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, The Old Dutch 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).
This girl from the Shamrock Bar on Sukumvit soi 33 has such a nice smile I just have to put this picture of her up here. Don't forget her twin sister works in the Lookie Lookie Bar also on soi 33. Don't mix them up. (Or separate them, if you know what I mean.) Her name is Mot (ant) and her sister's name is Min. I'm doing my best to marry both of them at the same ceremony but so far no luck. To marry both of them together would solve a lot of problems. Why? Because two nongs make a right. Ouch, you say?
According to Farang Affairs, the culture ministry has just banned the book, Thailand: Inside Out. For reasons which make no sense to anyone who is not a Thai bureaucrat. Apparently, a low class Thai newspaper claimed it hurt Thailand's image. Bookazine and Asia Books have pulled the book from their shelves (I suppose it was too much to hope they might show some guts). What is the Foreign Correspondents Club doing about it? What about the local journalist associations? In any case, click here for the article and for the response of the authors of the book. One more depressing setback for freedom of the press in Thailand and another victory for mindless bureaucrats who fail to understand that banning books is what really hurts the image of Thailand.
David Williamson, manager of the Londoner Pub for over seven years, has recently left to enjoy a quiet life with Lek and the kids in their house in Pattaya. David has been a great manager and I'm proud to call him a friend. He does promise to visit us inebriated loyalists hanging about in the Londoner from time to time. Very best of luck, David. And of course good luck to the new manager Khun Sukorn (who has been there for four years in any case.)
Dance contest at the Playskool a go go at Nana was a great success, money for charity, and the contest was won by a lady from the Suzie Wong bar. In the last column for a few days I had mistakenly written that it would be October 7th, rather than December 7th, and several readers wrote to correct me. Many thanks for paying attention!
"I'd never dream...of not reading reviews. It would be like not looking at a naked woman if she happens to be standing in front of her open window. Whether ugly or lovely, she is undeniably interesting under such circumstances." Norman Mailer - The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing
New Living Dolls in Pattaya now has a happy hour till 9 pm which includes bar fines which are 300 baht for a "casual stay," then all girls' barfines go up to 600 baht till 1.30 am and then a happy hour comes back in at 300 baht till closing. (Sounds like a good deal but bring a watch and calculator.)
Did you see where some students were arrested in England? They projected a porn film onto a neighbor's house then gathered in the street to watch it. One student said: "The women were three times lifesize - it was great!" I wonder if the prison wardens are three times lifesize. But maybe some of us could gather at Nana Plaza and project a porn film on the Nana Hotel. Trouble is, in that area, who would notice?
I wandered into Gauguin bar on Sukhumvit soi 33. Had some great games of Four Stars (which the ladies called "bingo") and even won a few. There is a huge blowup of Gauguin inside the bar and it is a decent place to have a drink; even if most of the ladies are d'une certain age. There is one main owner for seven bars along that street, and I know in some cases who owns which bars but inasmuch as what counts is the pulchritude of the ladies inside the bars why bother enumerating which Thai or Thai-Chinese owns which bar? A few nights later I walked by Gauguin again and there were young, attractive Gauguin girls there. So what's up with that? Are they witches who can be middle-aged one day and young again the next? And why do I show a Dali Bar sign when I'm talking about Gauguin Bar? Because I'm drunk, obviously.
These two ladies working in soi 33's Santana Bar were having a great old time dancing. Some folks do know how to party.
I can't Make This Up Dept: A newly married 52-year-old Romanian farmer stopped to admire his 25-year-old wife, got an erection, accidentally dropped a heavy sack of grain on it, "snapping vital ligaments and tendons." Doctors think he may not be able to use it again for sexual purposes. There is a moral there somewhere but not sure what it is.
I love the posters in Larry's Dive on Sukhumvit, soi 22. Each has a young Caucasian man in a suit and a big smile. In the first one he is holding up a glass of Tequila and saying: "Have you hugged your toilet today?" And in the second one he is holding up a mug and beer and saying: "Helping ugly people have sex since 1862." Now that's truth in advertising. But what did ugly people do to have sex before 1862?
A source in Pattaya commenting on closing hours at that unique seaside resort
says: "Yes, recently there are a few bars now open till 3am. The 3am closing
does not apply to everyone at this stage, but there are more and more now open
this late. I think, however, (I hope I am wrong) come Christmas the powers
that be will bring this back to at least 2am. It seems that in the last few
years we get away with it, until it become too public and then they wind it back
on us again. Time will tell..."
OK, here we go again. One more unhappy Caucasian woman in Bangkok full of bitter complaints. Someone named Lynda Beltz wrote a letter to the International Herald Tribune dumping on "backpackers" magazines such as Farang and The Big Chilli. Not satisfied with that, she then launches her attack on local writers whom, I've noticed, unhappy whiners like Lynda find easy targets:
"It is sort of like the farangs who call themselves "writers" and publish some pulp fiction about a foreigner from who-cares-where that falls in love with a Thai woman, usually a prostitute. A sordid love tryst ensues, and you know the rest."
Well, first of all, Farang is in the process of changing its image and title to Untamed Travel so if Lynda can hold on long enough she might like such magazines after all. I seldom read it but I don't dump on magazines just because they don't deal with subjects I don't care about.
The Big Chilli has reprinted her letter, responded to her charges, and invited her to lunch. Of course, if we read the subtext of her letter we see this is just one more Caucasian woman living in Bangkok frustrated beyond tears because foreign men go for the locals. When Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler were writing, they were known as pulp writers, so why she would knock pulp fiction I don't know. Would that she could write half as well as them. She gives herself away, however, by bitterly saying that the Thai woman is "usually a prostitute. A sordid love tryst ensues, and you know the rest."
Well, Lynda, sweetie, first of all they are not prostitutes, they are Entertainment Providers. Second, I know several men who had great love affairs with EP's and are in great marriages with them. So why is it that their affairs have to be "sordid"? Because you don't like them? But, truth-to-tell, it isn't the fictional world that bothers you, is it Lynda darlin', it's the fact that in real life you just can't get a man. But let's be kind to Lynda and wish real hard that maybe Santa will put a man under her Christmas tree this year. Or alternatively a Hitachi Magic Massager for Madame.
(I sent the above rant about Lynda to one of the editors of The Big Chilli to see what she thought. She gave a great response and also kindly allowed me to print it below. I assured her I would not try to give a snappy, last word reply. I lied.)
You go girlfriend! That ought to shut the lippy cow up. Small quibble, I am a perfectly happy Caucasian woman living in Bangkok, (half caucasian anyway) and am mildly uncomfortable with the 'one more unhappy caucasian woman' label. I, like many of my friends, couldn't give less of a damn who, or even what, other people choose to take to bed. (By the way isn't it strange that so many left wing liberals (men and women) get wound up about men here being attracted to young Thai women, yet would defend to the death the rights of lesbians and homosexuals to indulge in sexual practices that they themselves might not be inclined towards?)
Actually, I have no need to make any snappy, last word, reply because I see nothing to disagree with. Elise even makes the excellent point about the left wing liberals making allowance for almost all sexual practices but taking umbrage only at couples with lots of age difference. "Lippy cow!" I like that one, reminds me of Frank Sinatra calling women "dumb broads!" (He was rich and famous and could get away with it; don't you try it.) I should mention that although I have never met Elise she almost came to my last book signing at the Texas Lone Star Saloon in Washington Square. I had heard from Rumor-Control Headquarters that Elise is some kind of gorgeous, exotic mix so Mehkong Kurt and I had knock-out drops ready and had outfitted a room up above the Lone Star with equipment borrowed from Demonia Bar. Alas, she couldn't make it, after all. Perhaps word leaked out?
The only thing is in her letter Elise called me, um, er, "girlfriend." Which makes me blush. But I'm willing to be her biker bitch any day. "Polymorphous Perversity?" Whatever it is, it works for me.
OK, we've all heard the rumor. There is a guy living in Bangkok, in the Sukhumvit area, no less, who even has a phone full of go go girl numbers (dial-a-boom), but this guy actually leaves Bangkok to get laid! You heard me right. The problem is, it has always been impossible to track this guy down. Well, until now. Because yours truly finally did track him down and got his story. The incredible story of the white, heterosexual male living in Bangkok who, every three months, leaves Thailand to get laid. Click here.
Lots of brothel material in the papers lately. In Hong Kong mamasans at the soon to move to Macau China City Nightclub are demanding thousands of American dollars each. And in Australia, a University of New England researcher by the name of John Scott, discovered that prostitutes as old as 70 continue to work in rural Australia. John, who gave no reason for choosing to spend time on this particular subject, says that: "I've likened some of them to traveling musicians, in that some of them might be based in metropolitan centers and then go out and travel - they tour the bush."
"They tour the bush." Nicely put, John, nicely put, but remember, there are no prostitutes, only Entertainment Providers. As for their resemblance to musicians, I suppose a French horn blows well but ne'er so often.
In Java, Indonesia, eleven students have been expelled because two couples engaged in oral sex. While filming the acts with their phones in front of their class! While the teacher was out of the room. High school students! Muslims. Any comment would be redundant. (I mentioned this to a friend and he pointed out that in Indonesia it was most likely a school for boys so what went on in front of the class was quite different that what I had imagined. He got that right.)
Mail Re Tiger Beer Girl Outfits:
I am a big fan of the Tiger & Guinness girls, and the
If you were at the Ploenchit Fair Saturday, you would have seen the Bacardi Babes are great. Whichever way you look at them - - Charlie
Thanks for that, Charlie, and for the pix. For me, the way that tiger clings to the derriere of the Tiger Girl is simply amazing. Animal planet here I come.
"If you build it they will come." - Baseball movie
"If you lick them they will cum." - Whore House Charlie
More good news from Nana Plaza is that The Big Mango bar run by Nick Dattoma and his partner is really shaping up. It is already becoming known for its burgers and what I especially like is the view from the upper floor in three directions. It has a menu, three pool tables, a bar, and of course some very attractive girls. It is a great spot to meet someone before venturing out. If you can get to it by pushing your way through the many girls at the top of the (sometimes working) escalator, past the (always working) girls who represent such places as Mandarin and Silver Dragon. But the really interesting news from this bar is that they now have theme nights with their girls dressed in sexy outfits on Fridays and camouflage outfits on Saturdays. Soon there may be a theme night with the girls wearing fetish clothes once a week. Yippee Kai yea! (Yes, that's Nick in the picture above left.)
Of course it is always possible to worry a bit about Nana Plaza. I'm not talking about all the bikes that shouldn't be there and the fire hazards, Muslim terrorists hazards, etc. I mean that nearly all the leases at Nana Plaza are up at the end of 2007 with the exception of the venerable Lucky Lukes good until the end of 2009. With luck, the Indian landlord will see that he cannot make so much money from a carpark, etc., but then again he is so rich that he may not care. And, by the way, whatever happened to the letters "nt" at the end of the above sign?
Speaking of Nana Plaza, I barfined a lass from Pretty Lady and while she was getting dressed in the back, who should come on stage but the one I wanted from Erotica Bar but couldn't find when I went there. It seems she had just come over to Pretty Lady four days before because there was no business at Erotica. But, too late, I had already barfined the other one. As the song says: Oh, oh, tragedy.
Anyway, you may recall I described how the Erotica downstairs seemed to be at loggerheads with the Erotica VIP upstairs, even with different owners, even though upstairs girls dance on a glass ceiling which can be seen downstairs. Very strange. But the mamasan who was downstairs is now working upstairs. That plus the fact that girls are leaving Erotica downstairs I guess means Erotica Bar is having a problem. I can tell you one thing: You know how young and pretty the girls are in the Rainbows, such as Rainbow One? Well, the sweet, young dancers in upstairs Erotica VIP make Rainbow girls look like grandmothers. When I was going in, one of the girls was chasing after an animated dildo which was making its way across the room and the other girls were laughing. Ah, yes.
Meanwhile, back on Sukhumvit soi 33, Blue Heaven bar is having a one year Blue Heaven Party on 16 December. Starting at 6 p.m. there will be free food, happy hour, free pool and more.
Several years ago when I was in Bali, I commissioned a top Balinese artist to do a painting for me, his version of nightlife in Thailand. It blew my mind and might yours. Click on it and see for yourself.
I decided to check out the Metropolitan Hotel on Sathorn South. It has been billed as "the choicest boutique hotel in town, with staff members dressed in Yohji Yamamoto uniforms, yoga mats in every room." Well, if extreme minimalism and understatementism is your thing or severeism or whatever, then go there. If not, don't. The upstairs coffee shop, Glow, is organic food and the downstairs Cy'an is Mediterranean with specialties in seafood. The Met bar looks cool in the picture but is only open to members, hotel guests and their friends. Prices start at US$240 and top off at US$2,000 per night for the presidential suite. So prices are not really understated. The problem with the place is that it is so understated it looks like it's not quite there and I felt like I was in some kind of a strange dream in which, if I farted, my spirit would escape and never come back to wake me up.
But if you do go, then be sure to check out the Sukhothai Hotel, practically next door, and the Banyan Tree Hotel with its 61st floor open air roof restaurant just a dildo's throw down the road. That way you've checked out three top hotels in one evening. Question: Who the hell is Youji Yamamoto?
According to press reports, young Muslim fanatics in Thailand’s southern areas are getting doped up on “see khoon roi, 4x100, a hazardous potion of stimulants made of krathom leaves, mosquito coils and fizzy drinks. The first formula consists of krathom leaves (mitragyna speciosa), mosquito coils and cola. The leaves and coils are ground and boiled and that is combined with cola and served with ice. The second formula contains krathom leaves, a cough syrup and cola. The ingredients are boiled, left to cool and also served with ice.” And, oh yes, sometimes Xanax is added to the mix.
Unlike James Bond movies, it doesn’t say if the mixture should be shaken or stirred but apparently this is what makes young Muslim men in southern Thailand bold and focused on their mission. I wonder whatever happened to Wild Turkey on the Rocks?
You remember the story of the blacklisted one-legged German who may have infected hundreds of Thai women with HIV in Chaiyaphum and who supposedly paid large sums of money to women including students for sex? Well, guess what? He’s baaaaaaak. Caught at a bus terminal entering the country once again and he will be expelled once again. According to press reports, there is no law in Thailand that will punish anyone even for knowingly infecting someone with HIV!
I always enjoy a trip to Pattaya especially as there is so little to do during the day I get a lot of reading done. But if you can’t make it down there I encourage you to buy the Pattaya Mail or Pattaya Today as they have such entertaining stories with photographs of farangs plunging from their balconies or else getting drunk and disorderly or else getting mugged and robbed. The stories of both Thais and farangs are interesting. For example, in Pattaya Today there was a story of a woman who believed that by floating on the sea and looking up at the stars aliens would send a guide to help that person attain what they want. The woman in question, while floating, was shouting that she wanted to die as well as shouting for the supernatural forces to find a replacement boyfriend for her; which, as the paper pointed out, “was something of a contradiction.”
Another story tells of the police catching a bank robber who claimed he needed the money to marry a girl because the parents demanded the dowry. He waited outside a bank booth and saw a women with a brown bag of cash and grabbed it. The interesting point is that the woman often arrived with cash at the same time of day and (The Plot Thickens!) the woman the man wanted to marry is believed to have a relative working at the bank. Great material if not for a novel, then a humorous gang-that-couldn’t-shoot-straight-type film. By the way, the robber ran off from the bank booth on Beach Road. Police were called and chased him down as he was about to board a baht bus. Question: Why did it take this guy so long to get onto a baht bus? It is almost impossible not to see a baht bus in seconds, board, and be gone. Is he the world’s slowest runner? Did he get distracted by “students” asking him to fill out a tourist form? The mind boggles.
There are some among us who do not like go go bars. And I’m not talking about religious nutcases or sex-starved feminazis. I mean white heterosexual guys who came to Bangkok, loved the nightlife, then got tired of it and “moved on.” Nothing wrong with that. But from their comments on message boards and elsewhere it would seem as if they have undergone some kind of religious conversion. Why this need to dump on the nightlife? If you used to do the go go bar scene and now it doesn’t interest you anymore, fine. But it seems that some guys have a deep need to repudiate their past adventures and feelings. Maybe it’s some kind of Western Puritan guilt trip catching up with them? Whatever, why not enjoy Thailand for all that it offers from incredible temples to incredible women? Maybe these guys should wear hair shirts and whip themselves every Friday night. (Or maybe they do inside one of Thailand's fetish bars.)
As for myself, although I still enjoy a night out in go go bars, I have probably been to more temples than most other farangs in the Kingdom. When I was photographing for magazines and books in the 70’s and 80’s I traveled all over Thailand and now have no fewer than nine huge carton boxes of slides on Asia in a storage space in New York. The storage space is costing me US$118 a month. So guess what I do when I pass through New York? I’ve been looking through the slides, saving a few, and then marking the boxes to be thrown out. I hate to throw them away, especially as the Kodachrome has held up so well, but they aren’t really old enough to be of historical interest and slides don’t seem to be of much use these days. And that amount of money is enough for a couple of casual stays a month. So out they go!
Deep inside the darkest caverns of The Bully Pub on Sukhumvit not far from soi Nana there lives or at least works a lovely maiden named Pa. From Sisaket. A lovely lass, but alas, a lass a bit below my age bracket. Nonetheless, it seems this nymphet is madly in love with me. (My definition of a girl madly in love with me is when she smiles and wais me. A loose definition, to be sure.) Say hello to the lovely Pa but keep your paws off her.
Did you know that where the Villa Supermarket is now on Sukhumvit near soi 33 used to be the Air Force NCO Club? You can find out all kinds of things like this from expat Al Eberhardt who has now been in the Kingdom for about 40 years. Al can be found at the Londoner Pub most evenings or if not there try the Renoir Club. Tip: If you don't like cigar smoke, don't go looking for Al.
One Night in Bangkok
God, I love this town. Friday night I went to Nana Plaza and had a great time. Nothing unusual there. Then Saturday night somehow found myself back there again with a lovely lady named "Butter" (Noie) at Lucky Lukes. Either because I was getting jaded with Nana Plaza or because I'm getting old I had a sudden hankering for the Georgia Pecan Pie at Bourbon Street Cafe. I kid you not. So off I went alone to Bourbon Street and wolfed it down and then walked toward the Emporium along Sukhumvit Road to get some exercise when I heard a female voice shout my name and come running toward me. It was the (now) 19-year-old actress, star of the film P (Ghost). We hadn't seen each other for a long time so we had a nice chat and I managed to conceal my, um, prurient interest. (I wrote about her in Murder at the Horny Toad Bar: "The Ghost who Loved Me (Kind of)." I can't remember any time in the USA when a lovely, cute, sweet, young actress ran up to me calling my name.
I said goodbye and headed off to continue my walk and found myself on soi 33 where I ran into a British spook from the British embassy and his friend known on message boards as USVirgin. I somehow ended up in the Napoleon Club surrounded by lovely ladies then left to go home. But sitting out on the Napoleon porch was a beautiful woman with very big, um, cheeboobs. She had her telephone in her cleavage! So I smiled and said in Thai, Phukow yai. (The mountains are big.) She answered immediately, Phukow torasap. (Phone Mountains.) Whew. Try that in a singles bar in the States.
Anyway, while I am flirting with her, suddenly a cop shows up and sits down, holding slices of som o fruit (pomelo) on a platter for her, and three vials, with the intention of giving urine tests to some of the girls. She pointed out that they had already come the day before which he hadn't known so he apologized and he and his partner went off across the street. I asked the girl why he had brought them the fruit and she said she didn't know.
But then I suddenly glanced behind me and realized the cops were going into Demonia, the fetish club. So I yelled in Thai to the cops to be careful because the girls there have whips. I don't think they heard me but the manager of Napoleon did and said it was OK because the cops had guns. A good point, actually.
But the cops had left the door ajar and a young male customer, a farang, of course, entered. I wondered if he would think the cops were part of the scene and try to take their guns. While he was in there, a cute mixed breed white dog walked down the sidewalk and up to the door of Demonia's as if deciding whether or not to go in. A few minutes later the guy came out again looking somewhat bewildered and scurried off. But the door was still ajar and the dog went in. A minute later he came out, the door was shut, and the dog ambled up the street and out of site. As the beer I had consumed was not agreeing with the black russians and Georgia pecan pie, I made a hasty exit or home.
Beautiful, available women and hilarious Charlie Chaplain comedy scenes everywhere. This town is amazing!
My only complaint is the sugary Christmas music all over the place now and the insincere New Year wishes from people who have never even met me. How can someone wish another person a happy new year when they, oh, that reminds me:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
A video of a five-minute walk down Soi Cowboy. Click here and then click "preview videos."
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Like to know more in depth about what music is playing where in Bangkok each week? Try this great site:
Be prepared for what lies ahead: Bangkok's weather report.
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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 email@example.com.
OK, nobody won last column's contest. And, um, this is a bitembarrassing but I forgot the name of the bar the painting was on. But I would know it if I heard it and none of the names sent in were correct. The lovely painting is on a bar on a soi parallel to Walking Street in Pattaya. I'll be down there in that Family Village by the Sea in the near future and will get the name then. Meanwhile, here is an extremely easy one: Where was this picture below taken? The prize: 5,000 baht in food and drink (one thousand each from the above five establishments) and two of my books.
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!"
Dean Barrett can be flamed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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