be taken back to your hotel for the evening, while some of them have rooms upstairs for convenient ‘short-time’ use. Some people just prefer the atmosphere of sitting drinking and watching sport on TV in a flirtatious and lively atmosphere.
Most of the bars are located in Chaweng and Lamai. You’ll find an entertainment area across from the main Chaweng Road, on a quasi-island in the lake that is set back from the beach area. They are mostly simple bars with blaring music and go-go girls-aplenty belting out ‘welcome’. In Lamai, an entertainment centre in the middle of the main street has the bulk of the action. It’s probably the biggest go-go bar girlie scene on the island, in fact.
The go-go bars in Samui aren’t open like your standard beer bar, where you can pick out a cute smile as you ply the zones, but closed affairs with the girls dancing on stage. Generally, these girls are far sexier, yet more expensive, but it’s a good show if you want to sit quietly in the corner.
Of course, nothing is for free, and you’ll be expected to buy a drink and quite often be talked into buying one for a hostess who pops herself down beside you (lady drinks cost more). It’s not as bad as some unscrupulous Bangkok sex show – where you get presented with an enormous bill at the end. So long as you drink slowly, it won’t hurt your bank balance too much and the eye candy on the stage makes it all worthwhile…more on Samui bar girls.
Samui go-go girls – how it works
The whole ‘girls for hire’ scene in Thailand is rather casual and unimposing, both for the punter and the girl. Mostly, Samui go-go girls are fun-loving and sexy trying to make a living in a different way. It’s quite unlike, say, the ‘windowed women’ in the red area of Amsterdam, but they are in it for the money and selling their soul, so a little respect should be given. If the girl succeeds in giving you a good time, a tip is seen as compulsory.
Usually when you enter a bar, it won’t be long before one of the ladies has approached you, but if you’d rather sit alone and choose one, they’ll leave you alone. In the actual go-go venues they’ll press you to buy a drink, for sure. Drinks in Samui go-go bars aren’t too expensive but there is a premium on the so-called ‘lady drinks’, which are 120-150 baht and generally watered-down. This is how girls earn their night’s bar wages.
Then there is the ‘bar fine’. When you have decided to take a girl home, you’ll have to pay this to the mamasan (supervisor), which can be up to 500 baht. You should also agree a price for the girl before leaving, which is usually between 1,500 baht and 3,000 baht, depending on how hot the girl is, how long you have her for (short-time or all night), how busy the bar is and what you look like. You can always negotiate (handsome chaps will have better luck), but don’t be tempted in offering a rock-bottom price as you will likely offend and make the girl lose face (a big deal here).
Our advice is to try chatting up a few girls in different bars (they’ll understand); remembering you can always come back to one you fancied and probably find her still sitting there alone. The reason for this is to get an idea of the different characters of the girls. Some will be fun and find you appealing, others will simply act bored and treat it like a miserable job. Newcomers will be beguiled by all Thai girls, but some are more fun in bed than others and it makes a huge difference to your satisfaction to choose a girl who genuinely wants to have fun with you.