Stickman's Weekly Column January 28th, 2024

Lady Drinks, 2024

 

The once simple lady drink system where you bought a lady a drink and she sat with you for hours is long gone. Today, lady drinks are so confusing with multiple lady drink options and a wide range of prices. Order a lady drink and you can never be sure quite what happens next.

It used to be so simple. A lady would ask if she could sit with you. Pleasantries would be exchanged and she’d go through a set of questions to find out more about you. If you had not already offered her a drink, at some point she would sheepishly, almost apologetically, ask if you could buy her a drink. The ladies were very reasonable, and would often wait 10 or 15 minutes before requesting a drink. If you declined, you’d get a mai pen rai, a smile, and maybe even a wai, and she’d wander back to her friends.

He Clinic Bangkok

It used to be that buying a lady drink was almost like reserving the lady while you decided what to do next. She’d sit with you and only leave you when she had to get up on stage and dance. She would only ask for another drink if she finished the first one, which in most cases she had sipped slowly. By the time she asked for another drink, you were probably on to your third.

You could sit with her for hours, all for the cost of a drink. The idea was to spend time with her to see if she was someone you wanted to spend the night with. What she wanted was not another drink, but for you to barfine her. Ideally, you would take her for the entire night. Buying a girl a lady drink was like buying the option to barfine her that night. You could relax, get to know her and take your time to see if there was a connection.

That’s how things used to be. But in 2024, the lady drink system is something altogether different. Today, lady drinks are not a chance for a lady to try and sell the idea of her spending the night with you. For many ladies today, lady drinks are their main source of income.

CBD bangkok

I’d like to say that today the pressure is on you to buy lady drinks, whereas in the past the pressure was on you to barfine her. But the truth is that in the past the ladies didn’t really pressure you at all. They would snuggle up to you. They would show what felt like genuine interest in you. They were sweet, coquettish even. And that is primarily why so many guys who had never dreamed of using the services of a prostitute became addicted to Thai working girls. It was so hard to resist!

It’s a different world today. Most ladies will ask for a drink within 30 seconds and if it isn’t forthcoming, they’ll be off to the next guy. And if you do buy her a drink, expect a request for another and another. And if at some point you do decline her requests, she’ll flutter away to the next guy and the whole routine will start again.

Recent columns have featured a lot of feedback and frustration from readers over lady drinks. Part of it is old Asia hands lamenting how things used to be and how they have changed. Now even some of those new to the bars feel it’s all a bit much.

To summarise the comments I receive about lady drinks these days:

wonderland clinic
  1. In many bars, lady drinks are not listed on the menu and the price of lady drinks is essentially unknown.
  2. It’s a lottery what happens when you buy a lady a drink. Will she return with a standard drink that might reasonably take 10 – 20 minutes to consume and spend that time with you? Will she come back with a Tequila which she downs in seconds and then disappears? Will she order a fancy drink like a Champagne cocktail which can be priced at several hundred baht. Will she return with two drinks? How long will she sit with you? It’s one big mystery!
  3. The price of lady drinks has increased a lot over the past 18 months. In gogo bars, lady drinks are typically priced from 170 – 240 baht. 200+ seems to be the new norm.
  4. The price of lady drinks is often higher than a customer’s drink. (I’ll go against the grain here and say that this actually makes sense. Given that ladies typically make 100 baht commission per drink, it stands to reason that a lady drink would cost more than a customer’s drink.) There has, however, long been a perception that lady drinks should be cheaper than customer drinks.
  5. Offer a lady a drink, and she comes back with a mixed drink brought in two separate glasses i.e. whisky in one glass and Coke in another. She then pours one glass in to the other and consumes them as a mixed drink, while the customer is charged for two separate drinks.
  6. Ordering a lady drink, she comes back with one drink but the customer is charged for two drinks.
  7. Ordering a lady drink which is downed in 30 seconds or less at which point she asks for another and if it is not forthcoming, she leaves.
  8. The requirement in some bars to buy a minimum number of lady drinks before you can barfine a lady.
  9. She comes back with a Tequila which is actually water. (Given health concerns from the crazy amount of alcohol some ladies drink, this is understandable. Perhaps a better and fairer strategy would be for lady drinks to be a small tumbler of soda water.)
  10. Mamasans haranguing customers for a lady drink and if the request is declined, telling ladies that the man is no good and to leave him and find someone else!
  11. Girls asking customers to buy drinks for friends and sulking when the request is declined.

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Screen captures from the Facebook account of a mamasan of XS A Gogo Pattaya, boasting of a girl’s earnings.

 

Some ladies make a lot of money from lady drink commissions. The two images above show screen captures from the public Facebook account of a mamasan at XS A Gogo, one of the best gogo bars on Pattaya’s Walking Street. The posts boast about one of the mamasan’s girl’s monthly earnings, and call for more girls to go and work in the bar.

In one month, Miss Golf worked 21 days and received a total of 123,560 baht. That included the commission on a staggering 849 lady drinks. In the second month, Golf worked 20 days and made 147,000 baht.

An exact breakdown of Golf’s earnings isn’t known. It would be made up of a day rate of anything from 700 – 2,500 baht / night, plus a commission of around 100 baht per drink. It may include bonuses for working more than xx nights per month, and for achieving more than xxx drinks in one month.

XS A Gogo is dominated by Koreans and other East Asians who tend to be very generous and freely buy lady drinks.

In the first month, customers bought Golf a staggering 849 drinks over 21 nights worked. That works out at roughly 40 drinks per night. If Golf worked from 8 PM until 3 AM – a total of 7 hours per night – she averaged around 6 lady drinks per hour, or one lady drink every 10 minutes, all night long, for 21 nights!

What was Golf drinking? Coke? Tequila? The mamasan comments on Golf’s liver so can we assume that she was consuming alcohol? Whatever it was, it’s hard to get your head around the sheer volume of poison she consumed.

It is believed that Golf does not go with customers. And why would she when she earns more than 100,000 baht / month in salary and drink commissions?

These girls love to boast amongst their peers and it’s quite common to see photos posted on social media showing ladies fanning wads of banknotes, with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen!

When you realise how much money ladies can make from lady drink commissions, you understand why they can be so aggressive seeking lady drinks. It’s a numbers game – the more drinks, the more income. Why waste time with someone who is not freely spending when the next guy will?

What do bar owners make of this? The lady drink system is not something most bar owners openly talk about on record so for the perspective of an industry insider, I sought out the thoughts of my old friend Dave The Rave. Dave managed various Nana Plaza gogo bars over a period of 20 years, and also had stints in charge of bars in Pattaya and Patpong. I asked Dave what he made of the lady drink system today. Here is what Dave had to say:


The concept of lady drinks has never been regulated in the gogo bar industry. There are a few loose rules, but they are manipulated.

Gogo dancers are working girls. This may seem obvious, but some deluded guys forget that.

Gogo bar customers are lucky in Thailand, because there are no entrance charges, unlike Western strip clubs, and no constant pressure to keep giving tips and buying drinks.

Dancers are set lady drink targets which they must achieve each month, otherwise their salaries are deducted for each drink below the target figure. This pressures the dancers into getting plenty of lady drinks frequently, which is not appreciated by customers.

Gogo bar bosses have raised the lady drink commissions to 100 baht per drink which is double the old rate.

There was always an unwritten rule that lady drinks should be the same price as regular drinks. Customers don’t mind buying lady drinks, if they are priced lower than regular drinks. Very high prices for lady drinks are financial suicide.

Some savvy guys refuse to buy expensive lady drinks and simply hand the girl some cash, so the bar loses out altogether.

There is inflation to deal with and gogo bars’ running costs, but there is also sheer greed.

Where the girl turns up with two lady drinks when you offered her one is crazy. It’s a scam.

Many Thais have no concept of time. They should not neck the ‘Thaiquila’ in a second and depart immediately. The dancers should be told to spend minutes with the customers and not seconds! It makes me wonder why shots are allowed at all if the girls just neck them and clear off. 

A solution might be telling girls they must spend at least 5 – 10 minutes with a customer when he buys them a drink

 

Dave makes many good points. Offering a girl one drink and being charged for two is, as Dave rightly points out, a scam.

I have always thought it would be better if gogo bars adopted the system used in many Thai venues where you pay a flat-rate fee for a lady to sit with you. It might be, for example, 300 baht for 20 minutes. For each 20-minute block she sits with you, you are billed 300 baht. She might have a tumbler of Cola to sip, or she might drink whatever the customers are drinking (Thais tend to go out in groups and order a bottle of top-shelf and mixers which the ladies share). This system works well because it is transparent.

Would this work in gogo bars? No. Where once the ladies made the bulk of their income from going with customers, today there are ladies who make most (or in some cases, all) of their income from lady drink commissions.

Today, there are ladies who don’t go with customers at all. Others are choosy and may only go with a certain type of customer such as a particularly generous fellow or a young, good-looking Korean.

Many customers don’t like this new business model. Many tell me that the price of lady drinks, the pressure to buy more and more lady drinks along with not knowing what will come when you order a lady drink have caused them to keep their wallet closed. Old Asia hands are quick to point out that it never used to be this way.

It’s easy to see how many gogo bars which were once filled with middle-aged white men are now dominated by (often younger) free-spending East Asian men. With that said, there are Westerners who are happy to buy drink after drink for a lady and her friends and the mamasan and the DJ and the security guard and probably even the cleaner, running up bills of 10K, 20K or 30K baht or more and leaving the bar alone.

Too often, guys feel the girls treat them like mugs. For this reason alone, I think the lady drink system is seriously flawed. It’s part of the reason why some customers have lost interest in the bars.

Privately, many bar owners are quite happy about the way things are going as the more lady drinks sold, the more money they make. And with some ladies not willing to be barfined, the bar has a good number of staff all night long.

There are ladies who are less pushy, and bars where lady drink skulduggery is not the norm. But there’s no denying that lady drinks are a major symptom of an industry that has changed. Anyone who wishes to party late in to the night with the ladies needs to up their budget, and be willing to spend freely on lady drinks. Complaining about it only limits your own enjoyment. It’s not going back to the way it used to be.

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Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of a building under construction on Sukhumvit soi 5. Just three of you got it right. I guess that’s because it’s a recent development and you’d have to have been in that neighbourhood recently to recognise it. With last week’s difficult mystery photo in mind, I have selected a somewhat easier image this week. If any regular reader gets this week’s photo wrong, you deserve to be stripped naked, handcuffed, thrown in to a ladyboy bar and the doors locked behind you!

 

 

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

When you have many choices.

You could have concluded your lengthy segment about Shark last week with the words ‘or you can simply go elsewhere without all the rules and nonsense’. You didn’t need to though, as readers will make up their own mind and know what to do. The rules are insane. People go out for the evening to relax, not to be on the clock. What happens if the customer, the guest, doesn’t abide by their rules? Is he thrown out, is the girl who likes sitting with him told to sit elsewhere, maybe losing a potential barfine? Instead of two lady drinks brought at the same time the owners can pi** off two people at the same time. People have an overwhelming choice of places to go, and they might just prefer to go to a place that is relaxed and where they aren’t being monitored all the time. I mean, what planet are these owners living on? I had intended to go to Shark on my upcoming trip to Bangkok. I’ll go to one of the many other bars in Bangkok instead. I don’t need Shark. I won’t miss Shark.

Thumbs up for Thai music.

When Thai music is played in gogo bars or gentleman’s clubs, I find that the ladies become much happier. They can’t seem to resist getting into the groove. I know that some westerners don’t like Thai music which is fair, but surely a few Thai songs doesn’t hurt to uplift the mood! One gogo bar that comes to mind is Spankys.

Hands on happiness.

I got scammed in a small gogo bar in Pattaya some years ago. I had pissed off the mamasan by stupidly hitting on her. She was young, cute and better-looking than the mature bargirls. The bill was inflated, 6,000 baht instead of about 3,000 baht. I did have a really good time in this hands on and more bar, and told the mamasan in a polite way, “I don’t think this bill is correct, but I like your bar and want to return. Let’s say I give you 4,000 baht?” She smiled, agreed and I was back the next day for an equally fun experience. It was worth every penny.

Sawasdee krap, John Grisham.

We just had a Thai experience. Lazada claims to be the Amazon of Asia. On my phone, I ordered a John Grisham novel. The price was very reasonable, 100 baht ($3.00). My question was, is the book new? And is it in English? The Lazada website was about 60% English after I had requested the English language version. The book arrived COD (who does that anymore?). The book was new! But the book was in Thai.

Regarding Russian women.

Before I moved to Thailand, I had a Russian girlfriend for 3 years. She was absolutely stunning. I can tell you from her own words, Russian women are all about your money. That’s what they want and what they look for in a man. Yes, cultural differences keep them away from Western men, but if you look like your pockets are lined with gold they will go for it. I have no regrets, she was amazing. But predictably, she left me for the guy who had deeper pockets.

More Readers’ Emails

Russian women experiences.

Russian women can be demanding. A friend is dating a super jealous Russian lady, and there is lots of drama. I have “got personal” with women from quite a few Russian republics. No professionals but once I experienced inviting a girl back home from a club and when we arrived she frankly declared, “I only fxxx for money or love”. I let her sleep in my bed while I took the guest room.

Experienced with Russian women.

Maybe things have changed but back around 2001 to 2004 I dated lots of Russian women. I am not a smooth talker nor am I someone that women fall over themselves to get to either, but I did some internet dating, either met them in London or somewhere in Europe (we would both fly in from our respective locations), or indeed on a couple of occasions I would fly to Russia and meet them in Moscow or St. Petersburg. It was a proper date, and no money was ever transacted other than a normal dinner date. I quite agree, all of the Russian women I have met have been stunningly beautiful but not one of them was shy about getting it on. They were just normal girls seeking a better life. In some cases, they had been widowed by some Russian conflict of other. Even in Phuket I had a couple meet up with me for a drink. But there is something about Russian women that just doesn’t work for me. Don’t ask me what it was as I am not sure I could explain it (I always explain it as being spiritual as they are very superstitious), and despite hooking up with some Russian women, I always ended up walking away no matter how stunning they were. In my experience it’s not hard to hook up with Russian women, but once you get yellow fever, you just never look at them again anyway, and although I acknowledge the world has changed since I was last on the Russian women scene, maybe that’s what is happening in Thailand. I would have an Asian woman any day of the week before I would go anywhere near a Russian.

Sticking with their own.

On your question about Russian women, I’ve known many who are associated with my line of work as a tennis journalist and indeed several of them have been stunning. But I agree that they do tend to ‘stick with their own’ when it comes to relationships. But, actually, many countries have stunning women. Scandinavia and Germany, for example. They aren’t all heifers with attitude.

Flight prices.

I keep thinking about the price of flights to Bangkok 5 years back compared with now ($799 vs $1,585). I took a look at the oil price chart over that time. Today, oil is in the same price range as 5 years back (at about US $75). So the increase in flight prices is NOT due to the oil price. It must be inflation (including wage costs) but more so, I would suggest greed and airlines making up for lost profits!

Smoking section in a bar?

Do you remember when there was a smoking section on passenger airlines? Well, the airlines did away with that even though a passenger airline recirculates air every 2 to 3 minutes. When airlines had a smoking section, critics said having a smoking section on a plane was like having a peeing section in a swimming pool! Having a smoking section in a bar where the air does not circulate much doesn’t give the non-smoker good air!

 

 

This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

Before I get in to this week’s news and gossip, I want to make a quick comment about the issue of lady drinks which was both highlighted in today’s opener and has been a feature in recent columns. Two bars in particular, Shark and Red Dragon, have received a lot of press. Lady drink issues are widespread and absolutely not limited to those two bars. That these two bars keep getting mentioned is simply a reflection of them being favourites amongst Stickman readers. I do not suggest you avoid these bars. On the contrary, Shark and Red Dragon are probably good options as I understand staff have been read the riot act. Shark and Red Dragon are very much worth stopping by – and I will continue to mention upcoming events and parties in these bars.

Today’s first piece of news proper comes from Pattaya where there have been grumblings about the ladies asking prices in the short-time bars of soi 6. What was once a sneak-away spot for expats who loved to grope and fondle girls in plain sight (that’s what soi 6 was best known for 20+ years ago) is now very much on everyone’s radar. Soi 6 is no longer the domain of naughty boys. Today it is very much on the tourist circuit. And expect the percentage of mainstream visitors to increase over the months and years ahead as the area from soi 6 to the dolphin roundabout is seeing rapid development and has become a popular area for visitors from China. For a long time, a soi 6 experience was a bargain. The barfine / room charge was just 200 baht, and most ladies quoted just 500 baht. Amazing value for an hour’s entertainment. Prices crept up to 300 + 700 baht. And then ladies started asking for a still ridiculously reasonable 1,000 baht. Recent reports have some ladies quoting 2,500 baht – and they are not willing to budge a single baht. All power to them. Soi 6 has changed hugely. It’s no longer exclusively a naughty boy zone and neither is it the bargain it once was.

If you find yourself on Pattaya’s soi 6 and the prices quoted are more than you’re willing to pay / can afford, walk down to Beach Road, turn left and stroll. Word is that plenty of ladies at the Coconut Bar (the affectionate term for the freelancer scene along Beach Road) are happy with 700 baht.

700 baht? That’s the market for cheap Indians, right? That’s another stereotype that we really need to knock on the head once and for all! I’ll never forget a few years back chatting at length with three Indians in Pattaya. It was their first time in Sin City and they were keen to experience everything that put Pattaya on the map. I can’t remember what line of work they were in but I do remember these guys were average Joes with decent jobs. As I recall, they were all degree-educated and making their way up the ranks. If my memory serves me correct, they were in Pattaya for 4 nights and each had a budget of around 60,000 baht. That was cash to spend while they were in town, with their flights and hotel pre-paid from India. I remember them telling me that it had taken each of them several months to save up for their trip. They were very keen to experience all that Pattaya had to offer – and they were willing to spend whatever it took. Pretty much all of their money was budgeted for partying and women. They were clocking up a couple of ladies a day each. Many Indians are willing to spend whatever it takes to have a great time. Where some Westerners may limit their spending, many Indian visitors are determined to spend whatever it takes. They might not be wealthy and might only have a modest income, but their willingness to spend freely on women is in great contrast with many Westerners who enjoy a comfortable lifestyle back home but are only willing to spend so much. In many cases, the relatively poor Indian spends more than his significantly wealthier Western counterpart. So many Westerners love to scoff about Indians being tight with their money and their spending patterns but this is often nonsense. Plenty of Indians from modest backgrounds spend more per day in Thailand than a Westerner with a solid middle-class life / $100,000+ salary. Of course, there are Westerners from a similar background with a similar mindset – 2-week millionaires.

 

Do you still think Indians are tight-wads?

 

With this in mind, don’t go thinking drinks are expensive in your favorite gogo bar or nightclub until you’ve seen what Indian nightclubs charge. The drinks menu above is from Walking Street’s Nashaa Club, one of the most popular Indian discos. How does 360 baht sound for a Heineken? Or 265 baht for a non-alcoholic drink like Coke, orange juice or water? Or how about a whopping 460 baht for a B-52 shot?! And before you make the joke that the prices aren’t that expensive if five Indians are sharing one drink all night, be aware someone did just that on Twitter and got crucified! There were plenty of Indians and non-Indians who pointed out that many among Thailand’s top 3 tourist group are quite wealthy and won’t blink at these prices.

Yes, the cost of a night out in Thailand has gone up. But the prices charged in all of the venues mentioned regularly in this column are a bargain compared to other sectors of the market. For those whose budget extends to spending 30K, 40K, 50K or 60K baht in a single night, one venue I keep hearing very good things about is Black Caviar, a large Thai-style venue in Rachadapisek soi 7. This venue is geared towards Asian men, but whitey is most welcome. You can learn more about Black Caviar in this video. This video is in the Thai language but the presenter speaks Thai very clearly so if you have some understanding of the language you should get much of what he says from context.

 

Oh…..yes, please!

 

On the topic of visitors from populous countries, yes, some Chinese do visit the gogo bars. Six of them were screaming at each other upstairs in Crazy House on Wednesday night, even though they were sitting next to one another. Americans, breathe a sigh of relief, you guys are no longer the loudest in the room!

Chinese New Year is coming soon and in Nana Plaza, decorations went up inside and outside of Billboard and Butterflies. A floor below, Mandarin and Red Dragon are readying parties for both Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. In preparation for the Year Of The Dragon, both bars had their girls decked out in Chinese (and Valentine’s) red outfits for photo shoots with Digital a-Go-Go this week, some of the photos of which are scattered throughout this column.

In some gogo bars beer is cheaper than water. And, almost universally, the water you buy in a gogo for the same price as a Coke or a beer would set you back just 7 baht at 7 Eleven. At Mandarin and Red Dragon, water is 150 baht. But at least it’s quality water: Both bars this month upgraded to Evian.

A quick note about drinking water. When I am in Thailand, I always buy Aura brand water. It costs 10 – 20% more than other Thai brands but it tastes, for want of a better word, “cleaner”.

Speaking of quality drinks, I’ve written before about how some bars mix terrible drinks. My pet hate is the way some bar staff pour a mixer first and then pour the spirit on top and never mix it. First sip and you think you have a strong drink. After that…not so much! At Bada Bing in Patpong, the house pours are all premium spirits: Absolut vodka, Chivas Regal whiskey, and Gordon’s or Hendrick’s gin. Rum? Thailand doesn’t offer much in the way of choice, so it’s either Bacardi white or Captain Morgan Dark.

Billboard has added a 3rd 75-inch 4K screen to the walls and will be installing a 4th next week. Those screens are in addition to the 300,000-baht, 98-inch panel above the bar and the custom 6-meter-wide LED behind the Jacuzzi. It’s not only the 100+ Billboard babes on stage that make Billboard a visual delight.

Across from Billboard and next to Butterflies, the owners of both bars are rapidly transforming their former short-time hotel into Nana Plaza’s next gogo bar. The beautifully appointed hotel has been stripped to the concrete base and is now being built out into a newly designed bar with the same high ceiling as Butterflies. But before you get too excited be warned: Word is that when the doors open this spring, it almost certainly will be ladyboys on stage, not natural-born women.

Soi Cowboy, with its many mainstream tourists is the place to find those awful ping pong shows I so despise. After Covid, only Long Gun had ladies performing these dreadfully degrading shows. With plenty of one-time visitors in the soi, the shows are spreading. The Peep, previously known as Dundee, is now touting them, and Crazy House again is doing the shows. Locals roll their eyes, but the tourists love it.

A reader asks a question: Do you need to be a functional alcoholic to run a gogo bar in Thailand?

How long has the nightlife held your interest? How long have you been addicted to it? For me, it was probably about 2½ years. For several months after moving to Bangkok the bar scene was in the background and I really didn’t venture out to the bars all that often. But I would fall in to it and become a regular, heading out a few nights each week for the next 2½ years or so. Over time I got bored of the girls’ antics and found it preferable to spend time with ladies who had never had anything to do with the industry. While some continue to gravitate to the bars year after year, I think most people get it out of their system. One fellow recently mentioned to me that he (an expat, living in Thailand year-round) was as keen on the bars today as he was 30 years ago. Wow, that’s such a long time. He says he enjoys it every bit as much now as he used to when he first discovered it. I know plenty who still like to check in from time to time to see how things are, but 30 years of being a regular? That’s a seriously long time to remain enamoured by it!

January is the busiest month of the year but the peak may have passed. Word is that as busy as it is, there were more people around a couple of weeks ago than there are now. It’s still very busy, but perhaps not quite as busy as it was. With that said, last night was said to be a big night in both Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza. Multiple reports from both areas were very positive. From one Nana Plaza bar owner with a history of telling it like it is, I received this report late on Saturday night, “Nana plaza is buzzing lots of people around last night you could hardly walk on the balcony’s of the plaza there were so many people about. But the people that are running around are not the same crowd as years ago mostly couples and seems alot of Chinese are coming and not as many big spenders, but the numbers make up for it.”

 

What a juxtaposition, wearing a face-mask and face shield, but eating in McDonald’s!

 

Reader Tim’s latest image is a great juxtaposition. This fellow has protected himself with both a surgical mask and a face shield while he is considering options on the menu at the home of healthy food, McDonald’s!

Down in Pattaya, The Pier, the once-popular Walking Street nightclub that closed during the pandemic, has reopened as The Pier Gold Disco Club. Located within the Jalwa Club complex on Walking Street, the original club, which opened in 2013, was a favourite. It is now smaller and accessed through a separate entrance at the Indian nightclub. The Pier Gold is targeting an upscale clientele. Having captivated the Asian market before, the club is focusing on quality and intimacy rather than sheer size. The redesigned interior features laser lights, dance floor LEDs and branded seating. Check out this video.

A new nightclub is being built from the ashes of what was Angelwitch Pattaya. The new mega-club on soi 15 to be called Akira is all but finished and hiring is underway for more than 80 staff with an eye toward opening in April. Created by the owners of Sapphire Club, Akira is aiming to become the jewel of Pattaya’s nightlife, with its backers accepting nothing less than the best. The sound system has been described as “ground-shaking” and the visuals “eye-popping”. There will be exclusive theme nights, international guest DJs and more. It’s a venue to look forward to.

One minute they’re there, the next minute they’re not! Is a game of cat and mouse being played between our African drug-dealing friends and the authorities who oversee Sukhumvit? Early this past week, reader reports were consistent: new friends from Africa could be made along Sukhumvit. The most recent report from Thursday night, however, said there was not one African drug dealer to be seen.

Airfares from this part of the world to Bangkok have come down markedly in recent weeks. Prices are anywhere between 20% and 35% less than they were just a couple of weeks ago – for the same flights. I could fly to Bangkok next month for what is a perfectly acceptable price but I will wait a bit longer. I am keen to get back so why wait? It would be good for the column to get back and see what is happening with my own eyes. There are a couple of reasons for holding off. First, the weather in this part of the world is wonderful at the moment – and with a bit of luck it will remain this way through until at least early April. Contrast that with the terrible pollution in Thailand at this time of year. I can’t rationalise flying to Thailand when it’s so pleasant at home. I’ll wait until after Songkran and things get better air quality-wise.

Jake Needham has bundled 3 of his Jack Shepherd novels together at the bargain price of just $US 3.99. Note: this price is good for just three more days. From February 1st, the bundle will go back to full price. This bundle includes Laundry Man, Killing Plato and A World Of Trouble, the first 3 books in the Jack Shepherd series, all of which are set in Thailand. They illuminate a time that many Bangkok expats now think of as something of a golden age. If you were here then, you know what I mean. If you weren’t, your next best bet would be to experience it through the first 3 Jack Shepherd novels. Shepherd in Bangkok includes 3 full-length novels, over 1,100 pages of crime fiction that immerses you in Bangkok – and at more than 80% off the price if the books were purchased individually. You can order them on Amazon US & Amazon UK.

Pattaya Heat is a Thai action movie to be released next month. It’s set in Sin City and Walking Street features in some scenes. I’m generally not a great fan of Thai movies (some are ok, but most don’t appeal). If you happen to see it, do let me know what it’s like.

 

Pattaya Heat, coming soon.

 

Thailand-Related News Articles

Reader’s story of the week comes from Bangkok Jon, “Bangkok Clubs, My Story”.

Another foreigner in Thailand is in a motorbike crash, another fundraising page is set up to help fund medical expenses.

Immigration has updated the online 90-day reporting system.

A 49-year old Brit international school teacher is accused of the very worst crime of all.

A Brit makes up a story about being held for ransom in Pattaya.

Africans are tricking Thai women in to smuggling drugs.

A Ukrainian is found hanged at a durian plantation on Ko Samui.

Closing Comments

The Mayor Of Soi Cowboy dropped me an email early this week to point out that I had mentioned Shark and Red Dragon multiple times due to lady drink issues but had failed to mention other bars which have a double lady drink policy. The Mayor is right, the double lady drink policy is widespread. As I wrote earlier in the column, these two bars being mentioned frequently is a reflection that they are favourites of Stickman readers. It’s a little bit like Sexy Night, another bar which is a real favourite of Stickman readers. I receive more comments from readers about Sexy Night than I do about Billboard (which probably has 25 or 30 times as many customers). While I do my level best to cover the entire industry, bars which friends, trusted contacts, industry insiders and readers tell me about get mentioned the most. Want to see your favourite bar talked about here? Drop me a line!

 

Your Bangkok commentator,
Stick

Stick can be contacted at : stickmanbangkok@gmail.com

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