Readers' Submissions

UTS – Ugly Tourist Syndrome

  • Written by Watdaphac
  • January 13th, 2005
  • 5 min read


By Angry Of Perth


I have made two previous submissions to this site. They were light hearted (some may say humorous) fictitious pieces about the adventures of a newly separated English middle aged tourist.

There have been many words written about this genre and also on whether the Thai government wishes to rid itself of this tourism and the alleged international image that has resulted from it.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these people are in the premiership of the ‘sick and the sad’, notwithstanding the old Biblicism (sic) ‘he who is without sin etc etc ‘. It does boil my piss however when I read these self appointed moral guardians who imply that anyone travelling overseas for sexual (and emotional) gratification is some sort of pervert or the like.

Without wishing to sound like Gordon Gecko, it’s all about financial leverage. Unsavoury as it may seem to some, we live in an age where both men and women buy sex and affection. I am not saying it’s right, but until there is an alternative, we are stuck with it. Sure we all want a deep and meaningful relationship (hopefully with someone of the opposite sex), but if it ain’t there, we are going to seek fixes, long and quick.

I have visited LOS 3 times in 2004. In March I came, and caught up with a friend who is now resident in Bangkok. Over a beer and politically incorrect chat, we got on to the topic of dentists. I had recently been quoted almost $7,000 (six return flights to LOS) by an Oz dentist to fit a bridge. Having sprayed the alcoholic contents of his mouth over me, he advised me to see his Bangkok dentist for a quote. Reluctantly I agreed, and apart from surprised by the high quality of facilities, he gave me a quote of $1,100 (one return flight to LOS). As my holiday was almost up I made arrangements for the work to be done in June.

I returned in June, and over the course of 2 weeks (4 appointments) the work was done. No pain, and he even took 3000 baht off the bill because he discovered root canal work that he thought might need to be done was unnecessary. Honesty and integrity…Australian dentists please take note!

The dentist spoke great English (being from Sunderland I realise that might not be saying much). On my return to Oz, I went to a dentist for my 6 month check up.

I asked if he felt the bridge was OK and he said it was fine, not knowing where I had had it done.

With all my savings, I decided to return for the Xmas break. During this trip, I had the bridge checked and a full periodontal clean. This procedure last cost me over $1300 in Oz. At the Bangkok General Dental Clinic….. $120, i.e. another flight to LOS.

My dental work out of the way, I decided to partake in the delights of the LOS and Bangkok. I am not a big fan of the girly bar scene. One can only take so many ‘helloooo, what you name, where you come fom, big hansom man etc etc’.

Some of the girls can be good fun, and are extremely smart. Once they know you have cottoned and you buy them a couple of drinks and treat them with respect, they can be great company. Guys, if you really think that they enjoy being fondled in public by blokes whose boobs are bigger than theirs then you really are pulling yourselves way too much. You are as attractive as the monetary contents of your wallet, nothing more, nothing less.

I must say that some of the contributors to this site and the excellent book ‘Private Dancer’ have been very useful and a great supplement to my cynicism and ability to judge sincerity.

While some of the guys who have been ripped off financially and emotionally are deserving of some sympathy, for chrissakes we are talking about members of the oldest profession here. One of the oldest tenets in consumer law is the Latin phrase ‘caveat emptor’…..let the buyer beware. Cars, houses, washing machines, hookers… they are all commodities.

So my mate arrives, spends a day or so in Bangkok, and then heads to Pattaya. My mate likes seaside resorts. That’s Bradford people for you I suppose. On the day we arrive the Tsunami hits down south. Obviously many of the tourists decide Phuket is not the place they want to be, and many head to Pattaya, thus putting further strain on an already crowded resort.

At this juncture I will admit to being born and bred in the UK, and albeit I have lived almost 25 years in Oz, most people when they talk to me assume I am a POM. Normally this is not an issue to me.

Enter the Ugly British Tourist. I will stress that not all should be tarred with this brush, but certainly a significant proportion.

I can excuse the shaven heads, tattoos and sartorial faux pas. What is inexcusable is their appalling manners, incessant unnecessary use of expletives and their cultural insensitivity. To call them neanderthals is unfair to homo erectus. On many occasions I saw them treating local people as if they were something that you scrape off the bottom of your shoe. Because of their surliness and the fact they are usually mob handed means you cannot even defend the recipients of this behaviour.

This type of person should have been flushed down the toilet at birth. The fact that they are given passports and are allowed to travel begs belief. Pattaya is going to wind up like Benidorm (Spain) in the bad old days. Full of hooligans, who prefer amphetamines to alcohol, fighting to sex. It’s scary stuff and it’s coming to a resort near you. Rue Britannia.

The much maligned sick and sad middle aged tourist will go elsewhere. Like me they felt neither secure nor happy, in a tourist destination which for years has provided these as a given. For God's sake a well known bar in Pattaya is now run and owned by a leading light of Chelsea Football Club Hooligan brigade. He organises tours for his fellow drongos. This is the sort of word of mouth LOS does not need.

Caveat Thailand!

Stickman's thoughts:

It has to be said that at times, parts of Pattaya are getting a bit rough and yeah, it is probably only going to get worse.