A Wake Up Plea
By Indo George
Most Thai Bar owners are a pretty dumb breed, in fact a lot of farang bar owners are too!
Open up a “same same” bar in a Farang rat run and stick half a dozen mute Isaan chicks on bar stools, play shite overly loud, overly repetitive music, pay no attention to providing decent toilet facilities (if any!!) expecting us to run over to the nearest hotel lobby or shopping mall for a crap, have the said girlies sat around in a huddle completely ignoring your requests for a cold beer because gorging on their communal plate of “Bok Bok” is more important then serving you and when they do get around to serving you their resulting arse breath knocks you back harder than the warm bottle of short date Chang they’ve just over charged you for does.
The thing is who are the real mugs here?
We stand for all of this shit!
Some places are getting it right, though they are very few by my last count.
I work rotations and live in “LO Fake S” during my 3 weeks off , I can’t stand Bangkok or Pattaya now for more than a night or two and now spend much of my time in Patong Beach and much of that time I am in the road side bars on Bangla, not because they are nice, nor because they are particularly well stocked with girls, nor because they serve ice cold beers, simply put I am there because they are perfect for people watching, that is if you can actually get on one of the street side stools that haven’t been dragged into the road and commandeered as impromptu staff diners, make up salons and mobile communications centers.
So there I sit every day from late afternoon until late evening when the Sois begin to liven up just watching the hordes of people walking by, often groups of respectable Asian and European couples and families on holiday or tour groups of Russians, Asians, Europeans etc, you get the picture?
Now I’m not much of a businessman, but I know a thing or two about “foot fall” and Bangla Road has got a nightly foot fall that an entertainments center manager would sell his right testicle for most nights of the week and the punters are on holiday so let’s expect them to have not a bad amount of cash in their pockets, the amount of shopping bags they have is a sure sign of their obvious disposable income.
Exactly what has Bangla road got that can entice the Baht and Greenbacks from this nightly onslaught of decent, respectable punters, just what have the local bars laid on to tempt the Scandinavians, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese, Europeans with oodles of cash to spend? …….fxxk All!
Ok, if you want some moody Diesel shorts that are guaranteed to shrink as soon as they’re within 100metres of tepid water or your Mrs. Fancies that dodgy Von Dutch micro top to show off her new tits that are just healing up after the 100k Baht tit job she’s had at Bumrungrud the week before then Bangla Road is a top place for you both. Or how about if you want to be dragged into an upstairs “Super Club” by a young placard wielding girl that can hardly walk in her 8” Platform boots only to find that you and your Mrs. are the only suckers in there and feel obliged to buy a drink because the lass has dragged you up 2 flights of stairs in those shoes (you can’t knock these guys though because at least the effort in getting punters in is there, even though the finished product is a crock of crap!).
So let’s get back to the point here, what exactly are the bars doing to gear up to this more than regular onslaught of “none” sex tourists eager to cram in an evenings entertainment in a pleasant environment with happy, courteous and efficient staff ……(who aren’t pissed up on Tequila at 7-00 in the evening after yet another rat arsed Farang has emptied his wallet over the bar thinking that they all love him because he’s a handsome articulate guy who’s a stallion between the sheets, yet truthfully they can’t remember his name and even have trouble saying his name when they can, yet refer to him as fatty when his arse is turned, he’s overheard them calling him Pum Poy a few times before now yet still thinks it a pet name for him being cute and podgy!!!!……..I’ve seen it all here so many times!!)…….again back to the point….Family Tourists, Just what is on offer for them, where do they spend their hard earned cash, they come here for the sun and some cheap shit shopping and some day trips out to 007 Island and the Monkey Mountain Temple and the Caves and Mangroves of Pang Na but what can they get up to after dark, just who is out there, who’s diverting their dollars every evening?…I had my suspicions so I had to go and find out !!!
So left out of the bar and down Bangla I strode, past the last few shithouse girl bars, past Scruffys the Irish bar (which incidentally clarifies a little of our quest as once more it was rammed with the usual Brit’ Kiwi’ and Aussie Shorts and flip flops brigade getting down Patong’s best attempt at a poured pint of the dark stuff…but hey the place is the size of a shoe box so where are the other 20,000 tourists tonight?) so past Scruffys I go and hit the junction at the bottom of Bangla, the light just beginning to fade I can see a beach…Now they could have told me that Patong had a beach, I’ve been coming here for years and never ventured off Bangla Road during the hours of light, but if I had known about the beach??…..joking!
Turning left or right there its much of the same, fish restaurants with impressive iced displays of local seafood’s all reasonably busy with a few more of our tourist quarry pigging out on over priced lobster, but not enough of them to satisfy my interest so on we go (incidentally about seafood in Patong, its still tough to drag your little Tilak into a seafood restaurant, especially in this area as they still believe the souls of the unfortunate Tsunami victims are inside of the fish and hence bad Karma will be ingested by all who feed on them, or so I have been told, but if you really want to pig out on crab, shrimps, snappers, shells and pretty much everything else then walk back up Bangla, turn left at the Junction in front of Thai Pan, walk a few hundred yards and grab a seat at the tented eating area there and stuff your selves stupid for less than half the price of the beach front restaurants) anyway back onto beach road we go and past yet more groups of Japanese / Korean / HK / Malays minus their shopping bags and now the women decked out rather tastily as if they’re off for a night on the town, so could this conclude our search? …….So, purposely placing ourselves into a conversation situation with 5 not bad looking Japanese Girls, in fact one of them, Yuki was pretty decent to be true, but the others were nothing like the average Thai BG that we had left behind in the Bangla Bars, but hey we had research to do here so we develop a bit of a banter with them, chat over a quick glass of beer at the outside bar near Starbucks and Shenanigans find out that they are off back to their hotel for their “usual night of fun”, so on their invitation we tag along with them as far as their 3500 Baht a night hotel (heavily subsidized by a package tour no doubt?) and in we roll, two obvious Bangla Regulars turning up in a Hotel that the average Farang ST ‘s weekly room rate would stretch for just the one night at…….very plush it was to!
Into the half in, half out Garden/Lobby area we went and found a table had been reserved by the girls just away from the main drag of the stage area just close enough to watch the night’s entertainment but not have it take over your evening, the waiter pulled up two more chairs for me and my buddy and the girls ordered a round of drinks, cocktails for them and beers for us, a second waiter then brought us all fresh smelling Pai Yen to mop us down. The drinks arrived with a complimentary round of Iced Vodka Shots and plates of nibbles, all in all very civilized and efficient and extremely courteous. The stage show was the usual thing of a traditionally attired Thai Lady plucking a kind of Harp instrument then a 3 piece jazz/blues band knocking out the usual tunes and doing requests in return for tips, there was an enactment of traditional Thai folk stories culminating in a pretty decent sword fight to rescue the captive princess (or something like that??) and then the jazz band returned and the steady procession of waiters began running to the stage with 100 baht tips for tunes. Our Japanese hosts were not letting us buy a single round of drinks and carried on ordering us beers and cocktails through the night, plates of very nice bar food were ordered and all of us tucked in. Looking around the place there were families and groups of all nationalities all enjoying the very pleasant un hurried un harassed atmosphere in the safety of their hotel, the place was packed and judging by our bill the Hotel was raking in the Baht big time!!
So let’s look at what we have here, a pricey hotel, 200 baht cocktails, 150 baht beers, snacks at average of 150 baht a plate but with all of this comes pleasant atmosphere, efficient and very pleasant service, nice entertainment, clean toilets with paper and hand towels and soap and a door that locks, Ice cold beers, well mixed highballs and cocktails, and an overall safe, unimposing, unthreatening, unhurried relaxing experience that people look for on holiday here, it’s the picture of Thailand that the brochures sell, this friendly, smiling, friendly, efficient, friendly, relaxing experience that you want for your two weeks of fun in the sun with your family or friends.
So why do the bar owners not switch on to this obvious change in customer profile and start attracting these punters instead of churning out the same boring, untidy, badly managed, dingy crap houses they call bars?, are they ever going to move on and wake up to the real world or just sit back and let it all just pass them by? Not like a Thai to miss out on a business opportunity so what are they waiting for?
As in all good investigative (tabloid) journalism we declined the ladies offer to visit their room and partake in naughty night time frolic’s and made our excuses and left……….D I F.
BTW the breakfast room service in the hotel was exceptional!!
Next night it was back to Same Same Bangla……Oh how I love it there!
If only I had time.