Stickman's Weekly Column June 9th, 2024

Stickman Weekly, June 9, 2024



Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of the small bar just around the corner from Soi Cowboy, heading in the direction of Terminal 21 and the Asoke intersection. This week’s mystery photo was taken at a place particularly popular with Stickman readers. This photo was taken this week and kindly provided by a reader. This particular spot doesn’t normally look like this. Where is it?



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

Pattaya’s not so sordid future?

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10 – 12 years ago you wrote a column about the future of Soi 6. I can’t imagine they will not close it down. There are many developments in North Pattaya and it’s a hub for North Asian visitors. Today, Soi 6 is such an outlier in the area and everything on offer in Soi 6 can be found elsewhere in Pattaya so nobody need mourn. Regarding a different Pattaya, in 10 years it will be even more established with cashed up mainstream visitors. It’s not the current family friendly attractions that will be a pull factor for those visitors, rather it’s the exclusive new restaurants, 5-star hotels and rooftop bars. The location close to Bangkok, the beautiful bay, the strong domestic Thai economy, the increasing numbers of well-off visitors to Thailand along with better communications will determine Pattaya’s new trajectory. Pattaya is a gem, but it will change big time. The rest and recreation people understood the potential 60 years ago.

Thoughts on Soi Sex (Soi 6).

About the violence in Soi Sex, I have been a guest in, a consumer of, and a fan of the services on offer in Soi 6 since 1992. Not every week, every month nor even every year, but my guess is that I have visited Soi Sex approximately 75 times since 1992, the last time being February, earlier this year. And I have never been nervous about my safety in Soi 6. Sure, I have received bad service 4 or 5 times, but that’s in more than 30 years. I believe that what one brings to Soi 6 is what you get back from the girls, security guys etc.

Soi 6 is like the Pattaya of old.

I ventured to Soi 6 after reading your column. It still has the old vibe that the rest of Pattaya once had. Like you said, it is becoming mainstream for Russian tourists and the Chinese and I figure its days are numbered. When I visited it was full of smiling, happy girls. There’s a great street vibe. I pulled into Exotica bar, sat with a plain Jane with a decent body and another darker girl (more my type) from Lat Krabang. Nice to sit with them, and I bought five ladies drinks and two beers for myself. The total bill was 990 baht, which is not over the top. I didn’t feel any vice aspect or anything similar to last week’s reported incident. I will definitely be spending more of my remaining nights in Pattaya on that street.

Beware CCTV!

I spent a lot of time this week following various news stories. Aside from the Soi 6 drama, in Bangkok there was a case of a woman losing 2 million baht worth of gold and a murderer who fled across 4 provinces before being caught. It’s amazing that these cases were solved due to the proliferation of video cameras. It’s certainly getting more difficult for criminals these days! And I do feel bad for the taxi driver who found the gold. Of course he should have turned it in, but when you’re struggling to make ends meet it’s not easy to do the right thing.

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From tarmac to Tilac in exactly an hour!

Regarding getting through Immigration quickly when arriving in Bangkok, I enclose a light-hearted but true achievement. Unbelievably, I managed to get from ‘Tarmac to Tilac’ in exactly an hour back in 2022, after landing at Don Meuang Airport from Hanoi. Looking back at my Google Maps timeline, it seems I landed at 22:50, was through Immigration and in a taxi by 23:02. I got to my Asoke hotel by 23:31, checked-in, showered and got dressed. At 23:47 I took a 3-minute motorcycle-taxi ride to Soi Cowboy and was seated, beer in-hand in Tilac by 23:50. One hour exactly! I enclose a screenshot of my Google Maps timeline for proof, although the GPS must be slightly out as it says Spice Girls as opposed to Tilac. From ‘plane to pussy‘ in exactly 60 minutes, can any reader beat that?

More Readers’ Emails

Where mobile phones don’t belong.

I’ve mentioned to you previously how it is great that an increasing number of bars have banned the girls using their phones in the bar. Well, I’m afraid it’s not all good news. Imagine my disappointment when I sat down and started drinking my beer in Rainbow in Soi Cowboy and noticed a number of girls who were not dancing were sitting looking at their phones. Then to my amazement I realised that a number of the girls actually “dancing” up on the stage were clutching their phones in their hands! Unbelievable!

Africans and the destitute.

Why would the cops do anything about the destitute guy in the Asoke area? There is no payout for them. Meanwhile, Africa is moving in. Were those new visa rules written for them?

Punishment or compensation?

If I was the victim of a crime, I’d much prefer that the perpetrator is punished rather than receiving compensation. That said, if the perpetrator could then pay off the police, then I might as well just get the money for myself.

Airfares are still coming down.

I have just booked my flight for November and paid noticeably less than I have paid for flights to Bangkok over the last two years. And by the time I’d used miles for part of the ticket, the cash price was around what I used to pay pre-Covid. Fingers crossed that flight prices might be coming down from their post-Covid high?

No longer a quaint island.

Regarding the crackdown in Phuket, it’s nice to see action being taken by the police. I used to enjoy visiting the island but now it’s crazy with Russian expats. They are very poor drivers, which is not a great combination with drivers from the rest of the country. What was a quaint island is too busy, and it’s not just Patong. Rawai Beach used to be a local hangout, but that’s no longer the case. I know nothing stays the same forever. I guess I’m becoming an old geezer.



The newest set of murals have been completed in Nana Plaza.


This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

The redecoration of Nana Plaza is complete with the plaza’s walls full of beautiful murals. There is a little bit of touch up work to be done but that will wait until early 2025 as the artist has returned to the UK.

I was about to write about main-stairs murals in the plaza running from Essence A Gogo up, but, this past week, Essence’s Russian owner changed the name of the bar to Kino. The Russian is said to have returned home for a while, so it is not known when Kino will see any physical changes.

So what does that mean for those who received discount vouchers at Essence A Gogo? Earlier this week, staff at Essence A Gogo were handing out discount vouchers to passersby. Spend 1,000 baht or more and you get 200 baht off the total bill. The vouchers are supposed to be valid until July 31st. I don’t recall a gogo bar offering discounts like this before, with the exception of the original Dollhouse in Clinton Plaza. Many years ago – this must have been around 2000 or 2001 – The Bangkok Post had discount vouchers for Dollhouse in the classifieds section which you had to cut out and take in to the bar to redeem. No QR codes in those days! As best I recall, it was buy one draft beer and get a second draft beer free.

For a quick walk down memory lane, Dollhouse was far from the only naughty bar to advertise in the Bangkok Post. The classifieds section of The Bangkok Post used to be a real potpourri of ads for products and services of interest to expats with everything from dodgy visa agents to fake international drivers licences to various Soi 33 hostess bars. That’s just one reason the Bangkok Post seemed more interesting back in the day. And let’s not forget, it still featured the Trink column back then too. Ah, the good old days!

Miserable May may have come and gone but bar trade remains much the same. Things remain consistent with the start of the week slow in some bars as trade builds up during the week to a crescendo on Friday and Saturday nights. Billboard and Spanky’s do consistently well night after night while elsewhere it’s a bit of a lottery. Some nights can be good, some nights not great. And when it rains, many bars have a quiet night. It’s very much par for the course for the time of year.

A major renovation was planned around this time for Erotica on the main floor of Nana Plaza but word on the street is several months after buying it, the Japanese owner has sold the ground-floor bar to the Plaza’s biggest tenant, Khun Tee. The rumour mill has it that the bar has been sold – but that the rank and file deny it. If this rumour is true, Tee would be in a dominant position with a number of venues on Nana’s ground floor. It’s actually the second time Tee has owned the Erotica space – he briefly owned it before Covid when it was still Playskool. Tee made several overtures to Erotica’s original Thai owners, who refused to sell, eventually getting the price they wanted from a Japanese fellow who happens to have a string of hostess clubs in Hokkaido. Said fellow is seldom sighted and left it for his Thai girlfriend to run.

Are you a fan of cocks in frocks? What about sluts with nuts? If you are, get yourself over to Nana Plaza where a new ladyboy bar is about to open in the space that was previously known as Balcony Bar.

Is Patpong becoming “more gay”? Some tell me that it feels like there are more gay guys hanging out in Bangkok’s oldest bar area. If that’s your thing, all power to you. But for those who get uncomfortable when gay guys give you the eye, you might like to stick to Sukhumvit.

In  what might be the final update on the condom dispenser in Long Gun, it appears all the free condoms and lube (and let’s not forget the free Sangsom) are gone. Nothing lasts forever.


Endless fascination with the hong-nam in Long Gun.


In Sukhumvit soi 11, Sugar Club has agreed to a new lease which will see the uber popular late-night venue in that space until 2037.

Sukhumvit soi 7/1 is looking brighter which makes it feel more like a proper entertainment area. Could it become a serious contender one day? Soi 7/1 has always promised so much but has never really managed to compete with the larger, more established bar areas. It has always lacked a destination bar although some would point to Eden Club. These days, ask punters to name a bar in Soi 7/1 – any bar – and I think many would struggle to do so. That’s the problem Soi 7/1 has.

For many months, African ladies have been featured in this column and readers know that Soi Nana is the place to go if you fancy a black lady. You don’t have to venture far down the soi these days as they have become brazen and crept further and further up the soi, often sitting around on small plastic stools not far beyond the entrance to the plaza. Some will smile at you. Some will call out to you. Others are more daring and will grab your crotch.

But they’re hardly exclusive to Soi Nana. African beauties can also be found around and even on Soi Cowboy. Small groups of African beauties park up at Corner Bar, Penny Black and Country Road. Some are as aggressive as their sisters at Nana, grabbing men as they walk by. There are also some lingering between Soi Cowboy and the pedestrian crossing over to Terminal 21. They favour the approach of ladyboys, grabbing single men. It goes without saying to make sure your mobile phone and wallet are deep in your pockets.


Still no sign of the doors open at the Penthouse hotel, Soi Pattayaland 2.


Down in Pattaya, the Penthouse Hotel still hasn’t opened although it has been described as looking better than it did a couple of years ago. Perhaps they’re aiming to open for next high season?!

A new gogo bar has opened in the spot that was, pre-Covid, Howard Miller’s Infinity A Gogo. It’s called Candy A Gogo Club but could as easily have been named Kai Dao A Gogo. It’s basically the polar opposite of Pin-Up with not a single silicone-enhanced vixen on stage last weekend. If you like your ladies (very) slim, this Candy store is one you might find a treat in.

Low season traditionally sees Pattaya suffer a bigger drop in trade than Bangkok. With that, the annual gogo bar shutdowns are underway. Nearby Candy, the Apple Gogo bar has closed. Even smaller and narrower than Candy, its only notable feature was its top to bottom LED walls and ceiling panels. And not far from there, the long-running Moon club – which once was on Soi Diamond and relocated closer to Pin-Up but still targeted Asian punters – has closed for good and has “for sale” signs out.


A week ago, Moon was alive. Today, the Moon has been eclipsed.


On Soi LK Metro, there is no chance Champagne Club and Rise are coming back. That space is to become a live music house called Tuk Tuk Club.

Back on Walking Street, Sapphire Club has been one of Pattaya’s most popular and classiest clubs for more than 15 years. It’s the bar where you find the Bikini Mafia and is home to many superstar showgirls, so you’d think Sapphire would also be one of the most expensive gogo bars in Pattaya. You’d be wrong. Each night, a different drink is offered at just 95 baht, including gin on Fridays and Vodka on Saturdays. Sunday has happy hour prices all night long and barfine rates are more what you’d expect in Pattaya in 2014 than in 2024. It’s quite possibly Walking Street’s best value gogo bar.

Away from the chrome poles, the CatFlaps gentlemen’s club on Pratamnak Hill – not generally a place you go at night – has extended its hours to 11 PM during June. It opens at 1 PM with free food three days a week.

Two other out-of-the-way bars on Soi Khopai – 3 Ways and Camel Toe – now offer a free motorbike shuttle between the two venues.


Soi Chaiyapoon AKA Soi Pothole, Pattaya.


Buzzin Lounge on Soi Chaiyapoon celebrated its first anniversary this month, which is remarkable given the sorry state of a road commonly referred to as “Soi Pothole”. Home to Maggie May and other pubs and restaurants, Chaiyapoon remains a privately owned street. Pattaya City Hall has no responsibility to maintain the soi and the owner has made it obvious he doesn’t care if it looks like the surface of the moon. Frankly, it’s embarrassing. Business owners on the soi should pressure City Hall to make the owner bring the road up to standard.

Earlier this week, a friend took the photo below of Center Condo in Pattaya. This popular condo building overlooks the temple on South Pattaya Road, not far from the intersection with Second Road. The upper floors have a view out over Pattaya Bay. It’s a popular building for foreigners with cheap rent and its central location. While I found myself wondering who paid for the damage, this photo begs the question: how many expats have home and / or contents insurance? In all my years in Thailand, I never had insurance for my belongings and, obviously, as I never owned a dwelling, I never had insurance for any of the units I lived in. Generally, the “juristic body”, as the Thais refer to them, takes out insurance for the building but me being cynical wonders how many buildings may not have an up-to-date insurance policy? Do you really trust Somchai to keep on top of these things? Given that plenty of people simply don’t pay their condo fees, some buildings are financially underwater, so to speak. And how many occupants have taken out an insurance policy on their possessions? Asking a few expat friends in Bangkok this week, not one has home contents insurance. What a nightmare this would be if you were in one of the units above the unit where the fire started. Imagine you didn’t have insurance and you had to pursue the owner or the occupant of the unit where the fire began. It would be a struggle to get resolution, especially in a building like Center Condo which I hardly think is home to those with lots of funds. I complain about the cost of insurance in my part of the world but at least I know that I am covered. How many expats in Thailand have insurance?


Fire damage at Center Condo, Pattaya.


Not many weeks ago, I wrote that it seemed like the ranks of the Pattaya Flying Club were swelling with a spike in reports of people jumping to their death from hotel rooms and condos. The final paragraph in a Bangkok Post article this past Wednesday appears to confirm this. In an article published this past Thursday, The Bangkok Post wrote “Previous incidents include a 23-year-old Thai man who fell from a hotel on June 1, a 38-year-old Russian man who fell from a condominium on June 3, and an American man, 43, who fell from a hotel balcony on June 4.” That would make 4 people jumping (or falling?) to their death from hotels or condos in Pattaya in the first 6 days of this month. 4 people in 6 days! Update: Yesterday, the Bangkok Post ran another article saying a lady had jumped or fallen from the 25th floor of a building in Pattaya, making 5 deaths by this means in Pattaya in the last 8 days. Crazy!

Expat lore has it that you shouldn’t get in to a fight with a local because if things kick off, it’s never one on one – fellow Thais will get involved to help their fellow countryman. And taken to its extreme, it’s one versus 68 million (or however many the Thai population is these days). I am generally in agreement with this advice while at the same time, the experience of a friend from my early days in Bangkok shows that things don’t always go that way. Back in the day, I had an American friend who lived in Sukhumvit soi 8. He frequently used the motorbike taxis based at the mouth of the soi. One day he got in to a dispute with one of the riders and things got nasty. I can’t remember the details but my American friend was a decent fellow and it would take someone to seriously wrong him for him to escalate things. To cut a long story short, he got in to a fight with one of the motorbike guys at the start of the soi and beat the crap out of him. There were a handful of other riders right there. One stepped in to help and he was thrown in to the bikes. The rider who kicked things off ended up a bloody mess. You’d expect one foreigner taking on a motorbike rider in front of his pals for things to end badly, but it didn’t. With one Thai bloodied and another bruised, their mates backed off. My friend was big, as in tall and overweight. He was not muscular. He was around 190 cm tall and perhaps 100 – 110 kg. He did not go to the gym and neither did he have any military / martial arts / boxing training. He was simply much bigger than any of the Thais and was ready to fight. Even outnumbering him half a dozen to one, the Thais backed off. Conventional advice would be for the guy to leave the soi because he will have a target on his back. But nothing ever happened. He continued to live in Soi 8 for a couple more years and everyday he would walk past that same group of riders. He never had another problem. They never sought revenge. The cops were never called. No pay off was ever made. This happened around 2001 so it is, admittedly, a long time ago. If it happened today with the current sentiment where foreigners are looked at somewhat differently, I imagine the cops would have been called. Things really were different back then.

Do you struggle to get your head around some articles in the mainstream English language press in Thailand? If things seem confusing, it might not be you! Oftentimes, the writer of the article is not a native English speaker. A friend who was a sub-editor at an English language daily described how some Thai journalists would write an article in English as best they could. A native English speaker would then proof-read it and (sometimes heavily) edit it. Often those editing articles had little knowledge of that particular topic and as such, what you end up with is a confusing article where the important details are unclear or even confusing.

Speaking of confused messaging, the new tax laws continue to cause anxiety among expats. This week, the Revenue Department was quoted as saying that overseas income is taxable for anyone spending 180+ days in Thailand per year. Exactly what they said (i.e. what they said in Thai, before it was translated and reported in English) is not known – and without knowing the exact words that were said in Thai, it’s hard to get your head around it all. The English language reporting created more questions than it answered. The issue as I see it is that the Thai language is not particularly precise. This frequently leads to confusion, even amongst Thais conversing in their own language. Throw in someone who might not be that articulate, translate what they say in to English, have someone edit it who knows little about the subject matter and the message can be mangled. Talk of foreigners deemed tax resident in Thailand being taxed on their total worldwide income is, obviously, a huge concern. What doesn’t surprise me is that the Thais are oblivious to the optics of such comments and the huge concern it causes amongst foreign residents. Some have commented that if this goes ahead, they would be better off living elsewhere. If there really was to be a mass exodus of foreigners on the back of such policy, (which I personally think is unlikely), the Thais would NOT like that. Thais are pragmatic and would not like to see a lot of money leave. My guess is that they would makes changes, possibly put in place some exceptions for foreign retirees, so foreign retirees stay (and Thailand continues to reap the economic benefits). But in all truth and honesty, I have no idea how this will play out.

Thailand-Related News Articles

Reader’s story of the week comes from Mega, Around The Traps in Southeast Asia: Part 29.

Born in Thailand, this person is a man in Thailand, but a woman in New Zealand.

A Canadian tourist in Bangkok is left unable to eat for days after scoffing an entire pig in a food challenge.

In Pattaya, a Swede crashes a stolen bike, injures himself and gets arrested!

In Pattaya, a 43-year-old American became the newest member of the Pattaya Flying Club.

An Aussie with a criminal background is arrested in Pattaya and will be shown the door.

A German joins the Pattaya Flying Club, jumping to his death from the Hilton.

Is Thailand looking to tax foreign residents on all of their income worldwide?!

Dave The Rave takes a closer look at the latest batch of beautiful murals in Nana Plaza.

Closing Comments

One thing I never saw coming in the Thai blogging – and even mainstream news reporting – space is the use of artificial intelligence to produce, or should I say rewrite (“copy” seems like a more accurate word) articles. Amazingly, some of the better known websites which report the news in English simply rewrite articles that have been published elsewhere, and publish it as their own work. This column will *never* do that. The use of AI might be becoming more common, but it will never happen here. Yes, I make errors and some columns might have rather a few typos. That’s the price we pay for being human. This is and always will be an AI-free column.


Your Bangkok commentator,



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