Stickman's Weekly Column June 23rd, 2013

Pattaya Today



Are the days of Pattaya being referred to as Sin City numbered? Once regarded as the biggest sex tourism destination on the planet, the city-sized brothel is ready to shed its unenviable image as sex tourists increasingly comprise a smaller and smaller minority of total visitors to the city.

This week in Sin City, I found myself wandering around a very different place to the Pattaya I used to know.






Beach Road, Pattaya

Where better to start than a gentle stroll along Beach Road? A magnificent day, with just a few wispy clouds breaking an otherwise vivid blue sky and a sea breeze it was almost perfect. The weather was ideal, so where was everyone?

June is one of the quietest months on Thailand's tourism calendar. Beach chairs were empty and the number of welcome girls at the Coconut Bar mirrored the number of people out enjoying the perfect weather. There were few of either.



Pattaya massage

It's not that long ago that swathes of downtown Pattaya were undeveloped. Vacant lots, open expanses of grass and fields were all that separated blocks of bars from each other. Moving from one bar complex to another after dark you'd pass street carts, packs of motorbike taxi riders, prostitutes and bar patrons. That was Pattaya.

Recent developments reflect Pattaya's changing customer base. A world-class shopping mall, hotels, eateries, travel agencies, markets – all of which appeal to mainstream visitors. New bars are being built, but just as many are being torn down.

Pattaya has grown up fast and the infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Traffic isn't getting any better and sidewalks are in disrepair.



Naughty boys mightn't be bothered about the lack of infrastructure, but mainstream tourists are.

Beachfront promenade developments are nothing new, but the current beach road widening project is the biggest yet embarked on. Much of Beach Road from Central Festival down to Dusit Thani is a dreadful mess and will be for months to come.

It looks like this time it will be a real improvement, with the walkway widened and another traffic lane added. Many have been quick to criticise the project, but I give the engineers full marks. How do you widen the walkway AND add another traffic lane without moving the beach? Someone did their homework.




Soi 8 is being transformed into a clone of soi 13, with hotels running its length. Soi 7 is dying a slow death.

At Foxy Lady Bar in soi 7 visitors are encouraged to sign the guestbook walls. The most recent entry is from David and Adriana from Slovakia. A couple, from an emerging economy. The future of Pattaya.




Soi Pattayaland 2

Girls making offerings to Lord Buddha at the shrine on Beach Road just across from soi 6 and are deep in prayer. They used to wish for rich customers. Now they wish for any customers. Families, couples, and North Asian tour groups dominate. The white man had becomes a rare species.




Pattaya

It's warm in Russia now – if Russia ever gets what you could really call warm – yet Russians still clearly make up the largest group of visitors. Couples and families, it's almost as if Russia doesn't have single men. And if a Russian guy was single, why would he bother with Pattaya? Russian girls are just lovely – and you know the real lookers don't visit Pattaya, but the likes of London, Monaco and the Mediterranean.

On Walking Street by day I see little evidence to support Pattaya's title of the naughty boy capital of the world.




farang in Pattaya

Up South Pattaya Road I stroll, making a left on to Soi Buakhao, the budget area. It's a part of town where even the marginal might find themselves overdressed, where a few hundred baht will get just about whatever it is you're looking for. One of the charms of Soi Buakhao is that no shirt is no problem.




Shrimp Provencale

Many Bangkok expats decry Pattaya's dining options. I find it tremendous. Get away from Central, Royal Garden, Walking Street and Beach Road and there are many outstanding hole in the wall eateries where the great cuisines of Europe are represented. French, Italian, Spanish, Swiss, Belgian, there are too many outlets to list.

I'd all but given up on La Cuisine au Beurre, one of a handful of French restaurants in the alley alongside Tuk Com. Prices had been creeping up and the quality had taken a bit of a nosedive. But it used to be good, so good, so I gave it one more chance – and I'm glad I did. The portion sizes have been increased with a whopping 16 (yeah, I counted!) prawns in the shrimp Provencal, vegetables, and a big side of perfectly cooked fried potatoes. Along with a thick, hearty spinach soup, French bread, the total bill was just 325 baht. The quality was top notch. Dessert and coffee were included but I was too full to go there.



Walking Street, Pattaya

The most common image of Walking Street at night is not Russian couples walking hand in hand, or groups of Indian men negotiating a group discount with a shocked lass who thought she'd heard it all before until they came along, but coach-loads of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese visitors following their flag-carrying tour guide through the neon. Coach-load after coach-load, they are never-ending, scurrying from one end of Walking Street to the other, from early evening until well after many have turned in for the night.

If Walking Street at night is the barometer of Pattaya's naughty nightlife industry, there's a storm on the horizon. There are few single white men about, both in number and as a percentage of all visitors. And when you factor in that many of the white guys roaming are residents of Pattaya you start to realise how few single white guys are visiting.



Happy A Gogo Pattaya

A lone figure ambles along the lane leading up to Happy A Gogo, still widely regarded as one of the best bars of its type in Pattaya. As good as it may be, there are few punters to be seen.

Babydolls, What's Up, Private Dancer and Secrets were dead. When big-name bars struggle for customers things are bad.

Bacarra, on the other hand, was packed. With Asian men. And they were spending. Super Baby in Soi Diamond is booming too. Same customer base as Bacarra.



Candidography



Mandarin

A security guard slouches; a hello girl is engrossed in her mobile. Their body language says it all.

There appear to be fewer hello girls outside Walking Street gogos, and those you do see are not the lookers they were just last year, let alone a few years back.

Standing outside one of Walking Street's biggest bars, I point the camera to take an innocuous shot. The girls outside become animated and start frantically waving at me. They're not smiling. They don't want me to so much as take a photo of the frontage of the bar. I have a wide angle lens attached and you could not possibly identify a girl in the shot yet they don't want the photo taken although, admittedly, they don't know that. I reflect on how they should be encouraging me to take a photo and promote the venue – but try telling them that.



Walking Street gogo bars, Pattaya

Thriving soi 15 off Walking Street is home to Beach Club, Shark, Sapphire, Angelwitch, What's Up, Private Dancer and Babydolls making it a magnet for naughty boys in the know. It's dead. Security don't even bother standing at the entrance to bars, but sit nearby, laughing and joking amongst themselves, another easy night at the office. They don't care if it's busy or not.

There are fewer genuinely attractive girls around than ever, not that Pattaya ever attracted the best lookers. Those genuinely attractive girls who make it to Pattaya get snapped up quickly and put on a salary.

These days girls don't have to enter the industry, with work available nationwide. There's no longer a need to travel out of your province for work.



Pattaya bar games

It's quiet outside, and even quieter inside where girls attempt to amuse themselves. They fiddle with their mobile in those bars which don't bar their use. Some play the dice game and most have that look of resignation. It's June, it's raining and it's going to be a long night.







Signs in Russian are popping up everywhere; places that were once farang strongholds have signs in English, Russian and even Chinese. Private member clubs, that term often given by doormen who turn away Indians who are known for being notoriously tight, are three words you no longer hear. Everyone is welcomed with open arms.

Will Thais start speaking Russian? Fat chance. They study English every year at school, starting in kindergarten and all the way through to grade 12, yet still they have the worst English in all of South-East Asia. What hope do they have of learning a language as complex as Russian?

Those servicing the Thai market are doing fine. If Westerners are your customer base, you might just need to revise your business plan.



Pattaya is quiet, perhaps not as quiet as the last two low seasons. There are fewer girls in many bars and there are certainly fewer attractive girls about. There appear to be fewer freelancers too. It's easy to see why, with naughty boys making up a smaller percentage of the overall tourist numbers than ever before. Some Bangkok expats who used to enjoy regular weekends in Pattaya don't go any more, or take less frequent trips.

The once thriving Soi Pattayaland 2 is typical of many bar areas in Pattaya, surviving solely on reputation. The owner of one long-running bar tells me how he used to do more at happy hour in the good old days than he does in an entire night now.

I hear reports of the odd beer bar not making a single sale in one day and a report of a low-end gogo bar taking less than 1,000 baht one night. It's grim.



Walking Street, Pattaya

The pace of change has been dramatic, and the Pattaya we know is fast disappearing.

Today, naughty boys are very much a small minority of visitors to the city. The demographic has changed.

The girls will always be there, but they are taking a back seat to all that is around them. They're no longer the main attraction.

The Sin City moniker doesn't seem to fit any more.





Where was this photo taken?

Bangkok

Last week's photo was taken from an Iraqi restaurant on Sukhumvit soi 3, looking down on the soi with the popular Bamboo Bar across the road. Clue: It is somewhere in downtown Bangkok!



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 A+B=C!

Among the many observations in last week's column:
A) In many expat circles there is an expectation that when you go out, you will drink.
B) Isn't talking about sex all the time what teenage boys do?
C) Why do so many expats in Thailand have money problems?

I suggest that A+B often equals C! It's true that Bangkok attracts a different sort of expat relative to other Asian cities. The combination of alcohol and bargirls has twisted many a man. Years ago, a friend joined me in a Bangkok visit. We visited gogos and had fun. But, to my surprise, he moved there after his marriage broke up some time later. When I visited him after he'd been in Bangkok awhile (after he'd learned enough Thai to practice emotional manipulation of bargirls), he wasn't quite the same person. Copious amounts of alcohol and a perverse fondness for dangerous bargirls (the kind who smash bottles and threaten you with the jagged edge) were his new hobbies. After he tried to drag me into his web of weirdness, I began actively avoiding him. Viewing this up close over a period of years, the slow morphing of Jekyll into Hyde wasn't pretty. Yes, choose your friends carefully in Bangkok.

Hong Kong and Bangkok, same same.

After well over 10 years in Hong Kong, I recently went through the hundreds of contact entries in my Microsoft Outlook, which I maintain religiously. I ranked the ones I consider actual friends. There were 3, and I was being generous with 2 of those. Same rules apply, and you can never let your guard down in the expat community here. Surprisingly, there are a lot of undesirables. In many cases, they're just undesirables in suits. Pretty shameful situation, really.

Take them seriously at your peril.

After my time in Thailand I just assume everyone reinvented themselves (a valid reason for moving overseas and starting over IMO) and most are making up their past. I can't count the number of ex Special Forces who go on to make a statement that shows without a doubt they were never. Serving in your country's military is something to be proud of whether you were a cook or you shuffled paperwork. So why does everyone claim to be Special Forces when clearly they are not? They're paying the girls for the illusion, but they're not paying me. But what really pisses me off is when a self-proclaimed Special Forces expert gives advice which could get someone hurt, sued or even killed. This is where you go from harmless but obvious lies, to hurting others. One hand…that's how many fingers and how many people I can count who have been genuine about themselves of all the farangs I met in Thailand. Usually there's no harm, all in good fun because you don't take them seriously. The problems arise when you do start taking them seriously and take their advice on investments, self defence etc.



Expats going native.

Everything you said is spot on and I have lived in Phuket for 7 years now. The reality is that a lot of expats in Thailand come here as soon as they possibly can (in their minds) afford it, then have their savings chipped away, and then adopt Thai ways of trying to live in some sort of "social network" that doesn't informally exist like it does for poor Thai people. Expats who live like poor Thais are to be avoided. As an example. Any expat that refuses to use air-conditioning is to be avoided.

Reflecting, or not, on expat society.

The issues you note are all too true, and exaggerated in the expat community, on the whole men on the run, bitter, and in the end not likely to be better off than before running, often worse. As for the sexual claims: you want the real story, talk to the girls. Half the time the guys can't even get it up, or they need to be whacked off, or they're just plain full of shit about what they're doing. I do wonder how many of your "friends" will recognise the hit you're making on them and not be all that happy, if they are reflective at all.

Nit and Noi not Tokyo-bound.

My fave comment on Japan (wish I'd made it up) is that it's the only functioning communist society. It's true. Things happen a certain way. They are done a certain way. They are NOT done in ANOTHER way. Everything from mustard on hamburgers to the interlocking power structure of high-level politicians / biz conglomerates / yakuza. I could go on about this, but in terms of working girls: they must fit into the structure. Most Japanese don't own passports, they never leave the country. Their entire lives are spoon-fed to them by mellifluous Japanese speakers. Of course there's all this wild art, advertising and porn, but so much of that is "on rails" as well. Japanese people are used to having everything delivered in sanitised Japanese. The guys living in Bangkok often go to Thaniya because it's structured to resemble Japan. The signs saying "no non-Japanese allowed" are in English to reassure Japanese patrons that their expensive evening out is in a place unsullied by the presence of foreigners at any time in the past. Of course, Japanese men like sex with Thai women. Who doesn't? So they'll read G-Diary (which I think is aimed at expats more than tourists), or head to Thaniya. Soapies (a Japanese invention) are popular, younger guys will hit gogos, even some older guys. They're the target audience now. Although the yen went from 80 to 100 as the new PM is applying high voltage to the J-economy. And who knows which big manufacturers have pulled out of Ayutthaya industrial parks after the debacle of 2011. It's a complex picture, but there's no way Nit and Noi are gonna step off the plane and go walk the streets in Shin-Okubo. It just doesn't work that way.

Where the bogans go!

No idea who the Aussie supporting the soi 6 girl is, but he obviously falls into the cashed-up bogan brigade who work on the mines. They earn huge money and have minimal neurons to rub together, and invariably most end up with no money and no assets to show for it after a life time of work. I met a 61-year old recently who is earning $75/hour driving a haul pack truck, working 14-hour days with 3 weeks on and one week off. So nearly $19,000 Aussie per month (6 day weeks and not paid for the week off) and what did he have to show for it? Nada, diddly squat. No house and no car. He lives in his nephew's house and borrows his nephew's car when he comes to Perth on his week off. Many of these mine workers don't bother going home to their home state. They fly to Asia for their week off and there have been reports of rising levels of HIV in fly in fly out (FIFO) workers in Australia as a result. So 80,000 baht a month to one of these dills is not out of the question. Roughly $2,700 Aussie per month, it wouldn't put a huge dent in their pay packets.




Girl of the week

Nui, dancer, Babydolls, Soi 15 off Walking Street, Pattaya.

A native of Buriram, she is the superstar of a bar that has been voted
the best in Pattaya in online surveys more than any other.
Nui is 26, speaks great English and doesn't like farangs who speak Thai!


Babydolls Pattaya



Babydolls Pattaya



Babydolls Pattaya



The Strip Gogo Bar Bangkok



Hollywood on the ground floor of Nana Plaza seems like it has been there forever. When Nana was far and away the most popular bar area, Hollywood was regarded as one of the best bars, up there with Voodoo, G Spot and Pretty Lady. It has been a shadow of its former self for a while now and it's time for a change. Hollywood is history, with the Nana Group putting it out of its misery. Work is going ahead on the replacement venue, in the same location, Angelwitch 2. All going to plan, the second Angelwitch bar will open at the start of August.

The quiet season has not deterred popular Tilac in Soi Cowboy from increasing the price of a standard beer. It is now in-line with many other gogo bars on the soi, at 150 baht. Of course this is still significantly cheaper than what you would pay in any of The Arab's bars.

On the subject of the villain of Soi Cowboy, a reader has provided details of the assault reported in last week's column which took place at the one of the Arab's bars. The victim was an elderly European. Apparently he believed that his bill in Spice Girls had been padded and when he complained and tried to leave he was set upon outside the entrance by a number of employees who knocked him to the ground and laid in to him. He managed to get to his feet as security from other Arab bars came shouting xenophobic comments along the lines of "Farang, go home!" He was assaulted again when leaving the soi. A white-haired old man, beaten up by a bunch of young Thai thugs, it's a total disgrace. The reader who reported the incident was so shocked that he said he is unsure if he will ever visit Soi Cowboy again. I guess there is a message here for other bar owners in Soi Cowboy – you guys may lose business because of what is happening in the soi. Some of you tell me about how there is a Soi Cowboy bar owners association which has regular meetings. Isn't it about time that this nonsense was raised at said meetings and something actually done about this?

Down in Pattaya, Lady Love on Soi LK Metro is worth checking out. A medium-sized gogo bar with basic decoration, it currently features a line-up of very pretty girls. Think Bangkok girl quality in Pattaya.

I note that Beach Club is undergoing renovations inside and out and was closed this week.

A temporary crackdown in Pattaya may see a lot (all?) bars closed by 2 AM for the next week or so.

If you're looking for something a little spicy, Bar Bar on Patpong soi 2 is hosting an event this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with details on the poster below.



M Club, the gentleman's club on Pattaya's 3rd road, recently launched what it's calling a low season price break for expats. Mixed drinks and most spirits are now 100 baht. Leo beer is only 59 baht. San Miguel Light, Tiger and Singha are a reasonable 79 baht. M Club also offers free food on Sundays with something different and tasty each week. M Club is open from 2 PM to midnight daily. You can check out some of the girls and find a map to MClub here.

Why is Bacarra in Pattaya staffed with an all-male service staff while Bacarra in Bangkok is all female? Something to do with the customer base, perhaps?

With the low season in Pattaya really biting, some motorbike taxi riders have taken to the Indian tailor school of sales, asking all and sundry passing by if they are interested in a trip to the shooting rage, a trip up the hill and various other trips. Many have laminated cards made up promoting various sights and shows.

The Filipinos masquerading as charity workers who have long been a feature in Bangkok, and have been bothering punters in Soi Nana in recent times, are doing the rounds of the beer bars in Pattaya. It's a scam and the charity is themselves!

If you're hungry in Pattaya, the lunch buffet at the Hilton is utterly superb and a real bargain. Each day features a different theme. I tried it on Wednesday which is burger and sandwich day. This might not sound that appetising as there are only so many burgers or sandwiches you can eat, right? That's what I thought, but the buffet doesn't feature only burgers and sandwiches. That's just the featured part of the buffet. You still get salads, Thai dishes, various farang-style meat and fish dishes including perfectly cooked salmon, sumptuous desserts and even seafood. All this, with views from the 14th floor overlooking Pattaya Bay. And the price? Just 420 baht all in. Fantastic quality, service and setting!



If you wanted to know which bar did the best trade, or simply what sort of numbers a bar is really doing, how could you find out? Talk to business brokers and see what they say? No, they may know what some bars do, but many bars never change hands so business brokers only know so much. What about having a word with someone at the Revenue Department? Nah, I don't think that would work either. There would seem to be another way. There are point of sale bar software packages used by many bars which record all activity, all the sales every day broken down to include all drinks, lady drinks, barfines etc. Some packages have a feature which emails the bar's takings to the owners at the end of the night. There is a back door, however, which also emails the takings to someone at the software company…so they know what all the bars with their software installed are doing, to the last baht. So if you want to know how much a bar is doing, those are the people to talk to! Not sure if they will tell you if you ask directly, but if you were indirect you might just get it out of them…

Aussies lodging a partner visa application (fiancée, de facto or spouse) should consider doing so before the 1st of July when new visa charges to come into effect which will see secondary applicants being charged an additional fee of $680 per each applicant. At a hefty $2,680 already for a partner visa, the new fee including just one child will jump to $3,360. Two children and you will get just $10 change from $4,000. Add medicals, police checks, document translations – and migrating to Australia isn't cheap! Applications received and receipted before July 1st will NOT be subject to the new charges. Any Aussies who need help through the visa process can check out the Australia visa assistance forum.

Thai Airways is a great deal on domestic flights. Yes, I know, budget carriers are cheaper but the price difference is negligible. On international routes, however, Thai Airways charges a premium. Compare with other airlines and the prices charged by Thai can at times seem to be over the odds. On many legs, however, Thai is the only direct operator so, say, if you wanted to fly to that fine country of New Zealand, Thai is the only carrier that flies direct. While Thai charges premium rates on international legs, why is it that many international Thai flights flying in to Bangkok do not stop at the terminal, but way out on the tarmac from where you get shuttled to the terminal in buses? Quite understandable in the case of budget carriers but it seems a bit rich when you're paying premium rates!


Bangkok escort


One week they're after you for littering, then they are chasing down motorcycle riders and this week it is the turn of coppers looking for those carrying drugs. In the late hours of Friday before last, an Aussie was travelling down Suhkumvit after a big night out. Two brown shirts stopped the bike and searched the fellow. He was found to have two strips of Valium pills on him. He had flown in from Egypt where he works and have the Valium to help him sleep and control anxiety attacks he suffers when flying. The cops told him that he was in possession of illegal drugs and the fact that they were clearly labelled was deemed irrelevant. He was told that being a Friday night, he would spend 3 nights in jail and be deported on Monday. Of course, there was another option. The problem could be dealt with by an on the spot fine…of 30,000 baht. Said fellow's first reaction was to tell them to deport him. He had, after all, had plenty to drink. He soon changed his mind. The fine was reduced to 20,000 baht and the cops were going to take him to an ATM when he realised he still had 18,000 baht in his wallet. That was accepted and, no, there was no receipt. Ironically he was allowed to keep the illegal drugs. My limited understating of this situation is that Valium is legal, but you're supposed to be able to show a prescription for it in your name if challenged. If you don't, then enquiries may be made and if you cannot produce a prescription, more serious questions may be asked. That the cops would threaten someone with 3 days in jail and deportation for carrying a very small quantity of drugs for personal use which were prescribed by a doctor overseas seems like overkill. It is yet another reminder that one should keep the prescription for any drugs you may be on with those drugs.

You don't normally associate fine cuisine and German in the same sentence but G's in Patpong 2, open less than a year, is doing a stellar job and has raced to #1 in TripAdvisor for restaurants in Bangkok. The chef, Guido, is an award winning chef from Germany, and a super nice guy to boot. The food is excellent, the prices very reasonable and the service better than 99% of Bangkok restaurants.

If you cannot get enough of Thailand, "Only God Forgives" is the latest flick to feature Thailand, and won the Sydney film prize. You can watch the trailer on YouTube here.


Bar Bar Patpong


Quote of the week comes from Korski, "In Myanmar find a working ATM and I'll give you a thousand dollars!"

Reader's story of the week comes from Korski, "Gonorrhea and Western Women".

Pattaya gets a blast from the BBC in one of the clichéd and most inaccurate reports from the network ever!

From the UK's Telegraph, Thai monks are criticised after a video made it to YouTube showing monks on a private jet.

A 38-year old New Zealander joins the ranks of young foreigners who checked out in Thailand.

The Washington Post reports that the recurring problems tourists face in Phuket was discussed by European ambassadors this week.

A staff member at Phuket Airport admits stealing $900 cash from an Aussie tourist's bag as it was scanned.

From the Birmingham Mail, a Black Sabbath roadie was killed in bike smash in Pattaya.

A dentistry student is arrested by police after a drive by shooting in Chiang Mai which injured 3 tourists.



Ask Sunbelt Asia Legal

Sunbelt Asia's legal department is here to answer your questions relating to legal issues and the law in Thailand. Send any legal questions you may have to me and I will pass them on to Sunbelt Legal and their response will run in a future column. You can contact Sunbelt's legal department directly for all of your legal needs.

Question 1: I was asked by a girl I know to give her a baby. She has a long-term relationship with a guy who has had a vasectomy. She wants a baby and wants 'good DNA' and the guy has agreed. She doesn't want any money – in fact she wants me out of her life as soon as she is pregnant. Are there legally binding contracts in Thailand that would protect me from future requests for child support if her financial circumstances worsen? And to make matters even more interesting, there's another girl who asked me the same thing last week. What can I say? I must have quality DNA! I sort of want to help out, but I'm not 100% sure. But I promised I'd look into the legal side of things first.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: There is no direct law that covers these kinds of acts. It is currently in the drafting and proposal stage to manage the liability of the donor. You could produce a written agreement to cover the conditions but it would not guarantee that you would be free of responsibility for the child in the future. Currently the law states that a child born to a married woman is the child of her husband. If there was a dispute then all related parties would be requested to take a DNA test to determine who the biological father is.

You may want to consider contacting hospitals that also operate as a sperm bank to see if they could provide your friend with advice. Jetanin is one such hospital.

Question 2: I am a freelance journalist. What do I need to do get the credentials to work in Thailand, remaining freelance? I understand that I don't need to set up a company and that there is a special visa classification for journalists. Can you help?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: There is a visa which is available to journalists, Non-Immigrant "M", where you need to be employed as a journalist by either a domestic or overseas news agency. There is a list of procedures and required documents in obtaining the mentioned visa.

It would be difficult for a freelance journalist (with no employment either in Thailand and / or abroad) to apply for the said visa. You must have a sponsoring employer.



Question 3: My off-plan condo purchase agreement is English only (though the sales agent told me it's common practice and it's legal) plus its contents do not conform to the standard contract form Or Chor 22 as prescribed by the 2008 Condominium Act. The law states that such contracts are invalid but I have already transferred all the money to the developer which is delaying the project. I have all the bank receipts with company seal that they sent me confirming my payment transfers. It's a major and long-established Pattaya developer with a very good track record and many completed projects so I'm surprised they breached the law so flagrantly. I want my money back now (because of the delay and for many other reasons) so how do I proceed given that the contract is considered invalid and only in English?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: As long as the format and content comply with the stipulated rules, even though the executed agreement is in the English language it would still be treated as a legally binding document (if executed properly as well as attaching all the necessary supporting documents). But should any dispute between the parties arise and go to court then the agreement must be translated into the Thai language.

Concerning the dispute, please refer back to your agreement to identify the clause that related to the delay and delivering of the unit, as well as your right to terminate the agreement in the case of delay (including the additional delay granted to the Developer). You will also need to see the methods that you as the Purchaser would need to undertake in notifying the Developer of your decision to terminate the agreement and options that you have in resolving this dispute [e.g. 1] continue to be legally bound by the agreement where you would get some discount; 2) terminate the agreement and reclaim all money paid plus interest etc.].

Sunbelt Asia can assist you in reviewing your contract and determining your rights in terminating the agreement and requesting a refund.





Nana Plaza, Soi Nana, Bangkok


Once dominated by naughty boys, Pattaya may never entirely shed its seedy reputation. The nightlife will survive but the days of it being what drive the city seem to be over. Years ago I thought a cleanup of the foreign bar areas in the capital could see Bangkok's nightlife fall while Pattaya would remain the place for naughty boys, Thailand's very own Wild West where anything goes. The opposite has happened. So what of Bangkok? Personally, I don't see anything changing. With a more sizeable and wealthier expat populace than Pattaya, Bangkok's foreigner bars don't see the same troughs and peaks as Pattaya. That along with a steady stream of international businessmen passing through helps keep the cash registers ticking over. Bangkok's bar areas are doing ok and there's no reason to think there will be any change. The same cannot be said for Pattaya.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick


Firehouse