I Won’t Be Back
This is my 15th visit to Thailand and my last and my first back in the past 5 years and things have changed. I am staying as usual in Soi 4 but decided not to drink for a month after hitting it hard in Auckland, not that I drink that much anymore but just wanted a break. This is the first time I have stayed around Nana and not drank and I must say what a shithole! I have spent quite a lot of money in the Golden Bar and the other bars around the mouth of the plaza and once you aren't buying a drink you're not welcome. They say you can't sit there unless you buy a drink, never mind all the other times you have spent money there. I now live in The Philippines and this has never happened to me there.
The Thais in the bars are so greedy and all that matters here is the mighty baht and how much they can get out of you…LOS what a load of shit. As for the girls, I could not believe the standard of the girls the westerners were dragging around and what was on offer! They looked like they were spat out of a baboon's asshole and that is being kind! If I wanted a mutt I would buy a dog. Wow, you look at things differently when you're not drinking, that's for sure!
I also went to Pattaya for a few days that's also just a shithole full of hookers and drunks nursing their beers all day and buying bargirls all sorts of shit thinking they are the man when in fact they are just big, dumb, stupid water buffalo. Man, am I happy I got wise and am no longer interested in that scene! Maybe that's why I feel no appeal for the country anymore. I have just out-grown it and have different priorities that I look for piss and whores, isn't it?
I went down to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and hired a bike. I went to look at a waterfall and they wanted money to park my bike, money to go to the toilet and money to look at a shitty little waterfall! I just rode off laughing all the way down the road! I was on Koh Tao 4 days after the murder of the 2 backpackers and in 5 days I never saw one policeman yet I get back to Koh Samui on the Saturday, hire a bike and must have passed 50 police doing a traffic blitz on the roads. That's the mentality. Never mind finding the killers, we will give out tickets instead. Do they think of the drop in tourism if the case is not solved? It was my first time back in Koh Samui since 1991 and wow, has that place changed! You may as well be on the Gold Coast in Aussie. It really has nothing to offer. I guess it's okay for the 3-week millionaire but for me it was just tacky and over priced. If you want a cool beach, Ngapali on The Bay Of Bengal in Burma is awesome, untouched and unspoilt by tourism.
I just spent 2 months in Japan and 5 weeks in Taiwan and these are awesome countries. The girls are sexier, the food is better and everything is priced the same for locals and tourists. You get a 3 month visa on arrival because these countries want you there and you can feel that once you have been to Tokyo and Taipei, Bangkok is boring in comparison. I know my way around the city pretty well and unless you like drinking and whoring all day and night which I don't. Don't get me wrong, I have done that but am just bored with the whole scene. Tokyo would be the best city I have visited and I have travelled extensively.
I also just spent a month in Myanmar and a month in Laos and that was so refreshing with awesome food, great sights, great people and it reminds me of Thailand 25 years ago. No one tried to rip me off! Yes, those countries I would visit again because you feel welcome. I did finally make it up to Kanchanaburi for a week to the death railway. They have turned the bridge over the River Kwai in to a circus and the only thing missing are the clowns. They really have destroyed the meaning of the place and it's a disgrace but if you head 90 km to the death railway it's a credit to what the Aussies have done with that place and it's free! It really gives an awesome insight into what went on there and is by far the best place in Thailand, in my opinion. I have to say that some Thais helped me when my motorbike got a puncture; they took the wheel off and took it to get repaired and only wanted the price of the repair. Of course, I gave them a tip but not sure if this would occur if it was in the city. <Actually, it probably would as the Thais are generally very helpful to a foreigner in distress or who needs local assistance – Stick>
As I mentioned, I now live in The Philippines (well I live here 4 months of the year and travel the other 8 months). It's cheaper, the weather is just as good, the typhoons aren't that bad though there are 30 a year. Nearly everyone speaks English. Sure, the food is not as good but you can find any type of food that you want here – Indian, Thai, Western, Italian. I never befriended a Thai guy but have some pretty good Philippino friends. I kite surf so maybe that's why but they have never asked me for anything and this is a much poorer country than Thailand though it's just as hard to find a good girl here as it is in Thailand, that's for sure. You really have to put in the hard yards in. <Really? I heard that meeting a lady in the Philippines outside the bar industry is easy and the Asian dating sites are full of Philipino ladies – Stick> There are 7,107 islands here so you won't get bored and Palawan was voted the best island in the world last year, white beach Boracay was voted the best beach in Asia and the 7th best beach in the world though in my opinion it is a bit pricey and touristy so that's a pretty good rap. I do think it is more fun here and you can have a laugh with the locals. Being a Kiwi, I like to have a joke and they understand that here. Also I can stay here 18 months without leaving the country and just keep renewing your visa and I hear you can now get a 6 month visa on arrival in Manila and Cebu airports, none of these bullshit visa runs. Forget Thailand and their rules. They don't want Westerners? No problem, this black duck won't be back! I am not that desperate to be somewhere I am not wanted!
In summary, Stick readers give The Philippines a go! You won't be disappointed and until I find a better place I will stay here so keep smiling wherever you are and thanks for reading. And if you are happy living in Thailand, I wish you the best.
In summary, as for Stickman's departure from LOB (land of Baht), I think it's a great decision to move on. I will miss the weekly column and site but there is no future for a westerner in Thailand and I am very glad I spent the past 6 years studying and investing in the stock market than putting the effort into learning Thai. I am very content. All the best, Stick, for the future – you won't miss the place, of that I am sure!