More In Defence Of Bangkok
The recent submissions have all got a bit lively so I thought I would put pen to paper again and contribute to the debate. The main topic still seems to be the debate about the decline of Bangkok which still rages and makes for interesting reading. It also highlights the different opinions between the resident expat and the short-term visitor. Both my last submission "In Defence of Bangkok (and the Biergarten too)" and "Unfinished Business" by Hunch gave the positive viewpoint from the short-term visitor's perspective while others from the expats paint a different picture. Having worked both as an expat and with expats I can sort of understand where they are coming from, but sometimes after a while as an expat it pays to actually consider what you have and refresh your perspective. I remember once having a heated debate with one of our expats from India. As well as bitching about general things he was bemoaning the fact that he had had to let one of his maids go as the monthly salary expected by the maids had risen from £70 to £100. So now he and his wife, 2 people in a huge, 4-bedroom luxury apartment had to get through the month with the 24/7 help of a driver, a cook and only two maids. Real hardship then. I know it's tougher when you are a retiree to the LOS and maybe on a fixed income but I do tend to see a pattern about emphasising the negative aspects rather than the positive. Ten years ago who would have thought that one of the chief bitches now would be about lack / reliability of local superfast internet access? Could we live without it? Well, we did then. It's still a great place.
The other main topic for the submission seems to be around advice for the usual "I have fallen in love with a bar girl" scenario of which "Thai Girlfriend Nightmare Situation" is typical. Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry. For goodness sake, do some people leave their brains at Immigration control. Now I am sure that cupid's arrow can strike at any time and between people in any occupation and there is some relationships that will work but anyone with an ounce of common sense should be able to see that things aren't right. Is she still working as a bar girl – probably, is she getting money from other farangs – probably, is the baby yours – probably not (loved the submission about the vasectomy, maybe an extreme solution but very effective). I suppose that as long as guys go there this sort of thing will happen and will keep the agony aunts in business for a long time. I, like the great majority of visitors, go there to have a great time, treat the ladies with respect and then leave. You can still get quite fond of some of the ladies. One I hired a couple of times was great fun to be with but always remember that if not you, they will be with another.
However one of the other debates that has got my interest is that now Bangkok is getting "expensive". A lot of people are saying that, certainly in the UK, that you would be better staying here and using the many Thai women advertising here to indulge in your Oriental fever. That started me thinking just what would the relative costs of it all be. Would the benefits and cost of a staycation justify not getting on that plane and visiting the LOS. So it was time to get out the calculator and work on an analysis to see which is best.
For example, let's take the basic cost of a 10-day holiday in Bangkok. I am using figures from my own knowledge and I am sure that others will have different ones in mind, but it's for illustrative purposes only as they say in the small print:
|Return Flights UK – Thailand (from the Emirates website)||£600|
Hotel (using the daily rate of a small suite B&B in Grande President
I paid on my last visit)
|Daily expenses (food / beer etc say £50, 2,500 baht a day)||£500|
Cost of the girls (going on the assumption of two short times
a day @1000 baht and 5 [email protected] which is 35000 baht
|Total in GBP||£2130|
So a not inconsiderable sum of money.
Now let's compare a staycation. Using some of the websites I am saying that the average cost of an hour with a Thai girl in the UK is about £100. So the figures for an equivalent 10 days would be :
Twice a day visit to a girl £2000
Daily Allowance, now I know that your are staying in your house but as you are on "holiday" and to compare with Bangkok say you are going to spend extra on beer/food etc @£50 a day £500
So that's a victory for Bangkok then. I know it's basic but when you introduce what I have called the PCR (Pop Cost Ratio) then the figures are even more stark. In Bangkok let's say that you have 5 days at 2 pops and 5 days at 3, 25 in total. In UK it's 10 days at 2 so the overall cost per pop in Bangkok is £85 while in the UK its £125 so the PCR is 1.47/1 in favour of Bangkok. At the basic level (i.e. just the cost of the girls) it's a startling 3.57/1. I know which I would prefer. In bleak terms, overall you get 50% more bangs for your bucks in Bangkok even including the cost of the holiday and at a basic level its 350%. Now I know you can add this and that. I deliberately excluded the cost of an overnight in the UK as at £300 would distort the figures and did not include the higher cost of bargirls in the Thailand figures just to have a direct comparison. Even so, it's pretty convincing that Thailand value-wise still has a lot to offer.
What these bare figures don't compare is the experience. In the UK you would have to go to the bother of checking the ads, making the arrangements over the phone, going to some dodgy flats where the girl may, or more likely not, bear any resemblance to the actual picture used. However, you may get lucky and she is a stunner and you have a good time. Compare that to the area around Nana and Soi Cowboy which is just a shop window for gorgeous Thai woman and, agreed, some not so gorgeous. However, you do have the advantage that at least you can see before you buy. Here is probably a not untypical example from my own experience. One of my days there I decided that some pool time was needed to recover from a heavy night. After a nice relaxing morning by the pool I decided in early afternoon to head down Sukhumvit Road for something to eat. With no other thoughts in my head I passed an absolutely stunning Thai woman, maybe about 30 but just perfect. Giving her a nice smile, she smiled back. After about 10 yards I thought – hang on a minute I am in Bangkok, near Nana so maybe! I did a quick about take, caught up with her and my offer of a drink was accepted. An hour and a half later I was back in my room 1200 baht (£24) worse off including the two drinks but a very happy man after a great short time with a wonderful girl. Try that in a UK city and probably the initial smile would have been greeted with "what you looking at, you perv" grimace!
So that's my take. Thailand has so much to offer, don't let the doomsayers put you off. It would be interesting to hear from others more experienced than myself how the PCR for Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines compares.