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In my next life I want to come back as a science researcher living large off of government grants ‘cuz then I too could discover important facts like that, give a drop or shake or two, all mammals take about 21 seconds to drain a kidney. Ahuh, like you’re not going to be timing yourself the next time around now . . .
The Top 5 Most Scary Places in Bangkok is a nice list of haunted houses your boy du jour will probably not thank you for taking him to. While I thought this link was appropriate for the Halloween season, my ulterior motive is in hoping someone out there has a bit more info on the “Old Bus Garage, Soi Sai Yud” that’s mentioned. Google is of no help and it sounds like a cool place to visit.
What’s the best method for scaring off evil spirits? In Bhutan everyone agrees there is nothing that will keep you safe from harm like a giant penis. And ya can’t argue with that. Glenn was kind enough to share one of his penis shots from the country late last year, this article provides the backstory on the front story.
Social media is widely used by irate consumers who feel they’ve been ripped off and want to warn others as well as get a bit of payback. Real or not, this gentleman from Singapore wasn’t happy about what he got when purchasing a penis enlargement device on-line.
Aznboiluv is the Tumblr photo blog of a rice queen in a long distance relationship with a Singaporean guy that features lots of juicy NSFW naked Asian male flesh pix, though it’s easy to tell what it is about his boyfriend he misses the most.
If you’ve never noticed, there are a lot of ugly penises in the world. Some could even be considered down right creepy. If yours isn’t included among those but you still want to scare the crap out of some unlucky guy, you may consider picking up one of these creepy dildos and give your next trick a real treat. I’m just not sure who the intended market is for ‘the Venereal Vinnie’ model ‘cuz I’d think most guys wouldn’t think open sores and STD bumps on a penis are erotic. But then I don’t get that golden shower thingy either.
If you’re looking for a scary movie to watch for Halloween and don’t want to sit through another showing of your buddy’s home movies from his last visit to Sunee Plaza, 2009’s Bangkok Ghost Stories, originally known as Buppah Rahtree 3.1in Thailand and as Rahtree Reborn internationally is available on DVD. More importantly, it stars cutey Mario Maurer who you probably lusted over in Love of Siam. The trailer is here. Or better yet, just watch Love of Siam to see Mario get his gay on again instead.
And/or you can enjoy this slightly over 1 minute video from Attitude Magazine of the hot 24-year-old Thai/German heart throb from when Mario graced their cover.
Robert sent in this link to an article, Gay Student Will Lose His Virginity As An Act Of Performance Art, about a 19-year-old London art school student who plans on losing his butt virginity in front of a gallery full of spectators. Dunno if he has a future in the art world, but he could probably land a spot on stage at a gogo bar in Bangkok. And it probably pays better too. Thanks Robert?
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Not long ago I highlighted a reader’s comment – in two parts – in which he told the story of his first time visit to Soi Twilight, by posting it as an article rather than just as a comment to a post I’d written. It was an entertainingly written tale and much more interesting than whatever it was I’d originally thought about posting that day. Its appeal was twofold: for old hands it stirred pleasant memories from years gone by; for newbies it was instructional, another view of what to expect upon entering Bangkok’s gogo bar world for the first time. Posting that reader’s story was not intended as the beginning of a new recurring category for this blog.
Andi, who has been sharing his story of not only his first visit but the subsequent one too as comments to various posts began his tale before that one came in. His too provides a good example of one man’s inaugural experience with the bar boys of Bangkok. I didn’t/haven’t posted his as an article, but thinking about it now should go back and dig those out. I love reading about other’s experiences, it’s why I first began reading the message boards. At one time those type of tales were common. Nowadays, not so much. I mean I’m glad you had a wonderful time in Thailand, but a trip report that is nothing more but a long list of orgasms bought and paid for is a bit boring. Nice for you that you offed a bar boy who had a massive cock, but it does little to add to the record. Even if it did add another notch to your bed post.
Now, fresh off the press, comes another first timer’s tale, this one about Tawan. It too was submitted as a comment. But it’s an engagingly told tale and humorously written to boot. Even though the writer makes that annoying British error of inserting an S into words that are supposed to have a Z. Despite that petty annoyance, there’s wisdom here too. “It’s not what you pay; it’s whether you consider you’ve gotten the value from the expense” sums up the entire issue of how much? succinctly. I’ve always felt that attitude plays a much mor significant role in whether your time spent in the bars and with the guys is a success or not. Whether it is your first or 500th visit. And it sounds like Caleb’s introduction to Tawan was quite the success:
Gentlemen, each of our experiences (above) differ, but each comes down to (a) the bar on the night, (b) communication and (c) the attitude with which one approaches both sides of the baht. I love muscle, I love smooth, brown skin. Put the two together and I chose Tawan as a starting point for getting ‘Soi’led. As well, having the sort of guide that says, “Go on, swim.” and then tells you where the deep end is and how deep, what could I do but test the scenario? Herewith two nights.
Background: on my way to BKK I purchased some of what I consider ’General Reading’ magazines: DNA magazine, OUT magazine and a body-building magazine. I also had travelled Business Class where they hand out those little packs with eye-shades and toothbrushes in them.
So, given all the parameters studded within the First-timers Guide I – V, I managed to choose a hotel close to a bar that stocked my predilection, reconnoitre the area during the day while the bars were closed, counted the streets from A to B, noted the landmarks to and fro, filled my wallet with an estimation based on the Guide and then buggered off to have a manicure.
The hotel I chose had a promotion that gave – among other things – a voucher to a male-only beauty salon which comprised a free facial, manicure and pedicure. I hadn’t shaved, so I thought the facial was out until I mentioned it to the non-English speaking Thai apprentice who queried my comments with the manager. Can do – they did shaves! Heaven. One more thing to cross off my must-do list. So I had a manicure, a pedicure, a man shave me (such a sexy feeling, so sleek) and a facial (with a limb massage as this-and-that was waiting to dry), all for B600 / $10. I’m staying here again! I gave the guy that dealt with my peripheries and the guy that did the facial and massage B300 / $5 each, for which they pled their troth for eternity. Do you remember the opening scenes from Liasons Dangeroux, where John Malkovich wakes and dresses for his meeting with Glenn Close? Same same but different: I went in at three and floated out at just before eight. I was in the zone.
Then to the Tawan, my go-go bar of choice, a block away. I followed the First-timers Guide as closely as I could remember:
Tipped the captain [x],
didn’t stop and gawk [x],
sat nonchalantly and smiled at all and sundry [x],
bought drinks for them as the ‘boys’ turned up at the table [x],
didn’t wave anyone away [x].
agreed to shout the three best boys to dinner [x]
apologised to a fourth, but said I’d be back tomorrow night [x]
convivially told them to order what they wanted [x]
went back to the hotel room and chatted [x]
bought out the muscle mag [triumph!]
I explained en route that the night would not necessarily involve sex. Well, Foucault me if their jaws didn’t drop when I said that I just wanted to chill and talk. “But what about sex?”, they each said to each other and then to me. “We can’t go back to the [go-go bar] now! We’re full and sleepy. Sure you don’t want something from us?” (Thinks: No, lads, but you are now under my Nice Guy spell. I’ll see you all tomorrow night.) Sex would have ruined the moment of having three body builders on my bed and unmasked me for the cad I am; tomorrow night runs to a different script.
I ended up gaining face by not wanting head; I ogled, touched through clothes while comparing with the magazine, had a jolly chat about where we’d been (none of us from Bangkok: one Isan Thai, one Yunnan Thai and one very, very, very cute English-speaking Lao boy… well, men – all of them), then they left intact and new best friends; they’ll relay all this to their buddies at the bar. I have laid the groundwork for another night that will be much more visceral.
It’s not what you pay; it’s whether you consider you’ve gotten the value from the expense.
As predicated in the First Timers’ Guide, I was hailed upon entry to Tawan last night, except that I turned up before 8PM, their clock-on time (literally – they have to bundy on). I wanted to see the befores and the afters. And I did, muscle lads playing dominoes, smoking, pumping up on equipment and caffeine, all dressed. I was welcomed by the captain, met by the boys from the previous night with out-stretched hands which they avoided by hugging me instead. (Fine by me). I had a drink, explained to the lads that I would be dining alone and acquainting myself with the area before returning at a decent time. They begged that I let them walk with me.
(Lesson: the boys would rather not be on stage.)
So, into the night . . .
I just ushered three straight body builders from my hotel room after a mutually negotiated and mutually satisfying sex session. I tried to run a dignified show, but then these boys took over and four men got off in their own time and in their own way, with no-one’s borders being crossed nor dignity compromised. (For study purposes, each of them was well to very well endowed, and this from what amounts to a random sampling.) Towels and pillows everywhere, but boys are such slobs. I paid each the base rate of B2000 plus another 1000 under various pretexts, so $100 each for a full-on fantasy scenario. Going out drinking with them tomorrow night – to their places. I know one will come back with me, and he’s beautiful. I have a handful of dreams a-comin’.
I’m keeping the complementary toiletries bag for another slim young thing I found at Nature Boys. (What? I was a Boy Scout – be prepared. And know your market.)
Not bad for a first-timer, methinks.
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As promised, Lucky sent in this great Ubiquitous Plastic Stool Shot! he took at Wat U-Mong in Chiang Mai. I like the rattan chair that photo-bombed the shot. I’ll be sending a copy to Noom who hasn’t quite figured out why I take so many Ubiquitous Plastic Stool Shots! but always points them out to me anyway. Not because this one will make any more sense to him, but that blue chair stacked on top of the red ones will drive his OCD tendencies crazy.
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Today is Chulalongkorn Day in Thailand. Which if you are in the kingdom right now, thanks to time zones, you’ve already discovered is one of those pesky Thai holidays that are meant to be celebrated dry. People talk about culture shock when visiting Thailand; I doubt there is anything quite as shocking to an American tourist than the idea you’d celebrate a holiday without getting drunk. We’re firm believers in the spirit of any holiday being celebrated with the spirits of your choice. Much in the same way that Aussies celebrate Monday. Or any other day of the week.
Being an experienced traveller to Thailand today, I can look down my nose at those poor slobs who bemoan the lack of liquid fun in Thai holidays. While each, as unpronounceable as the next, holds a special place in the hearts, minds, and morals of Buddhists, they are all celebrated on the message boards with the traditional post of someone whining about the lack of available booze. “You poor slobs,” I laugh. “Get your heads out of your bottle of gin and go honor the day with the locals.” That’s good, if not particularly polite, advice. Being in Thailand during a major holiday observance shouldn’t be viewed as one of Dante’s circles of hell. It’s an opportunity. Both to dry out your liver and to go watch the celebrations at a local wat. Not that that has always been the case for me. When you are a newbie to Thailand finding out you’ll have to spend one of the days of your holiday sober really puts a dampener on your vacation.
Back in my early days my favorite running partner for Thailand holidays was my buddy Dave, who was – and still is – a functioning alcoholic extraordinaire. I don’t think Dave has been sober since he turned 12. So, as you can imagine, he’s lots of fun to be around. As a travel partner he couldn’t be beat. Even back before the internet made exploring the world a breeze, anywhere we went in the world Dave knew what and where the hottest bars were before we even landed. It was his contribution to our travels. I’d book tickets, transpo, and hotels. Dave would have a list of every bar we needed to visit, categorized by those promising to be the most fun versus those more suited for getting a good buzz on. And Bangkok was no exception.
Patpong, of course, was easy. And we spent more nights getting blitzed in Thailand’s most famous red light district than anywhere else. But we also occasionally exchanged shot glasses for the pleasures of Nana and Soi Cowboy. Not that we only drank at seedy beer and gogo bars. That was our late-night entertainment. We’d start our nights off in the early afternoon – or morning as we called it – visiting one of the city’s popular watering holes that neglected to include naked flesh on their menu. Blues clubs, jazz clubs, or any bar with an extensive list of scotch were our favorites. Any bar we walked past, or any small, rickety, decrepit table squatting down some small dark soi being manned by a Thai or two with whiskey bottle in hand worked just as well.
Local clubs, which back then were still called discos, weren’t off our radar either. You can easily feel like a fish out of water the first time you walk into a local club in Bangkok. Thais have their own way of partying. But Dave’s DNA was familiar with any style of drinking and he immediately knew not only how and why to order a bottle, but the pros and cons of ordering a bottle of Johnnie Walker versus the local rot-gut named after and probably made with the waters of SE Asia’s most famous river. I hate to think about how many near empty bottles, level carefully marked and displaying our names, still sit on some dusty shelf of bars throughout Bangkok and its environs, waiting for our return. I’m sure those drinks not taken are cause for tears to spring in Dave’s eyes too. But the Thai clubs were always a blast. We spent a lot of nights partying with locals who didn’t speak our language any more than we spoke theirs. When you speak 80 proof, language is never a barrier.
Thais who make their living off touri appreciate those who spend freely. And when you are a functioning alcoholic, or travelling with one, spending freely is not optional. I suppose you could be miserly and only keep your own glass full, but half of the fun of partying is the camaraderie of those who you are helping to get as equally blitzed. Halfway through our inaugural trip to the kingdom we’d become fast friends with and the favorite customers of Somchai, a bartendress who worked at one of Patpong’s largest beer bars. She kept our glasses full, the ladyboys away, and taught us the finer skills of playing Connect 4. We put her kids through college and rebuilt half of her home village.
The night market was already in full swing in Patpong back then, but seedy still ruled the day. Guidebooks warned tourists away from Patpong instead of encouraging a visit like they do now. It was a different time, a different crowd. You never saw straight-laced couples with kids in tow wandering the sois. In fact, the only children you saw in Patpong back then were either beggars or for sale. We ignored those being trafficked, and quickly learned when money was at stake that any Thai child 8 years of age or older can drink a farang under the table any day of the week. Functioning alcoholic or not.
There were real bars in Patpong back then too. I mean drinking establishments as opposed to places peddling flesh disguised as a place peddling booze. Free-lancers were always part of the scene, far too many of whom were of the third gender, but between Dave’s love of booze and our obvious bromance most left us alone. Or scored a free drink and then left us alone. It made for a great night out of bar hopping; we’d start out at Somchai’s bar, have a few, wander a circuitous route up Patpong 1, down Patpong 2 hitting bar after bar with the occasional digression over to Soi Thaniya to laugh at the expression on the girls’ faces when we tried to enter one of the Japanese clubs, before heading back to spend more quality time with Somchai who often already had our next round poured and who more often than not quickly booted whatever unlucky farang who thought they’d found a place to drink off of the bar stools that had become our official home away from home in Bangkok. So you can imagine our shock when we attempted to start off our traditional pub crawl one night at Somchai’s bar when instead of shots of liquid gold she greeted us with a sorrowful, “No have!”
Huh. The problem with holidays in Thailand is that they are not those celebrated back in the States. They give a nod to our high days like Christmas, but that’s more about financial gain than it is about the holiday itself. Instead, they sneak their own in. Chulalongkorn Day, Makha Bucha Day . . . who in the hell knows what those are or when they occur? Much less why they exist. Most touri wouldn’t even know a holiday is being celebrated except all of a sudden, without warning, getting a drink in a town known for drinking is nigh impossible. And only a Buddhist would think the best way to celebrate a holiday is to lock up the liquor cabinet. For us it was a rude introduction to Thailand’s holiday customs. And Dave’s liver was not pleased.
But this is Thailand where rules are not made to be broken as much as they are made to be ignored. Somchai, with Papa’s retirement fund at stake, came to our rescue. After handling the pesky little matter of paying the bar fine on her behalf – a custom we’d become familiar with as we’d routinely off a handful of her bar mates at closing to go hit the after-hours clubs – she led us on her own version of touring Patpong, enriched with the local knowledge of which bars were serving up booze disguised as a cup of coffee. Or in local parlance, “Have!”
Have! and Not Have! were the first Thai words I learned.
I don’t remember which dive was the first where Somchai made a grand sweeping, welcoming motion with her arm while announcing, “Have!” but it didn’t matter. Dave’s system cried out for sustenance. And we toasted whatever in the hell that damn holiday was with camouflaged drinks before heading off to the next watering hole who honored cash above Buddha. As we approached each of our normal stops, with Dave displaying a hopeful look on his face, Somchai would grandly announce our chances. “Not Have!” was the more frequent assessment. “Have!” meant a round or two before playing another round of Have/Not Have. It turned out that for a dry holiday Patpong was quite damp.
As with most traumatic events in life, Not Have! quickly receded in our memories. Remembering bad times is never fun. Have! however became Dave’s new battle cry. Where once he’d mumble, “Let’s try this place” as we approached some new bar, after experiencing our first Thai holiday, anywhere in the world we traveled he’d instead let loose with the succinct and welcoming cry of, “Have!” It worked just as well when buying a six pack, or celebrating a successful take-off as soon as some unlucky flight attendant was given the green light for serving drinks.
We’d discovered the ping pong show bars of Patpong fairly early in our travels to Thailand, visited a few, and then crossed them off our list since they were more about selling pussy than selling liquor. The bars on Soi Cowboy were a bit less risque, selling lady drinks was a big part of their business. So those hit the mark even if your shot did come with a pair of tits. Eventually we discovered the gay gogo bars that offered a better vice than booze. In my opinion. Dave, who likes to claim he’s straight, wasn’t as thrilled with the boys on stage but since they too came with a drink he allowed me to indulge to my heart’s desire. On subsequent visits, as more and more gay gogo bars opened their doors, I co-opted his battle cry for my own. “Have!” took on a whole new meaning for me. And Bangkok was never the same again.
I’m an old hand at Bangkok and the pleasures it offers now. And Dave isn’t as free to travel as much as he once was. In the past, my liver just tagged along for the ride. So now when I find myself in Bangkok during a Buddhist holiday, I take it in stride and go find locals to celebrate their day with as Buddha and the government intended. Dave’s cry of “Have!” no longer echoes down the sois of Patpong. But it still does make a small entrance in my mind every time I walk onto Soi Twilight on the first night of my trip. Having a Buddhist holiday pop up in the middle of your vacation doesn’t have to be the end of your good times. But if you are smart, you’ll find out when they are and just avoid them like the plague.
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