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Butch

What is your Exchange rate "tipping point"?.

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2 hours ago, teelack said:

Great post and brings up the question. Its not the 'Tipping Point" rather than when are you going to change your spending habits and can you handle a holiday if you have to make some saving?. There are so many ways to change your spending without down grading your holiday but I accept for some it wont be easy. I have met people who refuse to eat Thai food. I love my condo living in Pattaya and it halved the cost of staying in a hotel. I could go on but I am sure that almost everyone could cut back if they truly wanted a Pattaya holiday. I am in such a good place that I hadnt even considered a tipping point although I admit I was horrified at the airport rates a week or so ago. 

Completely agree. However, there has got to be a point where no more lowering of your spending habits can happen. Having looked at some 3,500b rooms along soi buckhou that I wouldnt put my enemies dog in, let alone a human being, if things got that dire financially I can see why people choose to try to fly. Yes, for me theres a long way to go before I hit that stage, and hopefully it'll never come, but...

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jacko said:

Well it is a long time ago for me and I had started working in the Middle East, so I had a bob or two and compared to Abu Dhabi where I was a sight cheaper for a beer, Back then I remember the flight was a major component and a reason many didn't go so far afield. And what crazy person was paying the hotel to take a girl back? (Joiner fee) Everyone used the Nana in Bangkok, no charge. First trip I brought a Bangkok girl with me. I got hit a couple of times in Pattaya for joiner fee, but I soon changed hotel. (Pattaya Tower, they were twats, and The Merlin, 500baht, now Hardrock). I was about 28 so rarely without company myself. I still remember it being a cheap destination, not as you make it. Most of the prices you quote there are still buttons compared to now! Sounds like you underfunded yourself, plenty of young lads in Pattaya running low on money, dodged a few myself!

We'd booked a package holiday with Kuoni and stayed at the Royal garden Resort which is now where the Royal Garden Plaza is. The hotel and transfers were all part of the deal. On a package deal you can't chop and change hotels as it suits you. You're lumbered with the one they assign you when you book the holiday. It's exactly the same set up as when you have a package trip to Spain or Majorca.

Girls were not allowed in the hotel unless you paid the joiner fee, it was not a matter of being a 'crazy person' there was simply no way round it. It would have cost us a fortune to keep going backwards and forwards to the Nana in Bangkok each night for the sixteen days went spent in Pattaya not to mention the traveling time involved. There was no motorway to Don Mueng back then and the journey took around four hours. Doing that would have been 'crazy'.

My pal and I were only on about 100 quid a week back then so it's possible that if you were working in the ME your wages made ours look like pocket money and to you the prices may have appeared to be 'buttons' but to us ordinary working blokes I can assure you they were not.

Remember there was no internet nor forums then and there was no way we could find out how much everything was till we got there. In fact no one we knew back then had ever set foot in Thailand. Most people had never even heard of it. This was long before the likes of Gary Glitter had put it on the map.

Edited by yogi100

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7 hours ago, helloitsme said:

I'm in the middle of a month trip. Fortunately I changed a load of sterling at the start of my trip, at, from memory, 39.8ish. 

My first longer trip was at 45 or so. Before that I was a 2 week millionaire for many years... and long for 60plus again!!!

These days, what's changed? 

Gone are the barfines and short times from gogos.  Hello thaifriendly. Short times are now afternoons, not evenings, and mainly with regulars who I know "deliver", although now the gf takes care of those needs. (Gf (a relatively new development for me!) works, often from 10am until 11pm, so I am free during the day and early evening)

Gone are big spending nights out in gogos. I might visit gogos say 3 times a week, but it's one or two, for a solitary drink, not 4 or 5 for several. 

Gone are the schweppes  manoa, or coke light at 140b in some places. Instead I, as a relative non-drinker, buy a draft beer at half the price, and it sits untouched infront of me. If I'm with drinking friends, they have it.

Gone are multiple lady drinks. Tequila is banned. Occasional ladydrinks if a girl is good company, and I'm getting my moneys worth. Tips are now just the lose change, unless there are 10b coins involved. 

Gone is taking laundry to the little lady in her shop. I now use her 30b machine twice a week... no, I dont iron it, so maybe I look a bit scruffier...!!

Gone are the daily back or foot massages. Now twice a week, and 20b tip, not 100. My regular massage girl has an aussie bf and understands exchange rates, and is just grateful for the custom as things are slow.

Gone are the afternoon Starbucks with friends. Cheaper (and better) coffee to be had elsewhere.

Gone is eating out daily. Even catering for one person, I can eat cheaply in the condo, although the menu is a bit similar from day to day. Yes, I do still eat out, but its thai cart food, rather than top, or even middle end stuff.

Gone is the 24hour aircon.  If I'm alone, its windows open and fans on. Fortunately I get a sea breeze, can open doors at both ends of the condo, and have flyscreens. Yes, I use aircon to sleep, but at 26, not 24 degrees.

Gone are the baht bus rides for short distances (I've never used motorbike taxis). I walk, with obvious health benefits. Gone are the 19b ice cream sundaes from Burger King at the end of walks.

Sounds like I am a real cheap Charlie. 2 years ago I stayed in town for 5 months, and was averaging 90k b a month for everything, about 2k sterling. Ive still got 2k sterling, but need to cut 10k baht from my budget. Its doable, but is it as enjoyable?

What's the next thing to go? I'm looking at cheaper accommodation for next winters trip.  Currently paying 16k for a nice 1 bed seaview condo. I know I can get a studio without a sea view for half that, but....

Tipping point? Not sure, but if it hits 35 I'll be seriously thinking about it... but I said that about 40...!!!

The good thing is you have a better life style,fresh food with vegetables home cooked? cutting down on booze and sugar and walking more,lost weight?

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I don't really have a tipping point I guess. GF and I live in RP but spend 5 months a year here, 3 trips. The Oz $ is at a terrible rate..... BUT

Flights are cheap, Cebu Pacific is often under $180 return each. we have rented the same place for 10 years (I lived here before) and the rent is still the same price and GF is a great cook, tho we eat out quite often. Neither of us are drinkers or smokers so our expenses are low. GF loves it here, lots of Filipina friends so I would face a real battle not to come anymore. 

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1 hour ago, yselmike said:

The good thing is you have a better life style,fresh food with vegetables home cooked? cutting down on booze and sugar and walking more,lost weight?

I'm not a great fruit and veg eater, but definitely less sugar in food. Dont drink alcohol, but unfortunately consume more sugar in  canned drinks than at home. But yes, walk lots more (no car here to just hop into!) and always go home lighter than when I arrive.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, jacko said:

Well it is a long time ago for me and I had started working in the Middle East, so I had a bob or two and compared to Abu Dhabi where I was a sight cheaper for a beer, Back then I remember the flight was a major component and a reason many didn't go so far afield. And what crazy person was paying the hotel to take a girl back? (Joiner fee) Everyone used the Nana in Bangkok, no charge. First trip I brought a Bangkok girl with me. I got hit a couple of times in Pattaya for joiner fee, but I soon changed hotel. (Pattaya Tower, they were twats, and The Merlin, 500baht, now Hardrock). I was about 28 so rarely without company myself. I still remember it being a cheap destination, not as you make it. Most of the prices you quote there are still buttons compared to now! Sounds like you underfunded yourself, plenty of young lads in Pattaya running low on money, dodged a few myself!

I do not recall a joiner fee at the Merlin?  Stayed at the Montien next door once for a couple days, joiner fee of 500 baht.

Edited by BigusDicus

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Posted (edited)

On the subject of joiner fees. I stayed in Bangla Road, Phuket ( Baan Sukhotai) and as was signing in at reception they told me to sign a document stating that I would pay 1000 baht joiner fee. I really had no option and security was tough. It was a major learning experience for me but I console myself with the fact that I will hopefully never pay another JF in Thailand.

Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
 

Edited by teelack

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, yogi100 said:

We'd booked a package holiday with Kuoni and stayed at the Royal garden Resort which is now where the Royal Garden Plaza is. The hotel and transfers were all part of the deal. On a package deal you can't chop and change hotels as it suits you. You're lumbered with the one they assign you when you book the holiday. It's exactly the same set up as when you have a package trip to Spain or Majorca.

Girls were not allowed in the hotel unless you paid the joiner fee, it was not a matter of being a 'crazy person' there was simply no way round it. It would have cost us a fortune to keep going backwards and forwards to the Nana in Bangkok each night for the sixteen days went spent in Pattaya not to mention the traveling time involved. There was no motorway to Don Mueng back then and the journey took around four hours. Doing that would have been 'crazy'.

My pal and I were only on about 100 quid a week back then so it's possible that if you were working in the ME your wages made ours look like pocket money and to you the prices may have appeared to be 'buttons' but to us ordinary working blokes I can assure you they were not.

Remember there was no internet nor forums then and there was no way we could find out how much everything was till we got there. In fact no one we knew back then had ever set foot in Thailand. Most people had never even heard of it. This was long before the likes of Gary Glitter had put it on the map.

Well I wasn't suggesting traveling back and forth, but plenty of hotels in Pattaya even back then! Those with Joiner fees were usually in the minority. The now scruffy Lek Hotel was an example I used often. Adding 300 baht to the accommodation each night is a good bit of a hit. I seem to remember in later days the Royal Garden didn't have a joiner fee, although discretion was requested. After my first trip I knew where to go stay, although, as I say, I got caught twice where in my naivety I had booked Pattaya accommodation in Bangkok before traveling using an agent. Always got screwed somehow doing that. (Always stopped over first in Bangkok, it was good there too!) The Pattaya Tower were really obnoxious about it and I checked out despite having some days still paid for, The Merlin I sucked it up, although it was 500 baht joiner fee, fortunately I had only pre-paid 3-4 nights.. I had certainly stopped bringing Bangkok girls by then. Finding cheap accommodation was easy, I once arrived and went straight to my favourite beer bar with suitcase behind me. Phoned and got a room from there, had one of the girls drop my suitcase and wait for me on the bed.

Good, good times, that make modern day Pattaya look pretty shabby to be honest. It was a fantasy. Getting women in Abu Dhabi was not likely, those around had golden bits, but heavy duty boozing seemed commonplace. I would usually do 2-3 nights in Bangkok, 7 or so in Pattaya,  by then I was getting worn down by the heavy drinking and would likely have found a keeper, that would accompany me to Samui or somewhere quieter. 

Edited by jacko

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5 hours ago, BigusDicus said:

I do not recall a joiner fee at the Merlin?  Stayed at the Montien next door once for a couple days, joiner fee of 500 baht.

Oh I do! I often wondered if it was just some scam perpetrated by the night porter and a security guard.... I would have been somewhat boozed up and impatient. Now the Montien I managed to get away without paying a joiner fee, although ID and sign in required. But that was when I was working in Pattaya. The Montien I believe got stricter in later years and at one point you had to have checked in together. I remember the Montien was fully booked and I had to move out for 3-4 days and ended up in a suite at the Dusit. No joiner fee there either. There was also I believe a factor of how you had booked the place... as said, a 'discounted' stay via a Bangkok agent and they were after bumping it up and made life difficult. I stopped using these 'posher' places as I hated the aggravation and arguments. 

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I don't and probably won't have a tipping point . as long as I can afford it I will have a month in Patts every year until I can no longer male the trip due to poor health . I see all the doom and gloom about how high the costs are and yes they are higher than they were but by the same token I have a lot more income now than I had on my first visit in 2003 when the rate was 69/70 to the £ . There is nowhere I know of with the weather I get in summer at the price I pay for a months holiday like Pattaya . I dont drink I very rarely now chase the ladies , not never and I am too tight to pay for lady drinks , so the costs for me of an enjoyable 30 day stay are extremely cheap as I stay in a condo rather than a hotel and have very humble requirements when it comes to food and entertainment I can quite easily, and usually do, spend less than £2000 on a 1 month stay in  Pattaya whereas I spent almost £4000 on a 16 day jaunt to Canada and the USA where I did nothing other than watch Ice hockey.

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Others have touched on it but to me the bad thing about a strong baht is not so much as it affects me but how it impacts the ladies working in Pattaya.

A decade ago I could afford to be more generous. I could buy more lady drinks. I could barfine every night. I could get an oil massage in the day and a foot massage after walking all day. I could afford to tip decently for any service. Now I will have to be more mindful of my pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters let alone dollars. In the end the businesses might make more but I have a hunch that the ladies make less. Maybe it is made up for by increases in business from other nationalities, especially asian ones. Perhaps it evens out for them.

Curious what you regulars and expats think.

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Posted (edited)

Mid ,like you i could throw money on the thimble drinks back then.  Gabor would not be happy. Tell the mamasan at Heavens Above  "i can do a bin of 5k or 10k then cut me off". Now retired here  the strong baht is not an issue but no more thimble drinks., .I still get laid. but Not a 20 y/o stunner from a ggb   Living here has its advantages  To your question i agree . The tourist' know Pattaya is still a bargain. 5000k for a wet and willing girl, so what.    Let me know when you are in town

Edited by sailingbill
to claify 5000 includes BF and interview drinks. We are not at the point where the girl gets 5000, but that may be coming

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Simple arithmetic tells me that if it gets to 20Baht to the Australian Peso (currently 21 point something), that will make a Soi 6 ST the equivalent of about AUD70, say 100 with drinks. Current flight prices are around AUD1200-1500, just for that ticket price I can get about 8 ST locally. Starting to get expensive.

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43 minutes ago, Bob Belzy said:

Simple arithmetic tells me that if it gets to 20Baht to the Australian Peso (currently 21 point something), that will make a Soi 6 ST the equivalent of about AUD70, say 100 with drinks. Current flight prices are around AUD1200-1500, just for that ticket price I can get about 8 ST locally. Starting to get expensive.

You can always just walk around and ogle. Not as sexually gratifying but think how fit you'll be!

:P

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, midlifecrisis said:

You can always just walk around and ogle. Not as sexually gratifying but think how fit you'll be!

:P

Is that what they mean when they say "it's what your right hand's for"?

I always do a fair bit of walking, even in the current climate. Probably the most was in Bangkok one day with 9 kms showing on the watch after one walk. Still had to give my mate Dick a run later.

Edited by Bob Belzy

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7 hours ago, Bob Belzy said:

Is that what they mean when they say "it's what your right hand's for"?

I always do a fair bit of walking, even in the current climate. Probably the most was in Bangkok one day with 9 kms showing on the watch after one walk. Still had to give my mate Dick a run later.

I know Dick. He can be a very needy fella.

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23 hours ago, BigusDicus said:

I do not recall a joiner fee at the Merlin?  Stayed at the Montien next door once for a couple days, joiner fee of 500 baht.

 

18 hours ago, jacko said:

Oh I do! I often wondered if it was just some scam perpetrated by the night porter and a security guard.... I would have been somewhat boozed up and impatient. Now the Montien I managed to get away without paying a joiner fee, although ID and sign in required. But that was when I was working in Pattaya. The Montien I believe got stricter in later years and at one point you had to have checked in together. I remember the Montien was fully booked and I had to move out for 3-4 days and ended up in a suite at the Dusit. No joiner fee there either. There was also I believe a factor of how you had booked the place... as said, a 'discounted' stay via a Bangkok agent and they were after bumping it up and made life difficult. I stopped using these 'posher' places as I hated the aggravation and arguments. 

I stayed at the Merlin 10-12 times over a 2-3 year period.  Associated with 20-25 diffident guys, mainly US Navy or contractors.  Do not recall any of us ever having to pay a joiner fee.  Never booked directly, always handled by someone within the group.  Was told we received the "Navy special rate".  Memory is it was around $25-27/nt including breakfast.  Was a nice hotel, bit frayed at the edges.  All were disappointed  when they closed.  We migrate to Flipper Lodge on Soi 8 for a few years...

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Posted (edited)
On 6/22/2019 at 5:47 AM, yogi100 said:

Unfortunately I think we'll be witnessing the end of an era in the coming years and the ultimate demise of a holiday destination and adult playground that many of us have become devoted to and in some cases obsessed with.

Great post.  All the reason to continue until they leave the key under the mat.

Never mind that the euro was 50 baht in 2003/4 and it's now 35 baht and falling........

We'll get no frills accommodation, go to the Coconut Bar and get a season ticket at Cheap Charlie's, drinking alcohol-free and buying 2nd LDs only after barfine will help. The odd draught at a GGB just for watch won't kill us.

Edited by capdagde

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I've reached my tipping point and not going this year. I 1st went in November 2005 for a week to get it out of the way to say been there and done that, I was 43 and I think got 72-75 baht to the pound. Since then  been twice per year for the following 6 years then once per year for 3 weeks at Xmas but flying Bizz to compensat for only going once.

My mate just came back and got 38.2 in Bkk which means a bottle of Heinekan in a beer bar now more than £4 and I can't justify it to myself. I can afford it but 38sh is just too little.

i shop around for the Bizz and last yrs got Etihad for £1480. I normally stay in the Mercure and have done for 10 years but standards slipping and last time stopped in Tim boutique ( expensive for what it is but great location and the pool area is great, get the sun all day without having to chase it round the pool at Mercure and was pretty quiet so and the same bed every day ) 

ive worked out this yr will cost me between £5-6000. I could go economy but in last few years become a porker and could stay in cheaper places but I will be 57 when I go this time so I want something half decent.

im looking at either Tenerife or Mexico in December for my winter sun fix, def not same same but until its back to 43/45 I can't see me going back

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

23.6.19.

I did the LKM circuit tonight (Sunday) at 11pm.

Area 51 had 2 punters then 1 then 2 then 1 again (me) then I left.

Champagne had about 15 blokes in. The girl I bought a LD for told me all the girls 'hab day off". Such a huge bar looked empty.

Billabong was buzzing but only half the seats were taken.

Destiny had a big spending Aussie buying drinks all round but when he left pissed out of his head there were about four cautious punters left. I got told the girl who got knifed in The Office did not die. That cheered me up a bit.

Similar set up in Sugar Sugar minus the drunken Aussie.

Bars cannot survive with the amount of punters in them that I witnessed tonight. Only time over the next few months will tell!

I also got told the immortal words that I've heard so many times in the UK.

"I like being friend you. I love only you but I no want boom boom you but you can pay bar me and we can go eat." That's what's happening in the LOS now in 2019. I'm an old fella and she was 23 years old. I can't blame her although those words hit home like a knife especially with so few other punters about. 

A pretty young girl does obviously not want to sleep with an old man. It's no fun getting old. I check binned and scarpered as quick as I could get out of the door. I'll stick to the older birds in future.

Edited by yogi100

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5 hours ago, BigusDicus said:

Was a nice hotel, bit frayed at the edges.  All were disappointed  when they closed.  We migrate to Flipper Lodge on Soi 8 for a few years...

I was not a fan, the 500 baht joiner fee did it for me! The room was rather small for the price too I recall. Good spacious grounds and pool area. Later times I was a fan of a small place up a small alley on Beach Rd, near Walking St, where McD is (Lido Beach). The Merlin I seem to recall stood empty and derelict for a spell, before HardRock renovated it and it became the type of place I was unlikely to be seen in. 

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22 hours ago, yogi100 said:

23.6.19.

I did the LKM circuit tonight (Sunday) at 11pm.

Area 51 had 2 punters then 1 then 2 then 1 again (me) then I left.

Champagne had about 15 blokes in. The girl I bought a LD for told me all the girls 'hab day off". Such a huge bar looked empty.

Billabong was buzzing but only half the seats were taken.

Destiny had a big spending Aussie buying drinks all round but when he left pissed out of his head there were about four cautious punters left. I got told the girl who got knifed in The Office did not die. That cheered me up a bit.

Similar set up in Sugar Sugar minus the drunken Aussie.

Bars cannot survive with the amount of punters in them that I witnessed tonight. Only time over the next few months will tell!

I also got told the immortal words that I've heard so many times in the UK.

"I like being friend you. I love only you but I no want boom boom you but you can pay bar me and we can go eat." That's what's happening in the LOS now in 2019. I'm an old fella and she was 23 years old. I can't blame her although those words hit home like a knife especially with so few other punters about. 

A pretty young girl does obviously not want to sleep with an old man. It's no fun getting old. I check binned and scarpered as quick as I could get out of the door. I'll stick to the older birds in future.

Great post and a very interesting analysis of how things are as we head into the depths of low season, along with an up to date scan of LKM. Not looking good, not good at all.

Kudos for using the word "scarpered" havn't heard that for donkeys years lol.

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32 minutes ago, Butch said:

Great post and a very interesting analysis of how things are as we head into the depths of low season, along with an up to date scan of LKM. Not looking good, not good at all.

Kudos for using the word "scarpered" havn't heard that for donkeys years lol.

I had to look it up. We would say scampered most likely. 

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15 minutes ago, midlifecrisis said:

I had to look it up. We would say scampered most likely. 

Ahhh... now you see the difference between UK and US Colloquialisms.

Scarper, or scarpered is a saying we used back when I was at school to runn away, it might be a bastardisation of scampered, but possibly from the 19th century Italian scappare ‘to escape’, influenced by rhyming slang Scapa Flow ‘go’. (from the web)

 

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1 hour ago, Butch said:

Kudos for using the word "scarpered" havn't heard that for donkeys years lol.

Great word "scarpered". Haven't used it myself either for yonks . . . 

I haven't looked anything up, but thinking about the words "scarpered" and "scampered" to my mind there's a fundamental difference in meaning.

"Scampered" for me means getting or going somewhere relatively quickly, "scarpered" to me means get the fuck out of dodge pronto cos something not very good is going on".

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