Good Reasons to Have Lady Parts in Thailand

There are a lot of really great things about being a lady in Thailand. Most of them involve pampering, beautifying, and free booze (Not together. Usually. Although…quick! Write up a business plan for a beauty salon where you can drink!).

To be honest, I usually take a page out of my imaginary best friend Tina Fey’s book, who says:

If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important Rule of Beauty: ‘Who cares?’

How brilliant is that?

Anyway, in Thailand, I can afford to care a little bit more than I do back home, because I can pay somebody to do the things that I can’t do on my own.

1. Shampoo and Blow Dry

For me, this is the best value for my money because it’s something I would never pay to have done back home. At my favorite hair salon in Silver Spring, Maryland, it costs about $40 just to have somebody shampoo and then blow dry your hair.

My main questions about that are: So, is that blow dryer made of solid gold? Or what?

For some reason, getting a shampoo and dry in Bangkok is so cheap it’s shocking. I have had a shampoo/dry for 60B ($2), but I generally pay 100B (about $3). I have paid 200B (about $7) when I was in a hurry and picked a random place, but that’s way too much for me on a regular basis.

Some things to keep in mind if you want a shampoo/dry for 100B:

  • You’re not going to get a fancy place for 100B. It’s going to be a neighborhood place filled with Thai women, which I think is great.
  • You’re not always going to get hot water for the shampoo for that price. Again, that doesn’t really bother me, as it’s usually one trillion degrees in this city.
  • They’re not going to sterilize the brushes and things like they do in many Western countries. Usually they just grab a brush, rip out the hair left by the previous person, and move on. I haven’t caught anything yet (that I’m aware of)!
  • They’ll shampoo your hair two or three times, use conditioner, and give you a head massage. And then you will die happy.
  • They will take as much time and care as if you go to a fancy place. Sometimes they will take more time and care.
  • A tip will be greatly appreciated and often confusing. (“I charged you 80B and you’re giving me 100B?”)

2. Hair Styling

Back home, I generally paid $50-$90 for a simple haircut, which is hilarious because it would look awesome for one day and then go back to the exact same cut I’ve had for years.

In Bangkok, I pay about 600-700 baht (around $20+) for a good cut at Anderson Salon. Pam is Thai, but she deals almost exclusively with Western clients, and she knows her stuff. She speaks great English and has very competitive prices. I recently got lowlights and a cut from her, and it cost 1500B, or about $50.

(p.s. Pam gives the best shampoo/head massage I’ve ever had, literally. Worth it just for that!)

3. Massages

If you just go to a random place, Thai massages in Thailand will start at around 150 (~$5) to 200 baht (~$7) for an hour.  And while Thai massage isn’t exactly relaxing (think forced yoga meets WWF wrestling), you feel great after, even with the bruises. Yes, literally, bruises.

Body massages of any kind in the US cost anywhere from $70 to $100 an hour. I love telling that to my Thai friends who have never been to the US before. The look of shock on their faces is awesome. And it is shocking! That’s a LOT of money!

The best foot massage in town is a place on Sukumvhit soi 31 for 250B, but I think if I reveal the name, my friend Jonathan will kill me.

4. Knock-off beauty supplies at MBK

I’m going to be honest: I don’t really understand how to put on makeup correctly. There’s some part of my girl gene code missing, so I literally have to look at an instruction booklet to put on fancy eye makeup. But I still like to buy it and pretend that someday I’ll know how to use it.

Enter: MBK. MBK is a mall full of clothing, electronics, and crap, and is so labyrinthine that I always end up stumbling out of there after a few hours, completely disoriented, praising the sun blazing down on my head, thankful that I made it out alive.

I feel like David Bowie should be waiting for me somewhere with some Muppets.

Still, it’s all worth it because the 3rd floor of MBK has a series of stands that sell expensive brand-name makeup and beauty supplies for incredibly, incredibly cheap. I don’t know how they do it, and I probably don’t want to know. Factory rejects? “Fell” off the back of the truck? Just old products? Who knows!

Beauty Product Wonderland

5. Keratin Hair Treatment

I don’t really know what keratin is, but I assume it’s some kind of wizarding magic that is taught at the School of Magical Beauty, Hogwarts’s lesser-known sister campus. That’s how amazing it is. It takes frizzy hair and makes it more manageable and smooth, and it’s pretty labor-intensive, so in the DC-area it costs $400-500.  That’s two zeros there on the end. In Kansas City, it’s around $300.

I haven’t had it done in Bangkok yet, but I’ve seen that costs can start around 4,000B (around $130) and go up from there. That’s crazy cheap for wizardry, right?

You might also see it called a Brazilian blowout. Not crazy about that term, I gotta say.

6. Free Booze!

Most ladies nights back home are pretty lame. Maybe free admission or discounted drinks at some lame bar.

Well, Bangkok has some super fantastic ladies nights. It’s a good time to have lady parts!

Coyote Mexican Restaurant: Free margaritas from 6-8 on Wednesdays at the Soi Convent location, and Thursdays at the Suk Soi 33 location. Seriously, free. Their nachos are pretty decent, too.

Dusit Thani MyBar: Free ALL drinks from 7-9 on Thursdays. They’ve got all sorts of cocktails, wine, sparkling wine, beer, and smoothies. The atmosphere is kind of fancy, and there are large groups of women, so be sure to make a reservation. One time I was there, half the Thai ladies ended up passed out with their arms wrapped around a toilet and the other half were face down, drooling on the floor of the bar.  Then somebody yelled at the DJ, who screamed back, cranked up the music so loud it hurt our ears, then stormed off. It was awesome.

QBar: They often (always?) have ladies night on Wednesdays, which is free admission (usually 500B!) and two free drinks for women. And I gotta say, they don’t go cheap on the alcohol.

Witches’ Tavern: Free drinks from 5-9 on Wednesdays. I haven’t been there, but I hear it’s a pretty nice place, and that their food is good. Supposedly they have super yummy pizza. Also: free drinks for four hours!

Dear Men: I know you’re going to be like, “This is totally not fair!” But, seriously? Keep it to yourself.  Give us this one thing. Give us the free booze!

7. Clothes Shopping

I know that a lot of Western women don’t like shopping in Thailand, or Asia in general, because they feel that they’re too big. I would say I’m a pretty average-sized woman, and I don’t have any problems finding super incredibly cute clothes in Thailand for super incredibly cheap prices. I will admit, though, I haven’t bought pants (trousers, Brits!) here, and I don’t mind wearing snug clothing, so that could be why I don’t have much of a problem. If something is too short, I just put on some tights and go on my way.

If you go to the street stalls, you can find amazing deals. I shop almost exclusively from the street stalls, to be honest. And while Khao San may be a nightmare for some things, there are some really cute clothes to be had there.

My favorite dresses from Thailand. 200 baht (about $7) each. Lurve.

Also, I haven’t gone shoes shopping because I have abnormally large feet for a shortish woman (5’4″), so I can’t comment on that. Asian ladies have got some tiny feet, yo.

8. Pedicures

If you go to pretty much any hairdresser or massage place here, you can get your toes painted for 100 to 200 baht, but it’s really just paint. For about 450 baht (~$13), you can get a spa pedicure at a nice place. That’s about half the price of a pedicure back home. 600B will get you some extras like a massage or leg scrub.

When I go to get a pedicure, I usually look for a place that has the pedicure chairs; you know, the ones with the basins to put your feet in at the end. When you’re looking, anything under 450B is a really good deal, but 450-500 is average for a decent place. Anything less than that and it’s probable you’re just getting your toes painted. Check for the chairs, and you’re good to go.


Conclusion: I love you, Thailand. (I can’t think of anything witty right now!)



Filed under Living Abroad, Thailand

44 responses to “Good Reasons to Have Lady Parts in Thailand

  1. Wait. Back this thing up. FREE MARGARITAS? What the hell am I doing in China? Seriously. I’m dumb. And need to move to Bangkok. Stat.

  2. awesome write-up :) plus’d, shared, tweeted.

  3. Is it just my other half’s imagination, or do ladies get the bigger portions of food here? Every time we order the same meal, he swaps them…could be a coincidence, or, he’s just paranoid.

  4. The Witch’s Tavern also has FREE PIZZA on Friday nights from 5-8 PM I think? Also, domestic drinks are 2 for 1 during that same time. Might be worth checking it out if you are feeling hungry?

    Also, free Margaritas?!!!?!?!?! Why haven’t I not known about this?

  5. I am SO checking out the Witch’s Tavern.

    And free pizza? Wow – thanks for the heads-up. Been looking for alternatives to Coyote on Thursdays.

    You put together some brilliant posts, and they’re lots of fun to read, too. Looking forward to dispatches from Colorado too.

  6. My haircut as a dude, 500 baht. BUT its at one of those salon places in a shopping center and i get 2 scalp massages, a shampooo, a free bottle of water and some pink drink that i have yet to try.

    Back home in aus, my barber would sell beers (drink AND a haircut) and play indie rock music. He also has more tattoos than i do and looks like a rockabilly. All for $27 bux. I miss that guy.

    And I went to Witches Tavern once. It was ok. They had an all Thai band there playing irish tunes and cover songs. Oddly, the cover songs were so atrociously bad that i was cringing at the agony in my ears, yet, their irish songs were spot on and freaking awesome.

    And now, I can add “MBK TOUR GUIDE” to my list of useless skills due to the fact that ive been there so many damn times, i know my way around the alley way stalls.

    Go to Chatuchak Market if you want western size clothing at cheap costs. And vintage. I took my friend there who is a vintage nerd, she loved it. 3 hours we walked around all the vintage stores, 2 of them i was in severe pain and grit my teeth. Moral of the story is never go shopping with a woman.


    • Yeah, you can get a haircut as a dude for about 50B, literally.

      There’s a good Beatles cover band (Thai) at O’Reilly’s, actually!

      And MBK is my mortal enemy.

  7. If you’re paying local prices for shampoo/blow dry (which, I agree, is just amazing, I would do it 2-3 times a week when I lived there, and of course I would never think of doing it in the US!), you should pay local prices for Thai massage too…200 baht for an hour?! That’s insane, that’s a lower Sukhumvit tourist price. The Thai price is 200-250 for TWO hours (and frankly, getting less than two hours of TTM, you’re cheating yourself, since the program they study lasts for two hours to cover all the points/lines/whatever. If Thai places (like out at Phra Khanong) are out of your way, a good compromise is a place called Wat Pho massage, it’s one of the last businesses on the right side of Sukh Soi 33 (past all the “artist bars” and sex massage places)…right before the soi turns residential. 300 baht there for two hours, and it’s really good.

    • I went to a cheaper place near where I live now (near Lumpini) and it was awful! But that’s a sampling of 1 place, I suppose.

      I’ll try to check out the Wat Pho Massage. Good tip!

  8. Too bad I’m not a lady to get a free margarita, but you can bet I will go for the scalp massage anytime….or for any kind of massage!

  9. Colleen

    Hi, Megan! Sorry to hear you’re leaving soon, but I hope you have a smooth transition back to the States.

    MBK makeup is probably high quality copies of the real thing.

    There’s a place called “Doctor Feet” that is directly opposite the main entrance to Samitevej on Soi 49. They do foot massage as well as body. Body massage (Thai) starts at 350 THB, and is good quality. There’s also a good place my friend told me about on Asoke Rd (crap! Can’t remember the name… “Health-something”) that has doctors on staff. My friend says they are qualified and good for massage and reflexology.

    I go to Take Care salon on Soi 33 for nail art when I want it. They are reasonable. Panipa is where I go for cut/color and standard nail paint, also reasonable. (I live in Bangna, and Panipa is right next to my son’s school, also in Bangna, so it’s convenient.)

    Near Chatuchak Market is an A/C Market called J.J. Mart. It’s more comfortable than the outdoor market, and almost as cheap. :)

    Hope this helps someone! Though you may not benefit since you’re going soon. x

  10. I’m off to Thailand for some Keratin!!!

  11. Super cute dresses!!

    And (yay!!), another woman who feels completely inept at using makeup. I’ve never really been interested, and when I’ve tried, I realize how useless I am. I need to stick to foundation and lip gloss forever.

  12. i hadn’t had a hair cut in over a year (i had majestic black locks) and i finally got my hair cut on independence day (symbolic?). it ended up costing me 60 bucks (with a shampoo, tip included). and i thought to myself: “this is why i don’t get haircuts.” i usually just buzz it all off. i’d like to see the benefits of living in Thailand with man parts. any ideas?

    • Ooooh, majestic black locks! 60 bucks for a dude’s haircut? Wow!

      Ha–benefits of living in Thailand with man parts…pretty much just being here! Um, but seriously, almost the same things–haircuts can cost under $2, cheap clothes, lots of women… :)

      • yeah, well… she did shampoo my hair, and i did buy a shampoo (because i’m a sucker) so that’s why it cost so much. i wouldn’t mind a two dollar haircut though. and cheap clothes is always a plus!

  13. Amy

    LOVED reading your post on all these good things Thailand has for ladies. I could SO relate to the mani/pedis and shampoo blow-dries. Just wished my feet were small enough for cute shoes and body small enough for cute cheap clothes.

    Of course its been six years since I lived there and there may be more western sizes available for us gals. (I’m a size 10 once I effortlessly lose 10 pounds after about 2 months of sweating and eating spicy food and tons of fresh fruit).

    I appreciate your posting current prices, too (we plan to return spring of next year if all goes as we intend). They’ve certainly gone up up up!

    Do post about your reacclimation into American culture. Sometimes the reverse culture shock is just as, well, shocking. I’d love to read about your experience.

    • Wow, I’ve gained so much weight since I’ve been here! Sweating, spicy food and fresh fruit have done nothing for me!

      I will try to post about my return to American culture. I’m nervous!

  14. Sharin Tebo

    I enjoy Witch’s, especially because it forces me to walk a bit. :-)
    And, I will test out QBar this evening, as they have free admission and 100Baht margs and martinis…all night long!

  15. I’m definitely going to have to write the names of those bars down so I’ll know where to go when I visit.

  16. mani and pedis – never got them in the states. here? i’m a regular. i have stamp card for cryin out loud. luv, luv, luv

  17. Well, since no one else has broached the subject…
    The very best reason for having Lady parts anywhere is…the alternatives are totally unsuitable.
    When I worked for the government, our group had “equipage” [the bureaucratic word for “stuff”]. When our stuff needed fixing, our logistician would order the “parts.” He lived in a world of “parts.” His favorite phrase was “parts is parts.”
    But, Megan, you’ve proven that this is not true…Lady parts are wonderful for “free booze,” beauty procedures, and general pampering…at least in Thailand. Ah, those blessed with Lady parts can truly live the Life of Riley [which is weird, as the original “Chester Riley” certainly had Man parts].
    (Please ignore these minor plot holes; JK Rowling did in “Goblet of Fire,” and she definitely has Lady Parts)
    Regardless of your Parts situation, these are more reasons to be nostalgic for Thailand, and you still haven’t left yet.

  18. Di

    Hey thanks for the Dusit Thani lead! I had no idea about that. Will have to check it out with girlfriends.
    Just a note about the pedicure/manicure thing – did you check whether they streilise their equipment? Dirty hairbrushes is one things, but with pedicures/manicures the equipment can be contaminated with blood so you want to make sure you don’t risk picking up any horrible diseases… If they don’t sterilise the tools (in a special steaming machine, just a rub with alcohol won’t do), you can bring your own… This would especially be something to watch out for beach mani/pedis, as they certainly aren’t lugging the sterilising machine around with them.

    • Yikes, good tip on the tools. I’m not sure if the places I went did that or not–definitely not at the cheap places.

      I think I’ll probably edit this post eventually to include this info, too. Thanks, Di!

  19. Jonathan

    You were so scared I’d kill you, and rightly so, that you even got the wrong soi. God bless.

    In other news, I got an old fashioned shave the other day on Thong Lor for $2. My haircuts usually run $3.50, but then I again I get it cut at a cubicle in a subway station so luxe it ain’t.

    Finally, I lied: we’ll throw you a coming home party if you turn around RIGHT NOW.

    • I realized after I’d published that I got the soi wrong, but I figured nobody would really know besides you, so…I’m throwing them off the scent!

      Let me eat some more cheese and hummus and then I’ll start missing Thai food and realize that I’m gone and I’ll be back. And you’ll all throw me a party! Hooray!

  20. Hi Megan,

    Those brand name cosmetics in MBK is real (most of them). The sellers bought them from larger retailer like Central at 50% off.

  21. I get a eyebrow wax, deep conditioning, haircut, and blowdry for around $30. I don’t go to the salon often, though. I went through cosmetology class, but refuse to work at a salon. I’d rather work on people who don’t speak – funeral homes. xD I’ve actually seen a lot of violations even in America when it comes to salons. The one thing I will not tolerate is the cape touching my skin. (shakes head) That thing carries a lot of diseases.

    I know what you mean about shopping in Aisa. I, on the other hand, have a blast with that. :) I really like your dresses. Fabulous finds. :)

    I don’t do manicures or pedicures. I am always worried about getting diseases and moreover, they will be ruined in a day or so. xD

    Like your blog. :)

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