In our experience many girls go home for low season and this year is no exception. Our tracking database constructed by meeting and talking to the ladies shows that of 27 girls we contacted on LINE messenger, 9 are currently enjoying home life in Isaan. This means that in some bars there is a recruitment drive. Poaching or voluntary movement is quite common. Labour mobility is strong because the only real reason for loyalty is to work in the same bar as a friend, OR if the salary and conditions are a clear cut above the rest. For example Route69 bars (3 located on soi 6) have a high staff retention as the owner believes this is key to success. Some ladies have been there 2 years or more. This is common for some bars more than others, certain bars are notorious for high turnover rate due to bad atmosphere or generally unfavourability.
If you are curious about the pay of bar girls, then for example, Nightwish group (the owner of around 20 bars) are currently advertising on facebook for ladies 18-35 with terms of 12,000 salary bht/monthly 50 bht per drink for Thai lady staff and 22,000/monthly salary for foreign managers. Benefits for foreign managers are assistance with work permit/visa service and alcohol provided (ring the bell/pull the horn to buy drinks for staff includes manager), downsides are that this is not your dream job, you will be working in the bar for 12 hours a day 6 or even 7 days a week. Managers we have spoken to in Soi 6 dont necessarily enjoy the job but the alcohol makes it bearable and it allows them to stay in Thailand, some managers do this because they have a Thai partner and their only other option is to work as an English teacher but this is not open to them due to lack of degree qualification etc.
Walking street gogo bars also advertising salary of 20,000+ base for dancers with 50 baht per drink also common. Also interesting to note: some girls between 18-20 work in soi 6 bars. This means that if you stay in a hotel that checks ID there is a chance your lady will be declined entrance to the room due to Thai law stating 20+ is the requirement. Don’t worry the bar staff will warn you if your lady is under 20 before you pay the bar fine. There are plenty of ways to avoid this such as the girl using a friends ID card who has similar looks (not recommended as this is fraud and has serious consequences for her) or trying to sneak in separately which can sometimes work however eagle eyed reception staff tend to ID check any single Thai lady going in through the lobby.
Finally a basic low season tip – if it is raining then business slows right down as other people stay in doors to avoid getting wet. In this situation grab your plastic rain poncho or umbrella, you will be the most popular man on soi6 with girls looking up from their phones as you pass by to call out to the brave punter who doesnt mind a little precipitation.