HOT IN THE CITY
As if the City Of Angels was not hot enough what with a steamy nightlife and hot babes in abundance, the temperature is rising as we see the hot season arrive. Surprisingly it is still relatively cool at night which is a blessing in disguise, because the furnace heat of Bangkok is unrivalled by almost any other capital city in this part of the world. Forgive me for thinking that Bangkok is located close to the equator, but the intense heat is like an open-air oven. Doctors are constantly saying that Westerners simply do not drink enough water in tropical climates, but especially during the hot season. Many guys are here to enjoy the nightlife and what naturally comes with this territory is alcohol consumption. But, we must remember how much drinking alcohol dehydrates our bodies and this is never more evident than in hot climates of course. Try to remember to drink as much narm yen (cool water) as possible whether it is throughout the daytime, or intermittently during a night out. From now until approximately the end of May the sky high temperatures will remain unrelenting. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
Even after many years I can tell you that you never get used to the sheer intensity of the heat, you just learn to tolerate it. When the Thais complain about the heat, us farangs know only too well it is like a furnace by day and a sauna by night. In some cases in Thailand there are only two seasons – the hot season and the funking hot season!
ENTERING A NEW DYNASTY
The world is a constantly changing place and if you want to enter a new Dynasty, I think I have the answer. There is a lovely new Dynasty Inn Grande that is well worthy of a mention. I want to keep you informed about accommodation options when you or your friends visit Bangkok.
Located inside Soi 6 (entering off Soi Nana) just past a row of beer bars is the splendid Dynasty Grande. She stands magnificently in this modest little side street. This farang friendly and stylish hotel provides good customer services, houses a gymnasium, free Internet access, 24 hour room service, Thai and Western food, plus other amenities. Currently rooms cost 2,280 Baht per night. Both the Thai and Western food is particularly good value for money. The Dynasty Grande has been praised by many and is heartily recommended by Sexy Beast.
SOI NANA NEWS
Jools Bar and Restaurant which is located opposite the entrance to Raja Hotel car park has been sold. For fans of this very British boozer with HUGE meals, do not despair because apparently two long term regular customers of Jools have bought it. Although Big Dave has sold Jools, I would hazard a guess that the new owners will be keen not to let much change. I will investigate the sale of Jools Bar and Restaurant further and as always I will keep you posted.
I thought Big Dave got a bit of bad press at times and personally over the years Big Dave was always fine with me. Like most people it boils down to how you treat them. OK, Big Dave can come across as abrasive to some, but I have never had a problem in all the years that I have been visiting Jools. On behalf of the many people that have enjoyed drinking and eating at Jools, we would like to wish Big Dave all the very best for the future.
Reports are coming in of strange sightings in the swimming pool of an apartment complex on Soi Nana. Shocked onlookers may think they have spotted an enormous, amorphous aquatic creature – don’t be alarmed it is just Big Dave enjoying his morning swim.
When I was one of the management team in Pretty Lady Go-Go Bar (almost ten years ago), one of the cheeky DJs had made himself a cozy little bed inside the enclosure of the DJ booth. Like many young Thai men it was a case of shift work – work comes and they shift!
In an attempt to draw the customers into Spankys (floor 2 Nana Plaza, next to Angelwitch), they have introduced another drinks special. For only 50 Baht you can get shots of tequila all night on Mondays and Tuesdays. If Spankys girls are into the 50 Baht tequila, this could save you cash on lady drinks. According to the new owner the building work is progressing along as planned. Due to licensing laws and other technicalities, combining the two bars into one will take a bit of time. Word on the go-go street is that Spankys will become some kind of show bar. New bars are always welcomed, but recruiting and retaining the Q Factor, or “a quantity of quality” in terms of attractive bargirls is the paramount task.
A new branch of Lolita’s is the latest addition to Patpong, which is joining Kangaroo and Star Of Light in the blow row. So, if you need your oil changing the “we service you crew” from Lolita’s have just opened their latest branch. Life can be stressful but do not despair; these are the places to go if you need a blow out. A Lolita’s sign near the Pink Panther will show you the way. Do you fancy a pit stop and an oil change?
PATTAYA – PLEASURE PLAYGROUND
Reports from Pattaya are already starting to emerge that there are plenty of empty stools in the beer bars in areas away from Walking Street. With so many go-go bars ultimately only the elite can hope to keep packing the spenders in night after night. I have a feeling that it will be a very long and very quiet low season ahead for Pattaya. On the surface Pattaya looks to be busy with plenty of Hotel bookings and people walking around. However, this is exactly what they are doing in many cases just walking around. The number of Russian and other Eastern European visitors in particular has increased considerably, but they are often just couples out sightseeing or window shopping. So few of the Eastern European visitors are even entering the bars, let alone having a jolly old time on the ale. Basically, this boils down to many more available girls in Pattaya, compared to he number of paying customers. As one of my friends pointed out – with such a wide choice of beer bars and go-go bars just on Walking Street there is good reason not to wander away from the Walking Street area at all. The way Walking Street is expanding this will be an increasing problem for bars that are off the beaten path. The total number of go-go bars in Pattaya has now exceeded 70 with the majority being located in the Walking Street area. With a few exceptions the huge amount of bars that are located a distance away from Walking Street could well become even more isolated in the future.
The image and reputation of Pleasure Playground has been damaged once again with the murders of two female farangs on Jomtien beach. However, in most parts of the world it is definitely NOT safe to be in isolated areas after dark. Please be reminded of safety in numbers and stay away from dark, secluded areas late at night. Please heed the warning! A mortician told me that his department in London is dealing with at least one murder a week. Better to be safe than sorry!
Pattaya bar owners did have a real fight on their hands to R&R “recruit and retain” enough bargirls through the high season. Even now there is a constant struggle and the turnover of dolly birds in the go-go bars is generally very high. The problem lies with Pattaya going way beyond saturation point in terms of the total number of bars and nightspots. There are simply not enough paying customers or bargirls to fill the multitude of venues. In stark contrast in Bangkok any venue that changes ownership can only continue trading as a go-go bar if it already has a go-go license. This does prevent too many new go-go bars opening up all over the place. Down in Pattaya this law is not followed and overdevelopment is rife, therefore saturation point was breached a long time ago. If you exclude the most popular venues in Pleasure Playground and think about the other 1,000-2,000 places, what kind of trade are the less popular bars and nightspots doing?
Pattaya certainly has come a long way from when I lived there. In those days I used to spend several months of each year in Pattaya throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The way Pattaya has developed and expanded it is like they have attached another town to it. The one confusing aspect is that tour operators (both foreign and domestic) are promoting Pattaya as a family holiday destination. There are all kinds of foreigners arriving on cheap package holidays. Many are from Europe but tour operators are attracting Asians too. Perhaps “Patpong-On-Sea” is appealing to them. You only have to observe the throngs of tourists parading up and down Walking Street. Like some kind of perverse circus a group of tourists are frantically taking photos of outrageous katoeys (lady-boys). The katoeys are quite happy to take tips for pix in a bizarre kind of public freak show. I find it hard to imagine any family destination featuring “chicks with dicks” as a tourist attraction on the sunset strip. It’s incredible!
The most popular Pleasure Palaces in Pattaya are not surprisingly the usual contenders with the odd exception. The go-go bars that remain consistent in terms of the number of girls they R&R “recruit and retain” are still doing brisk trade. By attracting quite a few customers on a nightly basis they must be getting the formula right. In no order of preference here is a rapid roundup of some of the popular go-go bars:-
Peppermint (great line-up and always busy), Happy (great Happy Hour and cute Showgirls), Beach Club (super Happy Hour and best of the table-top bars), Angelwitch (great line-up and the best choreographed shows), Living Dolls Showcase (attractive Showgirls), Club Boesche (steamy Jacuzzi shows), Polo Club (attracting Asian tour groups), Super Baby and Super Girls (attractive dancers), and Heaven Above (still has some hot babes). All these Pleasure Palaces in the Walking Street area listed above are still going strong. I think that favorite bars are a personal matter, but nobody can deny the success and popularity of a particular venue if it is attracting good crowds on a regular basis.
One great little bar that does suffer a bit from its location is Coyotees in Soi Marina Plaza. But, this is an oasis renowned for very attractive Showgirls and the pioneers of the Bangkok VS Pattaya Dance Contests. Taboo is one go-go bar that is showing signs of potential even though it has only fairly recently opened. Another shooting star is Honey Pot Club on Soi 2. This Pleasure Palace is a surprisingly happening place with a fairly good line-up of pole performers. The Honey Pot Club is remarkably busy considering the location. Check it out!
At long last San Miguel beer is now available in the Land Of Sanuk. Although produced in Thailand it is still a fairly smooth brew and is on sale in most bars across Thailand. One of the first places I was to become aware of it was at The Big Mango (floor 2 Nana Plaza), who generously offer bottles of San Miguel at only 60 Baht during their Happy Hour from 5:00pm until 8:00pm. The Big Mango’s regular price is only 95 Baht, so you cannot go wrong in this little oasis. There are two versions available – San Miguel regular and San Mig lite. The San Mig lite is similar to the concept of Corona, but I prefer the San Miguel regular. Most people know San Miguel beer from visiting the Philippines of course. Us English lads know San Miguel from wild 18-30s holidays in the Spanish Islands. In a previous time zone Dave The Rave was on the pull as a boundlessly energetic young lad in the Spanish resorts of Ibiza and Majorca. Nowadays, in my present condition I think I would just pull a muscle.
Once again I have solid evidence of more Stickman sightings, because it is Dave The Rave who has spotted Stickman (several times recently) lurking around the confines of Nana Plaza. I found this quite remarkable because isn’t Stickman accused of never visiting the nightlife areas? This is simply not true because Stickman has even been seen in the notorious nightlife areas of Pattaya, as well as Bangkok’s neon jungles.
This weekend I noticed that Stick was busy scribbling down notes – you know in that indecipherable English teacher code. Stickman could be a Doctor with handwriting like he has, which I found most frustrating because I couldn’t read any of his notes.
Anyway I digress, this time I have some terrific news for Stickman fans, because the sorely missed “Stickman Weekly” will return before New Year. I hear you murmuring, “New Year that’s a long way off.” By this I mean Thai New Year, none other than the Songkran water festival, which is actually the official Thai New Year. Mind you, the Thais celebrate anybodies New Year and make sure they have a lot of parties and holidays. Sorry I digress again; Stickman hinted to me that he will definitely return sooner than some people think – in fact in the very near future. This is exciting news for Stickman readers, because his Sunday weekly column is so missed by the multitudes of avid readers. Without Stickman giving too much away I could see that he is itching to get his fingers tapping away at warp speed on his notebook keyboard.
Much has been said about the controversy that surrounds the postponement of Stickman’s Sunday column. However, there is a bright, shinning light that glows from this dark, void abyss. As I gaze into my crystal ball I can see that “Stickman Weekly” will commence again some time in March. There are strong indications that it will be a mighty force too. Stay tuned for more Stickman sightings.
NOTE THE QUOTE
Here is an original quote from yours truly The Prisoner In Paradise.
“This go-go bar biz is a numbers game. All the go-go girls have numbers and they are all on the game.”
Remember that there is no accounting for taste and therefore use my suggestions as a guide for selecting what suits your individual needs, tastes, likes and dislikes. Because, let’s face it if we all like the same things life would not be very interesting. Happy hunting!
Special thanks go out to Nick and the lads in Cambodia from the “Mines Advisory Group” MAG. The men from MAG are clearing landmines and securing safe areas in South East Asia and across the world. Chok Dee!
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