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Evel_Penivel

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About Evel_Penivel

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  1. Check out the Centre Point suites at http://www.centrepoint.com/ or the Phachara Suites at http://www.phacharasuites.com/. Both offer very good serviced apartments at reasonable rates. Centre Point has a numer of locations in Bangkok, including Suk Soi 10. All are excellent. Evil
  2. Evel_Penivel

    Songkran. Worth it or just skip?

    Avoid it like the plague in Bangkok and Pattaya (too many drunk idiot farang who go waaay too far), elsewhere it can be OK at least the first time as long as you're dressed for getting wet and not carrying an unprotected cellphone or camera with you. Be very wary of the guys with buckets/highpowered water guns if you wear glasses or contact lens. Personally, I avoid Thailand during Songkran. Evel
  3. Evel_Penivel

    Looking for cheap'ish hotel near Suk Soi 33.

    It depends on your definition of cheap, but Livingstone's Lodge is located right on Soi 33. The Novotel Lotus is right at the corner of Soi 33 and Suk Rd. It's not a cheap hotel, but heavily discounted rates are usually available. Evel
  4. Evel_Penivel

    Crackdowns, Now and Then

    "Pattaya is not as cheap or simple as it used to be now that Europeans flock to the place on charter flights and a growing number of North Americans are discovering it. But hotel rates are competitive with other seaside resorts throughout the world." The Globe and Mail (Toronto) , Aug. 23, 1980 Those two sentences, written nearly thirty years ago, are just as valid today as they were in 1980. The same is true about the sentence below from The New York Times, also written in 1980. "Lest Thailand be confirmed in the traveler's mind as a place for nothing but pornographic tourism, let it be recorded that behind the front of commercial exploitation of sexual impulses, which has made Bangkok attractive to hordes of lecherous men, mainly European and Japanese, there lies a large Southeast Asian country, which the pimps, shills and touts that hover about the hotels of the capital do nothing to promote." The New York Times, Nov. 2, 1980 What's striking is how similar the warnings about Pattaya have been for the past twenty five years or so. Dirty beaches and water, inadequate infrastructure as well as prostitution and all-around sleaziness have been constant topics of discussion. Likewise, crackdowns and the re-birth of Pattaya as a family resort have all been talked about since the 1980s. Despite the dire predictions and threats of cleanup campaigns (both moral and environmental), not that much has changed. The beaches and water are still dirty, the infrastructure as inadequate as it's always been and remains sleazy and vulgar enough to reign unchallenged as the capital of White Trashistan. And it will stay that way until most of us are trying to get a better deal from St. Peter rather than bar girls. Of course, it's not impossible for Thai authorities to shut down the commercial sex activities in Pattaya, or least make them far less noticeable than today. But that's not likely to happen overnight because of the effect it would have on the incomes of some individuals and groups within Thai society. The impact of the disappearance of farang-oriented P4P in Pattaya would have a minimal impact on the Thai economy as a whole. However, and it's a very big HOWEVER, the effect on the livelihoods of a number of Thais, ranging from the bottom to the top of the pile, would be devastating. Until there's a ready substitute for the income generated for Thais through farang-oriented P4P, there won't be a thorough or long-lasting crackdown. Nor can Pattaya be transformed into a family-oriented destination without the expenditure of billions of baht on infrastructure and clean ups of the beaches and water. Even if Pattaya's beaches could be restored to pristine condition (very unlikely), many more spectacular ocean-front destinations exist inside and outside Thailand. For the package tourists from god-awful industrial cities in China and Russia, Pattaya already seems like a tropical paradise. By their standards, it is. But as those countries develop and their citizens become more familiar with the world, Pattaya will lose its attraction even for them. On the other hand, LBFMs will never lose their attraction for farang men. For the Thais making money off Pattaya, it's a safer bet to keep things the way they are, more or less. Evel Here are the dates for the articles in my OP and follow-up: 1) Thailand has developed into a family-friendly destination offering brilliant value and a warm welcome. With good weather all year round, gorgeous beaches and every type of shopping you could want, it is well worth the 12-hour journey. In fact the land of smiles has been billed as the top long-haul destination for this year, offering some of the best deals around. Scottish Daily Record, Jan. 2, 2010 2) The declining U.S. dollar has helped raise Pattaya Beach back to its former prosperity as one of Thailand's most popular tourist resorts. A year ago, its annual hotel occupancy was down more than 50 percent from four years earlier, the beaches were littered with trash, the water was becoming polluted, and tourists complained of harassment by transvestites and prostitutes. The resort's glut of bars, massage parlors and prostitutes created a severe image problem and scared away middle-class and family tourists, the hoteliers said. ... The Seattle Times, 14 June 1987 3) Mr. TKTK said he learned Pattaya, a city of 300,000 or more people on the Gulf of Siam, has about 22,000 brothels. Many cater to Westerners -- Americans, Australians, British and Germans -- in a business billed as "sex tourism." "It's basically full of losers," Mr. TKTK said of the city. "They just use their money for sex." The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jan. 20, 2010 4) Pattaya was a sleepy fishing village. Then it was discovered by American soldiers on R&R from Vietnam, and the Thai brand of sun, sea and sex was invented, beginning a boom in tourism. Today Pattaya is a mess. Uncontrolled building has ruined its shoreline. The sea is coated with a film of raw sewage. Last year so many tourists died in mysterious circumstances that even the shady mafia that controls the town was embarrassed. An alarming proportion of the bar girls, many of whom are in fact transvestites, are HIV positive. Lucky is the hotel with 10% of its rooms occupied. The barons of Thailand's tourist industry are worried that the Pattaya ... The Economist, July 6, 1991 5) The latest crime crackdown in the Thai capital began like any other: police moved off their beats and into the bars, hoping to catch a hostess without her number tag or perhaps topless go-go dancers. ... The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 8 August 1981 6) Tourism is one of the key areas being targeted by a Thai government set on growth, and a major clean-up campaign is to be launched to rid the country of its sleazy sex and drugs image. MT (Management Today), Dec. 1, 1991 7) Just say 'nyet' to Russian gangsters in Pattaya Thailand is just coming into the reality that Pattaya, as we once knew it to be back in the old days, may eventually be lost to the thugs from Russia. If the government and the police do not move quickly Thailand will find that its tourism industry in Pattaya will vanish. The latest incident is just a telltale sign of what's to come. No tourists feel safe with mafiosi, let alone a foreign mafia in that area. The Nation (Thailand), 04-13-1998 8) Thailand Restoring Pattaya Beach Resort PATTAYA, Thailand— In a vestige of the Vietnam War, nearly two-thirds of the people who visit Thailand today are men, many of them coming for the kind of red-light district R-and-R that attracted soldiers on leave from the battlefields. Thailand is working hard to change that image, and its efforts are most visible here 80 miles southeast of Bangkok at the beach resort of Pattaya, which was first popularized by American G.I.'s in the early 1960's. New York Times, Dec. 8. 1996 And the two scanned artcles: 9) New Straits Times (Singapore), Nov. 16, 1991 10) New Straits Times, Jan. 8, 1991
  5. Evel_Penivel

    Crackdowns, Now and Then

    A huge overestimate. Supposedly there are 3,500 bars of all sorts (and not all have girls), plus a few hundred massage shops and other venues. There are 30,000 to 50,000 working girls (number varies with season) in Pattaya, according to the Pattaya cops. Most farang business owners consider that a fair estimate. Just a few more examples. In which years were these articles published? Evel 6) Tourism is one of the key areas being targeted by a Thai government set on growth, and a major clean-up campaign is to be launched to rid the country of its sleazy sex and drugs image. 7) Just say 'nyet' to Russian gangsters in Pattaya Thailand is just coming into the reality that Pattaya, as we once knew it to be back in the old days, may eventually be lost to the thugs fromRussia. If the government and the police do not move quickly Thailand will find that its tourism industry in Pattaya will vanish. The latest incident is just a telltale sign of what's to come. No touristsfeel safe with mafiosi, let alone a foreign mafia in that area. These Russian gangsters are experts in the fields they choose and have intricate webs of front companies, legal businesses and know-how to move drugs, prostitutes and weapons. One only has to look what has gone on the last two years to see their tentacles have reached throughout Thailand. Foreign business wil evacuate Thailand. Thailand is by far no match for these people, and the police should move quickly to see they are sent out of the country. 8) Thailand Restoring Pattaya Beach Resort PATTAYA, Thailand In a vestige of the Vietnam War, nearly two-thirds of the people who visit Thailand today are men, many of them coming for the kind of red-light district R-and-R that attracted soldiers on leave from the battlefields. Thailand is working hard to change that image, and its efforts are most visible here 80 miles southeast of Bangkok at the beach resort of Pattaya, which was first popularized by American G.I.'s in the early 1960's. ''Historically, Pattaya has had a little bit of a difficult reputation,'' said ( director of sales for a major hotel). ''We have always had the sort of night life that you would expect troops coming from a war would be looking for.'' The red-light district, with its nightclubs, is still Pattaya's defining landmark. ''But inexorably,'' Mr. TK said, ''we are developing Pattaya as a family resort city, as a resort fit for all.'' Along its beachfront, Pattaya now offers scuba diving, para-sailing and jet skis. There are bowling alleys, tennis courts and eight nearby golf courses. The city is crowded with fine restaurants, fast-food outlets, duty-free stores, cinemas, shopping malls, a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum and a disco that can hold 6,000 people. ''We want Pattaya and the eastern seaboard to become a major center of the Thai economy, both as a center of tourism and business,'' said TKTK, who heads the Tourism Authority of Thailand. In its brochures, the resort now promotes itself as a destination for families and business conferences, hardly mentioning its famous night life. But the development has brought other problems, including air and water pollution. In response, the Government has begun a $145 million program of new roads and transportation, land reclamation, beautification and water and sewage treatment. ''Obviously, it is hard to sell a beach destination where it is unwise to swim in the sea,'' Mr. TK said. Most swimming here is done in hotel pools. The development of Pattaya is part of a sophisticated repackaging of Thailand as an all-purpose tourist destination. Package tours are proliferating, offering trips to beaches, hill tribes and historical sites. 9) 10)
  6. Evel_Penivel

    Korea arms plane crew 'to go free'

    Maybe they were associates of Viktor Bout. Evil
  7. Evel_Penivel

    Crackdowns, Now and Then

    News about crackdowns in Pattaya and Bangkok, as well as proclamations that Pattaya will become a family-oriented destination, are nothing new. Anyone want to guess the years in which the five excerpts below (from articles in the Western press) were published? Two are from this year, three are older. Evil 1) Thailand has developed into a family-friendly destination offering brilliant value and a warm welcome. With good weather all year round, gorgeous beaches and every type of shopping you could want, it is well worth the 12-hour journey. In fact the land of smiles has been billed as the top long-haul destination for this year, offering some of the best deals around. 2) The declining U.S. dollar has helped raise Pattaya Beach back to its former prosperity as one of Thailand's most popular tourist resorts. A year ago, its annual hotel occupancy was down more than 50 percent from four years earlier, the beaches were littered with trash, the water was becoming polluted, and tourists complained of harassment by transvestites and prostitutes. The resort's glut of bars, massage parlors and prostitutes created a severe image problem and scared away middle-class and family tourists, the hoteliers said. A recent survey of Pattaya's visitors reported that 75 percent were male, more than 40 percent of them single- perhaps offering a clue to one of the resort's major attractions. In the past two years the tourism authority, along with Pattaya's hoteliers and the city's semiautonomous government, have tried to clean up the resort's image. The campaign includes promoting the resort as a sports center with events such as car races, yacht and speedboat contests, golf competitions and kite-flying. 3) Mr. TKTK said he learned Pattaya, a city of 300,000 or more people on the Gulf of Siam, has about 22,000 brothels. Many cater to Westerners -- Americans, Australians, British and Germans -- in a business billed as "sex tourism." "It's basically full of losers," Mr. TKTK said of the city. "They just use their money for sex." 4) Pattaya was a sleepy fishing village. Then it was discovered by American soldiers on R&R from Vietnam, and the Thai brand of sun, sea and sex was invented, beginning a boom in tourism. Today Pattaya is a mess. Uncontrolled building has ruined its shoreline. The sea is coated with a film of raw sewage. Last year so many tourists died in mysterious circumstances that even the shady mafia that controls the town was embarrassed. An alarming proportion of the bar girls, many of whom are in fact transvestites, are HIV positive. Lucky is the hotel with 10% of its rooms occupied. The barons of Thailand's tourist industry are worried that the Pattaya ... 5) The latest crime crackdown in the Thai capital began like any other: police moved off their beats and into the bars, hoping to catch a hostess without her number tag or perhaps topless go-go dancers. While they worked, the officers enjoyed free beer from the management and maybe a movie or the latest music, supplied in the hope that they would soon go away happy. Instead, they stayed until the newly enforced closing hours. Customers, mostly tourists, gaped as the official closing time was diligently enforced and bars disgorged their crowds on the stroke of midnight, turning Bangkok's main entertainment strip into a scene resembling the dying moments of a high school dance. The city's thousands of bar girls, proprietors, touts and pimps tightened their belts, resigned to waiting out the familiar brief storm of Government-enforced morality that frequently coincides with the off-season for tourists. Bar owners are retaliating against the crackdown by serving only water to visiting policemen. Patrons are adamant that the bars are rarely a source of crime. ''The only rip-offs here are completely legitimate,'' said one regular, referring to the inflated drink prices which also include a chat with a bar girl.
  8. Evel_Penivel

    Street of Shame

    I've never thought of the lower Suk as a street of shame. For me, it's always been a street of fun, but now a short stretch of it - between Soi 3 and Soi 7 - has, in the wee hours, become the haunt of street pimps, human traffickers and drug dealers. Do you believe they make a positive contribution to the scene? I'm NOT saying farang are in mortal danger, but the lower Suk is nowhere near as much fun as it once was. The new kids on the block are a lot meaner group than their predecessors who mostly stuck to the shadows of the sub sois. The corner of Soi 5 can be quite unpleasant to pass by under some circumstances. Evil
  9. That "part-time" escort's reply asks for way too much information. A guy would have to be insane to give her his room number and real name as well as a picture!!! The "rock-bottom" prices she quotes have to be a come-on for something. Evel
  10. Evel_Penivel

    Street of Shame

    The lower Suk between Soi 3 and Asoke used to be a surreal street carnival, a post-modern Monger in Wonderland as drawn by R Crumb. It was more about people watching gone wild than seeking out temporary companionship. but it was mostly fun. While you had to keep your wits about you - that's true in any nightlife area in the world - there wasn't much real danger. It doesn't bother me that covered ladies shop for tchotchkes at the street vendors' stalls, anymore than I'm bothered by their plain vanilla counterparts from New York, Sydney or Moscow doing the same. If guys in Middle Eastern robes want to pursue chubby Thai girls, that's fine with me. Those girls have to eat too (much), even if it is spice kaek rather than farang meringue. I'm less sanguine about the Uzbek hookers and Africans of both sexes that are increasingly making their presences felt. Any time drug dealers, street pimps and traffickers begin to take over, it's very bad news. The fun atmosphere has been replaced by a much sharper edge. Some of the types that hang around the Suk late at night now are annoying as hell and often aggressive. On my last trip, one of the dusky Mama Jammas had my forward progress blocked in a tiny strip of unencumbered sidewalk between some street stalls. It was like facing the offensive center of the Minnesota Vikings. She was doing her best to solicit me for the facile fee of 5,000 baht (Why me, oh Lord? Do I look that desperate?). Inside my head I heard myself tell her, "Give me 50,000 baht and I'll think about it," or "Is that at a rate of 50 baht per kilo?", perhaps even "I'd rather stick my dick in a meat grinder." But I said nothing, just shook my head "No!" and kept trying to side-step her. Maybe my expression did the talking because she punched me in the shoulder as I finally made it past her. If a street hooker in New York (actually, I haven't seen one in years) ever laid hands on me, I would have immediately called 911 and claimed she had threatened me with everything up to and including weapons of mass destruction. With the right degree of exaggeration, the cops would probably have taken her down felony style. But in Bangkok, I don't have that option. In fact, there's nothing I can do at all. So in the future, I'll avoid the lower Suk by night as much as I can. If I have reason to visit Soi 7/1, I'll arrive by taxi. Now it's not just Suk Soi 3 around the Grace Hotel that's infected, but the whole area up to Suk Soi 7 has become the Hellgate. Sooner or later, something really serious is going to happen and then the BiB will respond. But it be over the body of some poor farang from Cedar Rapids or Vimmerby who hadn't kept up with developments in what he assumed would be pussy paradise. Evel
  11. Evel_Penivel

    Hotels or 1 month stays on or near Victory Monument

    I don't know anything about this place through personal experience, but have seen it recommended elsewhere: http://www.21livingplace.com/ Small (25 sq m) studio apartments at 14,000 to 16,700 a month. Evel
  12. Evel_Penivel

    Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort

    The Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort is a new "themed hotel" on Wong Mat Beach in North Pattaya. It's a very impressive facility - 18 stories and 555 rooms overlooking a big water park and a 230-meter stretch of beach. Bottom line: The Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort isn't guest friendly. It is a fantastic hotel for families with children or even for a romantic weekend with a special lady, but its out-of-the-way location and 1,000-baht joiner fees severely limit its appeal to mongers. Here's the Web site for more info and pictures: CGMBR You can read about the facilities, restaurants, bars, etc. and all other details. Rates: You can get rooms through hotel booking sites for about 3,500 baht a night, which is huge value for money. Aside from the overwhelming negative of it not being guest friendly, the CGMBR has a few other pros and cons. It has an incredible water park with five swimming pools, slides and a "lazy river" for inner-tube rafting. It also has a long stretch of beach for those who enjoy ocean swimming. There are numerous activities for children besides the water park, i.e.. game room; play room; arts and crafts; classes in dancing, exercise and swimming; organized games, etc. My TGF's six-year-old daughter loved it. Compared with the village, she was in a magic kingdom. She cried when we checked out. On the downside, it's location on Wong Mat Beach makes it a hassle to get to and from the hotel, especially if you want to avail yourself of the attractions of Walking Street. There is a free shuttle to Central Mall (it won't stop anywhere else), but it only runs once an hour and is always full. It's no huge obstacle to get a baht bus or a moto to take you to/from the CGMBR, but it isn't as convenient as a hotel right on a baht bus route. The food and drink at the hotel are very pricey, ­­­­­­even in comparison with other five-star hotels. Evel The panoramic photo at the start of the post I lifted from the CGMBR Web site, the rest I took myself. The rooms at the CGMBR are a generous 42 sq meters and comparable in standard to rooms at other five-star hotels. [/center]
  13. Evel_Penivel

    Atlanta Hotel "No Punters Allowed"

    There's been several threads about the Altanta . It gained a lot of fame as an anti-sex-tourist hotel among feminists and left-wing types who fancy themselves intellectuals. However, as a hotel facility it is horribly run down and suitable only for those with the thinnest of wallets. Whatever the appeal of its anti-prostitution stance, the Atlanta isn't professionally managed and the owner hasn't invested a baht in upkeep for many years. I know an American woman who chose the Atlanta solely on the basis of political correctness. She said it was as bad as any skid row flophouse in the U.S., minus any sort of commercial-sex activity. She checked out after a day, unable to deal with the grime, bugs and noise from the nearby freeway. She felt the staff earned most of their income from touting tours and other services at inflated prices. Evel
  14. Evel_Penivel

    What Should I Have Said to This Farang Lady?

    I come to Pattaya for the beautiful beaches, the untouched natural environment, the total lack of commercialism and the deeply cultural atmosphere. Most of all, I appreciate the serene spirituality that pervades the city. Evel
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