Thailand Tonight – 21/04/2010

BANGKOK SONGKRAN, APRIL 13-15, 2010

Down in Kao San Road, Patpong, Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy, the water wars were wet ‘n’ wild under the searing sun.  Songkran is a lot of fun for those who enjoy getting soaked, but it is very frustrating for those of us who do not want to participate.  When you live in Bangkok, or Pattaya there is no escaping it.  Why can’t they just leave the dry people alone?  During the water wars, even passing motorcyclists have bucket loads of water hurled at them.  Combined with too much booze, it’s no wonder there is so much carnage on the roads during Songkran.  I think there should be designated areas and times for the water wars – this would allow the normal people to go about their daily business.  However, Thailand being Thailand, it probably will not ever happen. 

SONGKRAN WATER WARS, SOI NANA, BANGKOK

SONGKRAN WATER WARS, SOI NANA, BANGKOK

I was entering Soi Nana early in the evening…  WOOSH!  A farang gets a bucket full of dirty water hurled full force into his unsuspecting face.  They hit him from his blind side and then, a gang of Thais all laugh at the foreigner’s bewildered expression.  The stare the soaked farang gave them showed he was clearly not impressed.  The water was not only dirty; it had ice in it as well.  Ouch!  That must have stung. This is the stupidity of Songkran nowadays, which is a stark contrast from the old tradition of gently sprinkling scented water upon others.  Furthermore, those in Farangland can now see why resident expats think Songkran is so deplorable.  Yes, of course, you can lock yourself in your apartment, or hotel room for the duration of Songkran.  But, there are those of us with jobs to do and therefore, we are forced to enter the Bangkok battlefields.  Hey, despite what some guys think, the Go-Go Guru’s lifestyle is not all booze ‘n’ babes!

HOLLYWOOD INN HOTEL, NANA PLAZA, BANGKOK

PATTAYA SONGKRAN – Songkran in Pattaya has also ended, so it is now safe to venture down to Pattaya for some fun in the sun.    

SOI COWBOY – LITTLE LAS VEGAS

It was Thursday, April 15th and the last day of Songkran water festival, which by the way is traditional Thai New Year 2553.  By 9:00 PM, it appeared that most of the water wars were over, except for a few die-hard drunks.  Thank goodness for that!  I was so relieved that it was over for another year, or was it? 

I flagged down a passing motorbike taxi in Ratchada and decided to take a chance.  The noisy motorbike sped down to Soi Cowboy, with smoke bellowing out of the tail pipe.  In Farangland, that thing would be stopped by the police, but in Thailand nobody cares.  The motorbike made a hell of a racket and it was not because it was old.  It’s because the Thais thrash the guts out of the engines!  Also, the Thais rarely ever service any machines at all.  Fortunately, the clunking contraption made the journey… 

SOI COWBOY - LITTLE LAS VEGAS PHOTO COURTESY & COPYRIGHT OF WWW.STICKMASNBANGKOK.COM

Soi Cowboy was dry when I entered Little Las Vegas.  I had arranged to meet one of mates in Shark Bar – I shook Nick’s hand and sat next to him.  I couldn’t help but notice that it was the quietest I have ever seen Shark, which is usually buzzing with life.  Excluding Nick and me there were only 10 other customers and 8 go-go dancers on stage.  As I reported in last week’s Thailand Tonight, this Songkran has seen a mass exodus of both Thais and foreigners.  Although there were not many go-go girls on display, it made a pleasant change not to be jostling for space and rubbing elbows.  With such a small audience, we had a clear view of the go-go girls and therefore, more direct eye contact.  If you prefer Thai girls who are leggy, pretty and sporting firm figures, then Shark is the place for you.  Also note that some Shark girls are slightly heavier built and more curvy.  Although there are not that many busty babes, you might class Shark as a borderline booby trap.  Because it was a quiet night, I think we need to have a closer look at this potential booby trap.  Oh no, I will have to go back to Shark Bar again!  I have a nasty head cold today, so this report is short.  But, this Nightseeing Tour Of Soi Cowboy will be continued next week… 

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BUTT OUT!  It is worth mentioning that Shark Bar has a strict ‘No Smoking’ policy, as do most of the go-go bars in Soi Cowboy.  Smokers need to be aware that you can smoke in the top level of Baccara Bar.

PATPONG BARS REOPEN BUT THE NIGHT MARKET IS CLOSED

PHOTO BY WWW.STICKMANBANGKOK.COMThe bars and go-go bars in Patpong have reopened, albeit in a somewhat subdued atmosphere.  Thai troops are still present, but lurking in the shadows, rather than actively patrolling Patpong.  However, with the night market closed you can enjoy an uninterrupted stroll and not have to work your way through an obstacle course.  While the night market does attract foreigners, it is a classic tourist trap.  Items peddled include tacky trinkets, fake brands, and all way too expensive.  Along with the rip-off bars in Patpong (that still constantly force foreigners to pay extortionate prices), the night market is another thorn in the side of the bar owners.  The market has expanded so much that it obstructs the bars on Patpong 1.  Down on Patpong 2, the go-go bars are trying to attract customers.  It is a difficult task with the stigma attached to Patpong.  With Thai troops swarming all over Patpong, this has certainly not helped its image.  Let’s hope that the situation in Silom settles down soon.  I was going to say, ‘Returns to normal’ but Patpong is an abnormal world at the best of times!

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