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Displayed prices are for multiple nights. Check the site for price per night. I see hostels starting at 200b/day and hotels from 500b/day on agoda.

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A Small Tribute to a Fine Man: Late on Sunday afternoon 17 February Chris, the English husband of Khun Visa, the founder of the Pattaya Today newspaper, passed away after a short but painful battle with cancer. He was just 53 years old.


My association with Visa and Chris began just over five years ago. Athough I cannot claim to have known Chris well, I can say that in all the time I knew him he was always unfailingly pleasant and polite, very much an English gentleman. He tried very hard in the early and still-struggling days of the newspaper to find ways of attracting revenue and while there’s no doubt it was Visa’s strength, integrity, and delightful personality that drove it forward, Chris was always there providing quiet support.


Our hearts and sincerest condolences go out to Khun Visa and her family, especially their 10-year-old son Leon.


I’m not a particular fan of Shakespeare but a couple of lines from Hamlet do seem appropriate at this sad time: ‘Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet Prince, and flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’


Twelve Good Months: Soi Kao Noi, known somewhat officially and rather tongue-twistingly as Soi Watboonsumpun, is on what many local expats refer to as the ‘dark’ side of Sukhumvit Road, the main thoroughfare that splits Fun Town. Over the last few years as more and more developments spring up on the ‘dark’ side there has been a concomitant increase in the number of boozers offering not just alcoholic refreshments but the company of ladies of dubious morals. The Paradise boozer in Soi Kao Noi will be celebrating its first birthday with a big party on 1 March so if you happen to be down that way or fancy a look at what there is to offer in the area then just look out for the standard party balloons and an uncomfortable looking pig.


A Sly Puff or 10: While the no-smoking ban became official on 11th February (in my last column I had it down as the 17th) the local authorities have apparently allowed a grace period from now until the end of May for entertainment venues and nosheries to allow it to come into effect. That said, there are a number of entertainment places whose management have decided to implement the new regulations with immediate effect, and this includes some outdoor beer boozers. Naturally, this ban has gone over like a lead balloon with die-hard cancer-stick addicts with some deciding to vote with their feet and refusing to patronise these places. If the ban is truly enforced in the next few months I wonder where these people are going to go? Are they really never going to venture into the nocturnal habitat of the wallet-emptying bi-ped and instead turn into a chain-smoking anti-social hermit? Of course not.


I was in one ogling den a few nights after the commencement of the ban and a sign on the front door said ‘no smoking’. Inside the vast majority of imbibers seemed to be having a wonderful time playing with the friendly chrome pole molesters (all of whom were told they had to go outside if they required a drag on a fag). Then I spotted a couple of people with a lit cigarette and when I inquired further I was told the management preferred it if people didn’t smoke but they weren’t going to stop anyone who really felt the need for a puff. Of course, once the first few raids by the puffabilly revenue raisers (read: cash-strapped plod) have taken place -almost certainly on boozers owned by foreigners rather than the impoverished locals- just watch how fast the ban will become total and across-the-board.


A Daytime Secret: On Sunday 9 March the Secrets boozatorium and nosh house (Soi 14, off Walking Street) is going to hold a party to announce the commencement of daytime dancing and music for the establishment. Management have recognised that although they do a reasonable trade in quiet alcoholic refreshments to thirsty imbibers during most afternoons, there are those who might appreciate having a few coyote-style dancers and a little bit of aural stimulation to keep them optically entertained through the depths of a hot afternoon in Fun Town. Secrets will be starting this experiment from 9 March onwards, commencing every day at 1:00PM.


Case of Mistaken Identity: I have written this before and feel the need to do so again. There is a free tourist publication in Fun Town that has a nightlife column called ‘Out for a Beer’. It has been a feature of the publication for many years and I’ve often been asked if I am the contributor. I have never written anything for ‘Out for a Beer’ or any other part of the publication, at any time during its existence. I do know that Steve, one of the owners of the Tahitian Queen II chrome pole palace in Soi BJ, off Walking Street, wrote the column up until his untimely demise. Anybody who read the piece on a regular basis could not have failed to notice the number of times TQ II was given a wrap. Since Steve’s death I don’t know who the current author of the column is as I don’t read it, but you can be assured it is not me. I mean no offence to the current writer of the column, I just want people to be aware that Pattaya Today and Pattaya Trader are the only printed publications for which I write about nightlife. The ‘Nightmarch’ column is also translated into German and published in Hallo Magazin.


What Are You Calling That? My regular reader, who I happen to regard as a reliable source, was mightily unimpressed with the new Rocket ogling den situated upstairs from the popular Paris chrome pole palace in Soi Diamond. Although managed by the well-known and almost iconic Khun Satit, it appears the place could well be heading for the murky waters of ordinariness if the owners and management don’t start thinking a little more about their potential long-term customer base. Having just returned from parts foreign my regular reader was out with a friend and decided to order a glass of lolly water rather than commence the evening partaking of his usual drop of amber fluid. He writes: ‘Imagine my surprise when the bird came back carrying a tiny glass (like the ones you have whisky and coke in) full of ice and a trickle of what she claimed was diet coke, and a bill for 95 baht. I registered my shock, and asked for the can, as is usual for that price, and she refused, so we shook our heads, huffed, paid the bill and left, never to return. I am sure that must be the most expensive soft drink rip off in Pattaya.’


It wasn’t the price he objected to, it was the fact the bar was attempting to follow the standard business practices of many take-away franchises by filling a cup with enough ice to start a polar cap and pouring not much more than a baby’s dribble into the narrow gorges and offering this as some kind of thirst-quencher.


Around and About: The Spicy Girls ogling den has closed down in gender-confused Pattayaland Soi 1 and reopened its doors down in Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2). It is on the same side as the popular daytime den Club Nevada (which, I’m led to believe has introduced a non-smoking policy, of cigarettes of course, for those of you, like me, with warped minds) and Hot & Cold and is about half-way up the soi between this pair. Along with the Far East Rock chrome pole palace it adds to the allure of the soi for those who like to look at ladies in various states of undress in air-conditioned comfort. My spies tell me Far East Rock is yet to embrace the no-smoking ban. For the first time in over 15 years the place where Spicy Girls once stood (and before it the Papillon ogling den) is now an empty shell. Chances are that if it does once more open as a boozer it will be catering to the pink brigade rather than the distaff side of the chromosome pool.


E Goth, a truly spanking new den of the off-the-wall style of ogling den in Soi BJ (off Walking Street), has followed the pattern of most places located in the depths of this narrow alleyway and closed its doors for lack of interest. I did hear an unconfirmed rumour that one of the owners, an American, had suffered a financial reverse when his long-term Thai girlfriend (allegedly they had known each other for five weeks) absconded with the till takings while her devoted paramour was back in his homeland gathering more acorns for the winter.


I have to confess to not taking notice of the precise name, but down in Soi Honey Inn (Soi 11, off Second Road) a new den of the chrome pole opened its doors in late February. I think it is called Honey, but whatever its name the management don’t appear to have much of an idea about attracting repeat customers, apart, perhaps, from their mates. How a new den, with less than a dozen dancing maidens, most of whom looked as though they would be more comfortable packing down in a rugby scrum rather than damaging a chrome pole, can justify charging 100 baht for bottled amber fluid almost beggars belief. This is the Soi Buakhow area (aka the English Patient) and, as such, the majority of potential customers are really going to demand value for their ogling baht. I doubt they’ll view this place as providing anything resembling value.


Piece of Pith: Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

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