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One Pattaya

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1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15 www.pattayaone.net

% Fool in Paradise % Nightmarch % Pete’s Peregrinations % Thai Lite

TWO ‘RED SHIRTS’ SHOT

IN PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE

Pattaya likely to see more incidents

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TWO ‘RED SHIRTS’ SHOT IN PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE COVER STORY The shooting of two members of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) on the night of the 21st April at their rally site may well be a portent of the level of violence the country can expect in the lead-up to the next national election. The incident took place at the open ground on the corner of Sukhumvit Road and Soi Khao Talo where the UDD, better known simply as the Red Shirts, were preparing for a major rally a couple of days later. According to witnesses, the two men, one aged 45 and a close friend of core Red Shirt leaders, the other 49, were shot at by two unidentified men who arrived at the front of the site on Sukhumvit Road on a motorbike. The shooters,who were both wearing full-face helmets, probably to avoid identification rather than being concerned for their safety while riding a motorbike, fired five shots in the direction of the men. The 49-year-old was

By Staff Writers Police said they weren’t sure if the shooting related to politics, and were leaving all options on the table, and anywhere else the options might fit.

Background They put a nasty hole in the big rice cooker wounded in a leg while the 45-yearold was wounded in the left leg and, more seriously, the stomach. He was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Pattaya Memorial Hospital. The two shooters, described by witnesses as probably aged between 20 and 30 years old (even though their faces were hidden) and wearing black jackets, did not say a word prior to opening fire. After expelling their five shots they rode off down Sukhumvit Road. Since they were riding a motorbike with no license plates they were unlikely to be stopped by police.

Violence in the period prior to a national election is nothing unusual in Thailand. Alongside rampant vote-buying, shootings resulting in the murder of opposing candidates and their supporters, are as common as karaoke bars full of out-of-tune warblers. Just over a decade ago, the leadup to the January 2001 national election was marked by possibly the worst violence ever witnessed across the country. A total of 43 politicians, canvassers and bureaucrats were shot dead nationwide in election-related acts of violence. Most of these incidents occurred in the North and Northeast. That poll was notable for the

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15 Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party led by Thaksin Shinawatra running one of the most expensive and most populist election campaigns in the history of Thailand. Thaksin promised one million Baht for each of the nation’s more than 70,000 villages, said he would suspend repayments of farmer’s debts for three years, and promised a health insurance system in which any treatment would be available for 30 Baht. Many voters, especially in the rural areas, cast their ballots for TRT because of frustration with the incumbent Democratic Partyled government of Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. This government had come into power in November 1997 during the economic crisis sparked by the collapse of the Thai baht a few months earlier. Many people believed the recovery after the severe economic crisis of 1997-

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The inside of the Red Shirt rally site 98 had excluded them. TRT won 32.1 percent of the primary vote, but because of the new first-pastthe-post system put in place for single member constituencies they picked up 49.8 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives. The 2005 election was claimed by some organisations to be the worst of all time in terms of rampant vote buying, especially in the North and Northeast (according to the PollWatch Foundation, Thailand’s most prominent election watch-

dog). Others claimed far less cash had changed hands in return for votes than in previous polls. The National Police Office issued statements claiming acts of election-related violence such as shootings, killings and attempted murder were reduced by more than half when compared with 2001. Yet two days before the 2005 poll there was a sudden upsurge in violence against canvassers, according to press reports of the period. What is certain is that between the begin-

ning of December 2004 and the 6 February 2005 polling day at least 10 people were killed and eight others wounded in election-related violence.

Instability Soon after the TRT’s landslide election victory in 2005 there were observers who noted the expanding Southern insurgency, coupled with

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government policy of promoting senior officers favourable to the incumbent administration, or with family connections to TRT, out of turn was leading to increasing factionalism within the senior ranks of the armed forces. One commentary wrote with some prescience in 2005, ‘Should the chasm between Thaksin and the veteran military officials continue to widen, this could have negative consequences for political stability…’ The rise of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), better known as the Yellow Shirts, and the street protests which followed led to Thailand’s first military coup for 15 years when Thaksin was ousted in September 2006. Since that time the political landscape has been marred by even greater polarization with the emergence of the UDD. Sadly, Thailand looks to be potentially facing the most violent run-up to a national election in its history, and the shooting in Pattaya is just the beginning. It’s worth noting that the British Foreign Office reacted immediately to the shooting by posting a travel warning on its website, suggesting people should avoid the Sukhumvit Road-Soi Khao Talo junction area on the night of Saturday 23 April when a major rally took place at the site.

They seek him here, they seek him there An apparently well-known hitman, who is suspected of killing a Police Colonel in Central Thailand on 19th April, is thought to be residing close to Pattaya. The man, identified as 42-yearold Khun Nalong, known by the nickname Pap (as in smear), has allegedly been involved in many contract killings, including one in Pattaya, which took place two years ago. National television channels were showing security camera footage of the suspect shooting dead Police Colonel Greugrit at his house in Nakhon Sawan Province. It now appears that he has gone just

well, he wasn’t at home waiting for the police the last time they looked. An arrest warrant has been issued for him in relation to the most recent killing. Down in Huay Yai district, on the outskirts of Pattaya, Police Lieutenant Colonel Paksuwat from the local police station, has expressed an interest in finding the suspect because it is thought he was involved in the death of a 45-year-old local businessman who

We just love our guns

CCTV footage of the murder of the police colonel

a little too far this time. According to press reports Khun Nalong is thought to have killed more than 100 people all over Thailand during his career. You would think he might have faced some kind of police action before this, something along the lines of counselling, at the very least, if the police were afraid of him. Now, it appears, he is out of control and didn’t seem to care that he was captured on CCTV as he gunned down the Police Colonel. Khun Nalong is now on the run;

was murdered two years ago in Huay Yai. If and when the police do manage to catch Khun Nalong, they say they intend to use the full weight of the law against him. It’s not certain just how many charges can be laid against him, but police can probably ‘cherry-pick’ from the 100 or so alleged murders he has managed to commit so far. Of course, they have to find him first.


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Pete’s Peregrinations By Peter Lloyd

For the Love of God During Easter weekend, I saw three instances of excessive religious devotion in the Philippines, two of them shocking, one just bizarre. I knew of the insane ritual of nailing people to the cross over here on Good Friday but I had not heard about self-flagellation, nor of people running through the streets bearing heavy crosses, but I saw instances of both of these this weekend. Firstly, in Manila, I heard a rhythmic clanking nearby, and went to investigate the noise, only to find a man in a public park - a tough twenty-something looking guy, not some spotted, Bible-hugging wimp, kneeling on the floor, rhythmically whipping both sides of his back with a rope, which held thin bamboo strands on the end of it. The spectacle didn’t look too bad from the front, although it was still a bit of a surprise to come upon

such an unusual scene. But when I walked around behind him, the full horror of what he was doing was, ahem, laid bare. His back was in a terrible condition, flayed red raw, and he was bleeding. I asked a bystander how long he’d been doing it – two hours, apparently. He was praying for something. Then one of his mates began slapping his back all over the wounds, which made the whipper yelp, but he seemed to be enjoying it, presumably the devotional aspect of it and not the sado-masochistic element. Next, on a bus to Subic, I went past a long line of maybe 20 teenagers and young adults, all male, and all stripped to their waists, doing the same thing, publicly whipping

themselves, as they walked along a busy road. They were hot and their wounds were red raw and bloody. The sun was on them, and sweat mingled with blood dripped onto their trousers and onto the road. It was a shocking sight. I don’t know where they were headed, but I hoped to a hospital. I didn’t have my camera handy but this internet photo graphically shows what I saw. Surprisingly, the Catholic church frowns upon this practice of selfharm, although that is probably because, as with ‘apparitions”, it is cut out of a piece of the action when people try to commune directly with God without the cartel’s help. And finally, as I walked down the road earlier, I saw 13 people

Beating the Meat all carrying crosses. Three huge ones, carried by older men, and nine smaller ones to which younger teenagers were tightly strapped, all of them racing along the road, laboring under their heavy burdens, in the humidity and heat of midday. I saw a woman go to give the lead guy (the Jesus figure) a drink of Gatorade. As he tried to drink it the man in charge of the procession kneed him in the back and pulled him off it, presumably to keep it real.

Can Phuket’s Stupidity be Pattaya’s Gain? When a State fails, and is unable to enforce the law of the land or to protect its own population, or tourists, in its jurisdiction, serious consequences can follow. In Pattaya we see it on the beach as the police and City Hall can only stand and watch helplessly as the jet ski thieves destroy Pattaya’s reputation abroad, unable to take decisive action to stamp it out. Now Phuket has again gone one better – or worse, and shown Pattaya what can happen if these

mafia scum are not dealt with decisively by the police and the State at an early stage. A year ago tuk tuk drivers blockaded some American navy ships in Phuket’s port, in a very damaging dispute for the economy of Phuket, but motivated by lowball selfishness and greed. They were objecting to sailors going into town in a more cost-effective and comfortable fashion, namely, minibuses, and not using their ripoff tuk tuk service.

This caused serious alarm to the US Navy, and showed the world that Phuket was basically a rogue island, seemingly dictated to by the tuk tuk mafia, where the local authority and the police were unable to even guarantee the safe passage of US navy personnel. Now the same mafia idiots have done it again, and recently blockaded a cruise liner, which had disembarked hundreds of tourists for a day trip to Phuket, eventually securing an agreement for 50% of

the cruise liner’s future business, assuming it would ever want to go back to that Wild West island. Any diversion of business from Phuket’s port to Laem Chabang and Pattaya, either naval vessels or cruise liners, would be welcome business for the city, assuming it can get its own mafia problems under control. If it doesn’t, Phuket’s fate awaits Pattaya. And nobody here really wants that.

Pattaya jet ski bandwaggoners in the local press Whilst all media pressure is good in order to have the jet ski scams ended, I was surprised and amused to recently read one local rag claim they had brought the scam to the world’s attention, when as any keen-eyed reader knows, that scoop certainly belongs to Pattaya One,

when we featured, as a front page exclusive story, the outrageous scamming of three Irish tourists in early December last year, which created an international storm. And then we followed it up with another exclusive front page story

on the scammers changed tactics in February. I don’t mind papers claiming credit where it is due, which would usually be for (non-exclusive) sychophantic coverage of the opening of a fag packet by the Great

Contact me at pattayaonepete@gmail.com

and the Good, with smug photos to boot. But not for this. If, in its short life, Pattaya One has had any impact on Pattaya it has been to make some of the previously bland and supine local press up its game a bit, but I suspect we won’t get the credit for that either.


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Letters to the Editor If you would like to voice your opinion in print, please send us your thoughts and ideas by email to: editor@pattayaone.net Letters may be edited to improve clarity and spelling.

Helpers of the ocean Sir, The Pollution Solution Group would like to honor these two lovely people and also ask your great paper to please do the same. They took time from their holiday to help us remove dangers from Jomtien Beach, making it a safer place for children, sea life and the ocean. They also asked for some literature to share with others, which we give freely to whom ever ask for it. We find that everyday, there are

Thais and Farangs thanking us for what we do, some offering to take time out of their busy lives to help. We remove dangers to make it safer for the voiceless, children, wildlife waterways also watering, feeding and putting mange medicine on the homeless dogs. Many people also offer their help by buying dog food or donating some baht to buy what ever is needed to continue making a difference, we are also educating the unknowing

and asking the uncaring to please wake up. Pattaya City Hall is very aware of what we do daily, and also help us in many ways. We are all in this neighborhood together, lets all please start taking care of it. The Pollution Solution Group Gerry aka KOTO Keeper Of The Ocean by email

No Sign of the cleaners; but wait for the response Sir, Not wishing to take up space in your excellent paper, and not wishing to be negative about cleaning up the beaches, which desperately need it, I would like to reply to some points in Mr Koto’s (aka The Pollution Control Group’s) response to my recent letter about him removing his ugly signs from the beach environment. I am pleased that he is going to make better signs, but doubt that plonking giant signs every 100 metres in English, Thai and Russian will (a) be effective or (b) make Pattaya any more beautiful. The signs would also need to be in Arabic, Parsi, Turkish, and many other languages of the Indian sub-continent to really hit home. How big are they going to be?! Knowing the Pollution Control Group is also

responsible for feeding and encouraging the packs of mangy, dangerous dogs that infest the beach and scare tourists is also a worry. These unsightly, dogs frighten tourists and crap all over the beach, giving Mr Koto more “waistersize” experience. Given Mr Koto is so “in” with City Hall, I wonder if he should change his strategy completely, and instead of littering the beaches with his unsightly signage, he could instead campaign for City Hall to employ beach clean-up crews, which wouldn’t cost much in Pattaya, who could clean the beaches all day, every day. City Hall are one of the worst litterers in Pattaya with their useless junk, including, recently, the beach lifeguard platforms, which now clutter the beach as they rust to death. Can Mr Koto go into City Hall and ask his

friends there who was responsible for this latest fiasco, and what they plan to do about removing them in order to clean up our beaches? Yours sincerely, Christopher Cross by email As regular readers will have noted, Koto, of the so-called Pollution Solution Group, corresponds with us almost every issue. Since the Letters to the Editor page is designed for any and all interaction between readers we are actually grateful for him taking the time and making the effort to write to us. Naturally, we also appreciate your correspondence in response and think you have raised some valid points. We have no doubt Koto will respond to your response to his response of your original response to his initial letter.

Unsafe Pedestrian Crossings Sir, I want to warn your readers about the danger of crossing roads in Pattaya. I crossed with my girlfriend to go to the North Pattaya bus station today, the lights were in our favour and five out of six cars ignored the lights and went driving through them at a speed that would of killed us both if they would of hit us. All I could do was shout and swear at the drivers from close up, but I am angry and worry that people can be killed here. What can pedestrians do in this situation? Get a photo and report them? Throw something at their cars? Yours sincerely, Mark, by email Somehow, Mark, the dangers of trying to cross a road in Pattaya,

as well as elsewhere in Thailand, are manifestly clear to the majority of foreigners who live here or are regular visitors to the Land of Selfish Smiling Motorists. Pedestrians appear to be viewed and treated as some kind of Untouchable underclass. After all, they rate so low on the scale the administrations of Pattaya have hardly ever seen fit to attempt to provide proper pavements or walkways throughout much of the city. We happen to feel the introduction of the 40+ light-controlled pedestrian crossings throughout the city was a step in the right direction. The problem, as with so many things in Pattaya, is enforcement. No one in authority apparently gives a rat’s testicles about making sure drivers and motorbike riders do stop when a pedestrian signal is showing red. This is somewhat surprising given

their potential as a revenue raiser. As for throwing something at the offending cars, it might feel like a good idea but carrying something like a house brick around under your arm could get quite tiring. Anything less than that isn’t much of a weapon and the local

police frown on foreigners carrying rocket-propelled grenades, shotguns and Magnum .357s. Will a pedestrian, crossing correctly at a set of green lights, eventually be run down and killed by a selfish, ignorant, impatient driver? More than likely, sadly.


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The

BellwetherEnd By Mike Bell

Thai Characteristics II

I’ve reached the age where I can appreciate the joy of giving. When I was young I was poor and therefore ‘careful’ with my money. Now I have enough to live on with a bit to spare. I’d promised my wife’s father a first trip in a plane and was hoping to enjoy the journey through his eyes. What a disappointment it was, thanks to the Thai habit of not betraying emotion. Thai Air had a weekend promotion to Chiang Mai, so I booked three return tickets and off we jolly well set. Well perhaps ‘jolly’ is not quite the right word. Papa rarely cracks his face to show his teeth on account of him only having one blackened stump, achieved from a lifetime of chewing some leafy concoction. Whilst I didn’t expect him to cavort jiggling from one foot to the other like an old guy with a prostate problem, I thought I might detect some sense of awe or wonder as the plane left the ground. We landed in Chiang Mai an hour later. He had gazed steadfastly through the window. I think he thought he was watching a small TV screen showing a video about cloud formations. There was no hint of surprise when he found

himself in Thailand’s second city. He was a non-smoking, teetotaler who liked temples and I knew instinctively I was in for a fun-packed three days. Eventually, when I was completely templed out, I suggested to my wife that they might like a wander round a local market whilst I had a cold coffee. They were away forty-five minutes before my sanity shattered into a million pieces. I sat on the terrace of a posh hotel – you know it’s posh when they add 7% local tax and a service charge on to their display prices. The hotel was on a corner of a Tjunction by a gate in the old walled city. The main road was full of traffic but the long arm of the T was a soi pedestrianised for the market. There were three policemen on duty armed to the teeth with whistles. There was none of the banditry practiced by the Pattaya police on soi Buakhow at rush hour. They had obviously been professionally choreographed. Two would insert themselves arms outstretched into the traffic with perfectly synchronized movements. The other would beckon the pedestrians across the main road. All of this was accompanied by the eardrum-shredding music of

Inebriated Russian parks in the middle of the road

Mr Radislav Obernikhin, a 41-yearold Russian national, was woken from his slumbers on the back seat of his pickup just after 3:30 one morning by police volunteers. The reason for the interest of the patrolling volunteers was that the pickup was parked in the middle of Highway 7 and potentially posed a traffic hazard. Mr Obernikhin, who was practically naked and far from a pretty sight, told the volunteers he had spent the evening drinking alcoholic beverages with friends and readily admitted to being somewhat intoxicated. As he was driving home he said he became

overwrought with tiredness and decided he needed to go to sleep immediately. So he pulled his vehicle over to what appeared to be the side of the road, disrobed, climbed into the back seat, and promptly fell asleep. The volunteers, recognising that a quality tourist needs quality sleep, decided not to bring him to the police station, where it was likely he would ‘blow the bag’ as it were and be over the legal blood alcohol limit, but instead drove Mr Obernikhin back to his home where he could sleep in a real bed and not pose a danger to other road users.

the whistles. It was non-stop. Apparently the din could mean ‘keep coming’ to cars approaching them if accompanied by beckoning gestures, or it could mean ‘stop and stay stopped’ until the hands were lowered. He-who-was-responsible for the pedestrians played the same tune and had the same gestures. At first I was amused, then annoyed and finally insane. What made it incomprehensible to a Westerner was that they were manning a pedestrian crossing with, here’s the punch line, fully automatic lights which alternately stopped the traffic on red whilst the pedestrians were given a green light. They were totally redundant. Their whistles were totally unnecessary. How they kept it up without fainting or bursting into laughter at their own futility, I don’t know. And they were so serious about it! Then I got to thinking; easy once I’d screwed up a torn serviette to make earplugs – I’d probably get charged 31 baht 23 satang by the hotel management, but hey, I was on holiday. I thought noise is another Thai characteristic. We’ve all experienced parking to the Lone Ranger tune from an attendant’s whistle. What does it mean? ‘Keep

reversing until I stop whistling?’ ‘When I stop whistling you’ve hit the car behind you?’ Whoever sold Thai businessmen the idea that driving slowly about in a van creating minor traffic jams whilst shouting incomprehensible slogans would put their business name on the public’s lips? How many prospective customers run to keep up with the van to hear the full message? How many of the frustrated motorists silently vow to shun any product or service that delays them to such a degree? How much fuel per hour is burnt? Is it time for the Green Shirts to take to the streets? Have you ever watched a soberly suited Thai turn into a Monster Raving Loonie the second someone puts a microphone into his hand. At any public function, like a wedding or Supermarket demonstration, the decibel level hits excruciating and the performers lose all sense of time. Watch and/or listen to the halftime comments from the three wise men during Premier league soccer matches. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words; well why can’t we see some highlights instead of listening to such a load of Kap!

How good is the air around here?

Ambient Air Testing vehicle at cnr Sukhumvit Rd and Sth Pattaya Rd Drivers heading south down Sukhumvit Road would likely have seen the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring vehicle parked just past the intersection with the South Pattaya Road lights. Pattaya One is not sure if the

results of these air quality tests are ever made public or if the vehicle is merely parked by the side of the road to give the impression ‘something’ is being done to monitor air quality in the Pattaya area.


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Kris & Noi’s

a farang manages on their patch. It would be a nice gesture to take inexpensive little presents for your girlfriend’s parents and immediate family. No problem about being seen around the village with your girl, but remember that rural Thais are rather conservative, so lay off the cuddling in public! relax and enjoy the experience.

Private

Do you have a question about customs or culture, or perhaps just a general comment on life in Thailand? Email Kris & Noi at: knprivateposts@gmail.com Price Patrol

Even though the exchange rate for foreign money is so bad, there are still some tourists throwing their money at the girls. They show off, buying drinks for groups of girls so that they hang around them. The girls charge them sky-high prices to take them out and because the tourists don’t know or care about the accepted rates, they pay up. Then they get greedy, and when the tourists have gone they demand higher prices from the regular expats. I’ve tried telling some (in a friendly chat) about them being ripped off, but they don’t care, they say they are on holiday and want a good time. If these flashy spenders would just stick with the normal rates that have been around for years for go-go and bar girls, we would all benefit; by throwing their money around they are going to spoil it for regulars, as the girls will keep on demanding more. Donny Complaints about big spenders spoiling the wenches probably began from the time that Pattaya knickers were first removed for

servicemen’s dosh. There have always been, and always will be, some people who are prepared to splash the cash, and others who wish to pay as little as possible for sex. Incidentally, why do some expats like to hunt for the cheapest sex but don’t complain about spending large sums on alcohol; is booze more important and enjoyable to them than a leg-over? It seems that many resident expats and frequent visitors fall into the lower-paying—or tight-arse, to use a technical term—category of punter, and they want everyone to pay similar to what they consider correct. you agree that prices haven’t changed much for years, so why claim that big spenders spoil it for others? The girls naturally try to increase their earnings, but when the tourist season ends they adjust their fees to suit the deep pockets and short arms market. Apart from people like you sticking their oar in to other people’s business, how would tourists know what the “accepted rates” are? Maybe you and other regulars should try putting up posters in all crumpet-supply-

god’s waiting room

Some of the artists of the 60's and 70’s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers who can remember doing the "mashed potato" as if it were yesterday.

They include: Bobby Darin --- Splish, Splash, I Was Havin’ A Flash Herman’s Hermits --- Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Walker Ringo Starr --- I Get By With A Little Help From Depends The Bee gees -- - How Can You Mend A Broken Hip? Roberta Flack --- The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face Johnny Nash --- I Can’t See Clearly Now. Paul Simon --- Fifty Ways To Lose Your Liver The Commodores --- Once, Twice, Three Times To The Bathroom Procol Harum --- A Whiter Shade Of Hair Leo Sayer --- You Make Me Feel Like Napping The Temptations --- Papa’s Got A Kidney Stone Abba --- Denture Queen Tony Orlando --- Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall Helen Reddy --- I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore Leslie gore --- It’s My Procedure, and I’ll Cry If I Want To Willie Nelson --- On the Commode Again

ing areas, stating just what should be paid? That would make you popular with the ladies!

Nervous Traveller

I’ve made a few trips to Thailand and now I’m getting serious with a great girl. On my next visit she wants to take me to visit her family in the north east. I’m a city boy, so will feel strange in a foreign village, and she says that there are very few foreigners in her district. I am concerned that the locals may be resentful seeing an expat with a local girl, as they are not used to seeing foreigners. Gordon Bennett Northeastern Thais are known for their friendliness towards strangers, whether Thai or expat, but, visiting an area where expats are a rarity, you will certainly receive many wary or curious looks. you will be the centre of attention, and will be visited by relatives, friends and neighbours. This can be disconcerting at first, but don’t worry, they will only be wondering how

Shorter Short Time

In these straitened financial times, I have a suggestion that will benefit everyone involved in bar-fining; introduce a one-hour bar fine, naturally at half the cost of the usual 2 hours. A regular partaker would make a very decent saving without sacrificing his pleasures, and the girls would return sooner to spend more time entertaining at the bar and encouraging customers to buy drinks, therefore generating more profit for the bar owner. The lovely ladies would, of course, charge the same, as they are still providing the pleasure, albeit quicker, and would have more opportunities to be barfined again. Everyone wins! Ike Laudius rather a good idea. Notwithstanding the website warriors who boast of their sexual prowess, many Pattaya punters are well past the sexual stallion age; after the nooky and the clean-up shower, they feel completely sated but find they have another hour or so left to look at Thai TV with a body donor who has lost interest once her performance has ended. In fact, as experienced girls can go through the shower, girlfriend-type cuddle, bang, cuddle, shower, any tip, and bi bi routine in very fast time, perhaps short time barfines should be paid for in minutes taken.

New Post Office proves a winner The relatively new Pattaya City Post Office, located on the western side of Sukhumvit Road, services much of the eastern and southern parts of Pattaya as well as parts of Jomtien. It’s certainly far easier to access than the main Naklua post office

or the Soi 13/2 branch (known colloquially, of course, as Soi Post Office), unless your only mode of transport is shanks’ pony. There is ample parking out the front and the interior is spacious; it makes a trip to the post office almost a pleasure.

Pattaya Post Office on Sukhumvit Rd Jomtien


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Living Healthy in Pattaya By Khun Dee

More than just a pretty smile -- Lots more Good oral hygiene goes beyond resisting the urge to use profanity. It also goes beyond brushing your teeth once or twice a day. While daily brushing is a good habit to get into, it’s not nearly enough to keep your pearly whites pearly white and, at the same time, help prevent plaque, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. But it goes beyond all that as well; proper care of your teeth and gums may save your life. Studies in recent years have shown that daily brushing and flossing are crucial to protect your heart, reduce the risk of diabetes, prevent stroke, and help keep your arteries from clogging. If that isn’t enough to motivate you to brush and floss, maybe these newest findings will light a fire under your ass: people with healthy gums enjoy a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Studying the health histories and lifestyle habits of close to 50,000 men for nearly 18 years, researchers compared men who had suffered gum disease with men who had no such problems. Those with gum problems were 14 percent more likely to develop cancer--any kind of cancer--although the link was especially strong for lung and pancreatic cancer.

Remember to floss; floss to remember In an ongoing study at West Virginia School of Dentistry, scientists are looking into the link between gum disease and memory loss. So far, based on oral examinations, blood work, and memory tests on men and women older than 60, they have determined that those who scored the lowest on the memory test—mirroring early Alzheimer’s disease symptoms—had the most association with gum disease-causing bacteria. And flossing is the best protection against gum disease.

Healthy teeth

Without regular flossing, your entire mouth can suffer. A soft, sticky bacterial film (plaque) accumulates on neglected teeth, especially below the gum line. Eventually, the acids in this plaque destroy the outer enamel of teeth. Gums may become irritated and bleed. Breath may smell bad. After a while, the plaque hardens into crusty yellow or brown deposits (tartar) that make it even easier for more plaque to build up. Eventually, lack of flossing can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. As if that weren’t reason enough to improve your dental habits, research also suggests that flossing may protect your heart. That is, there is a definite connection between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. Doctors are not yet sure what is behind the connection, but it makes the simple task of flossing a no-brainer for optimal health. Similarly flossing and clogged arteries may be related. Inflammation is a crucial link in the causal chain that leads to arterial plaque and obstruction. Researchers also speculate that bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and artery clogging. If you already have certain health concerns, flossing may help protect you from any further health complications. For example, periodontal disease appears to make insulin

resistance worse. When cells require more insulin to take up blood sugar from the bloodstream, blood insulin and, eventually, blood sugar levels will rise. Increases in blood insulin and blood sugar levels both have undesirable effects, such as the development of type 2 diabetes.

Sound bites What you put into your mouth-other than a toothbrush and dental floss--also plays an important role in dental health. It’s important to eat lots of greens and fruit, and equally important to avoid sugar. You’ve known since childhood to go easy on sweets and soft drinks, but did you know that it does not matter if the sodas are diet or not? It’s not only the sugar in soft drinks that help destroy teeth, it’s also the carbonation and the acids. Both work to erode your tooth enamel, which presents major problems. A recent study indicated that all carbonated drinks had an impact on tooth enamel. Citrus-flavored sodas hit teeth hardest, but colas caused problems, too; root beer caused only slight erosion. To keep your teeth gleaming, cut back on things that have a staining affect, such as coffee, red wine, tea, blueberries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, and grape and cranberry juice. If you consume those items and can’t get

to your toothbrush, swish with water or drink some green tea, which may be the path to healthier gums. Research showed not only that frequent green-tea drinkers have better results during dental exams, they also had less frequency of bleeding gums. It’s thought that the catechins in green tea prevents cavity-producing plaque from forming, which in turn protects teeth and gums. Equally prudent is increasing your intake of apples, celery and carrots, which are natural stain removers. And consider that spinach, broccoli, and lettuce create a healthy film over the teeth that serves as a stain barrier.

Flossing Tips Ready to floss? Here are some tips to help you get the most out of that little white string: * Slide the floss under your gum line and gently curl it around each tooth as you floss. * Floss gently, but don't quit because your gums bleed. Eventually, they will become stronger and bleed less. * Use fresh floss for each tooth juncture. * If you find it difficult to manipulate floss with your fingers, purchase dental-floss picks or holders that anchor sections of floss in a small, U-shaped plastic device.

A Pattaya Success Story Just to prove it isn’t all scams down at the beach, and that some searelated businesses in Pattaya really do deliver a quality product, one just has to witness the early-morning scenes on Pattaya Beach Road on any day of the week. Usually hundreds of tourists, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Russian, young and old alike, are disembarking from tour buses, crossing the road in front of your vehicle (never at the crossings, note) and then taking to the water to enjoy the brief thrill of parasailing from fixed moorings out in Pattaya Bay. From the land it looks like organized chaos out there, as multicoloured parachutes criss-cross the

skyline, being towed by fast speedboats, sometimes seeming certain to collide. Luckily, safety is a paramount concern for these operators, and

their commercial success is reflected in the sheer volume of daily customers who excitedly go out to fly in the sky with them, safely and unscammed each day.

Organised Chaos


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Songkran Special At this time of year, Pattaya ‘s expats split between those who hate eight days [try almost 10!! Ed.] of miserable Songkran mayhem and those who love it. Representative of many Songkran threads on Pattaya’s web boards, Thai Visa’s “Songkran Pattaya – Begin When?” was a case-study in the views of the two camps, kicked off succinctly by Darrel with: When will it begin? Too bleedin’ soon. When will it end? Not soon enough. Dogtim chipped in with: I agree. Pattaya is the worst place to be for Songkran, and Actiondell4 observed: This will be a week of stupidity…I am not looking forward to be powerfully squirted in the eyes with a water gun nor having a bucket of water chucked over my meal at an outdoor restaurant. Songkran avoidance techniques included Yenoormit’s: I will be staying in my room for a week or getting the hell out of here. Luudee said he was off to Makro, stocking up for the next 3-4 weeks. There were a lot of comments agreeing that Pattaya’s dates should be fixed with those all over the country and that the Songkran period in Pattaya should be MUCH shorter. Exsexyman however, thought even with harmonised dates, it would not make the slightest difference in Pattaya. The knuckle dragging tattooed morons would still be standing outside the bars a week before, with their high powered water guns and a big tub of iced water firing at anybody going past. People riding motor bikes seem to be their favourite target, aiming for the eyes hoping to see them have an accident…. Darrel highlighted one of the major problems about living here during Songkran – closed businesses: I was annoyed when I went out to Soi Bukhao this evening and found that not only was my favourite (cheap Thai) restaurant closed, but my second and third most favourite restaurants were closed also. Pattaya_girl highlighted another, more serious Songkran danger: The water throwing is pretty bearable, but when you are thrown chunks of ice whilst trying to ride a motorcycle it is pretty dangerous! Janverbeem said he had seen: a security guard with 3 buckets and a 200 liter water barrel targeting motorbikes on sukhumvit which get thrown a full 10 liter bucket in

Fun Town’s most vibrant

ABOVE BAWD

IN PATTAYA

By JOHN THOMAS our Internet Forum Snoop

their face. Tropo had an interesting theory: That’s the reason why Songkran lasts so long in Pattaya - because of the huge number of motorcycles here. Throwing water on passing cars is hardly exciting and there aren’t too many pedestrians on Sukhumvit Road. Uh oh. Jwschroeder weighed in with - I just don’t get all the posts about “idiots” throwing water--when that’s the entire point of the festival! Yes, better to stay at home, rather than participate in a Thai festival with bitterness and resentment. I have never seen Pattaya so happy and vibrant than during Songkran. Everyone was exceptionally friendly and warm, and especially the Thais who are usually not that interested in farangs. I had endless discussions with regular Thais who otherwise only consider me from a distance... This post came in for a major poster-pasting. Phil Conners, using Moderator detection tools said: Probably one reason he don’t get it is that he is not posting from Thailand ... Exsexyman roared: You don’t know what you are talking about. The official Songkran day in Pattaya is the 19th. What goes on in Pattaya in the week preceding this date is as far removed from the “entire point of the festival” as it is possible to get. Do you honestly think that the point of the Thai New Year festival is for hordes of drunken idiots, (almost exclusively non Thais), to roam the streets every day, or stand outside bars with high pressure water guns

filled with iced water, sometimes mixed with god knows what, deliberately firing into peoples’ faces at point blank range? Or standing in the road doing the same thing to motorcyclists in the hope that they will crash their bikes. Your ignorance is staggering. Grow up. Actiondell4 gave a graphic account of being caught in the “fun” of the festival- Yesterday I got a baht bus up to Soi Bukhao. Sitting opposite was a young girl about 11 years old. The baht bus driver decides to stop along the route where drunken farangs are using high powered guns; for no reason other than to get his passengers wet. A blast got the girl in the face and ice water was chucked over me, the baht bus driver still stopping and turning around inside his cabin laughing, motorists behind him sounding their horns for him to go. I decide after another bucket over me to kick his back window to get him to go, and he gets out of the bus to confront me and as he does that a ice bucket of water is chucked over his head , and inside the open door. I get out and walk off without paying the idiot. Hyku1147 also had a war story: Last Songkran an Irish Pal, in his early 60s, got accosted by a couple of overly aggressive mid 20s farang wanke_rs. He told them not to dump the bucket of water on him because he was not feeling well, and it was very late in the evening. The moron dumped it on him, and Tommy broke his nose. The other guy ran off. 4.Real gave posters something

Pattaya One 09 to think about – where the water comes from: Great fun....Especially for those refuelling their 50 gallon drums from a truck on Sukhumvit with a sign on the truck saying...’We empty your toilet’.... Beardog bravely entered the fray at this point: Just got back from Pattaya. We went through about 165 gallons of water & had an absolute blast. I think it was the most fun I have ever had in Pattaya. The crew I was with only hosed people with water guns & active participants. We all stayed away from dousing mobile phones, cameras & Ipods. And pretty much all motorcycles…..It was fun hosing the punters at the bars on beach road. A torrent of fury erupted in response to this post: Janverbeem asked him: So I guess you asked everyone first if they had by chance a mobile phone or camera hidden in their pocket before you soaked them with water? Exsexyman How could you possibly stay away from drenching people with mobile phones, cameras or I pods? Do you have x ray eyes? “Driving slowwwwwly through the WAR zone”! Jeez. How old are you? If it wasn’t so pathetic it would be funny. Why are baht buses serious game? Perhaps because they are full of people who are not in a position to fight back? People who are maybe heading for a meal with their kids in an air conditioned restaurant, or on their way shopping in an air conditioned mall. And who now have to sit shivering, probably catching their death of cold. Well done. As long as you and your “crew”, (how old are you again?), had an “awesome” time that’s all that matters eh. NALAK advocated zoning some of the city off for Songkran participants in future: The mindless idiots are a small minority of the population who bugger it up for the majority. How funny it is to see the girls who are going to work in nice uniforms get drenched? Oh that’s so funny. Why cannot a bowl be used - why does it have to be a high powered water pump.??? Quite a lot of urine in the mix as well and even a bit of acid and chilli for good measure; side splitting fun. Unfortunately, Exsexyman was hit on a baht bus on Beach Road:…. I received a full load of iced water from a high pressure gun. I saw it coming and ducked but my friend and his wife copped the lot. One of the usual suspects, overweight, tattooed, wife beater vest, face like a smacked arse etc.. And at midnight! Quality tourists! And that just about wraps it up until next year. All comments or Web Board tipoffs gratefully received at jt@pattayaone.net


10 Pattaya One

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15

Fun Town’s most vibrant

Pattaya Focus on ...... Transport Trouble in Fun Town

By Street Stroller

In the past couple of editions we have looked at the baht bus system, how it is failing the city, its residents and the increasing numbers of tourists coming to Pattaya. The baht bus system simply cannot cope with Pattaya’s transport demands, and the city needs a more professional solution.

Better Transport “Advisors” needed The city needs to break the baht bus collective’s stranglehold on transport policy for the city, which has seen a number of transport options poisoned in the well of self-interest and “enlightened collaboration”. For example an introduced bus system which was conveniently allowed to die a quiet death just a few years ago. Then there is the scandal of the pathetic taxis – which are controlled by the baht bus collective and which never put their meters on, making a mockery of their very existence in Thailand’s second city. Another organization should be allowed to set up a proper metered taxi system, but that won’t happen because of the usual conflicts of interest, which, when it comes to important issues like transport policy, are definitely damaging the best interests of many for the benefit of the few. Also, the baht bus mob’s opposition to the monorail, not because it would probably have been a badly-built mess (it takes the city five years to build a road from Jomtien to Pattaya, so how are they going to oversee the building of a monorail?) , or a massive hands-in-the-till, waste of public money, but because it didn’t conform to the business interests of their baht bus collective. But, for all their faults, they may yet become viable partners in finding a near-term transport solution to the city’s problems, as I suggest below, in a review of the other viable transport options in Pattaya.

Transport Options - between the devil and the deep blue sea

Baht buses line up in race to find free-spending Russian tourists

Own Transport Pattaya’s roads are already full of traffic. The public transport system should reduce traffic on roads, not increase it, yet many residents and visitors, unimpressed with the limited baht bus system, have resorted to their own transport, making congestion worse, and if the number of Russian residents in Pattaya increases (as they seem to be doing) more traffic is guaranteed.

Motorbike taxis Perhaps only an urban myth, but motorbike taxi drivers are the guys you are supposed to go to if you want someone offed. (However I suspect they’d get lost, turn up at the wrong house, drunkenly misfire their weapon or crash in traffic on the way home, so save your money and use them only for transport). There are thousands of motorbike taxi drivers in Pattaya, on almost every corner. I am personally a fan, except if I get a drunk rider, smelling of booze, which sometimes happens on long holidays. Their plusses include being fast and effective, especially in trafficclogged streets, but the downsides are obvious – dangerous, open to the elements, subject to the whims and lack of knowledge of the riders, and at risk from Pattaya’s dangerous motorists.

Metered Taxis The embarrassment of Thailand’s Second City not having proper metered taxis for hire is shameful. It was also amusing when the taxi scammers recently whined that Bangkok taxi drivers, working WITH their meters, were taking business away from these lazy good-fornothings on Pattaya’s streets. That said, having hundreds of metered taxis on the streets of Fun

Town wouldn’t exactly play well environmentally, or in terms of smoother flow of traffic. But metered taxis should be available in Pattaya and it is a disgrace that they are not.

Walking Between the heat, pollution, dust, dangerous traffic and obstaclestrewn pavements, the idea of walking long distances in this city is a joke. However if the footpaths could be cleared of junk (much of it rotting away from scams and corruption schemes of regimes past), and if this administration pledged to ban any further useless obstacles on the pavements, it would literally be a step in the right direction. It would also help if they ensured traffic lights worked, and police monitored and fined drivers who don’t stop at pedestrian lights, to prevent people from getting killed by morons speeding through red lights. Walking in the city should be easier, then more may do it, although it is now a common sight to see Russians walking on pavements where previously few foreign pedestrians ventured.

Bus Recently a new bus service started which snakes through Pattaya and Jomtien and ends at the Floating Market. This infrequent, little publicised service operates only on one route, but it may be the first crack in the baht bus monopoly. The fact the baht bus mob allowed it to run at all gives hope to those who dream of a regular, air-conditioned transport option the City so desperately needs in the near-tomid term.

New bus Network Needed Pattaya needs a proper bus mass transit system. Not one bus or two buses, a couple of times a day, but a properly planned bus system for the city and outlying districts. Why it doesn’t have one now is down to one thing – the entrenched vested interests in the city of the baht bus mob and its business partners, and until the “what’s in it for me” brigade can actually see something in it for them, the city’s transport policy will always be doomed. But a bus system needn’t cut out this mob, it might work BECAUSE of them. Why couldn’t the present baht bus mafia be given the contract to operate a new bus system, the city doing a finance deal on a fleet of buses, leasing them to the mob, then setting fares and working out routes and operating guidelines with which the baht bus collective have to comply. Who would care who ran it, so long as the system actually worked for the benefit of the city and its inhabitants?

Long Term Options - Monorail and Rail Much derided at the time for being an expensive, cynical bit of plunder-porn, a monorail would make sense for the city, if it was properly built and funded, and corruption was kept to a minimum. Of course, for all those reasons, it will never be built but it isn’t a bad idea as a transport solution, if it extended the whole way from Naklua, through Pattaya, out to Jomtien and ended in, say, Na Jomtien. In fact I think it would be a nobrainer, offering an excellent, clean mass transit system for the city. And this brings me to another possible solution, although far into the future: a link to the fast rail link which goes from Bangkok to the airport. Or alternatively the Bangkok rail link which is slowly being built out as far as Bang Na.

Action Soon What is certain is someone in Pattaya’s administration has got to start thinking of the bigger transport picture soon. What we have is unacceptable, unless people are directly benefitting from it, and transport problems are only likely to get worse as tourist and resident numbers increase in Pattaya.

Contact us at pattayafocus@gmail.com


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Fun Town’s most vibrant

THE Mum Arroy (Delicious Corner), open daily from 11 am to 11 pm, (83/4 Soi 4, Naklua; Phone: 038 223 252) is located at the end of Naklua Road. It’s near the back of the Banglamung Police Station. It’s also close to the Sanctuary of Truth. Go to http://restaurant. pattaya.com/EN/RestaurantInfo. aspx?id=185 for a map and directions. Look for their triangular sign, which is only in Thai. This place seems to attract mostly Thais and Asian tour groups; but the humongous menu is in English as well as Thai. You’ll have an easier time communicating with the staff if you bring a Thai friend. However, I must say that the staff was pleasant, attentive and efficient, even though they were also dealing with a tour group consisting of 200 travelers. All of our orders were correct and were promptly delivered. The restaurant has a gigantic outdoor deck along the sea. There’s also an air conditioned dining room, which came in handy, as it started to rain midway through our meal. We came for lunch; but if you go for dinner, you can catch a beautiful sunset. This place is by

FRUGAL GOURMAND

oyster (120 baht) with hot and spicy sauce really tickled the palate. We had fried rice with prawns as an accompaniment. A couple of prawn and squid dishes rounded out the meal. For our land lubber friend, fried chicken with cashew nuts (120 baht) was perfect and the best he’s had; so he said.

Steamed Horse Crab at Mum Arroy

WORTH THE EFFORT

no means intimate or romantic. However, the food was reasonably priced and absolutely delicious. Our party of four ordered a half kilogram of horse crabs at 250 baht. With the slightly spicy, accompanying sauce, they were meaty and delectable. They easily peeled open;

no need for a crab cracker. A half kilogram of grilled rock lobster, at 300 baht, was equally succulent. One of our Thai friends started off with a spicy prawn salad, which he enjoyed, but I didn’t try. A big portion of steamed mussels (80 baht) and an order of fresh water

Their menu is reminiscent of the old Encyclopedia Britannica that they used to sell door to door when I was a kid. It’s gigantic and contains just about any kind of fish, seafood and non water-based dish you could possibly desire. Each listing is accompanied by a photo; so, you’ll know what you’re getting. Prices are generally quite reasonable. This can be a reasonably priced meal; or a splurge, as in our case. Don’t forget dessert. They offer a big selection of ice creams and Thai style sweets. They also have a branch in Sri Racha, opposite Samitivej hospital, which has the same menu, but seemed a bit more elegant, with its big aquarium display. It’s also right on the water.

If you have any favorite restaurants you’d like included; or would like your restaurant reviewed, email me at thefrugalgourmandpattayaone@gmail.com

Something’s missing By night, the garish television screen sitting atop the ‘famous’ Walking Street sign can be seen from as far away as high-floor hotels and residences in north Pattaya, and it’s a wonder the city administrators haven’t claimed it could be viewed from outer space. During the day the TV screen is less blinding, but one has to wonder at what tourists really think when they first see the clunky looking entrance to Walking Street, which replaced the previously iconic sign at the beginning of 2008. With a giant Samsung spread underneath the screen it might be possible to think you are about to enter some factory complex, obviously run by the Samsung corporation. Then there is the Walking Street sign itself. The last ‘e’ in the word ‘street’ is missing, so we are left with ‘Walking Stret’. We can only hope the missing ‘e’ didn’t fall off during the evening hours when the walkways are usually busy with perambulating males and females. It’s probably better to lose a single letter than see the whole edi-

fice come crashing down. Then again, we doubt there are many people who would bemoan the loss of this new, supposed state-of-the-art, glorified advertising hoarding with the missing letter. You’d think someone would have noticed by now and fixed it.

To advertise please contact Howard on 087 747 8555 or email: howard@pattayaone.net


16 Pattaya One

By James Barnes

Fun Town’s most vibrant

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15

Pattaya: One Rainbow Mowbi Woe

Is your Thai boyfriend surgically attached to his ‘mowbi’? He has a man bag, knapsack, carry bag and pockets but even when the sacred mowbi is not glued to his ear or monopolising his eyeballs, being twiddled with for Twitter, Facebook, Hi-5, txt mssgs (sic) and MSN messenger, even watching TV soaps, the bloody thing is stuck in his palm- just in case. The functions of the ubiquitous mobile telephonic communications device are impressive. Earphones plugged into the shell-likes, radio is heard. The internet and all its manifold miracles are but a thumb’s jab away. It is a recording device into which he wails a sorry rendition of the latest Look Tung hit to provide instant playback torture.

In addition, it is a camera‘Mine’s got 56 gadzillion pixels!’ An otherwise forgettable meal at MK is preserved for dubious posterity. He will hold the thing at arm’s length and merrily self snap away producing thousands of images of himself with chin framed by forefinger and thumb- what is that pose (and they all do it) all about? If he looked up the word, ‘vanity’, in the dictionary, he would see a picture of himself. He will spend countless hours, slouched with his legs over the arms of a comfy chair, reviewing several years’ worth of these photos. A bigger flash card has been purchased and inserted to accommodate this vast archive of self-portraiture. The current favourite pic appears as the mowbi’s

‘wallpaper’. And don’t get me started on the video function. Slightly less time is spent playing daft digital games that beep and burp with disturbing frequency. The tiny, luminous screen flickers, damning the notion that inanity is boring. Quite the reverse. Inanity cures boredom, apparently. Endless menus are endlessly explored in the fervent hope that a function has been overlooked and once discovered will reveal the location of El Dorado or the secret of Nirvana. Moreover, when is the ‘mowbi’ eventually put to use in the primary purpose intended? Urgent news? Nah! More likely, ‘Have you eaten yet?’ or, ‘Where are you?’ or the even more irritating, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m talking to you on the

GAYMARCH

House Boy at Mango 69 Villa

69 Villa, located on Julan Drupadai 69. I wonder how they got that particular address. (Julan means Street.) It’s a two bedroom villa; and you can either rent one bedroom or the entire villa. If you rent the whole place, think of the possibilities. As the villa just opened, its website (www.fruitvillasbali.com) may not be fully operational as of press time; but you can email them at info@fruitvillasbali.com. Mango 69 is a short walk to the gay bars and a short taxi ride to the beaches; gay and straight. Across the street, and under the same management as Mango 69 Villa, is the recently opened Banana Spa. (I guess these guys are into fruit.) You can get all kinds of massages (and happy endings) from an assortment of beautiful and handsome young men. Jalan Dyana Pura is the ‘gay bar’ street in Seminyak. There are less than ten bars, but they seem to be hopping every night, especially weekends. Drinks are about 50,000 rupiah (around 150 baht) and the bars get busy toward 11 pm or so; and stay open late. Most of the bars present drag shows and also have gogo boys. However, the boys are for your visual pleasure only. There’s no bar fine or ‘off’ system in Bali.

James Barnes is editor-in-chief of OUT in Thailand magazine. www.out-in-thailand.com lesbian and even straight punters and also offers a variety of drag shows. Bottom’s Up, Chaps and Face Bar are recent additions and worth visits. Not specifically gay and about ten minutes away in Kuta, is the Double Six Disco. There’s lots of eye candy for you here and many opportunities to meet willing young men.

Email: gaymarchpattayaone@gmail.com

Eat, Pray, Party: I decided to hit the road, so to speak, for Songkran and booked a last minute flight to Bali on Air Asia. The plane departs at 6 am. So, if you decide to go, try to sleep on the plane, so you are awake and alert for your first night of debauchery on the Indonesian isle. Seminyak, about a half hour’s drive from the airport in Denpasar, is where most of the gay activity is centered. There are many gay and gay friendly accommodations, including clothing optional resorts, such as Spartacus (www. spartacvs.com), a few minutes from Seminyak. I stayed at the Mango

bloody ‘phone!’ But the one annoyance, the one outstanding, testicle aching irritation, the great white bull elephant in the room, is that despite all the wonderful technology stuffed into that tiny mowbi- the festering things don’t work. Witness the folk wandering about with the ‘phone at one ear and a finger in the other, shouting, ‘I’M SORRY YOU’RE BREAKING UP!’ The incessant calls that drop off. Mai mee san yan! No have signal! For the sake of Mr Bell and everything that is good and decent, why don’t they make telephones that can be used as telephones? Rant over.

Take a crack at surfing at Kuta Beach On the other hand, don’t despair. There’s a plethora of money boys hanging around waiting for you to buy them a drink and make arrangements to accompany you to your room. Across the street from the bars, there are dozens of boys lined up, waiting to be picked up. Bali Joe’s is one of the most popular bars. It’s a long and narrow affair presenting drag performances and sexy, muscular go-go boys on the bar. It tends to get packed on weekends with lots of regulars and tourists. Mixwell welcomes gay,

In the afternoon, you’ll definitely want to visit Callego Café and Massage You can enjoy a meal on the deck or rent a sun bed on the grassy area adjacent to the beach. Before you can say, “I’m horny,” you’ll meet lots of guys offering massage and other services. You can even meet nice guys, who aren’t money boys. They’re located on the “gay” section of Petitengel Beach. Of course, Kuta Beach is a must. It’s not particularly gay, but provides an abundance of sexy guys in swimsuits, and other attractions. You can watch local and Aussie boys surfing the waves. Toward late afternoon, you’ll see young, muscular Balinese men stacking and lugging the surf boards to the storage area. You may spot some local school boys rinsing off in the outdoor shower. Quickies: 12 May is DK’s birthday (half of the defunct El Duo; now El Uno?) The celebration begins at 9 pm at Café Royale in Boyz Town. Pattaya Pride is holding a quiz night on 10 May starting at 9 pm. The 100 baht admission goes to Pattaya Pride charities. Great prizes go to the winners.


1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15

Fun Town’s most vibrant

THAI Lite Revolutionizing ESL By S. Tsow

My buddy Fardley Nerdwell is really proud of his girlfriend Noy. “Singlehandedly, this modest and unassuming Thai girl will revolutionize the teaching of English as a Second Language,” he predicted recently. “She has developed a new method of language teaching which, if adopted, will result in a quantum leap in the English competence of Thai students.” “I’m all agog,” I said. “Tell me more.” “Simply by watching television, Noy has figured out that there are only two expressions which any student of English really needs to know in today’s switched-on, fastmoving world. They are ‘y’know’ and ‘absolootly.’” I started thinking about the number of times I’ve heard people say “y’know” and “absolootly” on TV talk shows. “You may be onto something here,” I conceded. “In the United States,” Fardley continued, “and even in Europe, every movie star, singer, sports star, and public figure peppers every sentence with the utterly meaningless interjection ‘y’know.’ In fact, I believe that you can scientifically measure a person’s verbal facility by counting the number of time he says ‘y’know’ within any given unit of discourse. The more often he says it, the more verbally incompe-

tent he is. “‘Y’know’ has no meaning. All it tells me is that the speaker is inarticulate. Each time he says ‘y’know,’ he is actually telling me: ‘I am groping for words here, but I am trying to hide my incoherence by using this shameless little filler. I hope you will take it as a friendly attempt to interact, to draw you into my discourse, to reach out to you, my listener, in a desperate but inarticulate plea for bonding.” “Amen,” I said. “So if the intent is to be friendly, why do you object?” “Because it has no meaning, it is utterly unnecessary, and it interrupts the flow of the sentence,” Fardley snapped. “It is verbal incompetence masking as the tailwagging of a friendly dog. Every time I hear this idiotic expression, I want to scream, ‘Do I know WHAT? I DON’T know! YOU’re the one who’s speaking! YOU tell ME!” “Careful of the capital letters, they’re hard on the eyes,” I cautioned him. “Then there’s the brainless word ‘absolootly,’” Fardley fumed. “What’s wrong with ‘yes’?” “’Absolootly’ is more positive, more definite, more vigorous, hearty, and firm,” I replied. “Well, I have a problem with it,” Fardley huffed, “and so did Jesus Christ. ‘Let what you say be simply

yes or no,’ he says in Matthew 5:37. ‘Anything more than that comes from the Evil One.’ I bet people would stop saying ‘absolootly’ pretty fast if they knew it came from the Evil One.” “What was your point about Noy?” I asked. “Ah. Well. Noy has figured out that if you’re listening to an American, even if you don’t understand a single word he says, you can make him think you understand him completely if you just nod wisely and say ‘absolootly’ after every few sentences. And in speaking to such a person, every time you’re stuck for words, just throw in a ‘y’know’ or two. He’ll think you’re speaking perfect American English, when in fact you’re simply struggling to remember your grammar rules.” “That’s great,” I said. “Noy has figured that out, has she? The girl will go far in life.” “This is part of her new method of teaching English. But mostly she focuses on idioms. Noy says we can forget about grammar, structure, and sentence patterns. English consists of nothing but idioms. You just have to memorize them all. It’s a little like learning how to read Chinese, where you have to memo-

Pattaya One 17 rize every character.” “For instance?” “Take the idiom ‘taka.’ She identified this idiom by listening to me. I’d say I have to taka nap, taka bath, taka break, taka look, taka pee, taka poo. Do you realize how many times a day we use the expression ‘taka’?” “Not until now,” I said. “Dozens of situations require us to use this indispensable idiom, yet so far as I know not a single methodology teaches it systematically. Taka trip, taka walk, taka ride, taka bus, taka train, taka taxi, taka boat, taka plane, taka swim, taka pill, taka chance, taka vacation…” “Okay, okay, I get the picture,” I said. “By introducing Noy’s method, called English Thru Idioms, we can create a new English-teaching methodology that will sweep the world,” Fardley concluded. “Absolootly,” I concurred. “Y’know?”

S. Tsow can be flamed, y’know, at s.tsow@ymail.com, except, y’know, when he’s trying, y’know, to master the English idiom “taka.” Absolootly.

Where to find Pattaya One BEST supermarket, North Pattaya BIG C supermarkets, North and South Pattaya CARREFOUR supermarket, Central Pattaya Road FOODLAND supermarket, Central Pattaya Road FOODMART supermarket, Thappraya Road, Jomtien TOPS supermarket, Central Pattaya Road In front of KASIKORN BANK, Soi 3 Beach Road, Jomtien TESCO-LOTUS CONVENIENCE STORE, Soi Khao Talo NORTH PATTAYA BUS STATION, North Pattaya Road PATTAYA FLOATING MARKET, Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien ASIA BOOKS/BOOKAZINE, (five locations: Carrefour, Royal Garden Plaza, Jomtien, Big C North Pattaya and Central Festival Center) SE-ED Bookshops (17 locations, including: Carrefour, Tukcom, and Tesco-Lotus) ASIA BOOKS, Suvarnabhumi International airport (seven outlets) Free on-line at: www.pattayaone.net (as a free download in PDF format) To make sure you NEVER MISS a single issue, subscribe to Pattaya One online at the above website address. It’s FREE: just supply your name and an email address and we will send you each new issue as it’s published. FREE (previous issue) with any NICK the PIZZA HOME DELIVERY order


18 Pattaya One

Fun Town’s most vibrant

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15


1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15

Fun Town’s most vibrant

Pattaya One 19


20 Pattaya One

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15

Fun Town’s most vibrant

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Fun Town’s most vibrant

Pattaya One 21

Chopsticks A first time tourist made the comment recently that, “I thought they used chopsticks to eat. I’ve been practicing at home for weeks.” Being a know-it-all and a font of mostly useless information, I could not resist setting him straight. The Chinese are very big on the use of chopsticks but Southeast Asians, including the Thai, are mostly ‘fork and spoon’ eaters. In this part of the world chopsticks are primarily used to consume noodle soup. Sounds silly, but they use the chopsticks to eat all the solid components of the soup before drinking the liquid using one of those large, flat, traditionally ceramic, spoons. Chopsticks date back more than 5,000 years in China. As populations grew and resources became scarce, food was chopped into small pieces so it could be cooked rapidly, thus needing less fuel. This eliminated the need for knives and chopsticks became the utensil of choice. By 500 A.D., chopsticks had spread from China to other countries such as Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Chopsticks were not invented to consume Western-style meals and cannot be successfully used to “tuck into a bit of steak”. Then again, have you noticed how some people eat a steak meal? Before taking a bite they use a knife and fork

to cut everything into small pieces. They then put the knife aside and consume it using only a fork. The meal is now pre-diced, like most Chinese food, so they could comfortably finish it using chopsticks. What about sitting down to a mountain of spaghetti? Traditionally, it is eaten using only a fork so chopsticks could serve equally as well. After all, the Italians didn’t invent spaghetti; the Chinese did. Can a meat pie, mashed potato and mushy peas also be eaten using chopsticks? The peas and mash are a little tricky but not impossible. The meat pie is a different matter. For the purposes of accuracy of this article I actually tried to eat a meat pie with chopsticks and failed miserably. Even if pre-cut like the steak, the result was horrible. This left me with no doubt that a meat pie should only be eaten by holding it in one hand and keeping the other free to hold a can of beer. ‘Fried rice’ also cannot be eaten

efficiently using chopsticks; the rice is too dry and not sticky enough. But it may surprise you to learn that fried rice is not a traditional Chinese dish. Why would the Chinese invent a dish which rendered their main eating utensils useless? In rural China, away from the large restaurants and tourist areas, you won’t find it on any menu. The reason is that fried rice is made using yesterday’s rice and, in most parts of China, there is no such thing. When they eat a meal, they eat it all. Fried rice was invented by chefs in Hong Kong restaurants as a way of getting rid of leftovers; sort of a Chinese bubble ’n squeak. For hundreds of millions of poorer Chinese, a meal consists of a little meat (whatever they can get their hands on but invariably pork, chicken or fish), a lot of green vegetables and a whole lot of rice. They eat the meat for protein, the vegetables for flavour, and the bulk rice to fill their bellies. The bowl of freshly boiled, glutinous rice is brought to the mouth and the chopsticks used to simply shovel it in. Looks unseemly but it is very effective. Chopsticks are easy to clean, eco-friendly and traditionally made from ivory (oops!) or exotic timbers (cedar, sandalwood or teak) from virgin forests (oops!). Bamboo eventually became the most popular material because it was inexpensive, readily available, easy to split, resistant to heat, had no perceptible odour or taste, and cutting down bamboo really pissed the pandas off (oops!). More recently came plastic (oops!) and finally wood from regenerative, re-afforested plantations (hooray!).

Which brings me to an interesting aside in the wood versus plastic debate. When I was growing up, wooden chopping boards were commonplace and butchers used large, sawn-off tree trunks as benches for slicing meat. Then some egghead sitting in the Health Department with nothing better to do declared wooden chopping blocks were unhygienic and they were promptly outlawed in restaurants and any places where food was prepared. Finally, someone possessing common sense decided to test it out, after all, the Chinese had been using wooden chopping boards for thousands of years and there had been no noticeable decline in their population due to rampant food poisoning. Testing two sterile cutting boards, one wood and one made of the latest plastic, they chopped at the boards with cleavers to simulate excessive use before rubbing contaminated meat across each surface. After washing both boards in normal household detergent they analysed the surfaces to ascertain how much bacteria still remained. To no-one’s surprise, there were more bacteria left on the wooden board. It seemed to support the earlier ban on the use of that material. But they took the experiment one step further by then rubbing non-contaminated meat across each board to find out how much of the bacteria transferred to the fresh meat. The result was astounding. The plastic board transferred most of its bacteria to the fresh meat while the meat rubbed across the wooden board remained relatively uncontaminated. Further investigation revealed that even though the fibres in the wood trapped more bacteria, the germs could not get out and eventually died of heart failure, fatigue or post-traumatic stress syndrome. The plastic, on the other hand, allowed a clean getaway for most of the germs. Result: Wood wasn’t so bad after all and the Chinese were right all along. Perhaps they are right about chopsticks too. In conclusion, to those people unskilled in their use, may I respectfully suggest you observe the experts and learn from them. Failing that, you could always opt for the Confucian Diet which has only one rule: You can eat anything you like as long as you pick it up using chopsticks. You’ll learn real quick!


22 Pattaya One

Fun Town’s most vibrant

OuR MAN IN

By duncan Stearn

PATTAYA

Walk a Mile in My Shoes How many times has someone said to you, “I knew it was you. I’d know that walk anywhere?” If there is one, occasionally defining, aspect of a person’s character it is their walk. George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion was based around the theme of taking an ill-educated country bumpkin and turning her into the sort of society lass men of wealth and breeding would fall over themselves to marry. One of the key ingredients to the success of this training was teaching the girl how to walk like a lady of breeding. Thai girls do not scamper about like catwalk models. There again, no-one, other than catwalk models, people on bad acid trips and some of the mentally disturbed, walk in this fashion. I don’t understand why modelling agencies teach girls to walk as if they’re trying to get chewing gum off the bottom of their shoes. What is apparent from close observation of the denizens of Pattaya is there are a lot of persons with a farming heritage, and Thai buffaloes are wide in the rump. The most overt effect of this farming background and close association with bovine-like creatures of some bulk is the haemorrhoid walk. This is characterised by the left leg looking as though it’s fighting with the right leg, causing many girls to walk in the fashion of one who has had a chrome pole shoved up the clacker. Others seem to have just finished a particularly gruelling learn to drive lesson aboard the largest buffalo in Chonburi. A friend of mine once pointed out the unusual gait of a Thai lady of short stature ambling ahead of us one sultry evening. He casually remarked, “She walks like a duck.” She did indeed resemble the sort of life form generally found in a farmyard, being not much taller than a chicken, with the figure of a goose, a face like a squirrel and a walk that would embarrass any self-respecting duck. Then there is the amble. This walk is particular to the majority of Thai females and involves nothing more strenuous than placing one foot in front of the other at a pace only seen during the Slow March at State funerals. To be truly

defining, this amble must be accompanied by the wobble. The wobble is the action of slowly ambling in anything other than a straight line thereby causing pedestrian traffic to build up behind you. There is the Moon Walk or shuffle. It’s not generally known the late Michael Jackson copied his world famous Moon Walk from secret visits to Thailand. Apart from trying to entice young monkeys out of trees for a look at his latest operation scar, Jackson observed the way Thai girls performed what I term the ‘pretend’ run. This is usually when they are pretending to hurry to meet a boyfriend and they go into something akin to a slow motion action replay of an Olympic walking champion. The pretend run involves what appears to be a lot of forward motion but in reality the young lass merely advances at a pace not much faster than a person who’s undergone lower back surgery. As people age, many find walking difficult and so, in Western society we have the Zimmer frame. Designed by Hieronymous von Zimmer, an octogenarian former U-Boat commander, who kept falling head first onto the pavement in his home town of Stinkenfart. His daily intake of 16 large beer steins contributed to this tendency to fall over, but he realised he was getting old and his legs weren’t what they used to be. So, von Zimmer created a simple four-post iron frame that he could push from behind and thereby propel himself forward. Not only did it stop him falling down he found he could push dawdling children, giggling schoolgirls and pregnant women out of the way with impunity. In Thailand the Zimmer frame hasn’t caught on and aging Thais are forced to become a little more inventive. The best I have seen is a woman who owns the fittest chair in Pattaya. The old lady takes her daily constitutional around the back sois, propelling a swivel chair ahead of her. It’s like a cheap Zimmer frame and is certainly more stylish and practical. At least when she gets tired of walking, she can just sit down and relax. Try doing that with a Zimmer frame.

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15


1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15 Don’t cum just yet: The Climax go-go in Soi 15, off Walking Street, is not a new den, just a new cognomen for an old place. Formerly called Sakura Club 69, Climax re-opened under new ownership in February this year and was rebadged at the start of April. This is a place that has been opened and closed more times than a hooker with a bad case of chlamydia. As most readers are well aware, I’m not keen on visiting new dens on opening night, simply because there is no real way to judge the quality, or otherwise, of a place at that point. I believe it’s worth waiting a couple of weeks to allow a new or re-opened place to find its legs, and other parts of the female anatomy, before paying it a visit. I went into Climax a few days before the madness of Songkran engulfed Fun Town, so I can’t say the following is a completely fair assessment as by this juncture many of the better quality wallet emptiers of Pattaya had already left. The mamasan possessed the girth of a person whose food intake far exceeds daily calorific requirements. I think I recall her, or a twin sister, threatening structural foundations in the old Utopia go-go before it closed down the last time. I am led to believe the people who own Climax previously were the operators of Utopia, so perhaps Khun Girth of Global Proportions is a trusted member of their inner circle. At least she is friendly, or at least was being so to the only other customer in the joint, as she squeezed his knackers, and made his eyes pop. There were about a dozen dancers in the average-sized den, with four on stage at any one time. A few were easy enough on the eye. Thankfully, those who were resting between strenuous sets of chrome pole molesting were fairly proactive, trying to cadge lady drinks (120 baht) while the car alarm music blared. The problem I see for Climax is that it is stuck between two strong dens: namely, What’s Up and Baby Dolls. Without a real theme or an absolute string of top sorts, it’s going to struggle to accrue a strong customer base. A surprising success: One of the longest-established places of entertainment in Fun Town is the Tim go-go, beer boozer, and pool emporium (Second Road, opposite Soi 12). Over a long period of time, the eponymous owner has built a strong client base but on a recent visit to the den I was nonetheless surprised to see just how busy it was. I say surprised because there surely can’t be any way the majority of punters were frequenting the joint in the search for a g-stringed Miss Right. The wallet emptiers who have strangled the chrome

Pattaya One 23

Fun Town’s most vibrant

N ghtmarch By duncan Stearn

poles in Tim over the years have almost always tended to be on the Michelin side of the weight scale. Many have also been of an age where they can vividly recall black and white television. Admittedly, you don’t see too many shuffling about the stage with the latest tramp stamp stenciled on their lower back, right buttock, left breast or upper arm. The majority of the damsels also tend to be a little stand0ffish, although this is hardly uncommon in the airconditioned fleshpots of Pattaya. Compared to most other dens in the city, the girls are over-dressed; mind you, this is not altogether a bad thing in some cases. After all, anyone who has seen pictures of the average naturist camp at Bad Farten in northern Germany would appreciate the value of clothing. The pool/snooker tables out the back of the den are extremely popular. They are well maintained and with prices at 120 baht per hour offer good value. Drinks prices are not outlandish (lolly water at 50 baht for example), but nor does Tim offer the cheapest libations in town either. Perhaps the secret to Tim’s success is threefold. First, of course, is longevity. The place is like a comfortable set of shoes, careworn yes, but you know what you’ll get. Second, is the location. At first glance you might think it’s in a bad spot, but there’s plenty of walking traffic going up and down from the direction of Soi Diana Inn and The Avenue as well as plenty of nearby hotels. Finally, the music. Tim is known for its great videos and rock and roll music: no car alarm in here. Yes, it appeals to an ‘older’ crowd, but these are the very people booking rooms in many of the nearby sleeping palaces and drinking at the cheap afternoon beer boozers just across the road. Hairstyles of the Japanese and Koreans: Over the past decade or so there has been a gradual and definite growth in the numbers of north Asian sex tourists, as opposed to the decline in their Caucasian counterparts. The management of the twin go-go’s Super Baby and Super girl (both in Soi Diamond, and on opposite sides to each other) long ago realised they should try and cater to the Japanese and Korean males who were coming to Fun Town to play hide-the-sukiyaki, or fondle the kimchee, with willing local damsels.

Email: duncan@pattayaone.net

Concomitant with this rise in the north Asian punter base, the dancing damsels of Super Baby and Super Girl have clearly adopted a certain ‘look’ designed to appeal to this demographic. On a recent visit to Super Girl, the customers were about evenly divided between Caucasians and north Asians. After a fire in the den a few years ago, a Jacuzzi was installed. In this ablution device there are always two or three young ladies for whom a Map of Tasmania takes preference to a shaved minge. Apparently, the north Asian customers feel more comfortable with foliage. The topof-the-head hairstyles of the wallet emptiers look, in the main, to have jumped off the pages of magazines like Seoul Sisters or I have a yen for This: all bouffant and piled like a freshly washed mop. Super Girl, as with Super Baby, always has a lot of dancers (30plus) who shuffle about in seethrough skirts and not much else to music that sounds much like a draw full of cutlery has been carelessly tossed into a rotary engine. Lady drinks are 120 baht and consist of a champagne glass filled with some orange-like concoction. Hitting the Jackpot: For just over seven years now The Sportsman noshery and Anglophile beer boozer (Soi 13) has been running an in-house quiz. Over that time it has become one of the more popular of this type of event in Fun Town, and much of the reason has to do with the generosity of the management of the Sportsman. Conducted on a Thursday night, and starting at about 9:00pm, the quiz kicks off with a picture round followed by a fairly rapid-fire set of 60 questions divided into six categories. All participants are given

a free mini-meal consisting of a small meat pie and chips while the members of the winning team get a free drink of their choice. At the end of the main quiz teams can pay 100 baht to enter a three-question Jackpot. This can be well worth winning, and was recently sitting at over 12,000 baht. The three questions, of course, are not meant to be easy, but nor are they impossible. From what I’m told, the quiz nights regularly attract upwards of 35-40 players, so it’s a real winner for the Sportsman. The boozer also continues to run its ‘Pot the Lot’ special on their snooker/pool table. Over the years this has been won quite a few times so the amount is now just 2,000 baht. Nonetheless, plenty of people have paid their 100 baht for a tilt at trying to pot all the balls on the table without a miss. Noticeably improved: The experiment with VAT and the oblique result of the prices for drinks (42.73 baht, for example, for draft amber) in the Club Oasis go-go (Soi Buakhow) is now well and truly over, thankfully. VAT is now simply included in the overall price of a thirst quencher and this has resulted in the punters coming back. Whether rightly or wrongly, there was a perception among many customers that either they, or the serving wenches, were being ripped off. Not true, but the perception appeared to have a negative impact on the financial bottom line for Club Oasis, so management quickly addressed the situation. A glass of draft amber fluid is now 49 baht, one of the cheapest deals in town. Piece of Pith: Confucious says: ‘Man who fish in other man’s well often catch crabs.’

" VOTED PATTAYA'S

# 1 GoGo

2008, 2009 & 2010 " SOI 15 WALKING STREET www.babydollspattaya.com


24 Pattaya One

1 - 15 May 2011 Issue 15

Fun Town’s most vibrant

Heroic defence by villagers delayed the final destruction of Thailand’s capital In the annals of Thai history, the defence of the camp at Bang Rajan against the invading Burmese army in 1766 stands alongside the equally folkloric efforts of the sisters Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon in Phuket in 1785 and, later, of Khunying Mo in the Laotian invasion of 1827-1828. Sadly, the specifics of the battle for Bang Rajan cannot be verified, and much of what we know has been embellished by legend. Most of what we know about the battle for Bang Rajan comes from the writing of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab in his book Our Wars with the Burmese. Considering this was written about 150 years or more after the event and there are no original sources available, it’s hardly surprising that much of the exact detail of what happened remains pure conjecture. There is little doubt a series of engagements and a siege did take place at Bang Rajan and they provided what proved to be the most heroic part of the sorry episode which eventually led to the destruction of the Ayutthayan empire after 417 years. There are conflicting arguments regarding the original purpose of the Burmese invasion. Some Burmese accounts claimed the entire reason for the invasion was to effect the destruction of Ayutthaya. Prince Damrong and other Thai scholars suggest the capitulation of Ayutthaya was merely an unintended, but fortuitous, result of that invasion. As they point out, the usual reason for invading another country was not to take territory but to gather slaves and carry off goods with the aim of strengthening their own region.

Incursion

In July 1765, the Burmese launched yet another of their periodic incursions into Thailand. Coming from the north, where they had earlier occupied the Laotian city of Luang Prabang, the Burmese swept through Lampang, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, and Nakhon Sawan. Thai sources claim the Burmese army numbered around 100,000 men, although this is doubtful. The mere logistics of trying to control and organise an army of this size makes the numbers unlikely. Similarly, in September, a second Burmese army (also suggested to be

Historical Feature By Duncan Stearn

Bang Rajan monument

100,000 troops, but almost certainly considerably less) left Tavoy and invaded Thailand from the west, taking Phetburi and Ratchaburi, arriving almost unhindered outside Ayutthaya about February 1766. The northern Burmese army- approaching Ayutthaya via Angthong, 30 kilometres to the west of the Thai capital- set up camp at Viseschaicharn, an open area on a canal leading to the Chao Phrya River. The Burmese troops, according to the Thais, proceeded to harass local villagers, demanding food, stealing valuables, and molesting the women. Unable to obtain aid from Ayutthaya itself, a band of six village chiefs decided to organise resistance to the invaders. Four of the men came from a village in Singburi, the other two from Viseschaicharn. After killing a few Burmese soldiers, they fled to the village of Bang Rajan (sometimes rendered into English as Bang Rachan or Bangrachand). Bang Rajan was a natural defensive position. Known for its fertile land and abundance of food, it was flanked by a wide canal giving it protection from the Burmese camp at Viseschaicharn, and it could be reinforced from Suphanburi.

The six chiefs invited Phra Dhammachot, an abbot from Suphanburi, to join their cause. Revered as a man of learning, and, it was whispered, magic powers, the abbot travelled to Bang Rajan. If nothing else the abbot provided a sense of spiritual strength to the resistance. The number of defenders ensconced in Bang Rajan soon grew to 400 men, and a further five local chiefs also entered the camp to join the original six. One of the chiefs was a renowned archer, another, named Nai Thongmend, allegedly rode into battle atop a water buffalo.

Siege The Burmese commander, Nemiew, got wind of the growth of the resistance and determined to nip it in the bud, ordering his heavily armed troops into action. The first assault against Bang Rajan commenced around May 1766. Despite superiority in numbers and armaments, the Burmese were repulsed. Over the next three months, the Burmese attacked in force six more times. On each occasion they were beaten back and

every time more Thais arrived to bolster the defences. As a counter, Nemiew brought up reinforcements and placed Sukee, a Mon-Thai, at the head of his forces. Sukee had lived for a time in Thailand and was well aware of the Thai style of fighting. After making certain that all possibility of communication between Bang Rajan and Ayutthaya was effectively halted, Sukee moved his forces closer to the Thai village and, rather than engage in frontal assaults, started skirmishing operations on the flanks and using his artillery to greater effect. The attacks continued for a number of days, inflicting a growing number of casualties on the defenders. In frustration, Nai Thongmend, allegedly drunk, gathered a small Thai force and ventured beyond the lines to attack a Burmese camp. Nai Thongmend rode his water buffalo deep into the Burmese lines, but a counter-attack saw him cut down along with a number of his troops. It was the first major reverse for the Thai defenders. The Burmese tightened their grip by shooting anyone who attempted to bring food and other supplies into Bang Rajan and increased their cannonade of the encampment. Additionally, the Burmese started to dig a tunnel under the canal in an attempt to get behind the defenders. The Thais sent frantic pleas to Ayutthaya to come to their aid, but the capital was heavily invested and unable to raise a relief force. Finally, after a siege lasting five months, the Burmese launched an all-out assault, breaching the defences and overrunning the camp. All 10 remaining chiefs were killed or executed, as were most of the defenders. Very few managed to escape and those who were captured were made slaves. The abbot, Phra Dhammachot, supposedly disappeared. It is not known whether he was killed in the final assault or managed to escape. In the 1970s the Thai government created a memorial park to the heroes of Bang Rajan. In 1966 and 2000, two Thai movies were made about the battle for Bang Rajan. The story of Bang Rajan became to the Thais what the siege of the Alamo (1836) is to Texans and, by extension, the United States: a symbol of determination and heroism against overwhelming odds.

Published and Edited by Singhanart Rullapak for Napasingh 108 Co. Ltd., 353/62 M.9, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150. Printed by Pattaya Printing Solutions, Jomtien, Nongprue, Banglamung.


Pattaya One Issue 15