Welcome to my website. Unlike the universe, this website has a purpose: 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 vouchers worth at least 3,000 baht in food and drink, i.e., 500 baht each, from Larry's Dive, The Londoner, The Old Dutch, Electric Blue, The Big Mango 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. Second prize is one of my books or else a 500-baht book gift voucher from Dasa Books.
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).
Believe it or not, there are guys who go to places like Nana Plaza and then report back on their forums that they didn't see any particular girl they liked or that the girls didn't seem very attractive or some BS like that. Don't believe them. These guys are morons. If you can't find an attractive girl at Nana or Soi Cowboy or even Patpong, you're probably a walking dead man like Bruce Willis in that film Sixth Sense (or whatever it was). Why don't they go back to the Land of 8-Lane Highways where the women have a larger waist size than I do? Here are a few shots of Nana Plaza in late July. The lovely Touk of Big Dogs at left and the equally charming Joy of Lucky Lukes. And here is a general shot of Lucky Lukes in which they are not packed but, for a Thursday night during low season, doing quite well.
And get ready for Hooters at Nana Plaza! Or, at least, a Hooters-Almost. Yes, you heard it here first. The Big Mango Bar, second floor of Nana Plaza is as of today replete with serving wenches proudly showing off what Hooters is known for. And if you don't know what that is you better go back to sleep. The uniforms will be jean shorts half the week and black-white schoolgirl uniforms the other half. (Click on her picture, of course.) Way to go, Nick and Michael, keep the diversity and sexuality coming!
How would you like to hang around a Bangkok bar with pretty women and have
all the drinks you want for free? I thought so. Well, an English TV
team (Channel 4) is in town making a documentary film and they need warm bodies for the bar
scene. The film director says they are "looking at a letter-writer from a
small town in Isaan called Kranhuan who translates emails and letters between
village girls and the farangs they met in Pattaya and Bangkok. It's
quite a nice way of getting into the lives of a number of girls, and also
getting a flavour of Isaan and how it has been affected by the fact that so many
of its girls end up in relationships with farangs. They say here that
when they ask the schoolgirls what they want to be when they grow up, they say
that they want to be the wife of a farang!
Anyway, we're also filming in a bar in Bangkok (pool bar, not a go go bar) where one of our girls works. It's called Lady Godiva, it's in the small beer plaza on Sukhumvit just before the railway track, sometimes referred to as the Soi 1 Complex where Morning Night II bar is located. From Nana Plaza itself its West down Sukhumvit and on the right, just before the railway track, almost at the end of the Nana area. Once you get into the Beer Plaza, it's the first bar on the right. It's very little but the Mama san is great."
The point is the film crew says that as there aren't many customers around at the moment, as a way to induce guys to be in the film drinks of customers are free. So if you'd care to be in a documentary and get free drinks head for Lady Godiva's.
The dates are August 4th and 5th, anyone willing to be filmed will have their drinks paid for from 7 p.m. onwards. (Presumably not ladies drinks as well but who knows?)
A friend of mine went to a massage parlor in Bangkok the other day and after a pleasant bath and some extended hanky panky, the girl asked the guy if he wanted a massage. Which really shook my friend up. He said he's been going to massage parlors in Thailand for 25 years but he has never been asked if he wants a massage. Well, that just goes to show you! A massage in a massage parlor! That's so kinky it's almost sick! What is this city coming to?
When I told this story to a friend from England he told me what happened to a friend of his who had lived in Asia for years but then made the mistake of going back to England to retire. His friend liked massage parlors so he went to one in England expecting much the same as in Land of Smiles. He was being massaged while on his stomach, then when he turned over to get more massage, it was clear something was "up." The girl was good looking and pleasant. She asked him in a whisper, "Do you want to take care of that?" and of course he said yes. She said, "Right, I'll be back in five minutes." Five minutes later she poked her head in and said, "So, is that all taken care of now?" It was at that point he realized he had made a mistake retiring to England.
"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." - W. Somerset Maugham
"There are three rules for dealing with Thai women. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." - Dean Barrett
From time to time, I have warned that crossing the street is one of the most dangerous things to do in Bangkok, and I've mentioned people who have been killed even in so-called pedestrian zones. Now two more foreign tourists have been killed, "crushed to death by an excavator as they held aloft road safety flags while crossing a busy road in Bangkok yesterday."
The British guy was 28 and his Norwegian girlfriend was 20. They waved safety flags to alert traffic and started across the street when they were hit by the eight-wheel backhoe. Repeat: regardless of "safety campaigns" and "safety flags" most Thai drivers will not stop for you. The only thing different about this accident is that the Thai driver did not flee the scene. But that was because he was afraid of the angry crowd and so stayed in his backhoe. If you have family or friends coming to Bangkok, please make certain you inform them of this very real danger.
This is Club A, the club with the fancy front which was once a bowling alley and is now a kind of nightclub/karaoke club/bowling alley. It is next to the Londoner Pub on Sukhumvit, soi 33. Not sure how long it will last as it seems to me the concept is flawed but there it is. Sorry, the picture is slightly out of focus as my pictures tend to be after four or five black russians.
And this is Harry's Bar, a new bar where the Blu Bar B Q used to be on a lane off Sukhumvit, soi 33. I was in there during the week at about 11 p.m. and was the only customer. It has nice decor and pool table, the ladies were pleasant, and, among other specials, Chang beer is all you can drink for 250 baht. But as I say I was the only customer around. The girls in the other bars alone the subsoi refer to the place as Harry Potter. Anyway, I am told the owner is David from Wales. Remember the old saying about how if you fire a cannon ball down the street of Melbourne at 7 on a Saturday night there is no danger of you hitting anyone? Well, I am sorry to relate that Sukhumvit, soi 33 is getting his pretty hard because of the low season and because there are simply too many bars with pretty girls and pool tables and decently priced beer. Perhaps it might be said that if you toss a dildo down Sukhumvit, soi 33, at 11 on a Wednesday night there is no danger of you hitting anyone.
Those Low Season Blues: Many bar owners are saying that this has been the worst July in years. Some of the go go bars on Walking Street, Pattaya, are pulling in a mere ten or twelve thousand baht a night. Something's got to give. As Pattaya is a tourist town, when the tourists stop coming, or when only Asian group tours arrive, it is a disaster for bar owners. And much of the Bangkok nightlife scene is slow going also. So if there is a beautiful girl in a Thailand bar you have always wanted to take out but she was too popular, well, now is to time to strike. If you can't get her now, you never will.
I popped into a few bars on Soi Cowboy on a recent Friday night to see how things were going. Baccara Bar had no customers upstairs when I arrived just before 8 but by 8:30 there were six upstairs and seven downstairs. Not good at all but I believe things generally pick up in this bar quite late. As for the upstairs dancers, the less they are burdened by apparel the more energized they seem to become. Shark Bar also had no more than ten or 12 customers about 9:30. By 10 Shebas had picked up and from then until 11 there were at any time at least two dozens customers. 11 to 12 Rawhide was doing quite well. Although in almost all the bars I visited, go go dancers and servers greatly outnumbered the customers. And it is clear that in many of the bars the dancers are no longer encumbered with garments, outfits, garb, or any kind of attire beyond boots or shoes and (for the most conservative dancers) some skimpy, transparent cloth. Both Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza bars close about 1:15 to 1:30. Pattaya bars, of course, later.
Your drinking will once again be restricted as Her Majesty the Queen's birthday is August 12th. Pattaya bars, however, will be open and there will even be a street party on Walking Street 11 - 13th of August sponsored by Singha Light for the 10th anniversary of Walking Street.
Some readers complained that my last column was rather short. Well, it's very simple and it works like this: the longer the column the less I am getting laid; the shorter the column the more I am getting laid. Which means if the column doesn't appear at all, I'm doin' fine. 'Nuff said?
Mickey Spillane, creator of Mike Hammer novels, has died at the age of 88. I met him once at a mystery writers conference in the States. I think he was 82 then, and he was standing tall as the ex-Marine he was. His writing could be brutal but it sold millions and then of course the feminazis hated his "sexist" writing. But he did know how to write because his descriptions, etc., fit his style of writing. I gave a quote from his writing in Murder at the Horny Toad Bar: “I let my eyes follow the contours of her shoulders and down her body. Impertinent breasts that mocked my former hesitance, a flat stomach waiting for the touch to set off the fuse, thighs that wanted no part of shielding cloth.” And added: Well, actually, there are some bar hostesses on Soi Cowboy and around Washington Square whose thighs also want no part of shielding cloth. But those very same thighs also want no part of men without money. As with snow removal in New York, shielding-cloth removal in Bangkok can be expensive. May Mickey continue writing in his very own style wherever he may be.
"Women are realists posing as romanticists; men are romanticists posing as realists." - Anonymous
And here we see one of the latest fads in Bangkok. Yes, that's my name on the gentleman's shirt. On the front it says: "Same, same" and on the back it says, "But different. Dean Barrett is sexier." You'll notice it is also a bit of an attraction with the ladies, all dying to get one. It just goes to show that if you write cult fiction you may also attract some kind of nutty cult following.
The latest show at Angelwitch, Nana Plaza, in which we see a volunteer from the audience getting his just desserts from Noy. Dave the Rave and one of the twins are both pleading with her to go easy. And, seriously, folks, this bar seems to be immune to the low season as well it should be. The shows get better and better, the girls working there get prettier and prettier, and now they have Laotian beer. I was there on a recent Thursday night and it was hard to get a seat. The very professional and talented Noy was doing her thing on stage and the twins have gained a bit of weight on their derrieres and lost a bit on their waists. In other words, they are now perfect. Unfortunately, I believe their mom works behind the bar. Oh, well, Noy's mom doesn't. (Dave's mom doesn't either, but who cares?)
I do have one petty criticism of one of the shows at Angelwitch, however. The owner being German there are a number of acts with whips in them, which speaks well for those from prathet yeramon. However, in one of the acts there is a girl with a whip or rather a quirt or riding crop swinging the crop about but there is no one else on stage so it looks a bit weird. I mean, if a show has a whipper shouldn't it also have a whippee? I would volunteer to be whippee but I am not at Nana Plaza that often to take up a steady job.
You do run into some strange characters in Bangkok. This picture is a closeup of what was on the shirt front of one of them. Click on it and you will see it says, "Young Girlfriend Club." I mean, the audacity! The cheek! The impudence! The lucky bastard! How do I join?
The owner of a Soi Cowboy bar was discussing the new girls with a friend of mine when she mentioned that the one on stage is doing quite well although she couldn't remember the girl's name. My friend immediately said, "Her name is Dtae." Then they both laughed realizing that my bar hopping friend knew more details about the dancers than the owner.
Yes, as one of the girls' sign says there are indeed more girls inside than I can handle. Partly because there don't seem to be many customers. That's fine; less competition for locals.
You might enjoy (click here) filling out this form.
Did you read about the scandal everyone is talking about on Taiwan? One of the US State Department experts on China met and fell for a beautiful Taiwanese spy named Isabelle Cheng. The FBI caught them doing the nasty, it seems. And, so, the poor Chinese expert is in deep doo doo. I can't blame him, really, as I was stationed on Taiwan many years ago with the Army Security Agency (ASA) and was cleared top secret, cryptographic. And had I been approached by a beautiful Chinese spy who looked like a direct descendant of a gorgeous T'ang Dynasty concubine, God only knows what might have happened. I think the UN should pass a law against nations using beautiful women to gain secrets. It's not fair to horny men.
And did you see that the licensed Australian entertainment providers are bitterly complaining about competition from Asian entertainment providers now residing or passing through Aussie-land? It seems the Asian entertainment providers are willing to charge less and are found by the men in Aussie-land to be quite charming. What can one say? I guess this is what they mean by free trade and global warming.
The Thai embassy in Paris has had several break-ins to its cars so the Thai Foreign Ministry issued a warning to Thais to beware of traveling to France and even to postpone such travel. The next day the Foreign Ministry cancelled the warning about not going to France and said it was a technical error. Methinks somebody got a dressing down about that one. Anyway, kids, now its once again safe to follow the Hemingway trail to Gay Paree. I'm sure everyone in Issarn will be relieved.
Ammy, A friend of mine invited me to Players, a spanking new brightly lit pool hall on Sukhumvit next to the Sheraton Hotel. It used to be called After Work and was on the second floor of Country Road across the street. It is owned by a fellow from Finland, a fellow from England and some Thai partners. Anyway, the tables and cue sticks, etc., are first class, and it is really a good atmosphere. They also have competitions. Ammy is the manager and a top pool player herself as well as scuba diver and, by day, director of a company. I played a few games with this adorable maiden (click on her pictures) and lost most of them.
As Ammy had to walk around occasionally checking that all was well and that customers were happy, she introduced me to a young lady working there who was new to Bangkok. So we chatted awhile, then I took some pictures of the place, then bid all a farewell and walked up the short lane back to Sukhumvit. Just as I was about to go up the stairs I heard a female voice say something and I turned and saw two fat white women walking away and one repeated what she had said: "There's the pervert." I had actually been slightly aware of two fat, unattractive, white women sitting nearby when I was at the pool hall but paid them no attention (which no doubt was their real problem). Anyway, I thought of saying something like, There's Miss Piggy, but then I thought, no - fat, unattractive, white women in Bangkok must be the loneliest, unhappiest people in the world; let them be. So I was for once a good Buddhist. And, besides, how could the average or even above average Caucasian female hope to compete with the charm and pulchritude of a Thai woman like Ammy? But, anyway, now you know: If you chat up pretty young ladies in pool halls, and ignore fat, unattractive, white women, then you just gotta be a pervert.
Police attempt to quell rioters along Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok. Riots broke out when book buyers learned the novel, Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior, was sold out.
Translations of novels are like Thai minor wives and go go dancers: they can be beautiful or faithful but not both.
I have been sending the following message to the TLCB (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Brotherhood of which I'm a member) and also to Vietnam Helicopter Veterans organizations. I figure it would be good to get critiqued now rather than be embarrassed by stupid mistakes after the book is published. But even if you don't have expertise in the fields mentioned below, feel free to read and comment on the story.
I hope to have another book out later this year or early next year, it will be three novellas with a Chinese theme. But one of them, Dragon Slayer, is about a helicopter crew in 1968 Vietnam which gets into a horrible storm and when they come out of it they are in southern China, the year 1857. And so they are immediately caught up in another war, not to mention with the female units of the Taipings who are fighting the Manchus.
To make it short, years ago I interviewed Capt. James Montgomery, who used to fly choppers in nam, but other than that I have relied on research on the internet and books. So whether I know what I'm talking about when I write of claymore mines, starlight scopes, and UH-1C helicopters, I'm not sure. Anyone with any expertise in those areas who would be willing to read the novella, I would greatly appreciate it. Or you might simply want to read what happens when pissed off Nam-era American GI's meet up with fierce 19th century Chinese women warriors (who were known as the 'Silken Army'). And you might enjoy the battle between the 24-gun frigate (tall ship) and the UH-1C helicopter. Many thanks if you have time.
Mel Gibson got caught driving drunk and as you must have read started ranting about the Jews, proving basically what the Jews had been saying about his rabid anti-Semitism. In the police station he also threw a phone against the wall, same same as Russell Crowe. I suspect throwing a phone against a wall must be some kind of sexual sublimation for these guys.
Finnegan's Pub is open on Soi Nana across from the parking lot of the Rajah Hotel. A much bigger pub being built by the owners of Robin Hood Pub is still going up next to Bus Stop on Soi Nana, also. Pubs pubs everywhere! Peter, owner of Shebas, Suzie Wong, Playskool, Old Dutch, etc., etc., had a birthday the other night, celebrated on Soi Cowboy. Here are a few pictures from that tumultuous event:
Links You Might Enjoy
A video of a five-minute walk down Soi Cowboy. Click here and then click "preview videos."
Like satire on Thailand? Try
Like to know what music is playing where in Bangkok each week? Try http://www.bangkokgigguide.com.
Like to know more in depth about what music is playing where in Bangkok each week? Try this great site:
Tired of shoveling snow? Check out Bangkok's sunshine.
Bangkok's weather report.
A great site for listening to Thai Morlan music and other folk music of Southeast Asia.
A bit of black leather never hurts. But she does.
Our Lady in Black
Like to learn a bit about retiring in Asia?
Maps of all the provinces of Thailand
Links You Might Not Enjoy
T-Shirt Hell: for lovers of very black humor only.
Politically incorrect rants and raves from Uncle Fred.
Girlfriends looking for Taliban boyfriends.
Taliban Singles Dating Page
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”
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.
Answer to last week's contest was Cabbages and Condoms restaurant on Sukhumvit, soi 12.
New contest is for 3,000 baht first prize in food and drink vouchers. You must be the first with the answer and you must live in Bangkok or be about to arrive. Second prize is a 500-hundred baht voucher at Dasa Books on Sukhumvit Road. Third prize is Diddly-Squat. Tell me from which bar was the photograph at right taken? The bar is in Bangkok.
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!" And, remember: nothing says goodbye like a bullet.
Dean Barrett can be flamed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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