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Any sanook in Rayong?

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It would be rude for me to not reply, now wouldn't it? I live in Rayong.


I can't say there is much fun here - but then I can't say there isn't. It ain't Pattaya down here and 99% of the fun stuff is very Thai orientated. If your idea of fun is sitting in a cinder block karaoke bar with 180 decibels screeching from a PA system that would make Metallica envious then hey, come on down! Oh, and brush up on your Thai / Laos / Khmer.


The hotels - good hotels like Rayong City, Golden City and so on have a bit of a hostess thing going on but really...it's all pretty crappy. By and large Rayong is Widnes and Warrington with fine weather. Throw in a bit of Chernobyl and a post nuclear Pittsburgh and you get the picture I'm sure.


Koh Samet? Fergeddaboutit. Home of retired katoeys and the hunting ground of fat farang girly 'travellers' desperately trying to lose their virginity before they get to Fresher's Week on their return to the UK after their (please fill my gap) Gap Year. And I thought that the fishy smell came from the 'nam pla' factory' in Ban Phe. Dear me, no.


But... (and don't you just love that word?) BUT...


Get yourself to Banchang. Technically it is Rayong but about 20 miles towards Pattaya and before Sattahip. Ever wondered why farang Pattaya residents play a lot of golf? My theory is that it gets them down to the golf courses of Rayong (sans 'tilac') and allows them to pop into the weird and wonderful strip that I call 'Little Pattaya'.


I know there's one poster on here - for shame I can't remember who - but do a search and he has taken the trouble to list all the bars and pubs on this little strip.


Banchang's main road is Sukhumvit (though it gets called Tessaban for some reason) and it is the slow coast road from Pattaya to Rayong. It looks like every other ribbon development 'town' on that road. A few 7-11's; a market; shops selling alloy wheels for yer Toyota Hi-Ace (most important), a few cash machines attached to the 'Banks on Stilts'. The usual shit.


But...(here we go again)


Coming from Rayong by bus (yeah, bus - I ain't no Senator's son) when they throw you off at Banchang, cross the road and then walk towards Pattaya. The bus driver will wave at you as you stroll along,its remaining passengers chuckling like drains as they watch you tripping in potholes on the footway; banging your head on awnings; dodging motorcycles on the pavement and getting 3rd degree burns from cunningly placed food stall woks.


Remember, no pain - no gain. Persevere, oh seeker of delights. Fortune favours the brave for sure, but Banchang will always reward the stupid in addition. I know. I am that soldier.


At the secret sign of the Yamaha sales centre (if you hit another 7-11 you have walked too far) then you turn right and into a pretty busy Soi. Nothing special to look at: a few tired looking karaoke bars, dress shops, 'Som-Tam U-Like' vendors and the odd motorcycle gang member on his mean, lean 100cc Dream.


Keep going. Never lose the faith. The first place you will come to is The Camel. NOT a 'girly' place at all. Really. Good food, convivial atmosphere, some miserable fuckers that are the regulars - think of 'American Werewolf in London' when the two guys stumble into the pub in Yorkshire. The guv'nor (Ronnie?) and his wife are really friendly and they have VERY good rooms upstairs for 500 baht and a free (magnificent) full breakfast thrown in. If you like being massaged when you are drinking/eating then there's a lot of that but personally it gives me indigestion and I can't read my newspaper properly when I'm having my neck rubbed.


From there, take a walk. There are about a dozen bars. Some are well known (McAllisters Bar and Grill is a famous 19th hole place) and then bars that are variable. (Example of one call: "Hey, you want to come in and fuck me?" which I thought was much better than 'Herooo, We-come' albeit lacking in subtlety) and while you may not find any 'stunners' (and what the fuck is a stunner anyway - some tart with a Taser that robs you of all your cash?) I think that the attitude of the women there is pretty well sound. It's the ex-pat thing innit? They know most of the guys that drink up there and the guys know them and look after them to an extent.


Yeah, on balance a trip to Banchang is worth it. You can of course just ask a taxi driver to take you to the strip but hey...where's your sense of adventure?


If you see an ugly, miserable farang sitting all on his own and trying to do the Pattaya Mail crossword - don't talk to me. I fucking hate the bloke that sets those things every week and I'd love to piss in his Heineken if I ever had the chance. Consequently I can be a bit grumpy.


However, the bar (Midnight? Dunno, never can remember the names of bars) that plays music DVDs that YOU can choose is bloody fantastic. A girl on one arm, a beer in the other and Pink Floyd Live on the big screen? Ah, come on! That's a pretty good night.


Why not pop down to Ban Phe and I'll show you a karaoke that has - I kid you not - four serving wenches. One is a hunchback, one is a dwarf, one is obese and sweaty and the fourth is mentally ill and just likes staring at the disco lights.


Land of fucking Smiles! Who the fuck came up with that one? !!! It's a right fucking laugh down here though. I'm always smiling.


('cept for when that fucking crossword bastard from the Pattaya Mail puts in one of his dumb ass 'clues'. Fucking numb-nutted oxygen thieving fuckwit that he is.)






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You make it sound so inviting expect a mob of adventurous punters to swarm there immediately this weekend. :-)


I'm for the, "Ban Phe karaoke that has - I kid you not - four serving wenches. One is a hunchback, one is a dwarf, one is obese and sweaty and the fourth is mentally ill and just likes staring at the disco lights."


Sounds like the perfect place for the Dog to burn off his chest hair while OH chases the hunchback and the dwarf around in his new off the shoulder strapless gown. Send us the video. OH wants to know how much the barfine is for the mental one. He's feeling lucky. :-)




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