Ever Wondered How A Thai Disco Worker (Siam Bu) Makes Money? They Can Make More Than $6,620 per Month!
I have a problem.
I am spending way too much time on my latest addiction.
Introducing Gong Tao Help Desk (GTHD), a treasure trove of hilarious memes about our local Thai Disco scene.
Littered with Singaporean’s terms such as ‘Siam Bu’ (Thai Disco worker), ‘Siam Dius’ (Thai Club) and ‘Gong Tao’ (Black Magic), the Facebook page introduces us to our local Thai club ecosystem like a boss.
Met with a tight editorial deadline and having spent way too much time on the Gong Tao Help Desk, it is only fair that I dedicate an article to this topic.
All You Need To Know About Siam Diu (Thai Disco)
You see, most of the content available painted Thai Discos or Siam Dius in the same light.
Step into a different world, a murky underground Thai-themed night club, where Singaporean men take a break from life to seek “love”.
Have a casual drink from the beer tower you ordered, challenge the Siam Bus to a game of dice while experiencing “girlfriend experience” at its finest.
Some may argue that this paid “girlfriend experience” is not true love, but frequent patrons of Siam Dius encompass the ideology of a Chinese saying “不在乎天长地久, 只在乎曾经拥有” (translation: Everlasting love does not matter to me, as long as I once had you).
At a Siam Diu, there are ladies (usually from neighbouring countries) who work at the club to sing and dance at intervals. When they are not performing, they mingle with guests, play drinking games and accompany them.
If the guest likes any of the Siam Bus, they can buy her garlands and sashes. This is also the same reason why some people label Siam Diu as Flower Joint.
The extent some of these men decorate their favourite Siam Bu with Garlands and sashes is insane. With each garland and sash ranging from $10 to $10,000, some spend thousands a night just to impress.
That got us thinking.
How do Siam Bus and Thai Disco performers make money? How much do they make from these garlands?
How Do Siam Bus and Thai Disco Performers Make Money?
Truth is, most of these girls are here on a working visa, which means they are only here for a maximum of six months. We have also heard of the frequent Police raids at these flower joints to arrest girls working illegally without a work pass.
What motivates these girls to take that risky leap of faith in a foreign land can only be explained, as we break down the potential amount of money they can make.
We did a little bit of research and “user interview” to find out how they make money.
We gathered that they are usually paid a basic salary, commissions and referral fee.
|Basic Salary||Ranges from $2,000 to $3,500|
|Commission||If they fail to meet their individual target: They will only receive basic salary|
|If they meet their individual target: They get a commission from the garlands they receive, and the amount of drinks they push|
|Referral Fee||When they refer their friends to work here in Singapore.|
Out of the total commission that they receive, their respective agent will take a cut and receive a portion of it.
The basic salary of Thai Disco workers is actually quite attractive. They receive a monthly basic salary of $2,000 to $3,500.
As most of the Thai Disco workers come from our foreign neighbouring countries, the amount is actually pretty lucrative when we factor in the exchange rate.
We draw a comparison of this basic salary with the median income of the respective countries these workers came from.
|Basic salary||Country which the Thai Disco worker is from?||Basic salary after exchange rate||Average salary of the country they are from|
|$2,000 to $3,500 per month||Thailand||THB44,935.42 to THB78,636.98 per month||THB25,000 (Bangkok)|
|Vietnam||34,411,303.56 VND to 60,219,781.23 VND per month||3,430,304.04 VND|
|Malaysia||RM 6,051.73 to RM 10,590.54 per month||RM3,274|
|Taiwan||NT$44,410.66 to NT$77,718.65 per month||NT$39,191|
|South Korea||1,716,802.67 KRW to 3,004,404.68 KRW per month||3,150,000 KRW|
The basic salary that a Thai Disco worker earns by working in a Siam Diu in Singapore is
- Two times the average salary of what they might be drawing if they were from Thailand
- Ten times the average salary of what they might be drawing if they were from Vietnam
- Three times the average salary of what they might be drawing if they were from Malaysia
If they were from Taiwan or South Korea, the basic salary is indifferent.
This is until we add in the possible commission they will receive.
Each Thai Disco worker is actually given an individual target to meet.
This is the target amount they need to earn from the flower garlands that the customers purchase for them.
If they fail to meet the monthly target, they will only be given their basic salary for the month. For those who managed to meet their target, they will receive a commission for their hard work.
From what we understand, upon hitting a certain individual target, they will get 60% to 70% of their target sales. Their agents will receive the rest of the 30% to 40%.
We managed to get our hands on an example of a remuneration package sent to interested applicants to work at a Thai Disco.
It can be translated into
- 26 working days each month
- $3,500 based salary
- $4,000 individual target
- Commission of 60% if you hit a target of above $4,000
- Commission of 70% if you hit a target of above $12,000
Imagine attracting a wealthy customer that buys his eye-candy a $10,000 flower garland. She hits her monthly target in one night.
As mentioned earlier, most of the Thai Disco workers are here on a short-term working visa, which means that they will only be working for the Siam Diu for six months. For those that are working without a working visa (illegally), their stay can be as short as one month.
This means that there is a constant demand for manpower to replace those girls that are leaving.
The third source of income will be from the referral fees when they refer their friends to work in Singapore as a Thai Disco workers.
Here’s an example of what an advertisement looks like:
A Realistic Example of How Much Siam Bu Makes per Month
To give a realistic estimation, assuming that a Siam Bu
- Works 26 days a month as stated in the contract
- Earns a basic salary of $3,500
- Achieved target of $200 flower garlands each night
- Commission of 60% from the garlands since she surpassed her individual target
|Commission from $5,200 worth of flower garlands|
(26 days x $200 daily)
|60% x $5,200 = $3,120|
You are right! Thai DIsco workers can earn up to $6,620 per month!
They are probably earning more than half of the patrons of the Thai Disco, given that Singapore’s median income is at $5,596 per month.
The Untold Story
All that glitters is not gold.
Behind the short stint of a possible fat paycheque, the fighting spirit of these Thai Disco workers is worth commemorating.
Back against the wall, at a young age, they gathered enough courage to work in a foreign land in hope of a better future. I have also come to realise that some of their living condition may not be the best.
Usually cramped up in a shared apartment, these girls are given the bare minimum to survive.
Given that they are working 26 days a week, accommodation is merely to serve the basic needs of resting for the next day’s work. A basic supply of food such as Maggie noodle, eggs and rice is provided, and that’s about it. For anything more palatable, these girls turn to the temporary love they found here in Singapore.