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Thread: First trip to Thailand

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    First trip to Thailand

    There is a thread titled “Phuket, why do we go back” and many on this board started going 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Things change and will not ever be the same. I can say the same about my home country, may never go back.

    For those who have never been to Thailand (often called LOS = Land of Smiles) there is no such thing as “Never be the Same” … yet.
    Thailand and other nearby countries are fantastic destinations.
    For those going to LOS I think it is fair to look at the purpose of the trip as someone looking at a lot of touristy activity or being sex tourist (monger) and often both.

    Where you chose to go will certainly be governed by you ultimate goal(s).
    Below are cliff notes about places I have frequented the most.

    Bangkok: It is the point of entry for most, so you can say “already there”. It is a big city and for me a place I love the place for a few days, then AMF. Bangkok has a lot of Thai culture, temples, floating market, shopping and a reasonable bar scene.

    Phuket: Phuket is a fantastic place for those that like a combination of a lay back holiday, some tourist activity and some mongering. The three areas I have experience with are (from south to north) Kata, Karon and Patong. Kata and Karon do not differ much, both having great beaches and a small bar/monger scene. Patong has a great mix of just about everything and even the beach is reasonable.
    The main bar/monger scene is Bangla Road and the Sois (side streets). It is not huge, but has a bit of everything and one can easily spend a week and not experienced all.
    I should add to this the Island of Phi-Phi (not part of Phuket, but close). Amazing relax place with next to no mongering (bring a girl).

    Pattaya: Some will say Pattaya is all about sex or even say filthy. It all depends on what you are looking for, but indisputably the highest concentration of adult entertainment in Thailand.
    Don’t go there for the beaches as you will be mighty disappointed with a slight exception of a trip to Koh Larn (an hour and 40-50 baht by ferry).
    General transportation using baht busses (Songthaew, meaning two rows) is dirt cheap with a ride from end to end costing just 10 baht ($0.30)

    Chang Mai: I cannot comment from personal experience as I have never been there, but I hear good things and possibly others can elaborate. There is a bar scene though presumably small. Chang Mai is famous for its observances of Loi Krathong … a breath taking event usually at some time in November.

    ALL of Thailand: The country is nicknamed LOS for a reason and while Thais sometimes are a little self absorbed the hospitality is no less than Great (they just want a little of your money J).
    If you ask around many will say Thai food is a super-attraction and do worry, it is not all spicy (if you resist that).
    Massages, they as we say in the US are “a dime a dozen”, well not that cheap, but depending of locale between 150 and 300 baht ($5-$10) per hour (of course high end places will milk you). Personally I go for the traditional Thai which I have nicknamed “assisted yoga” … do go for this type two hours at a time. Many prefer foot massage and they are everywhere, even on beaches. You can also fine oil massage which often is associated with “happy ending”.
    Temples are plentiful and some enjoy them while other could give a hoot; wherever you go visit at least one, there is a sense of tranquility and spirit in each and all.

    The above are only brief summaries of what comes first to my mind, other board members hopefully will add many more suggestions and observations.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator dawsey's Avatar
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    Not so much observations, but a recollection of my first trip back in 2004, just 3 months after the tsunami.

    It had been a toss up between Phuket and Mexico (Cancun of course) and Thailand won because the far east or SE Asia intrigued me.
    I joined Nicke's forum some 6 months or so before leaving and thought I had a pretty good handle on the place before I'd even set foot there.

    It was also my first really long flight of more than 7 hrs. The actual flights took around 17hrs including transport to LHR and from HKT when we arrived.

    The hotel I had booked for the missus and two girls was over in Nanai 2 and called Peter Pan. I'd paid a deposit and got too hasty booking it before getting info from Phuket Info board members.
    It was a mistake. Situated at the end of Nanai 2 it backed onto the scrub land /fly tipping area behind Patong sewage works! It was a a pain in the ass to get a tuk tuk back from the bars at silly o'clock and the one evening we took the short cut past the shit farm to go out was a reminder never to try it once it got dark. Fcuk me those rats were huge and frightened the kids to death.

    The hotel were supposed to pick us up but the dumb Italian owner forgot we were due, so we had to make our own way with a taxi driver who wasn't sure where it was.
    It was run down with a dirty pool, crap food and huge gaps under the doors where the cockroaches would come in at night.

    We lasted a week and I told the owner we were off. Checked out and moved to Patong Villa on the Beach Road. Utter luxury in comparison.
    Funnily enough, PV was demolished but Peter Pan still remains.

    First night, we were jetlagged but I was determined to see what all the fuss was over the bar scene. Not knowing how it all worked, we were sat, on our own at 8pm sharp in MTB looking for all the action
    Little did we know things didn't start until 10 30pm ish.

    Met a few BMs that night, MikeGB alias Dirty Mike, Nicke, Geir and Hobbsy spring to mind. The missus and kids were shattered and got a taxi back to the hotel............I went to Soi Croc with the above to see the Milkman! Christ, my eyes were opened that night!

    Those two weeks passed in a blur of alcohol, laughs, great beaches and trips and we made a lot of new friends, most I'd still class as mates to this day.
    It wasn't long after arriving home I was planning the next trip.

    A few pics from that first trip.
    Dscf0016.jpgDSCF0023.jpgDSCF0010.jpgDSCF0040.jpgDSCF0041.jpg
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    RIP Nicke June 1971 - Jan 2013.

    AT SOME POINT IN LIFE, EVERYONE HAS GAMBLED ON A FART AND LOST.

  3. #3
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Dawsey

    I assume you would've done an AI in Cancun

    So that is two drastically different holidays you were deciding on...

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    My 1st trip I won't detail it all
    Just some memories......

    It was my 1st trip after started making really good money so I spent a ton! of money

    I was supposed to be going w/a seasoned Thailand visitor and he bailed on me 1 week before
    I remember I was shitting my pants after I checked in at JFK and was having something to eat. I was legitimately nervous ...

    I got to BKK at nigh
    Staying at Westin Grande Sukhumvit
    It reminded me so much of that movie Lost In Translation

    Final thought
    I wasn't ready to jump into the action of BKK yet
    So I went downstairs to the lobby bar
    I remember ordering a few beers and listening to a black American lounge singer
    And I vividly remember everything being so dim
    It seemed so dark outside through the huge windows of the lounge
    The lighting in the lobby bar was very dim

    The dim lighting was both discombobulating and sort of exotic.....

    After a few beers I ventured out and my 1st beers outside the hotel was this street tiki bar on soi 21 where the massive Terminal 21 is now

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    I want to know where exactly BM Geir's lodge/resort is.
    It may be at least a year before I can get there, but I want to go.

  6. #6
    Senior Member billpay's Avatar
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    My first trip. Wow. What an eye opener. Actually, I was going to go to Costa Rica and someone mentioned that I should go to Thailand instead. I said, what the heck and just went.
    I knew nothing about SE Asia at all. Went to Bangkok and Pattaya. What Really stands out to me is when I went to Sabai Room soapy in Pats. A beautiful girl was getting me ready for massage, took off my shirt etc, then was taking off my shoes (I was in good shape), she looked up and said...oohhhhh, Ahhnold. That was it....I was in love.55555. 20 years ago. Wow.
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    Super Moderator dawsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Dawsey

    I assume you would've done an AI in Cancun

    So that is two drastically different holidays you were deciding on...

    Don't understand the AI remark Paul ?
    It's OK, I'm being dumb, but what does that mean?
    RIP Nicke June 1971 - Jan 2013.

    AT SOME POINT IN LIFE, EVERYONE HAS GAMBLED ON A FART AND LOST.

  8. #8
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawsey View Post
    Don't understand the AI remark Paul ?
    It's OK, I'm being dumb, but what does that mean?
    All-inclusive
    You pay one price for room/food/drinks

    That is basically every hotel in Cancun

    I only been to Cancun for about 5 hours waiting for Dupree
    I went to a 5star all-inclusive hotel and they let me use a huge daybed as long as I ordered
    I spent I think 35usd and they were fine with that

    I wouldn't spend a whole holiday in Cancun but the beach/water is gorgeous
    In February, if we go to Mexico, I plan on spending two nights at a small boutique(they usually really big) 5 star all-inclusive
    Ao has never been and she would like the "free" aspect

  9. #9
    Super Moderator dawsey's Avatar
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    ^ Got you. I was wracking my brain trying to thing of what AI meant Didn't realise most of Cancun was AI.

    Never been on an AI holiday before and to be honest, it wouldn't have suited me back then. I don't like to be tied to one place for eating and drinking.
    Might suit me and the missus as we get older but not yet.
    RIP Nicke June 1971 - Jan 2013.

    AT SOME POINT IN LIFE, EVERYONE HAS GAMBLED ON A FART AND LOST.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawsey View Post
    ^ Got you. I was wracking my brain trying to thing of what AI meant Didn't realise most of Cancun was AI.

    Never been on an AI holiday before and to be honest, it wouldn't have suited me back then. I don't like to be tied to one place for eating and drinking.
    Might suit me and the missus as we get older but not yet.
    I agree as for most vacations.
    Ever take an cruse? All-In is actually quite nice, that is if you fancy a cruse in the first place.

    In Cancun there is a resort called Club Med. I know very little about it, but it is AI and among many gets high marks.
    As for the little I know Club Med may appeal to people who just want to kick back, like retirees.
    BTW there are CM's all over the world, including Phuket.

  11. #11
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    I agree as for most vacations.
    Ever take an cruse? All-In is actually quite nice, that is if you fancy a cruse in the first place.

    In Cancun there is a resort called Club Med. I know very little about it, but it is AI and among many gets high marks.
    As for the little I know Club Med may appeal to people who just want to kick back, like retirees.
    BTW there are CM's all over the world, including Phuket.
    Cancun is basically one big strip with the hotels to the right all on the beach one after another
    They are huge properties and 90% of them are AI
    And many are 5 stars that would blow Club Med out of the water
    Across the street they have sort of a mall area that has all the touristy Carlos and Charlie, Bubba Gump bars

    I only been to one and I could never do it for a whole week but hitting up a very nice 5 star one for 2-3 days would be nice
    Last edited by marc26; 5th October 2018 at 05:19.

  12. #12
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawsey View Post
    ^ Got you. I was wracking my brain trying to thing of what AI meant Didn't realise most of Cancun was AI.

    Never been on an AI holiday before and to be honest, it wouldn't have suited me back then. I don't like to be tied to one place for eating and drinking.
    Might suit me and the missus as we get older but not yet.
    Cancun is almost all AI hotels
    If you drive 45mins south Playa Del Carmen is like the Patong of Cancun, IMO.
    The beach is not as nice but still nice and has a great huge waking street 5th ave will all kinds of bars and restaurants

    Another city that is great that Ao and I will hopefully be going to is Tulum
    It is sort of half authentic Mexico in town and then beach rd very much reminded me of Seminyak in Bali
    A funky boutique type beach rd with very high end restaurants

    I love Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    I agree as for most vacations.
    Ever take an cruse? All-In is actually quite nice, that is if you fancy a cruse in the first place.

    In Cancun there is a resort called Club Med. I know very little about it, but it is AI and among many gets high marks.
    As for the little I know Club Med may appeal to people who just want to kick back, like retirees.
    BTW there are CM's all over the world, including Phuket.
    Did Club Med in Cabcun in 82. Food was included, wine at table also, not the drinks at the bar.
    Did a lot of sports. Especially sailing. 2 weeks Cancun with some day excursions, like to Tulum. Then one week trip from Cabcun to Chitzen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque, Vera Cruz and the to Mexico City with Teotihuacan, floating gardens, National museum etc.
    Was fun.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    I never really outlined my own first trip.
    Back in the days I went to Malaysia for the second time (business) and had the option to go to LOS. I turned that option down as I could not handle spicy food and knew Nothing about P4P.
    A year later, I think 2003, I had to go to give seminars and help with sales.
    I soon learned that there is a lot of Thai food that is either no spice or available as very little ... over the years I did get more and more addicted to spicy food and today enjoy full-on tom yom soup.

    I was scheduled for 5 days almost all in Bangkok, but also visited industrial facilities near Pattaya.
    It was not until the third night I even go a hint of "the girls".
    The lady who owned the distributorship, a sweet heart and a tomboy, took us to a high end club where she "hired" a girl for each of us to sit with us. Hand on thighs and a few kisses on the cheek was as far as it went.
    On the last night after dinner she drove us to a soapy (Utopia). We went in and saw all the girls behind the glass and she said "pick one". I still did not have a clue. I saw one that was cute and pointed her out ... still not knowing what would be next. The two other guys also picked one and the dike said "good evening, enjoy and left". Went to the cashier and paid, I think about THB 2K, up the elevator in to the room and it was like someone had thrown me before a lion when the show began. Needless to say I had a great time.
    The next day a little bit if business and the off to the airport, but I had a different thinking thought did not share it. I had extended my hotel stay and postponed my flight by three days. She drove me to the airport, said goodbye and I was on my own. Went to the taxi stand and back to the hotel.
    I visited Utopia twice a day for three days, but still had no clue about beer bars, go-go's, etc. All that came later after I joined Phuket-Info and started reading and received some guidance.
    It all escalated from there, but I have a second trip to tell and will do that later.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Waharoa's Avatar
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    My first trip to Bangkok and Phuket was well before I knew of MTB or Phuket Info. Just after the 2006 coup that over-threw Thacksin... I had to learn on the job... I just found a girl in a bar that looked friendly and asked her to give me the low down on what's what... 55

    The only place I knew of in Bangkok was Annies... so that was my first port of call. What a dump.. but the girls back then were magic... 55

    I remember I had been to Phuket a few times before I got onto Phuket Info and started hearing about a mystical place... a place that dwarfed Patong... a place called Pattaya... 55. So I booked a trip there... I think it was Lars and Mav and Irish Johnny that I remember first gave me guidance on the do's and don'ts in Pattaya...

    After that first trip to Pattaya I only ever went back to Patong once again... 2009.. and even by then Patong seemed to have lost some of it's earlier charm...
    Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waharoa View Post
    The only place I knew of in Bangkok was Annies... so that was my first port of call. What a dump.. but the girls back then were magic... 55
    After I really discovered P4P and roamed Bangkok I paid a visit to Annie's and a dump it was.
    I was not impressed with the girl, but the dumpy scene may have played a factor.
    I remember writing a very negative review on Phuket-info ... so much so that Annie joined the board and defended herself and her business.
    It did not really change my mind, but I tip my hat for her being proactive and defensive. Who knows that place may be totally different today.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Waharoa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    After I really discovered P4P and roamed Bangkok I paid a visit to Annie's and a dump it was.
    I was not impressed with the girl, but the dumpy scene may have played a factor.
    I remember writing a very negative review on Phuket-info ... so much so that Annie joined the board and defended herself and her business.
    It did not really change my mind, but I tip my hat for her being proactive and defensive. Who knows that place may be totally different today.
    It closed a few months ago. But for many years it was still my favourite soapie... as still gave the best service of anywhere... and the girls may not have been that pretty but they mostly had a good attitude.
    Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator dawsey's Avatar
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    Anyone still on this board ever visit Christins on Ratty Road?
    RIP Nicke June 1971 - Jan 2013.

    AT SOME POINT IN LIFE, EVERYONE HAS GAMBLED ON A FART AND LOST.

  19. #19
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Second trip to LOS.
    I had joined P-I and was somewhat aware if P4P, but this trip was Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and LOS (Phuket and Bangkok) in an attempt to save a falling apart marriage.
    I know the question is going to came so I can as well answer it now ... so not to this too much of a family issue.
    We both worked/traveled too much. Once she was traveling from Hartford to Texas and I was traveling from Chicago to LA and that week we saw each other once ... lunch in Cincinnati Airport. Second we took on a big project building a 6,000 sg ft house.

    Coming to Phuket we took the train from Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai and private taxi to Karon.
    Driving through Patong we passed a big pink building with the word "massage" on the façade and the X commented to the driver that she wanted to go there to which the driver noted that it was for men. I knew it was a soapy by that comment.
    While we had a good trip, things were not coming together, so one day I booked her a two hour massage while I went for a one hour soapy.
    In Bangkok she got a three hour massage while I did a little legit business and 90 minutes at the Eden Club.
    I forget the name of the "pink massage", but it was near the east end of Bangla Road. I seem to remember an female name as part of it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    I think Dawsey just answered the name as I was typing.

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