Readers' Submissions

Angeles City Revisited

  • Written by Anonymous
  • May 9th, 2014
  • 4 min read




I have lived in Thailand for over 10 years and life is good. I am 42 years old. My business does well and I have a work permit making it all legal and above board.

The past 8 months have been hectic with 14-hour days the norm. I shouldn’t bitch because the business does more than pay the bills.

Anyway, I mentioned to the Mrs. that I was tired and in need of a break and she suggested I take a vacation with a friend of mine. Imagine a western bird suggesting you go on a sojourn with a single mate? It never happened to me ever!

Next dilemma was where to go. I hardly drink in Thailand but I love playing pool and socializing when I am not working so we decided to go to Angeles City. I had not been there for 5 years. In fact up until 5 years ago I was a regular visitor there and even had a few PI girlfriends.

We booked a flight over Songkran to Manila. All the flights to Clark Airport which is in Angeles were full, so we were forced to fly to Manila and take a two hour taxi ride to Angeles City. The flight cost 12,000 baht each return and the taxi 2500 pesos each way. We chose a nice new Korean-owned hotel near to the strip called Clark Imperial Hotel. Good quality modern rooms with breakfast for 1700 peso, but no swimming pool.

So we arrived to the hotel at 8 PM, showered and immediately went to the Bunny Burger for some food. I recommend this place wholeheartedly. It is owned by an Aussie. Portions are generous and the food tasty. We would eat here every day for the next 7 days.

After food we hit the bars. All the usual bars were still there since 5 years ago, but some had been re-named and some new bars have been built. My favourite from before was the Dollhouse but this time around I found it lacking atmosphere.

Angelwitch bar never changes and is a personal favourite. The manager always buys a few drinks for everybody which is rare in Thailand. Also in my opinion it has the best pool table in Angeles City. Other bars worth a mention are Texas, Centaur and Genesis. Ponytails is a great daytime bar. The average age of most foreigners in Angeles seems to be around 60 up.

One major change is that there are no barfines anymore. The police have been busy raiding bars and even just last month arrested all the staff, bargirls and customers from one bar. This is frightening when you are only going out for a drink. The barfine issue seems easy to navigate. Once the manager knows you, you can negotiate with the girl directly. 1700 peso seems the long-time rate that most ask for, but some tried 3000 pesos. The quality of bargirl is now much better than 5 years ago. Now only around 80% are short fat wobbly weebles compared to 95% 5 years ago.

Tattoos are a personal hate of mine. I prefer girls unmarked. Interestingly now at least 10% of bargirls in Angeles are inked up. This compares to around 1% 5 years ago. Things are changing fast.

Beer prices in Angeles whilst cheaper than Thailand are definitely a lot more expensive than before. Top bars were around 120 to 140 pesos for a San Miguel beer, whereas before they were 85 pesos maximum. I would also mention the double lady drink. Be careful that if you offer to buy a lady drink she only has lollly water. If she asks for a san Miguel or special drink it can cost as much as 300 pesos. This is a blatant rip-off.

My friend who came did his homework on some dating websites and met quite a few nice girls over the week. He slept with them all and gave them 1000 pesos for their trouble. He is late 60’s and all the girls were twenty something. They all left incredibly happy and wanted to see him again. One was an amazing 19-year old looker, or should that be hook..r?

Security is always a problem in Angeles and the hotel employs a gun-toting guard who walks you down the street at night. He is very proud of his pump action shotgun! This tells me it is not safe in Angeles. I never leave the main streets and I am always careful to keep my wits about me.

Poverty in the Philippines is rife. It is not possible to walk the main street without some stinking homeless person touching you and begging. This I really dislike about Angeles.

The daytime has little to do in Angeles. Most days I walked the 500 metres to SM Mall. The eye candy in the mall is amazing! Be careful on the wasteland as there are some ragamuffin kids here who are begging, but I witnessed them pick pocketing also.

Overall I like Angeles City for a quick break. The girls are a pleasure to talk to and their English is near perfect. Most places I have been for a holiday I’m sad to leave but arriving back at Swampy after 7 days was a relief. I will return but I suggest 4 nights is enough.

I am now back on an idyllic island in Thailand. Until next time I get restless!