Dubai Update – by Rafiq

Just bringing this post to the top of the pile… give it a little freshen up!

(note that this recent entry about Dubai is a follow up to a Dubai post published in 2009)

Dubai:

Firstly the rates stated by Bkk in his post are pretty much unchanged it all comes down to how good your negotiation skills are CIS girls will start prices at 2000dirhams early in the night but as the night wears on they will eventually drop to 1500dirhams… one major point to note from experience regardless of the fact that the girl is a hooker be nice to them and respectful and friendly throughout the night and u are sure to get them for 1000dirhams for LT I Have never paid more than 1000dirhams for a hot 8-10 CIS girl…. a great place to find them is at a club in deira called Red Square which is in the Moscow Hotel the entry is 100dirhams but well worth it this place is packed every night opens at 9:30pm and closes at 3am but usually gets packed at around 11:30pm I highly recommend it if u like Russians Kazakh and even Iranians there too…. I usually tip the bouncers every now and then and they tend to keep an eye out for girls according to your tastes and send her over for intros I usually tip 100dirhams….. Continue reading “Dubai Update – by Rafiq”

Halloween at Spellbound (a.k.a. Pretty Lady)

It’s that time of year again, when all the creatures of the night come out to celebrate Halloween. Here in Thailand, Halloween can be a ton of fun, so it’s time to party and forget the rat race. Wishing you a Happy Halloween!
CAMBODIA NIGHTLIFE – Phnom Penh After Dark Report
 FACEBOOK FAN PAGE – Go Go Guru Facebook Fan Page

Best Regards,
Dave The Rave (GoGo Guru).

Galleria 10 Hotel

When in Bangkok, Miss Tim and I tend to stay at the Citadines in Soi 11.  Only problem with that, is that’s a fair old trek down the soi.  Only a problem when we’re drunk…

So we’ve been thinking of where else to stay – but still want to be near T21 and all the action.  Any ideas?

I just received a (spam) mail advertising the Galleria 10 hotel  http://www.galleriatenbangkok.com/en/

I think it’s worth a shot.  Anyone know anyone who’s stayed there?

pic2

Even looks cool enough to chill out there….

How different will the reality be?
How different will the reality be?

Prices starting from a couple of thousand a night.  Cheap enough.

Will be there next month for sure…..

We have a letter……

Each week, we at Mango Unchained (my cat and I) literally don’t receive thousands of mails from readers. Here is one we did receive. (I didn’t even know there was the function to submit questions?!)

Hi,
Can you please recommend me any mistress in Bangkok ?
(Fetishism/sm, everything is fine for me).
What about mistress Tanya ? I read your article… She seems good. Please help me to find her… Google was not helpful.
Thanks
(name removed)

 

– In Bangkok, the only fetish place I know if is Demonia on soi 33.   And I only know of it as the place I run past so as not to get dragged in and beaten up by some midget Thai girl.

Maybe someone could be so kind as to recommend something for this chap?

 

 

 

Working for a living…. in Iraq!

I get a lot of comments from folk regarding my place of work.  I work in the Oil & Gas Industry, so for some reason people seem to assume I work on one of those smelly, dirty oil rigs.  I don’t. I did visit them about 20 years ago – but now I much prefer sitting behind a desk.

I now find myself working in Iraq – which generates more questions from people.  What’s it like?   Is it dangerous?  blah blah….

Much of the City of Erbil was designed by Developers in the UAE and you can certainly see the similarities to Dubai when driving around.

I actually like where I am.  The people are friendly, the weather is good and the scenery is nice.

Don’t believe everything you see on the news.  Yes, some parts are dangerous and people are getting killed.  I don’t work in those areas and have no business going to those places.

So, I thought I’d share a few images.

The Hotel I stay in
The Hotel I stay in

A lot of the City was designed by a Dubai developer.  Driving through the city, there are certainly many similarities.

No desert here....
No desert here….

I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived for my 1st day of work.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

I don't work here!
I don’t work here!

It’s nice as it is, and as safe as it is…. I still can’t persuade my pals to come here for a piss-up. Odd.

I've stayed in worse places
I’ve stayed in worse places

How many people (expats) who live in Thailand got a call from friends & family – asking if everything was o.k, after seeing all the riots / protests on the TV a little while back?

We didn’t really notice much when living in Bangkok.

It’s the same all over.  I don’t like watching the news.  The reporting is shite.

So….  if anyone is in Iraq and fancies a beer or two?….

Who says war zones can' t be fun?
Who says war zones can’t be fun?

Ankara….

Currently in Ankara on business.

Have to say, walking through the city in the morning on the way to work, I love the hustle and bustle of it all.

Really is a nice city.

Turkish food being my favorite in the whole wide world….. happy days!

JW Marriott Hotel is the nuts.  Cheap too!

Interesting fact… Thai’s do not need a visa for Turkey.  Hmmm…. maybe something to think about for our next holiday?

Ankara at night...
Ankara at night…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day out in London

Many people have said (including myself) the reason Bangkok is quiet these days is because everyone in the world is running out of money. The ‘normal’ people that is. Those of us without a hedge-fund. Or even a hedge. Well it seems I am wrong. Normal people still have money. They’re just not coming to Bangkok to spend it. And why would you? If you’ve got a pile of cash burning a hole in your pocket, you’d want to spend it somewhere nice. Not in a grotty place where you can’t use the sidewalks and everywhere smells of piss.

Time to fly to the other side of the world –  to London.

If there is a global recession on, nobody told London.  The place is absolutely heaving.  The bars were full, the restaurants were full and the streets were full.  There is money there and people were spending it.

The reason for our latest trip to civilization was to attend a family wedding. However, that only took up a weekend so we had another weekend left in which to amuse ourselves.

Time to hit the pubs of London.

Being the midgets that we are, we called upon Jonas and my pal Big Dave to ensure we could get served at the bars.

Jonas landed at Stansted airport on Friday night (sat morning). We drove back to the city of Norwich where we were staying. Miss Tim opted to stay in bed instead of driving with me – but insisted I woke her when I got home – with a Kebab!
It was 3am – we all tucked into our kebabs. No time for chit-chat, we had a train to catch at 10am.

Breakfast of Champions!
Breakfast of Champions!

The train from Norwich to London takes just under 2 hours. A journey that was helped along the way with a pre-mixed bottle of Vodka & Coke. We also filled our pockets with a bunch of miniature bottles of booze that we had in the kitchen. The goal was to get drunk and we were properly armed for the job.

Once we arrived in London, we got on the Tube and headed to Covent Garden. Big Dave met us from the Train and acted as our Tour Guide. Not because he knows London like the back of his hand, but he is taller than a little Japanese person in a rain mac holding a flag.

Covent Garden was busy. I’ve never seen it not busy. The plan was to have a spot of lunch and then hit the pubs. But first, we needed a little drink.

In to the 1st bar and our 1st taste of what kind of expensive day it was going to be. I cant remember the exact prices, but I remember there was no chance that a £20 note was going to be enough for 4 of us.

With those slung down our necks we headed to the restaurant.

‘Joes Southern Kitchen‘.

Not quite a nice quaint English restaurant, but a good place to stuff our faces with plenty of food.

With all the food polished off, we headed downstairs to the bar which was pretty impressive. Here, we found a proper barman that that explained all our drinks to us, recommended drinks and shot the shit with us for a few minutes while we waited for our drinks. This was where we noticed a change from what we are all used to when drinking. My drink (we all had cocktails) was served in what I can only describe as a Marmalade Jar! Odd. Different. Quirky. Novel? Not sure what I think of it. It just takes me back to my days as a younger man when I’d use anything to drink from, rather than do the washing up.

Food and drink done for lunch – we headed to a bar….

Porterhouse – Covent Garden

On the outside, it just looks like a normal building. On the inside, it’s a labyrinth of bars! Set on 12 different levels it’s amazing. Probably has to be the worst place to meet someone – as it’d take ages to find your way around the place.

It was packed though. No seating available. Plus, it was hot so we stood outside. Even outside was busy.

It was time to jump on a cab and head to the –

Thames River Bar. Well that was the plan. A ‘seasonal’ bar which should have been open (and was even confirmed to us by e-mail that is was open) was infact… closed.

Basts.

Nevermind. Opposite was the Harvey Nicks bar in the OXO Tower.

This is one of those trendy bars where there is never a seat available. You have to stand around at the door and wait for someone to leave. And once you’re in a seat, you stay there as long as possible.

Luckily it was a dry day and not that cold, even for Miss Tim. We took a seat outside over-looking the Thames. Very nice.

Nice place, nice view, all we needed now was a nice drink. Looking at the drinks menu, I spied a Chocolate Vanilla Vodka Malt drink. Hmmm.. that sounds nice, if not strong. At £12.95 (650bht) it should be good. In fact, it sounded so good that Jonas ordered one too.

Oh how we were wrong!

Mugged in a bar....
Mugged in a bar….

We were delivered the most pathetic drink ever. Served in a milk bottle that you’d expect to find at schools. (do they still do that?) Topped off with a childish straw only encouraged people from nearby tables to point and laugh at us. We were not impressed. Not impressed at all.

Thinking we were going to ‘get on it’ -we decided we’d be better off at a normal pub somewhere. This fancy bar can keep it’s fancy drinks and it’s fancy prices.

We headed on foot back to Covent Garden and found a pub called… The Duke of Wellington! Brings back memories! It was the only pub we’d seen where there was a table free.

For the next few hours we engaged in getting some drink down us and having a laugh.

Just like old times in the Duke. Jonas, me and some guy called Ken?
Just like old times in the Duke. Jonas, me and some guy called Ken?

Time to head onwards and we hit the streets. Another Covent Garden pub and more booze followed. It was now dark and the evening crowd were now out. It was getting harder to get in and served at a bar.

Getting a little peckish, we came across a fast-food burger joint called ‘Five Guys‘. Unlike any other burger joint I’ve seen, this place had a queue the length of the block to go inside. Amazing. What’s so good about it? There was a Woman on the door in-charge of crowd control who we just had to ask what the big fuss was. One of the people in the queue said you just have to try it. Sod that. It was an hour or more in the queue. Looking through the window – they just looked like regular old BK Burgers. I’d not be surprised if the Five Guys went to ‘rent-a-queue’ to big themselves up?

Tastier than a Big Kahuna Burger?
Tastier than a Big Kahuna Burger?

A few more drinks and it was time to head back to Norwich.

Arriving at Norwich around 1am, instead of heading to the crib, we headed to the kebab house. Well, Jonas was not here long, so we wanted to get as many in as possible!

The next day was set aside for a bit of a bar crawl around the city of Norwich. My other pal Simon came over to meet us in the afternoon and we headed to the local bars. The good thing about where I live in Norwich – is that it’s right in the heart of the action. Bars, Cinema, Restaurants, Nightclubs… it’s all literally within a stones throw from my front door.

When I mention to people that I will at some point end up living back in England, they turn their nose up and say that I won’t like it – saying Thailand is much better. I agree that certain parts of Thailand are much nicer, but only for a holiday. Where I live in Norwich is very nice too. I have a Riverside Apartment which is none too shabby and is a very pleasant place to live.

We hit the local bars and was pleasantly surprised at how much cheaper it was than the day before. Much cheaper.

Dragging ourselves around the bars on Sunday night was not as hectic as London on a Saturday. Quite the opposite. Being Sunday, many of the bars/pubs had closed up early. Even though the weather was warm enough for t-shit and shorts, it is October and the nights are closing in. The streets at 10pm were quiet – as were the pubs.

Still, we found enough open to keep us flowing with booze. One bar we stumbled on was a new American themed bar that had ‘booth’ type seating. All four of us in there – Jonas and I started reminiscing about the fun old days we used to have in Bangkok. Simon joined in, telling of all the ‘bad’ things he’s done in life – some how were my fault. In fact, most of the stories that were told seemed to involve me a little more than I was comfortable with. Time to drink up and head home!

Another good thing about where I live – is that there is a huge bar next door that opens at 7am and serves breakfast. That’ll do for me!

yes, you can see my house from here...
Norwich – much cleaner than Sukhumvit!..  and yes, you can see my house in this picture.

With Simon gone, Jonas, Miss Tim and I all returned to the crib to have a little relax.

Jonas flew back to Sweden and Miss Tim and I tried to figure out how we were to fit all the new shoes in our suitcase. It wasn’t easy and a few pairs got left behind.

All in all, a good weekend. Jonas was pleasantly surprised with London. He thought it’d be all gloomy and gray. Dark, cold and looking like something out of a Dickens novel. It wasn’t. It isn’t. London is a nice place and is buzzing. Note to self… must spend more time there.

Lomeo heads to Pattaya – by Lomeo

Living in Bangkok becomes a love hate relationship after a while. I still maintain that even on it’s worse day, it has an energy that is hard to beat and leaves other cities for dead. Every 4-6 weeks though, I absolutely must get out of town for a few days to recharge. I’ve noticed that this is common amongst many expats living here in the City of Angels.

Juliet and I tend to head down to Pattaya as it’s close and cheap (with her in tow I save a fortune on ladyboys!). We generally stay on Soi 10 as it’s pretty close to everything I like – Near Central, on the baht bus route, quiet enough to be able to get to sleep before 4 AM and within walking distance of many bars I tend to frequent.

We’ve tried just about every way to get there except the train (there is one!). A van from Victory Monument runs about 100 baht per person and gets you there within a few hours but they are pretty cramped for me. This time I was feeling a little more adventurous, and decided we would get the bus from the airport. Heading from Ratchada in ‘slit your wrist’ Friday traffic the plan was to head to Makkasan airport link station, get the train to Swampy, and the bus to patty from there. The taxi ride was hell. I’ll spare you all the details but it involved going a way I’ve never been before (and I know my way around a bit after being here a few years now), the driver nearly punching Juliet and having to argue with him as he wanted to drop us off about 1K from our destination and have us walk the rest of the way. Happy days. Finally get to the train and pack ourselves in there for a 30 min trip to the airport and then a 2 hour bus trip down the freeway. On the bus I have visions that a Russian girl standing up to get something out of her backpack will pull out an AK47, hijack the bus and set a number of explosives. None of this happens, I must stop taking those blue pills.

Luckily we arrive in Patty the same day that we have left BKK, check into hotel and head out for a few beers. There’s a group of beer bars on the corner of soi 10 and 2nd road that we usually pop in to as they have these yaba fueled waifs that tart themselves up and do an Issan dance routine that is somewhat hypnotic. After that we head to “The Kings Table” on soi 13 for a few quiet ones before an early night.

Up early on Saturday, for something different we decide to spend the day over on Ko Larn. Head down to Bali Hai pier and check out the options of getting across – as tempting as the 2000 baht speedboat option is (ha!), we settle for a ride on a ferry that looks a little worse for wear. (One of these actually sank a few months back, in a funny way I think that actually improves my odds of getting there safely.), and I am comforted by the fact that everyone on-board the SS Minnow is wearing a life vest. We are the only non Russian speaking people on board, and boy do the ruskies like a beer early in the morning! It’s only just after 9 AM and there are that many beer cans being downed that I feel like they’re about to ban the stuff and no-one told me. After 40 minutes or so we arrive at our destination and after pushing through all the touts tring to flog bike rentals, tours, and the like we find the songtaews and jump on for a quick trip to the beach. Chang can in hand now, I notice that we are going a little faster than usual, and it soon becomes evident as to why this is necessary, as we race up a hill and then down the other side. Not too much beer spilt and we are there in short order.

The beach is great, much better than anything on offer around Patty. Shell out 100B for chairs for the day and get a few big Leo’s into me before lying back and spending some time with Hunter S Thompson’s ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’. A ripping yarn, I have a lot of respect for the man. I have a few naps, a few swims, some perving and a really relaxed day. Food and beer magically arrive when needed and by about 3 in the afternoon we’ve had enough and head back into town. I’ve had a great day and if you’ve never been there, it’s worth checking out.

Get back to the hotel and my guts start to feel like they want to exploded. You know the drill and I am confined to the hotel for the night. Luckily by the morning all is good and we go to “The Sportsman” on soi 13 for the Sunday Roast – great value at 425 baht all you can eat, and good quality too. A sauna and then out to Walking St to hit a few bars.

Monday rolls around and I shell out the big ones for a taxi back home, ready to face Bangkok again.

Pattayas Bar Hopping Guide 2011

Odds and Ends…..

Miss Tim and I are constantly questioning and comparing things. A trip to the shops can lead to much laughter and chatting about the things we’ve seen. Some of our thoughts over the last few days….

Airlines….

Many of you live in Thailand, but you don’t think of it as home. When does a place become your ‘home’? I have pals that have not lived in Mother England for more than 20 years – but still refer to it as home.

Well I have figured it out.

Home – is the destination of the flight you are on, when your confidence it at it’s highest.

Let me explain. If you were boarding a plane to Dubai and an Arab hoicked out a big jellyfish greeny on the floor infront of you, would confront him and rip him a new asshole? No, you wouldn’t.

If you were on a plane to Russia and some Russians spills a vodka on your iPhone 7, would you start stretching in the isle and do a bit of shadow boxing whilst telling them you are gonna fuck them up Rocky did to Ivan Drago? No, you wouldn’t.

Now then, same scenario – but you’re on a plane to your home Country. Things get a little different. All of a sudden you have your whole Country behind you!

When I am on a plane to the UK, I get significantly braver (stupid). I’ll be telling people not to use their phones while we taxi, I’ll be pushing their chair upright when coming into land and so on. I have friends that have experienced this too. Getting involved in arguments in an airport – only to find the person (foreigner) is then on the same plane – to ENGLAND! Gloves are off!

Think about it. What destination would feel bravest when on a flight? That’ll be home.

Home isn’t just where your heart is. Home is where you’re hardest!

Speaking of airlines – Jonas was telling me about the flight he took the other week when he headed over to Europe.

You have probably heard of Ryann Air, the low budget, no-frills airline. Prices are cheap as you have to pay for things like luggage, food, water, toilet – and no doubt your luggage to be returned at the end of the flight. Well, Jonas flew on Norwegian Airlines which is running a similar scam, I mean scheme.

The price is cheaper than all other airlines – but for a reason. If you want a meal, you have to pay for it. If you want to check luggage, pay for it. If you want a BLANKET – more money. The minimum / cheapest option is a seat and 1 item of hand-luggage. No extras. – which is just how Jonas likes to travel.

Now, it could be said that its a great idea and a good way to keep costs down. But, when you book your flight and you get asked if you want a meal – how will you know if you’ll be hungry then?

In the last 3 weeks I have taken 11 flights – and I have not eaten a meal on many of them. So what if I was not hungry, yet paid for the meal? Is that not a waste?

No, wait, hang on. Jonas tells me you can order some food when you’re on the flight. On the tv/entertainment thingy in the back of the chair – you can select food and they will bring it to you. All you need do is swipe your credit card. But then, what about those who don’t have a credit card?
– Easy, there is a ‘pay later’ option.

This got me thinking. On a long haul flight, if the person next to you is sleeping under their (rented) blanket, what’s stopping you from ordering up a bunch of food on their tv and taking (for them) when the trolly-dolly delivers it? They can pay later 😉

It’s not just low-budget airlines with no sense of humor – The other day the waiter came up to me (on the plane) and said ‘will you be joining us for lunch Sir’?

Looking up and down the pressurized vessel of farts at 38,0000 I couldn’t help but say ‘It’s not like I have much choice is it’? – he didn’t laugh.

Clean and Easy

Has anyone noticed how easy it is to walk up Sukhumvit in the daytime now that the Street Vendors have to wait until night time to set up?

No more walking at a snails pace behind a bunch of Arabs who are holding hands and commenting on every stall they pass.

The problem with this though – is that people are now losing money. It’s half their day trading gone. What can they do? Well, I’ve been approached a number of times in the street by (Indians?) wanting to sell me a watch or a DVD. How long will it be before people are pulling knives out – asking if we want to buy them? Or dildos?

So there we were, taking a little stroll from soi 11 to Terminal 21 with a bottle of water. I finished the water around soi 13 and looked for a waste bin to put it in. We kept our eyes peeled and finally found one. – By the escalators in T21!! Amazing! How can a city have so little basic amenities like litter bins. Then again – with no litter bins, people will litter – then the eagle-eyed Police will be there to slap a fine on them!

Another thing I noticed walking out and about… shoes being left outside shops. What’s that all about?

I can understand not wanting people to walk in your house with their outdoor shoes – but surely you don’t expect people to take shoes off to go in a shop?! Do they not think of all those bare feet walking on the same bit of tiled flooring? God knows what fungus or foot infections people are spreading around? But get this. If the shoes being left outside shops wasn’t mad enough, yesterday, we saw a van on soi11… one of them conversion jobs where is a mobile Tourist office/center. Outside on the pavement were the shoes of the workers! ITS A VAN for heavens sake!! A dirty old grotty one at that?! What’s going on?

I must admit, when in apartment buildings / hotels where there are shoes left outside a door in the hallway, I have on occasions ‘moved’ them to a neighbors door. Not sure why? Just for kicks. Made me laugh!

When I see these... all I can think is 'Free Kick'!
When I see these… all I can think is ‘Free Kick’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last ‘strange’ thing dawned on me yesterday when I was checking into a hotel.-

This is 2014 right?

When I book a hotel, I go online, fill all my details in and then pay for it. When I arrive at the hotel, I then have to fill out a form by hand, with all my details – again. Then the next week I come back to the same hotel, having done it all online (again) and then have to once again fill out another form at the check-in desk?!?! And looking at the pile of papers on the hotel desk, I am betting my form from last week is not far away.

Why do they not use a computer? They have one. I’ve seen it. Surely if they were build a database of customers – then all they need to do is enter my name and they presto – they have my details on file. Kind of like all other hotels all over the world.

I’ve now started to put false details on the form – to see if they check. Under ‘Occupation’ – I put ‘Hotel Owner’.

For Home Address – ‘Hilton Hotel’!

Any thoughts? Do share them.