Stickman Readers' Submissions June 3rd, 2024

Traveling to Bangkok After Eight Years


This is my first trip to Thailand in eight years, before that it was a drought of six.  This is my 5th submission to Stickman’s website.  As usual it is about being in Thailand with my Thai girlfriend, now my wife.  There is no bargirl or sex tourist stuff to report, so it will lack the usual drama I read in other submissions.

I first came to Thailand back in 1999 to meet my Thai friend that I met online after my divorce in 1998.  Nid was, back then, a college educated accountant from a middle class family.  We were accompanied by her sister when we went out on the town as her mom would have been very upset had Nid been running around alone with a strange American.  In 2000 I asked her to marry me and she said “yes, but not now”.  This meant no.

mens clinic bangkok

It took me two years to wear her down.  We married in 2003 in Hawaii, just us and a minister on the beach.  Nid is the complete opposite of my Filipino wife who I met in a Barrio bar back in the 1980’s.  Nid is educated, frugal, smarter than me and plain.  Everything my Filipino ex-wife was not.

I had two kids (now in their 30’s) with my ex-wife, but none with Nid.  We talked about children, but after she recovered from her hysterectomy (cancer), that kind of talk stopped.

Now that I’m retired, I’ll be looking forward to a Thailand trip every year.  My happily single sister in-law in Bangkok has a small condo (30 sq meters) that we’re welcome at.  My wife owns a house near Korat that was gifted to her and her sister from their mom.  Nid and I furnished the condo bedroom in exchange for use of the bedroom whenever we are in Bangkok.  One of the best investments I’ve ever made.  Nid’s mother lives in the house and is cared for by Nid’s brother.  It is a good arrangement.  The fruits of marrying into a middle class family; why would anyone choose differently?

When reading the other submissions on Stickman’s website, I’m amused by the lack of letters from men who are happily married to Thai women and the frequent letters sent in by men who moan and groan about their bargirl lovers.  But then I was married to a former bargirl and it ended poorly in the 1990’s.  Is marital bliss to Thai women that rare?  The exceptions to this are interesting to read though; the letter about farangs that accompany their Thai wives to parties they’re not welcome at was one example.

This year we arrived in Bangkok in April during Songkran.  I managed to stay dry with only one young lady patting my shoulder with some talcum powder.  I saw plenty of wild play with squirt guns and hoses along with loud music, but it was still civilized-ish.  I was surprised see one young lady who appeared to be hardly older than my teenaged granddaughter; built like a toothpick, wearing revealing clothes and with tattoos on her midriff, at the 7-Eleven.  One sign I have been away a long time.

Our days in Bangkok were sent lounging around in my sister in-law’s small condo near the On Nut Big-C, and shopping.  Nid enjoys traveling in Japan and did so with her sister a week after we arrived.  I’ve had my fill of Japan from my Navy and Shipyard days.  This year it cost $700 (per person) to fly between Japan and Bangkok whereas it was only $605 to fly between Seattle and Bangkok.  I’ve been told I cannot spend the $700 we saved, by me not going to Japan, on hookers and blow.   But Nid has decided, for the first time since 1999, that I can be trusted alone in Bangkok for a while.

As my sister in-law’s condo is small, Nid and I went to a nearby hotel called The Bedrooms to stay while her mom was in Bangkok to prepare for the Japan trip.  Comfortable and neat rooms at an affordable price.  After we get to the room, Nid asks me if I remember that, in the past, they stocked condoms next to the coffee and tissues.  I had not.  Nok is of the opinion that this is a love hotel.  I’m all like, “Wow, we checked in with IDs that did not have matching last names. We don’t wear wedding bands”. We were told, “Only two guests in the room at a time”. We’re only here for one day.  Yeah, that’s what we are, a couple of old sluts.

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I had several massages in the parlors near Big-C; 350 baht.  About half of the parlors asked if I wanted a lady or a man; ladies for me.  Some of the ladies offered extras, but I politely declined.  Only a few of the massages were actually good ones.  One woman named Ya had “hands of death”; I had to ask her to ease up on me twice, but it was a good massage.

We tried out the Hooters in Nana, just to see what it was all about.  It sucked.  The staff was attentive and friendly, but the music was so loud I had to repeat my order twice.  The room was open to the outside with no AC which made it rather hot and sticky.  The chicken was boring, the appetizer covered with cheese whiz instead of actual cheese and the men’s room toilet was out of service and blocked off.  Perhaps they usually get first-timers checking the place out?  Or maybe it is an oasis from the chaotic environment that is Nana?  I tried chicken burgers at 7-Eleven, a food truck and McDonald’s, all were superior to the Nana Hooter’s chicken.

We went to Tad Ton Park and waterfall about two hours north of Korat.  A nice place as the water is warm, but still keeps you cool.  40 baht for Thai Nationals and 200 baht for farangs.  I saw only one other old white guy at the park.  Nid pointed out two locals in bikini’s to me; both ladyboys.  One of them was about 300 pounds.

When we flew to Krabi, we rented a Yaris from Hertz; their car rental spot consisted of a woman sitting in a baggage claim area chair with a bag of rental contracts.  But the car was a recent model and trouble free.  650 baht a day; I declined the insurance at 250 baht a day.

We drove to the Wareerak Hot Springs to stay for two days at 1400 baht per day.  Nid chose it as I said I was up for anything.  Well, she was not up for soaking in 42C (107F) spring water while the ambient temperature was 33C (91F).  I lasted about two minutes.  The various artificial pools are fed from a hot spring (I think) and vary greatly in temperature, so it was easy to find another one we could soak in for a while.  The hot pools are best to enjoy in the early morning or late evening when the air is less hot.  The free breakfast, Thai or American, was simple but good.

We also drove to the Blue Pool and the Emerald Pool while in Krabi.  The Blue pool is off limits to swimming; something about “sucking mud”.  The Emerald pool is nice, as long as you are at least five feet (152 cm) tall; Nid is not.  It was crowded with about 100 people in it though; most of them Thai, in typical (shorts/shirts) swimming apparel.  400 baht for farangs to get into the park.

Tup Kaek Beach Sunset Beach Resort was our other resort destination in Krabi.  $2200 baht a day for a good room with the nicest showers I have ever seen outside of the USA.  The weather was cloudy with a few thunder storms, so there were no beautiful sunsets to observe like I did in the past.  The food is geared towards Americans and Europeans.  My wife thought the Thai food in the resort restaurant was boring.  I bought a screwdriver for 260 baht.  It was small and weak.  Bring your own alcohol to any resort you go to here.  We did like the free breakfast though.  The small mom and pop restaurants near the resorts have delicious and inexpensive Thai food.

Driving in Krabi was trouble free.  There was some construction, but it did not back up traffic very much.  I don’t have the guts to drive a car in Bangkok.  My Thailand driving has been limited to driving cars in the areas near Korat, in Chang Mai, Phuket and Krabi, as well as a dirt bike in Koh Tao.  Don’t get a dirt bike on Koh Tao.  They are expensive and the rental agent will want to hold onto your passport while you’re riding it.

Every year I travel overseas, I waste $20 on an International Driving Permit.  On this trip I was waved to the curb by the police in Krabi.  After he saw my International Driving Permit, he let me go.  He was polite and professional.  $20 not wasted this year.

Shopping in Chanthaburi was nice, but the driving was very chaotic on the narrow streets even without the dense traffic typical of Bangkok.  One of my wife’s friends was driving.  Had I been the one at the wheel, my wife would have subjected me to a constant barrage of complaints, moans and groans about my driving and the traffic.

We spent a night at the Palmeraie Beach Resort in Rayong for about 1400 baht ($40) per night.  We were kept awake for part of the night by a corporate party on the beach.  The other four people in our group said it lasted until about 11pm.  The beach is nice, if you close your eyes to the trash.  The Thai breakfast was spicy and genuine.

Our final excursion was to Ko Samed.  Other than resort staff and infrastructure, I saw mostly tourists.  We stayed at the Samid Villa Resort, 1450 baht ($40) per night .  The beaches are clean and the sand is very fine.  The water gets deep a short distance from shore, but the shore break is gentle.  Our room is nice while the bathroom is tiny, about 36 square feet (3.3 sq meters).  The shower is a drain in the floor with a shower hose/nozzle attached to the wall.  But the water is good and plentiful, the shower curtain keeps the rest of the bathroom dry and the shower floor properly drains.  Far superior to the crappy bathroom at Palmeraie Beach Resort.  The Samed Villa is on the far side of the island from the pier, our ride took us past one slum and more than a few large piles of recycling.

We took the train (2nd class with AC) from Bangkok to Korat; 343 baht per person ($9.52).  The ride is not smooth at all, like a bus on a bumpy road.  A squat toilet is difficult to use under those conditions.  I’m looking forward to the high speed train between Bangkok and Korat in five years; I heard it will cost about 500 baht ($14) for a one way 90 minute trip.

Nid insisted upon going to an organic restaurant called Ohkajhu with her friends in Bangkok.  The food was good, but double the price compared to other similar places.  The service was slow and poor.  I have yet to go to a restaurant in Thailand upscale enough to have cloth napkins.   Siam Square during pride month has lots of music and drag queens in outlandish costumes.  Interesting stuff.

Thailand is much better since I retired.  I can relax for a month or two instead of spending lots of money for a ten day vacation.

‘s thoughts:

It sounds like you had a nice trip.

Being asked for extras in a massage shop when all you want is a massage is not a good sign. My advice here is simple – get as far away from tourist areas as you can and you’ll almost certainly get a decent massage and won’t be asked if you want more. While some people claim they had a good massage in massgae shops where extras are available, I have long felt the people saying this don’t actually know what a good massage is. Go to a place where there are no signs in English and few or even no foreigners at all – and I bet your expectations will be exceeded. In fact, you could apply this advice to many other things in Thailand, such as Thai restaurants.

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nana plaza