Stickman's Weekly Column May 12th, 2024

Stickman Weekly, May 12, 2024

 

 

Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of the toilets at the Centerpoint beer bar complex on Sukhumvit Soi 7. I wonder why so few of you got it right. Are Stickman readers not big fans of beer bars? This week’s photo is not all that far away from last week’s. Think you know where it is? Drop me an email and I’ll tell you if you’re right. Many thanks to Reader Niclas for this week’s photo.

 

 

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

Thailand’s intense heat still preferable to Farangland.

He Clinic Bangkok

Yeah it’s hot. Hot season is gonna be hot! Happens every year but it’s a bit worse this time around. If a person can’t stand it then perhaps they ought not go to the tropics. I complain about it like anyone, but having lived in the upper Midwest where the winters are long, dark and colder than your freezer (not kidding), I’ll take it.

Gone are the Hollywood days.

Regarding bargirls preferring Asian punters, I’ve noticed – generally and among my Korean friends – that Asians tend to approach the business much as transactional and aren’t usually stuck up on a woman. They also tend to finish the job quicker and aren’t so “rough” (which I have heard from some of my frequents). In contrast, Westerners tend to be a little more emotional and are more conversational – searching for that girlfriend experience instead of a quickie. Couple that with the economic boom in Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and China <China is hardly booming the last time I lookedStick> that has likely created scores of two-week millionaires. It’s an easy choice for working girls from rural areas to make good money. The tide has likely shifted with the K-Drama / K-Pop boom in the past few years where Asian men are generally viewed as more desirable among a certain demographic. Gone are “the Hollywood days”.

CBD Bangkok

The future is now.

Here’s a Phuket update. A friend of mine who’s never been to Patong Beach came to visit, so off we went. The entire place has changed and is now a tourist attraction. The vast majority of people are not men looking for action, but couples, honeymooners, people with babies, Middle Easterners in hijabs, Indians going for a look etc. But what appears to have really changed is that the girls don’t “go” anymore. Seriously. We went to one bar where my friend asked a girl to go home. She said it was too expensive and no-one takes her. She was a stunner, the best looking girl in the bar, and said she hadn’t gone with a customer in 4 months due to the pricing. At another bar, the girl was ready to go – for 10,000 baht. Seriously. 6,000 baht for her, 1,500 baht barfine, and the customer had to buy 10 ladies drinks @ 250 each. There were three of us and we all left empty-handed. Really, I prefer the internet now. A few messages. Go to the gym and wait. A girl shows up. No drama. And stays for a while with no need to rush back to the bar since she’s a freelancer. It’s the future. And it’s here today.

 

More Readers’ Emails

Introducing your daughter to Pattaya.

Let’s be honest, the bar scene here in Pattaya is not very nice. It’s interesting how over the years guys say that some bargirls are very smart, cunning etc and pull the wool over Farangs’ eyes. Take out the alcohol, add in self-discipline, self-confidence and wisdom, be of the attitude that you couldn’t care less whether you boom-boom or not, and think with your brain and not your dick, and the bargirl scams and lies are so easy to see. These girls just prey on a man’s weaknesses. I talked with a bargirl I know the other day. Her 21-year-old daughter has arrived in town to take over the reins as the family breadwinner. Mother told me she is going back home, but first needs to teach the daughter more about Pattaya. Mother is 40 and doesn’t get barfined that much, while her daughter is young, cute and gets barfined every day. I could not imagine introducing my daughter into Pattaya bar life. It really put me off the mother. Now I have never been poor, but if I was I’m certain I would find a better way of survival than introducing my daughter to Pattaya.

The Chit Hole back story.

I’d like to give you some more information about Chit Hole. The guy who owns this “brand” is Wichit “Chit” Saiklao. His Thai nickname is Chit. He is known as the father of craft beer brewing in Thailand. He started his business on Koh Kret, in 2011, and yes, it was illegal. But he survived and is now running many “Chit Hole”s where he is offering “good Chit.” The latest location is in Chiang Mai.

wonderland clinic

Thais vs Filipinas in Farangland.

If New Zealand is anything like Denmark, the reason for the smile or general happiness among Filipinas could be the types of girls who make it to our countries. I am generalising, but most Pinays here in Denmark came as au pairs and most with a degree in some field. They work here for 2 years during which time they meet a decent guy around their own age and marry him. They are fully integrated and speak the language (Danish). Sure, they have loads of Filipino friends, but most of them are also married to local men and we all interact (I am married to a Pinay). Quite a few – not all – Thais here came with older men whom they – in many cases – met in a bar and really did not get to know for long before marrying. Most speak poor Danish and are not as well integrated as many Filipinos. The Thais often end up in cleaning jobs – which are reasonably paid here – but perhaps not what they dreamed of in Thailand when they met a 2-week millionaire who ended up being their husband.

 

More of the stunning new murals in Nana Plaza.

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This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

Bar trade may be easing but some bars have bucked the trend with one long-running Nana Plaza gogo bar breaking records. Despite being closed for a few days in April, last month was the best month in the bar’s history. Which bar am I referring to? Let’s just say that they have been doing a spanking good trade!

Spanky’s in Nana Plaza has its newest manager, G from Belgium, who was being trained up this week. Given how many managers the bar has gone through, there are all sorts of whispers going around the corridors of the plaza about how long this fellow will last. Wishing him both luck and staying power!

Speaking of the Nana area, for those of you who enjoy lounging around the pool at the Nana Hotel, you should note that the pool is out of commission for a few months as that part of the hotel is done up.

It’s not often we talk about new bars in Patpong or old bars in the area being given a new lease of life but that’s exactly what’s happening. In the main Patpong soi, King’s Castle II has been undergoing much-needed renovations with a brand-new interior. Like a few of the classic old Patpong soi 1 gogo bars, it was rather scungy inside and, to be frank, desperately in need of an update.

And directly opposite King’s Castle II, King’s II Sports Bar opened this week on Patpong soi 1. There’s still some life in Patpong, it seems.

 

What was Lighthouse, Soi Cowboy.

 

The double shophouse on Soi Cowboy that used to be Lighthouse is a mess as the prime space is redeveloped. There’s still no word on what format the new bar will be.

With the high season well and truly passed, some bars are doing their bit to encourage visitors and bring back happy hours. Amongst them, Lollipop in Nana Plaza has reintroduced its happy hour. The outside patio opens at 5 PM with all locally brewed beers – Singha, Chang, Leo, Heineken, San Miguel Light  and Asahi – just 99 baht. The inside gogo bar opens at 7:00 PM, and you can continue drinking cheap brews in the air conditioning until 8:00 PM.

Another bar with happy hour pricing is Dollhouse, on Soi Cowboy. It’s happy hour pricing all night long, every Sunday and Monday, from 7:30 PM through until closing.

The year 2000 was notable for many reasons – and it just so happens to be the year Angelwitch opened in Nana Plaza. On May 30, the middle-floor show bar will celebrate with a 24th anniversary party. There will be free roast pork (brought into Nana, not grilled inside the roofed plaza), potato salad, baked beans and Thai sides. Customers have a chance to win prizes and there will be drink deals all night long. Mark your calendars and follow Angelwitch’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more details as the date gets closer.

I have to ask the question: Why do most bars promote parties heavily but so often put on a really lousy spread? I guess the simple answer is because it’s cheap. Few bars which cater parties do it well. Billboard is an exception and orders in hundreds of pizzas. Pizza and beer is a decent combination and is always well-received at gogo bar parties. Roast pork has always struck me as being more for the staff than customers, yet its customers to whom the parties are promoted. The best bar party has to be the opening of Las Vegas on Nana’s top floor, way back in 2011. It was notable because there were cases and cases of Dom Perignon. I wrote about that night: Matching 5 Baht Chicken Legs With 8,000 Baht Champagne. Ironically, the people behind Las Vegas and that party are the same group behind Angelwitch and the upcoming anniversary party.

This week the Prime Minister announced that the cannabis industry would be recriminalised. When he announced the date by which all shops must close, April 1st, 2025 – I immediately wondered if it was an April Fool’s Joke. It’s not a joke, but then neither is this a fait accompli. One gets the impression that there will be a lot of resistance from the industry including the country’s 8,000 odd cannabis retail outlets. I really don’t think we have heard the last of this and there could be more flip-flopping to come.

Readers report that Sukhumvit Soi 11 still has foreign men openly selling hard drugs to other foreign men. I think we can connect the dots as to why this continues.

Some of you tell me that you see Indians doing their best to be known as the cheapest of cheap Charlies. Others tell me they see Indians running up large checkbins. Who’s right? Both! The distinct impression I get is that the low-rent Indians head for Pattaya where many do their bit to uphold the stereotype that Indians don’t like to part with a single baht more than is necessary. Meanwhile in Bangkok, some bar owners tell me Indians spend freely and are often the biggest spenders.

The building which was once the soi 7 Biergarten may have been gutted, but it still retains its distinctive shape and the old Beer Garden sign. The photo below, kindly provided by Reader Nicklas, shows how what we once knew as the Biergarten looks today.

 

The small beer bars in the space that was once the soi 7 Biergarten.

 

The Emails To Stick section today featured a report from Phuket where the reader noted that the bar scene had changed so much that many girls don’t “go” anymore. This was not the first I had heard about this. Catching up on the phone earlier this week with prolific readers’ submissions writer Mega, my fellow Kiwi told me how he had been quoted 10,000 baht by a lady in Suzi Wong – generally regarded as Phuket’s best gogo bar. It sounded like either she didn’t want to go with him or she was making so much money from lady drinks that she has no need to go with anyone. When you hear similar reports from multiple people, a clear pattern starts to emerge. Phuket has much going for it but if you’re looking to barfine, you’re probably better off in Bangkok and Pattaya.

For years, Suzi Wong in Bangla Road has been regarded by many as the island’s best gogo bar. Another lady told my friend that a few nights earlier she had hooked a Singaporean whale who bought her 50 shots in a night (one imagines she didn’t drink them all). That’s at least 5,000 baht commission from just one customer, on top of her day rate and any other money she made that day. All power to the guy who bought all these drinks, but at the same time it sets the bar high for everyone who follows. At 250 baht a lady drink, it could get expensive fast.

Aside from Suzi Wong, I am told another Phuket gogo bar worth checking out is The Devil’s Playground. The line-up is said to be good, but not as good as Suzi Wong.

Up the top of Bangla Road, Rock Hard A Gogo is still going. It’s the first Thai gogo bar I ever visited. Apparently it is not nearly as busy as many other bars on the strip, perhaps because it has a number of older ladies. Who knows, maybe there are one or two still there from when I first visited in 1997?! I shouldn’t joke, it’s possible.

In the Patong bar area, everyone is talking about Illuzion which is said to be the best disco / late-night spot. It’s so busy some nights that there can be a long queue to buy a ticket.

Visitor numbers in Phuket are said to be well past the high season peak with noticeably less traffic around the island, and fewer people in the malls. Apparently there are fewer Russians about too.

 

Walking Street, Angeles City, this week.

 

Away from Thailand, word is that most of the bars in Angeles City in the Philippines have reopened, and it sounds like there is optimism with new venues under construction. The photo above and the shot a few paragraphs down show Walking Street in Angeles City. Having never been there, I have no idea if this is considered busy or not. I  am told that the Covid blues are a thing of the past and Angeles City has bounced back but with that said, it looks quiet to me.

From a correspondent who is a regular visitor, he says you get all sorts of ladies in the bars, ladies of all sizes and ages and – his words – “there is enough choice to please everyone”. There are fewer ladyboys than you find in Thailand’s bar areas.

Just like Thailand, most are country girls working to help support their family or perhaps save money for further education. Unlike Thailand, far fewer spend money on plastic surgery or other surgical enhancements. It’s also said that there are fewer tattooed ladies than you find these days in Thailand.

Another big difference between Angeles City and the bars in Pattaya and Bangkok is that in Angeles, many bars open at noon. There can be a decent line-up early afternoon but don’t expect the full roster until late afternoon.

Unlike Thailand, you pay the entire fee in the bar in advance. Short-time rates are around 4,500 pesos and long-time is in the vicinity of 5,000 pesos. Apparently, most girls prefer long time. Girls receive around 500 pesos for each night they work and 2,800 pesos of the 5,000 peso barfine. Customer drinks run 120 – 180 pesos and lady drinks are 200 – 300 pesos. So what’s this in real money? You can do the maths: one US dollar gets you 57 pesos.

If you’re looking to barfine in Angeles then it is recommended that you do it early as Korean punters swoop on the best girls early evening and with most going long time, they’re off the market until the next day. It would seem that just like the best bars in Pattaya, there are more Koreans in the bars than any other nationality. Compared to pre-Covid, there are far fewer Westerners. I hear that there are some bars that cater exclusively to Koreans and the white man is not allowed in.

 

Another Angeles City street scene.

 

But this is not an Angeles City-centric site so let’s get back to Thailand. Last week I mentioned two friends who had been cruising around Pattaya’s Soi 6. One ended up finding someone to his liking and she turned out to be the bargirl equivalent of a unicorn. In a day and age where most girls don’t do long-time, this comely 20-year-old said she doesn’t like short-time and actually wants to go overnight. Asked if she’d bolt as soon as the sun was up, she said, no, she’d stay until at least 10 AM. And the price she quoted for her time was half the going rate. But, when you consider the oppressively hot weather Thailand has been experiencing recently and her living conditions, it’s understandable why The Unicorn said what she said. She lives upstairs from the bar on Soi 6, in a room with 5 other girls with no air-conditioning. With temperatures having hit 40 degrees in Pattaya, it’s no wonder an air-conditioned room with a comfortable bed and the chance at a good night’s sleep appealed.

Some Soi 6 bars do a good job on Facebook, posting photos of attractive girls that have guys coming in, phone in hand, looking for them. But some take their marketing to deceptive levels. Toy Box is one of the worst offenders. Nearly all the posts feature the same five girls, some of who are, admittedly, very attractive. But, over the course of several visits over several months, almost none of those girls are actually in the bar. “Where’s she?”, one friend asked a service staffer. “Day off” he was told. “This one?” he inquired, pointing at another photo? “Barfine already.” “This one?” … “Holiday!” I feel the need to comment on this as I work closely with Digital A Gogo to feature photos of ladies who you can find in the bars NOW! Often, the photos featured in this column were taken just a few days before publication; quite a few photos in this week’s edition were taken this past Thursday night. And we have a strict rule to not include photos of any ladies taken more than 2 months ago.

Bliss in Pattaya held a Barbie-themed party. Unlike in Bangkok when Red Dragon and Shark threw their Barbie parties, the attire was more commercial than sexy, but if you’re looking to play with some Barbie dolls, you can find Bliss on Walking Street.

Is it just me whose stomach churns at guys who, after sitting down in a gogo bar, take off their shoes and put their feet up on the sofa cushions? Try putting your dirty, sweaty feet on a sofa in Crazy House in Bangkok and, thankfully, you’ll soon have a screaming waitress in your face. In most cases, the offender is Chinese.

A LOT of people send emails asking me to link to the latest video they have put up on YouTube. There is only so much room for links in this column (I try to limit it to 8 news articles / and the odd video per week). I have found I have to be quite judicious with what I say when I respond because some of these YouTubers have a very high opinion of themselves and even a polite reply along the lines of, “Nice work, but I hope you understand it’s not really what my readership is interested in…..” often sees them come back with a nasty response, or even abuse. It’s happened enough that it makes me wonder if creating YouTube videos is harmful to your mental health, or is it possibly the domain of the already deranged? Anyway, I received an email this week from a fellow asking me to link to: Bars, Bands and Beats: Stories From Pattaya’s Filipino Live Music Scene. I immediately thought to myself, here we go, another wise guy, and another nasty email coming my way when I decline to run it. I took a look at the video and I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s a 20-minute, professionally created, very nicely edited documentary about Filipino musicians working in Pattaya. If you have any interest in Filipino musicians abroad, or what is an overlooked sub-culture in Pattaya, check this video out.

A couple of months ago I wrote a column about the pending dramatic price increases in New Zealand for a visa for Thailand. To summarise that article, I felt that the 500%+ increase in visa fees announced by the Royal Thai Embassy in New Zealand would see the same rates rolled out around the world. Until then, the price of a visa for Thailand was basically the same, irrespective of where in the world you applied. It has almost been two months since the dramatic price increase and nowhere else has there been a similar increase. New Zealand is very much an outlier with New Zealanders applying for a Thai visa paying between 5 and 7 times as much as anyone else. What gives? I wondered if perhaps the prices posted on the Thai Embassy’s website were wrong / a mistake. No, the prices were correct. Some suggested that perhaps it’s because the price a Thai pays for a visa to visit New Zealand is much higher than a New Zealander visiting Thailand, the prices had been set at a similar level. This would make sense – but then all developed countries charge Thais much more for a visa and New Zealand was hardly an outlier. If we look at the big picture, New Zealand has a developed economy but it’s a small market with less than 100,000 New Zealanders visiting Thailand annually. Could Thailand be experimenting, and using New Zealand as a case study to see what happens when the price of visas is jacked up? If the new high prices don’t see any drop in visitor numbers, perhaps the higher visa fees will get rolled out in other countries? This seems plausible. I understand that the New Zealand government is aware of the discrepancy in pricing and has made inquiries with their Thai counterparts as to why New Zealand has been singled out for significantly higher visa fees than all other countries. It would be interesting to know what comes of that, although I would not expect it to be made public.

Thailand-Related News Articles

When a French businesswoman dies and leaves a 100 million baht inheritance to her maid, no-one should be surprised that the sharks are circling.

All cannabis shops in Thailand must close by April 1st, 2025.

A Brit apologises after entering a small eatery in Buriram with a gun.

A Brit blogger in Thailand suffering from food poisoning posts rude comments about the hospital care he received.

Thai police arrest an American who fled a 25-year jail sentence in his homeland.

Here are a few cafe and restaurant recommendations in Pattaya.

The Sun looks at Thailand’s wild animals causing issues for locals and tourists alike.

It sounds like a New Zealander who was caught after 6 years overstay led an awfully boring life before being arrested.

Closing Thoughts

That’s a couple of weeks in a row without an opener. What gives? Quite simply, I don’t have any topics I’d like to expand on sufficiently to write an opener. There are a few things bouncing around in my mind but some aren’t particularly positive and I’d really prefer to start the column with something positive as opposed to a rant. Will there be an opener next week? Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully. Let’s see.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

 

Stick can be contacted at : stickmanbangkok@gmail.com

 

nana plaza