Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I am in the sex capital of Thailand and probably the world. My conclusions - I need to learn Russian!

I have made it to Thailand, country number 3 of the tour and I am now just over 3 months and 1 week into my travels. It is fair to say that I am settling into it all really well and I have no idea if I will ever be able to get back into a 'normal' life again. I think we will move on from that though as I still have 18 months until I need to seriously think about that, so back to the present.

My last few days in Nepal were uneventful apart from going to the cinema to watch a Bollywood film with Jennie, a girl I met through Rachael, and then also spending one day confined to my room with a Delhi belly!
I left Nepal on Jan 12th and my flight to Bangkok included an 18hr stop over in Delhi - my most hated city in the world to date.
However, as I am now more travel savy and have spent close to 2 mths in India I decided to face up to Delhi head on and give it another go. I had time to kill afterall.
I landed in Delhi at 17:30pm raring to go and at 18:30pm I was still stood at the baggage corousel wondering where the hell my bag was. As everything in India is done in its own time it wasn't until 19:30pm that I was told that my bag had been transferred to the holding bay for the next flight to Bangkok. I had no issue with this but it would've been nice if I was told this in Kathmandu and hadn't wasted nearly 2 hours.
In a way this was much more convinient for me as now it was just me and my 'man bag' so I made my way to the metro station to hit Delhi large only to discover that it was closed! My only choices were to get an expensive taxi to and from the airport into the city or just wait it out until 12:30pm the next day for my flight. In the end I chose the latter purely down to money and the now lack of quality time.
I headed to the departures to get some food and to try and have a kip to find out that I was locked out. The stupid regulations were that because I was flying the next day I would not be able to enter Departures until 7am - it was still 8pm!
So I did the sensible thing and blagged my way back into Arrivals with some crap story and it somehow worked.
So that was that, I found a nice little section that was out of the way and lay across 4 chairs for a 'good' nights sleep. I can't say that it was the most comfortable night as the chairs were about 30cm apart so I had to position myself very carefully.
I eventually got the sleep at about 11:30pm praying that I would stay asleep so the morning would be here quickly. I awoke 3 times feeling that I had at least had some deep sleep and was dismayed to look at my watch each time and it read 12am, 12:10am and 12:20am respectively. Aaaaggggghhhhhh.
At the last time check I was convinced that this was just all bullsh*t and no way could it still only be 12:20am. I did a sanity check on my phone and my heart lept when it read 5:45am. My watch needed winding up!
So with a spring in my step and 6hrs kip behind me I got up and made my way to Departures at 7am.
As expected I was first at the check in and just wanted to get through and get on my plane. I handed over my passport was then asked where was my luggage to check in. I told them that they already had it and they should know that but apparently that didn't go down too well. I was sent back and forth between the check-in employee and the supervisor with each one telling me something different. After the 3rd time of meeting the supervisor my patience was wearing a little thin and there was still no guarantee that I would ever see my bag again. In the end they did what they should've done in the first place and went to check if it was actually there and it was.
So that was that, I was on the plane and out of Delhi and based on my airport experience it is still my most hated city in the world.

Onto Thailand and Bangkok. I arrived early evening and jumped onto a bus heading for Khao San Road. I had done no research what so ever and had no idea where I was going. I only headed to Khao San Road because the Oz girls said it was lively.
The bus dropped me off at my destination and I was greeted with bright lights, drunk people, masses of street vendors selling all sorts of food, including roasted and fried insects (which I am still yet to try) and female flesh! After 3mths in conservative countries, India and Nepal, it was a real shock to see Thai and Western women in next to nothing out on the lash. This is going to shock you all but I didn't like it. I had grown accumstomed to women having some respect for themselves and dressing and behaving appropiately and this just seemed degrading.
I have just read this back and I am shocked and appalled at myself. Don't worry, things will be back to normal as you read on and as I am typing this sentence a very attractive Thai woman has sat opposite me in next to nothing and yes I am looking!!
I guess it was just strange to be confronted with this all again after hardly any sight of flesh in such a long time.
I took a walk around and found a relatively cheap hotel room in the middle of all of the action. I dropped my bag off, had a quick shower and went out to soak it all in. I did what I am best at - I got drunk.

The next day I awoke and considered what to do with myself. I had been in Bangkok for literally 16hrs but I decided to leave and head for the beach.
Part of my reason for this decision is that a friend from Norway is coming over to Thailand to meet me in about 4wks time so I figured that I would come back to Bangkok then and do all of the touristy stuff with her. Plus, I really don't want to see yet another temple or religious momument so soon after India and Nepal.

I googled Thailand beach resorts and up came Pattaya - the world's sex capital. It was a no brainer really and this where I am writing this post from.
Another reason I chose to head here is because the Rough Guide ommitted it from its book as it refused to discuss such a place - how could I not possibly check it out!
I headed over to the bus terminal, paid my 91 baht (about 2 quid) and enjoyed the 4 hr bus trip to Pattaya with the locals. At one time being the only westerner on a packed bus in another country would have been a little daunting but I really enjoy it now - it is that reality check that you really are here and you are travelling around far flung places. I bloody love it.

As with Bangkok I got off the bus at Pattaya when the driver told me it was my stop (who knows?) and again had done no research at all. I did the logical thing and acted like a moth - headed to where the bright lights were. That is what I do these days to find out where I need to go - flourescent lights means fun in my mind.
After walking around for about 30mins and not seeing a lot in terms of accomodation I decided to head to a bar to ask for advice. It never even occured to me that the red lights in the bar meant anything other than decoration as all I wanted to do was a have a beer and get my bag off of my back, but my life soon changed for the better.
I was greeted by a number of very enthusiastic girls (as is the case in every single bar - there must be 1000's of prostitutes here) and sat down at the bar.
There I got talking to an English bloke and he was a great source of information. 7 trips in the last 2 years would confirm this! I am now into my 5th day here and he has been my drinking partner every night!
I won't go into detail about him to protect the 'innocent', and the fact is that he is now a good friend as well.
I also have to consider the whole 6 degrees of separation thing, which some people now say is only 3 degrees. I would hate to stitch him up by naming him etc and then someone reading this tells someone else and so on. Highly unlikely I know but it is best to play safe - a key phrase for Pattaya too.
So for the rest of this post he will be referred to as X. I will only say that he is 55yrs old, which makes him part of the average population of tourists here.

There is not much to say about my activities during the day times here in Pattaya because I have hardly seen them. I can tell you that the beach isn't the best but is packed with old English men sunning themselves with their Thai lady friends as well as a very high number of Russians, both men and women and in couples.
The nightlife is what rules my life. I have the same routine which is to start boozing at 8pm when I meet X at the bar I met him in the very first night. He is 'dating' the bar owner for the 2wks that he is here and he dated her on his last trip too, so it ends up being the 3 of us out for the night. Jan, the bar owner, is one of the nicest people I have met and it helps that she is very attractive as well as being very funny. I can see why X has fallen for her.
I also like going to the bar because as I approach every night all I can here is 'Adam' being shouted out down the road in a Thai accent by all of the girls. It never fails to make me laugh. They are all actually really good fun as well and love Sambucca like me. They do lavish me with lots of attention too but it is all harmless fun.

So every night has been the same. Start at 8pm, drink at my 'local' and then about 11pm move on down Beach Road (along the sea front) and head to Walking Street - probably one of the best streets for a night out in the world. Along this street there are hundreds of bars, ping pong clubs, go go girl clubs, nightclubs, live bands, street entertainers etc. It is just mental. Add to this that literally every girl that you look at can be yours if she is not already taken and you can imagine my wide-eyed childlike look of joy on my face during my first night there.
So far in my 4 nights I have had a 5am, 8:30am, 4am and 7:30am finish respectively - which is why I haven't seen much of the day times.

I need to try and describe to you my observations of Pattaya but it really is very difficult to do. You just have to see it to believe it.
The first thing I will stress is that in no way is it seedy. Seedy would be if things went on down back alleys and people were sneaking about. This is pure sex in your face. If you have an issue with sex is any guise then Pattaya is not for you, simple as that.

So the way it works is this: (I also now have all of the inside information from chatting to Jan so I know exactly how much each girl makes and how she makes her money). This is part of the reason why I love to immerse myself with the locals and not just the tourists - it gives you a real view of the life and how things work and is just interesting.
Back to how it works - Lamby's guide to Pattaya for all you men who are thinking of coming over:

Every bar has a number of women working for them. As you walk down the street they will do their best to get you in - this can be a friendly approach or just shouting to get your attention which phrases such as 'hey sexy man' - you get the gist.
You can just go into the bar of your own free accord and then the women will come and sit with you and chat to you (and expect a drink).
If you like the bird, you take her. It costs 300 baht to buy out her 'bar' fee and then 1000 baht to the lady herself. So all in all, about 26 quid for her company for 12hrs - a bargain.
There are also your standard brothels and massage parlours too.

You also have the option of buying a woman to accompany you for however long you desire. This is the bit that I don't get but it is also the most popular thing to do it seems.
A massive percentage of the tourist population here are men aged 40 - 60yrs old and all you see everyday wherever you look are these men with their 'girlfriends'. They are walking down the street arm in arm, stroking each others' hair and acting as though they are in love.
As I said, I personally don't get it. If you want to have fun with an extremely attractive girl (which the vast majoirity are) then fine, just pay for the night. Why on earth would you then want to spend all day with her making small talk in broken English and paying for all of her meals and drinks - no thanks love.
I was trying to talk to a girl last night but her English was no existent like my Thai, so she got our her little guide book to point at phrases.
I promise you that the title of the book was 'Get quick rich English'. It was brilliant reading. It had various sections to do with life, love, sex etc. Some examples: 'I want to marry you', 'I have little education', 'I don't like working in this bar', 'Do you love me', 'Did you cum' (sorry mum) (also not sure why you would need to ask that, should be obvious), 'I don't love you anymore', 'You are an arsehole' and so on. Hilarious.

One thing that I have noticed is that I am one of the younger people here. As a result and the fact that I have my own hair, teeth and do not have a massive beer gut (frequent sight) I get a lot of attention. I even catch a lot of the Thai women who are already with a man staring at me. I don't mean this in any sort of arrogant way, it is just that some of the men here have really let themselves go.
But saying that, some girls I have talked to will only go with older men - why? - because the sex is over very quickly and they can go to sleep, whereas young men are more energetic and so they have to work harder for their money.
You really need to come here and experience this place. It is just crazy crazy crazy.

Then there is the subject of the ladyboys. One word to describe most of them is 'beautiful', another word to describe some of them is 'scary'. I am not sure how people mistake them because as soon as they speak it is obvious and you can just tell if you look hard enough - bone structure, shoulders and arms etc.
I reckon those that say they didn't know just got last minute nerves.
It is odd seeing the sort of men who are 'dating' them though. You can tell that at home they are not the sort of bloke who is homosexual, they all seem to be quite manly men. I guess they are just curious and maybe bisexual but won't admit to it.
I did see one 'girl' the other night who really caught my attention but I just wasn't sure what they were. Fortunately, myself, X and Jan were passing on my way to another bar so I didn't need to find out. Ha ha.

So that is that. There is so much more I could tell you about, such as the women love to hussle you at pool and Connect 4 (I thought I was good at that game until I came here), the Thai boxing that takes place in a ring in the middle of some bars, certain bars where you are allowed to pay to spank women (not sure why Jan took us there), bars where the women are having a soapy bath, bars where women descend on fireman poles from the ceiling and just appear on stage as if by magic......and so on.

And so we come to the Russian women. I do not know why there are so many here and if they are prostitutes as well or just holidaymakers. I don't know because I cannot speak Russian but I need to learn. The other night I saw a dream type woman. Russian, tall, blonde, blue eyes, curvy, just fantastic! They all seem to be stunning and my world travels will take me back via Eastern Europe - I have just decided that right now.

I am planning to leave tomorrow as I am spending too much money here on drinking. The drinks are UK prices and the partying is eating into my budget, so I need to go before I stitch myself up.
I am going to head north and get back to the real world (well my real travelling world) and get back into the mountains. As much as I talk very enthusiastically about this place, I am really missing Nepal and the Himalayas and want to be back in that world, not this one.

I am also going to defend all of these older men that are here and 'dating' these young Thai women. If I am single in my 50's and have a beer gut (please no) and lose a limb in an accident or are burned in a fire (I say that because I have literally seen all sorts out here) then why would I not come and get some sort of satisfaction out here. Women in the UK and Western world can be very judgemental and superficial (as are men too) where as here they can get the attention they need and are made to feel special by the women. They also get sex when they want it and do not have to go through the whole 'headache' scenario.
All I can is 'Rock on old English dudes!'

Finally I guess I should add that a lot of people would not declare that they are in such a place as this, especially on their blog, but I don't care. I have not said that I have done anything or not, and even if I did protest my innocence you would not believe me, so it is up to you to believe what you like. This is my forum to let you all know about the sights and experiences that I take in on my world travels and I could not not share this place with you all. I have never seen anything like it.
I imagine that Thailand holds much more similar desitinations that I will pass on my way around - who knows?

Bye for now, I am off out to get smashed - again!

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