Baffled And Bamboozled By Thailand And Notably Pattaya
Why hello readers in the Far East or merely in the cold west or otherwise. I have been a reader of this site for a few weeks now. I found while hunting for information and forums on Thailand and what seems to be known as the 'naughty nightlife'. I am a 22 year old farang from UK and went to Thailand during the summer for 3 months. During that time I did some volunteer work teaching English near to Ubon Rachatani and discovered that Thailand is an absolutely beautiful country although in my opinion the place is pretty screwed up at the moment.
I’m not entirely sure my intention for this submission, probably just to try and express my mixed feelings about Thailand and how it really has amazed me in all sorts of ways. I think though that I will try to stick to the 'naughty nightlife' as my main subject.
Now don't get me wrong, I ain't no saint and certainly didn't behave like one through out my stay in Thailand. During my first week in Thailand my curiosity got the better of me and I wandered to Patpong on a bright sunny afternoon. My intentions of course merely to investigate, look but not touch if you get me.
Of course when I got there the place was as dead as a doornail with only a couple of extremely dodgey looking Thai geezers with pamphlets for massage parlours whispering filthy nothings into my ear as I walked up and down the two streets. 'You wan gud sex'. Not very inviting when you say it mate, get out of my sight. Now this was a merely an introduction for me, I found it slighty uncomfortable but hadn't experienced the full whack of Patpong insanity, in fact nowhere near to it. That day I ended up going to a massage parlour (curiosity getting the better of me lets say) down the road from Patpong, nothing to do with the touts, just a Thai woman popping her head out from behind a tinted glass door and beckoning me over, a real shithole I would never have gone to had I known better. Of course that was funny in itself seeing as I didn't have a clue if it really was just a massage parlour or whore house. Clear as Ko Tao seawater looking back but still at the time I was fairly innocent to the ways of Thailand’s sex dens. Really I should have copped when the lady massaged my groin (full groin) for about 20 minutes but still I tentatively had to ask with fear in my voice was a bit of shagging on the menu.
Now apart from this incident I didn't have anything to do with the 'naughty nightlife' and spent a good month or so teaching and learning a lot about how the Isaan region operates. It was a great place to be as there were barely any farang, not a commercial spot in the slightest. At least it felt like an authentic experience.
Anyway, over this period I reflected on my visit to the parlour and felt a little bad about it. I had read a book regarding the structure of the sex industry in Asia and it was quite shocking, some of it. Although extremely biased, there were some cold hard facts about these girls’ backgrounds and how really they don't have a choice. I agree it can be argued they do, but if you are a village girl whose virginity has been sold at the age of perhaps 13, maybe younger, and then passed on into the mainstream sex industry, what else do they know. It’s not merely a decision of, oh ok, I'm not gonna do this anymore. It reminded me of the town where I’m from and friends of mine who don't want to leave because they've been there all there lives, and anything outside is too difficult for them to handle. It is the same mentality with a prostitute, except much harder I imagine. The world of prostitution is all they know. At first they are forced into it without choice and then when they do have the chance to decide for themselves, they force themselves into it. Of course I am speaking generally, I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule as always.
Now, I may have sounded like a little bit preachy in the last paragraph, please bear with me. It was my small manhood that decided to contradict my new found moral standings. I was in Ubon and drunk, and the mindless caveman inside me took over. I’m sure you know what I mean. I was horny and I was going to find a whore. Now there’s no need to go into this, it freaked me out that I chose a girl form behind a tinted window, meaning I could see her se couldn’t see me. I think it was a mainly Thai frequented joint, really was nothing like any gogo bar which I found out later.
The next day I felt bad once more, the more I thought about it I just decided to forget about it and try and be stronger willed next time. That afternoon, I felt my jolly roger take over again. I asked the porter in my hotel could he organise me a lady friend. And of course this was no problem. Hmmm, I thought afterwards, so much for my will power. You see it must be explained that in my head I do not agree with prostitution, but once I get horny, I get tunnel vision. By now I was getting a little bit worried about myself.
What confused me about reading a lot of the submissions are that there doesn't seem to be anybody questioning if what is going on in Thailand is right or wrong, the worry for people seems to be whether they will get ripped off or not. To me that is very strange. In my mind there is no doubt that prostitution is mostly a bad thing. And I don't say that on a high horse, really.
I’m sure your thinking at this point what are you talking about you haven't even sampled Patpong yet, how do you know what it's really like. Fair enough, but let me tell you about my first Patpong experience. I was in Bangkok on route to Ko Chang for a week with two of my work mates, one a girl and one a guy, both around my age.
We had a night to kill in Bangkok and I said that we should check out Patpong, I was bored of Ko Sarn Road and had heard that Patpong was something of an experience, having timed it arse ways the last time, I was pretty excited I must say about seeing it in full swing. I wasn't disappointed, what a circus it is down there. My mind was blown right off wandering through that place. The overpriced stalls, the glimpses of flesh through the doors, dodgy characters wandering the streets, be it farang or Thai or whatever other freaks decide to arrive for the night. Young old, ugly, fat, drunk, sexy, tall, thin, bright lights, flashing lights, women, men etc. It was unreal.
Everywhere I looked my eyes would widen a little bit more. The poor girl who tagged along with me and the other guy, who it must be said was reluctant, looked like she was about to collapse, as we wandered around we eventually decided we would check out one of the ping pong shows. So up to King's Castle we all went, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Going up those stairs I felt I was stepping into the very belly of commercial sex. I was going to be digested and shat out in a completely different state then when I went in. The first thing I see as I turn into the club is a woman lying flat on her back on the stage, legs spread out with a fag hanging out of her you know what. I don't know about you but it was quite foul looking. And as the time passed it seemed more and more bizarre and perverted. Eventually all I could do was laugh.
That night I didn't get any sexual action at all, I didn't want it to be honest, I was just too shocked by the whole thing, and I was more bewildered then horny. Of course the girls tried to mob me and fill me with shit, but it just wasn't happening. Of course my poor farang lady friend had to leave with the shock. The other friend however had the night of his life with the naked woman jumping all over him, kid in a candy store comes to mind. Probably more innocent this chap than anyone I’ve ever met, it was a little disturbing to watch him get a hand job and have him look straight at me like he honestly didn't have a clue what was happening to him. Ok, I hope that I am not explaining to much about the actual event it's just I wanted to express my absolute amazement at Patpong at first impressions. To be honest, by the end of the night I was a little bored in King's Cattle and left with a feeling that the whole place was a facade for a quite horrible and seedy business.
Off I went to Ko Chang, and had a brilliant time without really thinking about the 'naughty nightlife', meeting people drinking, partying, a healthy wholesome time, shall we put it. One night while drunk I picked up a bargirl from a group of bars on the main road. Now I think this is a crucial point. The bargirl experience seems much more like a real pick-up. The girls chat with you, flirt, play pool, whatever. And to me this is why the rights and wrongs aren't even questioned. Maybe men in Thailand on the bargirl trail are deluding themselves that they are having any sort of real relationships with these girls I don't know, but once you pay for sex, it is prostitution, full stop. Some of the submissions here seem pathetic to me that a man goes to these places a pretends that he is actually somehow making these girls attracted to him for anything other then his cash.
I will fast forward now. I returned to Isaan, finished my teaching, went to Cambodia, the usual, anchor, breathtaking Phnom Penn, a bit of a shithole to be honest, Sihanookville, very relaxing place to be. Had a fantastic time, met some great folk, drank a lot etc. I generally learnt a lot about myself and my approach to life, just what I needed. Back into Thailand, at this stage with a chap in tow, very interesting guy.
At this point was where the 'naughty nightlife' comes back into play. I honestly hadn't even wanted or barely thought about anything of that nature for about a month. I was studying the map and planning my route from Trat, to Ko Phangan for the full moon party. I hadn't heard much about Pattaya to be honest and it was never really my plan to go there. But I think it is fair to say that at that moment I got a bit of tunnel vision. I looked up my guidebook and was intrigued by what I read. Apart from the obvious, Pattaya sounded kind of cool, plenty of activities and things to do. I myself like a wee bit of golf, so I said I’ll check it out. So I persuaded my Israeli friend that Pattaya would be worth a look.
What the guide book mentioned is that, yes, there are a lot of prostitutes in Pattaya on the beach strip. What it failed to mention is that every bar in the place is filled with them. I’m not one to judge. It's up to these guys to decide their own morals.
So off I go to Pattaya, play golf in the day, and go for booze in the night. My Pattaya experience begins. We wander around, generally it's quite like Patpong except that there is no market, no mucking about, straight to the point. We go into a joint of walking street that has a huge head of a shark as the entrance. My educated guess would be that this place is called shark, but I’m not sure. Its very much like Patpong except its actually cleaner, and the girls are noticeably better looking. At this point though, the mamasan sat down two girls beside us. The own beside me looked young, but you never know with Thais, said she was 21. I dunno I wasn't particularly interested anyway. But the girl who sat beside my Israeli friend looked shockingly young. I mean this female had barely developed. She was just plain unattractive to me. It disturbed me a lot that she was in this place. I was even more perturbed when she left my friend after getting no attention and was motioned over by an old guy who looked like he could be on his deathbed. Down she sat and this guy proceeded to basically examine her. As this was going on some absolutely langered Arabian guy obviously was feeling like he had sacrificed himself and was in heaven with 50 virgins. The guy honestly made it look like being in this place was some sort of profound religious spiritual experience. He was looking towards the sky with his hands joined, kneeling to the woman, babbling away in his own language , he even started crying at one point.
So we finished our drinks and got out of there pronto. We wandered around shootin shit for awhile and eventually plopped are asses down at a group of beer bars and got extremely drunk. Of course with the drunkenness comes the tunnel vision which I soon got, we went back to the hotel, my friend had no interest and wanted his bed so I was left to my own devices for the remainder of the night. It was about 2 in the morning though so not much was on the cards. I sat at a bar owned by this Geordie guy and there were a good few ex-pats there, I had a drink and asked him were I could pick up some chicks. He told me to go down to soi 7 and 8 I think, I can't remember. Anyway down I went and the place was petty dead to be honest. It was finishing up. They gave me a drink though and I started talking to 2 girls who seemed about my age. At this stage I can safely say I was rotten drunk and asked the girls do they both wanna come with me, there was no bar fine for some reason they said, they were off duty or something. But what happened was very different then my plan. After talking to them for a while I actually was getting on with them and enjoying their company, as false as it might have been. I decided that I didn't want to fxxx them and feel bad about it the next day. For some reason, please don't think I am a druggie I’m really not, I asked did they want to take some ecstasy with me. This is not something I am a regular taker of at all and I think it was just cause I was drunk. (please don't let these taint what you think of me) they seemed pleasantly surprised and agreed it could be fun. Really, once we made this decision, and the girls knew I didn't want sex, we had a great laugh. I hopped on the back of their motorbike, three of us on it.
And went down to walking street, they met some older looking chick and I went off and played pool with one of them while the other located the goods. Looking back my actions were really careless and I could have being completely screwed over but I was very drunk. I did at the time get a bit sketchy and made sure I hid my credit card, and when she came with the drugs I took my share and didn't keep anything on me or anything stupid like that. Anyway, I’m sure most of you think I’m a gobshite for taking drugs anyway and fair enough. My point about it is though is that besides from the drugs, I had a really good time with the girls. And it was a relationship, short as it was that wasn't based on sex. We ended up going to my hotel room for the rest of the night just talking and having a laugh, the next morning I left and said goodbye to them. I found it a bit sad really that they were gonna go on shagging for a living while I was off to the full moon party. I really think that it is a shitty lifestyle for them.
The whole sex industry in Thailand really baffles me. On one hand I think it's wrong and it's making shit of many girls' lives who could be a lot more but on the other I would be lying if I said I didn't find it alluring and attractive. It turns me on, what can I say. I don't know about anyone else who has experienced the ladies of the night in Thailand but I’m split on the whole thing. I think it's the split between some sort of caveman mentality and one were we actually have the ability to think and rationalize our actions. I hope that someday the rational, evolved part of my brain takes full control and my idea that using prostitution is a weakness, it is easy, and altogether unhealthy. This of course is for myself. I am returning to Thailand in a few months and I can't wait, there is so much that is great about the place without the sex scene, I will be interested to see if I dabble in it again though. I know I have left quite a bit out of this looking back on it but I just hope it gives you an idea of my Thailand experience in relation to the 'naughty nightlife' as you jovially call it. Apart from that, keep up the website Stickman, I think its great.
Your final paragraph touches on the ultimate dichotomy that so many farangs have with Thailand.