Off to the Himalayas!

If I had to list a 190 Countries that I want to visit – India wouldn’t be on there.

So its with mixed feelings that I find myself flying off to Delhi next week.

Why am I going?  Glad you asked.

I am off on a motorcycle tour over the Himalayas.  For a biker – it’s meant to be one of the best rides in the world with some of the most amazing sights you’ll ever see.

Two weeks on a Royal Enfield riding over the mountains at high altitude and staying in some kind of tent (I guess?)

Which way to Pattaya?

I’ve got around 10 motorcycles – .  I love my bikes.  Never once have I wanted to ride a Royal Enfield (crap) though.

So why am I going to a place I don’t want to, to ride a bike that I don’t like?

Well,  it’s me upholding my part of a deal with a couple of pals.  I wanted to do Route 66 – but as my pal is American,  he wanted to go somewhere outside the U.S.  So..  Himalayas this time and Route 66 on the next adventure.

For the past 6 months I have been sorting out my bike gear in the UK and have it all sorted away in Dubai – ready for my collection next weekend.

I have everything I need and more.  We’ll be riding on some of the most challenging and dangerous roads in the world.  I have full body armour, a good helmet, tool kit, 1st aid kit, alcohol wipes and much to my optimism, disposable toilet seat covers.  Yeah right.. like there will be toilet seats.  I very much doubt there will even be toilets?

My pals Russ (U.S) and Ian (UK) by their own admission are not the most experienced riders in the world.  In fact – I saw Russ on my scooter in Thailand last month and would swear he’s never ridden a bike before.  He didn’t go over 30kph.

So being the speed freak that I am,  rider of R1’s, Fireblade, Ducati 916 etc.. and having been riding for 38 years (I 1st bike when I was 5) – sods law says that I am the one  that will fall off.  Maybe ride off a cliff or into a rock?

Must be some action around here?

If the bike ride doesn’t kill me – then the dysentery and food-poisoning probably will.
(from some web-site)

Highlights on this trip:
The highest motorable pass in the world
The second highest motorable pass in the world
One of the “Most dangerous roads” of the world
(One of) The most beautiful mountain road in the world
Unique road trip through high Himalayas
Part of the original ancient Silk Road
Visit capital of India: Delhi
Visit capital of Ladakh: Leh
Visit Buddhist temples
Visit summer capital Srinagar

This is the road…..

In  few days I head to Dubai to hook up with my pals… have brunch and then head off to Delhi at the weekend.

It’s one of the most exciting adventures we’ll ever do… and I can’t say I am sharing the excitement of my pals

I am looking forward to is growing a beard though.

To the Philippines and beyond…..

(For a detailed account of what Angeles City is like… these old postings are spot on)

At last – made a trip to the Philippines after lots of whining from GM and Bubba…..

GM is a big noise at some Casino in Manilla.   For years he keeps saying I should pop over there for a weekend.  Thing is,  he seems to come to Bangkok most weekends, so there was little point?

After a lot of planning (abusive whatsapping) we came up with a plan.  Just so happens that GM was in Bangkok (again) so we both flew to Manila together.

The flight with Flip-Air was about 3000.    I usually fly with Emirates (work) and am fortunate enough to be able to use the Fast-Track route – and not have to queue with ‘other’ people.

However, I am no snob (really… I am not) – so was happy enough to queue with the peasants at immigration.    Is it me, or has anyone else noticed the Asians (Chinese this time) are rude little bastards when it comes to queuing?   As I moved forward one place, the person behind me didn’t fill the gap immediately – resulting in a little Chinese girl abandoning her queue and slot in behind me!  Amazing.  If I were the one behind, I’d have picked her up and thrown her across the hall to the back of the queue.  And I could have done it.  What gets me is… she was parallel to the queue she jumped into.  She probably only saved herself 30 seconds?  Odd.

When walking up the gangway onto the plane – again, we were over taken by some other Asians (Flips) who seemed to have a semi-sprint on to get to the plane.  I don’t get it.  It’s not like we were walking slow.  They just walked around us as we reached the plane door and had to queue.

It’s odd behaviour.  I would have loved to kick off.. call them all a bunch of idiots and even give a few (a lot) a slap.  But this wasn’t my Country.   Not my rules.   Instead, all GM and I could do is shake our heads and laugh at them.  Flips English is good – so I was hoping to offend one at least – so they would engage in an argument where I could at least beat them up verbally.  Nadda.

Nothing of interest about the fight or airport.  Usual.    Outside into a taxi pretty quick.  Same as Bangkok, it’s hit or miss getting a cab where the aircon works.   There was a little trickle of air but I am unsure if it was aircon or the driver farting.

Luckily the 1st hotel I was staying in is about 10mins from the airport.  The Golden Phoenix.  Sounds grand.  It isn’t.

The staff seemed uninterested – handed me a key-card and let me figure out for myself that I had to take the escalators to the second floor – then walk along a corridor to find the elevators.  Thanks.

The room was…. Well…   crap.   It was like a sauna when I opened the door.   Old room – quite long and a tiny little aircon in the corner.

It was only one night.. how bad can it be?

Quick freshen up – water stuffed in the fridge, aircon on to cool the room down and out I headed to meet GM before heading to Meklati – where all the action is.

Who needs aircon?

Action he says.    For some reason I was expecting something quite grand.  Something like Walking Street or Soi Cowboy.  The only connection I could make with Soi Cowboy – was that Meklati was like the Wild West.   Sleazy, dirty and grubby.

We trawled a few bars – meeting up with Bubba and Bruce (Aussie).  Bubba & Bruce live/work in Manila.

The 1st few bars we visited were pretty nondescript.   I was shocked that all the girls are mainly ‘plump’ and in need of a good orthodontist.  My only experience of Flip women – is the flips in Dubai.  The service staff, girls in the office, airport, restaurants etc.. all of whom seem rather pleasant.  I was expecting the Philippines to be filled with much of the same.  I was wrong.

It was apparent to me that if you are good looking, well presented and in shape – then you leave Manila.

The last bar we went to was a significant improvement.  Bruce and Bubba seem to be well known there and were getting all the attention.  It reminded me of me.. back in the day when I’d visit Pretty Lady with a fist full of dollars.   Times change….

I was the newbie here. Didn’t know the rules (although whoring is universal, I wasn’t there for that).

A few girls spoke with me – I was polite of course.  Drinks are very cheap so we bought some.  Then we were asked for more as the girls slammed each drink. Then they asked if we could buy the Mamasan, Pappasun and Daniel-sun a drink.. and then the waiter… and the door staff… the beggar on the street etc…  hmm.. sounds familiar?

We couldn’t get smashed – as we were heading to Angeles City the next day.

Time to call it a night.   Can’t say I was impressed.   But, it’s my 1st time there so I am not going to pass judgement so quickly.

Back to the sauna at a respectable time.   I slept under the aircon. It was still hot.

Couldn’t wait to check out the next morning.  After a long trek I managed to find the Reception.

Now, I travel a fair bit and have stayed in many hotels.  Many.  Many good and many bad.  After a while you get a feeling of what level of service to expect.    For example,  on check out I am used to the Receptionist to ask if my stay was o.k.  Do I need a receipt.  Would I like a taxi etc….

Not this place. Nope.  Nothing.  Apart from asking me for my credit card – there was no interaction whatsoever.  That’s the last time I’ll stay there.    When Agoda e-mails me asking if I’d recommend the phoenix hotel to a friend.. they’ll be getting a big fat NO.

Angeles City was the destination.   I’d say AC was the Pattaya of the Philippines

Well done to Bruce for sorting a minivan and not a shitty taxi..

The hotel (ABC) was a blast.   Everything you could ask for.    That is, if everything you asked for has an adult theme.

The receptionist was a pleasant and friendly girl.   Forget nettle juice and a cold towel, they gave us a welcome Tequila shot!

Hats off to GM – he took the Tequila (with me) – Bubba and Bruce declined.  I had no choice.. I am the artist formally known as Daywalker.  I had a reputation to protect.

I had chosen the best room they had available.  It had it’s own dancing pole, hot tub, sound system and a selection of litre bottles of booze.

The Suite…

We had planned to meet at the roof bar of the hotel in a few hours – to cash in on our free drink vouchers.

bring your kids….

The bar is very ‘adultish’.  There was some girl gyrating on a guy who was on a sunbed.   How rude.

After a few cocktails of pure sugar and a feed – off we headed into the night.

There is nothing I can really say, that hasn’t already been said.   The bars were average and the girls were below average.  What was fantastic though, was the price of drinks!   As the booze was so cheap, after a while we didn’t care about the place being a crap-hole.

Maybe I am being a bit hard on Angeles City, but I don’t like the amount of street beggars (kids), I don’t like the copious amounts of street vendors trying to sell me fake crap and I really didn’t like the amount of males trying to beckon me into a bar.

We hit many bars – none of which sticks in my mind.  The last bar we ended up at seemed to be the most popular.  Atlantis.   They had a group of pole dancers, coyote dancers, break dancers and ugly dancers.   Something for everyone.

I tipped the pole dancers as they actually put on a show worthy of Philippines Got Talent.  I noticed that no other customer offered any tips to any of the show-girls.  I guess they were saving their money for their next Hyundai.

Anyway, when I offered them a tip – they were all extremely appreciative and all left the stage and joined GM and myself for a drink.  They were a good friendly bunch.   I assume they were all P4P – but that wasn’t discussed.  I was genuinely impressed with their pole dancing abilities!

GM and I drank well into the night – making us drunk and hungry.  Time to hit the road via a food house.  I can’t be sure – but I think I may have thrown up?  Time for food.

Joliebee!  Is a popular (I assume that because they’re everywhere) chicken place.  Off we stopped for a bucket of chicken. Each.

Having ordered some chicken – and being told to wait 15 mins for it (I guess they didn’t plan ahead – knowing people would come into a chicken house and ask for chicken?).  While sitting there with GM, we noticed a little Security Guard darting all over the place.   He was wiping down tables,  moved some chairs around,  bagged up a load of buckets for customers and was generally doing whatever it was he could do to help.   This guy also had a gun.  What a fantastic worker!  This guy couldn’t do enough and it was fascinating to watch him.

It did however get us wondering if he was employed a general assistant – and told he is also the Security Guard,  or was he taken on as a Security Guard and told to help out serving Chicken?

The reason I wonder – is because I’d like to think that Armed Security Guards would undergo some sort of firearms training.  And I don’t just mean point it and squeeze.  Before pulling the trigger on your ‘piece’ and unloading your magazine clip – there are many things you have to analyse. I am not going to claim I know all there is – but I do know you have to conduct a risk assessment.  So I am hoping this guy has had training – and isn’t just a cleaner with a gun who will shoot you if you don’t clear up after yourself.

We staggered back to the hotel   Bubba and Bruce had long since gone.  Once again GM and I were the last men standing.

The plan was to meet at 11(ish) for breakfast……

To be continued…

At last.. a Hotel I like!

Last month when travelling through Bangers I stayed at the SM Grand.  Never again.  What a crap hole.   When I left, my driver pointed out the Citrus hotel on soi 6.. informing me it was a new hotel.

Within 5 minutes of frantically tapping on my iPhone app…  I had booked a room there for the following week when I would once again be travelling through Bangkok (in the way to the Philippines)

Who doesn’t like a new hotel?    Everything works, the TV is not the size of a washing machine, the power sockets take USB’s, the wifi works and the knobs on the toasters are still in place.  Yes, we like new hotels.

The Citrus was (for me) perfect.   I didn’t have to fill out loads of forms or wrestle with the porter to take my bag.    The staff were all still under the influence of a ‘new fresh atmosphere’ that a new business has.  They were all keen and enthusiastic.  Long may it continue.

The room was surprisingly good too.  Decent size – everything was new of course, so it’s expected to be nice and new looking.

There are hotels which you plan only to be in while you sleep for 8 hours – so all you want/need is a clean room with a bed, aircon and a fridge – and there are hotels where you will spend some of your waking day in – so you want a nice environment.   For me, I do enjoy kicking back in a (nice) hotel, ordering up some room service, watching a movie and surfing the odd website.  That’s how I relax.

The Citrus was suite was perfect for that.   No need to describe it – you can see by the pictures.

Everything you could want – it’s there.

The staff were great.   The breakfast was surprisingly good.   Usually the buffet breakfasts are just a load of cheap crap – but this was different.  A large selection of all the usual breakfasty type stuff, but cooked eggs/omelettes were cooked to order.  Perfect.

Again, pleasant kitchen/dining staff.

This is now my fave hotel.  O.k, so it’s not the Landmark or the Marriott, but it’s not the price of those.

We had only one night there – but will certainly spend more time there next month for sure.

If I had to think of one thing I didn’t like about it?  Hmm….  I’d say it was the other guests.  Every hotel has them… the assholes that don’t respect the meal times.

Breakfast is something like 07:00-10:30.    We were checking out at 11am and could see some ‘Asians’ still turning up, sitting down and keeping the staff from clearing everything away.

Why does it bother me?  Well,  I am thinking of the Staff.  They have many things to do.  We would complain if they didn’t open the restaurant on time, so why should we delay them in closing?  Some people are just ignorant assholes.

At check-out, I was asked if I needed a taxi.  I did.  I told them I wanted to go to the airport – but didn’t want a scumbag taxi off the street.  For some reason each time I flag down a taxi,  after HE has decided he will take me to where I want to go, having argued with him to use the meter and then listen to him telling me about how he needs a tip,  I then have to negotiate with him to put on the aircon and turn down his crap music.  That’s assuming the cannon he is using as an exhaust isn’t drowning it out.   No….   I’d rather pay a few quid more to ensure safe passage to my next destination.

I asked the hotel for a car to get me to the airport.   They said it would be 400bht.  PERFECT!

A new Toyota pulled up 5 mins later.  It was spotless inside, the driver never said a word for the whole journey apart from ‘thank-you’ when he dropped me off and I gave him 500.

So ignoring the breakfast douches… the hotel stay was great and I thoroughly recommend staying there!

Next stop… the Philippines…..

Settled in… now time to get back to work.

Another month flies by… so what’s been happening?  What is currently pleasing me and what is pissing me off?

First of all, it’s now been over a month in the new house and all is well.   Internet / TV all works as it should.  Aircons nice and cool, the cats have identified the furniture where scratching will do the most damage and the gardeners have made it known that they shall be in the garden most days for no reason that I can understand.

I no longer have a pool.  This was by choice.  I wanted to down-size.  The last house was rather big and cost a lot to run – and considering I am only physically in the house for around 4 months per year – I thought I’d do the sensible thing and get a house more suitable (cheaper) which meets my needs.

The new house has a communal pool and a gym – which is pretty good.  We also get to see people in the day – walking around, walking dogs and generally going about their business.  The little ‘hood’ seems a friendly bunch and we must get around 6-10 ‘Good Mornings’ as we sit out the front having a coffee in the morning.   Am I pleased?   Yes I am.  Good job Miss Tim in sorting all that for me!

What I am not too pleased about it the Letting Agent.  Star Property.  Not only have they failed to retrieve our Deposit on the last house – they are also ignoring my e-mails.    Miss Tim doesn’t share my anger – as ‘This is Thailand’.   Which means we have to accept incompetence?

It’s about 7km into the town centre of Hua Hin – which isn’t too bad.  A tuk-tuk costs us 250bht each evening we go out and have a few drinks – which is most nights.

After 5 years, we still like Hua Hin.  We have our regular restaurants and bars.  We have our lunchspots, parking spots and hiding places.

One of the bars we have recently been visiting is Father Teds.  A bar that we have over looked for many years because of our 1st visit (5 years ago) saw us being seated in a crappy stool upstairs with crap service.  That was a long time ago and our latest experience is much better.    So much better that we must visit at least 4 times a week now on our nights out in the town.

The food is fantastic, the prices are really good and the fit-out of the bar is so much better than the other bars of Hua Hin.   My only complaint (and there was always going to be one) would be some of the staff are useless.

What really pisses me off when eating is that as soon as I put my knife and fork on my plate – showing that I have finished, the staff come and grab it and clear my place.   Even though other people at the table may still be eating.   This pisses me off.. as Miss Tim and I often share food.  So just because my plate is empty, it doesn’t mean I am done eating.

But also,  if they clear my plate away – that means I am now left looking at the person still eating.  This makes them uncomfy.  Can you imagine 4 people at a table watching you eat?

Thai’s are not fast eaters.    So more often than not, Miss Tim is sitting at the table, stuffing her face while we all watch.   I don’t like it.   I now make a point of telling the service people to leave my plate alone.

As we were impressed with the food – we thought we’d give the breakfast a go.   As the board says breakfast is available from 9am.  By the time we got there – it was 09:56.  When we arrived, there was a service guy outside wiping down tables.   We walked in only to be told they don’t open until 10am and to come back later?!!

Breakfast starts when?

Now,  if he had just pointed at a table for us to sit at – by the time we had settled in – it would have been 10am.     But, as he just said to come back later – even though we were standing next to the sign that says breakfast from 9am, we walked off and found another place.  I should not have to plead with people to spend my money at their place.

However, this is the Thai staff.  I have come to learn to expect this (and less).  There is an Irish chap there in the evenings (Owner or Manager) who always makes a point of saying hello/good bye and gives us a smile.   Pity the Thai staff doesn’t have the same attitude?

We did visit a  new (to us ) bar called ‘East’.  A rooftop bar.   It sounds better than it is – as the view is mainly a bunch of tree-tops.  You can just about see the sea – but it’s nothing of interest.  They have made an effort to be a bit trendy I guess – so we gave it a go and hit the cocktails.  Can’t remember how much they were?  I think around 350bht but I could be wrong.   Can’t say we enjoyed them.  They were just coloured sugar water.

These sugary drinks have removed more teeth than Mike Tyson

Another favourite of ours is the Tapas Bar ‘Cool Breeze’.   Really good food and amazing bread.  The (Thai) staff always mess up an order or two (to be expected) but again, the Brit Owner/Manager more than makes up for it by coming over and saying hello – and always thanking us and shaking my hand when we leave.  Real good service.  In my old age, I have come to appreciate good service.

Speaking of Service…   I have asked Miss Tim to take the PCX in for a service.  This time I have asked her to get details of what they do in this ‘service’.    We take the bike in every 3 or 4 months for (as Miss Tim calls it) a ‘check-up’.    This check-up/Service seems to only take them about 20 minutes so I am not exactly sure how much they are really doing?

As I said the other day – I can hear a difference in the engine.  It could be the rings on their way out and I can definitely hear some worn bearings.  For sure,  there is a problem.  A trained ear should be able to identify it straight away.  So I have told Miss Tim to have them give it a thorough check.  If they say it is fine – then I shall go to the shop next door and buy a new bike – having made sure I tell them they are a bunch of incompetent idiots.   If they can identify the problem then I shall let them fix it.

Hopefully they can fix it – as Miss Tims parents’ house is getting full up with old  bikes we keep giving them each time we buy a new one.

Recently I have been over to the Philippines and Pattaya.  Had a good time.  I’ll pen down anything that may be of interest over the next week.

I have also found an absolutely fantastic hotel…..  must be the best one yet……

Carry on….



Frustrated in Hua Hin

Still waiting on the house deposit.   The Agent has informed us that filling/painting the drilled holes in the wall which mounted the TV will cost 2500.  That’s fine.  They will prepare an invoice for us.  That’s fine.

I am interested to see if they actually give us the invoice and expect us to pay that before we are given the 40k+ deposit.    I almost hope they do – so I can go nuts at them.

It’s been a month since we moved out of the old house.  Each time we ask the Agent, they say they’ll ask the Landlord.  I have repeatedly told Miss Tim to TELL the Agent that we want our deposit back.   I have a tin of paint and a bottle of fairy liquid waiting just waiting to be chucked in the swimming pool if they refuse.

Hua Hin is pretty quiet at the moment.  Rainy season seems to be upon us.  Can’t say I am impressed.  Luckily I am off to work next week.

Last week I headed over to the Philippines to see GM.  Good time.  I shall write up a report when I can piece it all together.

Tomorrow, I am heading over to Pattaya for the night.  Ferry booked tomorrow afternoon, returning on Saturday afternoon.   A one-night blow out.  Can’t get into too much trouble in 1 night surely.

In Hua Hin – with the weather being a bit cooler – Miss Tim and I have taken to early morning cycling.    There is a nice little Bakery down the road – about 10km away.   The idea is to set off at 7am (it opens at 8am)  – get some fresh bread and come home and have coffee and french bread (bacon butty) on the veranda.

As we were making good time – Miss Tim suggested we took a side road for a bit more of a ride.  Bastard road went 20km before joining a main road.

Eventually when we got to the main road – there is a very nice cycle path which runs for miles alongside the main road.  Plenty of signs that say ‘Cycles Only’.  It’s safe and smooth.

Of course, this is Thailand.  So this Cycle Only path is full of asshole Thai’s on their motorbikes.  This really made me angry – so I made sure I got in their way.  I then hurled abuse at them, pointing at the Cycle Only signs.   What good did that do?  None.

Miss Tim doesn’t see what my problem is.  I tried to explain that as a motorbike can ride along a cycle path, then is a bloody great lorry also acceptable?

After an hour of failing to get anyone of these assholes to engage in some unarmed combat – we reached the Bakery.   It was closed.   Of course it was.  It was a Wednesday.  Just because the website says it’s open at 8am every day, and the sign on the door says it’s open every day – who are we to assume it’d be open?

Off home we went.  Just under 40km clocked up.  No bread and pent up anger for these assholes riding their motorcycles on the cycle path.   I often hear people just say ‘this is Thailand’ – but I don’t think ‘TIT’ is an acceptable excuse for being an idiot.

Not much else on the agenda until I go back to work (via Dubai) next week.  Except for trading one of the bikes in.    Five years ago we purchased a new PCX150.  Great little bike which has never let us down.  It’s now got 17000km on the clock at gets serviced every 3 months.  Not sure what their ‘service’ involves – as they seem to do it in 15 minutes, so I just assume they squirt oil on the right bits.

5 years of my ownership – and it’s better condition that 1 year of Thai ownership.

The PCX is still in fantastic condition.  Why trade it in?  Well,  I can hear things.  Worn rings, things knocking and blowing.   It’s not the quiet sewing machine sounding engine it once was.   I could just have the engine re-built.  If I had the tools and could be bothered, I’d do it myself.  But I don’t.   As for putting it in a shop here, well, I just don’t have the confidence in these people.   That just leaves trading it in for a new machine.

The way I see it, a new bike versus another weekend in Angeles City…. hmmm.. it’s a close one…








Home sweet home.

It’s been a week since I arrived at the new crib.  Smaller than the last – but less expensive too.  This complex has a massive pool and gym.  It also has a security gate which is manned properly instead one old boy who just eats all the time.

I am hoping this will be my last house move – until I make the final move back to the UK.  I have been thinking about the move back for some time now.

The new house isn’t bad.   Miss Tim did well to move all our shit.    All that’s left it to get the 40k deposit back from the old Landlord.  Not an easy task.   It should be as simple as the Agent doing a survey of the house, seeing if there is any damage – and deducting the cost of repair from the deposit.

As we are not scumbags, there is no damage.  Apart from a couple of holes drilled in the wall for the TV – it’s pretty much how it was when we moved in.

Of course, I expect to hear tales of how doors were hanging off hinges, leather sofas ripped, mattresses soiled and taps missing.    None of that will be true.

Take off some money for a cleaning company to give a good clean and a handyman to touch-up a few holes and repaint – and I think 5,000 would be a fair number.

By the time someone is ready to rent it again, it would need another thorough clean anyway.   The Landlord has 4 of these houses in a row – and only one tenant. I expect it will be gathering dust for a while.

In a ‘normal’ Country, the Letting Agent would hold onto the deposit.  Part of their responsibility would be to manage these things.   Not here.  Not Dubai either.  It’s pretty much upto the Landlord if they decide to return the deposit or not.

The Letting Agents don’t seem to have any influence or offer much support.

However, if this Landlord doesn’t return the best part of my deposit, I may just have to use the spare key that I have.

I may just have to remove the TV.   I may just have to remove the fridge too.  Or I may just have to accidentally pour a tin of black paint into the pool along with a bottle of Fairy Liquid.

Who knows?

The Agent told Miss Tim that we are to wait until the end of the month to receive word on our deposit.











Back in Thailand….

Dubai was a disaster.  When I last wrote – my plan was to spend the rest of the day/night crying into my pillow.   As it turns out… I’d be crying the next day.  In pain.  On the plane.

Sitting in my hotel room, my pal called and said there is a Brunch happening at McGettigans Irish bar.  Wahoo!   So off I went.

McGettigans during Ramadan must be the worst Brunch out there.  The food was absolute crap with less selection than the Sizzlers salad bar.   Still, we were not there for the food.   We had several hours of boozing ahead.  It had been after all, a month since my last drink.

I’d be lying if I said I could recall all the events of that evening/night.   Being off the grogg for a month had an effect as I got drunk.  Badly.   I have no recollection of where I ended up – except at some point during the night I did manage to find my way back to my hotel room.

The hotel room which I received a phone call at 6am, telling me my Emirates Chauffeur was downstairs waiting for me!  Thank goodness I booked one, as I’d have been asleep until house-keeping hoofed me out.

Luckily I had packed the previous day.  What else did I have to do?   When the phone woke me – I didn’t have a clue where I was.  I was fully dressed.  My head was pounding.   I ran to the toilet to throw up – which was already full from last nights/this mornings vomit.  It wasn’t nice.

No time for a shower.  Quick splash, clean the toothy-pegs,  throw on some Brut and get the hell out of there.

The drive to the airport was bad.  I wanted to puke.  The sun was burning my eyes.  My pockets were completely empty of all cash.  I have no idea why, or how I got home.  I can only assume I tipped my cab driver a few hundred bucks?

At the airport – the poor bastard held out his hand, wanting a tip for driving me to the airport.  Normally I would, but I had no cash on me.  Then again, the ride is factored into the price of a Business Class ticket – and it’s not like he has a bad job, driving around in a BMW all day.  Sod him.

Before I could check in – I had to make a b-line for the toilets.  Once again, I had to throw up.  I sat there, in a mess, on the floor, wondering how I could possibly postpone the flight and find somewhere to sleep it off.

I pulled myself together, stuck my face under the tap and tried to clean off  puke-splash from my shirt.

I found a corner in the lounge and guzzled 3 bottles of cold water.  Never more than 1 minute from the toilets.

On the plane, the lovely Cabin Crew lady saw that I looked like a sack of shit.  She asked if I was o.k – to which I responded with “brunch”….   she knew.   All Emirates girls (and boys) know about the Dubai Brunches.  She took pity on me and brought me some pills and cold water.  What an Angel.

As soon as we were in the air, the seat was reclined, the mattress was laid out and I fell asleep, crying into my pillow.

I slept pretty much the whole flight.   Bangkok airport was pretty quiet and I was in the next Emirates car within 45 mins of touch-down.

Straight to soi 4……

I have found a few decent hotels which I like now… but that didn’t stop me being an idiot and trying something new.   This time I booked a Suite at SM Grande.   It was 3000 per night which I thought sounded reasonable.

I didn’t have any small cash on me.. just airport ATM fresh 1000’s.  I usually tip the Emirates driver a few hundred, but as I had nothing small, and the car ride is all included in the price of the ticket – sod him.  He’s Thai, driving around in a Benz all day.  Life aint that bad for him.

SM Grande – What a shit-hole!  I can only assume the current owners are just trying to get as much money out of the place – and are not reinvesting a penny.  It’s old.  The furniture is old and knackered.  The aircon in the bedroom pumped out hot air, the wifi didn’t work, there was hair in the bath and the 28” TV was the same size as a washing machine.

Don’t be tempted by Suites.

The weirdo neighbor next door for some bizarre reason would leave his hotel room door open all day while he sat in there with some skank listening to crap music.   Each time I left my room – I closed his door.   Looking back, I should have walked in and called him a fucking asshole.  Next time.

I arrived late Saturday night and just couldn’t be bothered to go anywhere.  The lounge was cold so I just kicked back with some food and watched the Washing Machine.

Sunday was a meet-up with PRP.  He has been traveling Oz for the last 3 months, so I went to meet him at No Idea for lunch.  No one word about Oz was spoken. Just tales of what he’s been upto since he’s been back.    Twins, Cowboy, Soi 33 etc….

It wasn’t long before we were in full drinking mode.   Too Easy Bar, Top Secret, Foxy’s and various others.

It had been a month.  Can’t say I was overwhelmed to be back.  If anything, it was a little disappointing.  Yeah, it was good to catch up with the lads, but the old skanks in the bars just don’t really get me excited anymore.

By midnight, everyone feeling drunk, I was glad when it was decided we’d call it a night.

I was happy that it was my last night in the craphole that is SM Grande and the next day I would be heading home to Hua Hin.

Miss Tim had moved us into our new home.  Hopefully all my shit made its way to the new house – and I won’t be seeing Motor-cy taxi drivers wearing my sneakers over the next few months.

A Cry from Dubai

Another 28 days in the bag. Office keys handed over to my back-to-back (the guy who shares my job with me) and off I go.

But go where?

As always, the first drink I have after 28 days of clean living is a glass of Champagne on the plane leaving work. Usually I like to stop over in Dubai for a few days to catch up with some pals and visit some places that I took a shine to when I was living here. Right now, ‘here’ is currently in the Four Points Hotel on Sheik Zayed Road. The rooftop bar is a great chill-out place at night with a fantastic view of the Dubai Skyline. I stayed in the hotel next door for over a month when I first moved here in 2015. I know the area. I feel at ease here.

Fridays are Brunch days – all the booze/food you can sling down your neck for what (in Dubai) is a reasonable price. Everyone gets wasted and has a great time.

So it’s safe to say – I look forward to my time here.

Thing is… it’s now day 2 of Ramadan. Doh. When booking my flights/hotels – I completely forgot about the Holy month. It’s not something I understand if I am honest, but each to their own.

No brunch, no live music.. and for me… not much fun. Instead, I have resigned myself to having a few days relaxing around the hotel… take a little walk maybe? More likely I will spend the next few days crying into my pillow.

This is my first stay at the Four Points. So far I am not impressed. I arrived last night – having booked my non-smoking room with a city view. At check-in, I was asked if I wanted smoking or non-smoking. After that I was asked if I wanted the City view or the Barron Land view. Odd. What was the point in booking all this online?

The view at 7am. Bored with that now.

It was 8 pm so I thought I’d see what the room service has to offer. After searching through the 10 leaflets of promotions, recommendations and club membership offers, I called down to room service and asked where the menu is. “It’s right next to the phone Sir” – the Filipino girl said. Really? You think I would not have seen that as I picked the phone up?

After convincing her there was no menu in the room, she said she’d have one sent up. Half an hour later it arrived. Food ordered – which was another half an hour.

Another problem with this hotel room is there is no room to put the dinner tray. The desk is fill up with an over-sized lamp, internet cable (who uses them?) and a box fill of leaflets.

Again, not impressed.

Now, this is a four-star hotel. For the price of this small hotel room – I could (and often do) get a very nice suite in Bangkok.

One of the things I like in nice hotels is the toiletries. I don’t like having to cart a toiletries bag when I travel – as I mainly have carry-on luggage and the airports that I travel through confiscate most liquids – no matter what the size. So the little toiletries in the hotel bathrooms are very useful to me.

This one however – is not. No toothbrush (good job I never travel without one) and no shaving kit. Instead, there is a sanitary pad, shower cap and make-up remover sponge thing? The three items that I have never needed. Well, maybe the makeup remover. Ever shaved your head using shower get mixed with shampoo? No great. Not great at all.

So far it’s not going well. I’ve called round the lads to see if there is any action to be found. Luckily my pal has a place on the Palm – overlooking a bunch of Yachts. If nothing else, I guess a few drinks looking at how the other half live will do.

Tomorrow I am heading to Bangkok. I have 2 nights there. I have a suite booked – so am looking forward to the complimentary shaving kit.

Killing time, avoiding Songkran and catching up with Jonas

As much as I like Thailand – I love the UK. Wasn’t always like this. But now I have come to learn to appreciate my homeland.

The cold weather? Love it. The dark mornings/evenings in winter? Love it. Springtime? Love it all.

So I welcome the opportunity to get back to the UK when I can. I usually make 3 or 4 trips per year.

Miss Tim joins me for the Summer and Christmas visits. Any other time and I am a lone traveller.

She doesn’t understand why I like the UK, and doesn’t understand why I like visiting if I have no reason to go there.   ‘What do you do there” she often asks?

Well,  I have a fairly decent set-up in the UK.  I am a bit of a petrol head, so like to spend time in my man-cave. One week at a time should just about do it.  Spending a month in Thailand at a time just makes me frustrated and angry.  I need to get back to civilisation every now and then.

So, a few weeks back I popped back to the UK for the old mans B’day – and to collect a load of motorbike gear for my Motorcycling tour over the Himalayas in a few months.

While I was in the UK, the timing was perfect for Jonas to pop over from Sweden for the weekend.

My place in the UK is in Norwich. I am not from there – but I ended up there somehow. I like Norwich. It’s a nice place. I have a very cool, Riverside apartment. It’s right next to a huge pub, cinema, bowling ally, restaurants etc.. it’s the number 1 place to live in Norwich. Not too shabby for Graham.

Home sweet home…

Norwich city is a nice, clean place.  People are friendly and there are plenty of bars and restaurants.

I picked Jonas up at an airport late on Thursday night and brought him home via a kebab house. We LOVE kebabs.  Probably the most unhealthiest food on the planet – there is just something about it.  Mostly enjoyed when you’re drunk of course.

If only they had these in Hua Hin

Why is it I have not seen these in Thailand?  I’ve seen that horrid beef wrap/shwarma shite.. but never a proper Doner kebab.   Maybe that could be my next little project?  The Mango Doner?

Friday morning we headed over to my man cave to swap over some cars and move some stuff around. Jonas likes the man cave. I can spend hours in here – cleaning bikes which are already clean.  I wish I could have a collection in Hua Hin – but the roads are shite and every other driver on the road can’t drive for shit.   One day, when I return to the UK for good, I shall be able to enjoy my toys.

The man-cave.  This is half of the collection.

By lunch time we hit the streets of Norwich and visited as many bars as possible. The trend at the moment seems to be ‘Cocktail Bars’. And why not?  A cocktail afternoon it was then.

It was good to have a drink with Jonas.   He is doing good in Sweden. Has a good job, his Thai girlfriend is now living there – with Jonas and his kid.   Life is pretty good (normal) – and he has no regrets of leaving Thailand.  Yeah he misses some things.  All of which can be sorted with a holiday which may come next year?


Around 7pm – we jumped on a train for the 30 min journey to a little sea-side town to visit a pal and continued drinking with him. Several drinks later we were pretty hammered from the days drinking.

We had consumed quite a bit.  The UK booze is cheaper than Swedish booze, so Jonas felt like it was his duty to drink more.  Of course, we all know what happens to Jonas when he goes drinking.

Next to the train-station – Is a kebab house. Well, it’d be rude not to right?

Jonas…. nuff said

Saturday morning… after Jonas finished throwing up – we headed into the city again for more cocktails.

One of the bars we came across is an America style Sportsbar. It looked great. TV’s all over the place. For us – the owner of this bar absolutely nailed it.

The walls had some pretty cool artwork on them too. It’s very refreshing to go to a bar done properly.

(have to say, I am impressed with the Camera on my iPhone X)

We hopped from bar to bar pretty much all day – with the intention of hitting the table dancing club later that night. Feeling pretty drunk we headed back to the crib for a little nap, ready for the evenings shenanigans.

Top tip.. NEVER GO FOR A LITTLE NAP if you are heading out later! At 7pm.. we had a little doze on the sofa. When we woke up around 10pm.. we were grumpy and a little hungover. We got our shit together and made the effort to get out.

Just 15 mins and I’ll be ready.

Heading into the city.. it was drizzling with rain. The feeling of heading out and getting (more) drunk had passed.

I felt nothing short of relief when Jonas suggested we just got some food and head back home! That we did.

Sunday morning was an improvement on Saturday morning – as Jonas was not throwing up. He slept good.

A bit of a lazy morning.. lying on the sofa watching Cop shows on TV. I swear that if there were not a height restriction back in the day – I’d have been a cop. Obviously a traffic cop, driving around really fast and chasing baddies. That’s all they do anyway right?

Out for a spot of lunch and it was time to take Jonas back to the airport.

A good relaxing weekend. Some drinks and some good food. I guess this is a far cry from what we are used to (in Bangkok) but still a good time none the less. We spend most of the time in the bar – laughing and reminiscing over our previous escapades in Thailand.

With Jonas gone – it was back to the crib for me. No more kebabs.  – it was also a good chance to give the crib an airing.  Jonas + booze + kebabs = a very stinky toilet.

After spending the morning cleaning the remains of Jonas from the bathroom, covering up everything my  crib with dust-sheets and turning everything off – I headed off out the UK again.

Being a little savvy on flight times – I was sure that a morning flight to Dubai would be quiet. Not sure why? Maybe people don’t like getting up early?

I didn’t bother upgrading myself – instead I chose to save my air-miles for a better occasion. Flying Economy can be o.k in certain situations.  If the flight is not full then a few empty seats puts distance between you and the scumbags.

My assumptions were correct.- the plane was half empty. I had a row of 3 seats all to myself. For me – this is the equivalent of a Business seat. For a fraction of the money.

Dubai was a business lunch with the team. Best behaviour.

Another night in Dubai

I’ve stayed in many hotels in Dubai – they’re all pretty much the same.  My fave at the moment is the Four Points Downtown.  A couple hundred bucks a night – but well worth it for the view at night.

Saturday was time to head back to Thailand. Songkran was coming to an end so I would have missed all the stupidity.

Once again – the flight was empty. I guess no one travels to Thailand for the end of Songkran? And when I say empty… I mean there were less than 30 people. At first I thought I had missed the flight as the departure gate was empty.

On the plane – the cabin crew just said to go sit where we want. Amazing.

Breezed through immigration and was home by midnight.

Miss Tim was back home with her family for Songkran and would be home in the afternoon. I was free!

I purposely went away for Songkran.  I am not a fan.  I just arrived back in Thailand on the last day when all the stupidity had come to an end.  Phew

Sunday saw me head into town to the Irish bar to watch the F1.  Really good (pub) food. The owner is useless though. He just sits there playing on the computer while his 2 staff scramble around trying to serve a full bar.

Probably the busiest I have seen the bar in a long time (during the day). Full of guys watching the Rugby and the F1. All drinking beer and eating food.

It amazes me why this bar has no aircon on during the day? Instead the doors are open and the place is a sweat box. Full of flies too. Why not close the doors and stop the heat coming IN! Put the fans on as a minimum. I can understand he is probably trying to save on cost – but with a bar full of people – there is justification to turn on the AC’s.

It took more than 15 mins to get served. It wasn’t the service girls fault – she was run off her feet.

Even though I had to wait a long time,  I went over to the service girl when I left – and gave here a few hundred baht tip.  She was shocked.  I said that she deserved a tip as she had not stopped running around, taking orders, serving drinks and carrying food.  All on her own.  I don’t recall any of the customers giving her a please or thank-you when I was there.  All they did was raise an empty glass in the air and point to it.  Tossers.

With the F1 over and a belly full of food – time to leave the tossers and head home.  I was still worried there were buckets of water waiting to be thrown at unsuspecting people like me.   Many cars were still covered in white power from Songkran but thankfully it was all done and dusted.

The plan was to have a few relaxing days at home – and then head back to work.  All was going to plan until Miss Tim presented a pile of empty boxes and asked me to pack all my shit ready for the move in a few weeks.

Damn.. I thought I would have escaped that.

After my month at work – I shall be stopping off in Dubai for a few days.  I messed up (again) as it will be Ramadan – so not as lively as it should be.

From there, I’ll be heading to Bangkok for a few days and then back to HH and straight to the new house.

I am hoping Miss Tim would have everything unpacked and settled by then.  Time for me to just kick back to the month and do nothing.

That’s the plan anyway.   But plans change……


On the move again…..

We looked at a house the other month. The photos looked great. Real nice and relaxing.

A bit of me that….

When I went to view it – I was shocked. They had obviously used photoshop to make it look appealing. The whole area is a building site. There was no road to get to the house – just a muddy/dusty path. Not impressed. Not impressed at all.

What will that be like during rainy season?

Real Estate agents here are stupid. Why do they waste so much time and money – showing people houses which are nothing like the houses advertised? Do they think people will accept something which clearly is not as described?

Building site view

Who is paying the bill for the Agent to show me around? The fuel, the car, the insurance, phone calls and the physical time? Who pays for that? How can they expect to cover these costs when showing people houses which they are not expecting to see.

The house we currently have is showing it’s age. The paint is falling off all the walls around the pool/garden. It’s not something I like to look at.

Two of the three bedrooms are not used – except for somewhere for Miss Tim to put her clothes and shoes.

I want to down-size. Two bedrooms and no pool. I am fed up with the pool cleaners / gardeners in the garden more than I am. I am the only one that uses the pool – so I think it’s a waste. If there is a 2 bed house with a Communal pool then I’d be happy.

So.. we asked the Agent…. Two beds and no pool. Easy right?

Not long after, we got a call about a house… 5 beds and massive pool. What is it I am doing wrong?

The houses which the Agent gave us info on were all rubbish. Honestly, I don’t know how these people are in business. This sub-standard would not be acceptable in the UK that’s for sure.

I took it upon myself to find a place. An hour later I found it.

New(ish) house. three beds (2 beds and 1 office). Communal pool which is a 30 second walk and also has a gym/club house.

Rent was not a lot which is also a bonus.


Deal done 10 mins after I saw the house.

Had to handover 2 months deposit because we have cats.  As we all know, it’s rare to ever get a deposit back, so I was not happy about this.  Having said that, my cats are little bastards and will probably wreck the place.

They’re ready to wreck the new house.

Looking forward to next month when I can sit in the Jacuzzi with my ice-coffee and kick back for the month.

Hanging in Dubai and Bangkok….

Where does the time go these days?!

A little catch-up….

I am fortunate that my company flies me Business Class to and from work. When I am paying from my pocket, I’ll fly economy. Luckily that due to the amount of flying I do, I usually have plenty of air miles to upgrade myself.

After a month away at work, I thought I’d treat myself to 1st class on the Emirates flight to Dubai. And why not?

The best part of 1st class (apart from the doors you can close for some privacy) is they give you Dom Perignon. As I was the only passenger at the pointy end of the plane, it was down to me to polish off as much as I could of it.

Embarrassingly, I could only manage 6 glasses and I was sizzled. That stuff us rocket fuel.

Forget going out on the Thursday night…. Straight to my pit as Friday I had a Brunch to attend.

For those not familiar with the Dubai Friday Brunches.. they are somewhat a bit of an institution in Dubai. Most expats head out to one of the many hotels/bars/restaurants for several hours of stuffing your face with food and booze. Depending on where you go, you can expect to pay from 2000 to 6000 bht.   It may seem like a lot, but I am sure you lot can eat and drink that much in 4 hours?

I prefer the cheaper end of the scale – as everyone just gets trashed and has a really good laugh.   Everyone gets dolled up and look as glamorous as can be. After 4 hours it’s a different picture entirely.

Value for money….

Not really sure why they call it Brunch – as they run from lunchtime – to around 4pm. So not really a Brunch at all?

After Brunch you are so wasted that when some idiot suggests we all go to another bar –you think it’s a good idea. (o.k, it may have been my suggestion).

We headed to a lounge type outside bar. You know the sort – where the music has no words and everyone thinks they are cooler than they are.   I think these places are awful if truth were told. All the people there are false. They are only there because they think it’s cool and want to plaster facebook with as many pictures of themselves being ‘cool’. Twats.

Of course we were cool. So cool so that we got ourselves a VIP table/sofa at a mad cost of a large bottle of Grey Goose.   Being in the VIP section kept us away from the rif-raff. Or so we thought.   Oh no, we were like moth to a flame. Many, many Brit trash came over to us – trying to snag a corner of the sofa or a cheeky drink.   The pretty girls managed it. The lads… well, I think I need not explain what happened to them.

After getting needlessly more trashed and losing several people from the group, my pal and I decided to head elsewhere. The bill was just over $2000. Again, total rip-off. I really hate these places. When I think of what I can get in Bangkok for $2000. That’s like a whole night on the town – not just a few hours.

At this point I realized that we had mistaken ‘drunk’ for being ‘cool’. When I look back all I can think is what a bunch of twats we were for doing that.

Luckily for me – the people I was with are not cheap bastards – and were good for their share, so it’s not like it was all down to my pal and I. It makes a change from having to ‘sponsor’ so called mates in Thailand as they drink their own bodyweight in booze and then reveal they’ve no money.

Out of the VIP Club – into a waiting Tesla. My god these things are fast. Charging down Sheik Zayed Road in the Tesla with a buzz-on. That WAS cool.

Groovy dash in the Tesla

Some more bars, loads more money – the usual.   It brought back memories of my time in Dubai but really hit home how false and expensive the place is.

I enjoyed my time when I was living in Dubai – but thank fuck I am no longer there. Too many tossers and wannabes there. Thinking they’re the nuts when they’re scraping to get by.

Thank fully the night passed without me throwing up. Quite rare these days.   10am on the Saturday morning my Emirates car picked me up and took me to the airport – heading to Thailand.

I was meeting up with the boys in Bangkok that night.

My pal Russ (the guy I worked and played with when we lived in Dubai) has moved to Thailand, so he was waiting for me in Bangkok.

Another pal ‘Brooklyn’ (guess where he is from?) met us at a bar and we all had a few scoops.   Probably too many. We had to take it easy as Sunday we had all arranged to meet at Hooters for the F1 opening race.

Keeping it sensible… we all headed home at a reasonable hour.   Except for Brooklyn that is. He went off into the night to fight crime. Or fight for Crime. Or maybe just fight?   We don’t really know what he gets upto after hours into the deep dark night. What we do know is, that Gotham is a much quieter place since he moved to Bangkok.

Staying at Sukhumvit Grande on soi 6 (not bad – except for the Chinese have taken it over). Nice big comfy suite. Lovely big bed. The only thing to spoil it was the sound of Miss Tim chucking her guts up in the bathroom.   Lightweight.

Miss Tim was out the previous night with her little girl-gang. I believe Jaigermeister was involved.

Hooters at 12.

This place seems to have gone down the crapper a bit.   We had to ask if we could watch the F1 – on one of their many, many TV’s which were showing other sports which no one was watching. Surely they would have arranged to show the opening F1 race instead of some old golf tournament?

Food was mediocre and over-priced – as always.   Gamblin Man, Russ, Brooklyn (+ wives and girlfriends) all joined.     We watched the race but were soon more interested in having a drink.

From Hooters, we headed to the new Raj Hotel complex. (is there a name for this area?) Hilary 19 or whatever its called was our 1st stop.   Sitting inside for a bit of aircon – but soon wished we hadn’t. One of the units was a bit worse for wear.. and was making a hell of a racket. They have loads of AC units, so why not turn the knackered one off? It was so noisy that we didn’t stay long.

4pm sees some of the old Mango Bar patrons meet up in soi 8, so I thought I’d be cool to meet up. ‘Spats’ had hung out with us Russ and I in Dubai, so thought it’d be good to have a catch-up drink.   And it was.

Sunday afternoon drink with the chaps was good. Good laugh and good to catch up.   In true form, Spats had to go home to the wife after a few hours.

Another old face from the past ‘BP’ was also out – celebrating his anniversary. We persuaded him to keep going and off we went to soi 20 (I think?) to some of the bars down that little soi.

It was good to see BP again – and good to see that he is doing well. There are SO MANY people from the past which turned out to be a bunch of spongers and losers – that it’s good to see people that aren’t.

You know who I am talking about.. the people who would opt for an expensive drink if they’re not buying, the ones that go to a bar because of the free food and not any other time.   The list goes on.

For some reason BP (I think?) ordered shots of Single Malt Whisky.   I am not sure why? I can’t/don’t drink Whisky.   I drank it.   I would regret that later.

A few bars later – we were all drunk. BP headed off home but was replaced by Brooklyn who had disappeared for a few suspicious hours.

Russ who has the drinking capabilities of a 12 year old girl (I imagine?) was worse for wear and needed taking home. GM was missing his girlfriend in the flesh – as his Live Facebook chat was not enough for him so off he went.

After throwing up in the bar toilets (thank you whisky), Russ and I headed back to the hotel.   Tomorrow we were off home to Hua Hin.

I emptied out my pockets and to my delight there was a load of cash. Cash I wouldn’t have had if I had been out in Dubai. Money I wouldn’t have had if I were out with spongers and losers.

I was happy to be back in Thailand

– for now.

Pattaya Soi 6 Bar Crawl – Part 2

Day 1 

Right then… where were we?   Oh yeah ….  I had somehow made it to my room above Scooters.

I have to say, what a great place to stay.  500bht is by far the lowest I have ever paid for a hotel room.  It had everything I needed.  A bed, A.C and a fridge with cold water.  But most of all.. a toilet/shower.

The room was spinning..  How I managed to get undressed and put myself to bed I’ll never know?

Music from the bars outside is really noisy until 2am.  It all goes quiet then.  If you want to go to sleep earlier than 2am then I suggest you drink 30+ drinks.    I must have fallen asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Day 2

I woke at 7am.   One eye opening slightly as I got my bearings and tried to figure out where the hell I was and how I got there.  It took a minute and then it all came back.

What I was not prepared for – was how good I was feeling?.  I had no hangover.  Wasn’t tired and didn’t feel in the slightest a little bit rough.  Odd?

It all became clear when I went into the bathroom and saw what looked like a crime scene from Dexter.  The vodka/coke and Tequila Rose had left my body at some point when I got to the room and made it’s way to every surface and wall in the bathroom.   I must have been in a right state.

Luckily, it’s one of them shower room/toilets – so a quick hose-down and it was clean enough to eat your breakfast off.  Speaking of which… time for breakfast.

A little walk along Beach road – to confirm I was o.k and not still drunk.. all was well. Quite pleasant in fact.  Off I headed back to Soi 6 (Queen Vic) for some breakfast.

Lovely day for it….

A full English fry up. And why not?   It looked good and was crazily cheap.

I must say, the QV seems to have a lot of regulars and/or the staff are outstanding with their Customer Relations.   The girls are a little on the ‘mature’ side – but greeted many of the patrons by name, asked what they’d been upto and advised them what to eat and suggested some get some rest etc…  It struck me that these girls actually knew/remembered each guest/patron.  Very refreshing to see.

After my little stroll and breakfast presented to me – my self assessment of feeling 100% took a beating.   The morning after had crept up on me and dealt me a low blow.

The food may have been great – but I couldn’t eat it.  I could happily look at it all day, but eating it was impossible.  After forcing down the baked beans, I drank my juice and headed back to Scooters to feel sorry for myself.  There may have been some light crying.

The tastiest brekkie I never had.

Without giving detail – I had to visit the toilet, but this time it wasn’t my head in the bowl.

I had to lay in bed for a while.  I wasn’t feeling good.  Too weak to cry, I just let the tears leave the corner on my eyes as I tried to sleep.

No time for sleeping.  I had messaged the boys and we were to meet at Corner Bar at 2pm.

At one point I could hear Rockys trainer ‘Mickey’.. in the corner of the room telling me to get on my feet… ‘one more round’…

Corner Bar 2pm –  Sparky, Kiwi Mike and I were on time (ish).  Each of us had a bottle of water in hand. Each of us looked like a sorry sack of shit.  Each of us were ready to continue the torture.

After poking fun at Sparky – for being sparked out by 9pm the previous night, we decided some food would be a good idea.     The food at the Corner Bar was pretty good.  We all ordered a variety of things.  I ordered some big Yorkshire pudding filled with peas and sausages (I think).   Again,  I could only manage a few mouthfuls.  Things were happening inside me and I needed a toilet visit.

The W.C. here was not the best.  – It was a mercy dash back to Scooters to see my good friend the toilet.

Back at Corner Bar 20 mins later and Gamblin Man appeared.  Looking a little worse for wear.  But then again,  he seems to sport this look a lot, so I am not sure if he was feeling rough or on top of the world.

The 1st beverage was out of the way.   We looked down the soi and cried a little inside. This was not going to be good.   Corner bar was cheap and really good food.  Certainly would go back.

Guest House Bar & Restaurant  – shite . The deal was – we only went in bars. Restaurants/Café’s are not bars and we should walk past.  I offered this little snippet up to the lads – thinking we can bypass this place legitimately… but Kiwi Mike pointed at the ‘Bar’ in the sign.   Bastard.

Can’t think of anything good to say about this place – so I’ll not say anything.  It was a quick drink and out.       It’s more a restaurant.

Saigon Girl.   Dark inside… lots of deep red colours.  I am guessing the theme is some dingy girlie club in Saigon?   There were a couple of old guys already settled into their grove at the bar.  We guessed they had been there days.  It’d had been at least 30 mins since I had made an emergency download in the toilet…  it was time again.  I was in pain and my Brothers in Arms were in hysterics.  Nothing like support and sympathy from your friends.

As I sat on the toilet.. wondering how my life ended up like this – my ‘friends’ slid cold towels under the door.  They thought they were being funny…   I thought they were being thoughtful.  Love them cold towels me!

King Kong Bar – That describes the staff.  Fat cows.  Some bars have the outside balcony and some have the glass door you have to go inside.  We prefer the outside – so we can at least look at something better looking than some of the hogs in the bars. KK is a bar you want to look out of.

Click Bar.   The girls in Click Bar were all over us like a rash.    Time was around 15:30 – so I am guessing to the girls… we are ‘breakfast’.    Starting to get in the grove and relax a little now.  Unfortunately, ‘relaxing’ was the one thing I didn’t want right now and once again had to head to the crapper.     Now, it’s not often you’ll ever hear me say ‘that toilet is small’, as I am the one usually complaining that I have to tip-toe at urinals, but the toilet in here was credulously small.  I forgot to ask the staff if there was a story behind it?

Never seen one so small.

My Friend You –   We sat outside.  It was still early, so many of the girls are either not there, stuffing noodles down their faces or applying the war paint to their faces.   With us not getting any attention,  Kiwi Mike went on a recon mission and checked out the inside of the bar.   The report came back that there were beds inside the bar with plastic sheets on them?    I wish my bed in Scooters would have the same.

Full Moon – mixed gender bar.  Is that the correct name we have to use now?  Sorry to say but I needed another toilet run.  Everyone will agree that before you sit on a toilet – you check for toilet paper.   There was none.  I was in a dangerous place.  I had two choices.  Rummage round the bin and look for the clean B-sides of the paper – or second (and really the only option) was to use some of the many cold towels which I had been collecting in each bar.     –  this wasn’t my 1st rodeo.

Time for a 7/11 break to get some tablets to plug my arsehole up with.  – And wet-wipes.

Z-Bar.  Odd bar.   We sat down and watch some ritual where girls chucked beer all over the street in front of us.  In a certain pattern.  They did some sort of prayer and I am sure there was a flower involved too.  I asked what all that cobblers was for and she said it was for good luck and to bring customers in.  I asked her if she really believed all that?  The looked at us – the 4 customers who had just walked in after her little ritual and said yes.  She had me.   I suggested next they come up with another little ritual that helps them remember 4 drinks orders – as they messed our order up.

Z-Bar – This is an LB bar.  Or as Sparky would call it from now on ‘my favourite’.   Kiwi Mike once again went off on a secret mission to see what was going on behind closed doors – only to see one of the ‘lads’ carefully tucking and folding himself in such a way that he thought he looked like a woman.  – he didn’t.   If BIG L.B’s is your thing, then this is the place for you.

I needed another toilet break – but of course…. there were only urinals.  Not what I need right now.

We said our goodbyes to Sparky and wished him luck in his new life – but at the last minute he saw sense and followed us out.

Club 6 – This is a little corner bar – which is (co-)owned by a guy called Ken from NYC. A really friendly guy who likes to entertain and host.  We got talking.  He had no girls in the bar (too early?) but that was fine.  It was good to just relax a little.

Ken insisted he bought us a shot – which was good of him, so we hung around a little so we could return the gesture.   Ken was quite chatty.. and told us various tales of being a bar owner in Thailand.  We didn’t want to burst his bubble and tell him we were veterans of this lark.    We told him of our bar-crawl and he was impressed we were still going strong.  Even if he was a little concerned that GM, who had been a little quiet all day – looked like hammered dog shit.

One of the tales that Ken told us was of a previous customer that claimed he was going to bang every girl in soi 6.   And over the course of 2 weeks.. he screwed every girl in soi 6.   At this point I thought Ken must have been drinking more than us.   This feat is impossible.  How?  For starters – what about the bar girls who were busy/sick/eating/whatever when Shagman was there?  And if there are say 5 girls in each bar… 60 bars….. 2 weeks… nah… just not possible.     I think Ken meant the guy had 1 girl from each bar.  However, he was too committed to his story to go back on it.

Like I said we are battle hardened, cynical, ruined, miserable veterans.   We said thanks and goodbye.

Lovers Lane – Non de-script bar.   Few customers which was good.  We could hide from the ugly girls.  Drink orders were spot on and served quick.  Well done!

Queen Vic (again) – Unbelievable… the one bar I thought would get our drinks correct would be this one.  The staff look like they have been there since Thailand was built. Nice staff… but 4 drinks seemed to have confused the shit out of them.  We took the drinks anyway and told them not to worry about the mistake.  How understanding are we?

Bandidos – This was the one bar we were dreading.  Bandidos being the biker bar. Now,  I have a Harley at home, so there was me thinking that if we got into trouble, in some pathetic attempt to escape with my life I’d start talking about my V-Rod.    None of us were looking forward to entering.

How wrong were we?   Shit.  This was probably the best bar we went into?!  The customers were friendly and the staff were really nice.   Lucy Lu – our waitress came and sat down and shot the shit with us.  I think we even stayed for a second drink. Let this be a lesson to us all.  Don’t be too quick to judge.

Having said that,  out the back could have been like a scene from the Titty Twister in Dusk Til Dawn.

Spider Girl  – Busy.  Big.  4 girls took our order.  Why cant one girl take our order?  Oh.. so they can get 4 tips – that’s why!

69 Bar – Getting into the groove now.   Inside the bar – there were names written on the walls/mirrors with a date next to them.  Ring the bell and get your name on the wall.  Being surrounded by all these names I guess this is supposed to pressure you into ringing the bell?

What kind of idiots would fall for that?

If anyone goes into the bar – check it out – you’ll see Sparkys name with the date 12th Feb.

One born every minute…

Solo Club  – There was no bell-ringing in this place.  They should change the name to Jurassic Park.  We can only assume that this place is where all the bar girls Mothers work.

Happy Days.  This is where my notes get vague and garbled.  Probably just as well as Happy Days was an LB bar.  All I have in my notes is that they were ‘Good crack’.  Oh the irony.

Pook – shite.  Again, LB’s.   My notes tell me (and I remember now) that our shots were only half measure.  Did we complain?  No, as 1) we didn’t want to be in there longer that we had to and 2) we didn’t want to get beaten up by ladyboys.

Nature bar  – Not the best looking girls in the world. Far from it.   None of which spoke to us, which I am not recording as a bad thing.  Another Tequila Rose and get the hell out.

Jungle bar – Good name for this bar.  They were slightly on the ‘large’ side.  Another thing we didn’t like was the naff Thai music they were blasting out of the cheap speakers.  Seriously,   Thai music and fat chicks?  Even Kiwi Mike was turned off.

(our next stop was Pizza Slice!  Not a bar – but we needed something to take the taste away of Tequila Rose.  Pizza by the slice.  Not bad too!  Certainly worth a look)

Best bar so far…

Jack Tar – After our pit-stop we ordered some proper drinks.  Vodkas, beers and whatever cocktail Kiwi-Mike was into.    Drinks arrived with the help of KM.   However,  one thing we didn’t order, but GM did,  Roast Lamb!  WTF?  There we were, almost at the end of our bar crawl and GM orders a really massive Sunday roast.  That was 45 mins out of our schedule.  Good lamb though.

who orders a full roast dinner on a bar crawl?

Lucky Love –  The end is near.   Lucky Love bar had girls in cute outfits  The best so far.  Then again, this was the drunkest we were so far.   Opposite Scooters  – the Scooter girls waved at us.  They knew of our quest and I am sure they were really, really impressed with us.  I am sure.  Really.

Sandman – Again, my notes letting down here.  I have it that the pool table was covered up. Not sure of the significance of that?   It was full of people from the U.S of A.

 4 play – This was a gogo.  The service was rubbish, the TV’s were crap (pixilated) but there was a naked girl dancing.  I assumed she worked there?  I have in my notes of a ‘Miserable twat’.  I remember him now.  A right miserable git – staring at the naked girl.  Got us thinking what makes this guy happy?!

MJ Kitty – The last bar!!  Wahoooo!    And it was empty.  There were no balloons or banners.  I guess they were unaware of our challenge.  Instead it was empty – with some  LB’s in the back. No fun.  Last shot of Tequila Rose (ever) and we called it ‘completion’!

22:16 Done!

Not so fast….. Dolls was not open the day before when we started.   As it was still early, we thought we’d pop back there to complete the list of 60 odd bars.

Packed little gogo-style bar.  It has to be one of the most popular bars down here.  The staff remembered GM and myself from a few months back.  Impressive.

With a Jack Coke down the back of his neck – Kiwi Mike hit the streets in search of some more action.  Or to keep bar crawling down the street.  Not sure.

Sparky was neck deep in dancing girls in Dolls so GM and I headed back to Scooters. Somewhere safe.

Scooters – 23:00

Aint gonna be no re-match.

Coke-Cola for me.  Beer for GM.   Sparky soon arrived.   GM said his farewells.  The Scooters girls told me to go to bed as I was dribbling.   Sparky was looking for action.

Time for bed.

My driver was picking me up at 6am – heading to the airport.       Who’s stupid, stupid idea was this?

Oh, it may have been mine.

I’m Back!!!

Sorry chaps and chapesses!

Been in Iraq for the last 4 weeks and comms have been down.  Something broke or snapped somewhere – meaning all our internet was being channeled through an old flux capacitor which wasn’t that great.  Resulting in Business Only websites able to be accessed.

Since leaving Iraq last Thursday – I have been making good use of my time –  and this morning I have just woken up in my own bed.

Blurred memories of speeding through Dubai in a Tesla, meeting up with some old Mango bar faces, a $2000 bar bill and doing Single Malt whisky shots.

And throwing up.  It always ends in throwing up.

I’ll have a ponder and figure out if any of the last 4 days is worth sharing.  In the mean time, I’ll access my cloud and crack on with part 2 of the Soi 6 bar crawl.

You’ve been patient…  now just need to you be a little more patient!





Pattaya Soi 6 Bar Crawl 2018

Day 1

What were we thinking?   That we are 21?  That 60+ bars means we only have to average 30 drinks over the 2 days we had allocated to the crawl?   That we can handle our drinks?  Oh what fools.

Back in the day when we arranged the Cowboy crawl.. there was a huge turn out.    The group of 15+ was broken down into smaller groups and not everyone go to chat to each other.   By the end of the night there were only 4 people standing.   One of those (apart from myself) was Kiwi Mike.

Kiwi Mike was the 1st to sign up for the Soi 6 Patts crawl.   Several others put their names down and one or two talked the talk but never showed.  Disappointing really.

The night before the event, there were 7 of us ready.  Three of those dropped out due to a dental op, a hangover and I can only guess what kind of mess one of the other guys was in.  – He did call me at 8pm on the 1st day (from Bangkok) and asked what time the Crawl starts.  He lost a day somewhere.

But anyway…

Arriving on soi 6 at 2pm,  Kiwi Mike and his pal ‘Sparky’ were ready and waiting for me.  Sparky was sucking on a bottle of water – recovering from the night before.   Kiwi Mike was straight on the beer.

A quick feed in the Queen Vic and it was off to the starting line where Gamblin Man was meeting us.

The plan was to have a drink in each bar on soi 6.   And by bar – we mean ‘bar’.  Not restaurants or cafes.  A bar should have music and girls.  And booze of course.  However, we don’t condone this kind of binge-drinking, so if you didn’t want an alcoholic beverage that was fine.  Have a water or a coke.     However,  if we went into a bar which immediately was not for us – we defaulted to ‘Tequila Rose’.  A quick shot and out.  Oh how I will be eternally grateful to the inventor of that drink.  But also hope I never drink another as long as I live.

If there is anything we can take away from the experience…..

There are 2 or 3 toilets that are amazingly clean, the nicest staff working are at the Bandidos bar and that’s it’s easier to crack the enigma code machine than it is to get a drinks order of 4 correct.

And so it begins……

This is by no means a review of each bar and our intention was to just sum up our opinions in a few words.    Believe me when I say we were amazed at how many bars messed up our drinks orders.  We are not going to name the bars – as we can’t remember them all.  But I’d say around 50% easily.

There was no way we could record all the details…   Every effort was made to record anything significant.   I ‘think’ we captured all bars.  If any were missing from the original map, this is because they have gone bust and were now a 7/11.

Also note that as the crawl went on, we got drunk.  So asking someone what they thought of a bar after drinking 30 vodkas… well, they’d be forgiven if they said all the staff were stunning!

Day 1

La La Land – Absolute Horrors!  Girls were slapping on the make-up like they were getting ready to take on Batman.

– The 1st round was paid for by Debtstar, who couldn’t make it, but was with us in spirit.   Seriously,  it kinda knocked us sideways that someone would paypal money over for a round of drinks.  There are nice people left in this world.

We raised our glasses to our drinks provider and I recalled one of Debtstars experiences in Bangkok some years ago… with an African girl.

Kiss Kool – Girls we not the best looking in the world.  Actually, nearer the ugliest.  Used to be full of sofas – now has a pool table.   There is a Chopper mounted on a plinth.  Something to look at.

Best looking bike on soi 6

Still on Debtstars dime…..   And still mulling over what he did with that African girl.

Dolls – closed (we added that to the bottom of the list)

Halifax – Basically just a short-time shop.  Nothing exciting.  30 mins behind 3pm – still in disbelief over the African girl.

Scooters – Great bunch of girls here. From the cashier to the waitresses.   –  I was staying here and at 500bht per night – well, it’s cheap as chips!

Red Point –  Usual scene of girls sitting outside, eating and drinking.  Kiwi Mike stole some kind of yoghurt drink out of a girls hand – which (we think) meant for her to follow him in.  Personally, I think Kiwi Mike was just thirsty as he spent the next 15 minutes avoiding her.

Lot’s of girls in there had been under the knife.  Some under the surgeons knife and had some big silicolne boobies and other girls had been using the cake knife and had big everything else.

Toy Bar – Fun girls. There were a bunch of Chinese lads on the next table – asking the girls to perform a BJ at the table.  The girls advised that this kind of service doesn’t happen in any of the bars in Thailand.  However, if such a thing were on offer, they are sure they’d use the rooms out the back.  The Chinese guys we having none of it and as they could not all watch their friend get sucked off,  – fucked off!

Night Wish – The boys liked this bar – but I didn’t.  Lots of the girls were heavily tattooed up but one serving us had piercings in both cheeks.  She had more metal in her face than a Terminator, ugly cow. Complete turn off.

The Clansman – The 1st sign of Ladyboys.  It was time to have the 1st shot of Tequila Rose and get out of there.  Time stamp was 16:35.

Smoke & Kiss – Old hogs.  Sparky was elbow deep in some girls noodles.  He was in a world of his own by now and was getting stuck in to all the bar girls.  At some point he was wearing some kind of feather tiara?

Sparky found a bar that accepts him for who he really is.

At this point.. we had found our groove.   Kiwi Mike and I were taking lead.  Finding out the name of the bar, ordering and then re-ordering the drinks and then scribbling something down in our little notebook.     Sparky was making the most of it all.  Feeling up all the bar girls and having lots of fun with them.   Not a care in the world.  All he had to do was follow us when we moved to the next bar.  GamblinMan… well, he seemed to be more interested in some live Facebook feed of his girlfriend.

Wicked – Heavily tattooed.    Great girls.  At this point we started noticing the names of the bars wifi names – which was quite amusing (creampie and the like).  Hanging out the front, we saw some guy selling Bikinis.  One of the girls said she liked the bright red bikini.  Sparky said he’d buy it for her if she models it for him.  250bht later we were all ogling the rather hot girl in the bar…wearing the bikini.

Horny Bar – Uglies.  Young looking.  T.R and out!  Many of these bars had the tv/sound-system hooked upto youtube.  And lots playing Thai music.  Yes, they are Thai and like listening to Thai music – but we are not Thai’s and don’t like listening to that noise.  And as the aim is to have us in their bar – spending money, having Thai music blaring out is not quite the way to go.

Miss B Havin – Miserable girls. – Thai music.

At this point, I must explain that it was not easy keeping track of who was buying drinks.  Refreshingly, we were all trying to buy the drinks instead of trying to avoid paying.

Each time we ordered – we asked for one bin… and got 4.   More often than not we just paid a separate or combined bill that was presented to us.

Chili Bar –  2 drinks in my bin.  I handed over 1000bht and received 80bht change!!    I kicked off.   As soon as I perked up with ‘hang on a fuckin minute’… the girl immediately knew what I was talking about and the cashier produced the missing notes.   If I were a cynic, I’d have said this was pre-planned.  But of course, this never happens in any bars.  Certainly not in Pattaya.

Where Angels Play –  Time stamp..18:50   Good drinking bar – Fat chicks.

Kawaii Bar – Tequila Rose and out.  Generic bar – shite

Pump Station 3  – We asked for 4 Tequila Rose’s.   The girl produced 4 Tequilas.  When we pushed back, cashier screwed her face up at us.  We gave her the benefit of the doubt and paid for them anyway – and also 4 Tequila Roses.   Still she had a face like a smacked bum.   The Owner/Manager was in the bar and tried to make small talk.   I gave him a word of advice – “tell your girls to smile once in a while”.

Ruby Club Pattaya – Busy.  Very busy.  The busiest bar we had seen so far.  We later found that some poor chap was killed there a few days prior – but that’s no reason for it to be busy.  We thought about it a while.. as it was all blokes and didn’t really spot any girls.  I then got the bill for my Vidka.  85bht compared to the 130 in all other bars.  Ah… cheap.  That’s why it’s full of people. (cheap bastards)

Lisa Bar – Friendly bar.  The girls dressed up – uniforms and thigh-length boots. Looked good.  By this time Sparky was on the way to drunksville and was wanting to know where Lisa was? – we never found her.

Hero Bar – fit ladies. (sorry.. that was all that was written in the book!)

Pat Bar – crap.  Generic – non-descript

Candy Bar – shite

Sky Bar – coke.. drunk.

Quicky Bar – Generic

As you have probably noticed, my notes were getting a little shorter.   I can only put this down to being drunk and having to spend most of the time keeping an eye on Sparky.

Foxy Bar – Time stamp….20:45 Full of twats!

Roxy Bar – Appeared as bar for Pattaya expats.  The kind of people we avoid.  Tequila Rose and out.

Bull Dog – Nothing special.  Typical bar, nothing exciting.

Offshore Bar – Snotty bitches.  Many of these bars around here – had girls that paid no attention to us.  I can only assume they all had regular punters which they were only interested in?

Sex in the City – Nothing special – Tequila Rose and out.

Soho – Crap.  Again, these bars are all pretty much the same.

At this point GamblinMan had thrown in the towel.  He was drunk and getting rowdy.   We explained that we had only half a dozen bars to go – be he saw that as 6 more Tequila Rose shots.  Off he went.

With GM out of the picture… Sparky decided he’d had enough too.  Well sort of.  He was dribbling, talking funny, groping girls and ogling ladyboys.  We thought this would all stop when he joined us on the bar crawl.    So with him pretty much a wreck, Kiwi Mike escorted him back to his hotel (ish) which was just round the corner.  Good Samaritan that Kiwi Mike is – stopped off at 7/11 for water, red bull, paracetamol and KY Jelly.   Play safe kids.

When Kiwi Mike joined me again in the bar – we set off to the next.    Oh how joyful and excited we were when we found we had to walk several shop-fronts to the next bar.  It was such a relief to be able to walk more than 30 seconds before facing another bloody drink.

O Bar – The entry I have in the book is    ‘no one got killed’  – by this time we were drunk and ‘maybe’ a little rowdy?  Don’t know?

Perry Bar – Seriously drunk now.  We could see the end in sight.  Power on.  I think it was time for a soft drink.   I have no record of this bar other than ‘twatted’ written in the book

Mods – sorry… no idea?

3 Angel – What’s with the ‘3’ in these bars names?  Maybe it was the amount of drinks they could order without getting it wrong?     I remember this bar pretty well – as we thought we had stepped into the Bronx.  Full of boyz from the hood.   Didn’t look too friendly and welcoming if I am honest.  We didn’t care.  We were at the stage where we could take on the world.    We decided against that – and after a Tequila Rose – off we went.

The Good Fellas – This bar saved me from a world of pain the next day.  It was this bar that I vomited in.  In the restrooms I might add.   It was biblical.  All sorts of colours and thicknesses.    Oh how I thanked my lucky stars that all of this horrid booze was out of me!   – Still managed a vodka though.

Thai Rose – thank fuck it’s over. The last bar on this side of the soi.  That was the goal of the day.  We were done and we knew it.  A quick shot and we headed back to Scooters.  The time was 22:10.

Last men standing

36 bars in 8 hours.    It’s not big and it’s not clever.

Back to Scooters to gather our thoughts.     Turns out we didn’t have too many thoughts so Kiwi Mike and I both decided to do the right thing and go to our beds.   Tomorrow was another day.   Tomorrow – was the second and final part of our soi 6 challenge which I for one was not looking forward to.

To be continued……

This time next week…….

The Pattaya Soi 6 Bar Crawl is on!

This this time next week… we should all be hung over and not wanting to drink ever again.  Or for at least a few hours anyway.

All systems are go.   A few of us are landing in Thailand on Sunday morning – and shall be heading straight to Pattaya to meet at the starting point at  1-2pm.

The starting (meeting) point can be at Scooters.   It’s a 1 minute walk to the beginning of the soi.     So meet there.. but be ready to set off at 13:55.

Looks like I shall be in Bangkok at the weekend – so if anyone wants to share a cab to Patts?

I am staying off the drink this week.    Been hitting it far too much since I’ve been back.