Thailand 2006 Part 1
Arrived at Bangkok Airport via Singapore on a $22 flight with Jet Star Asia and the first time ever get off in the terminal instead of walking to the buses and cruised through customs, fought past touts to a 450 baht taxi to Silom Road area to bunk up in a budget motel with very clean rooms at 700 baht a night.
It was Saturday night and both Irish pubs were chockers with footy heads so I settled into local restaurant for a quick feed and bed.
Wi-fi access was plentiful but the widow seat at the Irish Exchange offered the best view and a power point for endless battery life. The street was a sea of yellow at lunchtime in respect for the King. We love our King, long live the King! everywhere and he must me the most respected monarch in the world.
Thought I would give the sky train ago and as usual got my zones wrong again but very quick and efficient and people even cue waiting for the train and get on and off in a orderly fashion not like the shit fight in Sydney at peak hour. Got off at Nana and used wi-fi at both Siam Smile and Absolute 7 in Soi 7/1 which was very distracting and even dropped in at the Eden Club to see a very professional operation at work and very satisfied customers. If you’re not happy here, money back guarantee.
Having never seen Nana Plaza before I went for a look before it got busy and boy is this a one stop shop. The girls and boys were clogging the corridors with their hairdressers and make up people and mobile food vendors every where providing them with their nights energy intake.
On they way out stopped at the corner bar at the entrance to meet a first timer Aussie with his catch of the day and I was the first Aussie he had met and he definitely has Thai fever as he wants to stay longer and spend six months working and six month in his heaven. Meeting this genuine guy who is just out to have fun without offending the locals and treats the girls properly was uplifting as from my experience there are many poorly behaved westerners behaving like complete and utter fuckwits and some of the things you hear them skite about would have them charged back home. What sort of person gets a thrill out of humiliating, degrading and assaulting these girls confounds me, obviously they cannot communicate or socialize with woman in their home country. No wonder these hardened bar girls can seem a bit ruthless. The asking price at Nana seemed to start at 3,000 but was told it could be negotiated down to 2,000 in some cases plus bar fine. After dinner went to Patpong for shopping and a look and stuck my head into a few gogos and found it disappointing and depressing with unenthused girls who were bored shitless and not one stood out.
The next day jumped on a Nok Air flight $58 total to Chiang Mai and went for a walk. There are a few little groovy bars along either side of the mote near Thapae Gate and most have an English theme but have a quaintness about them and are genuinely friendly.
Now I have spent some time in Chiang Mai and have never been to a gogo here (I think there’s only three) so after reading about the Spotlight Bar I dropped in early at about nine and after all the bad reports about the quality of woman I nearly fell over, most of the thirty so girls were stunners and even one of the three mamasans was ok. Service was excellent, Heineken was 85 baht and ladies drinks were soft drink at 85 baht but some girls were a bit full on and the wife bit didn’t work, all she said was give me phone I ring wife all ok and see my girlfriend up there she come to and we look after you good time pay baht lets go. The asking price was 1,000 each plus 500 bar fine. I explained to her I was just there for a beer and after buying a couple drinks and rejecting several advances mamasan was giving me the what the fuck look so I politely retreated from this enchanting venue.
Just down the road is Th Loi Kroh (little Patpong) which has several little beer bars with the same old welcome calls being screeched at you. Off this road is the C.M Entertainment complex with a neon sign saying free show which is muay Thai boxing surrounded by bars and heavily staffed by lady boys with not much to do. I have noticed this time around a lot more tourists up to three times as many and not sure why. Even at the famous Bubble nightclub, Porn Ping Tower there was about 80% westerners where as last year the complete reverse. After that I was stuffed as I cannot very well pop into every bar without at least having one drink. Stopped at hotdog and hamburger stand just down from Spicy which is open to 3am for a bite to eat with some friendly tourists from KL.
While I was at Bubble I noticed this gorgeous six foot Thai girl and was careful to avoid eye contact with her/he as they move in for the kill very quickly if you look interested and by the way if she wasn’t six foot with a deep voice it would be difficult for most guys to tell for he was the most attractive Thai girl in the place (first rule if they are the best looking girl in the joint most likely boy) but this gal was obviously a lady boy, voice and all. So in walses this European guy about 22, says hi and sits down by himself. Now there is probably thirty western woman and ten Thai girls in the place and he makes eye contact straight away with the tall one and she immediately pounces on him practically straddling him on the chair and after a few minutes convinces him to buy her a drink. During this time she gives me a harsh look that means “you tell him and your pig food”. So she slinks off to bar to get the drinks and he turns to me and says “ gees, she’s a bit of all right what do you think?”. Well what could I say other than being honest and said she is attractive and tall and left it at that. By this time she is not happy with me talking to her victim and sicks her three companions onto me who were girls that regularly work the club and they whisked me away to the furthest table where we did our introductions and I politely left to go home to my wife.
Next day went for a ride into the hills and ventured off track to have a look at farm life in its natural state and then beat the rain home to have dinner before popping out for a drink.
I started of at a bar near the hotel that ban lady boys and ended drinking with three police officers for about two hours, we were all hiding from the rain and for them work. They earn 450 baht per day and worked eight hour shifts apparently seven days a week and have to buy their own gun and uniform. One carried a ten shot semi auto sig which I had a look at and the other a 357 S&W revolver, both have fired their guns on duty, fatally. When I explained what our members get they nearly fell over. Containing corruption in any country is difficult when law enforcement officers are paid pittance. Now having just recently got in trouble in Bangkok photographing police at work I resisted this time and I learnt my lesson after photographing the military in Burma to have a second memory card at ready and change it quickly if the junta approach. Practice in the dark before hand so you can do it surreptitiously and do the same for any protection you may be carrying. All three officers also explained they didn’t like skinny woman and were sitting there to watch the plump westerners stroll buy.
These are different officers on duty at Thapae Gate and start of Sunday market.
Now you see a lot of interesting goings on sitting around cafes with your laptop on the internet and I could never write about it all but just now was a classic. Three elderly English chaps were on the internet trying to get visas for their new toys they just picked up in a bar the evening before and they were in a bit of a fluster saying we just fly you to Bangkok now and go to the embassy and get visa, easy and the girls were saying cha cha (slowly slowly). Good luck! Now as they were leaving I got caught looking at one of the girls and she discreetly smiled and politely I returned the same and off they headed down the street and low and behold she came rushing back, got their room key from reception saying she forgotten something and on her way back past place a card on my table with her name and phone number on it and to make matters worse it was on the back of some guys business card that she had tried to remove the numbers. As she left the male staff behind the counter gave me the universal give it to her sign. What they see going on here must keep them entertained continuously.
I went for a look at the Thai boxing near Thapae gate which was 400 baht entry fee and you were escorted to your seat by welcome girls for their respective bars. There were about ten bouts starting with ten year old kids up to adults. The French guy who was supposed to box got too pissed and pulled out but it is an interesting watch for first timers. Even though the kids do hurt each other when the fight is over the winner makes sure his opponent is ok.
After enough boxing rode over the bridge to The Riverside and Good View restaurants which would have the best atmosphere in town. The Riverside has a band either end of the restaurant and has good all round entertainment and a dinner cruise starting at 7.30pm and is heavily patronized by westerners where as the Good View is popular with the locals and has a band playing near the bar with music to suit and also has free wi-fi access. Last year the floods engulfed these restaurants and flooded the whole night market area and more. Even the US Embassy was not immune from mother nature.
Ok I have been in Chiang Mai three nights without bringing a girl home and here’s a list of people that have asked me if I am gay. Two receptionists, two restaurant staff, doorman, three tuktuk drivers, travel centre staff, Thai boxing welcome staff, police and the local mafia I can get you anything man. Obviously a guy staying by himself is supposed to be there for one reason. Any way I enjoy my time to myself before my travelling companions join me and then there will be no rest, all gogo go and at least I have done my reconnaissance to make sure things are more efficient for them. Another late night venue with great live entertainment is Mandalay Nightclub near the mote but doesn’t encourages westerners as there is a 500 baht door charge if you are farang and Heineken is 600 baht each small bottle. The Thai’s drink whisky that is continually topped up with ice and water by attentive staff and they even BYO.
Its the next evening now after raining all day and by 2.30am we make it to Spicy which kicks on from 2 am to 5am and was packed with both farang and all the bar girls and freelancers that haven’t found a client yet. Within five minutes there was a fight between a neo Nazi euro trash guy and a Thai girl. She accidentally bumped him, he pushed her, she pushed back and he punched her in the head then said to his mates lets fix the bitch as she took refuge behind us until security came along and guess who they threw out, the girl. Its heaps of shit like this that give us all a bad name and deserve justice Pattaya style.
Thapae Gate. Original 800 year’s old but restored recently and Montri Hotel rear.
I went down to the night market to do some shopping and was very busy and probably the biggest variety of goods at any market I have been to and is ever expanding up the side roads and the next afternoon the Sunday market was starting to warm up at Thapae Gate.
We decided to go up to Chiang Rai on a short bike trip which was informative. We stopped at a little bar near the central market and entertainment area and had a drink and a chat with a bar girl after indicating where not going to bar fine anyone. This bar has twelve staff that all life upstairs in one room and pay 1400 baht a month rent plus 100 baht for water. Bar fine 400 and 1,000 for her. This girl said she gets bar fined most nights plus 20 baht for ladies drinks which cost 85 baht and has an Austrian age 34 who sends her 6,000 baht a month, rings her every day and thinks she is not working and a Kiwi age 58 sending 15,000 per month but fully understands what she does and all he expects is for her to be all his when he’s here. The rent on the building is 250,000 baht per year and there is a fee paid to the police. When I asked her how she learnt English so well she informed me she learnt through Empower Foundation which is an organization that helps bar girls with health and education issues but its primary function is to limit abuse and cruelty to sex workers and curtail the business of human trafficking of sex slaves. She said her mother who looks after her baby told her to go work at the bar and send money home until you find a farang that will either marry her or get visa and the money also pays for her sister’s education.
We ended up at a nightclub down stairs from the Saenphu Hotel which also has local live music upstairs. Having arrived a bit early there were only about twenty people their, all Thai. We sat down at the bar and two Thai guys sat down either side of us and within a minute I realized they were gay and being a bit homophobic I told my mate who said I was paranoid and I departed to the sanctuary of three girls nearby but by the time I had been invited to join their table and accepted I realized what was going on and I didn’t listen to my own advise, if their the most beautiful girls in the place, their boys. Within a few minutes my mate got up rather quickly and came over saying one of the guys just rubbed him up. Under clear rules we started chatting with these lady boys who were pretty and petite with large 45,000 baht enhancements and 80,000 baht cut and tuck who were paying for our drinks and then drove us to a Thai only venue in a brand new European car that they could hardly drive so I took over and we cruised down they highway at 150km p/h to the new venue. We walked in and the two hundred or so Thai patrons went quiet and we were then seated. Every Thai within speaking distance was trying to talk to us and some warning us but ended up a good evening with food and drinks and even though we offered didn’t have to pay a cent. Even at this stage my mate didn’t believe they were lady boys but the scars were under the armpits. They dropped us home and that was that but they did want to see us again which would have just been a bit much for me.
I ducked up to Mai Sai and crossed into Burma to do some shopping and catch up with some representatives from the KNU and SSA and was careful with my camera this time and wary of my contacts as anyone could be a junta informant even Thais. Currently the Tai tribe Shan State Army Loi Kawwan base is under attack from elements of the Burmese army commanded by Lt. Col. Gawnzuen and have been many deaths. The junta wants to eliminate all elements of the SSA, KNU and what’s left of the KNLA along with continued attacks on ethic minority villages near the Thai border, killing, rape and burning schools, hospitals and killing livestock. The legitimate elected government of Burma and their leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been in exile or under house arrest now for about fifteen years. Also the junta is currently relocating its administration under the control of Senior General Than Shwe to the newly declared central capitol of Pyinmana from Rangoon/Yangon.
On the way back we took a detour to the Golden Triangle, Pai and My Hong Son to see if they have recovered fully from last year floods that washed our cabins away and everything was as usual in Pai, heaps of ganja and a very laid back hippy lifestyle but relaxing with hot mineral spas and groovy bars like Bebop and Gecko.
My Hong Son was in the middle of holiday celebrations and we were pulled over to watch the procession go past for an hour or so, wet but colourful.