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November visit - Pattaya then Bangkok


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#1 ggobkk

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:35 PM

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November Visit

 

This short - 10 day - end of the month visit while similar in some respects to earlier trips that I’ve reported on was a bit more bland…but I’ll get to that. 

 

For a change, I’m using a bullet point system to report rather than my usual narrative.  No reason other than to see how it works.

 

·      Using miles for a business class round trip, I learned that required me to travel on partner airlines (I’m Star Alliance).  Round trip booking:  United to Hong Kong, then Thai to Bangkok, and on the way home Thai to Taipei and then Eva to home. This mandated long layovers in Hong Kong and Taipei.

 

·  

    Left San Francisco on 20 November.  United Polaris (i.e. business class)…my window seat has no access to the windows due to the design of the cubicle.  Doesn’t seem to matter as the windows were shut for the entire flight in the business cabin.

 

·      Arrive Hong Kong, no longer stamping passports, just get a sticker that is to be retuned when I depart (no one asked for it when I did depart).  Went to a nearby hotel and slept for six hours.

 

·      Checking in with Thai airways (the “partner” for the first flight to Bangkok on November 22nd, I am asked to sign a waiver removing Thai from any responsibility if I am not admitted to Thailand. (!)   I ask why and am told I don’t have enough space in my passport for the required “chops”  aka entry/exit stamps.  In my polite voice, I note that I have several blank pages and LEARN that these are not visa pages but endorsement pages…not the same thing.

 

·      This is now a concern…so I head to the Thai lounge and have some food and decide it’s up to fate.  Board plane for easy flight to Bangkok.

 

·      One of the first off of the plane, I enter the immigration area and am astounded to find there is no waiting, I walk up to a booth and hand in my passport.  I watch as the agent/officer pages through my passport but soon hear a satisfying sound as he stamps my passport.

 

·      Change $200 USD for THB at rate of 32.04…dollar down, trip will be more expensive.

·      Van, my friend and Hot Male veteran, is waiting as I exit customs.  The driver from Mike’s service is also there and we depart for Pattaya (car cost is 1,000 THB).

 

·      Arrive at the Poseidon just before noon.  The Junior suite I booked is ready and I check us in -  2,000 THB a night.

 

·      Van and I shower and spend some time in bed – I mostly sleeping.  Nice to be held while I sleep.  When we are both awake, we catch up:  Van is still working two jobs, garment worker during the day and Hot Male at night.  He gets three days a month off from each job, using those days from the garment job for this jaunt to Pattaya, he paid his off fee to Hot Male so he could meet me.  (yes, I will reimburse him but note he did not ask to be reimbursed…very possible he knew I’d take care of it…we do go back almost five years).

 

·      Agree on some signals that if I want to off someone, how he will know to make himself scarce or helpful.

 

·      Go for a walk to Dongtan to see how the reconstruction is going…it’s a Wednesday so the umbrella zones are having their day off.  Government has posted signs of what the area will look like (maybe) once it is finished…plan is to install lots of tress to replace the trees that were removed.

 

·      Light lunch at Sandbar…discuss plan once we get beyond “it’s up to you”.  Boyztown tonight, Sunnee tomorrow, and Jomtien Friday…though Jomtien is our “hood” so it with be a part of each night.

 

·      After dinner at Poseidon – one of the reasons I stay at this hotel, this is my fourth visit, is the food.  Van tells me his Thai dishes are excellent…I’ve never thought of Thai when choosing a meal there.

 

·      Head by Baht Bus to Boyztown, arrive at Oscar’s at 8:45 hoping for a BBB parade.  Not tonight…Boyztown looks quiet (it’s a Wednesday), only one Chinese tour group parades past while we’re there.  Panorama has lots of vacant seats.  Van and I split agreeing to meet up /check in at a certain point.  I check out Cupidol and Toyboys…nothing to add to what’s been reported recently.

 

·      BBB crowded but some seats, my favorite no longer there.  15% or more female audience.

 

·      Meet up with Van and we return to Jomtien and catch the Venture show – sit up close and  see how mechanical the staging appears to be.  So many dancers surround the lady boy diva, then switch to her other side and repeat the same moves. 

 

·      Leaving, and heading toward the hotel, Jomtien complex is in full swing, it might be a weekend night rather than a Wednesday midnight.  At the Venture end of the soi, in the vicinity of @Home and Your bar, it’s jam packed with boys and customers.  Boys seem to be mainly from Cambodia.  Check in with a few who tell me they remember me from my visit in May, don’t see the one guy I offed twice back then, so Van and I head back to the Poseidon.  The crowded sensation eases as we walk up (or is it down) the street toward the hotel, bars are busy, new ones are being constructed. 

 

·      Back at hotel, notice there are double glazed doors that have been shut to keep out the street  noise…or keep in any sounds the guests and their guest might make(?).  In our case, after some basic moves, I fall asleep with Van wrapped around me.

 

·      I only sleep a few hours, normal body response to jet lag.  I walk to beach and have breakfast at Sandbar.  Back to hotel, Van is getting up, he goes out to find some street food for breakfast (directly opposite hotel is the destination).

 

·      We head to Dongtan and claim some chairs and chill.  Van says he wants to get some sandals as he borrowed the one’s he brought for the trp.  He saw a shop on the way to the beach, I offer to go with him.

 

·      Once, I stand up on my now Dongtan massaged and beach pedicured feet, I sense something is off about my digestive system.  We get to the shop and I tell Van I need to head back to the hotel…he comes with me. 

 

·      Without going into detail, I spent the rest of Thursday in the room; mainly in the bathroom. For the first time in my life, I totally lost control of my bowels (sorry to be so clear).  I was a mess and things were a mess.

 

·      Van went out and brought back some Imodium, which over the next 24 hours would lowly sift control back to me.  No Sunnee, no dinner, no fun…glad my caretaker was present to worry for me and get the housekeeper to provide an extra cleanup and fresh linens.

 

·      To be continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Finnseventy

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:48 PM

Did you go into the sea at Dongtan beach? My partner and I both got a dose of the runs after swimming there last July.

#3 vinapu

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:32 AM

Hope immodium and day or two of fasting helped you to go back to normal . I wonder what helped you  to get to such problems, Business class food or one of Poseidon / Sandbar ?

 

Was 32.04 rate at the airport or city ? 



#4 Londoner

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:32 PM

Vinapu's question is apposite; airport rates are higher than those in the city. Best to change-up only what you need to get to your hotel.



#5 ggobkk

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 12:41 AM

Exchange rate was at the airport. I only exchanged $200 USD as I anticipate airport rate will be higher but want enough THB for the first day’s expenses.

#6 ggobkk

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:27 AM

Thanks for the “PM” comments on the format…I agree that the bullet point concept is not a total success, sothere will be more narrative going forward.

 

Regarding exchange rates, I had the “luck” / misfortune of arriving just as the Thai economy posted better than expected results which drove the THB up and the USD$ down.  The US Congress psycho drama over taxes was also playing out “will they?” or “won’t they?” which impacted the rates.  This is a topic that will come up toward the end of my trip report.

 

 

Fitful night of only sort of sleeping in between toilet runs…but improvement noted by dawn…perhaps, there was nothing left to give.  Imodium definitely kicking in…

 

Decided I could tackle some toast, I went downstairs where Kay, the manager, took my order and inquired after my health – indicating the housekeepers were keeping the desk informed on the guests.

 

Back in the room, I caught up with my email and news – Van woke up around 10 as he’d fallen asleep sometime after 3am.  He went out for breakfast after checking on me.  When he returned, and I was able to report almost five hours of freedom from bathroom trips and that I was no longer contemplating adult diapers, we discussed the day.

 

Note: My language skills (Thai, Vietnamese) are minimal…this is also true of Van’s English skills…so our discussions are a mix of familiar gestures, some phrases, and lots of google Translate.

 

I remembered that my symptoms set in as we were in a shop looking for sandals, not fully sure of the last 24 hours, I asked if he had the sandals?  No.  Let’s go to Central World and look around…I was pretty sure I could handle that and knew there were lots of “western” toilets there.

 

Baht bus to Central World…it’s a mall in the style of most malls, just in Pattaya it’s giant sized compared to everything else.  When the baht bus turned onto the beach road, I noticed that Van’s eyes grew big at the sight of the activity along the beach and in the water – the parasailers, the boats, etc.  So, when we easily and quickly decided that the mall didn’t have any sandals, we adjourned to the beach.

 

I sort of sat and listened to the small waves breaking while trying not to look at the stuff that was washing up on the shore.  Van got into a discussion with one of the tattoo artists who tout their skills to the tourists.  Van has a shoulder tattoo that has faded and (he tells me) his friends joke about it…so he is definitely interested in what can be done and how to do it and how long.

 

Tattoo tout quotes 3000 THB and two hours.  Van looks at me, doesn't ask for money but the look implies he doesn't have that much.  I comment that two hours is a long time for me to be away from the hotel.  Everyone saves some face and the tattoo tout goes off to look for an American female who will want an ankle engraved.

 

On the way back to the hotel, I mention that I will need to sleep some both due to jet lag and not having had much sleep in the past day and a half.  Van will go off and look for sandals in the shops around Jomtien and Dongtan and check out nearby tattoo shops of which there are many along the baht bus route to the beach.

 

When I wake up it’s getting dark, Van is watching a video on You Tube.  He shows me his new sandals which clearly look to be sturdier than his borrowed ones.  1400 THB.  Over the years, I’ve come to understand he isn’t the best haggler when it comes to bargaining on a price, but he will walk away and keep shopping and comparing prices until he’s found something he likes at a price he likes.  He used this approach to get his tattoo improved.  The more he shopped around, the more he knew this wasn’t the time or place.

 

He tells me we are going to shower together so that he can clean my up to go out tonight.  We do, and he does. 

 

Then to the restaurant in the hotel for dinner…he has Thai and I have a pasta…don’t want to push things…body is repairing itself but don’t want to shock it.

 

Walk to the beach then back to Jomtien, it’s about 10pm and the bars are in action.  Settle in at @Home.  Some initial awkwardness as the bar boys aren’t sure if they should pay attention for future benefit or just let this “couple” have drinks and watch.

 

Watching I see lots of bar boys doing their best to attract what appears to be an aging clientele to have drinks.  (Yes, I’m looking in the proverbial mirror).

 

Van has explained (Viet and Cambodian languages have much in common) that it’s ok for them to sit with me, which a couple charmers to.  One is from Siem Reap and explains to me the complexity of going back and forth to keep his visa in order. 

 

I use the game plan Van and I had devised and off Mr. Siem Reap (hos name sounded like “sigh”), Van stays at the club for now but will walk back to the beach until I message him.

 

Sigh and I head back to The Poseidon, ID checked for age (21) short time price agreed at 1300.  Handsome lad, open to all sorts of fun, my body is still recuperating so its all oral and a chuck wow on his part.  Add 500 for a tip… I was happy to know I was still functioning as a living person. 

 

Texted Van and suggested to meet up at Your Bar…since he can’t read the English signs, I see him wandering around the bars looking for me (at least I think he was looking for me). 

 

I picked Your Bar as I always have good time there.  I mentioned in the first part of this report that I’d been hoping to find the boy I offed twice back in May…but, again like two nights ago, he wasn’t there.  But others told me they remembered me (and as I remembered them), it wasn't a total scam.  It’s mostly Cambodian with a few Burma boys.  My sought after off is Thai but I think that is an exception.

 

Several drinks later for the bar boys, it’s now Saturday early morning, Van and I went back to the hotel and to sleep. Plan is to leave for Bangkok at noon



#7 newalaan

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:26 AM

Vinapu's question is apposite; airport rates are higher than those in the city. Best to change-up only what you need to get to your hotel.

 

Sorry for slightly off topic, but need to comment and update this. Last two trips in Sept/Oct and June/July best rates I received anywhere in Thailand and that includes Superrich, T.T. outlets in Pattaya and Chinese exchange booth in Pattaya was on the lower floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport where you catch BTS/train to city. There are a few Exchange Booths there in competition, Value+ Exchange just beat Superrich and the other exchange booths.

 

Inside the Airport, on the upper floors the standard bank booth exchange rates were poor in comparison. On Oct trip I changed all my £-Sterling currency on arrival at Airport Value+ booth and didn't see a better rate anywhere on my Thailand travels. 



#8 Jasper

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:20 AM

Value Plus Exchange near Airport Link is probably the best rate in Suvernabhumi airport. However if you are going to exchange foreign currency over $3,000 and like to shop/eat near Central World in Bangkok, it’s still worth going to Superrich Orange or Superrich Green(run by his brother) head office near Ratchadamri Big C.
The main office rate is better than Superrich booths.
Largest denomination is better rate than smaller ones.
I always bring notes in the largest denomination and in a crisp condition as they offen reject notes in bad conditions. Head office is somehow much more stricter than in its branch(booths).

In November, after exchanged at Green Superrich main office, as advised by their staff, I went to Kasikorn Bank nearby and changed to the newest 1000 baht notes since Superrich didn’t have the newest 1000 notes.
People were queuing up to change to the brand new notes and I saw the guy receiving a block of 30cm in all 1000 baht notes. I have never seen that many cash in real life!

#9 newalaan

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 03:07 AM

Value Plus Exchange near Airport Link is probably the best rate in Suvernabhumi airport. However if you are going to exchange foreign currency over $3,000 and like to shop/eat near Central World in Bangkok, it’s still worth going to Superrich Orange or Superrich Green(run by his brother) head office near Ratchadamri Big C.
The main office rate is better than Superrich booths.
Largest denomination is better rate than smaller ones.
I always bring notes in the largest denomination and in a crisp condition as they offen reject notes in bad conditions. Head office is somehow much more stricter than in its branch(booths).

In November, after exchanged at Green Superrich main office, as advised by their staff, I went to Kasikorn Bank nearby and changed to the newest 1000 baht notes since Superrich didn’t have the newest 1000 notes.
People were queuing up to change to the brand new notes and I saw the guy receiving a block of 30cm in all 1000 baht notes. I have never seen that many cash in real life!

 

To be honest Jasper I wouldn't go very far out of my way to earn zero point something of a percent for exchange. But at the airport I was able to compare the rates to my usual exchange booths (T.T in Pattaya, Superrich or x-one currency Silom/surawong) on the spot on my smartphone, and on that specific day Value+ at Airport was the best, so it made sense just to get it changed at the Airport. 

 

But the main point for the post was to advise others that there are very competitive rates at the Airport and you don't only need to change small amounts just to get by for the first day, the rates are good enough to beat well known exchange booths in Pattaya, downtown Silom etc.. for larger sums.

 

I stopped taking Travel Cheques some years back in favour of high denomination Sterling cash, but yes, as you say, one does need to be aware of just how fussy even the smallest exchange booth can be with note condition. Like you I take crisp notes, in fact now only order new notes from my UK bank head office to guarantee condition.  

 

Just out of interest why did Green Superrich or indeed yourself feel the need to change Baht notes for brand new one's? Surely the one's you got from Superrich would have been fine. I've never had a Bt1000 note rejected anywhere in Thailand over 18 years...



#10 ggobkk

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:08 AM

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It’s now Saturday mid-morning, we are awake, breakfasted, and packed.  Housekeeper tip given directly.  Hotel bill paid.  Say goodbyes and mention possible future visit.

 

Mike’s Pattaya Taxi’s driver is waiting, Of to Bangkok.  Fairly quick get away from Pattaya counter balanced by massive traffic jams.  Arrive at The Raya after a 2 hour plus drive.  (Cost 1200 THB) The hotel reception desk doesn’t ask for my name, just says welcome back and gives me my paperwork as passport copying is done for Van and me.

 

Placed in Room 513 which is right off the lobby.  I unpack, Van gathers up his stuff and is going to his room to do laundry.  We agree on meeting up around 7 or 8.  I need to cover his off fee at Hot Male for the remaining five nights of my visit.

 

Once I unpack and check my cash, I secure half of it in the safe.  Off to Excelsior Tailors, which I’ve used for five years, as I need a suit and some shirts.  With five days in Bangkok, there is time for more than one quick fitting.  Since I stop in, sometimes just to say hello, when I’m in Bangkok, easy greeting and quick catching up.  From what is in the “ready (for fitting) area”, it’s clear there are golfers in town.  (I will later learn there is a major golf show going on this week which is brining mainly Japanese golfers to Bangkok).

 

I decided I wanted a dark blue double-breasted suit, fabric picked, details discussed (functional button holes, etc.).  Swatches for four shirts selected, and an add-on: a pair of gold shorts just like a pair waiting in the “ready area”.  Back Monday for a fitting.

 

Now, off to Prime for a foot and Thai massage combo for 500 THB,  Senso and Arena can wait…I need a real pummeling to get out the tightness that comes with 20 plus hours on planes and the ride into town.  Prime is always successful at that and is again.  My extremities seem to move freely, nothing was broken, success. 

 

Check my watch and see there is time for a quick drink at Golden Cock…three boys and the bartender.  Happy to let me see their privates, tips exchanged.  Planning on a return for more extensive fun (unfortunately, this will not happen due to bad scheduling on my part).

 

On the way back to The Raya, engage in conversation with a really cute boy who works at Indra Massage (across from Tawan).  Will return I said (note, I did return – twice – but he wasn’t there).

 

Stop for a moment at Tony’s Leather – located between Twilight and The Raya.  I’m thinking of getting some shoes to go with my new suit.  Not enough time to choose, so another place to go back to.

 

Back at hotel, I check on email and catch up with two forum members to confirm meeting times.  Van returns with his laundry done. Dinner? “Up to You”…so we head out to Silom Complex and settle on a restaurant that specializes in Thai Street food.  I know it’s absurd…but the food was good, and Van had seconds on one dish.

 

Now, it’s time for Twilight…first stop is Hot Male Bar.  Li, the Hot Male Clubs principal grabber/tout, sees me and greets me with a hug.  Settle in at the bar where some of the boys from May are still present and ready to remember me.  Two young farangs (estimate late 20s) have bought a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and are engaging three of the bar boys in a rock, paper, scissors contest.  One of the boys is showing the serious effects of losing.

 

Li comes over and mentions the show upstairs will start in a few minutes, so Van and I head up guided by Li.  On the way, Net, a bar boy from Hot Male Bar II, who I offed in the past, sees me and we exchange hugs.  He was fun, need to find time…I keep saying that…).

 

Upstairs, the renovations are noticeable.  What had been the smokers side of the room is gone and a stage akin to the old Jupiter is now installed there.  Mamasan is over in a flash and we are seated in the front with room for the boys who come over to say hello to Van and/or me. 

 

Drink fees are now 400 for the first drink and 300 for the second…that’s a per person charge.  So, if one buys drinks for three people that will be 1,200.  I let the mamasan know that I will off Van or five nights.  That’s 2,500 at 500 a night.  A year ago, it was 400 a night, in May it was 500 for weekend nights and 400 for other nights.  High Season is definitely in the pricing.

 

The  boys are in rotation and the overall look is much improved (to my eyes), it no longer has the look of a tattoo parlor graduates with a few others.  Nice mix from twinks to swimmers to body builders.  Lots of smiling and a few looks of trepidation from the 25 or more on stage.

 

One of the coyotes appeals to me, swimmer who is slightly older appearing than a twink.  When the show starts, it’s clear HotMale saw the competition from Jupiter and responded with a choreographed show that is sexier and has a bit of Pattaya's BBB raunchy humor.

 

The candle wax number was led by the coyote boy I’d noticed a few minutes back and did nothing to diminish my interest.  I conferred with Van and Peter, another of the boys who I’ve been with.  They know my likes/dislikes.  They are more than willing to tell me to stay away from some boy temptations, in this case, there was eager support for my interest.

 

After the show ended – this was the first of three nightly shows – so it is shorter and is less hard core – I called the coyote over, his name is Hack and he is from Issan.  I had to process that I had selected someone who wasn’t Vietnamese or Cambodian or Burmese(!).  We talked a bit, he showed it was a kisser by kissing me.  We talked on a rate, 2500, no 2000.ok for short time. 

 

As he goes to change, I check with Van who says he will stay at the bar until I text him.  Or, I can give the room key to Hack who can bring it back.  Interesting sense of cooperation.  Pay the bill, give some 100THB tips, and head out with Hack.

 

No security on the 5th floor at The Raya, so no ID given.  I had looked at it to check the age.

 

Well, Hack was a dream of an off.  Handsome, a male beauty, well proportioned, not shy.  Nothing held back and all options available and I chose most of them.  We each came, and he had enough reserve power to end with a final chuck wow.  After we showered together, I tipped him 350 which was all I had left in my wallet.  I was so happy/pleased/confused that I forgot I had put money in the safe.  Which may have been a good thing as I might have been tempted to be overly generous. 

 

Walked him out and as he went back to Hot Male, I stopped at the ATM, believing I didn’t have any THB.  Li told me Van was upstairs in the club and he’d let him know I was here.  In the mean time I hooked up for a cuddle with Net at HMB II. 

 

Eventually, Van and I went back to The Raya.  Security at the street level, and the desk clerk now back on duty on 5th floor.  Van has to leave for his day job at 6am, so we google translate back and forth for a while.  He asks if Hack make me happy and is happy that I’m happy.  He takes a shower and I’m asleep before he gets into bed. 



#11 vinapu

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 06:45 PM

 

 

 Nothing held back and all options available and I chose most of them.  We each came, and he had enough reserve power to end with a final chuck wow.  After we showered together, I tipped him 350 which was all I had left in my wallet. 

 

 

 I like way you described that meeting telling  all without graphics.

 

Hope that 350 was on top of negotiated 2000 , not instead although 2000 short time is still quite generous .

 

Glad to hear that fun is still to be had in soi Twilight despite gloom prophesied from time to time on the forums



#12 ggobkk

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:02 PM

Yes, 350 was additional to off fee.

#13 jason1975

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:05 PM

Was Hack's number 20 or 22?

I remembered being taken in by 20 and 22 when I visited Hot Male in September?

#14 ggobkk

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:39 AM

Was Hack's number 20 or 22?

I remembered being taken in by 20 and 22 when I visited Hot Male in September?

 

I must admit before I leave for Thailand, I make notes on the numbers mentioned by forum members (e.g. VInapu).  But once I get there, I forget to reference them.  As for myself, I know them in the moment but don't remember the numbers.

 

If it's any help, Hack is one of the coyote dancers - the one's who dance on the corners of the stage.  He is also (or was when I was there) the center boy in the hot wax number in the show.  Sorry, I can't be of more help.



#15 Londoner

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 04:12 PM

Rely neither on numbers, nor on many of the guys you see still working at the same bar during the next visit. This was a lesson I learnt painfully on my second trip to Thailand in 1997. All those plans! The same is true, by the way, of hornet and Planet Romeo.



#16 ggobkk

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:41 AM

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Sunday morning, 6am.  Whoa! It’s early.  Van disengages from his embrace and gets out of bed.  He has to be at his day job in an hour.  He works making garments at a factory in Bangkok.  I get up and make some tea for us as he showers.  He finishes around 7pm and will head back to the hotel then.

 

He leaves, and I attempt to go back to sleep to dream about Hack…but, once awake, I’m awake.  I go down to The Raya’s breakfast buffet – it’s a bit more elaborate than in May with better organization and some new hot dishes.  Nothing appeals to me, so I settle for tea, juice, toast, and yogurt.

 

Go for a walk along Surawong, notice there is now a Burger King that is open 24 hours.  New Starbucks with outdoor seating…the building remodel housing BK and Starbucks looks like a decent job with spaces still to be rented.  The sidewalk has also been improved and one doesn’t have to make a mini-jump to get to the level where the evening food stalls set up.

 

I get a sweet roll at Starbucks…usual high level of service to match the high prices.  The Asia marketing plan positions Starbucks as a luxury that is affordable.  Still seems expensive…but I’m in there spending. 

 

Back at the hotel, I check on email, etc.  News from home is Trump-centric, so I skim as much as possible.  I have booked a Siamroads tour for this morning (and tomorrow) with Mac.  Mac has been my guide on two prior visits and is easy to work with.  But, if you book Mac, know that he will go out of the way to find a way to show you what you want to see or mention that you are interested in…. what am I saying?  I’m saying don’t speculate in front of Mac as he will immediately try to figure out how wo get you there or what’s the best time…even if you are only musing about things.  I tend to confuse him, because I am open to what is to be seen.  I’ve done the tourist top ten list, I mention I’m wondering about this temple or that…and Mac comes back with a plan to see both and the history. 

 

Today, is straight forward, I want to get a close as possible to the Rama IX Crematorium. 

 

It’s 9:45, Mac is supposed to meet me at 10.  He is usually early but won’t ring the room before 10 as that is my time (as he sees it).  I go to the lobby and he’s there and full of ideas about the logistics.  He went to the crematorium site yesterday to scope it out.  He goes over the waiting times – impossible for me but impressive in the devotion a 12 hour wait indicates about the late king’s impact.

 

Mac has found an entry that is for those who would only like to take photographs and shows me some he took.  I thank him for the effort and agree on his plan.

 

This involves a taxi, then a goodly amount of walking from where the taxi can drop us off to the entry.  The boulevards along the place and the cremation site are closed to almost all traffic (exceptions: first responders, security), saw at least two ambulances responding to people being overcome by heat (It’s 36 Celsius).

 

We get to the entry point Mac discovered and join up with a dozen others, the mamasan in charge is a tour guide herself who is volunteering to shepherd those wanting photographs.  She does this, she says without pay, to honor the king.  As we approach out entry point – I can see the rows and tows of tents shielding those waiting to enter the whole complex.  And beyond that there is a long line of those waiting to sit in the shade of the tents.

 

My group can only go in a few hundred yards, but that is sufficient for picture taking.

 

When out fifteen minutes is up we are led back to a rest area, given water, a booklet, and asked to fill out a satisfaction survey.  Our mamsan gives me her tour guide card for my next visit.

 

Mac and I head out and see even more people heading to the line to the line to be in the tents to wait for to be taken into the grounds!  Note, when my visit was happening the crematorium site was to be closed on November 30th…so there were only a few days left.  Later in the week, the government postponed the closing to the end of December.

 

The next few hours are spent surfing the crowds.  As visitors finish their time at the crematorium site they exit in the direction of the Grand Palace, so we follow the crowd.  Deciding a cook drink would be in order, we enter the grounds to find the usual spot closed…told, the new king has directed some changes…not sure of how specific he might have been, but refreshments are not at hand.  We purchase tickets for the Queen’s Textile Museum but exit the grounds to get something to drink.  Once having had some shade and sweet tea, we head back only to find that entry to the Grand Palace is blocked by the folks exiting…there are so many they overwhelm the entry side of the gate as well as the exit side.  Most seem to be Chinese and there is quite a bit of muttering about the Chinese…

 

We get in and head to the Museum, the museum staff guides us to an exhibit of Thai classical theatre costuming suggesting we visit that and avoid the Chinese tourists who are massed in the main exhibit hall viewing the 1960s traveling wardrobe of the Queen.  They come and get us once the coast is clear.  I’m not sure if it’s because the staff knows Mac (he’s says that’s not it, but he is Thai and they favor their own).  We go upstairs to the view the queen’s wardrobe and my impression is the French designer she chose really worked on showing off Thai fabrics.  Not overwhelmed but a pleasant way to avoid the heat.

 

We head out…the morning plan was to end at the open air market.  Difficulty is getting way.  Traffic is banned so taxis are a distance away if available once there.  First idea is to take the ferry to Taksin.  Get there, the line is maybe 800 people long to just buy a ticket. 

 

2nd idea is to cross the river and get a taxi there to the BRT.  Also, a wait, but not too bad.  When we do disembark on the opposite bank, I notice a line that keeps extending as we walk along it.  These are folk waiting to go to the crematorium site and folks going across to attend a graduation. 

 

Takes us about 30 minutes to find a taxi.  Mac gives the destination – the BRT station and I suggest a change and that since the taxi is air conditioned why not just have the driver take us to Silom complex.  It’s now about 4pm and still in the 30 Celsius temperature range.

 

We get to Silom complex and I invite Mac to have lunch and after lots of walking around about choices, I just lead him into the wine and bistro on the lower level.

 

Food is good, not unreasonable in price.  He had a seafood pasta and I go with a carbonara (still being somewhat careful about my diet).  We head back to The Raya and I pay Mac for the day tour.  With the decline in the dollar and the Siamroads website showing pricing in USD$, I know I’m paying Mac fewer THB than I did for a prior tour.  I add a tip which leads to a discussion, which is where I learned that he makes more in a day as a guide that he did in a week with whatever work he had prior to this.

 

Mac leaves and I head out for a massage at Arena.  Usual reporting, dozens of fine looking therapists, choose best smile attached to good body.  90 minutes of bliss with regulation after.  Pricing the same as noted by Vinapu in his report (this is to encourage readers to find his reports on massage…he is better at that than I am).

 

Walk back to The Raya and am somewhat amazed at the number of massage shops that are now along Surawong and in the adjoining sois.

Pass Indra but the boy who caught my attention isn’t there.

 

Back at the hotel, I take a nap, enjoying the air conditioning.  I text Van and suggest he eat or buy food on his way, I’m full from my pasta a few hours ago.

 

I wake around 9pm and Van is back, finished eating, and waiting for me to wake up.  We shower together and head out to Jupiter.  300 THB is now the first drink feet.  Following someone’s Forum suggestion, we get there by 9:45 and out seated three rows back from the end of the stage. 

 

When we arrive, the downstairs is about half full and most of the customers are female.  Over the next hour, the crowd will grow but it will be only males I now see entering.  A large group of Chinese men arrive and are taken upstairs and seated there. 

 

Van knows two of the guys in the show and they join us for drinks.  One is Vietnamese and the other is an ex-Hot Male guy.  I’m not sure where he said he was from, but I think it was Thailand.  Noise level was high, and he was sitting three seats away.

Show is the same as in recent reports, though there seemed to be more use of the upper level portion of the stage…related to the Chinese seating area(?).

 

A bit more exposed cock at the end of the first half than I remember.

 

Mekhin was offed before the end of the first half by three Asian guys.

 

It’s a well-staged show and the guys are sleek and attractive, but their fashion model poses and avoidance of interaction with the audience isn’t for me.

 

I’d told Van that my plan was to do another short time with Hack if he was still available at Hot Male and asked what he wanted to do…he didn’t know but would find something to do…went to the club but Hack had been offed.  So, Van and I went to the room at The Raya and did our best to entertain one another. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning, 6am.  Whoa! It’s early.  Van disengages from his embrace and gets out of bed.  He has to be at his day job in an hour.  He works making garments at a factory in Bangkok.  I get up and make some tea for us as he showers.  He finishes around 7pm and will head back to the hotel then.

 

He leaves, and I attempt to go back to sleep to dream about Hack…but, once awake, I’m awake.  I go down to The Raya’s breakfast buffet – it’s a bit more elaborate than in May with better organization and some new hot dishes.  Nothing appeals to me, so I settle for tea, juice, toast, and yogurt.

 

Go for a walk along Surawong, notice there is now a Burger King that is open 24 hours.  New Starbucks with outdoor seating…the building remodel housing BK and Starbucks looks like a decent job with spaces still to be rented.  The sidewalk has also been improved and one doesn’t have to make a mini-jump to get to the level where the evening food stalls set up.

 

I get a sweet roll at Starbucks…usual high level of service to match the high prices.  The Asia marketing plan positions Starbucks as a luxury that is affordable.  Still seems expensive…but I’m in there spending. 

 

Back at the hotel, I check on email, etc.  News from home is Trump-centric, so I skim as much as possible.  I have booked a Siamroads tour for this morning (and tomorrow) with Mac.  Mac has been my guide on two prior visits and is easy to work with.  But, if you book Mac, know that he will go out of the way to find a way to show you what you want to see or mention that you are interested in…. what am I saying?  I’m saying don’t speculate in front of Mac as he will immediately try to figure out how wo get you there or what’s the best time…even if you are only musing about things.  I tend to confuse him, because I am open to what is to be seen.  I’ve done the tourist top ten list, I mention I’m wondering about this temple or that…and Mac comes back with a plan to see both and the history. 

 

Today, is straight forward, I want to get a close as possible to the Rama IX Crematorium. 

 

It’s 9:45, Mac is supposed to meet me at 10.  He is usually early but won’t ring the room before 10 as that is my time (as he sees it).  I go to the lobby and he’s there and full of ideas about the logistics.  He went to the crematorium site yesterday to scope it out.  He goes over the waiting times – impossible for me but impressive in the devotion a 12 hour wait indicates about the late king’s impact.

 

Mac has found an entry that is for those who would only like to take photographs and shows me some he took.  I thank him for the effort and agree on his plan.

 

This involves a taxi, then a goodly amount of walking from where the taxi can drop us off to the entry.  The boulevards along the place and the cremation site are closed to almost all traffic (exceptions: first responders, security), saw at least two ambulances responding to people being overcome by heat (It’s 36 Celsius).

 

We get to the entry point Mac discovered and join up with a dozen others, the mamasan in charge is a tour guide herself who is volunteering to shepherd those wanting photographs.  She does this, she says without pay, to honor the king.  As we approach out entry point – I can see the rows and tows of tents shielding those waiting to enter the whole complex.  And beyond that there is a long line of those waiting to sit in the shade of the tents.

 

My group can only go in a few hundred yards, but that is sufficient for picture taking.

 

When out fifteen minutes is up we are led back to a rest area, given water, a booklet, and asked to fill out a satisfaction survey.  Our mamsan gives me her tour guide card for my next visit.

 

Mac and I head out and see even more people heading to the line to the line to be in the tents to wait for to be taken into the grounds!  Note, when my visit was happening the crematorium site was to be closed on November 30th…so there were only a few days left.  Later in the week, the government postponed the closing to the end of December.

 

The next few hours are spent surfing the crowds.  As visitors finish their time at the crematorium site they exit in the direction of the Grand Palace, so we follow the crowd.  Deciding a cook drink would be in order, we enter the grounds to find the usual spot closed…told, the new king has directed some changes…not sure of how specific he might have been, but refreshments are not at hand.  We purchase tickets for the Queen’s Textile Museum but exit the grounds to get something to drink.  Once having had some shade and sweet tea, we head back only to find that entry to the Grand Palace is blocked by the folks exiting…there are so many they overwhelm the entry side of the gate as well as the exit side.  Most seem to be Chinese and there is quite a bit of muttering about the Chinese…

 

We get in and head to the Museum, the museum staff guides us to an exhibit of Thai classical theatre costuming suggesting we visit that and avoid the Chinese tourists who are massed in the main exhibit hall viewing the 1960s traveling wardrobe of the Queen.  They come and get us once the coast is clear.  I’m not sure if it’s because the staff knows Mac (he’s says that’s not it, but he is Thai and they favor their own).  We go upstairs to the view the queen’s wardrobe and my impression is the French designer she chose really worked on showing off Thai fabrics.  Not overwhelmed but a pleasant way to avoid the heat.

 

We head out…the morning plan was to end at the open air market.  Difficulty is getting way.  Traffic is banned so taxis are a distance away if available once there.  First idea is to take the ferry to Taksin.  Get there, the line is maybe 800 people long to just buy a ticket. 

 

2nd idea is to cross the river and get a taxi there to the BRT.  Also, a wait, but not too bad.  When we do disembark on the opposite bank, I notice a line that keeps extending as we walk along it.  These are folk waiting to go to the crematorium site and folks going across to attend a graduation. 

 

Takes us about 30 minutes to find a taxi.  Mac gives the destination – the BRT station and I suggest a change and that since the taxi is air conditioned why not just have the driver take us to Silom complex.  It’s now about 4pm and still in the 30 Celsius temperature range.

 

We get to Silom complex and I invite Mac to have lunch and after lots of walking around about choices, I just lead him into the wine and bistro on the lower level.

 

Food is good, not unreasonable in price.  He had a seafood pasta and I go with a carbonara (still being somewhat careful about my diet).  We head back to The Raya and I pay Mac for the day tour.  With the decline in the dollar and the Siamroads website showing pricing in USD$, I know I’m paying Mac fewer THB than I did for a prior tour.  I add a tip which leads to a discussion, which is where I learned that he makes more in a day as a guide that he did in a week with whatever work he had prior to this.

 

Mac leaves and I head out for a massage at Arena.  Usual reporting, dozens of fine looking therapists, choose best smile attached to good body.  90 minutes of bliss with regulation after.  Pricing the same as noted by Vinapu in his report (this is to encourage readers to find his reports on massage…he is better at that than I am).

 

Walk back to The Raya and am somewhat amazed at the number of massage shops that are now along Surawong and in the adjoining sois.

Pass Indra but the boy who caught my attention isn’t there.

 

Back at the hotel, I take a nap, enjoying the air conditioning.  I text Van and suggest he eat or buy food on his way, I’m full from my pasta a few hours ago.

 

I wake around 9pm and Van is back, finished eating, and waiting for me to wake up.  We shower together and head out to Jupiter.  300 THB is now the first drink feet.  Following someone’s Forum suggestion, we get there by 9:45 and out seated three rows back from the end of the stage. 

 

When we arrive, the downstairs is about half full and most of the customers are female.  Over the next hour, the crowd will grow but it will be only males I now see entering.  A large group of Chinese men arrive and are taken upstairs and seated there. 

 

Van knows two of the guys in the show and they join us for drinks.  One is Vietnamese and the other is an ex-Hot Male guy.  I’m not sure where he said he was from, but I think it was Thailand.  Noise level was high, and he was sitting three seats away.

Show is the same as in recent reports, though there seemed to be more use of the upper level portion of the stage…related to the Chinese seating area(?).

 

A bit more exposed cock at the end of the first half than I remember.

 

Mekhin was offed before the end of the first half by three Asian guys.

 

It’s a well-staged show and the guys are sleek and attractive, but their fashion model poses and avoidance of interaction with the audience isn’t for me.

 

I’d told Van that my plan was to do another short time with Hack if he was still available at Hot Male and asked what he wanted to do…he didn’t know but would find something to do…went to the club but Hack had been offed.  So, Van and I went to the room at The Raya and did our best to entertain one another. 



#17 vinapu

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 07:33 AM

Rely neither on numbers, nor on many of the guys you see still working at the same bar during the next visit. This was a lesson I learnt painfully on my second trip to Thailand in 1997. All those plans! The same is true, by the way, of hornet and Planet Romeo.

what is even more painful is that such a dreamed about boy is there but  turns out not to be as attractive as our memories carried him and we are wondering where our eyes were at the first place. This is usually on second trip when we are not as experienced / jaded as later on.

 

This is my memory of my second trip in 2002, had it later as well but that one was more stressful.



#18 discord87

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 08:53 AM

Thanks for the report, ggobkk. I would most likely be going to BKK next week on an impromtu trip.

Been reading previous reports, esp about Pattaya, as this would be my 1st time spending a few days there. Our taste in men might be a little different, but your report helps a lot. Thanks!!! :-)

#19 ggobkk

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:11 PM

Not sure how I managed to post the same report twice in the same posting. I write up my notes in MS Word then copy and paste to the Forum. Apologies for the double boredom.

#20 jason1975

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:30 PM

Mekhin got offed by 3 customers? Wow




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