People get strange notions when they come to Thailand. Their buoyant holiday mood may mean that anything can seem possible. I think we all have crazy ideas from time to time and following through with these can occasionally produce remarkably good results. After all, if nobody took chances where would we be? My decision not to leave Thailand after coming here on holiday has led to so many wonderful changes in my life. In fact it was easily the best decision I ever made. On the other hand, I’ve seen people who suffered badly because of their choice to make a life in Thailand and quite a few of these individuals opened bars.
Open a Bar in Thailand?
I am all for people following their dreams, but when I hear their plans to open a bar I can’t help but feel negative about the whole thing. Investing in this type of business has been the ruin of many a new arrival. There are already lots of bars closing and most won’t last for longer than a year or two – if that. There are many examples of expats who not only ended up losing their investment, but also their health and sanity.
I no longer drink alcohol but I’m not on any crusade against pubs – some people enjoy a few drinks now and again and that’s up to them. I understand the bar trade quite well because I worked in it for seven years during my late teens and early twenties. I know how tough a business it can be, and I also know that some people shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near this business for their own protection. The most successful bar owners I’ve met were people who would never drink in their own pub, but you don’t see many like that in Thailand.
Yes You Can Open a Bar in Thailand, but Why Would You Want To?
There are plenty of people in Thailand who will help a fool part with their money – practically anyone can come here and open a bar. Starting this type of venture isn’t that expensive if you do it illegally, but over time it can suck you dry. The fastest to go under are those bars where the owner likes to sample their own product a bit too frequently. I’ve met some who will drink until they pass out behind the counter. It is usually impossible to predict which will go bankrupt first- the bar or the owner’s sanity and health. Then of you have the situation where the manager of the bar is the Thai girlfriend/wife of the foreign owner, and this is often the case of the blind leading the blind.
Personally I think that most people who come to Thailand on holiday and decide to open a bar are asking for trouble. I suppose I can understand why they find the idea attractive, but there really are less risky ways of making a living here. If somebody is a big drinker then they really shouldn’t even consider it.
What do you think? Am I just being unfair?
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