OK, first up, this is not yet another article discussing bar girls; for that is a broken record that will send anyone to sleep and is tired yarn. This article also takes no moral high ground on the role bar girls have on the image of Thailand, instead it’s an observation of the changing dynamics at play.
Rewind 10 years back and Soi 7 and 8 was awash with eager girls all vying for a customers eye, ‘welcome sexy man’ was as frequently heard as every breath of air you took as you made the 10 minute stroll from start to finish of each Soi. You were in demand back then.
Now, as you take that stroll, sure these girls may beacon you into their open beer bar but they will certainly not follow you and join you for a drink. No, these days are disappearing fast.
So, what has happened?
Well it’s quite simple, every girl has a smart phone and this allows them to keep in continuous contact with customers through Facebook messenger and social apps like Whatsup and Line; and what more, and this is key also, at no cost to them as the phone services are free.
Fishing for new customer can also be done from the comfort of their phone with apps like Tinder and Badoo. The art of picking up a paying customer is simple and they don’t even have to get drunk accepting ladies drinks at the same time!
Now they can spend more time with their friends without boring ‘sweet talk’ with the customer.
..and what of the future?
Staying within this bar girl territory maybe we need to consider the trend and speculate how this will impact on the role of beer bars in Pattaya. Do these girls even need to work in a bar now to meet someone? Probably not.
So what then are the repercussions for these bars? It’s simple commercials, less girls means the less need for so many bars – so many will close. Soi 7 and 8 could become very quiet and the bars role reserved for guys just wanting to go for a beer, watch some sport, socialise with friends and nothing else.
The guys save on the drain of having to pay for ladies drinks, get more time to themselves and can reach for their mobile phone at the end of the night…
It could see all the vibrancy and noise of Pattaya be sucked out of this towns nightlife scene – or, and consider this for one moment, it could reinvent it for the better.