HOME SWEET HOME
Currently, I am in the process of moving out of one town house and into another town house. If there is one thing that I dislike intensely it is moving. It is tiring and stressful especially when you have acquired the mountain of clobber and other personal paraphernalia that I have. Believe me when I say mountain, because “the trouble and strife” or for non-Brits the wife, could collect for her country! Over the years we have bought tons of stuff, which is alright until that dreaded big moves arrives. Oh well, we battle on and yet again I find myself having to move.
For anybody deciding to live in Bangkok, considerable thought should be given to where they wish to stay. Location has to be thought out carefully and there are also other considerations like the type of accommodation that you are seeking. Some people are happy to pay for a long term stay in a Hotel. In Thailand this can be a good option because some Hotels will give you a discount for a monthly advanced payment. Even if you are planning just a holiday in Thailand you could consider paying a discount deal in a Hotel as one option. It certainly would not hurt to enquire.
For those with a view to a longer stay of say six months to a year or more renting an apartment would be a logical decision. It will boil down to a matter of personal budget, but Thailand does cater for all levels. Some guys go rural and live like a Thai in remote districts, but most choose to be near a popular region of a chosen city or town. In Bangkok you really have to study your geography and logistics, because The Big Mango is such a sprawling metropolis. I love it when some people refer to “downtown Bangkok” because where on earth is downtown in this city with no centre? If you are in too remote an area you will have to spend considerable time and money traveling. Professionals need to be fairly close to where they work with quick and easy travel access. Even those who do not work should at least be conveniently located near their favorite nightlife area. In Soi Nana for instance, there lies a whole community of expat residents in Omni Tower Serviced Apartments. This place is otherwise known by the lads as “The tower of lost souls”. Omni Tower is becoming quite popular with many visitors for both short and long term stays. The Omni has very nicely furbished rooms that are comfortably carpeted too. The staff is friendly and generally helpful with a large lobby and reception area. The swimming pool is quiet at certain times and therefore quite intimate. It is maintained to a good standard. Omni Tower also boasts a well equipped gymnasium with both machine and free weights. All said it is a good choice for long term stay, but I think that their nightly rates are high considering they are not a Hotel.
Now that you have made your decision about location you have to decide what type of accommodation you are looking for. Most single guys that I know either move into a studio or a one bedroom apartment. For couples, especially those with children obviously two or three bedroom apartments, or town houses are your best option. I have made the mistake in the past of rushing into a decision about accommodation only to regret it later. Wherever people wish to stay or live in Bangkok they should always have a checklist of requirements. Here are some examples that I have recently used – (A). Are there convenient modes of transportation readily available? (B). If traveling by road will there be huge traffic jams? (C). Will you be in a quiet area? (D). How competent is the maintenance service? (E). Are the utility charges moderate? (F). Are you in a safe area? (G). Is everything in good working order? In order to obtain this information also try to ask occupants for an unbiased opinion.
Please watch out for one of the oldest tricks in the book; everything starts well and then suddenly your utility bills rise considerably. In some places you can request to pay the utility companies directly, or ask to check the reading on the electric meter. If you show that you are street smart this could prevent huge bills coming your way. It is a fact that utility rates do vary a lot from place to place, so you should be aware of this from the start. The main reason that I decided to move out of Soi Nana is because we were given an offer we could not refuse. The rent and utility bills will be in the region of 50% cheaper, which will obviously save me a lot of money in the long run. Also, with three bedrooms it is a much bigger place for much less than the cost in an area like Soi Nana.
Hopefully I got it right this time. I have moved more time than a gypsy!
If you are looking to rent or buy property in Thailand it is wise to talk to a property specialist. For enquiries email – [email protected]
PUTTING LIFE BACK INTO THE NIGHTLIFE
The Thailand nightlife scene has partially recovered from the clampdown, or as I refer to it the “social disorder campaign”. This followed when later closing was introduced again to the various nightspots. It is literally putting life back into the nightlife and this especially applies to Pattaya. Visitors to Thailand still ask me what the closing times are and this is not surprising with the confusion that was created previously by draconian laws. Closing times in Nana Plaza, Patpong and Soi Cowboy are between 2:00am and 2:30am for the main bars. Angels or Nana Hotel Disco are staying open until 3:00am. The go-go bars in Pattaya are allowed to stay open until 3:00am and there is a selection of late night venues to move onto afterwards. Rather than the previously proposed midnight and 1:00am closing, this is a positive step that will allow the nightlife to flourish. Long live the Thailand nightlife!
Pattaya has the biggest advantage with the Walking Street area being able to stay open until 3:00am and even later for discos and clubs. Although the bars are pleased with the later closing hours, nightclubs and discos in Bangkok are finding negotiating closing after 2:00am a much more difficult option. Establishments like Sin in Soi Nana are currently closing at the same time as the bars, which does not allow them any further opportunity for late trade. Hopefully we will begin to see more nightclubs and discos in Bangkok being able to stay open longer than the bars. This is in order to provide late night venues for those who want to continue partying. This opportunity is freely available in many other countries that have bars and nightclubs, so therefore it should apply to Thailand too. In Pattaya the nightclubs and discos like Marine, Lucifer’s, Secrets and Tony’s are allowed to stay open much later than their counterparts in the farang nightspots of Bangkok.
Apart from the closing times there is some very encouraging news as the level of “showing” in Soi Cowboy remains very liberal. Even in Nana Plaza it is encouraging to know that certain bargirls in some of the bars forget to put on certain items on clothing. This is not “showing” they are just forgetful. For Night Fever fans let us hope this trend continues. Party on!
PATTAYA – PLEASURE PLAYGROUND
Even considering the liberal laws on “showing” and late closing in Pattaya, they still face their share of problems. Bar owners are complaining about a shortage of girls, but especially the go-go bars. Only the cream of the crop like Peppermint and Happy continue to remain full of both customers and dolly birds (hot babes). One go-go bar owner in Pattaya was telling me that the amount of bars is one problem, as Pattaya expands way beyond saturation point. The other problem (as many bar owners know only too well) is that when you need a large stock of girls, they disappear like a David Copperfield vanishing act. Just when you need all your girls for high season they stop work; then they return in the low season when you do not need so many girls.
Part of the reason is that girls do go home to spend time with their families, but in the high season the big sponsors arrive. The “sponsor” being of course, a bargirls main meal ticket. These guys are usually the type that bargirls like the most, because they are rarely in Thailand and yet they regularly send bargirls staggering amounts of money on a monthly basis. The bargirl does not care about her Boss, or the bar she works, because she could just change bar and work elsewhere. There is next to no loyalty in Pattaya where bargirls are concerned.
The Thai song “Suwaiy mie krengjai kry” relays this sentiment in Thai terms. It states, “You are beautiful but you have no respect or consideration for anybody else.” Enough said.
We were on our way home after having a late meal when our car was stopped by the police. We were told to get out of the car and I was approached by a policeman. He held up his hands (palms facing me) and moved his fingers around. He was demonstrating that he had nothing in his hands. I thought, “He wants to show me a magic trick at this time of night”. No, just kidding it was a drugs safety check (Yar Safety) and after checking everybody we were allowed to go home. What impressed me was that the policemen were very polite and not only showed me his hands, but explained politely why he was showing me that his hands were “clean”. The policeman then proceeded to check my belongings under the supervision of his Captain. This was very professional because the fear of police planting something on you does occasionally happen. I smiled as I held a respectful “wai” to the Captain and he saluted me, which I thought was cool. I must say that apart from having the odd bad encounter with a few drunk policemen, I have had very positive encounters with Thai policemen, so far I have never had a problem.
In almost 20 years I cannot remember ever being stopped and searched, but this has happened to me three times in the last couple of months. This encounter shows that we should have suitable ID on us at all times and be prepared for random police checks.
THAI TALK – KRENGJAI
This is a very important Thai concept that is so much more than a single word. The Thais are so proud of “krengjai”, because it has no literal translation into one English word or phrase. In layman’s terms it means consideration and respect for other people. It is usually said to a person of higher status than yourself. Krengjai is a deep rooted Thai expression that should NEVER be abused – treat “krengjai” like you would a close friend. Used sparingly and cleverly “krengjai khun” can earn you a lot of respect in terms of how a farang relates to a Thai.
NANA PLAZA – NEON JUNGLE NEWS
Pretty Lady is making a surprisingly quick recovery after being closed for almost seven months. The numbers of very friendly go-go dancers continues to rise. They are still on the road to recovery in terms of getting back to what a super bar they were before, but so far Pretty Lady have recovered quite swiftly. On a stranger note, one customer reported that a pussy came flying straight at his face. I find this quite remarkable. I mean why do they let pets into their bar?
On February 4 the oldest beer bar in Nana Plaza will be holding a party, which also coincides with PJ’s birthday. Lucky Lukes always put on a good spread of free food and Lucky Lukes celebrates being 25 years old. Sure wish I was 25 again. Oh well, dream on.
On Thursday, February 1 in Nana Plaza there is a 10 year Anniversary Party for Lollipop. All are welcome.
It was reported to me that Roo Bar, which is the tiny bar next to Jools on Soi Nana has been sold. Apparently it is now The Tavern. Some of the Hog’s Breath faithful have been meeting there, but the place is so small that you cannot comfortably get many people in. Anyway, The Tavern is now the latest new addition to Soi Nana.
THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK
I wish to express my gratitude to all those of you who have emailed me with comments and compliments. Almost all of the feedback regarding the modified website has been very positive. Thank you for taking the time to email me and I am pleased that you like the new look of the site. Although we designed the website together, the credit for the work goes to Mr. Ed.
Ed has kindly formatted the archived editions of Night Fever, so you can now read all editions of Night Fever from November 8, 2006. Cheers Ed!
TALES OF THAILAND
This anecdote comes from Khun Leigh, an American who now resides in Bangkok. Thanks to Khun Leigh for sharing this anecdote with us all.
I returned to Bangkok from visiting my Mother in America and normally I suffer badly from jet-lag as it is a 30 hour door-to-door journey. But, this trip I felt fine. I was so eager to get back into the addictive nightlife, that I hit the multitude of bars almost immediately. The party had started and for the next week I did nothing but party with my favorite farang friends and Thai girls. So, night after night the party never seemed to end, except for trying to get a good “days” sleep in. After nine nights of wild partying I finally got around to unpacking my suitcase – you heard me right, it took me NINE days before I got around to unpacking my suitcase. Apart from taking my wash bag out I never unpacked and this has never happened before. Boy was I happy to be home!
GO TO HELL
I am having a field day with inappropriate names for establishments in Thailand. I have previously mentioned what a confusing mouthful Hanrahan’s (the new Irish Bar on Soi Nana) is to say, especially when you consider that the Thais and other non-English speakers cannot pronounce the name. Then comes along the rather elongated and grandiose Duke Of Wellington, which is the newly opened pub in Silom. But, to top them all is the change of name from Eden Club to Hell Club. Can you imagine poor ole Jacko trying to get potential customers in with, “Welcome to Hell.”
I have to seriously question the logic behind guys who were once in Eden and now we have to say, “Go to Hell.” Well, anyway Eden Club alias Hell Club is open and perhaps ole Jacko can make the concept work.
My thanks this week go out to Mr. Ed, John, Stickman, Dean Barrett, Khun Leigh, NanaJournals.com, Tricky Ricky (FLB Bar), PattayaAddicts.com, and Mad Mike and his mini harem!