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).
Wasn't that a fun coup? Did you pose for pics beside the tanks? Did you check out the female coupsters? How about a bar called Coupsters a go go? Anyway, Toxin is gone and certainly about that we can all rejoice. Tox, lad, we hardly knew ye. (Actually, we knew ye too well.) But, come on, a coup in which no shots were fired, and the head of the military has to warn go go dancers not to get to close to the tanks, I mean, you gotta admit, this is why we stay in Thailand: It ain't boring!
Coup Special: In honor of Taksin awk bai being successfully completed, be the first to answer this question and win a free book: Who was the son of Whore House Charlie and Good Pork Betty?
I spent a few days recently in Pattaya, a quaint little town by the sea, a quiet sleepy fishing village (for those who are deaf and blind). The fun starts on the bus heading down there. Not long ago, the price used to be 90 baht one way, now it is 124 one way from Bangkok's Ekkamai Station. No problem, prices rise all the time. But why is the bus also back to Bangkok's Ekkamai Station 121 baht? Three baht less. Was the toll the bus paid three baht less or is this difference simply the result of Thai logic? It takes the bus about two hours and twenty minutes to get there which is what it takes Thai International to fly from Bangkok to Hong Kong. In 1966, when I first got off the bus in Pattaya, there was little to see or to do and so I hopped back on the bus four hours after I landed and headed back to Bangkok. How much the fare was I don't remember. The Nipa Lodge was there, horses were being ridden on the beach, and there were a few huts about. People tell me I should have bought land there then but I was a G.I. at the time with no money with which to buy ladies drinks let alone land and anyway I would have had to marry a Thai woman and put everything in her name. Which means after the divorce, it would all have been hers anyway.
The Areca Lodge is a nice place to stay and has two swimming pools and the hotel was quite full. The rooms at the Markland Hotel, soi 1, are nice and on several days in September during the low season they were fully booked. So it would seem some of the establishments of this naughty wayward child by the sea do quite well even during the low season. In fact, there were no seats in the Beach club a go go, and very few in Peppermint a go go. I wondered into the Tahitian Queen a go go on the main beach road by the sea at about six o'clock and it was already packed. That might be because go go fanatics had no other place to go until the other places opened, not sure. At Peppermint I had to leave my camera with the guy outside, at Happy a go go (still one of the best) I was just reminded not to use it inside.
And, of course, Walking Street was booming as always. It was crowded with tourists, dancers, bargirls, vendors, boxers, transvestites, transsexuals, gawking group tours from Korea and China. The ladies from what was once known as the Soviet Union continued to dance in the window of their club to attract customers for only European girls (picture at left) while the younger ladies from various establishments stood with signs attempting to attract patrons as well. Some of the most interesting clubs and bars are down a lane or two such as Angelwitch and Coyotes. Angelwitch has great shows and lots of space in which the performers slide down poles and show what they can do. The best view if actually from upstairs so remember that when you go there. The same goes for Club Boesche and a few others. Although I still can't figure out why Angelwitch uses boys to hold signs and try to snare customers, rather than pretty girls. Club Boesche, Catz, and X-Zone are three bars toward the end of Walking Street and off by themselves just a bit. I would say Club Boesche has the most to offer and patrons can watch dancers upstairs while looking at the in-house TV system in which girls bathe in a tub downstairs. Or they can sit downstairs and watch the girls bathe in the flesh. Nothing wrong with any of the three but there was nothing there which would draw me back to those bars. Shark Bar and Shark Club were OK but nothing spectacular. Heaven Above has come in for a lot of praise these days but again, there were far more beautiful women dancing in Happy a go go than in Heaven Above. Although the dancers in military gear with weapons is a nice change.
As you continue to walk down the soi the bars are on you come to an area with music, sights, sounds, and smells of India and Muslim countries. You can watch bargirls and their boyfriends of different nationalities smoking hookahs and studying strange menus. Most likely the food there is quite good. As for the prices of beer and other drinks in the bars and clubs, unless I am totally ripped off, I never notice much difference. Somewhere between 90 baht and 110 baht for a drink, maybe, same with ladies drinks. So if a bar raising their price ten baht a beer once a year or two is a big deal to you, you'll have to check that out yourself. I can tell you that some of the go go bars have rooms available upstairs (such as Coyote) for those clientele too shy to take a girl back to their hotel room, or for those husbands living in Pattaya whose wife would not appreciate a surprise guest.
The elevator of the Areca Lodge had the usual picture of a durian with the do-not-bring line across it but it also had a picture of a mangosteen with the same thing. Of course, hotels don't want durian because of the smell. If some bad boy every puts one of those in the air conditioning, there go the guests. But why mangosteens? I suspect it is because they are capable of dying and staining with a purple juice. Correct me if I'm wrong.
And then of course there is the Buffalo Bar out on Third Road. The motorcycle guys at the entrance to Walking Street all know where it is. I like this place because it's partly open and partly closed, partly a beer bar and partly a go go bar. The night I was there it wasn't so crowded but it was low season, after all, and I went early in the evening. It's a different kind of place to check out once you've had enough of the regular go go bars. And the girls do seem to enjoy their work. At some point in the evening, they all stop whatever they are doing and line up and dance their way through the establishment. They also have a popular website. Next door is the infamous Castle, one of the S&M clubs owned by the Frenchman who owns Demonia and BarBar in Bangkok. So once you've had a few beers in Buffalo Bar you can mosey over next door and see pretty ladies in black leather and boots and whips. Fun for the whole family. Or just a great place to drop the kids off so you can go shopping.
In New York City, there has been for decades a big argument over who was first and who has the right to call themselves Ray's Pizza or Ray's Original Pizza, etc., etc. And in Pattaya I confess I have lost track of who was the original Bangkok Dolls or Bangkok Living Dolls or Living Bangkok Dolls or The New Dollhouse or whatever. I have a feeling that if you look hard enough you will find at least one doll in any of them, so who cares who was first? And despite the fact that some of the clubs and bars are doing better than they expected during this low season, as you can see from the photograph at left there were lots and lots and lots of empty seats available on the beach.
I'm happy to say my talk to the Pattaya City Expats Club went well and I sold quite a few books. The talk was at the north end of Pattaya near some huge new restaurant and bar called Mantra, I think. I didn't make it in there because I spent a lot of time at the south end, i.e., Walking Street, but several expats have been inside and said it is quite something. As Trink would say, bend an elbow over there.
Click the picture to see one of T-Shirt Hell's latest.
I know as a writer I sometimes dump on sports and jocks, etc. Not that I don't appreciate their efforts and especially those who can set new records for what humans can do. But I admit I always favor those who have accomplished things with their minds, rather than with their muscle or speed or agility, etc. For example, wasn't it Roger Banister who broke the four-minute mile? Great achievement. And now even kids in high school are getting close to that. But what has breaking the four-minute mile done compared to, for example, the guy(s) who invented the internet? Thanks to the internet we can within seconds go into pornography sites especially tailored to our tastes, no matter how far out, no matter how kinky. Not that's true human advancement.
The latest lovely lady to be purveying beer in Bangkok pubs. She is very sweet but I am not certain what a high class woman like her is doing pushing a dishwater brew like Budweiser.
Have you read about Columbian women and their "Strike of the Crossed Legs"? Click here. And what about the guy in Sudan who was caught in the act of making it with a goat? The town committee sentenced him to having to marry the goat. I wonder where they'll be heading on their honeymoon.
Over the at Emporium on the 5th floor they have tiny dishes on top of nuts and figs and dates, etc., so that you can try a sample to see if you like it or not. I tried an Iranian fig or date, whatever it was, and then realized that by consuming a product from Iran I might be violating American law. I hope this doesn't mean I might lose my passport.
The cashier at the Big Mango, Nana Plaza. Is she cute or what?
Sayings no longer politically correct
"Fortune is like a woman, and if you would conquer her you must conquer her by force."
While I was at the Hong Kong Airport, I was listening to an announcement in Finnish. Why is it Finnish sounds like Italian being spoken underwater? Speaking of airport, they seem to have relented and may actually offer travelers some taxis at the new Bangkok airport. Isn't that wonderful. I haven't tried the new airport yet but presumably the stores there will be selling stuff at the same incredibly high prices as the old airport. For example, I did find a few novels on Thailand written by farangs but the price was 850 baht. In other words, exactly twice what the books cost in bookstores. So, again, if you plan on buying books before you leave do not wait until you reach the airport.
One of the sexiest ads I've seen in Bangkok in years! Congrats!
Paid a visit to Carousel Bar on the third floor of Nana Plaza; you know, the one with the soap and shower show during which the girls wear stars over their nipples. Lots of girls dancing, some energetically, some reluctantly. After a while a young lady in boots and a bikini came to join me and after a bit of small talk I bought her a drink. She started the usual routine: First, why not barfine her for 600 baht and go to a nearby hotel room? After she realized that wasn't on, she suggested I barfine her so she could continue to sit with me. That wasn't on either but then she continued to sit with me anyway. When she finished her drink and I generously offered her another she thought it should be a tequila. That wasn't on so she thought she should have a tip when I leave. Talk about a one-track mind. Something tells me she didn't love me for myself.
It is amazing, isn't it? I mean the differences between Patpong and Nana Plaza on the one hand, and Soi Cowboy and Pattaya on the other. The former two places for the most part (with a few exceptions) need to cover up their dancers with bikinis or whatever whereas the latter two places are wide open with dancers often wearing (at most) cowgirl hats and boots. Rumor-Control Headquarters has it that Angelwitch is working on a new routine in which the girls will be dressed in military gear and dance possibly to the song, The Green Berets. Now that should be something to see. I hope SSgt. Barry Sadler, the man who wrote the song, is around to see it. Oh, yes, Nana Plaza bars are tending to push the limits and stay open until 2:30 in the morning. Past my bedtime, of course, but you younguns go ahead without me and have a ball. And with all the bigwigs being fired everywhere after the coup, who knows what the closing times will be in a few months?
Bourbon Street at Washington Square had its 20th anniversary with a really great deal on food. I knew the spread at 220 baht was a steal and I knew there would be pecan pie but I didn't realize they would be serving Georgia pecan pie. I helped myself to a few slices of that plus the meats, fish, salads, fruit, several other deserts, etc., and waddled off into the night. As you can see for yourself, the new Hennessy girl is simply amazing. What a smile. One of those that lights up the room, no? I wonder if she has a boyfriend. I wonder if she likes somewhat older, more mature, farang guys. And the Tiger girl there is also quite something. Yep, food and ambiance, the place does have a lot going for it. And San, the waitress there at breakfast, has a very lovely personality. The Bourbon Street sign at right says something about Cajun Martini, whatever that might be. And of course here is Doug Harrison, proprietor, in all his glory. Watch those pounds, Doug.
"I don't know what people mean when they call one man good and another evil. But as far as I am concerned, those who are good to me are good, and those who are not are evil."
Wu San Ssu, Tang Dynasty (618-907)
Thai authorities were recently forced to nuke Phuket Island when anti-government riots erupted because Dean Barrett's novel, Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior, was sold out.
Should the Pope apologize for saying that Islam isn't always a Religion of
Peace, or should Muslims apologize for having let their religion become what it
is? Let's look at the numbers:
Since we've been keeping track, at least six priests, 14 pastors and thousands of Christians have been murdered in the name of Islam in the last five years. This even includes 382 who were slain by Muslims in or on the grounds of a church in countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Turkey and Bangladesh.
By contrast, we can't find a single incident since 9/11 when a mosque leader or ordinary Muslim was murdered in the name of Catholicism.
So, please excuse us for not getting worked up over someone's hurt feelings. Islam will become a Religion of Peace when Muslims decide to make it so. Stop the killing. Stop the self-indulgent whining and excuses. Earn our respect by stepping up and taking responsibility.
From the website: www.thereligionofpeace.com.
Thanks to John Langan for the picture of Pattaya in the rain. That place does flood up in a hurry, doesn't it? Great place to visit in the sunshine and under cover of darkness, but beach resorts in the rain? No fun!
Hello Mr. Barrett (if that is your real name Mr. Communist Hong Kong for 17 years) --the Larry McMurty book I couldn't get past 4 pages in--must have been me. --What ever happened to the Dave the Rave column on the net--can not find it?
--the group photo of the girls in The Big Mango is a deal killer--bunch of peasants and dragons. Jesus Mary and Joseph I hate to play the 'I Remember When' card but I remember when the girls were short and petite and feminine. Now they look as if they are saving their baht to go to Heavy Equipment Operator school in Pai Crap Mung Yat.
You must have a special deal going in the Angelwitch bar of BKK that has you roped off and placed on a box or something--too fxxxing crowded and noisy for me.
Paul of Stickmanbangkok.com a Thai themed farang site on the internet (you may have heard of it if you can ever get out of Soi Cowboy) had mentioned that some of his submissions are actually by famous living authors who post under pseudonyms. How about coming clean on this MBFA and tell me which ones were yours so that I can read them. I have already gotten Paul Theroux and Samual Beckett and Stephen King to come clean on their submissions so why you act like a man and step up to the bar and spill. Dana
Well, once again, a few kind words from Khun Dana whom I thought said wasn't going to write anymore, ever again. Anyway, what Larry McMurtry book? I didn't mention any. As for Dave the Rave, you'd have to ask Dave the Rave himself what happened to his column; just check in with him at Angelwitch. OK, to each his own, I thought several of the girls at The Big Mango were dolls, so maybe it is just that my photography didn't do them justice. Nope, no deal with Angelwitch, they are not even offering vouchers on my site. I used to write musical theater in New York and I just happen to think they have the best shows in Thailand (I wouldn't know about the ladyboy shows, so please do critique them if that is your thing). And, of course, like most men in Bangkok, I am in love with Noy and the twins and a few others at Angelwitch as well. (Noy gave me a hug the other night and I haven't showered since.)
Nope, never wrote a letter to Stick but did win the contest there twice. Not sure how it is that Samuel Beckett came clean to you about his writing to Stickman under a pseudonym as he died a while back (Beckett not Stick). Are you a clairvoyant?
Always the highlight of my boring week to receive a letter from you, Dana, but have you noticed how I display your letters in 10 point type and mine in 12 point type, subtly suggesting, perhaps, my opinion is more important than yours? One of the great benefits of having one's own website. Oh, by the way, I lived in Hong Kong for 17 years while it was still a British colony; never lived there under the commies; so no communist me. Cheers and go slow with whatever it is you're on.
Hey Dean, regarding your personal ad, Whatever you're smoking I want some. It must be some real heavy duty shit. Smile you dreamer. RockOn Duane Owen From the days on ole in Laos 70 - 72
Hell, Duane, I get high just living in Thailand: Beautiful women, friendly coups, cheap beer, good friends, good and wonderfully wacky Thai people. I thank whatever gods may be that I haven't ended up in a place like Florida hitting a ball across a net or in a cold, wintry town watching Deal or No Deal on TV. Excelsior - Onward and upwards! Cheers!
Please note this column is written at block 157 apartment H7 at E. Coli Drive and uses absolutely no MSG or trans fatty acids or any other product that could possibly harm your already irrevocably dissipated body.
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.
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 baht voucher at Dasa Books on Sukhumvit Road. Third prize is Diddly-Squat. Easy one this time. Just tell me where this picture (at right) which appears to be a flying saucer was taken. Last week's photo was taken at J Avenue, the hip area of Bangkok's soi Thonglor. Or perhaps I should say one of the hip areas. Only one person got it right; several guessed this or that hotel. Come on, guys, you got to get out more.
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. And the more people I meet the more bullets I need.
Dean Barrett can be flamed at: email@example.com
Back to the Welcome Page