Vietnam – Ha Long Bay

I have just added up the stamps and visas in my passport and count 304.   My passport is just approaching 5 years old.  That’s a lot of travel.

So you would think that having traveled as much as I have – I would be more tolerant of the ‘behavior’ of others.  Or at least be used to it enough that I don’t even notice it?

Wrong.  Each time I travel, I am filled with rage and hatred.  I know you think there must be something wrong with me, and you’d be right.  My problem is I am not a revolting fucking pig.   Believe it or not, (and you should) – I am extremely polite when traveling.  When speaking with airport staff, hotel staff, chauffeurs, Concierges waitresses and chefs. – I am extremely polite and courteous.   You have to be as these people ultimately can ruin your experience.   Just think about that one for a minute.

My travel is more often than not a good experience.  The thing that spoils my experience is other people.  Other people, morons, assholes, tossers, scumbags, pigs, riff-raff and plain smelly bastards.

Which brings me to my trip to Vietnam recently…..

Many people have suggested Vietnam to me, so have wanted to go for a while now.   I contacted the Internet to see what they had to say.   After a few clicks I saw some amazing pictures.  Ha Long Bay.  Wow.    I started searching on a hotel with fantastic views… voila… those people at the Internet provided me with the name of a hotel with a suite overlooking the ‘Bay’ all for about $300 per night.  Very nice I said to myself.  Looking at the pictures, I could even see some little islands from the balcony.  I was excited if I do say so myself.

For a little more confirmation I visited Trip Advisor Liar.  Glowing reports.    Not too shabby for Graham.

When I landed at Hanoi airport – I instantly thought the pilot had landed in the wrong place.  I was sure I was now in Beijing.

I was on holiday – I wasn’t going to let a big crown of flag following people piss me off.  Even if they were pushing past me and shouting at the tops of their voices.   Breathe in… Breath out… it won’t be long until I am in the car and off to my luxury hotel suite.

The 2.5 hour drive from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay has to be one of the most boring drives ever.  Long straight roads.  Nothing to see.  Not much traffic.

When I got to the hotel, my first impression was that my driver took a wrong turning and took me to Shanghai.    The place was packed with Chinese.

Check-in was pleasant enough – and the room I had was on the top floor.  There were not many people on the top floor – as not many people in the hotel were tall enough to reach the top button.  Bearing in mind I am borderline midget.

It was a long day, I just want to sit on the balcony, order up some room service and have a nice drink overlooking the bay.

Note to self… never believe anything the internet tells you.

Nice enough suite – but tiny balcony (no outdoor furniture) and the view of the islands really needed the help of telescope.   Those people at the Internet and Trip Liar have some kind of deal going on with Photoshop.   It’s all one big scam.

Room with a view….

I’ll not give you the full daily itinerary – as that’ll just piss me off even more.  I’ll just note down the main events which you can then take pleasure from my misery.

First of all, let me just point out (as I’ve said previously) I work alongside many Chinese folk. Some fantastic Engineers.  One of my circles of friends is a group of Chinese who I have had many great times with.  My good pal Russ is married to a Chinese girl and we are close enough that I was trusted to teach their 2 year old daughter how to stick her middle finger up at people in restaurants.  O.k… Maybe they didn’t want me to teach her that, but I thought it was funny.

Breakfast – or better described as Feeding time at the Zoo.

The first thing that struck me was many, many of our little Chinese fellow guests were all wearing the Hotel slippers.  I find that odd.  I thought they were wearing when you get out of the shower/bath, so you don’t slip on the marble floor and split your head open.  Resulting in lots of paperwork for the hotel.

But no, they are indeed a fashion accessory and an acceptable item of footwear for walking around the whole hotel whenever you like.  O.k… Understood.

The second thing that struck me – is that my new friends appear to be very hungry in the mornings.   So much so, that they don’t have time to queue at the ‘egg station’.  Oh no, they have to push past you to get their order of 25 eggs in.  They may even eat a couple of them.

As per usual, I was very polite to the young girl at the restaurant reception desk.  She led us to our table for 2.     There were about 3 tables for 2.   There would have been more, but we could see that lots of tables has been pushed together.   Probably to get the full overcrowded prison experience.

Breakfast was mayhem.  Complete chaos.   Our little friends don’t shut up.  They don’t talk, they shout.  They also don’t let eating get in the way of shouting either.  It’s actually quite impressive to see how many croissants they can stuff in their mouths and spray across the table whilst not slowing down in their morning shout.

What was more impressive was how much food they stacked on their plate – was left over.  Even after they had filled their handbags and pockets with bread rolls, hams and noodly type things.

They’d then abandon a table which was almost immediately set upon by another gaggle of my new friends who then demanded the poor waitress girls cleaned all the croissant debris immediately.

And what’s with the sneezing over everyone? I remember from being a kid ‘Coughs and sneezes, spreads diseases’! These people were just spraying their mucus all over the place. No covering of the nose.. just point and aim. Revolting.

Now, I don’t have kids, so maybe I am being a little ‘over-pedantic’ here – but is it acceptable to let all your Ferrell bloody monsters to just run around the place, shouting, screaming, fighting, biting, crying, farting and generally pissing me off?     Is this normal?   I would like to point out that I was the only Western person there.  And I am guessing the only person who didn’t have a horrible bloody kid with me also.  This is probably why not one parent asked their little shits to shut the fuck up, sit down and eat the food that the hotel has been preparing for you hours before you had chance to put on your hotel slippers.

The staff were amazing. Demand after demand, the staff carried out all duties with a smile.  I couldn’t do that.  If you were to offer me $10k per month on top of my regular salary, to do that job, I’d tell you to poke it.

Daytime activities

Easy one this.  There are none.   There is nothing to do in Ha Long Bay except get on a boat and go for an overnight cruise.  More on that later.

We walked into the ‘town’.   Which we never found.  The beach opposite was literally a building site.  We found no shops to mooch around in   There was a row of street restaurants and crap bars which had music blaring out at an incredibly loud volume.  Why?  There was no way you could talk or hear anyone there.  Which as bad as that sounds, I think I’d have preferred breakfasts at our hotel to have the same approach.

Hours of searching turned up nothing.   We did spy a Cable car which ran parallel to a massive bridge – it went somewhere.  It must go somewhere interesting as there is a massive queue for it.

We queued.    Eventually we got on board and I was surrounded by people taking selfies with their Huawei phones whilst I stood behind some guy holding a flag.   So this is what it’s like to be in a Chinese Tour group?

They all clapped and cheered when the cable car took off… and once again when the car arrived at its destination.    The destination being some kind of Zen Garden.  Or as I call it ‘a load of shit’.

We spent the next 30 mines looking for an exit.  Trying to avoid falling over little Chinese girls having their photos taken… whilst pulling faces in the background of as many photos as possible.

Couldn’t find the exit.   Back to the cable car to get us the hell out of there.  What a waste of time and money.

Back to the hotel to drown our sorrows at the bar.

We completed the entire drinks menu

Most evenings were spent in the bar.  There was nothing else to do.  Unfortunately, many times we were joined in the bar by the ‘other’ hotel guests.     Now, everyone is different I know that.  But for me, a bar is a place to have a drink and a chat… or maybe even read a few chapters on your kindle and relax.

Oh no….   there are so many other things to do.   For starters, you can take a seat on the sofas… remove your shoes and socks and put your stinky wet sweaty feet all over them.

Then, when you are comfy enough – you can open up your WeeYap app and watch movie clips.  Not before you turn the volume up full on your Huawei that is.    Order a drink?  Noo…..  no need.  You can just drink the water provided by the hotel or one of the juices you’ve stolen from the breakfast bar.

We decided to head for boat cruise.  Overnight.     After a recommendation from a pal – off we headed to book.  We thought we’d actually go to the ‘port’ and have a look round first, as we couldn’t trust anything the Internet had to say.

We used Grab taxi to get us there.  140k dong.  Fine.   Found a Cruise and booked it for the day after the next.   Called up Grab taxi to take us back to the hotel.  Within minutes, a taxi pulled up and in we got.  The App said it was 140k but the driver waved a receipt in our faces saying he was charged 30k to enter the port to come and pick us up.  (it took him 2 mins to reach us – which told us he was already in the port).  Odd, as we never saw anyone getting charged when we came to the Port 30 minutes earlier.  Hmmm.. a scam me things.   Now, 30k might only be a quid so why care?   It’s the principle.  We gave the driver on the way in 200k… which is what we’d have given this guy if he hadn’t tried to scam us.

When we pulled up at the hotel, he asked for the extra 30k.  I asked for the receipt.  As I was paying the charge – then that paper is now mine (and he can’t use that again).  He started talking gibberish and I kept insisting to see the receipt.     As this was going on, the hotel staff saw and opened the door and asked me if I wanted any assistance.  I said I was fine and was just dealing with a scamming little bastard.

He promptly gave us our change from the 200k note and off he went.    I gave the change to the door staff as I walked by.

Weather – Crap.

It was cloudy and overcast.    The hotel staff kept telling us that it’s not normal for this time of year.  It should be sunny and clear.  But oh no.. it was dark and wet.  I guess that’s global warming for you?

Boat Trip

Luckily when we turned up for the boat trip – the sky was blue and bright. Sun was shining.   The other passengers on the boat seemed to all know each other.  I guess they all stay in the same retirement home back in New Zealand.  Pleasant enough people – not that we spoke with any of the old bastards.

According to my pal, the Chinese prefer day trips only on boats and no overnights.  This is because they have paid for their hotels in their package tour.  They’re not about to pay for another hotel (boat) and not use their already paid for hotel.

My pal was right.     There were however a couple of Middle Eastern lads (not sure where they were from?) but the amount of food they put away, I guess they came from, or are going to a Concentration camp.  Filling yourself with that much food surely can’t be good for you?

We went kayaking… we went to some poxy cave (which was rammed with Chinese day-trippers).   Single line walk through of a cave with these little fellas and gals barging past.  I managed to get some elbow digs in, stood on a few feet and even managed trip one person up.    The thing is, this is nothing to an Asian.  They are so use to it – they take it in their stride.

Some poxy cave.

Back on the boat – it was happy hour.  Two for one drinks! What we found odd – was that Happy Hour was for an hour?!    We made light work of that.   Long into the night we kept drinking.   This was the 1st day that was enjoyable of the week.   We were looking forward to the next day – where we visit some beach and go swimming.

Next day… rain.  Lots of it.  Swimming was cancelled due to the rain.  Didn’t want people getting wet now.   We couldn’t stand out on deck – as it was pissing down.   The boat went back to shore but had to ‘park up’ for a few hours as it was unsafe to dock.  So we sat – in misery.  In the rain.  On a boat.  Shite.

Shite weather…again.

When we got back to the hotel – we went straight to the bar.    We did laugh when the barman asked where we’d been the previous night – as we were usually there.

Well, we were there now.   Drink in one hand, iPad in the other.  We had a few days to go but screw this.  I searched for a new flight back to Bangkok.  Thai Airways to the rescue.   Flight the next morning.  Done.

I asked the reception for a driver in the morning. 5am. No problem sir.    Great.    Upstairs, pack our shit, lick our wounds and put this down as a shite holiday – and never to return.

04:30 we checked out.  The receptionist was a little confused as it was a few days early – I just said we have stuff to do.   The driver set off at 5am as requested.    Normally, I’d fall asleep.  But I thought at least one person in the car should stay awake.    The driver was a nightmare.  Yawning, slapping himself in the face, putting his window down… swerving all over the (empty) road.    At one point I was going to ask him if I should drive.

Luckily we made it to the airport without crashing and dying.

Checked in at the airport….  A cheeky Burger King for lunch… (sick of hotel food) and off we went to get on board the plane.    Thinking everything was now fine, I heard that familiar sound of someone clearing a load of phlegm in their throat – and then hoiking out a big ‘greeny’ onto the carpet in the airport.  Sure enough, you can guess what nationality they were?   Revolting fucking pig.

Back to BKK (Beijing)… I had to queue for an hour to get through Immigration but was soon on my way back to HH.

This didn’t even make me mad!

We hit the town that night to reflect back on our week.   We should have still been in Vietnam… watching shite TV in the hotel.   We had made the right choice in abandoning the hotel and flights – and paying for our early return.

The only things I will take away from that whole experience is that the hotel staff, whatever it is they get paid – it’s not enough.

As for the driving – I can only liken the driving to kids/adults Ice-Skating for the very first time.  They kinda have an idea how it’s meant to be done – but have no clue how to actually drive correctly.  If you just go with the theory that every day there is the 1st day these people have ever driven, then you’ll be more understanding.

Vietnam?   Shit.

Home to Hua Hin

Back to Hua Hin after seeing the freaks of Bangkok for a few days.

Bit of normality. Or so I thought?

First of all – I went to look at a new house with the Estate agent had told us about. Two bed with pool. Looked great on the photos. Bastards.

The photos were taken 10 years ago and the Villa cut a gloomy picture. Estate agents just don’t get it do they. They don’t realize that viewers will be disappointed from the moment they see the property, having just seen the nice new pictures. Back to the drawing board.

Out on the town.. we’d heard that one of the restaurants we like has re-opened. ‘Green Onion’. An American BBQ Rib joint. They slow cook the ribs all day. It’s pretty good. Or it ‘was’ – until they closed down last year and put a ‘for sale’ sign in the window.

Fast forward a year – a chap who had a bar in Bangkok (soi 23) has moved to Hua Hin and taken the place over.

The place is (supposed to be) as it was before – specializing in BBQ stuff. The night we went, Ribs were not on the menu. Not much was. The owner said they had only been open 8 weeks, so were still finding their feet. They were struggling to source Beef/Pork in Hua Hin.

This is where I take issue. Eight weeks is two months. They should be in full swing by now. And as for sourcing meat? Bangkok is a 3 hour drive. You can get all you need there.

What I did notice is that the owner kept promoting the Thai food to everyone that came through the door. I don’t think he realizes that people go to an American Rib joint – for ribs! There are over 100 restaurants within a mile selling Thai food. If people want Thai food they know where to go. Concentrate on the product that attracted people to you in the 1st place!

Into the town for a crawl around some bars. One of stop-offs is a bar called Booze Bar. The staff are friendly enough and remember what we drink each time.

They’ve clearly spent some money on the bar – but what I am disappointed in is their posters/menus which advertise the Saturday Happy Hour. They have spelled it ‘Sataurday’. How is this possible? Surely someone had the job of checking this either before it was sent to the printer, when it was being printed – or when it was delivered from the printer? Fools.

Soi Bintabaht is now referred to as ‘Walking Street’ in the evenings. Vehicles not allowed. The sign reads ‘No car for all kinds’?! I think they mean no Vehicles. Again, it was some idiots job to make sure that sign made sense.

As you can see – it’s policed by a Security Guard. They are hard at it.

Why care I hear you say?

Well, apart from not being a fan of incompetence – all bars in ‘Walking Street’ have to pay a fee for this. There is no exception. When you add up the money – and then the service/product you get in return? It’s not quite right.

We’ve a good little circuit in HH which see’s us have a good time and end up pretty drunk by the time we hit the last bar(s). Not as drunk as this fella. Laid in the gutter – with (Thai) people sitting around him. It’s walking street.. not crawling street. You’d have thought one of his fellow country men would have shoveled him up and at least put him on the steps rather than the rat infested gutter? What am I saying? This is Thailand.

The next day we headed to the Irish Bar El-Murphy’s. We do like the food in that place. The bar itself is tired and old. Could do with an injection of life into it.

Some months back, with custom going down the pan – someone (have to be Thai?) came up with the idea to have the Monks perform some kind of ceremony. So the night before – a huge gazebo was erected, horrendous Thai music was being played on a speaker with too much base – and a bunch of ‘not so friendly’ Thai blokes were sitting around drinking out of a bucket.

I assume it all went as planned for the next day and the Monks came and did their thing… blessed stuff… got fed and paid and off they went.

Now, if the bar suddenly became popular…. the Thai’s would be taking credit for their Buddhist powers.

The bar didn’t get anymore popular. What they did get is several thousand baht worse off for their troubles.

So why is it when I tell a Thai it’s complete mumbo jumbo what they did – they ignore me? Facts speak for themselves.

But I digress…. into ‘Murphs’ for a spot of lunch and to watch the F1.

There were a bunch of guys sitting around with bottles of water. It was a no booze day. (another thing I don’t understand? Why not just ban Thai’s from drinking? It’s not like foreigners can vote?)

Sitting opposite me was some Scando asshole – with his foot on a chair. His sweaty stinking wet foot. Revolting fucking pig.

Seriously, is it just me that thinks this is disgusting?

The bar was full of cheap old bastards. All drinking water. One or two were eating. These people would never usually come to the bar – but came to watch the F1. I hate people like this. Freeloading assholes. Takes me back to the Mango days when certain people would just come to the cheap nights – or would only drink when I was buying. The more I think back, the more I realize what a bunch of parasites they were.

On a positive note… I was invited out to a BBQ the other night, where I met a couple of other guests. They’re Brits, (Hubby, wife kids) lived in HH a number of years ago, went back to the UK and have now moved back to HH. Successful business back in the UK so are enjoying life. Good on them.

I got chatting to the husband is a few days younger than me. All he did was complain and moan about life in Thailand so far. The housing, the driving, the Indian Tailors. For hours he was drinking vodka and moaning. You could say I liked him from the start.

So in a non-gay way – we’ve exchanged numbers and plan on hitting the town to get drunk and see who can moan the most. I reckon I can take him.

On a serious note – it’s good to have someone I can hang out with other than Miss Tim and her pals. Everyone in HH seems to be in their mid-100’s. Maybe that’s why I am miserable a lot of the time. No male company to hang out with, swear, spit and scratch my (own) balls with.

One last moan….

Don’t be fooled by pet ‘Groomers’. Once again I have fallen victim to these blithering idiots that try to pass themselves off as professionals. This lot have gone all in and got themselves a nice big shop / surgery, signage and even a company van.

We handed over the cats and asked for a little trim.

They don’t look too happy. Groomers – Bastards.

Bangkok visit… not sure if it was a good time or not?

Where to begin? I got a little (a lot) fed up in HH so went off to BKK for a few days to meet up with some pals. Surely a good time can be had right? I mean, how hard can it be?


Prices are pretty high at the moment. Not that I usually complain about hotel prices, but I can stay on the QE2 in Dubai, cheaper than some mediocre hotel in Bangkok. I refuse to hand over my hard earned, to people (hotels) that are not earning it.

The Die-Nasty Grande was chosen. It’s cheap (3k per night) and in soi 6 which is a pretty good location for everything I need. Close by is the new(ish) Citrus Suites which I have stayed quite a few times in the last 6 months. It’s a little nicer – but drowning in Chinese. If you’ve ever seen the Chinese descend on the breakfast buffet and shovel food in their mouths – you’ll know why I chose a different hotel.

Hitting the street… Night 1

I was meeting up with Bubba. Against my wishes we met up in Hooters. Each time I go there – I vow never to return. Service is still shite, drinks are still over-priced and it’s full of Americans. It’s odd. They must see it as a little slice of America and feel safe there – looking onto the streets of Bangkok (soi 4). I also think the food is shite.

Lime Slice?

Since when did it become the norm to put a Lime slice in everything? If I am paying 240bht for a Vodka – I don’t want it tainted by a bloody slice of Lime.

Each time I am given a slice after specifically requesting ‘no bastard lime’ – I fish it out and leave it on the table – infront of them so they have to pick it up and give the table a wipe. I fucking hate Lime.

From Hooters – we headed to Big Digs, perching at the long bar opposite Luck Luke’s to watch the Lucky girls arriving at the Plaza for an evening of romance and joviality. erm.. I mean Indian and Chinese tourists. Seriously… they’ve taken over.

If you have read Stickman in the past few months, when he is not talking about Ladyboys, he was saying how the Indian Tourists are a great bunch and the future of Bangkok. Yet watching more than 15 scruffy, smelly, ugly ‘middle eastern’ chaps approach a rather ‘glamorous’ ladyboy, all refusing the 2000bht fee – I have to ask myself what on earth Stickman is on?

2000bht was too rich for the (many) Indians who asked for sexy time.

A few hours easily passed and we headed to the Beer-garden in the middle of the Plaza for a few more drinks (without Lime).

Great spot inside the Plaza. You can see everything. It took us a fair while to come up with a plan of where to go.

Mandarin was closest – so off we headed. Oh how it’s changed. Mandarin used to be the place where young hot little things could be found. Not anymore. Whilst we have all got older and fatter over the last 10 years – so have the Mandarin line-up. The horrible staff still drag the girls around and force them onto you.

I felt bad for the girl which was ‘forced’ into my eye-line. I bought her a drink and she was grateful. The old witch who slung her at me also asked for a drink – which I told to ram it. Why should she get a reward for making the girl and me uncomfortable by forcing us together? (or am I just getting old?)

Next up was Butterflies – was all going o.k until the Service girl tried to sit us on a sofa arrangement (3 together in a U shape) with a bunch of Indians. I don’t fucking think so!

We sat elsewhere. Stickman was right… these Indians are the future. That is, if the future is a bunch of Indian chaps screwing up 20bht notes and chucking them at the dancing girls. Of course, the girls doing their bit and dancing for their food. It’s a damn shame.

There was a time when I used to chuck 1000’s over the dance floor. That was back in the day when girls were not covered in tattoo’s, piercings, fake dental braces and didn’t have a Samsung Notepad shoved down their bra.
– simpler times.

Now – I just cant be bothered as these places / people are just not the same anymore.

Drink up and head to BillBoard.

Wow. Amazing line up. The place (as usual) was absolutely packed. I think they could do with a refit. Get a bar designer in there to sort out the seating plan. The seating at the sides and up in the rafters – are all too far away from the action. I still think Tilac on Soi Cowboy has a great set-up that wherever you are – you are in reach of something. Unlike BillBoard.

After chucking my slice of lime and drinking up, Bubba had to head home to something called ‘a wife and kids’.

I headed along soi 4 to a bar I still don’t know the name of. I did ask a girl and she pointed at the window decal that said ‘Beer Here’… although I really don’t think that is the official name.

The bar is next to Golden Bar (Melody UK) and opposite the Die-Nasty Inn hotel. Great little spot for people watching.

The term ‘people watching’ is great. As you can’t get in trouble for miss-gendering someone. The more I see in the news about some bloke who ‘identifies’ as a woman gets upset because someone called them a man – the more I think that Thailand has the right attitude. No one gives a shit.

It’s only the Western world that gets a over-dramatic about it. Fools.

At what point are Aerosmith going to be hauled up in court and ruined because they released a song called ‘dude looks like a lady’? Surely there must be loads of people in the U.S that are in tears after hearing that?

I must move on… as that is a rant for another website……

Anyway, this bar ‘Beer Here’ is only small and has a live band. This band can easily murder any song you suggest to them. I first thought it was a Karaoke, but it turned out the Thai guy singing – might actually well be getting paid to do so. Whatever he is getting paid, it’s too much. When he asked for requests, I repeatedly requested him to take a break. He was shocking.

Time to head back to the hotel room and get my head down.

Day 2

Up bright and early. No hangover. Thought I’d venture to Hanranhans or whatever it’s called now?

It’s only a 5 min walk… if you ignore all the Thai guys standing next to a taxi saying ‘taxi’. Or the Tuk-Tuk guys that pull up along side you and say ‘tuk-tuk’. Assholes.

This was where my new little pass-time was born. (and I HAVE done this)….

Stand at the side of the road with your suitcase. When a taxi pulls up and says ‘Taxi…. airport’…. look at him for a second, then look away and say ‘No’. See how they fucking like it.

A big ‘fuck you’ to every taxi who has ever refused a fare when I/we have tried to go somewhere. Seriously, try it. It’s hilarious. Miss Tim gets mad at me when I do it – as she thinks one of them will come at with with a bat. I hope they do. I’ll get medieval on them.

So there we were, in Hanrahans… Food is typical English/Irish pub grub. Not bad.

As we sat there chowing down – 4 Scousers came in. Three blokes and a kid. All fine and well… until the Scouser asked for a kids menu. The service girl said they don’t have one, which absolutely confused the Scouser. He ranted to anyone that would listen (the service girl walked off) that there was no kids menu. I wanted to go over to him and explain that he is in a bar, in soi 4, in Bangkok which is one of the most well known red-light districts in the world, and he is wondering why they don’t have kids menus?

It’s not just me is it?

When in Bangkok, I like to have a little mooch around T21. There are a few people in Bangkok/and visiting who I hope to ‘bump’ into at some point. It’s rare they’d be on the streets of soi 4 – as that would involve them having to spend money. So I live in hope that I’ll one day ;bump’ into them while they’re out window shopping.

No such luck.. but their time will come.

Night 2

Back to the hotel for a refresh and then to soi 8 to meet up with my old pal PRP for food. Viva. Not a bad little spot. Food wasn’t bad and drinks reasonably priced (I think?). Soi 8 is becoming quite trendy these days and has a good little buzz to it. Not so many packs of Chinese and Indians either. – hmm… did I actually experience something I enjoyed in Bangkok?

After dinner we headed to the little spot from yesterday. ‘Beer Here’ or whatever it’s called?

I checked on Trip Liar to see if I could find the name. I used the Map function to find it. It’s not there. What is there though – is the soi where the old Mango bar used to be. Spookily – it’s named (on the map) ‘Soi Mango’!

How did that happen?! Odd….. but cool!

Opposite ‘Soi Mango’ was a few girls standing on the path – offering their services. Nothing new there. However, one of the ladies of the night was of Middle Eastern origin. I am told (by PRP) she is Iranian. She had a large nose and huge eyebrows. Dressed in an all black Chador. A very odd sight to see in Soi 4 for sure. As we walked past – she did try and talk to us and asked us how we were.

We arrived at ‘Beer Here’, took the stools facing the street and commenced with the watching of people. And when I say people, I am referring to all the weird freaks, morons, wankers and arseholes that scuttle down soi 4.

I have no words….

The place really is a shithole full of the dregs of the planet. It’s certainly not the same place as I once lived for 10 years.

There are so many people which would make the world a better place if they were not in it.

Don’t step on his Pink Suede shoes…

The Indians wearing weird shiny clothing? The dude wearing bright pink sneakers? There was a guy with a bunch of Buddhas dangling from his neck… (clearly not a Thai), there were loads of Muslims (what are they doing there?) and not to mention the gaggle of ladyboys trying to sell whatever services they can sell.

For those of you who remember (and lost mobile phones at) ‘soi katoey’ on sukhumvit road – (between soi 4 and the Landmark Hotel) you’ll remember the LB’s would use the Subway deli to apply their makeup and shave their chins. They were always in and out. Well, this seems to be what’s now happening at the Die-Nasty Inn on soi 4.

We saw many LB’s going in and out of the lobby. There must be a ‘deal’ in place?

PRP and I spent the next few hours laughing, pointing, photographing and at times shouting abuse at people. Every time we saw some asshole with a camera phone or GoPro walking along the road and filming it – we stuck our fingers up. We did this for hours.

At ‘Beer Here’ the Karaoke singer was back, murdering every song he knew. The drinks were messed up only a few times and I only saw 2 Limes appear in my drink. It was a success.

It was time to head off. We were drunk and becoming less capable of defending ourselves if we had gotten into a fight. Time to head back to the hotel.

Day 3

Up bright and early the next day….. we trotted off to soi 4. Chequres! I used to like the breakfast there.

Sat at the bar outside – it became apparent that this bar is popular with fat old bastards – as the stools were all bent forward, making us slip off them. The big table behind us was taken up by some fat old bastard shoveling god knows what down his throat.

Breakfast came and went. It was average at best. Not how I remembered it. Nothing ever is these days.

Soi 4 cut a pretty poor sight in daylight. The bar called ‘Beer Here’ was hanging out their beer mats for drying – and the staff were wiping down tables. The sign on the door says it opens at 10, but this is Thailand and Thai staff are absolutely fucking useless. It was now 10:30 and they were still getting ready to open. To a Thai, if they open at 10 – that means they arrive for work at 10, then stuff their faces and then start (slowly) doing something.

That’s it… I’d had enough of this hole. Called up my driver and told him to pick me up from the hotel in 30 mins.

Back to Hua Hin – full speed ahead.

So did I have fun? I will not say it was fun. I would say I amused myself by making fun of all the riff-raff and freaks that crossed my path.

I had business to attend in Hua Hin. An Estate Agent had got in touch with a house for me to look at. And as we know, I only ever have good things to say about the people working in the Real Estate industry.

I am sure this will go well.

Bored in Thailand.

Updates have been pretty thin on the ground lately – as there is nothing to update on.   What can I whinge about that I have not already whinged about?

Driving – still sucks arse.  Thai’s still can’t drive for shit, nothing new there.

Service – is still shit.   Drinks are still messed up and food never arrives when it should.

Real Estate – still a load of shit.  Websites still advertising houses which are not available and offering you houses you have no interest in.

Ex-Pats – still a bunch of freeloading wasters full of shit.

… I think you get the message.  I have not changed my mind on Thailand.     I thought a break from the Land of fake Smiles would do me good so I went to the UK for a few weeks – and had a great time.

I drove on good roads, I didn’t nearly die when on my motorbike.   I got good service in restaurants and  not once was I given the wrong drink or asked repeatedly what I wanted to drink.   It was a good time.

But no one wants to hear about that.  No one is interested in my recent purchase of my Aprilia RS250, or the new gearbox in my Esprit Turbo.

My interests have changed (slightly).   I used to look forward to coming to Thailand.  To going out, hitting the bars and restaurants.  Meeting up with the people here and chatting with the girls.

Can’t say I feel like this anymore.  I now look forward to going anywhere else.  Dubai, UK and even Iraq are more interesting for me now.

And as I said, no one is interested in that.    So I feel the time has come to hang up my gloves and give up trying to think of things to report on.  There is only so many ways I can say I am bored with Thailand.   Plus, my web-hoster I.T nerd seems to be having problems with his Servers and every few weeks I get emails from people saying the site is down.  Really, I can’t be arsed with this anymore.

I am working on my eventual move from Thailand.  But to where?  I could move to the UK – which is going to happen eventually, but maybe somewhere else is on the cards before that?

Today I am heading to Bangkok for a few days.  I am hoping to bump into some old faces.  Old faces that I am not exactly fond of.  Some old faces that deserve a slap.

Who knows,  maybe I’ll find a new lease of life this week?  Doubt it…

So I’ll just think about the final few posts…. maybe I’ll do a ‘tell-tale’ on all the old goings on?  Maybe not.



Little update…. nothing much going on….

Doesn’t time fly? It’s been a little while since I gave a little update…. So what’s going?

Well, it’s almost a year since I moved into my current house. Time to move again. The original plan was that this house was to be the last house I rented in Thailand before moving back to the UK. But plans change.

I have decided to give it another year (or so). That being the case, I need to move to another house as I don’t like the one I am in.

I found one online, contacted the agent and asked for details. I should have known that the house I was interested was not available – however, one a little bit more expensive is… that’s how they get you.

Every bloody year the same thing. This is why I have Miss Tim deal with them as I am liable to offend people.

The other house offered to us was pretty nice. Brand new, nice pool, good price. Very nice… take my money. Hang on, not so fast.

The house looked great in the picture. See for yourself. But what the photo doesn’t show is that it’s the only house on the site. The building site. It doesn’t show the make-shift hut which all the Construction workers live in and it certainly doesn’t show the ‘dirt track’ which they are passing off as a road.

Lying bastards…..

Why oh why do Real Estate Agents never give the full story? Do they not realize that NO ONE will want the property when they see it? It’s different if they declared all that – and then someone went to see it. They would have all the info and still interested. Sorry.. but if you are a Thai Real Estate Agent.. then you are a thick twat.

I’ve a few to look at in a few weeks. The main criteria is I need high walls so my mad cats don’t escape. Then again, that might be better than the little bastards ripping my sofas to shreds.

Moving on…..

Currently I am in the UK. The weather is fantastic. I came back to sort some cars and bikes out. Each year I have to turn the wheels, start them up and wipe the cobwebs off them. One day, I’ll get to drive and ride them.

Noting much else going on… except a bit of a session next week. I’ve called up my peoples and Jonas is hopping on a plane to join in for the weekend. Should be a good one. Watch this space.

Speaking of Jonas, we are currently in talks about my Route 66 trip. I explained to my pals that riding on a bike for 3 weeks – means we’re going to have to pack all our shit in saddlebags and wear the same pair of pants for weeks. Not really something I am excited about. So…… we’re thinking Jonas following in a pick-up truck might be just what we need.

Another 10 days in the (sunny) UK until heading back to Hua Hin. Stopping by Bangkok for a night – maybe.

I think a trip to Pattaya is on the cards in a few weeks time….

A night out in Bangkok……

After a few weeks in Hua Hin…. Getting bored out of my skull – I headed off to Bangkok for a few days to catch up with some pals. But mainly, I wanted to get my shoes (trainers) cleaned on soi 4.

Booked in at the Radisson Suites. It looked o.k on the pictures. They all do.

Looked o.k.. from the outside.

I had booked a room and paid for it a few days in advance. We turned up at the check-in desk at 3pm expecting a speedy process. Silly me. This is Thailand after all. Most top hotels just require a signature and that’s it… you’re on your way. I arrived at the Radisson and was asked to complete a form that was half filled in. Only problem, the info on the form was not my info. It had my name, but the address, phone numbers, email… all someone else’s. So they gave me a blank form to fill in.

I explained that I had already provided all this information when I booked/paid for the room. So was just told to sign the bottom and they’d fill it all in.

I was then asked if I want a smoking or non-smoking room. I replied that I booked a non-smoking, so would like a non-smoking.

Then the apologies came. Sorry sir, the room is not ready yet, house-keeping are just cleaning it. Which actually means housekeeping will be called in a minute and sent to the room to clean it.

A good house-keeping crew can turn a room around in 10 minutes easy.

So, we were sent to the bar to claim some complimentary drinks. We were not too put out. The bar was fairly trendy and we were given free booze. We were not in a rush so were not too bothered. Delays I can deal with. Incompetence I get pissed off with.

Fifteen mins later the reception man came over with a key card and gave it to us. Close behind was the Porter chap who offered to take our bags to the room and ran off with my key card promising to return in a few minutes.

Five mins later the Reception man came over saying he’d given us the wrong room and needed the key card back. I explained the Porter had already run off so he’d better go track him (and my bags) down.

Thirty mins after check-in we were finally at the room. Outside the room was a load of drilling going on in a service door hatch. The Porter apologised for the noise and said it’d be done by 5pm. I am not a complete asshole. I understand that maintenance/repairs need carrying out and it’s better to do during the day than at night. So I can accept that.

Not a bad 1 bedroom suite – but I did notice there were a load of paint chips off the kitchen cupboards. This really makes the room look shoddy.

In the office/study area the desk lamp was blown. Again, it’s the small things that let a nice place down.

Thought I’d have a nap.. but there was a lot of noise. The main noise sounded like the huge aircon in the lounge. It sounded like a small aircraft. It was on ‘low’ so I couldn’t get it any quieter.
Nap plans scrapped I headed out. Outside the door was a small industrial blow dryer. That was the noise. Work may have stopped around 5.. but this bloody machine was on full steam ahead. I am guessing there was a water leak?

Can’t say I was impressed.

Looking at the doorway/carpet to my room – I can’t help but think 5 Star quality is not what it used to be?

Into Soi 4. I wanted my sneaks cleaned so headed for Hooters. Great location to grab the street vendors – or for them to grab you.

Hooters was rammed so we went directly opposite to K&S Bar. Still shit. This place is just horrible.
For some mad reason on a Friday afternoon, they were blasting some techno crap music through the speakers. Surely this isn’t what people want?

I sent my first drink back and asked them to serve it in tall glass as their Tumblers were more like Ladydrink glasses. The place is just horrid. As soon as we spied some available seats opposite in Hooters we made a dash for it.

Why did I bother? Hooters is a complete rip off. Service is shite. The only reason we went there was to get a shoe-cleaner. I think I can honestly say that every time I have been in Hooters, I have been offered a shoe shine. Not this time. Shit, I couldn’t even get offered a drink.

Probably why we couldn’t get served?

After waving our arms int her air, waving them like we just don’t care – the SECURITY GUARD came over and took our drinks order. I kid you not. The girls were too busy doing fuck all – being given a motivational talk by a senior member of staff – while everyone waited to be served.

Sod this, I’ll just buy new trainers. One drink and out the door, making a point of giving 100bht to the Security Guard for showing some initiative.

Next up was some little bar on the corner – opposite Chequres. Can’t remember the name. They had street-side stools so we had a few in there. It’s not a bad place to hang out. It’s small enough not to be packed with arseholes.

More drinks and more waiting for a bloody shoe-shine kid.

An ex-Pretty Lady girl came over. Must be 10 years since she left the pole. She remembered me. I’d like to say I remember her – but let’s be honest, they all look the same.

She tried to Massage my back which I absolutely hate. Had to tell her I had sunburn to get her to stop.

Not wanting to make small talk with her – we headed to the new Hillary Bar. Absolutely packed. Live music on the menu as always. Not really my thing.

Nice bar. It’s a better feel than the Hilary 2 – which is mainly full of riff-raff power drinkers thinking that playing pool makes them look attractive to all the girls. (it doesn’t).

Time was getting on and after much drinking the natural gravitational pull to the Nana Plaza kicked in.
Where to go? Well, we have come to the conclusion that one of the best places to have a beer in the Plaza is in the beer garden slap bang in the middle. Great 360 degree views.

I think one of the best places to take in the Plaza.

We were in the Plaza…. Might aswell go to a gogo. Pretty Lady (or whatever it’s called now?) was closest. The place is huge. Too huge. Half empty and if I remember right, they had the lights off in the empty section. The girls were far from Pretty. I can only assume it’s now called Ugly Pigs?
One drink and out the door we ran. I can’t see me going back there in a hurry. Or ever.

Up the stairs into BillBoard. Holy crap. There really is no point in going to any other bar in the Plaza. If you were to get a girl from any other bar – and then visit BillBoard, you’d be gutted. Seriously, I have never seen a gogo with so many stunning girls. It was like a party at the house of Vincent Chase (google it)

I don’t know the barfines and I don’t know the prices… but whatever it is.. I am sure it’s worth it.

As all those avenues of pleasure were closed off to me – I headed back to the Hotel. I was wasted.

By the time I got back to the room, sat on the bed and looked down at my feet. Sod it.. I still didn’t get my trainers cleaned.

Typical bloody Thai…

Last night I went to Bangkok to watch Jim Jefferies stand up show. He is one of the few comedians I like these days.

I left Hua Hin around 1pm – straight to soi 4 to wait for some pals.

I had an hour to kill so went to HOOTERS – hoping I would see one of the shoe-shine people as I wanted my trainers cleaned. This is the 3rd time I have been to soi 4 now and not seen the shoe-shine people. Plenty of flowers, fake iPhones and sunglasses – but no shoe-shines. What’s the world coming to?

While in HOOTERS I had a bit of chicken which what absolute shite. They also missed off one of my orders. The service in there is really crap. The food is horrid and the drinks are way over-priced. The only reason I go in there is because of the location. Not anymore. You’d have to pay me to go in there now. Utter shite.

Off we went to Big Dogs. It’s so much better now they’ve renovated. I had a vodka and as per usual, had it served in a pathetic lady-drink tumbler. After 30 seconds it was gone – so ordered another but asked for a tall glass. When the fat ugly trog delivered the drink, it was Bacardi and coke. Even though the previous drink on the bill showed Vodka, for some reason the thick cow gave me Bacardi.

I told her I wanted Vodka. She started gobbing off saying she’d go get me a new drink but could she have the Bacardi?!! So she gets my drink wrong and then thinks I should pay for it and give it to her as some kind of reward? I told her to ram it – but one of the lads just said if you drink that – make sure you drink it on another table and stay away from us. I had to find my happy place, as I was getting mad.

Off to Siam Square to see the show. It was pretty good. He is funny. As with all Comedians, there are Hecklers. For some reason Hecklers thing they’re funny but rarely get a laugh and just embarrass themselves.

There was one girl who shouted something out at Jim – so he engaged is a bit of dialog. He asked why she wasn’t at work shooting ping-pong balls out of her box – to which she replied ‘its my night off’.

This did managed to raise a laugh… so Jim went further.. ‘What is it you do for a living’. Fair enough question. She replied ‘pay me and I will tell you’. “PAY ME”? Bloody PAY ME? I actually felt embarrassed. A theater full of expats and this Thai basically just confirmed the stereo-type of all Thai girls. ‘Pay me and I will tell you’? What on earth was she thinking?

By 10pm it was over – and back to Nana for a few drinks before going home to HH.

Forget Sickmans reports from afar that the bars are empty – the place was heaving. Couldn’t be arsed with walking all down the soi looking for a table so ducked into Melody UK (now called Golden Bar)

There was a few tables available, probably because all the staff were absolute monsters. Some were playing pool with various punters. Each time a girl potted a ball, they’d all scream. That was enough to get us to pay up and leave.

The lads went onto Soi 31 area. I called my driver and asked him to meet me 2 hours earlier than arranged. I had my fill of Bangkok/Soi 4 / Thai girls.

Whilst waiting at the entrance of Nana Carpark for my driver, I found myself surrounded my middle-eastern wankers. A group of about 6 sweaty, smelly bearded assholes. They were generally making a nuisance of themselves, not moving out the way when people were trying to walk past. They were not trying to do a ‘deal’ with some girls in Nana. It was obvious they were not making the best pitch to the girls as they kept walking away – leaving these scumbags getting more annoyed.

If I had Jonas with me – I’d have gladly picked a fight with all of them. As I was on my own and didn’t want to get anymore dirt (blood) on my shoes I just got in the car and left my woes behind.

Screw this place.

I have 2 large suitcases packed…heading to the UK soon.

Flank Bluno

‘Let me be Frank’

Is the name of the Former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Frank Bruno’s book.   A book that big Frank signed for me last night at ‘evening with Frank’.

I am a boxing fan.  Although I must admit my interest has dropped off the last decade – when Mike Tyson lost his mojo.

I went to see Mike Tyson fight in Manchester in 2000.   It was awesome.

Last night was a different vibe.  Frank Bruno retired from boxing when he lost his Championship title to Mike Tyson 20 odd years ago.   Now, in his late 50’s,  big Frank is still a popular British sports personality and has enough interest to fill out a function room in the Intercontinental Hotel in Hua Hin in the middle of January.

Ten persons to a table… and limited to 8 tables.  A decent crowd.  Most people were holiday makers and some long term expats who I would have loved to have punched in boxing ring myself. More on that later..

To kick things off, everyone gathered in the gardens for drinks.  Big Frank arrived and worked the crowd, shaking hands and posing for photos.   I was genuinely impressed at how nice and polite he was.  Of course he is getting paid for it – but he really did put the work in.

I’m the one on the right

The night was a buffet dinner, a talk by Frank on the highlights of his career, an Auction of sporting memorabilia, a raffle and some Q&A with Frank and the guests.

Dinner was good.  It was a buffet – but it’s the Intercontinental.  Good quality and great service.  Lots of the guests were going up for second and third helpings.  I have a special place in my heart for these kinds of people.  Twats.

While Frank was sitting at his table… alone, I took the opportunity to ask him to sign a copy of his book that I have.  He did it happily.

Frank on stage.. went through a little script of his career and some of his personal struggles with Mental Health.   All of which is covered in his book in great detail.   Surprisingly,  he is pretty switched on.  And I say ‘surprisingly’ because the general public’s perception of Frank is that he is the arse end of the Pantomime horse.  That’s down to the garbage tabloid papers who dream up headlines and rubbish to sell papers.  Don’t believe he is a dummy.  He is a normal bloke and was pretty quick on his jokes.

After a drinks break – the Action started.  There were 5 pieces on offer.  All in nice display frames.

They probably wont even fit me.

Sugar Ray Leonard Shorts

Bruno signed glove.

Mike Tyson signed shorts

Glove signed by Mike Tyson & Anthony Joshua

Photo signed by some old footballers?

There is a reason the Auction is toward the end of the night – it’s so all the idiots get drunk on wine and go mad on the bidding.  Who on earth would want a pair of shorts which someone’s written their name on?   Fools.

The 1st item went for 30k…. the second for about 20k.    Then the Tyson shorts came up… 5…. 10…12…13.. then some idiot shouted out ’20 thousand’.    No more bids after that.

Then there was the Tyson & Joshua glove…  bidding kicked off at 5…7…9…12..15…20….25… then the fool who bought the shorts won the glove for 30 thousand.

Can’t remember what the Footy thing went for.  Can’t say I was interested.

Another session with Frank on the stage answering questions.   Everyone being respectful and paying attention – except for the table next to ours.  Some horrid ‘middle-eastern’ old bastard was talking to his missus.  And when I say ‘missus’.. I mean a pig ugly ladyboy who had a nose bigger than Brunos.  They were horrible and totally disrespectful.   I gave it a big ‘ssssshhhhhhhh’ and a death stare – and they finally shut their fat ugly faces.

Questions from the floor…   the usual questions came up… ‘who do you think the inspirations for kids is today’…..  ‘who was your toughest opponents’ etc…..   then it was my turn, wanting to make things a little lighter.   I asked ‘Frank, when you were in the hospital, your emotions running high and the doctors telling you to take their cocktail of drugs which you didn’t want…. Did you ever tell them ‘make me!’

Let’s face it… he’s a big fella.  I can’t see how anyone could make him do something he didn’t want to do.  But he’s not daft.  He said he had to tow the line and play their game or he’d be seen as uncooperative – which is true.   But he saw where I was coming from and did say ‘I did tell them doctors to fuck off a few times’!   – And that was the only time he swore last night.

That was the end of the night…   and he stayed around to sign the backs of the Auction items and pose for a few more photos.

Couldn’t stop him writing over everything…

It was a really good night and for a boxing fan – it was thoroughly enjoyable. 

The night started around 18:30 and we left around 22:30.

I was then left with the problem of what on earth am I going to do with the memorabilia I had just won at auction.

Only the one glove then?

This year so far….

So what’s pissing me off so far this year?

1 week in – and I am already in a fit of rage this week….

  1. Twat Thai fools on motorcycles with no lights (at night).
  2. Twat Thai fools in cars or on bikes who stop on roundabouts?!
  3. Waiters/Waitresses who take my plate away immediately after I have put my knife and fork down. (fine when if i am dining on my own)
  4. Having my Appetizer served 20 mins AFTER the main course.
  5. Getting told off by Miss Tim for complaining all the time…

Had to laugh this week… as I walked through Hua Hin high street the other night, some Indian Tailor called out to me… this is how the conversation went

Annoying Indian Tailor:   “Hey my Brother…  good suit, top quality…. how are you”?

Me: “Poke your crap clothes up your arse”

Miss Tim:  “Why do you have to be so nasty.  Just walk away and ignore them, no need to be nasty”

Me: (with an innocent look on my face) “Ignore him?  That would be rude to ignore him… after all, he is my Brother “.

“Why am I here”?  Is a question I get asked a fair bit.  It’s a good question and one I ask myself a lot.   Fact is,  I am too lazy to do anything about it right now – and to be honest, no matter where I go – I am sure it’ll have it’s fair share of assholes there too.

This week I am going to look at clearing out my wardrobes of all the clothes that I have never worn,  books that I have never read and DVD’s that I have never watched.  I seem to have accumulated a lot of crap over the last 15 years – so want to have a tidy up so I can just walk (run) away with just a couple of suitcases when I do bugger off.

Will need to figure out what to do with them bloody cats also.

Why should I care?

Meanwhile in Hua HIn.. weather has been crap.  I was heading to Pattaya but the weather there is crap too.

I’ll do Pattaya next week.  This week we’ll head to Bangkok. Wednesday to Saturday me thinks.   Hotels?  Looking online,  I see a list of hotels which can all be filtered/sorted by Price, Stars, Popularity etc… I can’t see any filters showing ‘number of Chinese and Indians’..   Now that WOULD be a useful tool.   Landmark Hotel it is then….

Carry on…..