8 reasons NOT to date or marry a Thai bar girl

October 13, 2021 - Reading time: 9 minutes

Reading online or speaking with other male visitors to Thailand, you are likely to hear many different horror stories from guys that have developed romances with ladies working at bars. Whether the guy found his girlfriend in a beer bar, go-go bar, or a club, many foreigners decide to form romances with ladies that work in Thailand’s adult entertainment industry.

Indeed, some foreigners do settle down with Thai bar girls, marry them, and remain together for many years.

However, for every success story involving a relationship with a Thai bar girl, you will be able to find countless other horror stories of men that have been cheated, scammed, and lied to. In this article we will explore some of the reasons why you should not date a Thai bar girl:

1. She will cheat on you

If you are dating a lady that works at a beer bar, go-go bar, or any other type of bar, then she will cheat on you. Period. Even if you think she’s different, even if she promises that she “doesn’t go with customers” or that “no-one can bar fine her”, she will probably cheat on you.

We have investigated hundreds of bar girls over the years and in the majority of cases they are found to be cheating while their ‘boyfriends’ are not in Thailand.

Thai bar girl

Bar girls work in bars in order to earn money by servicing customers, and will continue to do so in the majority of cases despite having a boyfriend. Bar girls use clever excuses and lies in order to make you believe that you are the only man in her life. The reality is usually different.

If your girlfriend is working in a Thai bar, then we can help to check her activities while you are out of the country. Feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced team members for a free quote. All contact with us is strictly private and confidential.

2. Money is very important to bar girls

Thai ladies usually resort to working in bars as they have a family to support and need to earn as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Bar girls are very money orientated and will usually need you to help support them.

If your girlfriend stops working at the bar and finds a low paid minimum wage job instead, then you will need to subsidise her income so that she doesn’t return to working in the bar.

If your girlfriend does not have the education needed in order to secure a high paying job, then you will need to either support her into education, help her to start a business, or subsidise her income while she works at a minimum wage job… Whichever path you choose to take, the relationship will cost you money in both the short and long term.

Of course, some guys allow their Thai girlfriends to work in bars while they are out of the country. However, if you allow your girlfriend to work in a bar then you must accept that she will continue to sleep with customers. We know from years of experience that in most cases the lady will continue her trade despite promises that she has stopped seeing other men.

3. Bar girls tend to be uneducated

Most of the ladies found working at beer bars in touristy areas of Thailand (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, etc), are not local to those areas and have travelled there for work. Bar girls tend to come from the Isaan region of Thailand, and many hail from poor farming communities.

Thai woman smiling

Bar girls do not usually have university or college educations. Many have very poor English-speaking abilities and only learned their English skills through speaking to foreigners in the bar. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand the broken English spoken by bar girls and you might find yourself using Google Translate just to communicate simple things. Many bar girls could benefit from taking classes at a language school in order to improve their English abilities.

If you are dating a bar girl, then try asking her about world history and Western society. You may find that her knowledge is limited.

4. Her family will always come first

Family is important in Thailand and you can bet that your Thai girlfriend will put the needs of her family first. If you marry a Thai girl then you will also take the responsibility for supporting her family and making sure that their needs are met.

Remember that Thai ladies are often package deals – when you invest in a Thai lady, you will also need to invest in her dependant family members.

5. Thai bar girls enjoy their work

There are some exceptions, however many ladies that work in beer bars or go-go bars do actually enjoy their line of work. Some women enjoy getting drunk every night, gossiping with their friends and earning money when a customer decides to bar fine them.

For ladies that have previously worked menial jobs in factories or similar places, working in a bar can be seen as easy and a way to make quick money.

However, working in a bar for any period of time can change how Thai ladies perceive foreigners, and make it difficult for them to revert into having a normal relationship. If your girlfriend enjoys working in bars, then she might be reluctant to find another job or to change her lifestyle.

We have seen many cases where bar girls told their boyfriends that they found legitimate jobs, however they were merely lying and covering up for the fact that they were continuing to work in bars. Other ladies will actually quit working in bars just to instead freelance in the evenings. Changing their lifestyles can prove difficult, especially if the lady does not want to change her lifestyle.

6. There could be other guys in her life

Even if they are not ‘bar fined’ every day, bar girls spend time with many different guys every day as part of their job. Many bar girls will have their phones filled with numbers and contacts for different men all around the world.

If a bar girl sleeps with hundreds of different guys, then it’s likely that some of them will feel a ‘deep connection’ to her or develop romantic feelings for her. Many will exchange numbers and stay in touch after they leave Thailand.

Asian woman looking at her phone

It’s impossible to know what a lady has truly experienced whilst working in a bar, and it’s impossible to find out just how many guys have her contact details. If you form a romantic relationship with a lady that previously worked in a bar, you should be mindful of this and be wary about infidelity occurring during your relationship.

7. Getting a visa can be difficult for bar girls

When it comes to having a long-term relationship with a Thai bar girl, many guys decide that they would like their girlfriend to leave Thailand and come to live with them in their own country.

Getting a visa to visit or live in a Western country can prove to be quite difficult for Thai bar girls. Suffice it to say that most immigration officers will not look positively on a lady that works in the sex industry.

Moreover, bar girls tend to be paid in cash and cannot always produce bank statements showing that they receive a regular salary. If the lady has received bank transfers from many different sponsors, then this could also act as a red flag if her bank statements are reviewed by immigration officials.

As we mentioned in point number 3, many bar girls have only a high school education. A basic education and a meagre minimum wage salary (or no official salary) tend not to seen as positive attributes when applying for long term visas.

8. Risk of disease

If your girlfriend has many different sexual partners, then the likelihood that she might contract a sexually transmitted disease will be higher. Remember, it’s possible to carry and transmit a serious STD without knowing that you are infected.

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Thai bar girls explained

September 30, 2021 - Reading time: 17 minutes

We describe them as “girls”, but Thai bar girls are adult women. Perhaps a more fitting name for them would be “Thai bar ladies”.

Thai bar girls are far different to ladies that serve drinks in Western countries. The biggest difference is that bar girls in Thailand are usually prostitutes.

Some men do not fully understand their profession before visiting Thailand, which can cause them to form regrettable romances with bar girls. We will try to explain some of the issues surrounding bar girls in this article.

What is a Thai bar girl?

A Thai bar girl is a lady that works at a bar in Thailand. Bar girls can typically be found in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and other touristy areas of the country that have nightlife scenes which cater to foreign tourists.

Bar girls are responsible for greeting and serving customers in the bar. They will typically sit and chat with customers, who will subsequently buy them drinks. Bar girls earn a small commission every time a customer buys a drink for them.

Asian lady wearing a dress

Most bar girls are prostitutes. Customers can pay “bar fines”, which are payments made to the bar in return for taking one of their ladies. The customer will need to pay a separate fee to the lady herself on top of the bar fine.

Some customers will choose to spend prolonged periods of time with bar girls. Many guys visiting Thailand will look for a ‘holiday girlfriend’ and spend 1-2 weeks with the same lady.

Bar girls tend to treat their customers as partners, and go all out with a “girlfriend experience”, which leads many customers into forming relationships with these ladies.

Why do Thai women work in bars?

In traditional Thai culture, the daughter of the family is responsible for supporting her parents in their old age. And if you speak to women that are working in Thai bars, you will find that many of them are mothers.

Child support is uncommon in Thailand and so when their relationship with the child’s father breaks down, many ladies will find themselves with the burden of providing for their mothers and fathers, as well as their children.

Bars on Walking Street in Pattaya

The minimum wage in Thailand is very low, and not usually enough to support a full family of people. Without a university education or a decent career, many ladies will struggle to earn enough money to support their families and get by.

Working at beer bars, go-go bars, and similar ‘adult entertainment’ venues, is often seen as a means to an end for Thai women. Working at a beer bar can allow the lady to earn good money, whilst she hopes to find a rich foreign boyfriend who will sweep her off her feet and take care of her needs.

Thai ladies will hear stories about their friends or relatives that have started out working in a bar, and eventually found a foreign boyfriend who has built them a nice house and bought a car for them. These stories can motivate many women to start working within the adult entertainment industry, especially if they are in need of money. 

Some bar girls enjoy the lifestyle of getting drunk every day and spending time with foreign men. Some bar girls might prefer to have a normal job but have chosen their trade just to make ends meet. Everyone is different and circumstances can vary from one lady to another.

Where do Thai bar girls work?

There are several different types of establishment within the Thai nightlife scene, however the role of bar girls generally remains the same in most of them.

  • Beer bars

Beer bars are prevalent in tourist hotspots such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and many other places in Thailand. There are indeed several types of beer bar, such as sports bars, girly bars, pubs, and arenas which house dozens of small, separate girly bars. Drinks inside beer bars are generally cheaper than other types of establishment, however the cost of drinks is also highly dependent on the location of the bar.

  • Go-go bars

Inside go-go bars you can typically find a number of ladies dancing on stage, who will work in shifts and rotate between other ladies that are resting off-stage. Ladies working in go-go bars usually wear numbers so that customers can easily identify them and let the waiting staff know which girl they would like to buy a drink for. The dancers will typically be wearing more or less clothes depending on the establishment.

Thai bar girls wearing bikinis

Go-go bars are usually more expensive than beer bars in terms of the price of drinks, lady drinks, and bar fines. You might also find that the girls are more eager for you to buy drinks inside go-go bars.

  • Gentleman’s clubs

Gentleman’s clubs are effectively beer bars which are fully enclosed and airconditioned. They tend to have less of a party-atmosphere than beer bars with quieter music.

As gentleman’s clubs are enclosed, they are sometimes favoured by married men, as it allows them to drink and speak to girls outside of the public eye. If you are drinking at a beer bar with an open frontage, then there is always a risk that someone will walk down the street with a video camera – you might find yourself posted to YouTube where your partner could view the footage. Gentleman’s clubs solve the problem of being seen and are effectively more discreet beer bars.

  • Ladyboy bars

If ladyboys are your thing then you will be able to find ladyboy beer bars and ladyboy go-go bars in most tourist areas. Ladyboy bars typically operate just the same as bars with regular ladies.

  • Nightclubs and discos

Nightclubs and discos are not bars in the strictest sense; however, bar girls often tend to work at these venues as freelancers. Bar girls (and any ladies living in Pattaya), can visit nightclubs when they are not working in order to hook up with customers.

Often is the case that freelancers will also earn a commission on drinks which are purchased for them, however this is not always true.

Thai bar girl words and phrases

Most Thai bar girls do not learn to speak English in school. They will pickup most of their English-speaking abilities through working in the bar. Many ladies speak “bar girl English”, which is a form of broken English that some foreigners find hard to understand at first. Instead of saying “Could you buy me a drink?”, for example, a bar girl might say “I want drink. Can you pay drink for me?”.

What follows are words and phrases which you are likely to hear spoken by bar girls:

Butterfly: A butterfly is a client that spends time with multiple different bar girls. Instead of sticking to one girl, a butterfly will spend only one or two nights with each lady. Many bar girls resent ‘butterflies’.

Bar fine: A bar fine is a payment which is made to the bar in return for a lady having time off. We have written more about this in our blog post ‘How much are bar fines in Pattaya?’.

Cheap Charlie: A ‘cheap Charlie’ is basically a cheapskate. Drinking at a bar without leaving a tip, or trying to negotiate a bar girl’s fee down will probably earn you this label.

No money no honey: This is a phrase which is often tossed around in areas such as Pattaya. It is fairly self-explanatory… Bar girls are with you to earn money, and when the money runs out so will their attention. As bar girls will tell you, they “cannot eat love”.

Asian lady beside a busy street

Short time/long time: Another self-explanatory phrase. Ladies will typically offer two different prices, for either ‘short time’ or ‘long time’. If a lady is staying with a customer for several days, then she might offer a different rate or a bulk discount.

Mamasan: Many bars will have a mamasan. The mamasan is usually an elder lady who will look after the ladies and manage any disputes within the bar. If you have a problem with a bar girl, then the first port of call is usually to speak with her mamasan.

Short time room: A short time room is a hotel room which can be rented for a short period of time, usually for around 1 hour. Many beer bars also have rooms available above the bars.

Ring the bell: Many beer bars in touristy areas of Thailand have bells, horns, or even buttons. When a customer decides to ring the bell, he will buy a drink for every member of staff in the bar. In some bars ringing the bell will also purchase a drink for every customer in the bar.

Lady drink: Lady drinks are drinks which are purchased for bar girls. As bar girls earn a commission for each drink purchased for them, ‘lady drinks’ are usually more expensive than regular drinks in the bar. Prices can vary depending on the type of bar you are drinking in and the general area.

Cheque bin: When you visit a beer bar in Thailand, you will normally find yourself being approached by a lady who will ask what you would like to order. The lady will then return to your table with the drink of your choice and a wooden cup which is called the ‘cheque bin’. The cheque bin will gradually fill up with bills for each drink that you order, which you will pay before leaving the bar.

How do Thai bar girls earn money?

Thai bar girls usually earn money through several different sources, such as:

  • Salary

Bar girls usually receive a basic salary from the bar which employs them.

  • Tips

Bar girls can make money from tips, whether they are receiving a cut of the bar’s pooled tips, or tips which have been handed to the lady directly. Most customers will leave a tip when they are drinking in Thai beer bars.

  • Lady drinks

Bar girls earn a small commission each time a customer buys a drink for them. Don’t be surprised if a lady asks you to buy a drink for her - most bar girls will aim to receive as many drinks as possible while they are working.

  • Bar fine

When a customer pays a bar fine for a lady, she will usually receive a small cut from that fee.

  • Short time/long time 

Bar girls obviously charge clients for their time. The fee which is charged will be up to the lady herself and paid directly to her. Bar girls can charge anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000+ THB.

  • Boyfriends/sponsors

A main source of revenue for Thai bar girls are their boyfriends and sponsors. Men will often meet with ladies that are working at bars, spend time with them, and send money to them after returning home from Thailand. This usually forms the largest source of income for successful bar girls.

Thai bar girl scams

As a detective agency based in Pattaya, we have seen hundreds of bar girl scams over the years. Usually, a man will meet a bar girl, spend a prolonged period of time with her, and start to develop strong feelings for her.

Eventually he will need to leave Thailand and return back home, the lady will then continue to work in the bar but tell him that she “will never go with a customer”. When we are asked to check whether this is true, most of the time the lady is still very much available and leaving the bar with different customers on a regular basis.

Bar girls know exactly what things they can say in order to convince their ‘boyfriends’ that they are not continuing to sleep with other men. A common tactic is to call their boyfriends every night as proof that they have not left the bar with a customer. In reality, the lady might make an excuse to leave her customer for a few minutes and call her boyfriend.

Thai bar girl scam meme

Maybe her “battery died” or she “was tired” and could not contact her boyfriend for a few hours. Bar girls know what excuses they can use and unless you are in Thailand it is virtually impossible to keep tabs on what is really going on.

When guys fall head over heels in love with bar girls, they will always believe that “she is different” and “she really doesn’t go with other men”. The sad reality is that most bar girls are not different. They are working in the bar in order to earn more money to support themselves and their families. The need to earn money is not reduced by having a boyfriend… As bar girls will tell you, they “cannot eat love”.

Sending money to a bar girl so that she can stop working in the bar is another risky endeavour. Many ladies will simply take the money and continue to work in the bar, earning themselves as much money as possible.

Other bar girls will actually stop working in the bar until their boyfriends have sent a lump sum of money or helped to build a house. Once the lady feels that she has extracted as much money as possible, she will start working in a different bar until she meets another boyfriend with the net worth needed to become her next pay day.

You might think that it could never happen to you - many of our clients also believed this until they were confronted with the truth.

Thai bar girl as your girlfriend

Many bar girls start working in bars with the intention of finding a foreign boyfriend and settling down. But whatever her original intentions were, a bar girl’s mentality will be shaped by her experiences working in the bar.

If you’ve found a girlfriend working in a Thai bar, consider how many guys she slept with before you met her. She may have been with hundreds or even thousands of men before you stepped into her bar.

How many foreigners made promises to her which they didn’t keep? How many ‘boyfriends’ has she had which never sent her money? How many of her boyfriends broke up after returning back to their home countries?

On the flip side of that, consider the information she has received from friends and other ladies working in the bar. Maybe one of her friends has 6 different boyfriends and is earning a lot of money. Perhaps she knows a lady that scammed her boyfriend for several millions of baht.

The bottom line is that you do not know the lady’s history and the type of experiences she has previously had while working in the bar. She will sugar coat as many details as possible in order to help convince you that “she is different”, but the bottom line is you cannot read her mind or find out what she has been through.

Pattaya Private Investigators logo

While there are bar girls who will stop working in bars if they are supported by a foreign boyfriend and given enough money, there are plenty of other women who are simply trying to earn as much money as possible by scamming their customers.

If you would like us to investigate a lady that is working in a bar, then feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced team members for help and advice. Our service is 100% confidential.


Are Thai girlfriends expensive?

September 25, 2021 - Reading time: 8 minutes

Many of us have read and heard stories about ‘Thai mail order brides’, and Thai women generally taking advantage of their foreign partners for money, but how much truth is there in these stereotypes? Are all Thai girlfriends expensive?

Supporting a Thai girlfriend can be relatively cheap or relatively expensive. Much depends on the lady’s lifestyle and how much money she spends every month. If the lady is used to a luxurious lifestyle, or if she is not able to provide for herself, then she will obviously need more help from you financially.

There are many different variables which will determine whether or not supporting your Thai girlfriend is likely to be expensive, we will explore some of the more common circumstances in this article.

Your Thai girlfriend needs to support her family

In Thai culture the daughter of the family is often looked on to provide for her parents in their old age. If your Thai girlfriend sends money to her parents on a regular basis, this will be an ongoing expense for her which you might be asked to help with, particularly if your girlfriend has no sisters to help support her parents.

A farmer planting rice in Thailand

If your Thai girlfriend also has children that are living with her parents, then she will also need to provide for them and ensure that they have a decent standard of living.

If you are planning to give your girlfriend a monthly allowance, then be sure to factor in some money for supporting the lady’s parents if her situation calls for it.

Your Thai girlfriend works in a bar

If you met your Thai girlfriend while she was working in a beer bar, a go-go bar, massage parlour, or any other establishment which caters to ‘adult entertainment’, then supporting her may turn out to be expensive.

The reason for many ladies to work in nightlife venues is so that they can enough money to support themselves. Often this type of work is seen as a means to an end for women who do not have steady careers or the education needed to secure well-paid jobs.

Bars on Walking Street in Pattaya, Thailand

Unless you are happy for your girlfriend to sleep with other men in order to earn a living, you will need to give her money on a regular basis and subsidise her income until she is able to start a business or find a well-paid job.

Of course, it is very common for bar girls to continue to work in bars despite telling their boyfriends that they have stopped. Other bar girls will have several different boyfriends supporting them at the same time. You may think that it could never happen to you, but these are typical scams which we see played out in Pattaya very often.

Your Thai girlfriend expects an expensive lifestyle

Many foreign men enjoy spoiling their girlfriends with champagne lifestyles. If your Thai girlfriend previously had a foreign boyfriend that was giving her lots of money every month, then she will be more likely to expect a similar treatment from you.

A lady holding bags of shopping

Other ladies might hear stories about foreign guys buying properties/vehicles for their Thai girlfriends and spending a lot of money on them in general. Saving face is important in Thai culture, and so these stories are often exaggerated, which can create unrealistic expectations for ladies that are looking to date foreign men.

Similarly, if your girlfriend was previously working in somewhere such as a go-go bar and was earning anything from 80,000-100,000+ THB per month, then she might be used to having a high disposable income and spending lots of money.

Your Thai girlfriend is 20 years younger than you

Let’s face it, if there a decades wide age gap between you and your Thai girlfriend, then she is likely to expect that you will spend money on her and spoil her with expensive gifts. Whether your girlfriend is 10, 15, or 20+ years younger than you, many ladies expect to be taken care of financially when they involve themselves with older foreign men.

Your Thai girlfriend is in debt

You might read over this point and think that it definitely does not apply to your girlfriend... According to the Bangkok Post, household debt reached an 18 year high in 2021. With many businesses affected by the pandemic, it is likely that Thailand will be dealing with the fallout of its borrowing for many years into the future.

Household debt has always been common in Thailand, and it is very possible that your girlfriend has debts which you don’t know about.

Opening an empty wallet

Due to the concept of ‘saving face’ in Thai culture, many ladies will be dishonest with their foreign boyfriends about their finances. If your Thai girlfriend (or her family) has a large amount of debt, then she might be worried about scaring you away by coming clean with the truth.

In order to fully understand your girlfriend’s situation, you will need her to be honest with you and explain any debt that she is responsible for.

Being realistic about your Thai girlfriend

If you are concerned that your Thai girlfriend will be expensive, then it’s important to first assess her financial situation and be realistic about how much help she will need from you in both the short and long term.

Some men will say that they will “never give any money to their Thai girlfriend”. However, if they have started a relationship with a lady from poor farming community in rural Thailand, then it’s important to be realistic about her situation.

Take a look at your girlfriend’s home. Do her parents live in a tin hut that looks like it could fall over with a strong breeze? Does your Thai girlfriend have a university education which could lead her into a stable career? Does she have children to support?

A young Thai lady

If you are not willing to give your girlfriend money, then it would be advisable to find a lady that has a stable and well-paid career.

In order to truly figure out whether or not your Thai girlfriend is going to be expensive, you should run through a full breakdown of her monthly expenditure. Does she need to support her family? How much is her rent? Does she have any debts?

Establishing a full breakdown of her expenses will help you to properly understand her finances and her priorities in life. Does your girlfriend need to have the latest iPhone and the most expensive handbags, or is she content with a modest lifestyle? 

All ladies are different and the answer to this question will depend entirely on her lifestyle and what she is looking to gain from your relationship with her.

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What is the sick buffalo story in Thailand?

September 21, 2021 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Reading stories online about relationships in Thailand between Thai ladies and foreign men, you might occasionally hear the reference to a “sick buffalo”. The phrase has become an often repeated idiom by expats and men that are in relationships with Thai women.

The “sick buffalo story” in Thailand is an example of Thai ladies telling a story in order to generate sympathy from their foreign boyfriends and to try and get more money from them. Some ladies will tell their boyfriend that their family’s buffalo is sick and that they need money for veterinary bills. The “sick buffalo” story has been told in Thailand for decades.

Although the sick buffalo story is now somewhat of a joke, poverty in Thailand and across south east Asia is not a joke.

In Thai culture, the daughter of the family is traditionally responsible for supporting her parents in their old age. Your Thai girlfriend may be responsible for supporting her entire family as well as herself.

Often is the case that Thai ladies will have children with local Thai men at a young age, when their relationships break down, they are then expected to provide for their children as well as their parents. The concept of a child’s father giving money to his ex-partner as child support is uncommon in Thailand.

A water buffalo in Thailand

As the minimum wage in Thailand is quite low, many women struggle to make ends meet, especially if they do not have steady careers or a university education. This can lead them to working in bars, and other adult entertainment venues in order to provide for their families. 

Many of these ladies will go on to forge relationships with foreign men in nightlife venues; which is where they might tell the sick buffalo story in order to ask for extra money.

As many Thai ladies tend to hail from poor farming communities in north east Thailand, many of their families will earn money through farming pigs, cows or water buffalo, making the story that her family’s buffalo is sick plausible.

Many ladies might not claim that their family’s buffalo is sick, but instead that they urgently need money for medical bills or another emergency. While the story itself might not be truthful, the lady may or may not be in dire need of money for one reason or another.

Is her buffalo really sick?

Is your girlfriend’s water buffalo really sick or is there a more likely reason? A more common reason for Thai ladies to need money is debt repayments.

If your girlfriend does come from a poor faming community and has a family to support, then it is very possible her true reason for requesting money from you is to repay debt or to provide for her family.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, household debt in Thailand ballooned to 90.5% of GDP in the first quarter of 2020, which is the highest level in 18 years according to Bank of Thailand data. Many will be dealing with the fallout of this debt for years to come.

Asian lady wearing a tank top

Due to the concept of “saving face” in Thailand, and the general fear of causing upset, it is not likely that your Thai girlfriend will be totally open and honest with you about her financial situation. 

Put simply, if your Thai girlfriend is struggling under a mountain of debt, then she might prefer to tell you that she needs money for her family’s sick buffalo instead. Of course, it is more common for ladies to claim that their mother or father is gravely sick in hospital and she needs money for the medical bills, or that she is having another emergency.

Although it’s easy to tell jokes about sick buffalos and Thai women telling lies to their foreign boyfriends in order to extract money from them, poverty is not a laughing matter, and the true reasons for women to tell these stories are often dire.

With all of the above said, you should not allow yourself to be taken for a ride whilst in a relationship with a Thai lady. While many Thai women are good and honest people, there is definitely a subset of women who try to take advantage of their foreign boyfriends, and practice what is known as the Thai girlfriend scam. 

These ladies are often found in beer bars, a go-gos, massage parlours, and other nightlife areas where they interact with a high volume of foreign men.

In this current day and age, there is also a growing number of women that instead prefer to meet men through online dating websites and apps.

The “Thai girlfriend scam” typically involves an attractive Thai lady forming relationships with several different foreign men. These men will all believe that they are the only man in their girlfriend’s life, meanwhile she is speaking to multiple guys every day, often taking steps such as setting up multiple Facebook profiles for each of her boyfriends in order to make the scam more believable.

For some Thai women, especially those working in nightlife areas, relationships with foreign men pays their bills. Some ladies are able to earn vast amounts of money through scamming their boyfriends.

Determining whether a lady is genuine, or if she is simply telling stories about sick buffalos in order to extract as much money from you as possible, can be quite difficult. In such cases we are often asked by our clients to place a lady under surveillance in order to monitor her activities and check if she is meeting up with other men behind her boyfriend’s back.

If a lady is running a dating scam or involved with other men for financial gain, then conducting an investigation in this way can often help to save our clients huge amounts of money.

Is your Thai girlfriend using you for money?

There is a fine line between supporting your Thai girlfriend and helping her to better herself, and simply being taken for a ride. For more information on this subject, read our blog post 11 signs that your Thai girlfriend is using you for money.

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11 signs your Thai girlfriend is using you for money

September 19, 2021 - Reading time: 13 minutes

Traditionally in Thai culture, the daughter of the family will be tasked with providing for her parents in their old age, and if you enter into a serious relationship with a Thai lady then a large part of that burden will transfer onto you... You will be responsible for supporting your girlfriend as well as her family.

If you decide to form a relationship with a Thai lady that does not have much money or a good career for herself, then it makes sense that you would help her out where possible.

However, there does come a point where some ladies can take advantage of their foreign boyfriends. Based on our experience as private detectives, we have put together this article which outlines some of the signs that your Thai girlfriend is just using you for money:

1. She asks you for a monthly allowance

We have all heard stories about Thai ladies who receive a monthly allowance from their foreign boyfriends. Monthly allowances of anywhere between 30,000 to 100,000 THB are common for these arrangements, and sometimes the figure can be much higher.

If you are happy to pay, and can afford to give your girlfriend a monthly allowance, then why not? After all, if the lady is not working then she will still need to send money to her family in order to support them, and have some spare cash for day-to-day expenses.

Asian lady

We should point out that not all Thai women support their parents – if your partner comes from an affluent family then they might not require any assistance from her. However, when foreign men become romantically involved with Thai ladies, this is usually not the case. Most women that partner with foreigners tend to come from poor farming communities.

Some will argue that “If you are paying an allowance to your girlfriend then you have an employee rather than a relationship”; this argument may hold merit in some cases, and we suggest that if your girlfriend is demanding a significant allowance every month then perhaps she is more interested in your wallet than a deep and meaningful relationship.

2. She constantly talks about money

We all need money to survive and we all have financial goals in our lives. However, if your Thai girlfriend is constantly, constantly talking about money, about how much money her friends have or how much allowance she claims that her friends receive from their boyfriends, to the point where she is obsessed with money and material possessions, then this crosses the line and should act as a red flag.

3. She shows no interest in getting married to you

In spite of what you might assume while wandering through tourist geared areas of the country (especially red-light areas), Thailand is steeped in cultural traditions. One of those traditions is the sanctity of marriage.

If you are engaged in a serious, romantic relationship with a Thai lady for a prolonged period of time, then it will be normal for her to expect you to marry her.

Gold engagement rings

Marriage will help to showcase your relationship to her close friends and relatives, including the ghosts and spirits of her ancestors. 

Getting married is important in Thailand in order to sanctify relationships, and if your Thai girlfriend shows absolutely no interest in getting married to you, then perhaps she is not totally committed to you. 

Of course, if your girlfriend does want to get married but demands a huge dowry payment as part of the wedding, then this could act as a red flag in itself.

4. She demands a huge dowry/sin sod payment when getting married

In Thailand, it is part of the culture that a groom will hand a gift to the parents of his bride when getting married. This dowry or “sin sod” payment, as it is known, will usually form a sizeable pile of cash along with some Thai gold. The payment can also include property deeds, land, or a vehicle in some cases.

Dowries typically range anywhere from 300,000 – 600,000+ THB. If a lady is well educated or comes from a ‘high-so’ family, then it is not uncommon for parents to receive north of 1,000,000 THB in some cases.

This payment will be given to the bride’s parents for them to keep as consolation for their daughter getting married. 

Remember that the lady’s parents will ultimately decide how much money they are willing to accept as a dowry/sin sod payment. If your girlfriend or her family are demanding a huge amount of money then you should question whether the relationship is more about her financial gain.

A dowry is ultimately a gift, and once paid you will never see it again… It would be wise to make sure that the relationship will last before deciding to hand over a pile of money on your wedding day.

5. She constantly drops hints about needing new things

If your girlfriend constantly complains that she needs the latest iPhone, that her motorbike is too old, she needs new clothes, that her parent’s fridge needs to be replaced, or whatever it might be, this could be a sign that she is trying to extract as much money as possible from the relationship.

6. She wants you to buy her lots of gold

Gold in Thailand is very different to gold in Western countries. Thai gold is a high purity (usually 96.5% or 23 karat), and it has a distinctive yellow colour. Gold can be easily sold or pawned at any of the numerous gold shops in any town or city. Because gold can be easily traded for cash at any time, it’s a great way for Thai people to save money.

Thai gold necklace

Many Thai ladies enjoy wearing gold jewellery, but tastefully so… If your girlfriend is demanding to walk around with as much gold on as Mr. T, then you ought to question her motives behind the relationship.

7. She is never content with what you provide for her

Is your girlfriend content with what you are able to provide for her, or does she always want something more? A lady that is not truly interested in a relationship will demand expensive gifts. She is not content with small gestures like a bouquet of flowers and is only happy when you are shelling out on high ticket items.

Does she try to make you feel guilty or bad about not providing her with what she wants? 

It is natural for ladies to occasionally ask for gifts during a relationship. However, if your girlfriend comes out with never-ending demands for gifts and is never content with what you provide, this is a sure sign that she could be using you for money.

8. She avoids introducing you to her friends and family

If your girlfriend is genuinely interested in you and your relationship with her, then she will be glad to introduce you to her close friends and family.

Particularly in Thailand, introducing a boyfriend to your parents is a big deal and gaining their approval helps to ratify the relationship. If your girlfriend does not want to introduce you to her parents, then ask yourself why might this be the case? Does she have a Thai man waiting for her in her hometown? Are there other men in her life that she has introduced to her family? Or is she just not serious about your relationship with her long term? 

9. There is no emotional connection between you

An emotional connection is essential in order to build a healthy and lasting relationship. If there is no emotional connection then your relationship is unlikely to last in the long term.

Do you share an emotional connection with your girlfriend? Does she ask about your feelings, dreams, insecurities, and long term goals? Do you have deep conversations with her?

If your girlfriend avoids meaningful conversation and prefers to talk about material things and stuff that she wants from you, this is a sign that she could be using the relationship purely for her own financial gain. 

10. She doesn’t care about your needs

Whenever you are having difficulties or need a shoulder to cry on, she is nowhere to be found. She might show fake affection and send messages asking how you are, but deep down she shows no real interest in you or your life in general.

Whenever you vent to her about a problem you are having, she pays no attention, changes the subject, or tells you to stop complaining. However, when she needs to vent about something then her attitude is reversed and you are expected to pay full attention.

Asian lady with a serious facial expression

If your girlfriend doesn’t care about your needs and ditches you whenever things start to become difficult, this is a red flag that perhaps she is more interested in money than you or your relationship with her.

11. She thinks of you as her customer

Some of the ladies that work in touristy areas of Thailand (especially in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and the islands), are not looking for a relationship with foreign men - they are looking for customers.

This might be the case if a lady already has another man in her life, or if she is simply looking to earn a quick buck. Some women can perfect what is known as the “girlfriend experience” with their customers, which can lead some men into believing that a relationship is genuine, when for the lady it is purely business.

Pay attention to your girlfriend when she is speaking to other people, does she describe you as her customer or as her boyfriend? Listen out for the Thai word “customer”, which sounds like “lukkha”, if she is using this word to describe you then it is safe to assume that she views your as her customer, rather than her boyfriend.

Being realistic about your Thai girlfriend

If you are dating a Thai lady who does not have a well-paid career, or comes from a poor farming community, then it is to be expected that you will need to help her financially… If you are not OK with sharing your wealth in this way, then perhaps you should look to date a lady from a more affluent background that does not require help with money.

Furthermore, if your girlfriend is 20 or 30 years younger than you, then the likelihood that she might be using the relationship for her financial gain will be somewhat increased.

Asian lady holding a flower

When supporting a Thai lady, you would be wise to consider how your money is being spent. The adage “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”, is relevant in many cases.

If you are paying a dowry to your bride’s parents, for example, could the money be spent to purchase farm machinery such as a tractor so that her father is able to earn a living for himself? Are her parents willing to work or are they expecting a free ride? Instead of paying your girlfriend an allowance, could you help her to attend school or setup her own business? Many ladies are happy to work and build a better future for themselves given the opportunity. 

All women are different and all situations can vary; providing advice on relationships with Thai ladies which applies to all circumstances is nigh on impossible.

If your girlfriend is running a “Thai girlfriend scam”, and taking you for a ride, then discovering the truth of the situation will likely prove to be extremely difficult – you may need to seek professional help in order to find out what is going on. This is where we come in.

Check your Thai girlfriend

If you suspect that your Thai girlfriend is cheating on you, then we can help to check her activities and discover what is really going on. Investigating Thai ladies usually saves our clients far more money than it would cost in supporting their girlfriend for even a short period of time.

We offer free quotes for all work. Please feel free to contact one of our experienced team members for help and advice. In order for us to provide a quote for surveillance cases, we will need to know where your girlfriend lives, and any other details surrounding the case. Rest assured that all contact with us is strictly private and confidential.

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