Phichai, Uttaradit

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Owen Jones July 30, 2020


I hope you are not being too inconvenienced by this Covid pandemic.

I consider myself very lucky to have arrived back in our village near Phichai in early March 2020, so before the lock-downs and flight bans.

We have not been affected much, because the Thai authorities and the Thai people are handling the crisis really well, in my opinion… far better than the UK, and many other countries.

Anyway, when sitting in our garden, or at the local shop enjoying a beer, I have always written stories, letters or blog content and the like. One year, I realised that I had written over a million words in the previous year, so I turned my attention to writing books full-time.

That was in 2012, and I have been doing it ever since.

To date, I have written fifty-odd novels and 125 ‘How to…’ manuals and had two hundred-odd translations and audiobooks made of them.

Most of the novels are set in Thailand or Wales, with a few being placed in and around Fuengirola, Andalusia, in southern Spain, an area that I like very much.

Today, I would like to introduce you to Lek, the heroine of my first novel. What follows is the text from the cover. It is quite popular in Pattaya… many people have stopped me to talk about it over the years. if you would like to too, please get in touch 🙂

Behind The Smile – The Story of Lek, A Bar Girl in Pattaya:
volume one:
Daddy’s Hobby

Lek was born the eldest child of four in a typical rice farming family. She did not expect to do anything any different from the other girls in her class in the northern rice belt of Thailand.

Typically that would be: work in the fields for a few years; have a few babies; give them to mum to take care of and back to work until her kids had their own children and she could stop working to take care of them.

One day a catastrophe occurred out of the blue – her father died young and with huge debts that the family knew nothing about. Lek was twenty and she was the only one who could prevent foreclosure. However, the only way she knew was to go to work in her cousin’s bar in Pattaya.

She went as a waitress-cum-cashier, but when she realised that she was pregnant by her worthless, estranged husband, things had to change. She had the baby, gave it to her mother to look after and went back to work. However, now she needed real money to provide a better life for her child and to make up for spending its whole youth 500 miles away. She drifted into the tourist sex industry.

The book relates some of her ‘adventures’, her dreams and nightmares and her ‘modus operandi’. It tries to show, from Lek’s point of view, what it really is like to be a Thai bar girl – the hopes and frustrations, the hopes and the let-downs, the hopes and the lies and deceit that are part of her every day life.

One day she meets a man she likes and he likes her too. Nothing new there, it had happened hundreds of times, but she feels that it is different. They have a wonderful four weeks together and then he goes home – as they all had, leaving more promises and more hopes.

This one returns, but real life with a real boyfriend is not as easy as she had dreamed it would be. They go through good and bad times, but will they stay together and for how long?

After all she has been through, will she be able to be a regular girlfriend or even a wife again? Will she ever really be able to trust a man enough again either? Or would she be better off giving up her dreams and carrying on working in the bar?

Lek begins to find out that getting what you wish for is not always as good as you thought it would be.

‘Behind The Smile’ refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as ‘The Land of Smiles’.

You can get this book in any format you may need from most sources… Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Nook etc, but this is the Amazon link to the ebook, paperback and free audiobook:

  • Owen Jones 1 year, 1 month ago

    PS: I have some free coupon codes given to me by Audible to distribute to anyone who will review the audiobook. The review only needs be a few lines. If you are interested, contact me saying whether you want a UK or non-UK code. The book is 11-12 hours long.

  • Owen Jones 1 year, 1 month ago

    By the way, Lek meets a Welshman from Barry 🙂