Where My Heart Is
As a long term reader of Stick's column I thought it was maybe time to put my thoughts and experiences down in words.
I first visited Thailand in 1995. I was a recently divorced late 30 something guy who was into scuba diving, drinking and sex which made Phuket (on paper anyway) the ideal location for a 25 day break over the Xmas and new year period. I was totally innocent as to the differences from east and west culture and how the bar scene operates over here. Needless to say I had the time of my life from the hotel receptionist letting me stay with her for 2 nights as there were no rooms available anywhere in Patong over Xmas / Boxing Say to the 2 girl all night session (first experience of those magic blue diamond pills).
I went through the whole spectrum of the rip offs, scams tried on, thinking that I really was a hansum / sexy man, having really enjoyable, heart warming times with some of the sweetest girls in the world. Needless to say there were tears in my eyes as I checked in for my return flight to Bonnie (bloody cold) Scotland with thoughts of selling the house, emptying out the bank accounts (with what little the wicked witch formerly called my wife had left me) and returning to LOS on a permanent basis.
Reality struck home when on checking about visas etc it became quite evident that the Thai authorities don't want you to reside in their part of the planet and since then I have managed to survive on 3 or 4 visits a year.
Patong is still my favourite, I have tried Pattaya (nothing to do apart from ogle), Bangkok (too big, to dirty, nothing to do but ogle). Patong has a lot going for it even though it is slightly more expensive than the rest of Thailand. The diving is great, the beaches are superb.
I don't class myself as a sex tourist, I play golf every second day (golf tourist?) scuba dive every alternate day (scuba tourist?), drink alcohol every day (alcohol tourist?) and if some girl takes my fancy and will spend some time with me have Thai company (sex tourist?). Can someone explain where the difference is to any other single guys holiday requirements.
I have read all about guys looking for love, life partners, the thoughts of some readers about so called sex tourists, Thai attitudes, lack of stunning women, price of drinks / women etc and would give you my view. Thailand is still a virtual paradise for most guys, just take a look at the faces of first timers but it is going downhill from the mid 90s. Don't believe the guys who talk about Cuba etc, ok the girls are stunning but it is still very much a police state, you cannot take them back to your room, they can even be lifted just for walking beside you and as long as you like rum you can drink yourself into a lonely coma at night.
Thailand is still cheap by western standards for food, drink, women. The 2am closing is not such a bad thing, you don't wake up beside unknown (how the f*** did you get here) girls, you can actually go home with a bit of a sun tan. Most Thai bar girls love to have fun and a laugh, don't just buy them out and head straight for your room, take them to a couple of bars that have dancing, music etc. you will end up getting rewarded in the enthusiasm department when you finally do get back to your boudoir. Treat everyone with a bit of respect, apart from the tuktuk drivers you will the same back. If you approach everything with a fairly light-hearted attitude the you will have a much better time, your not going to get (or deserve) 5 star service for the equivalent of 4 quid and for f***s sake don't think that some lovely brown eyed girl is going to let you abuse every orifice in her body for under a tenner.
What we should all be very worried about is the new, package holiday charter flight Neanderthals that are starting to appear in most resorts. Someone has discovered that they can save Spain by allowing these thugs to come to LOS and cause the normal mindless havoc that these under beings think is normal behaviour, the next couple of years will show if Taskin really wants these "Quality" tourists rather than the scheduled flight sex tourist.
I love Thailand and don't want it to be the next Costa something resort.
Keep up the good work Stick.
With Thailand's huge popularity as a tourism destination, there is every chance it will become the next Costa something…