My first visit to Thailand
I first arrived in Thailand on May 4th 2004, I knew nothing at all about the country but I had made a reservation at the Nana Hotel on Sukumvit Road in Bangkok, having first researched on the Internet to test the suitability, I smiled at one of the answers which basically said “yes it’s fine if you like living in a brothel”
On arrival I took a taxi from the airport straight to the hotel and settled in to a clean and comfortable room on the sixth floor overlooking the swimming pool.
I didn’t have to go far to find the sort of entertainment that I like as right opposite the hotel is the Nana entertainment complex, consisting of approximately 40 bars and a go-go bars.
I was very impressed by the skytrain and its efficiency and for 20 Baht you could get on the train at the Nana station and travel to another entertainment complex known as Soi Cowboy, Soi is a Thai word which translates as Lane, this complex is not as big as the Nana complex but just as interesting.
Everywhere you go in Bangkok there are massage parlors offering various massages such as head, foot, Thai, oil or soapy, the one I favored was on Soi 7/1 not far from the Nana Hotel I did not have time to enjoy the pleasures of my favorite oil massage many times during this short stay, I did however settle into a routine of having one sexual partner each day everyday I was there, if you take a girl from a bar you are obliged to pay the bar for her company this is called “a bar fine” however it is not necessary to do this as there are many girls called freelancers hanging around the Nana hotel car park particularly after the bars have closed for the night.
On the financial side the exchange rate in 2004 was 70 baht to the British pound, and it was my custom to pay the girls 1000 baht for their services.
At this stage I will digress to give you a little information to aid for a peaceful holiday in Thailand, the people here are mostly poor but happy and helpful, businesses usually speak English and it’s not difficult to find English food if you prefer it, the people are a very religious, mostly Buddhist and hold their Royal family with great reverence, to be on the safe side I find it best to not mention the King least my ignorance lets me down.
The prisons in Thailand are notoriously bad and commonly referred to as the monkey house, this is because the prisoners are fed mostly with bananas, I would suggest if you wish to have anything to do with recreational drugs or are in the habit of getting hopelessly drunk you stay well away from Thailand, but if you adopt a low profile and keep your head down and you can have a wonderful time.
The authorities here are very keen to stamp out any form of gambling so there are no casinos or betting shops anywhere to be found; small groups of local residents are regularly before the court for getting together for some illegal gambling, the local press usually comment “the local police confiscated all the money from the gambling den, some 400 baht”.
Metered taxis are readily available and can be used without fear, do not negotiate a price with the driver but insist that he uses the meter; do not tolerate any excuses just change taxis; TukTuk’s have no meters so you must negotiate before you start your journey. Motorcycle taxis are inherently dangerous and should be avoided if you value your health, and your injuries will hurt just as much if you have insurance as if you don’t.
Most of the people of Thailand are taught by the Buddhist religion to believe in reincarnation and visitation of ghosts if you do not believe in this, just accept that it is their country and their way of life.
I was only in Thailand for a three-week holiday and I had the good fortune ”tongue in cheek” to get romantically attached to a 20-year-old student who was working evenings as a cashier in my favorite bar, but more of her in the next chapter.