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Redbaron

What's Changed Since 1979?

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Sad news - the little second hand bookshop down the road has closed down. Last Days. The little (4') old lady simply can't do it anymore and nobody wants the business... They had a sale - all the books you can fit into a bag for $5. The GL and I had a look and I stumbled across "South East Asia on a shoestring" (Lonely Planet's original yellow book) from 1979.

 

Here's a few snapshots...

 

Price: Australia and USA $5.95; UK 2.95; Singapore $12.95; India Rs 40

 

From the Thailand section (39 small pages)

Population - 35 million

Visa - $US3.50, 3 photos, 2 months - Reentry visa 70B

Exchange - 23B=$A1; 20B=$US1; 46B 1 UK Pound

Getting there - LA 8000-9000B; Sydney 6000-6500B; London 5150-8300B; Hong Kong 2000-2250B; KL 1750B

 

Bangkok

Patpong "fuck show" - 150B including a beer

Body massage - 300-400B (Patpong or Suk)

 

Grace Hotel gets a mention, as does "Thermal" (yes with an L), Soi Cowboy or the "PNT" Hotel.

Meals around 10B

 

Accommodation: Malaysia Hotel 120-140B

Atlanta - from 60B single

Starlight - 60B double

Thai Song Greet - 45B

Rich Hotel - 240B

Miami - 190-210B

Swan Hotel - 200B

National Scout Hostel 20B

 

Pattaya

Bonanza Lodge 30-60B

Right Spot 100B (fan), 150B (air)

Flipper Lodge 150/300B

 

Bus to Pattaya 18B, Aircond coach 36/65B return

 

Phuket

Bangkok-Phuket flights 79B or try an air conditioned bus for 180-200B (WHYY???)

 

Accommodation: 50-60B bungalows

 

Samui accommodation 10-50B

 

Was a good laugh flicking through the book, and there were a few warnings about VD and the like, taxis were a few baht (fixed prices), no mention of ST/LT rates of course.

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Sad news - the little second hand bookshop down the road has closed down. Last Days. The little (4') old lady simply can't do it anymore and nobody wants the business... They had a sale - all the books you can fit into a bag for $5. The GL and I had a look and I stumbled across "South East Asia on a shoestring" (Lonely Planet's original yellow book) from 1979.

 

Here's a few snapshots...

 

Price: Australia and USA $5.95; UK 2.95; Singapore $12.95; India Rs 40

 

From the Thailand section (39 small pages)

Population - 35 million

Visa - $US3.50, 3 photos, 2 months - Reentry visa 70B

Exchange - 23B=$A1; 20B=$US1; 46B 1 UK Pound

Getting there - LA 8000-9000B; Sydney 6000-6500B; London 5150-8300B; Hong Kong 2000-2250B; KL 1750B

 

Bangkok

Patpong "fuck show" - 150B including a beer

Body massage - 300-400B (Patpong or Suk)

 

Grace Hotel gets a mention, as does "Thermal" (yes with an L), Soi Cowboy or the "PNT" Hotel.

Meals around 10B

 

Accommodation: Malaysia Hotel 120-140B

Atlanta - from 60B single

Starlight - 60B double

Thai Song Greet - 45B

Rich Hotel - 240B

Miami - 190-210B

Swan Hotel - 200B

National Scout Hostel 20B

 

Pattaya

Bonanza Lodge 30-60B

Right Spot 100B (fan), 150B (air)

Flipper Lodge 150/300B

 

Bus to Pattaya 18B, Aircond coach 36/65B return

 

Phuket

Bangkok-Phuket flights 79B or try an air conditioned bus for 180-200B (WHYY???)

 

Accommodation: 50-60B bungalows

 

Samui accommodation 10-50B

 

Was a good laugh flicking through the book, and there were a few warnings about VD and the like, taxis were a few baht (fixed prices), no mention of ST/LT rates of course.

 

Amazing....

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I had that book - before 1979, as I recall. It had a chapter on each country and the language section was mostly wrong. I was less than delighted to read their advice that travellers should look up the Peace Corps vol in every town, since PCVs were so lonely for English speaking company that we would put them up for free! Yeah, right. :p

 

My PC monthly living allowance was 1800 baht a month in 1973-75. Then we got an increase - to 1900! Oddly enough, I lived quite well on that. Most meals just 3 baht, tailor made shirts for 30 baht, trousers for 50 baht, big Singha for 12 baht, "aw nigh" for 100 baht. I lived about as well on 1800 as I could now on 35,000. :(

 

p.s. No ST in Bangkok bars, aw night only. No BF either - had to wait until closing time. ST upcountry knocking shop - 30 baht. Everyone rode bareback, since all you worried about getting was the clap.

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Oh, yeah ... see if you can find a copy of "Bangkok After Dark", published circa 1970. The chapter on "swingers" in Bangkok was BS, but the rest was pretty much on target. PCVs liked to use the book as a guide to places they had missed.

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I would like to have been in BKK in the mid-eighties, just as things really started to take off. Some of the old nightspots take on truly legendary proportions when people like Flash talk about the good old days, but its a lot harder to visualise those days when you see them now. Pattaya in 1979 would have been an experience - probably one I wouldnt have survived ! :yikes:

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