Other people’s Bangkoks

I was at a friend’s house the other day and I was listening to a conversation between a couple of people at our table. One of these guys was preparing to leave Timor to go to Thailand, while the other had been on an exchange and, I think, spent about a year in LOS, so he was offering some general advice with regards to places to party.

I kept my mouth shut during the exchange because I hadn’t been asked my opinion and I didn’t want to steal this chap’s thunder. I listened with interest as he depicted Bangkok as some kind of “playground for adults”. One of his pieces of advice was, “Don’t always go for the prettiest girl because she gets around a lot,” or something to that effect.

Bear in mind that both of these guys were about my age. The establishment this one fella recommended for a good party was Hollywood at Ratchada Soi 4, which is coyote club if I’m not mistaken. It was clear that this person’s Bangkok was slightly different to mine.

After the person giving the advice left, I turned to my friend and told him not to go to any of the places he had been recommended. He was looking for places that play decent electronic music so I rattled off a few names and all was well.

It was intriguing to hear how another guy my age sees Bangkok. I’m not saying that the Bangkok I’d recommend to someone is better or worse, but to live in the city for a prolonged period and not get much more out of it than taking home a few pretty Thai girls is such a waste of the experience.

Of course, I’m basing my judgment on one conversation. I don’t know the ins and outs of this man’s year in Bangkok. Perhaps he was just beefing up his advice for the all-male crowd.

I think Bangkok is a great city. I miss it. I miss the late-night food, the crowds, the parks, the party circuit and the people I saw it with, the Skytrain, the concerts at protests, the cheap T-shirts, the food courts, the kids breakdancing and the kids dressed as anime characters outside MBK, the music, culture, and the sounds of the city day and night.

I don’t want to go and live there again other than when I have to take my exams, but you really can’t get Bangkok out of your system.

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7 thoughts on “Other people’s Bangkoks

  1. I think a lot of guys get caught up in the lifestyle…I've seen it happen right before my eyes!

    I'm not a guy, but I would assume that getting a whole lot of attention from beautiful young women would be quite enticing, even if you knew in the back of your mind that it was (perhaps) all artifice!

  2. tz tz you shouldn't judge that guy no matter what he did the whole year in BK, paid attention is not my thing at all either but that's what make one city great – the diversity and coexistance of all cultures, incl the ones you really don't like. I loved that about england when i went to live there and i'd love to feel it now for BK too…

    and then – which are these parks here you've loved as i really miss just walking sometimes amongst greenery without being forced to engage in for-cash tourist entertainment :)

  3. This is what us Thais have to go through a LOT when we talk to someone else about Thailand or Bangkok. It's not all about whores, people!

    Hey Matt, I say you should guest-blog at Thai-Blogs.com this post. Or with your permission, I'd like to re-post this for you and obviously link it back to here. It's a great piece. Let me know, okay?

  4. Hollywood is in soi 6 and to me a bit of an exception for the area. Rachada soi 4 is not a coyote place. I am not a fan of the are as the music there is not too much my style, but when I go with friends, there are no coyotes and the clubs are decent. It is popular with medium class Thais in their early 20's. It is just cheaper and less high profile than joints popular with foreigners or hi-so Thais but we can all understand that not all Thais have the same kind of wallets.

    When my friends come to Bangkok, I always try to introduce them the many different kind of things the city offers, be it nightlife-wise, food-wise (street food, nice restaurants…). So that they can EXPERIENCE! There are things that worth the time spent as it is so unique and does not exist anywhere else. Whatever we like them or not. For example I do not like Hollywood club or any coyote places either but I definitly everybody should should check it out once, just to see what it is. And also Rachada soi 4 and RCA are places everybody MUST go so that they can experience one side the real Thai night life (where Thais go out). Isn't it the reason we live abroad is to experience something DIFFERENT?

    I think your post shows you are a bit narrow minded and think of yourself as an old timer who knows better while in fact you seem to try to make yourself look good – good farang vs bad farang who is in LOS for the girls… this is a getting old. If you live in Thailand for a while, you should know there are plenty of normal westerners here but also a bunch of westeners addicted to girls as well. Anyway this is nothing new… Yawning! I find interesting that you found that very fact interesting after having lived here for years! Did you not open your eyes while you were here??? Or were you living in nakorn-nowhere?

    You seem to be a typical case of farang having lived here a few years and who think you know it all so well while you obviously don't. But can't blame you for that as of course the most time you live here the more you know. But if you have just an average knowledge then you should not brag as much as you do!

  5. You're wrong. This chap was presenting Bangkok as a place to pick up hookers and nothing more. The person he was giving the advice to wasn't interested.

    Soi 4, Soi 6. OK, that's my mistake. Sure, I would recommend my friend to go to the clubs at RCA or Soi 4, but not to Hollywood. I know Soi 4 isn't a coyote place. I used to go there every week.

    But I'm talking about Hollywood and the rest of what this guy was saying.

    I also don't think taking someone to a coyote bar, RCA and Ratchada Soi 4 is particularly cultural or "unique".

  6. It is indeed not particularly cultural or unique but, to me, it is still one aspect of Bangkok to give a visit. And while it costs only a bit of time and not that much money, you can see something different that most tourist will never see.

    Anyway my point was more like while other spots have better quality, RCA & Rachada still worth at least a single visit to see something different. To me it represents the real Thailand much better than the higher standard places. While I go more often to those high standard place, I would bring my tourist friends to the the typical Thai places as well (even just a few hours), so that they can also immerse in the local night club scene.

    Well maybe it is just me, but when I travel to a place, I do not want to see only the touristy spot and the best this or that but I want to see the way the normal people live, eat, work and party. To me, it is much more interesting.

    And lastly I love diversity and I get bored if I do not change often of places I go to.

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