One attraction not mentioned in the guidebooks of Phuket is the island’s prostitutes, and Thailand has a free and easy approach to hookers working in bars. These are restricted to certain areas and form one small, but popular, and obvious part of the island’s tourism. For many it’s a highlight of their visit; others loathe it. But either way it’s a harmless activity tolerated by the locals and they are easy enough to find.
Phuket prostitutes are mostly found in Patong Beach, with a whole street – Bang La (Bangla) – given over to bars full of hookers and many visitors are interested in taking these girls home for an evening. You can also find a lesser selection in each of the other beach areas, including Karon, Kata, and even Rawai.
Hookers in Phuket are actually better known as bar girls. It’s inaccurate to call these girls in Phuket prostitutes since there are no dark alleys with small cubicles under red lights, and they generally don’t work in massage parlours or for pimps. In fact, the whole scene is far more relaxed, friendly and natural.
Prostitutes in Phuket work out of bars, of which there are many – usually crowded into a single area that is tolerated by the police. You’re free to wander among them, sit down and enjoy a beer while watching sports on big screens, listening to live music or playing pool. Of course you’ll also have the company of some pretty hostesses.
Finding Prostitutes in Phuket – How It Works
Although prostitution is illegal in Thailand, the Thai are fairly tolerant of some things that aren’t a menace to society (and have a lucrative aspect to them). It’s an age old practice that has existed here long before tourists ever started arriving. Prostitutes are popular with tourists and Thais alike, but what you’ll see is mostly those in tourist areas aimed at foreigners, and these girls can generally speak some English.
Prostitutes in Phuket work mainly out of bars, where they are controlled by a mamasan (female pimp) who acts more as a bar manager and mother to these migrant workers who come from the poorer areas of Thailand. The girls are waitresses who go home with customers. Not all bars are like this; some are decent, but it soon becomes obvious when you step into one.
Once you’re comfortably in a bar and see a girl you like, you can chat and buy her drinks (lady drinks are more expensive), otherwise a friendly girl might approach you. There is no pressure and you can move on if the girls don’t grab your attention.
If you decide you want to take a bar girl back to your hotel, you would first discreetly discuss a fee with her. This can range from 1,500 to 5,000 Baht for prostitutes in Phuket, depending on how keenly you want her, how beautiful she regards herself, whether business is slow/busy, and how long you want her to stay (short time or all night).
There is also a bar fine for these Phuket hookers, which is usually about 500 Baht, allowing her to leave the bar before the end of her shift. The girls have to leave their IDs at the hotel reception both for your safety and theirs. Generally they are real sweethearts, behaving more like holiday romance partners than hookers. It really depends on how jaded the girl is.
Not all prostitutes in Phuket work out of bars, and you’ll find freelancers trolling the pedestrian drag of Bangla street alongside the girlie bars. Some of these are ladyboys, so look closely. Generally, they are cheaper (and there is no bar fine) but perhaps not as attractive or reliable. Also, all girls know of a short time hotel to recommend if need be.
Massage parlours are another option for those who need to be discreet and don’t have a free hotel room. Christines, right in the middle of Patong, is the best known. Inside, you get a choice of about two dozen girls who will give you a soaping down in a bath before having sex with you; costing about 1,500-2,000 Baht for the one-hour session onsite. Massage parlours in Phuket
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When you’ve experienced one of these Thai bar girls, it’s difficult to think of them as prostitutes as they’re simply earning a living as hostesses, since it’s more lucrative than any other job available to them. Many are innocent girls from the Isaan region and might do it for a year to raise some money, and then get on with a respectable job.
Therefore, it’s important you pay them some respect, treat them generously (if warranted) and your time together we generally be a good one. Hookers tend to be more expensive here than in Pattaya or Chiang Mai, and on par with Bangkok.