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Fun Town’s most vibrant 16 - 30 November 2010 Issue 4 www.pattayaone.net

Convenience stores get into bed with the police

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Just don’t jump the queue By Staff Writers

In what appears a somewhat bizarre alliance, the Royal Thai Police, Ministry of Sport and Tourism, and the CP All Company, the operator of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, announced they were joining forces in an effort to help foreign victims of crime. The Thai Asean News Network (TAN) reported in early November that an agreement had been signed whereby tourists, or, for that matter, resident expats, could go into a designated 7-Eleven convenience store and report any incidents which would normally require a police presence. Although crimes against tourists are no worse in Pattaya than any other major tourist region in Thailand, the initial rollout of this program will take place here, with 12 of the 7-Eleven shops having been assigned to test the effectiveness of the plan. If the pilot program proves successful then it will be expanded to other popular tourist destinations in Thailand, such as Phuket, Chiang Mai,

Koh Samui, and Koh Chang. According to the official announcement, 7-Eleven staff have been given special training to be able to rush to the nearest phone and dial 1155, which is the Tourist Police emergency number, and a free call, unless you’re ringing from Japan or Costa Rica. Once the staff member from 7-Eleven gets through to the police he or she can give the location of the store and ask officers to attend. After that, it will then be up to the police to decide what further action needs to be taken; and whether they should buy a carton of milk, just in case they run out at the station. The new idea has met with some negative responses, with suggestions the police should be more visible on the streets and the fact staff turnover in 7-Eleven stores is quite high means the so-called training must be an on-going activity. On the positive side, 7-Eleven stores are thick on the ground and are hardly the worst place for tourists who may have become the victim of a crime to seek help. The question is whether the average tourist is ever going to be aware they can receive help from a convenience store, as opposed to just being bewildered and confused after a criminal incident and hoping passers-by will be able to render assistance.

inside this issue...

% Porn shock on Beach Road % Dying for a phone call, or not? % Get a caffeine dose % Thai Lite: Meditating on a Squid


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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.

Porn shock Sir, I feel compelled to write after walking down Beach Road the other day and seeing on display the cover of a DVD which showed naked under-age girls and boys. I am not a prude, which is why I love Pattaya, but I was shocked and frankly disgusted that a DVD obviously promoting sexual activities with pre-pubescent children was so brazenly for sale. The stall holder was set up not far from the entrance to Walking Street and would probably be able to catch the eye of most of the shopping tourists. What a great advertisement for the city. Here

we have a local government which for years keeps pretending to try and turn the place into a haven for families and to help in this they openly allow such disgusting material to be sold. When I stopped in front of the stall to make sure my eyes were deceiving me, the stall holder made the comment that he “had more”. By the way, the children featured on the front cover were farangs, not Thais. I guess the police turn a blind eye to this sort of thing or simply don’t care, but I wonder how many tourists see this and then vote with their feet and never come back to Pattaya? Tom Evans, by email

Dear Tom, Pattaya One has seen similar evidence in public view on Beach Road. Looking at it from another viewpoint, this kind of material would not be produced if there wasn’t a market to sell it to, and we know the Thais at this level of existence are only concerned with making a baht to get them through until the next day. If it didn’t sell to a small but evil group of selfcentred, mentally warped people who engage in pedophilia even though they are fully cognisant of the human damage it can do, it wouldn’t be produced. Equally, the street vendor is at the end of the supply chain. Who organises and funds the procure-

ment, virtual enslavement, filmed sexual assault of the young kids and the post-production of these DVDs? We don’t wish to defend the vendors, because while they may understand the nature of these videos, they nonetheless choose to offer them for sale, revealing a total lack of moral fibre. We imagine their attitude is one of ‘well, if I don’t sell it, someone else will.’ The sad reality is that even if there happened to be one of those ubiquitous crackdowns, the material would only go undercover until the heat died down. These DVDs will continue to be sold for as long as there is money to be made by those much further up this sick and poisoned food chain.

Plugged in for a longer ride That wasn’t the generator was it?

Koh Larn has a new and reliable electric supply. This is thanks to a new set of undersea cables running from Pattaya to the island, which comes under the jurisdiction of City Hall. Khun Itipon, the Mayor of Pattaya, along with senior members of

Hands across the water Long considered not much more than an expensive tourist attraction and dubbed the ‘Thai-tanic’ by unkind media pundits, the Royal Thai Navy’s flagship HTMS Chakri Naruebet finally got another chance to leave her parking space at the Sattahip naval base. With floods having engulfed much of the south of Thailand, the world’s smallest aircraft carrier, or largest floating white elephant, was filled with emergency supplies and in early November she set sail for a point off Songkhla province where it was intended the warship would use her helicopters to ferry supplies

Anyone know how to start this thing?

to needy people affected by the flooding. Apart from serving a humanitarian purpose, the sailors employed aboard the aircraft carrier finally got to experience something of what the recruiting posters promised: ‘Join the Navy and see the world’. Well, they can almost see Malaysia. Although the carrier was commissioned back in 1997, it has spent much of its time in port and being used in what can only be described as a sparing fashion. It is the naval equivalent of the little old ladies used car, only used to go church on Sundays.

You load 16 tons and what do you get, an aircraft carrier full to the deck

his administration made their way to Koh Larn via speedboat to take part in a promotional event celebrating the completion of the project. The Mayor began with a tour of the island where residents told him it was great they could finally start

having dinner later than 6:00pm. A party was held that evening to celebrate, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display. There is no truth in the rumour the fireworks display was in fact the electricity generator going up in smoke.

Russian national arrested in Jomtien for underage sex A 51-year-old Russian national was arrested by officers from the Child and Women Protection Unit after they conducted a raid on his condo in Jomtien. Rafael Russadykov was caught in a compromising position with a 14-year-old Thai female, arrested, and brought back for further interrogation. Officers said Mr Russadykov had been under surveillance for some time as he was suspected of bringing underage females back to his condo for the purposes of engaging in sexual acts in exchange for money. The underage girl who was caught with Mr Russadykov claimed she had first met him while she was walking along Beach Road, although it is not clear if she meant the promenade in Pattaya or the one in Jomtien. She claimed he had asked her to accompany him back

I feel a financial headache coming on

to his condo, but she refused. She said Mr Russadykov then physically forced her to come back with him and she was raped. Despite the rape claim, she then admitted to having been back five more times, earning 500 baht on each occasion she engaged in sexual relations with the Russian national.


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Death By Phone Call A great thread on Teakdoor a while ago brought into conflict skeptical foreigners and superstitious Thais. Unfortunately they were often married to each other, and living up-country. Missismiggins started it: My wife came back from her mother’s today. She had a piece of paper that she briefly showed to me, which contained 3 telephone numbers, which had been given by a local official. The instruction handed out to the locals was that if you receive a telephone call from any of these three numbers do not answer it, as it will kill you. People have died already! So you can now imagine what it’s like around here at the minute... they are all trying to check their mobiles to screen incoming calls, they all have these bits of paper, can you picture it….all now rummaging around in their bags, wallets, pockets, to find the piece of paper with the list every time their phone rings to try and compare it! I only managed to grasp at the list, before it was quickly snatched from me as a “NON BELIEVER” (She knew I would ring them to see what happens). Of course it wasn’t long before a Doubting Thomas actually got hold of the list. Mousehole said: Our

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ABOVE BAWD

IN PATTAYA

By JOHN THOMAS our Internet Forum Snoop village is rampant today with all this. A man in Lampang got a phone call today and he immediately died with blood spurting out of his ears and eyes. I just cannot stop laughing when they stand trembling and shaking trying to warn me. My wife was at the market today and phoned me to ask if we needed bread. I saw it was her phoning so just answered and made Whoooo, Whooooo ghost noises. She nearly died. More cynical posters, such as Norton suggested an ulterior motive: Folks will call the number and find it is someone selling time share condos. Well. Maybe in Pattaya. Although here they’d kill you as well. Withnallstoke asked, What happens if the bastard murderers send you a text? Still death, or just a maiming? The panic hasn’t reached here yet. The only numbers no one answers are from bill collectors. Missimiggins, summoning up the blood, said: I thought of ringing the mother in law, she only has

Notice

The British Consulate in Pattaya will be closed due to staff leave 8 - 19 November. During this time, the Consular Section of the British Embassy in Bangkok will handle consular enquiries (tel: 02 305 8252) and requests for notarial services (tel: 02 305 8351). For notarial services, our Bangkok staff will be able to advise you on the best way to submit your documents, based on your circumstances. The Consulate in Pattaya will reopen for normal business on Monday 22 November.

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a landline, but if I were to slowly speak out the numbers ...like “I am calling from...0 - 5- 3...do you think it will work? Maybe I could write them down and fax them to her? He then reported that he was waiting for his wife to fall asleep so he could snatch the numbers and call them. He eventually got them by pretending he was helping someone avoid death by telephone call in Lampang, and instead posted them on the forum. Of course, not wanting to be a party to mass murder, I won’t be quoting them here. He added: if my wife found out I had taken the piss about this, Joan of Arc would have died painlessly. Norton summoned up the bravery to call them first: All three said “Sorry the number cannot be reached at this time” Either no number or phone off. Mother in

law was asleep so I used nasty Sister in law’s phone. Jandajoy added: Well, my wife called ‘em. No answer. I now have to explain why I asked her to call these numbers. She’s well wound up. I’ve told her it’s “secret falang business.” Missismiggins breathed new life again by suggesting that the autopsy results on phone victims might read: “Cause of Death - Stupidity”. I give it a week before the local temples have “smelted” some magical charms that prevent death by 0800 numbers and the like, they’ll sell like hotcakes, you wait! And finally, to give print credibility to word of mouth wildfire rumours, Slackula posted a Phuket Gazette report on the phenomenon: The reporters called 083 333 5xxx, reportedly one of the most dangerous numbers. Instead of an explosion of blood from the ear, however, they got an angry young woman who complained she had been called more than 100 times that day by people asking if she had really been sending out high frequency death waves. The woman said she had been using the ‘beautiful number’ since she bought it three years ago. The following day she would buy a new SIM card, she added. We eagerly await the next outbreak of mass hysteria here.


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Pete’s Peregrinations By Peter Lloyd

Manila Murder Musings I’m writing this in Manila where I have come for some meetings, arriving late at night after my PAL flight from Bangkok was heavily delayed. That set the tone for my first night. The airport taxi driver then lied to me and said there was heavy

traffic downtown because of a church meeting (at 11pm?!) and could he go the longer but faster way to the hotel? Foolishly, befuddled by having just arrived, I agreed, and ended up with a bill three times the amount of the usual fare. I’m still kicking myself. I come to the Philippines twice a year, and much as I love the country, the people, the islands and the scuba diving, I really hate trafficcongested Manila and find it depressing being here, especially for the first couple of days. I am staying on Mabini Street; the hotel and location are great, but last night even just a block away from the hotel, the dark, dirty, dangerous-feeling streets immediately put me on my guard in a way that never happens in Thailand. I am always shocked by the many babies, small children and families

sleeping rough on the pavements whenever I come here. It’s very sad. Now may not be the best time to be in Manila. Today’s newspaper headline screamed: ‘US and four other countries put out travel alerts on Manila’, warning of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in the capital and elsewhere. Even though the Philippines economy is booming, the stock market is hitting record highs and the currency remains strong, tourism-wise, the Philippines always seems to outdo Thailand on bad news stories splashed across the world’s press. In the past few months there have been (just off the top of my head): a murder of a British businessman by an armed gang, the disappearance of a British woman in Manila, an assassination of a Brit in Angeles City, and the murder by stabbing of

another Brit, who had gone to meet his Filipina girlfriend who he was going to marry. Unfortunately he confided this sensitive information to her secret Filipino boyfriend, who promptly stabbed him to death. There have been other shootings, of Americans, and of course, the shockingly bungled ‘rescue’ attempt of the Chinese tourists in the bus siege which played out on TV screens the world over, which resulted in eight deaths, global condemnation of Manilan police incompetence, and international outrage, all of which have decimated the tourism industry here. Most of the blame can be laid at the door of gross corruption and political mismanagement, but I feel sorry for the country and its people, and hope things one day will change.

Beer Bar’s Beers Bar A friend and I recently travelled up to Udon Thani, where we stayed overnight. Playing pool in a beer bar in a very quiet complex, we got talking to the owner who was selling up, fed up with low tourist numbers, financial concerns, hassles and shakedowns, including the ubiquitous ‘real or not’ copyright agent’s visit and haggled massive fine. The last straw was a 50,000 baht fine for advertising beer on their beer coolers. He showed me what they now had to do with them (pictured), and said it was part of a new clampdown, although in other bars

Red Tape or Green Tape

Issan Relief Often accused of having a lavatorial sense of humour, I was intrigued to see these toilets in a service station in Issan recently. Incredibly privet, these natural screens provide a fig leaf for nervous users. The owners were clearly not beating around the bush when they put them in, presumably to hedge against the risk of prying eyes of other pee peepers stemming one’s flow. Of course I had to skulk around the bogs, looking highly suspicious, sporting my camera, until they were empty, when I was able to take this photo, which has probably put me

on some kind of toilet-lurking perverts blacklist somewhere.

Slash And Burn

we were in they hadn’t had to cover up these containers. I recalled a recent club raid in Pattaya where a similar regulation was enforced but I haven’t as yet seen anything like this in Pattaya. If this barmy law was being strictly enforced, logic would dictate that labels on beer bottles should also be taken off or covered up. And taken to its logical conclusion the breweries would have to be raided every day, as they churn the offending bottles out, labels and all, as well as retail stores everywhere. Imagine the backhanders.

Traffic Madness A little indistinct, as I was photographing it from a moving car (no, I was the passenger), I recently saw this bizarre sight at the scene of a crash on the busy Ayutthaya – Saraburi road, at a notorious traffic black spot. Behind the group is the truck they were travelling in, which had overturned, scattering fruit all over the road. As the traffic was still driving past at a dangerous speed, on the obstacle-littered road, the traffic policeman, conveniently indicated by the arrow sign on the right of the

Contact me at pattayaonepete@gmail.com

photo, decided to add to the road dangers by taking a group photo for the lucky crash passengers in front of their still-overturned truck. Only in Thailand.

Say Cheese


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By Khun Dee

Perk Up—Coffee is Good for You If you absolutely must start each day with a cup of coffee, you probably have a caffeine dependence. But unless your physician has warned you to quit the black brew, perk up: the latest research indicates that moderate coffee consumption causes no harm and, in fact, probably offers health benefits. For decades, coffee has been defamed and acclaimed from one study to another. But this inveterate java junkie sees ample grounds to justify a healthy cup or three a day. In fact, I’m convinced that the black brew (drunk that way) helps maintain good health. Studies conducted around the world show that coffee drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Caffeine fiends also suffer fewer cases of cancer, strokes, and heart problems. And if that’s not enough, other research shows that coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, liver damage, and colon

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Living Healthy in Pattaya Addicted to Caffeine? problems—including cancer, and may improve both cognitive function and endurance performance in long-duration physical activities (think better sex).

How much and what kind of coffee? Three to four cups a day would do the trick. But if that much coffee makes you edgy, just a single cup a day provides some protection. One cup may lower your risk of stroke by a much as 30%, for example. That same cup may reduce your chance of contracting cancer of the mouth, pharynx and esophagus by 50%, according to a 13-year study in Japan. Such benefits derive whether you drink decaf or regular; in either case eliminate the cream and sugar –which seem to hamstring the antioxidants in coffee, eliminating some

benefits and add fat and calories. Want more protection? Drink even more coffee. Two to three cups a day cut the overall risk of all deaths by 18% in women...not so much in men (3%). That’s also the amount that helps reduce chances of getting Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes. A study conducted in Finland revealed that those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by 65%. Another study suggested that the risk of diabetes dropped about 7% with each daily cup. [Brits take note: 3 or 4 cups of tea a day had similar diabetes-thwarting benefits.] Before such good news has you reaching for another cuppa, be warned that “coffee is not completely innocent. Caffeine, coffee’s main ingredient, is a mild addictive stimulant,” reports the September issue of Harvard Women’s Health

Kris & Noi’s

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 Morons-R-Us I’ve been happily living in Pattaya for 15 years, but in the past few years I’ve seen a real drop in the standard of visiting expats. Despite the awful exchange rates it seems that plenty of yobs from many countries still manage to get here. Being English I notice my fellow countrymen more, and I think they are amongst the worst. People from other countries are often arrogant and rude to Thais and other expats, but some Englishmen just want to get severely drunk and then make trouble. I’m not a Lord Posh myself, but I never act the way these people do. I love it here; the weather, food, and way of life. As a single man who enjoys a social life, this is perfect for me. I wish that

the louts would find somewhere else and leave the rest of us, Thais and expat residents, in peace. Cornish In any internationally-famous resort, where sex and alcohol are in abundance, there will be an unruly element amongst the visitors, and Pattaya has always had its share of Neanderthals. However, many expat residents would agree with you that the percentage of crude, rude deadbeats has increased in recent years, and visitors from the newer Pattaya markets receive poor reviews from expat blogs for their bad manners and rudeness towards other citizens. But the Brits,

with their “in yer face” attitude and taste for binge drinking, still seem favourites to top the Expat Violence and Vomit league table. Nevertheless, you are overstating the issue; most expats can live here as long as you have without ever encountering any trouble from other expats. Although Pattaya would certainly be a more pleasant place if they didn’t visit, you are more likely to be mugged or burgled by a Thai than be bothered by a palefaced cretin.

Nice Schmutter?

Like just about everyone else here, I’ve often been annoyed by Indian tailors trying to shake my hand

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Watch. The Medical School’s warning goes on to point out that the brew can have modest cardiovascular effects such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and occasional irregular heartbeat that should be considered. Such negative effects tend to emerge with excessive coffee drinking. “It is best to avoid heavy consumption,” advises Dr. Donald Hensrud, preventive medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic. He says heavy caffeine use—four to seven cups a day—can “cause problems such as restlessness, anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness, particularly in susceptible individuals.” A final positive note for coffee lovers: java has been shown to improve alertness and reaction time in people. After consuming anywhere from 20 mg to 200 mg of caffeine, “people report increased well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability,” says caffeine expert Roland Griffiths at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. That may be why one 10-year study found that those who drank at least two cups of regular coffee a day were about 60% less likely to commit suicide than non-coffee drinkers.

like an old friend and drag me in to their shop, but—and don’t laugh— I want a couple of suits made and would like to try them. Years ago, a colleague at work came back from Pattaya with some, and he did look smart; wish I had made a note of the tailor. They must be decent, as there are hundreds of them here making a living. Can you recommend any? Steptoe There are also hundreds of massage parlours, some good, some which will give you a permanent backache, so the number of shops is no guarantee of performance. To find the recommended shops, take a look at the expat forums and note the comments of people who have actually used them; this will give you a few to check out. Treat the ones who advertise ridiculously low prices and throw in extra shirts and trousers, as too good to be true. Go for good quality material, this is what makes the suit, don’t go for a rush job; and ask him why he speaks like an Aussie. [One tailor I can wholeheartedly recommend is AMA Fashion, situated on Central Pattaya Road, opposite Tops Supermarket. I have taken a number of friends there over the years and all have been extremely satisfied with the work. Ed.]


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Pattaya Focus on ...... Traffic Lights and Pavements Much as we like to take credit for everything, in this case I really feel we have made a difference. Since starting this column, every new road project in central Pattaya has been road construction by concrete rather than the cheap diluted tarmac we have highlighted and criticised previously as being substandard, poorly applied and appallingly maintained. Thick blocks of concrete are the best way to go if you have uncaring contractors or sub-contracting deals resulting in inferior quality road surfaces, so hats off to Pattaya One for this latest success.

A Road-sy Future. Concrete Sign of our Success

Or this impediment to walking, which is just one of many, many examples.

But it’s not just at the traffic lights that you need to keep your wits about you when sojourning down Thappraya Road. The pavement has been boobytrapped with all manner of dangerous structures and traps for the unwary (or drunk) pedestrian. How about these life-threatening pavement-level deep holes?

The main focus of this column however is the state of Thappraya Road. In this edition I want to take you to the traffic lights on one of the busiest junctions in Pattaya, the Thappraya/Thepprasit junction, approaching at speed from Jomtien.

Or this one.

In the above photograph, can you see where the traffic lights are anywhere, as you approach this dangerous junction? No? Nor can many motorists, and I have seen some serious traffic incidents here, especially at weekends, with drunk or weekend drivers unfamiliar with the road, blowing right through the lights on red, with cars and motorbikes having to take emergency evasive action. The only set of lights facing Jomtien were bizarrely relocated away from the road a few weeks ago, and set back, where they remain hidden by this green piece of useless pavement junk erected for no purpose except self-enrichment under a previous administration.

By Tar Mack

How many people must have been injured by this glorified rat hole for some good citizens to try to helpfully mark the danger with some rubble? Or try this, our old friend on Thappraya Road, the ubiquitous, inappropriately located, dangerous water hydrant, made extra visible by the plastic bags..

It’s a new pavement, built at enormous cost and massive inconvenience, and it is being littered with as much pedestrian-endangering crap as is humanly possible to dream up, and it’s not even finished yet. Surely residents and taxpayers deserve better.

Next Edition: Upsides: Thappraya Road Marketing Opportunities.

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7943 By the 8621 NUMBERS 50 the number of years the Surin Elephant Roundup has been in existence. The annual fair runs for about 12 days during which tens of thousands of people from all over the country and the world flock to watch elephants perform shows and battle re-enactments. Hotels and guest houses usually double their rates and food vendors charge up to twice their normal prices for a dish, cashing in on the tourist influx. This year the main show part of the festival will take place on November 20 and 21. The story goes that the whole shebang kicked off in 1960 when the chief of Tha Tum District Office thought it would be a great idea to spend a few baht on an elephant show and boat races to celebrate the opening of his new district office building. By 1962 the Thailand Tourism Organisation (TTO) -later renamed the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) so that some wag could find a way to use the phrase TIT for TAT- took over the running of the festival which was re-located from Tha Tum to the centre of Surin city proper.

96 the number of Ukrainianbuilt armoured personnel carriers (APCs) ordered for the Thai military. Since 2006, defence spending in Thailand has almost doubled to approximately 170 billion baht. The Ukrainian APCs aren’t a great expense, a snip at just 4 billion baht, although as with all military hardware, some boffin somewhere reckons they’re not designed for tropical Thai conditions and the money has been wasted.


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Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh Part 3 I have saved this final instalment of my visit to Hanoi to describe some of the tourist sites in this historic Vietnamese capital. This involves first knowing how to get around which, if you are staying in the Old Quarter, does not present much of a problem. Metered taxis are plentiful but I did notice they are not as cheap as those in Saigon or in country towns. After several trips, my mates and I suspected the drivers had an illegal accelerator fitted to the meter, turning it over faster than regulation. You arrive at your destination in one piece but it was surprising how the 17,000 VN Dong showing on the display went to 80,000 VN Dong in such a short space of time and distance. To familiarize yourself with the city, one option is to take an ecofriendly open electric street car which you can board at the large Dong Xuan market. They carry ten passengers charging 15,000 VN Dong each and depart when they are full or near enough to it. You can even pay 150,000 VN Dong and have the car to yourself or your party. They quietly travel a set route around the Hoan Kiem lake,

taking you past a dozen or so places of interest and return you to the market, unless you want to get off at some point beforehand. On the eastern side of the lake I noticed a large globe of the world (see photo) showing Vietnam in relation to Asia. I sincerely hope this is not what they teach in Vietnamese geography classes because, last time I checked, Ho Chi Minh City was not located south-west of Perth! And I suspect Vietnam itself is not that large. The Cho Dong Xuan market comprising several buildings and several floors is worth a visit, but honestly, the markets in Thailand are better. Don’t expect to find a favourite shirt in multiple-X Westerner sizes either. The Vietnamese people are of small build and the market caters mainly for the locals. Our first ‘cultural activity’ was to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, located in the Ba Dinh district and open from 8am to 11am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Admission is free but, like many religious sites in Thailand, there are dress regulations with which my slovenly-dressed friends and I failed to comply. We found out

later that Uncle Ho’s body was not actually in situ because each year at this time it is transported to Russia where embalming experts give him a touch-up. One place worth a visit with no dress rules is the Vietnam Military History Museum (also in the Ba Dinh district) which opens every day except Monday and Friday from 8am until 4:30pm. Entrance fee is 20,000 VN Dong. The museum covers the French-Indochina War (1945-1954) and the ‘American War’ (1962-1975) and it was truly an eyeopener. Now, I know all countries and governments use distortions of history and propaganda to pacify their people, highlight good deeds and gloss over or cover up the bad, but the Vietnamese seem to have perfected it. The museum offers a very distorted and one-sided view of events, so don’t go there thinking you are going to find out the ‘truth’. There may be a lot of ‘truth’ to be seen but I suspect there is even more poetic licence used in presenting it. For instance, one brass plaque boasted from 1964 to 1973, “the North Vietnamese People’s Armed Forces shot down 4,181 US aircraft” including “2,422 shot down by the

Pattaya One 11 Air and Anti-Air Forces; 357 by the Militia and Self-defence Forces; 30 by Militia Women and 6 by Militia Aged People.” I had to chuckle at the statistical breakdown. They could have added, “and 3 by Militia Disabled Orphans using only a slingshot and a bag of marbles.” Finally, we went to the Hoa Lo Prison, often referred to as the ‘Hanoi Hilton’. Most of the original structure has been demolished, but the south-east side has been restored and classified as a ‘revolutionary relic’. Built by the French colonists in 1896 to house Vietnamese insurgents … sorry, ‘revolutionary patriotic soldiers’ … it was later used by the Vietnamese to house captured American aircrews … sorry, ‘US imperialist aggressors arrested for bombing the peaceful people of North Vietnam’. Going through this museum, seeing the photos and reading all the literature, provides a valuable lesson in human nature. The first part of the tour showed conditions under the French, with the inhuman treatment and torture of hapless Vietnamese prisoners. The guillotine “used to cut the heads of Vietnamese patriots and revolutionary fighters” was particularly chilling. The second part showed conditions when the prison was used by the Vietnamese for US pilots. You will have to excuse my sarcasm and irreverence but, in a scene straight from Ripley’s Believe it or Not, one sign declared: “During the war the national economy was difficult but Vietnamese government had created the best living conditions to US pilots for they had a stable life during the temporary detention period.” Next to it were photos of US prisoners playing basketball in the courtyard, decorating a Christmas tree and preparing a baked chicken meal. They were all smiling. And so did I. After four full days in Hanoi I came away primed with revolutionary zeal and a renewed appreciation of Pattaya.


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Fun Town’s most vibrant

Pattaya: One Rainbow The Worst of Both Worlds The plethora of gay venues in Pattaya, the thousands of wide-eyed young Thai gay men who flock here from all over the country to find fortune and love, the city’s popularity with gay tourists and gay expats are all signs of how Thai society tolerates gay people. Pattaya seems to be close to Utopia for gay Thais and foreigners alike. It is disturbing to learn that physical assaults on gay men are not uncommon in Pattaya and verbal abuse of gay people in public places here is rife. This homophobia is mostly unreported, especially by tourists who do not want their holidays further spoiled by involvement with officialdom and expats who may have a jaded view of the local justice system. The

By James Barnes perpetrators of this frightening aggression are never Thai. Thai society is less accepting of homosexuality than Europeans are. There are no same sex civil partnerships here. Nor is there any of the equality that legal status confers. Thai gay men still feel that they have to marry and produce children. They often dare not come out of the closet at work- a suicidal career move. Thai families are not generally accepting of gay children. Many bars frequented by gay Thai men will not advertise themselves as being gay establishments because gay professionals would never patronise them, fearful

GAYMARCH Email: gaymarchpattayaone@gmail.com

EL DUO courtesy Gay Affairs Pattaya In this issue we highlight the Sunee Plaza gay nightlife district, which consists of two small sois, bordered by Sois VC and Yensabai, in South Pattaya. From Second Road, just walk down Soi VC for about 250 metres and you’ll see Sunee Plaza on your right. Sunee Plaza has a somewhat ‘down market’ feel compared to Boyz Town. However, some punters prefer this area because of its array of ‘beer bars’ and coffee shops, offering vantage points for people watching, giving the area a European-style café ambiance. There’s a great mix of venues including go-go bars, some of which present exotic shows; and many ‘host bars,’ where you can relax with a leisurely drink or a cup of coffee in the company of a handsome young man, if you desire. Drink prices tend to be lower than Pattayaland and many estab-

lishments offer happy hours and other specials. In addition, if you’re into femme boys (aka ladyboys or katoeys); you’ll find lots of them here. However, there’s a big variety of various types of young men and you’re sure to find some that will light your candle. Part of the fun is bar hopping until you find the man of your dreams. Many of the venues in Sunee Plaza tend to feature youthful looking boys who are on the slender side, in addition to the more buff ones. Always check ID if you decide to ‘take off’ a staff member. You can find a complete listing of the area’s venues on the website, www.suneeplaza.info. Some of the popular clubs include Nice Boys, on Soi VC. Their stage is often jammed with forty or more pole dancing lads. Come early for the best selection. Krazy Dragon presents ‘table top’ dancing boys in skimpy attire, as well as, reasonably priced drinks. Another table top dancing joint is Happy Boys on Soi Yensabai, where the boys stand before you on low tables wearing just loin cloths. Purchase a drink for yourself and your new friend and he’ll accompany you upstairs for more intimate conversation. Wunderland go-go bar offers a nightly cabaret show. As mentioned, host bars abound. In the center of Sunee Plaza, is The

of becoming ‘known’. But gays are tolerated here. Thais may be full of prejudices that have largely disappeared in Europe with its politically correct ethics but they do not accept homosexuality. Nor do they punch someone in the mouth because that someone enjoys a love of his own gender. In contrast, Europe is beginning to see gay couples who have engaged in civil partnerships in the same light as heterosexual married couples. Gay businesses run openly and with pride under the full protection of the law. Equal opportunities legislation also prevents discrimination in the workplace.

Corner Bar, which offers a great location to relax with the boys. They feature double shots in their mixed drinks and even offer a limited burger and sandwich menu. On 30 November, The Corner Bar celebrates the first anniversary of their current ownership and the owner’s birthday with a free buffet and entertainment. Another popular spot is Oud’s, hosted by the adorable young man of the same name and also offering burgers, sandwiches, drinks and good company. Theatre queens will appreciate the posters on the walls. Duc’s offers delicious coffee and drinks and has a monthly Quiz night on the 15th. OTHER STUFF: Every Friday night, beginning at 8, it’s Deep Splash, at the DusitD2 Hotel, on Pattaya Second Road, next to The Avenue Shopping Mall. This is for the ‘young and sophisticated’ gay crowd in a cool and high class party

16 - 30 November 2010 Issue 4 More and more parents are willing to accept that their children are gay and it is many a long year since a gay elected public official had any novelty value. This is, of course, a generalised view- many eastern European countries retain a bigoted, puritanical and offensive position towards gay people and don’t even attempt to equate Russia with egalitarian thought. In Thailand, there is tolerance and little acceptance. In Europe there is acceptance but less tolerance. Here we are, approaching the year 2011 and the struggle for gay rights has to continue. Gay people should never accept this worst of both worlds. They are entitled to live in one world, where acceptance and tolerance go hand in hand. A world that provides equality under the law. Where gay men can walk in the streets, hand in hand, without fearing a punch in the mouth.

James Barnes is Editor of OUT in Thailand Magazine.

atmosphere. On Friday, 19 November, Café Royale, in the heart of Boyz Town, will celebrate its twentieth anniversary with an evening of special presentations, fashion and swimwear shows, lucky draws and trivia challenges. They’re offering a gala buffet dinner for 750 baht. Less is more? Since the police raided X-Boys, on Pattayaland Soi 1, their show has become a bit less revealing. Recently, however, some very erotic stuff was going on under the sheets. Every Monday and Wednesday, throughout November, at The Venue, in Jomtien Complex, all orders, after the first order, will be entered into a ‘win the bin’ lucky draw, valued at 500 baht, following the show. The Pattaya Pride street party takes place on 1 December in Boyz Town. Next edition of GAYMARCH will feature the Jomtien Complex area


Fun Town’s most vibrant

THAI Lite

Meditations on a Dead Squid By S. Tsow A recent news item reported that a man in Wales was photographed having sex with a dead squid. The possessor of the photograph (apparently not the same person who had sex with the squid) was arrested and charged with possessing ‘an extreme pornographic image which portrayed in an explicit and realistic way a person performing an act of intercourse with a dead animal, namely a squid, which was grossly offensive, disgusting or of obscene character.’ You can tell right away that the Welsh authorities are a prim and puritanical bunch. Precisely what aspect of this act has caused the court to vilify it in such stern words? Is it the fact that the victim was dead, or the fact that it was a squid? If the latter, the court is guilty of a bias based on species, technically known as speciesism. Such bias must be condemned by all right-thinking, politically correct people. The issue of a man having sex with a dead squid is a delicate topic that presents many pitfalls, but I propose to address it with my customary tastefulness, wit, and grace. I know that there are many cowardly editors out there who would reel in disgust at the thought of printing this. “There goes Tsow again, sending us filth,” I can hear them grumbling. “This one goes into the shredder.” But not this editor. No! I am confident that the editor of this journal will boldly tread where no previous

editor has ever trodden before, blazing new trails in journalistic courage, embracing freedom of information, openness to Truth, the equality of all mankind, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I know that this brave editor will fiercely defend my God-given right to pen whatever depraved scurrility manages to slither through the rotting convolutions of a diseased brain. Yes, the world will be shocked and disgusted. But we must have Truth, however ugly and unpleasant it may be. This particular crime, technically called squidbonking, has many complex ramifications that we must explore in erotic detail; for it casts a new and cruel light on the sewage that suppurates in the dark and hidden corners of the human mind. There are grave moral issues at stake here. Pope Benedict will surely have much to say about them, and I eagerly await a papal bull [no doubt to be titled Eroticus Squidius Bonkus. Ed.] on the topic. The Reverend Al Sharpton, too, is not likely to remain silent, nor Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and it is for certain that the Muslim ulema is already crafting appropriately sulfurous fatwas. Only the Dalai Lama will have the wisdom to remain silent. I am concerned about the condition of this unfortunate invertebrate at the time she was so cruelly violated. The squid was dead. She cannot speak out in her own defense, so it

remains for brave humans to take up the cudgels on her behalf. As she was in no condition to resist the amorous advances of her assailant, or even to demur verbally, we can consider this a case of rape. Is it a greater crime to rape a dead victim, or a living one? As creatures of reason, we must acknowledge that raping a living victim is a far weightier crime. For in that instance the victim can feel pain and shame, whereas a dead one cannot. If the court should ever bring the actual rapist to justice, I believe that they must of necessity consider the posthumous condition of the victim to be an extenuating circumstance. We may feel disgust at the thought of a man raping a dead animal, but we must also admit that nobody is getting hurt in the process. In fact, the man, depraved though he certainly was, must have felt at the very least a perverse frisson of pleasure; otherwise, he would have desisted before consummating his act of love. Looking at this crime from a broader perspective, we must admit that it is a sad blot on the reputation of our species. Is there no unnatural act, perversion, or atrocity of which

Pattaya One 13 we are incapable? As the dominant species on this planet, do we not have a duty to guard, protect, and defend the lower, more helpless species that fall beneath our sway? He who abuses this responsibility disgraces all humankind, bringing shame, opprobrium, and condemnation upon us all. You won’t catch squids raping humans—especially not dead ones. Who then is the higher species here? It is the lowly, innocent, and unoffending squid. Poor innocent lamb! Here she was, lying dead and harmless on the beach, with her relatives out at sea presumably in deep mourning over her sad condition; when lo! along comes this vicious psychopath to assault and defile her, leaving her no dignity even in death. Inhuman succubus! Irredeemably depraved vampire and cannibal! The wrath, fury, and outrage of the entire global community of creatures are arrayed against him. We also wonder why he couldn’t get a girl. S. Tsow can be flamed at s.tsow@ ymail.com, as soon as he stops sputtering about the outrage committed against the late Ms. Squid.

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13 Girl Bira racing circuit

16 - 30 November 2010 Issue 4

Two umbrella girls, sans umbrellas


14 Pattaya One

Fun Town’s most vibrant

Postcard from Bangkok by Stickman Five reasons why Angelwitch in Pattaya may have brought such a high price

Take no notice of those who say there’s no money in the bar business. Iconic Nana Plaza show bar, Angelwitch, and its sister bar in Pattaya, are as good as sold. Sale price is rumoured to be around 100 million baht! [I was told 90 million; but hey, that’s small change. Ed] Angelwitch developed what Soi Cowboy’s Long Gun had been doing, taking the concept of shows to a whole new level. The girls were kitted out in exotic, sexy outfits and used a variety of props, helping Angelwitch to become one of the biggest brands in the business. The most hyped new venue, Bangkok’s Insomnia, opened on Friday night 5 November to much fanfare and a city laden with advertising. The venue was packed and the 300 baht entry fee – redeemable against your first drink - didn’t put anyone off. It’s a cavernous venue, with elements of both Western discos and Thai night spots. The crowd is rather different to what you find in Pattaya’s Insomnia. The Bangkok branch attracted a more well-to-do crowd and most of the ladies look like they would be appalled to be offered 1,000 baht for a little of their time. [not enough? Ed] It’s good to see Carlsberg back in Thailand, but at 200 baht a pint, or a princely 130 baht for a half pint as listed on the blackboard outside the Robin Hood, it’s no bargain. Popular visa run company Jack Golf’s problems continue. Their bus broke down again this past week, resulting in some customers

choosing to take a cab back to the capital, rather than wait for replacement transport. Those who regularly make visa runs insist that the Korean-run firm is the best in the business but the frequency of break downs is a concern. Are the signs inside the bus requesting a tip for the staff a Korean thing? Marc, the energetic owner of Spanky’s, has opened a new bar on Sukhumvit soi 33 with an apt name, Hookers! The plush venue is on the small sub soi beside Wall Street. There’s a lounge downstairs and 10 rooms upstairs for.... whatever takes your fancy! Marc set out to create a well-appointed yet relaxing venue and used the old Champagne Room which was above Bully’s as his inspiration. A go-go girl died whilst in the company of her customer. The customer rushed her to hospital at 4:00am after discovering that she had stopped breathing. The girl was not a big drinker and some girls have speculated that the customer may have spiked her drink. Police say it will take 45 days for the toxicology results. For fans of Beer Lao, not only is it in stock at Sheba’s and Suzy Wong’s in Soi Cowboy, it’s a very reasonable 75 baht before 9:00pm. The price doubles after 9 at which point 150 baht is the price for standard drinks, as it is in many Bangkok venues these days. Why is it that Beer Lao is not listed on the drinks menu? The average punter wouldn’t even know it was available.

Stickman runs a popular Bangkok site at www.StickmanBangkok.com

16 - 30 November 2010 Issue 4


16 - 30 November 2010 Issue 4 Mooning around Loy Krathong: When high season begins, around the start of November, the management of Diamond go-go (Soi Diamond) usually start ramping up the number of their popular dance contests and other events to try and take advantage of the extra punters in Fun Town. This year the traditional Loy Krathong festival takes place in late November and on Sunday night 21 November Diamond go-go will be holding a Full Moon Party as part of their Loy Krathong celebrations. If you’re expecting traditional costumes, demure damsels and graceful movements then you should stop taking your medication, now. The party will be in full swing by about 11:00pm, with more ‘mooning’ likely to take place than you would ever see at a proctologists handson convention. Yet another ‘black hole’ emerges: A few weeks ago I reported on the re-opening of the Sakura Club 69 go-go in Soi 15. This den has had more ups and downs than a Lumpini street walker on a Saturday night, but it is starting to appear as though the place is more benighted than blessed, because just three weeks into its new regime the doors are once more closed. A sign has now appeared offering the place for sale, I’m told, for 2.6 million baht. This is about half a million less than its previous asking price. Sakura Club 69 began life as a tiny broom closet of a den known as Nui’s in late 1999. It struggled for a while but ultimately the eponymous Nui has moved on to bigger and better things, most of them on Walking Street proper. It closed for renovations in 2005 and, after a series of delays, opened under the name Club 69 in January 2007. Since then it has been sold, renovated, re-opened, closed, re-sold, renovated, re-opened and closed It was sold a few months later, closed and renovated. It re-opened with the name Sakura added to the Club 69, aiming to attract a few of the sushi and sake brigade. By October that year it was closed yet again. Since then it has opened and closed a few more times, and I guess the only person making any money out of the place is the Thai landlord. Not worth a cracker: Catering primarily to potentially inquisitive Russians and located up a flight of steps covered by a gaudy and truly tacky red carpet, the Rocket gogo (Soi Diamond) is quite busy. A small sign downstairs is in Russian and probably reads, ‘prepare to be shocked by the rubbish we are about to pass off as a typical Thai dancing bar.’ Anybody who has ever been conned into going upstairs in one of those Patpong so-called ‘show’ bars and then been right royally ripped off will get a sense a déjà vu

Pattaya One 15

Fun Town’s most vibrant

N ghtmarch By Duncan Stearn

if they wander into Rocket. Places like these basically confirm the pre-conceived notion so many foreign tourists have of the nightlife scene in Pattaya. Given the quality, but sexy, entertainment on show in a place like Angelwitch (around the corner in Soi 15), what is on offer in Rocket is anachronistic at best and downright disgusting at worst. Masochists R Us: Some years ago the Carlsberg booze producing company from Denmark were a fairly significant player in the Thailand amber fluid ingestion market. Then the local brewers allegedly found a way of scuppering Carlsberg and the Danes pulled the pin and retreated from the local marketplace. That was about eight or 10 years ago. But the Vikings have returned for a second bite at the beer keg and Carlsberg is now available in a few select outlets in Fun Town. As of the end of October it should now be possible to start sinking Carlsberg in places such as Queen Victoria Inn (Soi 6), Butcher’s Arms (Soi Buakhow), The Sportsman (Soi 13) and Rosie O’Grady’s (Soi 7). No good if you have hay fever: The management of the Club Oasis go-go (Soi Buakhow) are always tweaking at the edges in an effort to keep the vibrancy in their chrome pole den. Happy hours are great value, especially for those who enjoy sinking liver wasters: two for 100 baht in a substantial glass is definitely a winner; with draft amber at 60 baht a glass. A number of video screens have been installed and the music combined with the visuals is another plus. Of course the most important element is the wallet emptying brigade and I would argue the den currently has one of the best lineups I’ve ever seen in the place: all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority in nice proportion. Gone are the days when a porker managed to sneak into the lineup, although, that said, it’s amazing how many of these lard barrels are popular with the less confident bum on a barstool. Oasis have introduced three shows a night, at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00pm. I saw the first one, which involved a number of damsels sporting boots, face masks and draped in feather boas and nothing else shuffling about the stage. There’s really not a lot you can do with a collection of feather boas,

Email: duncan@pattayaone.net

and Thai chrome pole molesters are not noted for their choreographic skills. It also doesn’t help when the boas happen to be moulting. The trail of discarded feathers put me in mind of a gaggle of geese fleeing a hungry wolf pack. “Waitress, there’s a feather in my beer,” sounds like a variation on the old tried and tested restaurant wail, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” I do have one complaint, and that’s about the dress code within the confines of the den. There was one dancer wandering about the floor wearing nothing but a very short skirt, a comely smile and a tie. The tie was loosely hanging around her cleavage and most certainly not done up in a proper Windsor knot. Next thing you know the standards will slip further and they’ll be wearing cravats of the wrong colour. Management please note. Check out the checks: Not sure what the people who run the Powers go-go on Walking Street are thinking. They appear to be confused as to whether they should be a full on go-go with dancing girls in various states of limited apparel or, hedging their bets, have a collection of over-dressed coyote damsels and a number of attentive hostesses as well. Just in case someone thinks they’ve wandered into a sports lounge, there’s also a pool table. The dancers, of which there are not really as many as one would want to see for the size of the den, are bedecked in a strange black and white checkered bikini and stockings ensemble. It’s different, but not especially alluring, particularly when the majority of the shufflers are overdressed, hiding all the good bits from public gaze. A few do release their inner charms but this just adds to the confusion as to what the den management is trying

to achieve. The checkered outfits make the dancers look like extras from an episode of the 1960s TV series Batman and Robin with The Joker as the feature villain. Lolly water is 90 baht and lady drinks are 120 baht, so prices are about average for this kind of den. Something old, something new for the wallet devouring high season: Down on Walking Street and its environs the Carousel gogo (Soi Diamond) re-opened at the start of November, albeit with only a limited number of chrome pole exponents. Down in Soi 16, the former go-go Club Sin City has been renovated and become Relaxxx gogo, opening on the 6th. Let’s hope it does better than all the previous incarnations. On the main drag, a giant den called Alcatraz was set to open on the 12th, a few days after the deadline for copy for this newspaper. It will be interesting to see how it goes in terms of attracting the punters: many will probably feel a sense of nostalgia, while others may avoid the joint because it brings back bad memories. Further afield, the Clinic beer boozer and former sports emporium (Soi Yamato) has re-opened after having had a lick of bright paint and a new sign erected out front. There are also a few wallet emptiers now warming their backsides on seats and hoping for customers. The joint has been taken over by Aoy, the widow of Derek Adams, who sadly passed away at the end of August. I wish her all the best after what has been a traumatic year. Piece of Pith: “There are a number of mechanical devices that increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief amongst these is the Mercedes Benz 380L convertible.” -PJ O’Rourke

Cool

music for the hot city

www.pattaya105.com


16 Pattaya One

Fun Town’s most vibrant

16 - 30 November 2010 Issue 4

Travel Thailand & beyond

Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi, Vietnam By Duncan Stearn Constructed on what is believed to be the site of a former craft village, the Hoa Lo prison in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi has become better known to foreigners by the appellation it was given by United States air force personnel during the Second Indochina War: the Hanoi Hilton. Situated on the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Hoa Lo streets, twothirds of the former prison was demolished in 1993 to make way for the building of a serviced apartment and office complex. Soon after, the remaining vestige of the prison was turned into a museum and opened to the public as a ‘memorial to the revolutionaries’. Many tourists come primarily to look at a place that has entered the folklore of American history as it pertains to Vietnam, probably unaware that Hoa Lo means as much, if not more, to the Vietnamese than it can ever mean to Americans.

Hoa Lo prison complex, taken in the 1980s A brochure, which features an aerial photograph of the Hoa Lo prison taken before much of it was demolished, states, ‘Towards the end of the 19th century, in an effort to contain the growth and development of popular anti-colonial movements amongst the Vietnamese community, the French government of Indochina reinforced its apparatus of suppression by strengthening the police force, developing the court system and constructing an extensive network of prisons. Opened in 1896, Hoa Lo was the largest…in the north of Vietnam…’ From 1896 until 1954 when North Vietnam came into being following the defeat of the French colonisers, Hoa Lo was used to house 1,900 Vietnamese revolutionaries. The

Popular with tourists now, not so when it was in operation second floor of the prison museum is dedicated to them. The brochure, naturally, goes on to extol the great sacrifices made by the revolutionaries and dissidents who were ‘confined for years in tiny cells with chains and leg-irons [enduring] savage treatment by prison guards.’ Conditions were harsh. For example, according to French records, between 30 June 1920 and 30 June 1921, 87 people died in the prison, including 17 from fever, 15 from the flu, and 10 from cholera. Among those incarcerated were five future General-Secretaries of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Le Duan probably being the best known outside of Vietnam. The tourist authorities know precisely what attracts visitors and so they have dedicated much of the ground floor to the period between 5 August 1964 when the first United States prisoner made his way through the portals to 29 March 1973 when the last of almost 600 airmen was released.

Not really geared for tourism, Hoa Lo prison in in 1954

That first man was Lieutenant Everett Alvarez. Stationed aboard the USS Constellation, he had flown a sortie against North Vietnamese patrol boat bases as part of retaliation for what became known as the Tonkin Gulf incidents. Alvarez’s plane was one of two aircraft shot down, but he was the only pilot to safely parachute from his plane. ‘He landed in shallow water, fracturing his back in the drop. Local North Vietnamese militia soon arrived and took him to a nearby jail, where he was briefly visited by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, who had coincidentally been touring the region at the time.’ So wrote journalist Stanley Karnow in Vietnam, his epic history of the nation and especially the American part of the war. The museum carries laborious details of cooking, exercising, and medical care, regarding the United States personnel who were incarcerated there, probably the most famous of these being John McCain, later a United States Senator and defeated Republican presidential candidate in 2008. The prison was hardly the almost ‘holiday camp’ atmosphere portrayed by pictures and written material on show in the museum today. Although a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention, which holds that prisoners of war should receive ‘decent and humane treatment’ as they are deemed to be ‘victims of events’, the North Vietnamese government took the line that those engaged in the bombing of their country from the air were engaged in ‘crimes

against humanity’. The Vietnamese confined many of their captives to solitary cells for long periods and abused many for declining to broadcast prepared anti-war statements. The notes on plaques in the prison claim 3,700 United States airmen were shot down and captured. According to Karnow, ‘Since 1961 nearly 9,000 U.S. airplanes and helicopters [were] lost in action over Cambodia, Laos, and the two Vietnams. Some 2,000 pilots and crew members had been killed, more than 1,000 were missing, and the captives in Communist hands numbered close to 600.’ Well, Caucasians all the look the same. Today, the Hanoi Hilton helps to draw people from all over the world to experience the not just the natural beauty of Vietnam but also its fascinating history.

You could lose your head in a place like this

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 4