Stickman's Weekly Column November 20th, 2022

Pattaya: Three-Month Checkup

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Bangkok Photographer found himself down in Pattaya this week, made the rounds and sent through this report of how things are progressing in Sin City. What follows are his images and his words.

Stick

 

 

 

In May, Pattaya still seemed like a bombed-out war zone. In July, things had picked up. The end of August saw incremental progress, but four days in the middle of November showed Pattaya is now truly “back”.

“Back”, of course, is a relative term. The city has not resumed the full-on levels of mass international tourism it had in 2019. There are no busloads of Chinese tour groups. Many hotels remain closed or are being demolished. Empty shophouses remain plentiful on Walking Street. But the vibe, the excitement and excess that makes Pattaya Pattaya has returned to the city. Is that a good thing? It depends.

 

Weed shops are everywhere.

 

Certainly, for business owners, it is. Restaurants are full again. The same Wine Connection that sat empty on a weekend night at dinner time in May was two-thirds full on a rainy Friday evening. Desolate Royal Garden Plaza had a full audience for its live music show and ground-floor vendors seemed to do decent trade. Central Pattaya was a hive of tourist activity, with Russian, Chinese and Indian the languages heard. Its outside food fair thronged with tourists doing touristy things, like making videos of a woman making pancakes. Marijuana shops are everywhere. Locals say Jomtien Beach is now busy throughout the week and the traffic is back as well.

Walking Street, its tiles painted up like a go-go girl at the start of a shift, was close to shoulder-to-shoulder all week. Even light drizzle didn’t keep the masses away Friday. Pattayans truly are happy to have the tourists back. They even put up a sign to say so.

 

Pattayans are happy to have tourists back.

 

Of course, there also are signs that there is still more recovery needed. The signage finally has been removed from the failed Panda and Iron clubs, but the buildings remain vacant and boarded up. The Rich go-go is still broke, now home to a street bar offering beers for just 80 baht, a huge discount off the price offered inside the bars.

 

The former Panda Group-owned go-gos on Walking Street.

 

But after almost three months away, the resurgence of Walking Street really was shocking. The Frog beer bar complex, photographed here earlier this year as a walled-up shell and thought to be gone, has returned even bigger and better as Frog’s Land. The Bliss go-go bar is back. Police volunteer Howard’s Infinity go-go has been reborn as Apple. It’s still tiny, but the owner has put in super-impressive, programmed-LED strip lighting that needs to be seen. And even the former sports bar on Soi Diamond has returned to life as a new go-go.

 

The Frog beer bar complex is back to life as Frog’s Land.

 

But Walking Street is changing, moving more toward the “regular” tourist than ever. Nightclubs and music bars are opening left and right. Zeus is a new live music spot near the South Road entrance. Two doors up from that, workers were hammering and welding into the night Friday to get Lux Pattaya – said to be yet another Indian-centric club – ready for its opening this week. Sensations has expanded – with a grill restaurant, not chrome poles. And you know Pattaya has truly changed when a group of Indians walking into a go-go bar are welcomed like returning soldiers.

 

Entrance to the revived Marine Disco.

 

Nightclubs (dance clubs, discos, whatever you want to all them) clearly are the future of Walking Street. Where there was once Insomnia, Marine, 808 and (now departed) Tony’s, there are now numerous live music joints, very posh Indian clubs, such as Raas, which put on an Indian drum show on the street Friday, and new entrants like the aforementioned Zeus, Myst and Republic.

 

The crew from Raas Indian nightclub put on a drum show on Walking Street Friday.

 

And, where once Insomnia ruled the night, there is a new top dog in Pattaya and that is Republic. The sheer size, light display, video wall, sound quality and VIP seating areas put it head and shoulders above Insomnia and any other club in town. Myst – backed by Insomnia’s owners – got some early buzz, but it feels more like a warehouse than a nightclub and its visuals simply look cheap by comparison. And the eye candy at Republic is not limited to the impressive 40-foot-tall video wall. If you’re a young, beautiful and available woman in Pattaya, then you’re at Republic late night.

 

 

Republic is creating a lot of buzz. (Photo supplied)

 

 

 

Beauties at Republic. (Photo supplied)

 

Just as the torch clearly has been passed on the nightclub front, so, too, things are changing in the go-go bar pecking order. The history of go-gos in Pattaya is filled with clubs that make meteoric rises to the top (Remember Iron Club, Alcatraz, Coyotees, Club Boesche and Airport Club?), only to be knocked off or, more commonly, fall off due to their own hubris. The latter seems to be the case with Pin-Up, rated for the past few years as the best go-go club in Pattaya and one of the best in Thailand. But poor management decisions, terrible staff oversight and outrageous pricing is turning many of Pin-Ups former fans (and high-spending customers) off to the point they won’t return.

The heart of Pin-Up’s problems rest with its uber-aggressive male security force. They sit menacingly outside the door, screening entry like velvet-rope bouncers at New York’s exclusive clubs. And, rather than use attractive doorgirls to seat customers, as Billboard and Butterflies do, the job is left to the thugs with dismal results. One Bangkok bar owner, who was in town a month ago with a very wealthy friend, said security manhandled them, grabbing and pushing them through the overcrowded bar. On Wednesday, security twice tried to roust customers who had already spent in excess of 5,000 baht, ordering them to vacate their prime seat for a trio of Asians each carrying a single, unopened bottle of water. (The trio squeezed in next to the spending customers, never opened the water and left in five minutes.)

Pin-Up’s other problems stem from the owner’s decision to give back the keys to one of the shophouses he rented and cut the width of the bar in half. While he later expanded the bar lengthwise to the same square meterage, the layout is infinitely worse and the 2019 vibe has never returned. Adding insult to injury are the exorbitant barfines being charged: 2,000 baht on weekdays, 3,000 baht on weekends.

 

XS, from Pin-Up’s owners, will open next month at the old Miami nightclub spot.

 

None of this has stopped the French owner, who is definitely an unpopular man on Walking Street and is banned form most other bars, from expanding. He has taken over the triple shophouse that housed the long-gone Miami nightclub, directly next to Fahrenheit, and will open it as the XS go-go. Despite Miami’s signage still hanging out front – supposedly it will be the last thing to be changed – work inside is proceeding apace with XS likely to open before Christmas. Pin-Up’s current manager, Stefan, will move to the new venue and a new manager for Pin-Up already has been hired to pilot a sinking ship.

So, with Pin-Up now on the “miss” list, where are Walking Street’s best-looking ladies and best club experience to be found? Skyfall and Fahrenheit. No one at Fahrenheit is worried about the Pin-Up crew moving in next door because the bar has everything working. Its stage is absolutely packed with top talent to the point that choosing just one lady to spend time with is challenging. Fahrenheit has a great party vibe, is well-run with an attentive foreign manager, prices are reasonable and the music and lighting are just right. Skyfall, a much different style club, offers softer lighting, low stages, cozy sofas and some of the most attractive women in Pattaya. Lady drinks are 200 baht – Soi Cowboy style – but the quality of talent is worth it.

 

The rebuilt Walking Street sign now changes colors.

 

Across town on Soi LK Metro, on the other hand, another of Pattaya’s once top bars continues its slide down the hill, right into the gutter. Kink has done what was once thought impossible: It has dethroned Windmill Club – which has erected at least three massive new signs on Soi Diamond – as Pattaya’s dirtiest bar. Of course, its top floor long has been staffed by ex-Windmill veterans, so that shouldn’t be too surprising. But the levels of debauchery now on display nightly at Kink would make the ownership of the often police-raided Windmill blush … if they could actually see what’s happening.

Seeing, as it turns out, has become a massive problem on the top floor at Kink. An idiotic decision earlier this year to lower the angle of the lighting to about 85 degrees horizontally – basically directly in the eyes of everyone sitting around the upstairs “fishbowl” stage – make it impossible and very painful to see. Even shielding your eyes like a visor makes seeing what’s happening in the fishbowl difficult. Did no one in authority actually sit around the stage after moving the lights?

Then again, maybe the point was to blind customers so they couldn’t see all that was going on. And, on one weeknight this week, it was a lot. In two seats were a foreign couple. The 30something foreign woman quickly took off her shirt and bra. Moments later a Kink girl pulled off her jeans and panties, leaving her stark naked in the middle of a packed house. Not only didn’t that phase the tourist, it emboldened her. And her boyfriend. And the Kink woman who stripped her. What commenced over the next 20 minutes was a full-on, three-way sex show, with both women providing oral sex to each other while the boyfriend loomed over both, groping and fingering. This wasn’t in a dark corner, but in the middle of a full bar.

Meanwhile, another man and his hired girlfriend began screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs at another customer who had the audacity to ask them to move from his seat, which they had taken when he went to the restroom. Not a single service staff or manager came to intervene and violence seemed likely. The drunk stopped shouting briefly to stick his face in the ass of another Kink entertainer, then screamed a few more prime words before resuming sticking his nose into the dancer’s anus.

With Kink proving every day there is little reason to go there anymore, plenty of other bars on Soi LK are lining up to take their place. Pulse, around the corner, may be one of the nicest looking bars in town with a small, but very attractive, crew of dancers. Two of them on a recent night stunned new customers with their aerobic-speed dancing frenzy. While most ladies have perfected the “chrome pole shuffle” or just stand unmoving on stage, these two young, slim dancers put on a dance show that left them dripping wet from sweat after their sets. A mamasan said they do it every set, every night. It’s not “crystal” clear where they get the energy, but there’s no denying the impact on their figures. Both were slim and fit.

 

Slutz.

 

Also new on the Soi LK scene is Catch Me, which takes over the spot previously occupied by Touch, a sister bar to Pulse and the closed – but soon to reopen – The Den. And, around the corner, the unfortunately named Slutz has opened in the spot where Ninja a-go-go came and went as quietly as a ninja. Slutz – truly the worst name in memory for a bar – is well appointed and has a top-notch staff of beauties. Lovers of silicone enhancements will be especially impressed by the lineup. But Slutz is not cheap. On Soi LK, where prices always have been lower than Walking Street – which in turn is generally cheaper than Bangkok – Slutz pushes its pricing to Nana Plaza levels. Customer drinks are 170 baht and lady drinks are 195 baht for the showgirls and 175 for coyotes.

Another Soi LK go-go with a long reputation for pretty ladies also has seen some changes. Bachelor Club, backed by the folks that once had Iron Club, has ripped out its low, curvy stage and gone with the traditional high, long and narrow stage for its post-Covid return.

Finally, when is a Buy 1-Get 1 Free deal not worth it? When the drinks are being poured at Destiny a-Go-Go. A seemingly great deal – it runs until 10:30 p.m. – the BOGO is no bargain when the drinks are this bad. The first glass of an order of vodka and a mixer came back as something that might have been really bad house vodka. The second one came back as something unidentifiable but certainly was not vodka. With very little on stage worth looking at, the second drink was left nearly full and the bin was checked.

 

Weed shops are everywhere.

 

While the tourists will continue to focus on Walking Street, Pattaya’s nightlife has moved to the Soi Buakhao area. Where once Soi LK metro was just a collection of beer bars and smattering of low-rent go-gos for Pattaya’s Cheap Charlie expats, it’s now the hub of the city’s entertainment scene. The change came during the pandemic with the emergence of the Tree Town food and bar complex, but has accelerated this year with the opening of two new nightclubs on Soi Buakhao, bringing the area the last pieces it needed to be an all-night party zone.

Walking Street, though, still runs later, has more and better looking women and more entertainment options. Locals love to sneer at Walking Street and those who go there, but both have a place. And for those hitting town only every few months, both places together can make a memorable visit.

 

 

 

 

Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken inside popular Sukhumvit soi 11 restaurant and bar, Oskar. Oskar was one spot I particularly liked with good food, good drinks and a nice atmosphere. Recent reports are that it is as good as ever. Due to many readers saying that recent photos have been too difficult, I have slotted in an easy shot this week.

 

 

Meet them at Red Dragon, Nana Plaza.

 

 

Stick’s Inbox – The Best Emails From The Past Week

Bangkok is booming!

High season is NOW. I routinely see tourists, often with wheelie suitcases, taking the skytrain and / or wandering around looking confused. Terminal 21, a ghost town for much of the COVID pandemic, heaves with a veritable UN of turistas daily. Bus stops along lower Sukhumvit now have semi-permanent homeless populations. The cannabis leaf logo (usually etched in green LED lights) is omnipresent. All fat-ass loser farangs from Milton Keynes: grab all your loose cash and get here now!

Changing Soi Nana.

I’ve just spent the evening on Sukhumvit Soi 4 and in Nana Plaza. This is a quick summary. Soi 4 is, to all intents and purposes, one long drinking street. Lots of people in bars, who in the main are with friends. Very few appear to be looking to pick up and I saw no quality freelancers. In all the time I’ve known Soi 4, I’ve never seen this before. In Nana Plaza, in the bar in the middle on the ground floor there was a guy eating his served dinner! Lots of guys were drinking without female company. There was a lack of ladies in that middle bar area. Many Koreans / East Asians are taking their own ladies (wife or girlfriend) into gogo bars. The girls working in the plaza were all very friendly. There is currently very little showing. I feel we had the best and fun times in a relaxed and sometimes crazy way in the past. The customers from those days have changed. We’ve moved on and gone in one direction while the bars in another. Seeing so many guys in Soi 4 and Nana Plaza without the company of a lady was really striking! No doubt, people still enjoy Nana and the bars but it’s a different visitor to the past. It’s Soi 4 that’s changing. An Indian nightclub next to Hillary 2 and middle-aged Western women happy to socialise in area brings a different dynamic the further you go into the Soi. I left by 11 PM so this is only a snapshot. Where was the steady stream of guys going short-time? It wasn’t happening. Drinking, yes, but no constant flow of guys and bargirls, unlike the past.

The difficulty getting from Australia to Thailand.

I read with interest the rant from the guy from Perth where direct flights on Thai Airways have been cancelled. I am in the same situation as Thai Airways’ direct flights from Brisbane to Bangkok have also been cancelled. Phoning Thai Airways was to no avail. The only way I have to get to Bangkok is to fly Qantas to Sydney and then transfer to the International Terminal and the Thai flight to Bangkok. The return is a nightmare as the time of departure is rescheduled and the flight arrives in Sydney at 11 PM when there are no connecting flights to Brisbane. Check into a hotel that night in Sydney then fly to Brisbane the next day. What a debacle. I know where the Perth guy is coming from.

The seldom discussed perils of being a bargirl.

I heard a really disappointing story first-hand from <lady and venue’s name supplied but not publishedStick>. I’ve known her for years. She’s a really nice lady – one of those rarities who become a friend over many years and I even loaned her a sum of money that I got back in full, dead on time. I’m confident her tale is true. She said her customer seemed like a well-put-together Frenchman and he was polite, so she agreed to go to his hotel – a well-known global brand in soi 2. He didn’t want sex – just a few pics of her in naughty outfits – and he even paid her the agreed fee upfront. She went to shower and change. When she got back, she looked in her handbag and her money was gone! Not just the fee, but an additional 50K baht she had planned to exchange into Yen for her daughter’s upcoming trip to Japan. Of course he denied it. But here’s the ballsy twist about this otherwise standard tale of woe in Bangkok: When she continued to plead, he didn’t call hotel management….he called the police! This is a captain’s call but I absolutely believe her side of the story. Which leads me to think – you gotta have a lotta balls to call the boys in brown in this city about something like this. Or you know a damn sight more about how this town works than I do. So, the coppers arrived at the swanky hotel but didn’t do anything either way in the end. Our beau got away with it, scot-free and laughing. In the end, our dame was lucky not to be arrested after an influential mamasan she knew in Nana intervened on her behalf. OK, so this is an eventful city full of oddballs and shysters, and perhaps she shouldn’t have kept so much cash on her. So I’m not so shocked about her story per se. But what did shock me is her assertion that this is commonplace for many bargirls. According to her, they are frequently cheated out of their fee and frequently have belongings stolen. In my apparent naivety I had assumed it was the other way around. I had also assumed that the police would use this as an opportunity to knuckle down on the farang, but it is news to me that in fact they habitually side with foreigners, and in some cases even go on to abuse their countrywomen even more. Stick, you know me. I’ve lived here nearly a decade, and was a frequent flyer here for a decade before that. I’ve seen the sights and smells to the point of boredom. But a story like this makes me feel like I’ve just arrived.

Hear loss prevention.

I have discovered the best devices in hearing loss prevention are my feet! Any time I sense discomforting sound levels I simply use my feet to move on elsewhere. It doesn’t take long in higher volume environments to not just damage one’s hearing, the older we get our hearing can be destroyed. I refuse to allow some silly “DJ” pretending to be an important purveyor of music to provide me with aggressive uncalled for noise. Years ago the Tahitian Queen, Pattaya had one of the best sound systems around. The music provided a great sound level but allowed for almost normal conversations to be carried out. Someone told me the owner spent a lot to get the sound system perfect.

Coppers everywhere (for APEC).

In Bangkok currently there are LOTS of police around. Taking a taxi from Prakhanong to Nana this evening I had to laugh. There is a police checkpoint set up just after the Asoke skytrain station. They had set up radar guns to catch people speeding. The reason I had to laugh was, as you know, it’s faster to walk through that intersection than it is to drive. I can’t imagine anyone having the opportunity to break the speed limit even if they wanted to.

 

Velvet opened up a few days ago.

 

This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

The roller coaster ride continues at the Sukhumvit soi 7 beer bar complex which is now officially called “Soi 7 Plaza”. A year ago it was the place to head after dark, open when all the other bar areas were closed – and being the only game in town it was booming. I remember one friend telling me that he hadn’t felt a vibe like he had in soi 7 for many years. That shouldn’t be a great surprise given there was nowhere else to go! As the other bar areas opened up, customers drifted away from soi 7 and back to the likes of Nana and Cowboy. The glory days at soi 7 were short-lived. And then came the hammer blow when a Thai-owned bar in the complex was found to have employed underage girls. The entire complex was ordered closed. It reopened a few days later, and then closed again when irregularities were found with the licences for the plot which turned out to be for a car park and not a bar area. After many weeks in darkness, the licence was sorted and the bars reopened. But it was very slow going and the much maligned soi 7 bar area struggled to gain traction. But the last month has seen Bangkok go bananas with hotels full as Westerners fill flights and make a beeline for Sukhumvit Road. Soi 7 is riding the wave and with some bars doing well, especially those at the front of the complex like No Bra Bar which is said to have some rather attractive ladies. The spoils are not being shared evenly and bars deep inside the Soi 7 Plaza can struggle to get punters in. There is talk of a night market and a fake Muay Thai ring being situated at the back where some bars were previously but whether that will work is doubtful. The only way to get there would be to traipse past the bars – and the target market of families might not be so keen to make that trek. Whatever happens, soi 7 sounds like it’s worth stopping by.

We needn’t have sweated the APEC meeting causing widespread disruptions to the nightlife. Word is that as far as the nightlife was concerned, little was affected. There were a few road closures around Asoke which might have inconvenienced some living in the area but overall, it seems disruptions for partygoers were minimal. It was very much business as usual, another busy week downtown.

After nearly 20 glorious years of delighting punters and purveyors with eclectic sexual tastes, soi 33’s iconic fetish house Demonia is moving to a new location…..across the street. Yep, all the move entails is a move across the lane and Demonia will remain a fixture on soi 33. The new location has been described as more intimate, bigger and with special nooks and crannies that few places in Bangkok can offer. It is not without nostalgia that they depart the original venue. A special Goodbye Party will be held this coming Friday, November 25th, before relocation to the new spot on December 1st.

 

Demonia is closing…..and reopening across the road.

 

The new bar area on Sukhumvit soi 8 mooted to be coming soon is a two-storey development. The area where the proposed complex will be located remains nothing but grass but despite this, those behind it are advertising for tenants to take up space and build new bars. Have there been any takes? Will the development really happen? Nothing is certain and despite definite plans in place, these things don’t always eventuate.

Signage went up for promising new Sukhumvit soi 8 venue Velvet this week. I understand it opened a couple of days ago. if you’ve dropped by, do let me know what it’s like.

I’m getting more emails from readers about issues at Soi Cowboy with aggressive ladies and big bills for lady drinks not ordered, in some cases running to several thousand baht. I don’t like to cast aspersions on the soi as a whole, but there have been enough of these reports – some from people I know personally – to make me think it’s not pure coincidence. The simple advice when out at certain Soi Cowboy bars is to keep a very close eye on your bill. When ordering a lady drink, be clear who the lady drink is for and how many lady drinks you’re ordering. There have been many reports of customers offering a lady drink and she returns with two drinks. This week one reader reported a lady brought an entire tray of drinks for a dozen of her friends after she had been offered a lady drink. This BS is new. I want to dig a little deeper before I write more about this next week. If you’ve had any experiences similar to this recently, drop me an email.

 

Meet her at Tycoon A Go Go, Nana Plaza.

 

The FIFA World Cup kicks off tomorrow and will run until a week before Christmas. It’s always a fun time to be in Thailand when any major football tournament is taking place as the Thais really get in to it (no doubt at least partly because many of them have bet the farm – quite literally, in some cases – on the underground gambling network). For those of you lucky to be in Thailand at this time, some matches are being played at a rather inconvenient hour. Some matches kick off well after midnight and with 2:00 AM closing being strictly enforced in most bar areas, a lot of bars might not be open to show the matches. The best advice I can offer is to ask around and see which venues will remain open. If the past is anything to go by, plenty of places will open with the shutters down and the lights dimmed.

A friend who is resident in Bangkok was approached by a middle-aged Australian woman on Silom Road this week who was asking all and sundry for a handout. She opened with the dreaded line: Do you speak English? He is convinced that she was not destitute at all and it was a scam. Has anyone else had a similar experience with an Aussie who sounds like she is the female equivalent of the Indian lucky man?

I enjoy all the photos readers have kindly sent of what is happening on the ground in Bangkok. One of the most striking things is all of the new buildings that have gone up, particularly along Sukhumvit. It seems like every last empty plot along prime Sukhumvit is finally being developed. Some of those plots were vacant for years, decades even. We had become so accustomed to them being empty that we thought they’d never be developed.

 

The asking price for weed in Thailand is dropping.

 

The asking price for weed in dispensaries has raised some people’s eyebrows. I’m clueless on what the going rates are – anywhere in the world – but when the first weed vendors started opening up I couldn’t help but think that prices seemed rather high. The image above is made up of two different photos. The shot on the left was taken back in July. The shot on the right is from a week ago. There is a marked difference in prices, which are clearly coming down. “Blue Dream” was 800 baht back in July and is just 250 baht now. I am told that in states in the US where marijuana is legal, prices plummeted once large agricultural conglomerates started mass production. Of course this has not hindered some entrepreneurial Thais from thinking they’d get in early and make some good coin from high-priced buds.

Speaking of weed, some of the new weed shops are really flash, having invested in large, bright neon frontages which remove the need for any streetlights. Wonderland, on the corner of Sukhumvit soi 5, is perhaps the brightest of all, and on first glance looks almost like the neon frontage of a Las Vegas casino. That said, anyone paying more than a split-second’s attention will be in no doubt as to what is on offer inside.

 

The neon frontage of Wonder comes alive at night.

 

Regional police shut down Walking Street and other Pattaya nightspots right at 2 a.m. Friday night, dealing infuriating bar owners, especially those running big nightclubs. With the first day of the APEC leaders’ summit – and violent street protests – in Bangkok, police might have been extending their crackdown to Pattaya, as predicted here two weeks ago. But one nightclub owner said it was something much more mundane: One police force pissing on another. The lockdown was ordered by the Chonburi police chief, who took over the job this week. Pattaya’s police chief – suspended earlier this summer for allowing sex traffickers and gamblers to thrive in the city – is said to be “very weak” and the new provincial chief is doing the equivalent of a dog humping the Pattaya chief’s leg.

Rainy season ended last month, but you wouldn’t have known it from Thailand this week when intermittent showers dampened every single day this week and drowned Pattaya a couple times. While the wet stuff was a mere annoyance in Bangkok, the more-frequent storms in Pattaya left the city heavily flooded on Wednesday, leaving some roads impassable and traffic on Beach Road moving at 2 km/h. The beach was again heavily damaged by all the runoff. Repairs were done Thursday and Friday.

 

Beach Road around 3 PM on Wednesday.

 

 

Beach Road around 3 PM on Wednesday.

 

 

Flooding at the mouth of Sukhumvit soi 5. The rains were back with a vengeance this week.

 

The other half’s sister’s cat died this past week. Sad, but that’s life. I’d never given any thought to what happens when a beloved pet dies in Thailand. I really shouldn’t be surprised at what happened next. The cat was taken to the temple where the monks did their thing, blessing it as it enters the after-life. There was ceremony with a bed of flowers prepared. It was cremated at the temple by the monks in a special pet-sized crematorium, with the ashes returned in a small urn. The cost? 2,000 baht. I never thought this would be popular but it appears I was wrong. This small, neighbourhood temple does around 200 pet cremations a month which at 2,000 baht is quite the earner for the temple.

A final reminder: the 6th anniversary party at Butterflies on the top floor of Nana is this coming Saturday, November 26th. It promises to be quite the bash.

 

Party time at Butterflies!

 

Thailand-Related News Article Links

Quote of the week comes from Arsenal Alex, “If you had been on the moon for the last three years and you arrived in Bangkok today and visited the foreigner nightlife areas you wouldn’t know there had been a pandemic and everything would seem as it was three years ago.”

Reader’s story of the week comes from Peter2, “Pattaya Today, The Return Of The Farangs“.

Another company in Thailand is accused of using monkeys for slave labour.

Thai Airways’ planes are coming out of hibernation very slowly.

From Reuters, Thailand’s budding marijuana industry is facing a backlash.

 

 

Meet her at Red Dragon, Nana Plaza.

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The weather is close to ideal here in this part of New Zealand at this time of year. Daily highs in the mid to high-20s. Warm enough to make you want to spend time outside, but not so hot that after 30 minutes you want to venture back indoors. Overnight lows in the mid-teens mean you need to run a fan at night, air-con won’t be needed for a few more weeks. The frustrating thing for us Kiwis is that the period of best weather in New Zealand overlaps with the period of best weather in Thailand. From early or mid-December, the weather in many parts of Thailand is almost ideal. Typically, the weather remains pleasant in Bangkok until early February, Valentine’s Day at a stretch before in the space of a couple of weeks the daily highs shoot up several degrees and before you know it, the hot season has arrived. I used to love December and January when I was living in Thailand but I have never actually visited at that time – because the weather is perfect at that time here in NZ. I’d like to get back to Thailand but it’s unlikely to be before mid-February. I just can’t pull myself away from the best time of year here, as keen as I am to get back. It looks like I have another 3 months of writing this column remotely before I finally make it back.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

 

Stick can be contacted at : stickmanbangkok@gmail.com