Stickman's Weekly Column June 21st, 2009

Spicing It Up, The Bangkok Fetish Experience


With so much on offer in so many places in so many forms and from so many attractive ladies, Bangkok can be overwhelming for the first time naughty boy visitor. It's a sexual smorgasbord and it doesn't take the first time visitor long to realise that yes, Bangkok's reputation as a destination for sex is deserved.

First impressions are that there are endless opportunities for fun. The major bar areas each have 30 odd bars, many more if you count those in surrounding sois. And some of these bars can have a hundred girls or more. Numbers to last a lifetime.

But as you explore further, and spend more time in the industry, you get bored of a bar, move to the next and before you know it you're bored of that bar area and so your new local becomes elsewhere. A new bar area and for a period you are happy before the pattern repeats itself. You've gone through the various bar areas and you're looking for something different. Pattaya beckons.

The ultimate man's playground, Pattaya satisfies, but for the hardcore, it can all become rather familiar, and to use that awful cliché, it all becomes rather same same. It's Bangkok on steroids but you want more, something a little different. No, you're positively craving it, something new, something to satisfy your sense of adventure. You're an individual. You have special needs, desires that make you unique.

It's time for something a little different. It's time for a niche. It's time for fetish and fantasy!



I am provided a long-sleeved black shirt at reception and with a cheeky grin she points towards a staircase behind her. The lighting is dim and as I make my way to the first landing it gets darker…and darker. Only another 10 steps or so to the top, but it's dark. I hear some distant sounds. Music and it's eerie. No wolves howling or women screaming, but to say the sounds wouldn't be out of place in a horror movie wouldn't be unfair. It takes my eyes a few moments to adjust to the darkness as I arrive in the dungeon-like foyer.

I don't know whether it was the sounds or the sights that hit me first, but my attention is diverted over my shoulder. He's on his hands and knees, in the posture of a dog, totally starkers. The light poor, my eyesight not quite what it once was, I swear that he is sucking on her toes, his bare buttocks being pounded by a vixen with a paddle. It's not that the eyes haven't had a chance to focus, more the mind struggles to process the sort of data they have never processed before.

And then he's off, walking like a dog, howling, barking, and God damn, is that a leash around his neck?! Most likely a dignified gentleman by day, he has the chance to live out his unique fantasies by night.

The foyer of Bar Bar, Bangkok's second fetish club, is not for the squeamish, but then neither is it quite as over the top as you might imagine. Bar Bar has been in business for 3 years now and it has built up a regular clientele who seek something different.

But Bar Bar is not Bangkok's first such venue. It was preceded by Demonia in Sukhumvit's soi 33 which has been around since 2003. And of course Pattaya is represented by The Castle, in business now for 5 years.

Foot worship, fetishism, freestyle fantasy, B & D, S & M, slaves, submissives, masters, restraints, cosplay, exhibitionism, masks, whips, an overload of vocabulary and concepts. Where's my dictionary?


The price structure is explained clearly in advance. Don't mistake this for just another undisclosed price Patpong upstairs rip off bar where the very opposite is true. 900 baht essentially gains you entry as well as your first drink. You can simply sit in the main foyer area, relax and observe, as some choose to do, or you can take a group of girls into one of the areas of the bar. There are small alcoves off the main bar where you can retreat to, or you can play in the main area of the bar, in full view of others. A group, at least 3, possibly as many as 5 ladies of the house, will put on a small show for you, which you may observe, or if you prefer, you may partake in!

The venue is flexible about just what the 900 baht gets you and there are no fixed rules. However, should you wish to play with the girls for an extended period of time or watch them play, there is an expectation that drinks will be bought, at 250 baht apiece. Further drinks for you will run 300 baht. The pricing allows the establishment to provide a personal touch. There are no crowds, no queues and like any venue charging what is essentially an entrance fee, the disinterested, heavy drinkers and time wasters are kept at bay.

The prices may appear steep, at first glance, but under closer scrutiny they represent fair value. You get your own private show, of which you are welcome to join in, and should you have any fantasies or fetishes, then these can be accommodated. We're not talking a cheap thrills Pattaya soi 6 diddling bar, but full on fetish and fantasy. Is there anything the girls have not heard before? This is the place for those who wish to try something different. If you want to push a cake in someone's face and then have someone else lick it off, you can. If you want to suck the polish of a lady's toenails, you can. If you want to walk around the dungeon starkers while barking like a dog and being whipped you can. Indeed, that's just what I happened to observe.

All three venues feature a full range of uniforms from the common fantasies of nurses and schoolgirls to a few more imaginative outfits. There is also all manner of toys and accessories from handcuffs to rope, to restraints to whips to some which left me, well, quite bewildered. You mean people actually do that?! Dimly lit to create a certain atmosphere not altogether different from a horror movie, much of the ambient light in the dungeon is generated by candles, the cost of which runs much higher than the entire electricity bill!

The concept here is fantasy and fetishism, to service a niche for which demand clearly exists. Individuals whose fantasies may not be mainstream have the opportunity to carry them out in an environment that is clean, safe and non-judgmental. There are no drugs and there is no pushing for drinks. Once embroiled in your own private play, where nearly anything goes, a "safe word" is agreed by the parties and at any time should the slave say this word then the act, the play, call it what you will, must stop.

Are these venues about sex? Yes and no. Relief is possible via the purchase of a "package", transparently priced at 3,000 baht which gives you 90 minutes of private time, the idea being that you use it privately. But with the venues having various dark corners and hiding places, desire can overcome discretion. And if you like the idea of others watching… Purchase the package and anything goes.



Visitors are a diverse bunch, ranging from foreigners to Thais, tourists to locals, males and females. There is no profile of a typical visitor although when it comes to farang, Europeans far outnumber Americans. Don't you Americans like it spicy?

Sometimes things go as far as interaction between customers or groups of customers. Asking the management for amusing anecdotes reveals that a couple of Japanese were once embroiled in a play when a European couple joined in. Unable to communicate with each other with words, yet delighted to play along, international relations improved that evening.

Socially conservative as Thais can be, the owners don't deny that identifying and then recruiting girls is a challenge. What is perhaps interesting is that there is almost no turnover and 90% of the staff stay for 2 years, 3 years or more. In the instances where they do leave the establishment, perhaps to complete their studies, they more often than not return, the same of which can be said about customers. Most are repeat business.

Like the customers, there's no clear profile of the women with an age range of 20 – 35 and a variety of backgrounds from degree holders to the rural poor to Bangkokians. This is not the exclusive domain of the maidens of Isaan as the farang-oriented bars typically are, but then these venues are not typically farang-oriented.

These venues are clean, safe and professionally run. Like the high-end nightlife venues and clubs, memberships are available and in addition to a mountain of alcohol being included in the membership price, a full 30,000 baht membership gets you 140 bottles of beer OR 5 bottles of premium spirits. It also entitles the holder to half price entry and drinks at the three establishments. So for those who become addicted, take out a membership and the pricing becomes more reasonable.

The owners tell me that such venues are far from a rarity and every major city around the world has one. These venues are the places to take off your mask, remove the shackles of conformity and act out your fantasy.


* For one week only, from the time of publication of this column through until 6 PM next Sunday, June 28, the three venues mentioned (Bar Bar in Patpong soi 2, Demonia in Sukhumvit soi 33 and The Castle in Pattaya) are offering first time visitors entry and first drink at the member's price, 450 baht, instead of the usual 900 baht. This is a one-time exclusive deal for Stickman readers. To take advantage of this, you simply have to say "Codename Stickman!"



Where was this photo taken?


Last week's photo was taken of internet legend, HeyMarky in Secrets Bar in Pattaya. A handful of readers knew the man and got it right. The first person to email with the correct location of the picture wins a 500 baht credit at Oh My Cod, the British fish and chips restaurant. The second person to get the picture right wins a fantastic roast buffet at Molly Malone's on Bangkok's Soi Convent. The buffet runs every Sunday from midday until 7 PM and the winner gets one buffet free! I like the buffet and partake of it myself often! Bodyguard Condoms also provide large condoms as prizes. So, for the forth, fifth and sixth people to get the picture right, I will send you a few packs of Bodyguard's high quality, extra large-sized condoms to try out. The Strip in Patpong's soi 2 is offering a FREE BOOTH. That means that you and one of the ladies enter the booth and the curtain is closed for 30 minutes. This prize has a value of 550 baht, the cost of closing the booth. It should be noted that if you wish to do anything more with the lady than chat then a tip will be expected… In total, we now have SIX PRIZES EACH WEEK!

Terms and conditions: The Oh My Cod and Molly Malone's prizes MUST be claimed within 14 days. Winners of the Bodyguard Condoms must provide a postal address within Thailand. Prizes are not transferable. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize per month.

FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.

EMAIL OF THE WEEK – Knight in shining armour syndrome.

I am as cynical as they come when it comes to dealings with bargirls and their sorry stories. What's that old joke? How can you tell when a bargirl is lying? When her lips are moving. I have to admit, reading your piece about Miss Nakhon Sawan had me wanting to don my white knight in shining armour gear and save this girl. Honestly, I was a bit touched by this story. It's a bit sad because many bargirls were honest and sweet before starting to work the bars. It doesn't take long after nightly drinking and being shagged by too many less than desirable characters to harden what was once likely a very sweet girl with dreams. Sad.

Tall and white, or otherwise.

I enjoyed your article this week about the girl who clearly didn't belong in a naughty bar in Pattaya. Your words to describe her as "too tall, too white" is exactly what punters are not looking for. But I wonder…why is this? I've recently taken the step to online dating, and all the girls I've been out with are from Bangkok or the outlying areas – they are proudly not from "a certain part of the country" as you so eloquently put it. And I always get the same question from them: Why do farang men like girls with dark skin, who are from "a certain part of the country?" They wonder why they see guys walking around with these girls – is it the exotic look? The brown skin? The flat nose? The stench of som tam? My response is usually that those guys you see with women from that part of the country are tourists, and they're too stupid to know any better. They pick up their girlfriend of the week from one of the naughty areas, which is teeming with girls from that part of the country. I don't know any other explanation because personally I like the tall girls!

Fuglies!

You made a good point in the weekly column. Why do we see so many Western guys with ugly Thai girls? There is no excuse for it in Thailand. Everyday in Bangkok I used to see beauties everywhere walking the streets and in the shopping centres. OK, some guys restrict themselves to the bar scene but even so there are 'passable' girls working in the bars. It is a mystery. Ever been to the massage parlours on Rachada, the Thai ones? Not too many ugly girls working there. The Thai guys must be so confused when they see the trash that the typical farang drags out of the bar.

Seeking a place to puff away.

The question was asked whether Pattaya is still part of Thailand because of its relaxed anti-smoking rules. I would note that sunbathing topless at a public beach in America can get a lady thrown in the clink or fined. There is an exception – Miami Beach because that is what the many foreign visitors there prefer. Miami is still part of America. There are isolated areas in other counties where officials look the other way when rules are bent for the foreign trade. Even Saudi Arabia has zones for foreigners to drink and dress as they are accustomed. It's nice that there is somewhere in the world I can relax and smoke my pipe without being under the control of smoke Nazis. 20% of the world smokes so rather than everything being 100% smoke free, let's compromise and allow 20% of the bars to pay a tax for a smoking license. The tax could help fund health programs.

Is your Mrs. on the pill?!

Mrs. Stick was asked why a bloke's wife had lost interest in sex. My wife recently told me that when she was on the pill she didn't feel like sex. Since getting off the pill she has been a much better performer. Like your writer I was getting rather frustrated with her lack of interest. Now she can't get enough. You might want to advise this bloke to get his wife off the pill. Use a condom instead. It's a nuisance but better than fathering a lot of kids.

Pattaya beer bars lady drink pricing.

I am a very regular visitor to Thailand and most of my time is spent in Korat with my lady in her home, but I still like my jollies alone. Two weeks ago I spent a few days at my friend's place in Pats and of course I walk around and see lady drinks at 140 baht in your basic beer bar! I asked the ladies in several different bars how much extra they get from this hipped sum of money. The answer: no more money for me, all for the big boss! I refuse, checkbin and walk along the road and guess what I saw? Bars for sale like I have never seen before in all the time I have visited! Sorry you big supposed high roller beer bar owners, it might be a good idea to make sure your place is financially attractive.

No longer a Sticky fan.

Have you been here so long that you have finally lost the plot or what? As a long time reader your post of "It's So Easy To Turn To The Dark Side" is a slap in the face to both your loyal readers AND bargirls in general. As a long-time resident who is married to a FORMER bargirl I find your attitude offensive in the extreme for residents and bargirls alike. If your opinion of us is that low why are you still here and why do you continue writing about subjects you find so distasteful? Your writing as of late which has reviled your contempt of us has been increasing exponentially the longer you stay. You have expressed your dissatisfaction with continuing to report on the Thailand bar scene and I think the time has come for you to give it a rest and move on to subjects that you find more palatable and leave the bar scene reporting to others who won't insult readers with a contemptible attitude of us like you have displayed.

Stick, the degenerate!

I recently came across your website and I read your post on the cost to live in Bangkok. The article was interesting but quite frankly I was absolutely DISGUSTED to see you offering a fourth, fifth and sixth prize (in a photo competition) of fornication. I find this unbelievable and reprehensible. It runs counter to all that is decent and is completely immoral. You should learn some decent, Christian, moral values, you filthy, disgusting degenerate.

Stick with Stick. Flag the forums.

I just want to comment on your opening piece and Dana's piece on Mongerism which were some of the best reading on the net concerning the Thai way of life. Your column is a ritual with me. You blow away the forums whose purpose more and more seems to centre around who can come up with the nastiest flame. Thanks for your time and effort.

Shadow Bar on Soi Cowboy is running a 125 baht-a-pint Guinness promotion which surely makes it the best price for Guinness in Thailand.

Everyone knows that Nana Plaza would be a nightmare if fire broke out and now it seems the authorities have finally realised this too. The rumour mill has it that due to concerns about a lack of access to firemen in the instance of an emergency, there are going to be enforced changes at Nana Plaza and the bars in the middle of the plaza at ground level, that would be Pharaoh and the bars behind it, are to be razed. I have to reiterate that this is rumour but it has come from a few different directions which gives it credence. The rumour mill has it that this is to take place in July and those holding leases for bars in that part of the plaza will be compensated – a word you seldom hear used in Thailand.

Late night revelers were aggravated both Friday and Saturday nights when the word went around Sukhumvit soi 4, Nana Plaza and all the bars in the area at around 1:10 AM that they had to close quick-smart. In one long-running popular beer bar outside an infamous sex tourist hotel, revelers were told to pay up and get out, so scared were the management that they would get raided by police and fined or worse still, ordered closed for a period. Just what this latest early closure was all about, who knows.

The Strip, in Patpong's soi 2, where the Stick can frequently be found, will host a beach party this coming Friday, June 26. The beach is brought to Bangkok with sand spread throughout the entire bar which is also decorated with coconut trees!

The downturn being experienced in bars in the farang areas is being felt in the areas where Thai men are traditionally found. Word out of the massage parlours is that business is sharply down as well. In one large massage parlour about 40% of the girls go home at the end of the shift without having had a single costumer!

Shark Bar in Cowboy welcomed its first customer one night this week at 7:05 PM. He sat down, ordered a beer and then realised that there was something wrong. The bar was uncomfortably hot. He mentioned this to the waitress who responded that the air-con would be turned on at 7:30 and no, it could not be turned on before then, at which point he made up to leave. Abuse came from a number of staff. On the other side of the ledger, Shark has a heap of pretty ladies.

I was amazed this week when talking to two dancers in Tilac who were sitting there abjectly, clearly discontented with life. It didn't take long to find out the problem – in one month each of them had yet to be barfined. A whole month! And living upstairs they happen to work every night. Tilac is a great bar but the barfine rates there don't seem to be nearly as high as elsewhere, something I simply cannot understand. Anyone got a theory?

And speaking of Tilac, it was explained to me that the dancers pay 200 baht for their top, 100 baht for their skimpy skirt, 50 baht for the name badge and they must also buy their own boots, which can run up to 1,000 baht or so. A lot of money for a girl new to the industry.

Has the tide turned? I mean really turned? In Cowboy this week, a certain Kiwi was being hounded by girls from all directions in all bars. Even when he bought a lady a drink, a rarity for him, he was getting girls trying to snatch him away. It's like the old days at the moment in a number of bars, it really is. Tor those who take the plunge and make the pilgrimage to Bangkok or Pattaya, you might just find better attitudes and better service than you have experienced in many, many years.

Hollywood Inn in Nana Plaza really is the flashest short time hotel with immaculate rooms, all equipped with flat screen TVs. Use of the room will set you back 400 baht for a short time, 1,000 baht all night. The lady (or ladyboy, if that's your thing – those who enjoy ladyboys seem to prefer making a beeline for then nearest room although I have never worked out whether that is because their loins are raging of they are avoiding the walk of shame out of Nana) gets a 100 baht kickback on the fee.

One of the more popular Cowboy bars, Raw Hide's recent renovations have made the bar look newer and feel cleaner but it has to be said, the atmosphere is not what it used to be. The music might be loud but in terms of atmosphere it's like someone pressed the mute button.

And away from the bar scene, town is quiet. Shopping malls have fewer shoppers, restaurants less diners and the roads are quieter earlier in the evening. It reminds me of a decade ago.

There seem to be more and more police checkpoints on the roads checking drivers and cars at night. For foreigners who are passengers in taxis, they seem totally disinterested in you. If you're a driver, it's the complete opposite – or at least that has been my experience. I was even asked to show the car ownership papers at a checkpoint earlier this week, something I have never been asked for before.

AfterDark Asia magazine has been very much a Pattaya rag but it hopes to spread its wings and feature some lovelies from Bangkok bars and not just Pattaya.

Over the past few years there has been a crackdown on visas, particularly visa runners, and those who stay in Thailand long term on back to back visas without converting them to a one year visa which is possible through marriage, work permit etc. With all of this said, I don't think the immigration rule changes probably have not made it that much more difficult for people to remain in country and there seem to be various simple work arounds. But with that in mind, I notice that more and more people coming to Thailand hear the words "visa crackdown" and they believe it means that Thailand is a hard place to visit – and they are cancelling their trips and going elsewhere. I kid you not. More and more people are emailing me telling me that they have been put off and are venturing elsewhere – even when that is not necessary and Thailand remains their first choice! My proposed solution on the visa situation is simple. For those holding a passport from the "trouble-free" countries, meaning the West and other countries like Japan, South Korea etc, visitors should be given a 90 day entry on arrival and be able to come and go as they please, without limitation. The amount of money these people spend in the country is being reduced by Thailand's curious immigrations rules. It's sort of like when the protests were on, people thought they were more widespread than they were.

Another only in Thailand story this week, the events of which happened to a Danish victim. He met a girl in a beer bar, fell in love with her and married her. They had a big party and there was the usual transfer of wealth – ring, gold and cash from him to her and her family. They took their honeymoon in Phuket. She received a phone call in the hotel room and spoke in Thai. It was obvious to him that something was up. He went into the shower and when he came out she was gone. He searched for her and couldn't find her. He has not seen her since! Unfortunately for some of these women, marriage means a big party with a farang guy with lots of money coming their way. Soon after the party they revert back to their own ways and feel that they can do whatever they want!

Pattaya might be but a fraction of the size of Bangkok, but in terms of good value Western food dining options it shits all over the capital. One spot that everyone agrees is excellent in Pattaya is Cherry's, located up on Third Road. Since it opened a few years back it seems to be packed every night. Cherry's actually has three branches, with the newest branch to be found on Soi Diana. They have various deals but for me, the best is the 5 course set menu which runs a ridiculously cheap 269 baht. That is 5 courses of quality food, one of which is a salad bar buffet, for less than the cost of a single dish in many places. I chose the fillet mignon and it was pretty good quality wise, and astoundingly good value for money.

But it's not all good news down Pattaya way. This past week a local went to the tent market at Pattaya Tai with his other half. He had some things to attend to while she kept herself happy shopping. About an hour later she called him and said someone had stolen her gold, about 40,000 bahts' worth! When questioned how it happened, she said she didn't know! She said she was standing in one spot for a long period of time. She didn't know why and then she noticed her gold was gone. Hypnotised? Drugged? Or a fabricated story to get boyfriend to buy more gold?!

Correct me if I am wrong – and I would love to be corrected, but the best gravy in town is found at the Crossbar. It's absolutely gorgeous.

The amazing ad below appeared in the local press recently. It's an advertisement titled "Easy Work – Mia Noi"! It then goes on to say that the person placing the ad is looking for a 25 – 32 year old attractive Thai woman with an education to at least bachelor degree level to be his mia noi which translates as "mistress" or "second wife". The lucky applicant will be rewarded with a 30,000 baht per month salary as well as a free apartment and a course in the English language or business study will be financed. She will receive money to be invested in a business and there will be travel opportunities to the US and Europe. After that, there is a scale of cash payments and increased monthly salary once kids are born. At the bottom it says the ad is placed by a good-looking 45-year old American with business interests. Interestingly, the gentleman behind this ad does not actually have a wife but believes that a mia noi type arrangement is what will work best for him! Know anyone who might be interested? Get them to send off an email. It's not the first of April so yes, this is bona fide! I spoke to the guy who came up with the idea yesterday and he said that at that point there had already been emails from HUNDREDS showing interest!

There were many good readers' stories published this week but for me, the Stickman reader's story of the week is "The Apartment" by Mega, a fascinating true story about the denizens that inhabit his apartment complex.

Quote of the week comes from me from a conversation with Phil, Lord of Tilac, earlier this week. "Isaan is like Pattaya, 2 days is about enough."

Was David Caradine a victim of transsexuals?

Many readers can't understand me saying Thai food is unhealthy but Australia's Telegraph newspaper agrees.

The outgoing Oriental Hotel manager is featured in the Washington Post.

This nasty video posted on YouTube shows what can happen if you complain in a bar in Thailand!

An over-aged Thai prostitute was found dead in New Zealand.

The BBC reports that Thailand's exports are in a record slump!

Some scoundrel was impersonating a Thai copper to extort farangs!

Ask Mrs. Stick

Mrs. Stick is happy to answer any questions regarding inter-racial relationships as well as cultural peculiarities that may be confusing or baffling you.

Question 1: I have been reading Stickman's column for a few years and I've never seen this mentioned. We all know that the Thais are probably the most polite people on earth, but what's with their inability to form a line? Invariably when I'm waiting in line at a 7 Eleven one or more people sidle up to the counter and with a flanking move that would have made Rommel jealous move right in front of you. How does one react to this?

Mrs. Stick says: Some places we queue like in the bank and some places we don't queue like at the bus stop and in shops. I think you can learn which places we queue and which we do not. BTW, thanks for saying we are polite.

Question 2: A while back I wrote to you about my wife being pregnant and me not being able to have sex with my wife. I shared how my mother in law said she could step in and have sex with me if I couldn't wait. Well, the baby is now one month old, but my wife's mother is still making the same offer. Since I am retired I basically stay at home during the day taking care of the garden and home while my wife is at work. My mother-in-law pretty much lives with us and is taking care of the baby. The other day while I was asleep, the mother-in-law came into my bedroom and started massaging me. I was groggy from sleeping and didn't really object. Well, one thing lead to another and the next thing I knew, she inserted my penis in her vagina. I don't know why I didn't object. I must say it was some of the best sex I've ever had. Now, I have a problem. I have to tell my wife, but I'm afraid. The mother-in-law said everything would be ok and that she would explain to my wife. I don't believe her. Please, is there any advice you can give me on this.

Mr. Stick says: You jester! Unless part of your mother's anatomy law bears more than a passing resemblance to the Grand Canyon, this is simply not physically possible. Either it never happened OR you wanted it to happen and allowed yourself to get aroused and willingly gave your mother in law the bone. Whatever the case, this is really whacked. I see no good coming from this, that is, if it did happen, which I very seriously doubt.

Question 3: My girlfriend and I are planning to get married in a few months. While talking this through, she said that she wants to keep her last name and not take on my name. Is this common in Thailand or could this be something sinister? Could it be that she does not want this because it would be easier for her after a divorce, if she kept her last name? Or maybe due to another bad reason that I do not even want to think about? BTW, I do not have a funny or embarrassing last name!

Mrs. Stick says: When we got married I had to change my name according to the law. But the law changed and now your wife does not have to change surname if she does not want to. I am traditional and think that she should change her name. I don't know anyone who got married and did not change their surname. Some Thai women who married farang don't want to change their name because if someone sees their surname they know they are wife of farang. And sometimes it is our advantage to hide this because for some people they might think bad about us marrying farang.



When I read back through past columns, trying to be objective and looking at how I could make the weekly better, I see rather a lot of mention about prices. With this in mind I can see how it would be easy to call me a cheap Charlie. I'll be the first to admit that I tend to support businesses who offer a good deal. Note, I said a good deal, NOT necessarily low prices. If you asked me directly if I was a cheap Charlie, I would answer with an emphatic "no"! I seek value for money which may or many not mean a low price. For example, I would happily pay 105 – 110 baht for a bottle of Heineken in certain English or Irish pubs yet I would not pay 70 or 80 baht elsewhere, simply because, for whatever reason, the venue, the service or both where beer was priced 70 baht just wasn't up to scratch. To me, this is not being a cheap Charlie. There are naughty bars out there that charge 150 baht for a standard drink which I won't frequent because I just don't believe they offer fair value. There might be a show provided, but the environment, the quality of the drink (particularly in the case of mixed drinks) and the service (rude, aggressive, directly asking for a tip) are all off-putting. Actually, the more I think about it, the more the problem I have with the naughty bars is that about 75% of all naughty bars offer really crap service. Some are quite good – Tilac springs to mind, Secrets, Misty's and Catz in Pattaya but in some big names, the service can at times border on offensive. So am I a cheap Charlie? Hell no!

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick