Stickman's Weekly Column June 16th, 2024

Stickman Weekly, June 16, 2024

 

 

Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of the pool in Nana Hotel which is currently being worked on. After last week’s hotel pool photo, let’s run another this week. Where was this week’s photo taken? Obviously, it’s a hotel pool somewhere in central Bangkok – but which hotel is it? I’ll give you a clue as it might be a bit obscure – it’s a hotel that remains open today (this photo was taken less than 2 weeks ago), and it had quite a following back in the day.

 

 

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

Look before you jump.

mens clinic bangkok

The topic of Foreigners falling / jumping / being pushed / whatever off balconies is something I have been thinking about. I was told of an incident that occurred close to my residence where a rather large Foreigner fell 5 floors, falling through an awning and landing at the entrance to a convenience store. I don’t know what condition he was in, but I believe the awning cushioned the landing to some extent. I didn’t see the Foreigner but I did see the aftermath of the mangled awning. What if at the very moment he was plummeting from the sky, someone had walked under that awning? Imagine you went to the store to get a drink and a heavy Foreigner came crashing down on you along with a metal awning! Accidents aside, do these suicidal people ever have the courtesy to look if there is anyone down below before launching? Take the Hilton Pattaya, for example, where someone jumped last week. Imagine someone jumping 30 floors and landing on an innocent shopper. To jump without any concern for those down below is extremely selfish! I never drink, so I am highly tuned into people’s vibes and  I can tell you for sure that there is a percentage of tourists here in Pattaya who are extremely weird, with a world of problems. There are some real strange f#%kers here.

English language journalism on expat websites.

Your comments on the quality of news reporting here was interesting. The Thaiger, for one, seems not to employ anyone with proper qualifications, judging by the author profiles at the bottom of articles on their site. Even articles written by the editor-in-chief are poorly written. I guess they are not able to meet the standard required in the west, and combined with what they see as an appealing lifestyle attracts them to Thailand to work here instead. Some of the articles are clearly written by AI and I don’t even read beyond the first couple of paragraphs after it has become obvious what they are. As for reproducing articles wholesale, the unwritten rule is that up to about 10% is okay, but beyond that you’re in trouble. As a journalist who has written for many top newspapers, I find the way things are going concerning and deeply depressing. <Does anyone at The Thaiger actually write *any* original news reports? They have admitted to “recycling” news from other sources which I took as a euphemism for plagiarising Stick>

Lost in translation.

It’s amazing what gets lost in translation between Thai and English news reports. Either the news agencies don’t employ any native English speakers who also speak Thai, or they simply just don’t care. The last discrepancy I recall is when a ladyboy kidnapped a baby, an English news agency reported the baby was kidnapped by a woman who was unable to have children. Maybe they were trying to be politically correct? 555!

More Readers’ Emails

What’s that spot doing there?!

My friends and I recently visited a gogo bar in Bangkok. We bought lady drinks and paid bar for 5 ladies. We went back to our hotel and had some drunken fun. Then we went off to Koh Samui for a lads’ holiday. It’s important at this point to note that there were no other ladies after that. In the second week of our holiday, I noticed a spot on my male member, near the base. I had used a condom, so I didn’t think anything of it. But it grew and developed into something nasty. We returned to Bangkok and I thought it was wise to get this oddity checked out at an STD clinic. It turned out I had acquired Syphilis. I talked to my mates. 2 of them also had spots. So we all went and got the required injections and I think everything is going to be ok. Now back in the UK, I am going for a check-up tomorrow, and I will also get an HIV test. I don’t know if this rises to the level of interest for your readers, but it is clear there is a bit of an epidemic. All 3 ladies work in the same bar. I wondering if this is spreading in the bars as customers don’t tend to go to just one bar. They don’t have just one lady. And when you consider that I used a condom (my friends said they did too, but who knows?), it is worrying. I haven’t had anything like this before, but then again, I don’t have much experience with bargirls either. Lesson learned, I hope! I have no idea of how widespread this is, but for 3 of us to get this horror from one bar shocked me (and my mates!). Not sure I’ll be back anytime soon. It has put me off. But I will keep reading the column and appreciate your work. <The bar’s name is withheld as I see STDs as being more about the girl(s) as individuals, as opposed to the bar. And besides, while these girls may be employees of Bar X this month, they might be employed at Bar Z next month. I don’t agree with your comment about there being an epidemic (there might be, but I am not aware of any evidence to suggest that is the case). I heard a lot more stories about guys picking up STDs in the past than I have in recent years. 20 / 25 years ago, many guys didn’t use condoms – and many caught nasties. It goes without saying that one should always wrap up, while remembering that condoms are not infallible and Syphilis is one of a few STDs that condoms may not protect you against Stick>.

Reflecting on the Soi 6 fracas.

wonderland clinic

I’ve seen the footage of the 3 Brits that got beaten up in soi 6 (looked like Brits of Middle Eastern / Northern African descent to me, not the finest bunch of people I know from experience). Lots of footage, from all angles. Of course, the guy didn’t deserve that final kick to his head, I hope they really punish that guard for once. But on the other hand, these 3 guys were asking for it. They were f^&king annoying, intimidating and threatening bar staff and other customers, and it looks like the guy who got kicked in the head actually started the fight in the end. The fact they got their asses kicked doesn’t bother me at all, but the guy who executed that final kick really went too far. Unfortunately, that is a bit of a Thai thing, kicking people, even in the head, when they’re down and out already.

Soi 6 re-visited.

I took a trip to Soi 6 the other week. My plan was to have a good afternoon playing pool and maybe take a lady. I met a lady who was young, pretty and nice. We played pool, she was very attentive and we had a nice afternoon. She wanted 1,500 short-time, and it was 300 for the room. She was one of the more popular girls in the bar. I offered 1,000, but she was set on 1,500. I had a great afternoon with her and I was always willing to give her 1,500. It was well worth it. Upon leaving, I went to pay my check-bin, and noticed the lady drinks I bought were 190 baht which I thought was a bit steep for Soi 6. However, the barfine / room fee was 300 whereas other bars charge 350 or 400, so no problem. But for sure, 190 baht is a bit of a piss take, and I did not leave a tip. It was a cracking afternoon and everything just fell into place. A week or so ago, I had a younger girl there again. She wanted 1,500. I said it’s low season, there are not many customers around, I am clean, I look good and I don’t mind if I boom-boom or not. She accepted 1,000.

 

 

This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

Deja Vu on Soi Cowboy must be congratulated for its beautiful animated signage which is as good as, if not better than, any other Bangkok gogo bar. Just don’t forget that Deja Vu is one of a handful of bars on the soi owned and operated by the one we refer to as The Arab – so it might be best enjoyed from outside.

A handful of big-name bars are frequently mentioned in this column. But just because they’re big name bars run by foreigners doesn’t mean they operate the way you’d expect a business to back home. Two reports this week concern one big-name bar where customers made the classic mistake of paying for services in advance. In each case, they paid 700 baht for the barfine and another 4,000 baht, being the lady’s fee. This was handed to the mamasan who brokered the deal. And in each case, the girl didn’t even make it back to the guy’s hotel room. In the first case, the moment they left the bar, the lass expressed interest in visiting a few bars in the plaza before heading back to his hotel room. This was a problem as the fellow had told the lady he had a flight in a few hours and was on the clock. She then started making noises about wanting to get something to eat. The customer got annoyed, said that was not what had been agreed and they parted ways. He returned to the bar and was given the 700 baht barfine back while mamasan refused to refund the 4,000 baht fee. (In fairness, she’d probably given most of the 4,000 baht to the lady concerned while pocketing a commission, likely 500 or 1,000 baht.) In the second case, the customer and the lady ended up in a bar on soi 11 where she spread her wings and fluttered away without a trace. In that case, he returned to the bar the next day and was basically told to piss off. Don’t pay in advance! If the lady / mamasan / bar staff insist on it, go elsewhere.

It’s party time again on Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza this coming Friday, June 21, as Shark and Red Dragon, respectively, throw their monthly Full Moon Party. Expect the usual island-themed fun with glowing body paint, shows and glowbands for everyone. The fun starts at 8 PM.

For those who spend a lot of time hunting in gogo bars, the Thermae can make for a pleasant change. And, despite its reputation, White Men can find company at Thermae. Sure, most of the guys doing laps around the bar are Asian and, yes, more than a few ladies will avert their eyes when a non-Asian walks by, but there are plenty of attractive and willing ladies who go with, or even prefer, farangs. One friend who visited Thermae on a recent Saturday night around 10 PM estimated there were well over 100 ladies, with many lookers. I hear that these days the going rate is 2,500 – 3,000 baht.

Did you know that in Dollhouse, the service girls aren’t allowed to drink alcohol until after 10 PM? This is because the service girls are not considered part of the entertainment per se. The barfineable girls can drink alcohol any time.

The former Lighthouse gogo bar at Soi Cowboy, vacant since before the pandemic, is set to transform into Bad Beach, a new venture by the Crazy House group. Is Bad Beach a play on Bad Bitch, perhaps? With construction underway, the new gogo bar is expected to open in August and will feature significant changes, including utilisation of the second floor, unlike its predecessor. Bad Beach aims to rejuvenate a prime yet long-unused spot on Soi Cowboy. Word is that the new bar will offer something different with nonsense upstairs.

 

What was Lighthouse will become Bad Beach.

 

Plenty of you have complained about the policy in many Bangkok gogo bars where you have to buy a dancer two drinks before pulling her off stage during her set of songs. In Pattaya, if you want a girl to get off stage at Pin-Up or XS, you have to buy her FIVE drinks!

Pin-Up, by the way, has a new, 28-year-old Russian manager who speaks near perfect English. On the job a few weeks, Tim is well aware of the rampant criticism the bar has received over the past two years (which prompted ownership to offer a free drink for a positive Google review) and is focused on changing that and providing good customer service. Several visits by friends over the past six weeks found less rude and less aggressive security and, while they still do the job a pretty hostess should do, they are now letting single customers sit in the top row of seating.

Pin-Up’s barfines, though, still remain some of the highest in the business, but they are not the most expensive. That title now goes to Play Girlz on Soi Buakhao at Soi Boomerang. The price to spring a top showgirl (who forgets her bikini when dancing on stage) out of the bar is 4,000 baht. That, of course, is merely the barfiine. When she sees you willingly pay that much to the bar, her expectation for compensation is going to be sky-high!

Why are the barfines so high in Play Girlz? The bar pays its least-shy showgirls 3,500 baht a night (before cuts). How many drinks a night she must get to avoid cuts is unknown, but rival bar owners estimate it’s at least 10 a night. “That basically turns the girls into beggars. They aren’t interested in providing good customer service or care if the customer has a good time. All they care about is hitting their drink quota,” said the owner of a Walking Street bar where some of Pattaya’s hottest ladies queue up to work for much less.

There are relatively few foreign DJs legally working in Thailand, but Kiwi Julius Dutko, aka DJ Julz, is carving out a reputation for himself at Hollywood Pattaya. ECE Pattaya, the folks behind the popular Digital Mints gogo girl photography brand, has put up a mini 9-minute documentary about DJ Julz, revealing his struggles, showcasing his skills and illustrating the highs and lows of what it takes to succeed in the world of Pattaya’s late night clubbing. Check out Style & Spin, Ep. 2: DJ Sessions on ECE’s YouTube channel.

 

Sign seen on Central Road, Pattaya. If only someone who speaks English would proof-read (and fix the spacing).

 

Back in Bangkok, Black ladies have generated a lot of comments in recent months and last week I mentioned that they can be found on Soi Nana offering themselves to passersby from small stools along the soi. A reader posed the question: Who provides the stools?!

Between the Asoke end of Soi Cowboy and the MRT station entrance has turned in to a bit of a gauntlet late at night with local freelancers, Black women and ladyboys all looking to grab your attention. And in the case of the ladyboys, if they can’t grab your attention, be careful that they don’t feign grabbing your manhood when really they are trying to grab your phone or wallet.

A reader asks why there are so many African drug dealers between the Nana and Asoke intersections in Bangkok, but not in Pattaya. Probably the question to ask is why they are only in that short Nana to Asoke area and nowhere else in Bangkok. The answer is obvious but I think it best I don’t spell it out in so many words!

 

Mandarin may be a small bar, but has a bunch of new girls.

 

In more ways than one, the gogo business is an up and down industry, especially when it comes to staff levels. After a few slim months, Mandarin has roared back, adding more than a dozen new ladies in the past month. Many can be seen in the photo above.

Are you amongst those who feel that the ladies in the bars are not what they once were? When you compare the physical beauty of ladies in the bars these days against ladies in the past, how good is our memory? As Thailand gets wealthier, ladies who may once have entered the bar industry have more options. Salaries are a lot higher than they used to be and there are many more options to make a reasonable salary in paid employment. There is a much larger pool of wealthy Thai guys who can provide ladies with a nice life. And with the number of visitors so much higher these days than say 20 or 25 years ago, foreign men make up another potential pool of suitors. Factor in Thailand’s low birth rate and it’s optimistic to think the bars will get the cream of the crop. My current take on it is that I am surprised the bars  have held up as well as they have. Thai women really do have so many more options these days.

The fake watch sellers are still a fixture on Soi Cowboy. Long-timers will recognise a couple who have been doing the rounds for at least 15 years. For some people, these Indian and Nepalese fellows are a novel part of the nightlife scene while for others, they are pests. What do you make of them? For me, they’re harmless and don’t bother me in the least. Along with the flower sellers and the Indian nut men, they all bring a bit of colour to Soi Cowboy and are very much part of the whole nightlife scene.

Following the announcement a couple of weeks back that a new DTV (Destination Thailand) visa would soon be launched, and those arriving without a visa would get 60 days permission to stay, up from 30, there is still no news on when this will come in to effect. Soon, hopefully.

When I mentioned this in the column a few weeks back, I commented that Thailand seems to have actually listened to complaints from travellers about the existing visas and had responded with some very welcome changes. This did not go down well with some who don’t like the idea that Thailand is making it easier to stay longer. It seems like even today, some think that Thailand is a secret and they like the idea of enjoying it for themselves. That horse bolted decades ago!

Speaking of people moving to Thailand long-term, over the past few weeks I have had more than a few videos pop up on my main YouTube page from people calling time on life in Farangland and moving to Thailand. Most of them are Brits and most are from northern parts of England. I usually only watch for about 30 – 60 seconds as it’s the same old story, “The UK is done, but I’m a clever boy and off to the sun.” Yawn. Some of these guys don’t come across as the brightest bulb in the room and with that in mind, what would be more interesting is to see how they are doing a few years down the track. Did things work out how they had hoped?

 

The cheapest place to sleep on Soi Nana.

 

A clever white guy found the cheapest place to stay on Soi Nana, right on the soi outside Charlie’s. And he even has someone to keep him company. Why can’t I shake the feeling that he looks just like some of those guys in the YouTube videos I mentioned?!

At Suwannaphumi Airport during Covid, Customs officers went from playing with their phones to scanning the baggage of many incoming passengers. There were many stories of travellers getting caught with stuff they hadn’t declared like quantities of alcohol over and above the duty-free limit. Many Thais were found bringing in items in large quantities for commercial purposes. Things seem to have reverted back to how they were pre-Covid when it was all very random and most people arriving won’t have their baggage scanned.

This column generates a lot of feedback and amongst all the emails I receive, there are usually one or two nasty emails each month. I’m not talking about reader feedback that disagrees with something I have said, I mean over-the-top nasty or threatening comments. I notice that those sending such emails often have one thing in common. No, it’s not their nationality. And neither is there a pattern of them being resident in Thailand, or otherwise. There is no clear commonality in what triggers them, but there is one thing that many have in common. If I get a nasty email, there is a better than average chance that the person has emailed me from a ProtonMail address. Probably 70% of all emails I receive are sent from a GMail address. Those using ProtonMail are no doubt aware that with a little bit of work, emails from Gmail can be traced. There’s also an obscure feature in Gmail which, under the right circumstances, lets you know if the person emailing you from one Gmail address has emailed you from other Gmail addresses. But ProtonMail? Nah, can’t trace that, even when I use a few old webmaster tricks.

 

Have you got to know any of the lovely Chinese ladies visiting Thailand?

 

Whenever I have stayed on Sukhumvit in recent years, I can’t help but notice the increase in women wearing sexy clothes. I don’t mean the late afternoon / early evening stream of ladies walking from the Nana BTS station to the plaza. The ladies I am talking about tend to be taller, fair-skinned and don’t smile at every passing guy who pays them attention, despite their sexy attire. Many of these ladies aren’t Thai. They’re visitors from China. They are very attractive and some really know how to dress sexy. Is this the norm in China? I suspect not but as I have never been there, I wouldn’t know. And I also wonder if any readers have got to know any of these Chinese ladies? The feeling I get is that they love to dolly themselves up and look super sexy, but as for actually going wild on holiday, I have my doubts. Managed to hit a home run with Miss China? Anything to report, Stickman readers?

Covid is back in the news in Thailand and there have been calls for masks to be worn again. I’m amazed it’s still a thing. You know my position on face masks so I won’t go there, lest more crazies sign up for a ProtonMail account. I just wish there were invisible masks for those who wish to wear them. Why? Because proponents of masks have become just like vegans – they feel it’s their duty to tell everyone why they’re wearing one, and why you should too. Whether this latest round of Covid has had any effect on the ground in Bangkok I have no idea. Has it swept through any bars? I have not heard anything to that effect. Are more people on the ground wearing masks? No idea! What I learned from Covid is that optimising your general health and immune system is the way to go. That’s what worked for me, anyway.

Thailand-Related News Articles

Tragedy as a fire at the famous Chatuchak Market kills around 1,000 caged animals.

A Thai movie about a young man caring for his dying grandmother as he vies for her fortune has struck a chord in South-East Asia.

Overtourism in Thailand is being talked about, along with possible solutions.

Dave The Rave looks at the new Bad Beach in Soi Cowboy in more detail.

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Closing Comments

I deliberately didn’t identify the big-name, foreign-owned Bangkok gogo bar where there were two instances in one week of girls doing a runner after being paid in advance. And neither did I name the other big-name, foreign-owned gogo bar where there are alleged to be at least 3 girls working with Syphilis. This is one area where, unfortunately, I have to be very careful what I say. I cannot afford to get offside with certain people, hence I will report on what is going on, but not name the bar. I may write this column remotely, but I still need to maintain good relations with the big players. I hope you understand.

 

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

 

Stick can be contacted at : stickmanbangkok@gmail.com

nana plaza