Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Thai Golf: The Buddy Trip Writ Large

Strolling down the main drag in Pattaya, Thailand, the local clocks ticking toward 11 p.m., I am reminded of the golf destinations we North Americans regard as desirable.

Front and center is the golf component, of course. Normally it’s the primary factor in determining quality or desirability. But there’s no denying that packs of (primarily) male golfers generally prize golfing locales for their nightlife, too. Any gaggle of 8-12 golfing buddies will include a few lads determined to rip it up each night, though their desires are often offset by a few compatriots who’d just as soon play poker in the condo. And so there is equilibrium. However, still, it seems the destination must offer some degree of lascivious attraction — if only to get the hard-partying faction on the plane. Think Myrtle Beach and its strip of nightclubs and bars. Think Vegas and its many diversions.

I consider the different buddy trips I’ve experienced, in these very locales, and I laugh to myself as another sultry Thai evening obliges me to wipe the beads from my perspiring brow. The Walking Street in Pattaya, ground zero for the city’s famously over-the-top nightlife, frankly makes an evening in Vegas look like a night in Amish Country.

Blocked to vehicular traffic (save a series of small open-air trucks that continuously circle the downtown area, picking up patrons and dropping them off, for a dollar), Pattaya’s Walking Street stretches several kilometers along the beachfront. Either side of this thoroughfare is fairly well riddled with some of the craziest nightclub scenes you can possibly imagine. If you’ve never been to Thailand, you will have to imagine it — because you’ve surely never seen anything like it.

This is the primary take-away from my 10 days golfing across Thailand: There is such a breadth of experiences to be had that, after a point, all comparisons tend to pale.

For starters, it’s a big country — from Chiang Mai in the north to Phuket in the south it’s some 750 miles, or about the distance from Boston to Myrtle Beach. In other words, it’s too big to be climatically or culturally monolithic. This explains the striking contrast between the cool-highlands of mountainous Chiang Rai, hard by the Burmese and Lao borders, and the utterly tropical environs of Koh Samui, an island off the east coast of Thailand’s tendril-like southern reach, in the Gulf of Siam. Chiang Mai feels loose and slightly bohemian, like an overgrown backpacker haven, while Bangkok is the picture of a glittering, modern, bustling, gargantuan metropolis; Hua Hin is a quiet, gracious, retiring, seaside retreat while Pattaya… isn’t.

You’ll never rake a bunker in Thailand. In the Kingdom, that’s a caddie’s job and it’s but one benefit of the country’s utter reliance on 80- to 115-pound loopers. Yes, they’re all female and they’re a constant at every course in Thailand. Take a cart? They’ll drive it. Feel like driving? They’ll ride on the back. Walking? They’ll pull the trolley. All of this is done with unfailing courtesy and a solid understanding of the course. Club selection? I’d handle that yourself — but that’s my feeling toward all caddies.

In a place like Thailand, with its walking streets and massage parlors, the whole caddie phenomenon tends to elicit raised eyebrows from the uninitiated, but trust me: There is absolutely nothing sexual about the Thai caddie experience. For starters, despite the heat, they are completely swathed in clothing from head to toe, complete with long sleeves and gloves. Such is the standard of female beauty in Thailand: Tans are not fashionable for women, at all, and caddies go to great lengths to avoid them. Second, they are all business.  In most cases they are far too busy fixing ball marks, putting sand in divots and raking bunkers to flirt with you.

Some of the best caddies we experienced were served up back in Bangkok at the sporty Muang Kaew Golf Club, where conditions included near-100 degree temperatures and not a breath of wind. Our caddies never wavered — until we did. My two playing partners and I ditched the back nine, paid full caddie fees, and made three friends for life. Then we went for a massage in the clubhouse, a typically sterling facility in a country where they hew to a very high standard.

Asian clubhouses in general make their American counterparts look downright dowdy. Yet because Thai clubhouses cater to so many Asian golfing tourists, they are borderline palatial — how else to impress the Japanese or Korean who is used to merely opulent clubhouses back home? Massage rooms are standard fare in Thai clubhouses. Locker rooms are cavernous, as each golfer is assigned a locker at no charge, as a matter of course. After the round one is expected to shower, don a change of clothes, and kick back for several hours in the bar or restaurant. It’s a damned fine ethic, if you ask me.

It’s the organic quality of the golf culture here that resonates, we decide. Unlike some Asian nations where golf is nothing but a modern development gambit, or others where a colonial overlord foisted golf on the culture, Thailand came to the game on its own. The Thais really do love their golf. We decide they have every right to feel that way: We love it, too.

Ed: Great article on golf in Thailand at the A Position. The above is an extract but if you like your golf, it's worth reading the full article.

Pattaya Rag


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Monday, 27 September 2010

Rewards for tip offs on Pattaya drug dealers

DEA banners all over Pattaya are offering a reward for tip-offs on drug dealers. 
If I was a farang in the supply chain I'd make sure I didn't upset my Thai girlfriend anytime soon. Get her angry and she's just one phone call away from cashing in......... It's you or a new pair of shoes!!! No competition. A risky lifestyle just got even riskier. Bit like delivering nitro in an horse and cart down a bumpy road.....

The DEA Thai web site is Dea-Rewards.

Sex change operations in Thailand - one third of the cost elsewhere

Using a penis to create a vagina is relatively easy, compared to the surgical difficulty of constructing a penis with a clitoris.

Thailand's most famous transgender surgeon, Dr. Preecha Tiewtranon, bends people both ways. "I have done more than 3,500 of this kind of operation in 30 years," Preecha says during an interview at his modern, three-story, white-walled Preecha Aesthetic Institute on upmarket Thonglor Road.After a surgeon slices off the male organ, and plumps the breasts with implants, the newly created woman can usually enjoy sexual relations and climax, he says.

"Eighty percent have a relationship with a man. The rest become the so-called lesbian. About 80 percent of the patients are able to get the orgasm," Preecha says, describing the result of a male-to-female sex change.

Displaying excruciatingly graphic medical photos on his computer's screen, Preecha explains why it is much more difficult to turn a woman into a man. The medical and cosmetic problems convince most women to opt for a very small penis, instead of an average-sized longer one.  "Today, we have more and more patients wanting the so-called 'small penis,' or the 'micro penis.' We usually elongate the clitoris, and the patient is able to have about one-inch of a penis.........

Ed. I can't post any more of this, it's making my eyes water.... To read the full article, go to The Free Press.

Pattaya Rag


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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Drink, drugs and sex on the beach: Is THIS what your teenager is up to on their gap year in Thailand?

Full moon party

Were it not for the waves of green, clinking beer bottles, you’d think the hundreds of inert bodies strewn along the shore had washed up dead.

Behind them, many more youngsters are slumped, their heads between their knees, ­vomiting into the sand. 

Then there are the men urinating in the sea and an array of naked couples bobbing up and down in the water. The sordid scene is lit by a beautiful, white full moon. But then this is the Full Moon Party on Thailand’s Koh Phangan island — the most renowned and revered experience on every backpacker’s itinerary.

Every month, 10,000 youngsters gather here and many of them are British middle-class school leavers for whom a trip to Thailand — and the rich cultural experiences it has to offer — has become a rite of passage. 

Well, that’s what their parents would hope as they wave their offspring off at the airport.

But the sad reality includes spectacles such as this on Haad Rin beach.

Read the full article at The Mail Online

Pattaya Rag


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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Thai Region Where Husbands Are Imported

The most dazzling creatures Nui Davis saw when she was a child were the village girls who had found foreign husbands, visiting in their Western finery and handing out candies to the children.

“For me, they were like a princess,” she said. “And I kept those pictures in my mind, and I made a wish that one day I would like to be one of those ladies.”

Today, at the age of 30, she lives with her husband, Joseph Davis of Fresno, California, in an air-conditioned, three-bedroom house with a driveway and basketball hoop, surrounded by flower beds and a well-kept lawn.

“My family keeps saying, ‘You got it. You got your dream now,”’ she said.

But unlike many other foreign husbands, Mr. Davis, 54, did not take his wife home with him, choosing instead to settle down in northeastern Thailand, a region known as Isaan.

He is part of an expanding population of nearly 11,000 foreign husbands in the region, drawn by the low cost of living, slow pace of life and the exotic reputation of Thai women — something like a brand name for Western men seeking Asian partners. “Thai women are a lot like women in America were 50 years ago,” said Mr. Davis, before they discovered their rights and became “strong-headed and opinionated.”

Read the full article at The New York Times

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Friday, 24 September 2010

Visa Overstay - Jail time for foreigners

Allegedly tired of overstaying foreigners arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport with a valid air ticket and the maximum fine of 20,000 baht in their hands, the Immigration Department is now arresting and jailing people before permitting them to leave Thailand.

Anybody who has overstayed a valid visa in Thailand beyond a period of six weeks (42 days) is no longer permitted to simply turn up with the cash and an air ticket and leave the country after filling in a few forms and handing over the wedge.

For full story see Edition 1 of Pattaya One out 1 October.

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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thailand's Golden Triangle was once the opium capital of Asia and can offer travellers both history and trekking

You have to travel a long way to find an opium museum. And then, when you do, there's another one almost next door. These two idiosyncratic tourist attractions – the only opium museums in the world – are to be found in the Thai town of Sop Ruak, at the confluence of the Nam Ruak and Mekong rivers, where Thailand, Burma and Laos collide. At one time, Sop Ruak was a key player in a trade in opium that earned this strikingly beautiful part of the world the name "Golden Triangle".

Now it is a bustling tourist centre where Western backpackers and coachloads of Asian visitors enjoy the sight of dazzling golden Buddhas and pop into the plethora of shops and restaurants that now line the promenade – before setting off on jungle treks.

Read the full article at The Telegraph

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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

HTC Desire HD - A closer look

This phone is the D.B. It would be perfect for submitting real time posts from Walking Street to this blog and Facebook. Now, how long is it to Christmas!

2010 Koh Samui International Jazz Festival, 24th - 30th September

The annual Koh Samui International Jazz Festival kicks off this weekend and will last for one solid week of jazz filled fun. The party starts on Friday the 24th of September and will go on till Thursday September 30th.

Over 20 international jazz acts will join local Thailand jazz bands on 11 stages throughout the island for a total of 42 shows, and best of all it’s FREE!

For more information on all the great upcoming events in Thailand please check out the Thailand Events Calender.

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Best/Worst cover versions

Rock trio Muse have been lauded for the greatest cover version of all time, with their rendition of Feeling Good. The band's cover of the track - originally made famous by Nina Simone - topped a poll of music fans, beating performances by the Clash, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Buckley. More than 15,000 music fans took part in the poll, which placed Twist And Shout by The Beatles in second place and Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails song Hurt at three.

Luke Lewis, deputy editor of NME.com, said: "The cover versions we love are generally the ones that radically overhaul the original."

The Top 10 best and worst rankings were:

Top 10 best cover versions:

1. Muse - Feeling Good.
2. The Beatles - Twist and Shout.
3. Johnny Cash - Hurt.
4. Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe.
5. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night.
6. The Clash - I Fought The Law.
7. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah.
8. Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower.
9. Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine.
10. The White Stripes - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself.

Top 10 worst cover versions:

1. Britney Spears - I Love Rock 'N' Roll.
2. Ronan Keating - Fairytale Of New York.
3. Celine Dion - You Shook Me All Night Long.
4. Take That - Smells Like Teen Spirit.
5. M People - Itchycoo Park.
6. Robbie Williams - Song 2.
7. Will Young - Light My Fire.
8. Madonna - American Pie.
9. Limp Bizkit - Faith.
10. Mark Ronson - No One Knows.

Ed. I reckon Madonna should have tied at No. 1 Worst for her cover of American Pie. The question is did she think she could improve on Don Mclean's classic original or was she just out to make money? 

Pattaya Rag


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Why supermarket Viagra might be a bad idea

Tesco’s plan to follow high street rival Boots and start selling Viagra next week in the UK without a doctor’s prescription could be a bad idea, according to pensions experts. Yes, that’s right; pensions experts.

You might wonder what they would know about it and why they should care. The answer rests on the law of unintended consequences – just as the original discovery of the best-selling drug, Viagra, did.

“The advent of Viagra has been important. Whereas many men in their fifties and sixties were very reluctant to take medical advice a decade or more ago, the drug has encouraged men to go and see their doctor. As a result, other problems are being identified at an early stage and this is having a beneficial effect on male life expectancy.”

More than 30m men have been prescribed Viagra since its discovery in 1998. Whether its beneficial impact on life expectancy will continue when it can be obtained without the need to see a doctor is open to question. But Tesco, which will sell the drug at 300 of its stores next Monday, stressed that a pharmacist will make each sale and customers will be vetted. They will have to complete a questionnaire and have their blood pressure and cholesterol measured, as well as undergo a test for diabetes.

Read the full article at The Telegraph

Ed. I guess the real message here is you should have regular medical check ups regardless of the need for a prescription to buy Viagra. Statistics don't lie..... Hmmm..

Pattaya Rag


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Monday, 20 September 2010

Interested in property in Thailand - Try Keyhole

Interested in property in Thailand and want to see them on the most intesting and entertaining format - video? Maybe you are after a bargain or want to see emerging areas like Rayong? You have to join Through the Key Hole (Pattaya, Thailand). Its the most fun you can have on Facebook (well, maybe).

Pattaya Rag


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Sunday, 19 September 2010

David Beckham visits £26 a time Thai massage parlour

DAVID Beckham leaves a cheap massage parlour after a late night therapy session in Los Angeles.

The England and LA Galaxy striker visited the Lamai Thai Massage shop last week when wife Victoria was in Britain.

He paid $40 (£26) for a full-hour treatment before jumping into his minder's waiting car at 10.15pm for the 14-mile trip home.

There are dozens of parlours closer to Becks' LA mansion - and he has a massage therapist and physiotherapist provided by Galaxy to help him recover from a torn Achilles tendon.

Read the full article at The News of the World.

Pattaya Rag


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Golfers spoiled for choice in Thailand

You can go up the Red Mountain or down the Blue Canyon. You can climb the Black Mountain or just stay on the Plantation. The choice is yours. Then, there are about 200 other choices you can make if you take to Thailand for golf.

Not everyone who wears red shirts or yellow shirts in that country is interested in driving and putting and there is no doubt that events this year have hurt the country's tourism. One result is that golf courses are quieter than usual and some are offering good deals to attract back those who have stayed away.

On a trip at the end of June, we played seven courses in seven days. It was the rainy season - and there was plenty of it - but most of it at night and we did not get wet once. Several times we finished as the black clouds rolled in and once, at Black Mountain, near Hua Hin, it was thundering down as we had lunch, but the weather was perfect 40 minutes later when we played.

At Lam Luk Ka, near Bangkok, we had finished playing when the heavens opened in the early afternoon. Sometimes you get lucky. You usually get lucky with the delightful caddies employed at every course. At Blue Canyon, one engaging elf not only had the clubs of a large golfer, but the strength to cheerfully pretend to push same large golfer up the steps to the clubhouse. At Black Mountain, the caddie had a ball marker with a crossed-out "Three Putt" message. We soon disabused her of that idea. Of course, a four-putt was not what she had in mind.

There are as many types of course in Thailand as anywhere, but, on the whole, those round Bangkok tend to be flat and use water to increase the interest and difficulty. The resort courses in places such as Hua Hin, Pattaya, Chiang Mai or Phuket are more scenic.


Red Mountain Golf Club, Kathu, Phuket. www.redmountainphuket.com.

Blue Canyon Country Club, Thalang, Phuket. www.bluecanyonclub.com.

Siam Country Club, Pattaya. www.siamcountryclub.com.

Burapha Golf and Resort. www.buraphagolfthailand.com.

Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin. www.bmghuahin.com.

Banyan Golf Club Tab Tai, Hua Hin. www.banyanthailand.com.

Lam Luk Ka Golf and Country Club, Patumthani. www.lamlukkagolf.net.

Read the full article at The West

Ed. There are 25 courses within easy driving distance of Pattaya alone. The quality of the courses for the fees charged really does make Thailand a golfer's paradise. 

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On The Town with Casnovy, Sapphire and Paris

I did a tour of Walking Street on Friday and a couple of bars left a good impression on me.

Casnovy has added two jacussis at the Street end of the bar since I was last there and the place was really buzzing. Lots of staff and lots of customers. Only negative was bottled beer at Bt120/-.

I got to Sapphire  Club, (Soi 15), after Alexey's party had finished but the place was still great fun. The girls were extremely friendly and game for a laugh. Will definately get a second opinion of the place the next time I am down that way.

Paris in Soi Diamond has re-opened and was packed with staff but had few customers. It's a bar that seems to be off most people's GPS but just as with Sapphire, it's a bar that's worth a beer of your time.

Generally, I thought the Street was pretty busy and I think the Eid Holiday may have something to do with that. I reckon thinks will start to quieten down a bit now and we should soon be entering a period where the 'old boys' are once again 'sexy men'!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

What harm can it do?

A Thai City of Sleaze Tries to Clean Up Its Act

An article in the New York Times by Thomas Fuller.

The article contains little new. Regurgitates many well worn negatives about Pattaya's sex industry and how it was all started by G.I.s on R&R from Vietnam. Moves on to Pattaya's attempts to clean up it's act and job done. A few column inches filled and few dollars more in his pocket.

Thing is the article feels like it was written from afar. Fuller states it takes 2 hours to drive from Bangkok to Pattaya. Not the last time I drove it it didn't. He also mentions Sexy Airline bar on Walking Street. I guess he means Airport Club. Yes, Sexy Airline is on the frontage but Airport is clearly the name of the bar.

Unfortunately Fuller has to finish the article as he started..... "We thought Amsterdam was the sex capital of the world," said Ms Bidenko, 28. "But now that I've been here, I think Amsterdam is a perfectly respectable city. He has to be joking, surely.

An extract of the article follows. Quote:

Somewhere in the world there may be a city with a more seedy reputation, a place more devoted to the sex industry and more notorious as a haven for criminals on the lam. But probably not.

When dusk comes to this beach resort, a sea of pink neon bulbs casts a pale glow onto the thickly made-up faces of thousands of women (and some men) who sit on bar stools waiting for their patrons.

If Las Vegas is Sin City, Pattaya is a bear hug from Lucifer himself.

And yet, amid the back alleys jammed with girlie bars and a beachfront peopled with what the Thais euphemistically call “service women,” there are signs of change..........


Pattaya Rag


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Fat Gut’z Bangkok: A fish and chips saloon for sexy people

Beautiful Bangkokians come to Fat Gut'z for the fish, but they stay for the drinks.

Bangkok’s Fat Gut’z Saloon promises delivery and take away, but on a recent Thursday night there’s a line of people outside the door who seem to want neither -- and they certainly aren’t there just for the fish and chips.

On the sidewalk, Smirnoff “pretties” tie bracelets on milky-white wrists while behind the tinted windows a raucous, well-dressed crowd chases vodka shots to the upbeat tunes of a Parking Toys regular band. The event is a 500 baht entry party that recalls the headier days of the Thaksin era when the drinks seemed to flow more freely.

So what is Fat Gut’z exactly? The two-floor, narrow Saloon is, in part, a restaurant, specializing in oysters (850 baht for a dozen), salt and pepper squid (280 baht), fish and chips (450 baht) and a small menu of other items.

Read the full article at CnnGo

For the record, CnnGo write some of the best articles on Thai life, including nightlife.

Pattaya Rag


TTTT - Time for Top Thai Talent........

The fastest ISPs in your area

Ookla Net Index – Are you planning to switch to a better local ISP? If yes, then do not select the next ISP based on the ‘great’ packages they advertise. Instead, base your decision on real speed tests of all local ISP users. Through Ookla Net Index you can view a summary of those real speed tests.

Read more: Ookla Net Index: Find The Fastest ISP In Your Area

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TTTT - Joyce K.

Joyce Kanchalee's photo.

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Phenpak's photo

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Great time at Route 66*, somewhere*
dont think like that ah sis ♥ love u ♥
by:Phenphak Thonthanoo"

Sunday, 12 September 2010

DON DIABLO - Bed Supperclub

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DON DIABLO ★ DON DIABLO ★ SEPT. 9TH Photos courtesy of www.johnbeara.com (Lifestyle Asia)
by:Bed Supperclub"

Popscene Gold 80'S NIGHT!!! - Bangkok Rocks

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Location: Bangkok Rocks, Sukumvit Soi 19
Time: Saturday, 18 September 2010 21:00"

Defected in the House - Shock 39

DEFECTED IN THE HOUSE featuring COPYRIGHT @ SHOCK 39 BKK  Location:Soi 39 New Petchaburi Road, Bangkok 
Time: Saturday, 16 October 2010 22:00


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