Thailand Nightlife Roundup

Welcome to my website.  In case you're new, you might care to know that the purpose of this site is to offer rants, tirades, opinions and discussion about books on Thailand, give an overview of nightlife in Thailand and, yes, to provide a few news items which might not appear elsewhere.  And to have some fun.

Bar, club and restaurant owners who would like to send material on their special events, birthday bashes, anniversary parties, etc., are welcome to do so but please remember men in Thailand are a bit jaded so if you’re just going to offer the usual free gourmet food and free full band entertainment and free beautiful and eager-to-please women, well, the lads have been there, done that. So do try to offer potential patrons something special. ;-)

There is a contest every two weeks when this column appears and the first to answer the question correctly or identify a photograph correctly will receive a free book written by myself and other prizes such as free food and drink from Larry's Dive, The Londoner and Bourbon Street Cafe. The prizes will build up in case anyone doesn't win it immediately so the bonanza for the eventual winner could get quite interesting.

I will also add information to a column as I receive it or report on nightlife as I encounter it so check back now and again as there may be much new even within a week or ten days.  And please remember a part of all money received from the sale of my books goes to needy Thais (in the form of payment to go go dancers, waitresses and hostesses).

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(Disastrous) Contest Results from last column at bottom of page

I was walking along on Soi Cowboy the other early evening minding my business when all of a sudden I noticed a not-so-young Thai woman walking by with an attitude that said she was not a happy camper. What was really scary was that the slogan on her shirt said: “I’ll Find You.” Definitely a situation to avoid. And woe be unto he whom she is looking for. 

I always plug the Nation newspaper as being more free and daring than the Bangkok Post.  Alas, it has recently cancelled two of its best columns, Farang Affairs & On the Tiles.  The Expat Page stuff was really daring at times and could be very funny.  The paper has a new editor and for whatever reason has dropped the columns.  By doing so they have given their competition a real gift.  Sad.

Apache Bar opening on Soi Cowboy is scheduled for 1 September.  Should be a nice event and rumor-control headquarters says there will be table-top dancing in this bar.  We shall see shortly...

Word on the Street has it that Angels Disco in the Nana Hotel is now charging a 400 baht entrance fee. Has somebody gone a bit batty? Not that I mind as I’m a bit long-in-the-tooth for that place, alas, but with so many alternatives out there now, why would anybody pay that much to enter Angels Disco?  Hint to management: During the low season is not a good time to raise prices.

A Pissed off Pattaya Resident Sounds Off

We used to get our water from a pipe connected to the mains. Nowadays we get water delivered by big yellow city utility trucks or fire department tankers! I know of one hotel on Pattayaland 2 currently spending Bhat 200,000 per month to solve his own personal drought. I wouldn't be too surprised if we didn't soon see 'ShinaWatera' brand tankers hitting the streets to make hay while the sun shines (and evaporates all the ground water at the same time). I can see 100, 500 & 1,000 Baht 'pre-paid' water cards becoming all the rage and tie-ins with AIS - 'Talk 100 mins - Get a free shower', sign up to UBC today and get a 'ShinaWatera' brand water tank and 1,000 litres of ShinaWatera free'. Of course there would be different packages depending on the quality of water you wanted - 'Platinum' :- regular clean city water stolen from fire hydrants; 'Gold' :- murky bore water also stolen but from farmers' ponds, 'Silver' :- sea water and 'Esarn' :- semi-treated sewerage (see silver). How pray tell would Mr. Taksin know if there is a water shortage or not? Everything he has is dry-cleaned!

I hadn’t been to Soi Cowboy’s Midnight bar for awhile and decided to venture in. Let me just say the ladies were very scantily clad and a few were not bad looking at all. Now the down side: I checked with a few of the dancers and they were full of complaints. As you may know, the price of pleasure used to include the lady and the room upstairs. Not anymore. Now the price has been raised and nothing is included. Drink prices for most drinks used to be 100 baht of which the girls got 50 baht. Now the drink prices have been raised but the girls get only 45 baht. One girl said the “whiskey was no good now.” Not sure if she just meant they were using a cheaper brand or what. Another dancer said she doesn’t like to dance there because the music is not good now. According to her it was much better before. Another dancer said there had been a lot of fights in there between girls. At least two of the girls I spoke with are leaving for other bars. Well, you have to remember that go go dancers are like American GI’s: they have a right to complain and often do. Still, prices of everything in the Midnight bar have gone up and it’s lost a bit of its magical sleaze which we all savored and wallowed in.

If you get off the Skytrain at the station near Patpong Road but at the other side of Sukhumvit and go down the stairs you will find one of the best stalls for CD’s in Bangkok. It is a stall, not a store. While on the subject of Patpong, bar rents have been raised, so drink prices have been raised, so barfines have been raised but – the good news – it’s still a cheaper night out than Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy.  If it didn't have that god-awful Night Market I'd go to Patpong a lot more often.

Is anyone else pissed off with CNN? No, I don’t mean their anti-American leaning or the fact that they admitted that when Saddam was in power they soft-pedaled criticism of him so as to retain their links to news in Iraq or the fact that they constantly report the news while saying the clichés “if you like” and “if you will.” I mean the frequent and blatant self-promotion which seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds. “Only on CNN!” And lots and lots of BS about what a great job they are doing. You see, I’m old enough to remember when news organizations on television would have considered such self-promotion both unseemly and unprofessional. In my opinion it still is. I’d watch BBC if my building would get it.

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Would you like to be really, really rich? I mean incredibly rich? Well, that’s what the Indian family (not even a clan – a family!) is that owns the land on which Nana Plaza sits and other land stretching beyond it. Technically, His Majesty granted the land on some kind of long-term/perpetual lease but it pretty much amounts to “forever.”

This family has a representative which collects the rent from the bars of Nana Plaza IN CASH every month. Millions of baht! Now I have nothing against people getting rich even though if there were a just god in some heaven somewhere I would be the one getting rich not my Hindu friends but I do wonder if they have a daughter who might be pining away for an older farang to marry Cause here ah is!

The only real complaint I hear about this family from just about all the bar owners at Nana Plaza is that in return for the rent, this family is supposed to provide proper and effective security, establish fire prevention measures and provide good upkeep.  Anybody – sober or drunk – ever noticed any effective security or fire prevention measures or good upkeep at Nana? Ever noticed even a fire extinguisher anywhere?  In my opinion, Nana Plaza is a debacle waiting to happen.

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Bars on soi 33 are getting more and more creative with their signs.  Well, why not?  Despite all the non-art bar names, there are still plenty of bars along the soi named after dead artists so let the creativity proliferate.  Now if only the barfine prices would drop as well.  I can't believe anyone would open up anymore bars on soi 33 though.  Are there really that many customers around?

 

OK, I admit it – I’m weak. I have a perfectly good computer at home. And yet I can often be found in a computer café somewhere using a computer there. Why? Because the young Thai ladies running the computer cafes are often good looking. Yep, ah’s weak.

Did you know the Chao Phya II massage parlor on Sri Ayudhya Road once had a small room with girls who were new to the establishment? Just off the bus, so to speak, 42nd Street and all that. Anyway, the room is no more. Not sure why but it could have to do with the fact that some of those young ladies might have been a bit younger than folks realized. Lots of pretty young ladies there though. There is also a Chao Phya I down the same road but most farangs don’t go there. Not sure why not but according to the mama-san at Chao Phya II, the owners are not the same and the other one is more expensive.  I believe she was hinting that, unlike Chao Phya II, foreigners are charged a higher price than Thais.  Whereas Chao Phya II has a cute sign in broken English just at the door telling us that we are charged the same price.  And I believe we are.  "Beautiful girls are served..."  So, anyway, Chao Phya III, which is in Thonburi, is owned by the same owner as Chao Phya II.  Chao Phya I used to be owned by the same owner but they split up.  All clear now?

During a pleasant tryst with a young lady at the same establishment she remarked that she was making at least 70,000 baht a month. Now that may not seem like a lot of money to you folks protected by your big corporate salaries but to a writer that ain’t hay. Or sticky rice, either. And she was only 23 years old. And that didn’t include tips. She said she takes 7 days off a month during her period and, as she said, if she gives a massage to three different men a night, that is 3,000 baht times, say, 23 days which is 69,000 baht not counting tips. (She makes 1,000 baht of the 2,000 baht you pay for the two-hour massage.)  Many of the girls cost 1,900 baht but there are the "superstars," etc.  More categories than you can shake a stick at.

Not bad pay at all. No doubt some Western women will be saying this is horrible but yet they don’t complain about Western go go dancers and entertainment providers in the USA in places like Las Vegas making US$1,000 per night. Wonder why that is.

An English friend recently took an English female visitor from London to a Bangkok go go bar. Her first time. She sat watching the action on stage, bar girls dancing, giggling, laughing, flirting, etc., and then turned to my friend and said: “Well, they don’t seem terribly exploited, do they?”

Another English friend, very respectable chap and all that, went to a bar on soi Cowboy known for its lesbian show. He was leaning forward so far that one of the girls decided he might as well be in the act so she draped her legs around him and he went to town, so to speak. In fact, the other girls in the show stopped to watch the action. My question is, if a guy is in a lesbian act, is he in fact a, um, lesbian?

You know you’re getting old when: People around you tell you your cellphone is ringing and yet you didn’t hear it. This is happening to me more and more and it makes me feel really old. So if you hear my cell phone ringing, do me a favor and mind your own damn business. Thanks.

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FIVE WHYS

Why is it women with money and their own car and apartment tend to bore me but those with nothing except a desire to get my money I find interesting? Self-destructive tendencies, no doubt.

Why is it most restaurants in Bangkok do not give a free second cup of coffee? In the States, I always get more coffee with any meal, that is, free refills. Here, I have to pay for another coffee. Anybody know a great place for breakfast in Bangkok that gives more coffee for free?

Why is it people never carry pens on planes? Even on international flights? Don’t they know before we land they have to fill out a customs and immigration slip of some kind? Apparently not, because they always have to borrow mine or else stand up, find their overhead luggage and rummage through it to find a pen.

Why isn’t go go dancing considered by the Olympic committee to be an Olympic sport? The contests we have seen in Bangkok are really great and yet they are not included in the Olympics. I see by 2008 baseball and softball will be dropped from the Olympics so that should make room for go go dancing to be included. Let’s hope the Olympic committee comes to their senses soon.

Why during the recent rains and flooding does every motorcycle taxi always stop in the middle of a flooded area so that I have to step in water to get to the sidewalk?

Did you read about the Italian exchange student in Australia who was arrested for setting up a camera in the bathroom and taking pictures of an 18-year-old girl? He is 36. She discovered this the hard way: When she went to use his computer to check her e-mail and found video of herself naked on the web. The guy said he wasn’t interested in seeing her naked, but was just trying to catch her in the act of using drugs. Uh, huh. Sure. I believe that. A pervert I at least understand; but a pervert with a ludicrous excuse like that ought to be locked up for a long time, at least until he can come up with a better story.

Here are three pretty girls and I just couldn't resist putting the picture up even though I'm not sure it has anything to do with my column this time.  But I bet I won't hear anybody complaining.  Anyway, I only want praise.  If you have any complaints about my column send them to Stickman or Baron Bonk.  (Whap, I mean, Click on the picture.)

 

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You may have noticed that firehouses in the United States are increasingly getting rid of those famous firehouse poles which the guys slide down at the sound of the gong or whatever. It seems although it greatly aids speed, lots of guys got injured doing that. My question is where are the poles going? I think they would be perfect for some of the go go bars here in the Land of Smiles. Isn’t the firehouse pole in Sheba’s a really tall one? Don’t throw away those firehouse poles, guys, Bangkok dancers would like to put a real shine on them.

I have never been foolish enough to pretend that I understand the Thai mind or to try to figure out logic in Thailand, if such exists. Sure enough, here is a recent example I experienced with a go go dancer in a sexy show in one of the bars. I’ve known her for some time. I decided it might be fun to take her to Demonia’s (AKA Cave Bar) and see what she makes of it all. I explained to her what goes on there and, yes, she had heard of it. Something about whips and chains and leather and spankings. OK, she would go. Then I mentioned it costs 900 baht for the first beer. She couldn’t believe it! Nine hundred baht!! She was outraged, in fact. And there was no way she would go after that.

You have to understand I am certain she understood that I would pay for her beer but that wasn’t the point, apparently. It was the principle of the thing. So if that upsets her so much why is she OK with a barfine of 600 baht and ever-rising shorttime rates? Who knows?

The Bangkok Post of July 17th may have given us the ultimate example of Thai logic. You remember press reports said the Thai Meteorological Department did not warn us of the Tsunami because they were afraid of being sued if they were wrong. Well, on the 17th of July we find this: “GOVT KNEW YALA ATTACK PENDING – Afraid to take action for fear of being sued.” According to Prime Minister Taksin: “Officials knew but couldn’t do anything to prevent it. They were afraid of being sued.”

Sued by whom??! The terrorists?! Businessmen? Go go dancers? Stickman? Trink? Whore House Charlie? Harry Potter? I mean, just when I think I have seen the most absurd insanity ever imagined on this or any other planet, the Thais manage to top it. As we used to say in the late ‘60’s at San Francisco State College during the Vietnam War riots, “Far out, man!”

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IF YOU DON'T BUY THIS BOOK, I'LL SHOOT THIS GO GO DANCER

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Newspaper report also on a Seattle man who died “due to perforation of the colon” when he was engaging in anal sex with a horse at a farm suspected of being a gathering place “for people seeking to have sex with livestock.” That goes to show how little I know; I assumed guys did it to the animals, not the other way around.

Just to show that Thais do not have a monopoly on strange patterns of thought, although sex with animals is not illegal in Washington state, American officials point out that animal cruelty is. So if the animal is small, the guy might get arrested for cruelty to animals. A police sergeant is quoted as saying, “If you’re talking about sheep or goats, there could be some issues.” Somebody’s got some issues, that’s for sure. So what do they do now, get up a committee to decide how big and how much animals weigh and then group them according to yes, these can be fucked but not those. Collies yes, Chihuahuas no? Sometimes my fellow Americans seem very weird to me.

Has anybody else noticed how leftist the Bangkok Post has become these days? Every other week they allow their embedded Muslim fanatic, Imtiaz Muqbil, to spew forth his hatred against the West, and each Sunday in between they run an anti-Western column distributed by the left-leaning “Global Viewpoint.” If they weren’t so afraid of Taksin and hadn’t fired their last editor (by moving him upstairs) because he wasn’t pro-Taksin enough, I wouldn’t mind the West-bashing so much. I try to read both the Nation and the Post but I only pay for the Nation. I hope you’ll do the same.

I think I mentioned that the Soi Cowboy Penny Black hotel has gone up in price for a short time from 400 baht to 450 baht.  But the rooms are so much better than Asoke Place, around the corner, that even if Asoke Place is cheaper, I would still prefer Penny Black.

Various websites covering Pattaya Nightlife keep saying how slow the rainy season business is in that favorite family-oriented (heh, heh) seaside resort and yet I keep getting reports about how crowded a lot of the bars are and how Walking Street is doing fine, especially crowds stopping to take pictures of the Russian chick dancing in the glass enclosure facing the street (next to the Polo Lounge).  And of course the Peppermint bar is still popular with lots of girls doing lots of things you might care to see.  All of the popular bars are certainly holding their own and there are a lot of lovely ladies around the town, so not to worry - Pattaya may be low on water, but not on entertainment.

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I was walking on soi 22 at 10 in the morning on a bright beautiful sunny day having just finished a fine breakfast when I spotted a lovely Thai lady who used to work at the Texas Lone Star Saloon.  I hadn't seen her for about a year and she was the only one I ever took from that establishment for a casual stay.  Very statuesque, great face. 

Me: So where you work now?

Her: Soi 33.

Me: Really?  Which bar?

Her: Demonia.

Me: Really?  Cave Bar?"

Her: Yes.

Me: As a dom?

Her: Yes.

Me: So you have a black leather outfit?

Her: Yes.  And black boots.

Me: And a whip?

Her: Yes.

Me: Wow!  Great.  OK, I'll come see you real soon.

Her: OK. Come see me.  Take care.

As I walked away it occurred to me that this was not a normal conversation one has with a woman at ten in the morning after breakfast.  So if it's not normal, then this must be: You guessed it - THAILAND.  Because you see in New York when I met someone after breakfast the conversation was usually along the lines of "Hi, how's the novel going?" or "Hi, how's the play going?" and when I lived in Hong Kong if I ran into someone after breakfast the conversation would usually be along the lines of "How's the stock market treating you?"  But in Thailand things are always, um, different.

But what exactly is the protocol here?  I mean, once you've known a woman intimately and then you go to see her when she's a dominatrix, it could be a bit awkward, no? 

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John Oles VFW Udorn Post 10249

If you want to witness a water buffalo plowing a rice field (in Thailand), you’d better hurry over. Last year I wasn’t able to spot a single farmer using a water buffalo….this year I spotted one in the neighborhood, rushed home to get my camera, and found the farmer finished for the day by the time I returned. Most farmers have ‘graduated’ to more modern methods of plowing, like the iron buffalo – a $1,000 contraption that uses an ultra-low rpm gas motor and can double as the a water pump engine or the engine for a village vehicle.

Oh, the way life is changing in Udorn (Udon). In the past month an Irish Pub has opened, serving genuine Guinness and Udorn’s one and only (I think) Mexican restaurant, The Taco Place, now serves tacos, fajitas, and tostados along with chips and salsa on the side. When you include all the Italian, German, Dutch, Aussie, fusion, and Brit restaurants in town, Udorn is becoming an eaters delight. While I indulge in the stuff from time to time, my favorites for lunch remain the Lao Noodle shop and the beef salad place next to the Muslim mosque. I did have tacos for lunch today, however, and will go back to sample the fajita platter next time around.

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When I was stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War I was a Chinese linguist and a friend Michael York was a Thai linguist.  Michael loves the Thai language and submitted these short but very interesting observations:

Here is a summary of what I was saying about traditional Thai social values. My observations here are drawn from my reading in the Ramakien and looking for how the author(s) viewed the actions of various characters in various situations.

1. Traditionally, Thais were taught to be self-effacing and unassertive. "khii ay" ขี้ไอ .

2. Conversely, the aggressive self-assertiveness of, say, Hong Kong Chinese (this is the Thai stereotype--I've never even been there) is highly offensive to Thais. This kind of assertiveness is often referred to as "naa daan" (both long vowels, both falling tones) หน้าด้าน When Sida, the princess who is stolen by the evil demon Tosakan, wants to issue the very worst insult that she can think of to him, she calls him naa daan. This literally means callous faced. It means that you have no sensitivity to inappropriately asserting your own interests.

3. Beginning in 1987, I heard a new Thai expression-- "daan dai ay ot ด้านได้ ไอ อด which means the callous-faced get and the self-effacing do without. To me this was a very significant development in Thai social values.

4. The very worst insult that can be given (in the Ramakien at least) is that someone is "akatanyu" อกตัญญู which means that a person is not grateful to those who have raised him (or her)--typically ones parents, but more generally anyone who provided for ones upbringing. Conversely, a very high compliment is that someone is "katanyu" กตัญญู which is simply the opposite characteristic. Note also (in passing) the Indo-european concept of a prefix reversing the meaning of the word. This is a Pali word and thus this concept is carried forward into Thai from there.

Thanks, Mike.  I'll have to check this with the go go dancers on Soi Cowboy and see what they have to say about "the Indo-European concept of a prefix reversing the meaning of the word."  I'll let you know how I make out.  ;-)

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Do you have a product or service you would like to advertise on this website? You can, you know. In fact, you don’t have to have a product or service at all; you can just send me money. Or perhaps you would like me to plug a product or service that you are involved in? Sure, just send me cash. Be sure, however, to mark the outside envelope:

“Birthday money for Dean Barrett –

Absolutely No Bribe Enclosed

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Got feedback to this column?  Got information on Thailand you would like to share?  Happy as a dung beetle to be living in Paradise?  Been ripped off?  Just write me at deanbarr@loxinfo.co.th.


Like satire on Thailand?  Try http://www.farangaffairs.com.

Like to know what music is playing where in Bangkok each week?  Try http://www.bangkokgigguide.com.

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I don't believe it!  Nobody could answer my very simple question: "Where did you last see this girl?" Are you all hung over or what?  Don't you remember I told you before that besides their natural beauty women have three things going for them?  Makeup, clothes and attitude.  So let's take the lovely, vivacious, charming girl at the left, which was the picture I showed you, and put some makeup on her as in the picture at right, lots of it expertly applied, and ask her to keep a very sexy, sensual, come-hither expression on her face, and ask her to slip under a bedsheet.  Then what does she look like?  Of course you know, you addlebrained clusterfuck!  Because in order to get into this Nightlife Roundup page you had to click onto the date page first, the page which has six book covers of mine, right?  So hit your back key and go back to that page and look at the girl on the cover of MURDER AT THE HORNY TOAD BAR & OTHER OUTRAGEOUS TALES OF THAILAND.  Duuuhhhh!  You know, if you people had a detective agency it would be closed down for incompetence.  Yeah, I know you're drunk but COME ON, PEOPLE, SHARPEN UP!!  As my basic training sergeant used to scream at Fort Dix, New Jersey, every morning in the barracks at 4:30, DROP YOUR COCKS AND PICK UP YOUR SOCKS!

And, hey, Jim in Hong Kong, you foul droppings of a misbegotten she-pig, Khantaka is the name of Buddha's horse, not Don Quixote's horse.  Buddha not same same Don Quixote.  What the fuck are you high on?  Rocinante was Don Quixote's horse which nobody got because apparently nobody visiting this site has enough brains to type "Don Quixote's horse" on Google.com.  Aggghhhhh!  I know this site is popular because I can check on Alexa.com which means there are a lot of readers out there who must be - to put it kindly - decidedly sloooow on the uptake. 

OK, so you couldn't guess it was the lovely Panida, a 25-year-old accountant, which means I'll have to give you a real, real simple one.  Because otherwise nobody will ever win anything around here.  Now, here's the deal.  If you are the first with the correct answer to the following multiple choice question (you know what "multiple choice" means, right, or do I have to explain everything?) you win 6,000 baht in food and drinks plus four books.  OK, now try to concentrate real, real hard.  Below is a picture of what appears to be a bar scene in a nightlife area in some city somewhere.  The first one to guess which bar this girl most likely works for wins the prize.  The answers are labeled ONE, Two, Three and Four.  Take your time, I know this is difficult.

The Girl in this picture most likely works for the

1. DOLLHOUSE BAR

2. Safari Bar

3. Rainbow 9

4. Texas Lone Star Saloon

Ok, like I said, I know this is a tough one, but do your best, that's all you can do.  Then send me your answer.  And be sure you live in Bangkok or plan on coming soon or else you can't spend the prize, right?  Until next time...

That's all for this fortnightly column.  Drop by again.  Explore the rest of the website.  Meanwhile, as the girls used to tell me during the 1960's: "I no lie you, GI, you number one!"

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deanbarr@loxinfo.co.th