Some names are a perfect fit for a particular type of product or venue. Banana Bar has always struck me as a great name for a bar and Googling "Banana bar" in Thailand shows many bars of that name up and down the country. Ditto for Honey Hotel which is popular all around the world. When it comes to naughty bars there are many great names, but is there a better name for a naughty bar than G Spot? It's hard to believe that in the 40 odd years that naughty bars have been a big part of Pattaya's landscape that only recently did the name G Spot come to South Pattaya. G Spot opened on Pattaya's Walking Street a couple of months ago and has already made quite an impression.
G Spot features one of the most striking frontages of all the bars on Walking Street.
The team behind G Spot secured one of the best positions on Walking Street, less than a hundred metres from the Beach Road end, and right next to the popular and established Sugar Baby A Gogo.
On the night I visited the rain refused to let up, yet the hello girls didn't let up. From under a large umbrella they invited passersby to step out of the rain and inside their bar.
Inside G spot, dancers jiggle in outfits similar in style to those in Club Electric Blue, except blue is replaced by red.
From Bangkok to Pattaya, they love their braces.
G Spot is a long bar – which I have always thought was the worst possible shape for a chrome pole bar – but it works because rather than one long dance stage, there are two.
G Spot is a little like a single shophouse bar in Soi Cowboy, but a bit wider. It feels wider than one shophouse, but not as wide as two. It's well designed given the space limitations with a dance floor at the front and another at the back, rather than a long, single stage which I think would have been a mistake. Funnily enough, that was, in my humble opinion, one of the design flaws in the bar of the same name in Nana Plaza.
Good things come in twos it seems, and G Spot features 2 special shows a night. They are special and you have to see them for yourself.
G Spot is basically a brand new bar having opened in early July, just a couple of months back. It was built from scratch so everything is still nice and new.
They tell me that G Spot has a bit of a following amongst Japanese and Korean customers although the night I was there I saw little evidence of it. Most customers were farang, or for those of you who hate that word, Caucasian.
G Spot has a Japanese manager to look after the Japanese visitors and a friendly Englishman to keep an eye on the white guys.
Local beers run 160 baht, a few baht more than similar bars up the side sois which is not unexpected given the prime position on Walking Street and rent twice what you pay just a few metres off the main drag.
In some ways G Spot is a throwback to the old days and has a real live DJ.
DJing is one of those jobs that is becoming automated and is on the way out – and in Thai gogo bars that mightn't be such a bad thing. As one bar boss said to me, local DJs love to fxxx! When I looked at him funny he said, "They fxxx with the music play list, fxxx with the volume, fxxx the girls and all of that fxxxs off the boss!"
If there's one surefire way to make a gogo girl shy it's to ask her to pose for photos in a bar full of customers. Clearing a table, repelling some customers and asking her to pose and look sexy embarrassed this poor lass no end.
Like so many chrome pole bars these days, G Spot has a mix of coyote dancers and gogo dancers.
If you still haven't figured out which is which – and admittedly at times it isn't easy – any dancer in skimpy shorts is probably a coyote dancer.
But don't go thinking that just because they're coyote dancers they cannot be barfined. More often than not, they can be.
There are many reasons why I should not find this lady attractive, yet I still found her rather alluring. She was sweet, charming and almost came across as innocent. Almost.
When the other half was looking through the photos from G Spot she singled out this lady as the lady she thought who was my type, but actually she didn't really do it for me.
And this lady was one of perhaps only a couple of ladies in the bar with a look that our Japanese friends would go for. That's noteworthy because management tells me G Spot has proven popular with Asian men – I did not see evidence of that the night I was there.
This lot loved to pose and really seemed to be having fun. Good music, cold drinks and pretty girls might be key ingredients in a bar, but I'd add a fun vibe to that list – and this group of ladies really seemed like they were enjoying themselves. Happy girls makes for happy customers.
I've never thought it fair to comment on a bar (or restaurant) in its first month of trade. Inevitably there will be teething problems and issues and I feel it's only fair to give venues a chance to get everything running smoothly before commenting. G Spot has been open a couple of months, long enough that I think it's fair to comment on it.
You'd think G Spot had been running for years and the impression is very much that management know who their customer base is and what they want – and they're doing everything to accommodate them. There's a Japanese manager to look after our Japanese friends and an Englishman to keep tabs on the Caucasian contingent. There are coyote dancers and gogo dancers. There are shows. There is a variety of drinks. You really do sense that the girls in G Spot enjoy themselves and that point alone makes it worth dropping by.
Where was this photo taken?
Last week's photo was taken of Tanao Road at the eastern end of Khao San Road, the opposite end from that with the police station. This week's photo is a little different and if you know a bit about Bernard Trink, once Thailand's best known farang resident, this shot shouldn't be too difficult. That's Bernard ambling along with his distinctive bag over his shoulder and gold medallion dangling over his belly. This is not a who is this picture quiz, but a where was the photo taken quiz….so where was the photo taken?
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.
When I arrived in 1993 there were rats and cockroaches all over central Bangkok, no decent coffee, transport was ridiculous and there were very few western pubs or bars. It was great! There's a tendency for people to think the time they arrived was the best of times. I prefer to think Bangkok evolves at a remarkable rate and each era has its faults and virtues. I imagine the next few years will be the most fascinating time in the city's history and I intend being around to observe the chaos.
Ink-Free A Gogo.
Is it time for me to open a new kind of gogo bar in Thailand where none of the dancers or wait staff are inked up? Would customers seek out such a bar? I would! I wouldn't mind paying an extra few baht per drink or a couple hundred baht more in barfines either. Do bars pay uninked girls more or less than those who are tattooed? Am I alone in my thinking? Can I break into a very competitive market with that niche device that has me thinking success? I'm surprised someone isn't already doing it.
The difference between seedy and festive.
The Sun article on Pattaya had a photo of dancers in a "seedy" bar. In newspapers, travel guides and TV news, the word "seedy" is required no matter how upscale the club. If it was a club or district with gay bars it would be called "festive". It's all part of the culture war against straight males. In Southern California, customers in adult bars for straight men must remain six feet away from a dancer on stage. If you touch a table dancer, you are likely to be physically thrown from the club. However, in gay bathhouses in the same area the city provides free condoms and literature on safe sex. Obviously more than touching goes on with city approval. In San Francisco, the birthplace of topless bars in America, the North Beach nightlife is long gone. Gay bathhouses flourish. San Francisco is "festive". The city reluctantly passed a law forbidding men riding the public buses naked, an outcrop of allowing public nudity in the flowering gay district. That's my rant for the day.
The dislike of ladyboys.
I don't understand the visceral dislike of ladyboys. You have very little ladyboy content on Stickman. Ladyboys are a much more open part of Thai culture than elsewhere in the world, and they're especially relevant to the naughty side of Thailand. It's been fascinating to see how they're treated in everyday life, since some co-workers and friends of some of my lady friends are ladyboys. They seem to really be just one of the, ahem, guys.
US Embassy DNA test.
An American friend of mine, married to a Cambodian citizen and living in Phnom Penh, applied for US citizenship for their now 18-month-old child and it was suggested by the embassy that he get a DNA test. The cost was a forbidding US$1,000, but he was told samples would be sent to the US for testing to assure accuracy. When he introduced his wife and daughter to the embassy official the next day, the blue eyes and resemblance to daddy were recognized and the embassy official laughed, saying, “Well, I guess we won't be needing the DNA test.” I'm wondering if the US embassy suggests the same precaution in Thailand or elsewhere. And what of other foreign embassies?
Lunch buffet recommendation.
People in the know are raving about the new 150 baht buffet lunch at Tenderloins in Sukhumvit soi 33. Tenderloins has been putting on a great lunch deal for years. It used to be B300 but they raised it to B350. That's still good value for imported steak, salad or soup, potatoes or rice, vegetables, and ice cream or coffee. There are many mains to choose from. But now they've added a mixed Western / Thai buffet. There are 3 salads, including Caesar's and make-your-own tossed salad. Desserts, fresh fruit, carved ham and whole chicken with cranberry sauce, potatoes, and mains that change like vegetable lasagne, chicken cutlet, vegetable curry, ratatouille, tom yam. They are also running a promo on drinks (only for the buffet) – B30 fruit juices (regularly B70), B20 coffee, and fruit shakes. Water is free. The B150 is net – no extra service charge or tax. The buffet runs 11 AM – 2 PM although they may not have everything ready at 11 AM. Given that this is a Western restaurant with chefs and a full kitchen, the food quality is good. They don't have bread but do have pizza. Farang are in the minority; most customers are groups of Thais. Since this meal serves as breakfast for some expats (including yours truly), they might try serving egg dishes.
For a highly evolved beverage industry it is quite shameful that popular bars along Soi Nana and other locations have to continually sun-dry their cardboard beer coasters along the crowded sidewalks – promulgating the bars' own inadequacies or those of the big boys such as Singha and Chang. Perhaps it's time for these multi-million dollar corporations to step up their game and adequately supply the bars for the benefit of both punters and staff.
Dollhouse Bangkok still threatening nonsense.
Regarding Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy, you previously brought to the attention of readers the large signs up at each end of the dance stage stating that anyone taking pictures will be fined 20,000 baht. The signs are still there. Whilst we all know about not taking pics in gogo bars and I had no intention of doing so, I still found this quite annoying for some reason and although they had a decent selection of girls, I left after one beer. I wonder if this sign has a similar effect on other customers?
Girl of the Week
Lada, escort from NewBangkokEscort.com
Lada has a big smile, is bubbly and very talkative once she opens up.
She would love to have a Black American boyfriend or husband.
The new sign for Billboard oozes class and style and almost looks out of place on a gogo bar.
The improvements continue at what is widely regarded as the best gogo bar not just in Nana Plaza, but all of Bangkok, with Billboard erecting striking new signage which gives the impression the bar is that little bit classier than other venues.
What was until this week Candy Land 2 (middle floor of Nana Plaza, previously known as Hot Lips and before that, Fantasia) has been renamed to Bangkok Diamonds.
On the ground floor of Nana Plaza, Short Time's experiment offering food does not seem to have worked and it is back to selling booze only.
CheckInn99 has moved back towards the heart of town, not far from the venue's original location. Don't go hunting for CheckInn99 down beyond Emporium as that location proved to be very temporary and it has since moved, again, and can now be found above Zak's, the wine bar on the left-hand side about half way up Sukhumvit soi 11. Frankly, that's a much better spot to be than down Sukhumvit soi 20-something.
Patpong has been in a very slow, almost imperceptible decline for decades, but if you take the time to look closely at Bangkok's original farang gogo bar, you'd be amazed how little space naughty nightlife venues take up of the greater Patpong area. If you disregard the upstairs bars with the horrible, degrading shows, there is only a very small number of gogo bars operating in each of the two Patpong sois. In Patpong soi 1, all of the gogo bars on one side of the soi have gone with Pussy Collection and Goldfinger consigned to history and strong rumours that the future of Kiss – which has been ordered closed for two months – very much in the balance with some speculating that it may not reopen. On the other side of Patpong soi 1 are Safari, Super Star, Thigh Bar and a small cluster of King's Group gogo bars. In other words, gogo bars on the main Patpong soi number less than 10! In Patpong soi 2, there are black spots where gogo bars like Glamour have closed and the space remains empty. The total number of gogo bars in Patpong soi 2 numbers 5 – count 'em: The Strip, Club Electric Blue, Black Pagoda, Bada Bing (or whatever it's now called) and Pink Panther. That's it! What was once the world centre for gogo bars, Patpong is now a shadow of its former self. And with businesses in both Patpong sois only being offered 12-month extensions adding to speculation about the area's future, there seems little chance of Patpong reliving the glory days. How long will it be until Patpong has more 7 Eleven stores than gogo bars?
The future mightn't be bright but do expect a busy night at Patpong next Saturday, September 17th, when Nanapong comes to town. Club Electric Blue will host its Pattaya sister bar of the same name, as well as the Bangkok and Pattaya Dollhouse bars as girls dance off for 20,000 baht in prizes. Nanapong dance contests are legendary and very well supported. Get there early to ensure a good seat – the doors open at 7:30 PM. There are some judges' positions available – and judges get the best seats in the house, ringside. You can be a judge for the night for 1,000 baht.
Part of the redevelopment of part of the area that was The Tunnel (the alleyway connecting Sukhumvit sois 5 and 7) is now open. The 3-storey shopping mall with small shops selling the usual junk is utterly soul-less. Most customers are Middle Easterners, who dominate that particular area these days.
Bangkok struck me as having more well-rounded gogo dancers than Pattaya. Why is that? Are they better fed in Bangkok, or are they less likely to use homemade pharmaceuticals, or perhaps both? Absolutely no doubt in my mind, if you're in to well-rounded dancers, you'll have better luck finding what you're looking for in Bangkok than in Pattaya.
Spanky's has long been known as a fun bar with a zany owner who is not afraid to try new things or be different. The shows at Spanky's are original and not just copies of the shows performed in other bars. It sounds corny, I know, but one of the things I really like in Spanky's are the ditties played between shows. As the stage is being cleared of props and prepared for the next show, the DJ plays theme songs from popular old TV series like Knight Rider, Happy Days, Lone Ranger, Get Smart and Hawaii Five O. Given that most of us have fond memories from the past, playing these sorts of old tunes brings a smile to your face and adds to the fun.
I am hearing good thing about the peculiarly named The Wall Of Death Bar on Soi LK Metro. It is located opposite the Billabong Bar and has been open for a few weeks. They tell me it's full of slim honeys, beer is 60 baht all night and it has been doing a roaring trade.
Why is it that on the naughty boy forums the braggarts boast about how little they pay for their airfare to Thailand – showing how careful they are with their money (and often mention flying on airlines that I have never heard of before, but which often have a Chinese connection or China in the name), but then go on to boast how much they spend on each and every night out in Thailand – with a daily spend usually in excess of 10,000 baht over and above their accommodation cost.
A gogo bar boss said to me recently that he could tell me a story about an incident that happened in this bar that he was sure I had never heard happening before in another bar. Try me, I said. Recently his head mamasan came to him and said, Boss, we have a problem. He tells her to spit it out but she doesn't really know where to start. It's a problem with the ping pong ball, she says. What do you mean?, he asks her. Lady have ping pong ball stuck in her pussy and cannot remove it! The mamasan seemed to be more concerned for the ping pong ball than the girl so the boss quickly took control of the situation. Ping pong balls are filthy and having a filthy object lodged inside a lady's body was not a good situation. He gets the mamasan to bring the girl over and he tells them that she has to take the girl to hospital right away to get the ping pong ball removed. He hands over a bunch of thousand baht notes to cover the cost. A fellow sitting nearby in the bar overhears the conversation, stands up and approaches the boss. He explains that he is a doctor and he thinks he would be able to dislodge the ping pong ball and there is no need for the lady to go to hospital. The boss tells the mamasan and the lady and they are willing to let the doctor try. The doctor takes the lady in to the changing room and perhaps 30 seconds later they reappear in the bar. They each have a smile on their face and she has the ping pong ball in her hand. The doctor explained that he simply had to apply a bit of pressure to a certain spot on the lady's stomach which would cause some sort of muscle contraction and the ping pong ball would fall out. The bar boss is happy and relieved and asks the lady to return the cash he had handed to her. She pretends she didn't hear him and walks away, a fistful of banknotes now all hers!
There have been various mentions in this column in recent times about how the police are cracking down on human trafficking and how any bar caught with employees from other countries will be ordered closed for 5 years. It should be noted that this crackdown goes beyond just bars and one very popular khao tom (rice soup) shop in the Lad Prao area was closed this past week due to employing undocumented foreign nationals. There is much conjecture over when or even if the immensely popular shop which is said to have a daily turnover in excess of 100,000 baht will reopen.
I really do believe that Bangkok is more liveable now than ever before and I also believe you can have as much fun now as at any time in the past. At times we may refer to certain periods as the golden age, a time when we think Thailand was most enjoyable. I think these comments – and I am as guilty of making them as anyone – often miss the point. You can have as good a time in Bangkok today as ever before, it's simply that it will cost you a lot more than before. The days when Bangkok was a bargain are over (unless you want to live an authentic Thai lifestyle). When I first arrived, anyone could have a great time, even someone earning minimum wage in Farangland. Thailand really was that cheap that you just didn't look at prices nor bother to negotiate. I think so many of the complaints that Bangkok is not as much fun as it once was boil down to the simple fact that prices have gone up a lot. In Bangkok today you may need more money than you think to party hard – but it's still not a lot in the grand scheme of things. Expat residents know that 25K – 30K baht can get you a comfortable pad in a good building / area and if you have a monthly budget of say 75K baht over and above your rent you can have a nice lifestyle as a single guy. 100K – 110K baht a month is around $3,000 per month, not that much really. And if you have a budget of say $5,000 a month = about 175,000 baht a month or 150,000 baht after you have paid rent, a single guy can have a great life in Bangkok, heaps of fun and enjoy himself as much as any golden period. I really think it all comes back to how much you are willing to spend. Flash the cash and the Thais will love you….that has not changed!
There are good burgers to be had all over Bangkok these days, which again is very different to the old days when the choices for a good burger were basically Hard Rock Cafe or The Garage. Some of the better burgers in Bangkok will cost you as much or even more than you would pay in Farangland – so where is recommended for a decent burger at a fair price? Amazingly, Stumble Inn, the beer bar near the top of Soi Nana, does a decent burger. For 230 baht (with none of the ++ nonsense), you get a large cheeseburger with a half pound hand-made burger patty, fries and salad. For the big eater there is the Almighty Stumble Special Burger which has two meat patties i.e. a full pound of meat – for just 350 baht. That's one big bastard!
Quote of the week comes from a gogo bar boss who shall remain anonymous, "No sad hos and lots of happy hos makes for a fun bar!"
Reader's story of the week comes from The Olmec, "Ladyboys, Freaks Of Nature".
An Aussie and a Brit face decades in jail in Thailand after losing a court appeal for dealing drugs in Pattaya.
A female American backpacker breaks her back fleeing from a male Thai attacker in Krabi.
A Pattaya-based Aussie is arrested at Sydney Airport after getting on a plane in Bangkok with 1.1 kg of cocaine hidden inside him.
The Sydney Morning Herald says Thailand's new tallest building looks like it has bits missing!
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 left my car in Thailand expecting to return. However, it is not likely that I will return and so I want to transfer the registration to a friend whilst I remain in Australia. That friend can sell it for me. I have made some inquiries on the internet and with friends but the matter seems complicated if I am not in Thailand. The car is nearly 10 years old and worth only around 200,000 – 250,000 baht. Could Sunbelt Asia handle this for me?
Sunbelt Legal responds: Yes, Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can help you transfer the registration here in Thailand but first you need to go to the Thai embassy in Australia and obtain a Power of Attorney that is signed and notarized by Thai Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A copy of passport and visa (even if expired) signed and notarized by Thai Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs is needed, as is the blue book for the vehicle.
One of Sunbelt Asia Legal's advisors would then obtain a certification of the car, and handle the transfer of ownership and blue book to the new buyer. The new buyer would need to be present at the transfer. Please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss the process.
At times I worry about the tone of this column, and wonder if it's perhaps too negative at times and dwells rather too much on the seedy side of life in Bangkok. I enjoy and feel good about making recommendations about places to go and things to do, and also enjoy imparting my observations, experiences and offering advice for certain situations. That's the good side. And occasionally something happens which restores my faith and which invigorates me to battle on. The following email came in from one of the owners of The Strip just an hour before the column was due to go live. It provides something of an update on Muay, the lady featured in a column opener some weeks ago who was the victim of a vicious and frenzied knife attack in the bar.
I have bit of news about Muay.
A guy came in to the bar last night who had emailed me after your article saying he was thinking of coming to see Muay.
Muay has had another round of bad luck recently, dropping a wok full of hot cooking oil over her leg so she has not been able to work the last two weeks.
I spoke to this gentleman from the USA and he asked when Muay would be around, explaining he had a present for her. I said I didn't know but would be glad to keep his gift behind the bar for her. He said ok and then rang the bell, buying all the girls a drink.
We got talking and I asked him if he was interested in another girl. No, he was only interesting in seeing Muay. I asked him how much the gift had cost because I wanted to know if it was valuable and he told me it cost $1,500!
To cut a long story short, after a few excited phone calls Muay appears. She meets the guy and he hands the box of jewellery to her in which he had also put $200. When she opened the box she just burst into tears. It was a moving moment.
She sat with the guy and they drank all night and then he came up to me looking a little troubled. I asked if everything was ok and he said, “You know, I don't want to take Muay home. I just came to help her.”
I then had to explain to a rather confused Muay that he did not want to take her back to his hotel but he just wanted to help her out.
So a happy ending? Time will tell but it's nice to see there are still some angels in Bangkok.
It's always nice to end the column on a positive note. If you have any heart-warming stories or anecdotes, don't be shy to drop me an email. Who knows, your story might bring a bit of happiness to other readers.