Readers' Submissions

Around The Traps In S.E.Asia – Part 5


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Another great dat at Patong Beach.

 

 

Note: This submission is a compilation of activities in the region over the previous five months.
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With the date of my departure from Bangkok come and gone and having settled comfortably in that tourist trap near the beach, Phuket, I thought it only fitting to pen a fond farewell to the city which held me in a love hate relationship for the last seven years. The novelty of the big mango wore off quite some time ago. So much so that the attraction of the bright lights, the action, and pay for play scene faded so significantly, I’d become a bit of recluse in my dugout on Soi 16. New Year’s Eve 2017 was welcomed in with a large bottle of Chang whilst standing in front of a 7/11, staring at the mayhem along Soi 11, and cynically thinking “Jeez, this shit is getting old.” I met a like-minded fellow from Sweden at Oskar in the lead up to the big “count-down” and we both decided the noise, the over-priced freelancers, and pretentiousness of that chic little scene were rather tedious and opted for a cheap beer instead. With the New Year rung in he convinced me to take a look at a night club in the basement of the Holiday Inn on Soi 22 and after just one beer, the ear-splitting noise in that joint convinced me that I was well and truly past that scene as well. I bade him farewell and scurried off to the quiet comfort of my Soi 16 dugout.

After my last submission – Around the Traps in S.E. Asia Pt 4 – I also felt I needed to get some balance back in my analysis of Bangkok. One fellow sent me an email and said my latest appraisal of his favoured place of residence was venomous and vitriolic. In hindsight, perhaps he’s got a point. After a couple of re-reads I could see there was a darker tone to it than previous submissions. But the truth is, that wasn’t my original intention. The point of my previous dissertation on the City of Angels was to expose it for what it really is; a rather grimy urban metropolis. And just like any large city, in any other part of the world, once you take away the glitz and the gloss, there’s not really much of any lasting value which soothes the soul. I also tried to make it abundantly clear Bangkok is a place which often brings out the worst in people, for whatever reason. Stick’s recent column’s have alluded to this with comment on how so many foreigners get stuck in a downward spiral of booze, late nights and the pay for play ladies. Their health suffers and they end up being in a dead-end world with little thought of the future implications of their hedonist’s lifestyle.

I recently returned to the Big Mango for a weekend visit and although I enjoyed the two days of drinking and whoring, I was quite happy to hop on my Sunday afternoon flight back to Phuket. I spent the Friday night knocking back bottles of Beer Lao along that sub-soi off Soi 11, the one in which Cheap Charlies has been an inexpensive watering hole for the past twenty years, and met a couple of interesting fellows in amongst the kaleidoscope of tourists, expats, whoremongers, long-term Bangkok aficionados, and of course the freelance working girls. The local ladies regularly seen there are an amusing lot. Doing their best to give the impression they weren’t really that type of girl but if they did agree to come back to your apartment, there would be a request for some money to help pay the rent. Laughable of course and I just don’t understand why these ladies can’t accept what it is they do to earn a living. Face, of course, needs to be maintained. And in the rather superficial world of this Bangkok scene, pretending to be something which one is not tends to be the S.O.P. of most farangs as well as those freelance hookers.

The pretentiousness of these ladies becomes rather tiresome. A lady I’d taken out of Levels a couple of times last year had the audacity to try and convince me that “I only go with you because I like you.” To which I laughed and said “Look, sweetheart, if I pay a lady for sex, she’s a hooker. The true story is you go with me because you want money and to be honest, you are lousy at your job.” Unable to accept the truth of what I was telling her, she put her nose in the air and scurried off into the night. No doubt looking for some fool to believe her little bullshit routine. I think this is the primary reason why I gave up on sojourns down to this rather pretentious, quasi-chic, shitty little scene on Soi 11 and turned to satisfying my carnal desires at the various soapy massage houses around Bangkok. The fact is most Thai freelancers don’t really like us, they are boring beyond belief, they’re difficult to communicate with on anything much beyond thoughts of their next meal or Mojito, they’re often drunk, and more pointedly they’re usually lousy at their jobs (and their jobs ain’t marketing or real estate). My feeling is that most guys who hang out in this scene are the younger, partying whoremonger. The young studs who’re convinced they’re making an impression with these ladies. Guys who are probably still quite new to the scene and operating under the misguided assumption the girls like them. When guys leave that scene behind, aside from accepting the reality of one’s age, I think what happens is that they grow up and realise there’s far more worthwhile pursuits in life to get on with.

My own experience is that the majority of barflies in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya have seen very little of the Thailand beyond the boundaries of the myriad of grubby little red light areas of those locations. And what they might have seen beyond the confines of those areas normally occurs through a taxi window on a border run, or the drive from Suwarnabhumi Airport. I guess people just get caught up in the scene – partying, drinking and whoring – and any thought of venturing out to the provinces, or remoter areas, is an idea akin to hopping on a rocket and flying off to a distant planet.

I’m sure many consider Thailand to be Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, Walking Street, or Soi Bangla and the effort of experiencing the beauty of the natural vistas of this country are quite beyond them. Not that travel to Thailand’s outlying areas is all that difficult, it’s just a matter of making the decision to go somewhere and doing it. One of the great things about Bangkok is that it’s a hub for travel, not only within Thailand, but also the whole South-East Asian region. Even at short notice and at the busiest times of the year it’s not that difficult to get out of the place. In the lead up to Xmas 2016 I decided on the spur of the moment I was getting the hell out of dodge, packed my bags and jumped on a train down to Hua Hin. It was Xmas Eve but I was still able to get a second class seat on the 8.10 AM departure from Hualumphong. Four and half hours later I was checking into the Subhamitra Hotel. My hastily arranged trip was not without a modicum of forethought. I’d been down there some four weeks previously and wanted to have another look around Sam Roi Yot National Park. I’d also got chummy with a 40-ish local lass working in restaurant/bar near the Subhamitra and wanted to see if she might be keen for a night or two of horizontal folk dancing.

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Hua Hin Railway Station, an iconic feature of the southern town.

 

 

Hua Hin is probably the nearest mainland location to Bangkok with decent beaches and it also seems to be the place where Euro tourist crowd go to work on their tan and enjoy their evenings at the restaurants along the beach front. There seems to be a larger number of the independent type of tourists there rather than the bussed in Chinese and Russian crowds. The Subhamitra is an older Thai style hotel on the western side of the main road through Hua Hin and only a 400-meter walk from the railway station, give or take. It’s in that side of town which is sandwiched up against the railway track and where the bars, restaurants and hotels seem to be a bit lower in price than the beach side area. It was at a bar in this area that I met Tip on my previous visit four weeks earlier. On that visit I’d frequented her restaurant, for a quiet beer and some Thai food, every evening for the five days I was in town. We’d developed a bit of a rapport and on my final night there I’d given in to her constant pestering for my Line ID. I’d actually had no long-term intentions with Tip and to be honest I wasn’t all that sure that getting her back to my hotel room for some horizontal folk dancing would be in my best interests either. With that in mind I arrived at the restaurant unannounced at 8:00 PM on Xmas Eve to find her half-cut and displaying an altogether much more aggressive personality than I’d encountered four weeks previously. I took a seat along the edge of the restaurant while Tip interacted with three other Thai ladies who were seated around a large table full of seafood and empty beer bottles. In the next hour I found out they were the owners of the place and Tip, being perhaps conscious she was just the waitress there, decided to show everyone I was her man. Unfortunately her overly aggressive nature to prove herself to her employers did little to impress me. Her tactics involved the standard physical assaults and psychological manipulation that many of these desperate types have a tendency to use. When I entered into conversation with the three owners, Tip immediately barked out my name and gave me the look designed to bring me to heel, and warn off the other more attractive ladies. After the third time of having my nose pinched and being slapped hard on the shoulder, I decided I’d seen quite enough of another psychotic female in Thailand and asked for my bill. As I got up to leave Tip reverted to a guilt trip tactic and told me loud enough for all to hear “I have boyfriend from Norway now.” To which I replied “Yeah, well that and fifty cents will buy you a cup of coffee in the real world sweetheart.” Needless to say, I’m no longer a customer at that restaurant.

Hua Hin has quite a vibrant little bar scene – which includes beer bars, restaurants and sports bars – sandwiched between the beach road and the city’s three-lane artery. The best way to approach it is by way of the dual lane road which runs down to the Sofitel. The sois through the bar areas branch off to the left as you’re heading to the beach. However, as with all beer bar areas in Thailand the drinks are at rip-off prices, the ladies are generally the ugliest of women to be seen in Thailand and their attitudes, if one shows zero interest in them, tend to be downright nasty. If you’re someone who generally appreciates a nice cold beer without being pestered after a long hot day then beer bars generally aren’t the best option. Sports bars maybe, but not beer bars. Most old Asia hands know that you won’t get a full-size bottle of beer at a beer bar. You will at a Thai restaurant, or a 7 Eleven. The reason they only serve small bottles at beer bars is that the turnover is faster, and more profitable. It’s economics 101 for beer really; a large bottle of ice-cold Chang or Singha, for 54 THB at an outdoor table at the ma and pa store, or a small bottle of beer for one hundred and forty THB at the beer bar next door. As an added bonus you get the nasty attitudes of the demimondaines to go with it. Being called keeneow these days is laughable, particularly when I’m proud of the fact that I am. To block out the chattering exhortations of the little monkeys, just a few feet away from the ma and pa store I’m sitting at, I put on my Sony headphones and listen to some smooth jazz I’ve got stored on my Galaxy S-Seven Edge.

Xmas time in Hua Hin is an exceptional time of the year in terms of weather and temperature. The mornings are relatively cool and the skies are clear and blue. It’s probably the best time of the year for photography and with that in mind I set about organising trips to two national parks, an hour or so south of Hua Hin. Khao Sam Roi Yot translates into mountain of three hundred peaks and provides some interesting day trips from Hua Hin. The main attraction is probably Praya Nakhon Cave but there are also a couple of other lesser known caves in the area as well.

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The viewpoint at the southern extremity of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.

 

 

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Kuri Buri National Park, considered the best place in Thailand to see elephants in the wild.

 

 

There is also an excellent viewpoint at the southern extremity of the park which provides a spectacular vista north along the coastline. For a full trip report on Sam Roi Yot National Park, follow the link to my website.

Almost due west of Khao Sam Roi Yot national Park is Kui Buri National Park. Little visited by tourists, this national park is generally considered the best location in Thailand to see wild elephants in their natural environs. Approximately 120 kilometres south-west of Hua Hin, it is well worth the effort of making a trip there to see the large herds of impressive beasts. For a full trip report on Kui Buri National Park, follow the link to my website.

My final month of residence in Bangkok was January. With the wait till month’s end dragging until I finally departed, I decided to go on a caving trip to Laos for a few days to relieve the boredom I felt whenever I was spending an extended period in the place. Laos is a place I’ve always enjoyed for short breaks away from Thailand. It’s more relaxed, it’s generally cheaper to travel through and there seems to be a different dynamic at play in regards to the type of tourists going there. I hadn’t been there for three years so I was interested to see if much had changed, particularly in Vientiane, since my last visit. The tourists going to Laos are more the independent traveller type and shortly after checking into my hotel, and taking a stroll around the river front area, it was encouraging to see it was still very much that way; the bus loads of Chinese tour groups often encountered in Thailand are still nowhere to be seen in Laos. The traveller demographic in Vientiane is very much of the backpacker scene with cafés and healthy, western food restaurants dotting the landscape. It’s very much a chill-out location where travellers take a two or three-day break from the rigours of bus travel around Laos before heading north or south. The bar scene in Vientiane is mostly about travellers chilling out over a few beers in the evening and is a world away from the Thai style bars of Pattaya, Phuket, and Bangkok. The river front road is the main action area once the sun sets across the Mekong with the outdoor, barbecue restaurants filling up with thirsty young backpackers. If there is a pay for play scene, it’s discreet but not unavailable. On my first night in town I was enjoying a quiet Beer Lao when a young local lass plonked herself down next to me and struck up a conversation. Her reasonable English ability and line of questioning made it apparent she was looking for some business for the night. I just wasn’t in the mood for it and sent her on her way fairly quickly. With the continued increase in tourist arrivals in Vientiane it was inevitable that some form of pay for play scene would eventuate. At the moment it’s all low-key with the ladies who make themselves available being more of the freelancer type and probably offering a genuine girlfriend experience for anyone sticking around for a few days.

After two nights of relaxing around town I booked a fare on a local bus to one of the prime adventure attractions in Laos, Khong Lor Cave. Khong Lor Cave is located in Khamouane Province in Central Laos and is one of the highlights of travel in Laos and is probably one of the best cave tours in the region in terms of accessibility and a sightseeing experience. To get there from Vientiane by bus you will need to use the dedicated Vientiane to Khong Lor bus which departs from Vientiane bus station at 10.00 am each day. If you pay for the ticket at the bus station the price is 80,000 LAK for the one way trip. If you book through a guesthouse in Vientiane the price is generally around 120,000 LAK. However, the guesthouse (or hotel) price also includes transfer to the bus station in a small bus. NOTE: the bus to Khong Lor Cave is a local bus and not a dedicated coach which means it will stop at least 50 times on route to allow locals to board and alight. The distance from Vientiane bus station to Khong Lor Village is approx. 250 km and will take 7 – 8 hours of travel on the local bus. NOTE: the bus does stop twice for meal and toilet breaks. Arrival time in Khong Lor village is approx. 5.30 PM and the bus drops everyone at the ECO-LODGE GUEST HOUSE. A more in-depth trip on Khong Lor Cave can be seen on my website.

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The formations plateau, approx. 1 km from Khong Lor Cave

 

 

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The upstream entrance, approx. 7.5 km from the starting point

 

 

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Khong Lor Village at 6:30 AM

 

 

During my extended time off work I spent some time going back over past submissions to this site and in particular, contributions by a controversial fellow who goes by the name of “Jayson.” Jayson had the temerity on a number of occasions to call it as it is, which often riled the feathers of a good deal of farangs who found the rawness of his assessment, regarding their relationships with Thai ladies, just a bit too unpalatable. Having reread his 2010 submission “Farang Men and Thai Women, A Reality Check” I have to admit he’s entirely correct. Spot on actually in his overall premise that if you can’t communicate properly with someone, why would you even consider trying to form a relationship with them? It just doesn’t make good sense and the only conclusion which can be drawn from such a situation occurring is that it is mostly a trade-off of sex for money. The thing is though there are always qualifiers for an individual’s analysis of a situation. Unbeknown to Jayson is the fact that I met him on Soi Cowboy five years ago. I was sitting in the Tilac bar and by pure coincidence happened to be sharing one of those small tables with an American Thai who spoke perfect English, and who introduced himself as Jay. The odds of him being Jayson the Stickman contributor were still narrow but with his reasonably intimate knowledge of the ways of an Isarn bargirl, I was more than certain it was him. I didn’t let on who I was nor did I question his association with the Stickman website. He basically told me he visited Thailand often for short vacations, but his home was the USA. The point I’m making is that if you’re calling people out for their poor choices in the female population of this country, it’s a bit hypocritical if you’re out mixing with that which you denigrate as the low end. Another point which Jayson misses is that just because something is out of it reach to someone, it doesn’t actually mean they’re missing out on something in life. The type of ladies he often refers to in his submissions is the upper middle class or hi-so types. This seems to be his control group and he goes to great lengths to explain why they’re out of reach to the majority of farang. I agree with him, they are, but it should also be mentioned these types of ladies are also out of reach to the majority of Thai males as well. And to be honest I’m sure the majority of farangs, me included, don’t find these types of women to be particularly appealing. These white skinned, affluent ladies don’t strike me as being the types that would be out and about at the beach, getting a tan and playing in the surf. A day’s recreation for them is a shopping trip to Paragon, or Emporium, coffee at Starbucks, and lunch at some high-end Japanese restaurant such as Zen. It’s horses for courses but that type of lifestyle, one which is led inside an air-conditioned building, I find to be rather dull. Besides being able to communicate effectively, a relationship should also involve common or shared interests. In that regard I’d take a bar girl, who gets around in a bikini on the beach, over some white skinned prima donna whose main concern in life might be the purchase of her next Louis Vuitton hand bag.

Having spent the better part of two decades and more in Thailand I’d managed to visit a good deal of the country. One area which continued to elude my interest was the western region of Kanchanaburi and beyond to the Three Pagodas Pass. This area along the Burmese border has some historical significance due to events which transpired during world war two. Hellfire Pass, Death Railway, and Bridge over the River Kwai are names which are well-known in commonwealth countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom. My interest in the area was less about visiting these landmarks, which continue to evoke sentiment over long past suffering, and more about visiting some of the spectacular cave sites in an area approximately 140 kilometres north of Kanchanaburi. Due to the remoteness of the area, and knowing that getting around would prove difficult, I decided to hire a pick-up truck from a car rental agency in Din Daeng and drive there myself. The town I decided to use as my base was Thong Pha Phum. Nestled under a border mountain range and straddling the Kwai River, Thong Pha Phum is a picturesque little town a couple of kilometres off the road to Three Pagodas Pass. This area is quite possibly another well-kept secret in terms of tourist visitation. Due to its elevated geographical location the climate, even in mid-February, is still cool and crisp in the mornings and is definitely a viable option for those wanting to escape Bangkok’s heat but looking for a closer alternative to Chiang Mai, etc. This area is quite a unique part of Thailand due to the fact it has a number of national parks which run continuously from Thong Pha Phum, north to Three Pagodas Pass, and across to the Erawan Dam.

Travel to Thong Pha Phum is a fairly straightforward six to seven hour run from Bangkok which involves driving due west through Nakhom Pathom, then turning right at Hwy no. 4 and then heading north until you arrive at Thong Pha Phum. To give myself enough time to achieve the objectives I’d set myself in the area, I’d booked three nights’ accommodation at a non-descript resort some nine kilometres up the road from the township. Thong Pha Phum is a fairly unremarkable town apart from the fact it sits next to a picturesque stretch of the Kwai River. Approximately five kilometres north there is a small café, the Crab Café, with possibly the largest milestone in the world. Back across the bridge, to the southern approach to Thong Pha Phum, there is a limestone peak with a Buddhist Temple atop with a precipitous drop to the river. The entrance to the temple grounds are a couple of kilometres up the road to Three Pagodas Pass. Just beyond the entrance to the temple is another interesting Buddhist feature; a line-up of gold Buddha statues flanking a very large white Buddha.

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The milestone at the Crab Cafe, possibly the world’s largest

 

 

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The line-up of gold Buddha statues flanking the larger central white statue.

 

 

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A wider view of the line-up at 7:30 AM

 

 

My first full day in Thong Pha Phum proved to be a bit of a dud in terms of fulfilling the first of my planned objectives. The location I was intent on visiting was approximately an hour’s drive north of the town, on the road up to Three Pagodas Pass. The cave I had my sights on exploring was off the main road north and in a remote area across towards the Erawan National Park. Its remoteness was highlighted by the fact I had 14 kilometres of dirt road to negotiate before arriving at the wildlife sanctuary HQ. After finally arriving there full of expectation, I was given another disappointing lesson in Thai logic. The cave I was intent on visiting was one of the most spectacular in Thailand. I’d received a good deal of info on it from an American speleological expert during my recent tour to Laos and was keen to have a look at it. One of the things he’d mentioned to me was that it was a river cave and passage through it might involve some wading or swimming. And so it proved to be the case. “Cave closed until March, too much water and too cold,” was the reply I got from the park ranger when I enquired about a visitation. His answer hardly surprised me as most of the visitors to the site would be Thai and the reality is they are generally not strong swimmers and they get cold easily. Realising I would wasting my breath debating the point with him I nodded in understanding made the arduous drive back out to the highway.

My third day in the area proved to be much more productive in terms of finding an impressive cave site to do some photography in. After checking Google guides for reviews on the various attractions in the area, I determined that Phra Tat Cave over near the Erawan Dam might be a site worth checking. A number of Google reviews mentioned the impressive size of the cave and that was enough to spark my interest. The only problem was it was going to be a 140 kilometre drive to get there from Thong Pha Pum. With that in mind I determined that after visiting the cave I’d drive back to Bangkok as it seemed pointless coming all the way back up highway no. 4 to get my third and final night at the resort. The cave site is actually in the Erawan National Park, which borders the impressive Erawan Dam. After entering the park, the road to the cave winds around the western edge of the dam and climbs up into the surrounding peaks. The distance is approximately 14 kilometres and is well sign-posted. The cave site is well set up for sightseers with a large sealed parking area bordered by landscaped gardens and a Thai restaurant. There is the standard checkpoint where entry fees need to be paid before the 600-meter hike up the hill to the cave entrance. The pathway to the top has been very well constructed with cement steps and footpaths all the way.

On arrival at the cave entrance there is a guide who will offer to accompany you on the cave tour. If you don’t have lights, it’s probably not a bad idea to take him up on his offer to be your guide as the interior of the cave is vast. The only oddity of the guiding service is that the lighting provided isn’t the standard miner’s headlamps one normally sees for hire at most cave sites, it is kerosene lamps. These lamps provide a nice orange glow inside but are a rather archaic approach to lighting within the cave. I had a full range of my own powerful lights, including a couple of nine thousand lumen hand-held torches I used for my photography, so I declined the guides offer. The entry point into the cave proper is small and a real squeeze but once through the interior opens up into a massive void, perhaps one of the largest in Thailand, and is quite spectacular. The local tourist authority has done a great job in erecting a solid cement and metal pathway, in a circuitous route, all the way to the rear of the cave and back; a distance of some 250 metres. At the mid-point of the circuit, and where the internal volume is the greatest, the cave roof is around forty metres above the floor. All in all I would recommend this as a great half-day tour if you are in the area, the internal size of the cave is quite spectacular.

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The large internal volume of Phra Tat Cave in the Erewan National Park area

 

 

Having visited a good number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries over the past few years I’ve finally decided I’ve had enough of this bogus dual pricing system the tourism authorities use to scam foreigners. The excuse the Thai Tourism Authority has used to justify charging foreigners eight to ten times the Thai entry fee – “Thais are poor and foreigners are rich” – is a total CROCK OF SHITE. It’s a blatant rip-off and nothing more. A lot of these national park sites are completely out of reach for the average, village type Thai with very limited disposable income. A sightseeing trip might involve a long drive and overnight accommodation at a hotel. That isn’t something your lowly paid factory worker can even contemplate. The next time you go to a national park in Thailand, and you see some Thai people there, take a close look at the vehicles they’re driving, the clothes they’re wearing, and their camera gear. These aren’t your down and out low-so Thais; they are mostly the middle class and upper middle class because they are the only ones who get weekends off and a salary which affords them travel capabilities. The fact is this class of Thai isn’t exactly suffering from financial hardship and many have probably got more money than you and I. My visit to Phra Tat Cave was the final straw, with the entry fee for foreigners being 300 THB as opposed to 30 THB for locals. I’m sorry but this dual pricing scheme has nothing to do with the consideration of down and out locals getting a fair shake. It’s mainly about ripping off tourists, and nothing more. Even though it’s going to cost me in airfares and extra travel time I’ll be visiting the national parks of Laos and Vietnam from now on, and not Thailand.

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Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

 

 

Kuala Lumpur is a place which doesn’t seem to get much of a mention on this website. I guess if you’re comparing the merits of tourism in Malaysia, as opposed to Thailand, then the land of smiles comes out on top in probably just about every category. For those who enjoy a beer and the company of the ladies of the night then it’s also a given Thailand trumps what’s on offer in Malaysia. I recently spent a couple of nights in K.L., and while it is definitely a lot quieter than Bangkok, there’s a couple of bars in the Bukit Bintang area where demimondaines can be found to keep you company on a night’s stopover. Within a stone’s throw of Petronas Towers there’s a small strip of bars with a host of working girls offering their services. The pick of the bars is the Beach Club Café which fills out on most nights with ladies from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and all countries with the name ending in Stan. The punters are a mix of tourists, expat businessmen and cashed up locals. There’s a live Filipino band to keep the mood rocking along but be warned, the music is so loud you’ll be unable to hear yourself speak while they’re on stage. The ladies offering their services are similar in standard to what one might find at Orchard Towers in Singapore with prices ranging between MYR 300 – MYR 500 for short and long times. I had an entertaining night there recently and shared a table with a Londoner who’d only just arrived in town. Paul was a late 30s computer geek who’d spent ten years making a small fortune from selling accounting security software to banks before cashing it all in to go on an open-ended jaunt around Asia. He’s spent a month in Singapore and was slowly working his way up through Malaysia to Thailand. We got into some serious drinking and eventually a couple of attractive Vietnamese ladies joined us at our table. One of the sales gimmicks which bars in Malaysia employ to keep you dipping into your wallet is by offering six beers in a bucket full of ice for a “special price.” Except the price, compared with Thailand, isn’t all that special – i.e., 170 MYR for six Coronas – but the convenience of not having to attract the attention of wait staff every time you finish a single beer, does have its merits in a crowded bar. By 2 AM we were both feeling rather inebriated and decided to call it a night and went our own separate ways with our entertainment packages. Before getting into our taxis I’d given Paul the heads-up on the rates for girls and not to hand over the money until the deed was done. As his taxi pulled away I was fairly certain that was the last I’d see of him. The next morning I got quite a surprise to see him in the lobby of the hotel where I was staying. I was waiting for a taxi to the airport when he arrived and regaled me of his dramas in the wee small hours after we’d parted company. Apparently he was staying with an old work colleague in downtown K.L., and had turned up at the condo with his hooker in tow. The girlfriend of his mate had gone apoplectic when she saw who and what his friend for the night was and told them both to leave in no uncertain terms. Paul said things turned decidedly nasty after that with a drunken, screaming Viet hooker demanding full payment and not a partial to be on her way. Eventually the condo security was called to bundle her out the door. I had a good chuckle about his naivety in thinking a hooker might be welcomed to bed down at a mate’s place. The moral of the story: always take your hooker to your own hotel room.

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Time for another Phuket sundowner

 
Safe travels,

Mega

The author can be contacted at : [email protected]