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Thread: Yet another PP visa run

  1. #1
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Yet another PP visa run

    Not sure where I'll go with this trip report... just trying to share information mostly, should newer members or less experienced PP travelers want to gain some insight... it wont be a hardcore mongering trip report (I know, I just lost half the audience), though I will be out in the nightlife somewhat and I'll probably write something about it. Nothing graphic though... nor self incriminating, as this is in the open area. Hahaa...

    This is, I think, my 5th trip here. I honestly lost count. I like PP, despite it being a little dirty. You'd think in a place so poor, with manual labor so affordable, that the govt could employ 20 or so street cleaners that just went around the tourist district in the wee early morning hours and collected all the trash from the streets. While I lived in Italy, every town had a small crew that would come out at 5am and just clean any trash or litter from the sides of the main roadways. Seems like a good idea... and PP could really use it. It might even cut down on the rat population.

    Still, I like the place. What little I know of it. I havent really been all far away from the main tourist/expat section, so I can really only speak of this small hub... it's a bit like describing Bangkok to someone when you've only been hanging out on lower Sukhumvit road every time you visit. There is a vast ocean of civilization out there beyond where I trend to hang out, and I just cant comment about it because I dont know.

    Anyway, this trip I am doing on a bit of budget so I am staying at The Amari on st 136. So far it's not so bad. The internet works, the water in the shower is hot, it's right in the middle of the action... and it's $20/night. Were I not on a budget, I'd prefer to stay at The Golden House for $35/night... it has larger rooms than here, is newer and cleaner, has room safe's, etc. But for the money, this place is fine. They have no web page, nor are they listed on Agoda, so it's not exactly being run very well in terms of marketing the place. Getting a reservation is sketchy as they're hit-n-miss about replying to emails. But I'd walked by it a bunch of times and people on other forums had said it was OK, so I am giving it a try. Come to think of it, should they start to market themselves, that should be their slogan... "Give it a try at The Amari... it's OK!"

    After dinner & a chat at California 2, I went out last night to meet my buddy. We started at Martinis, which I'd never actually been to before. He's been living in PP for 5 years or more, so he was telling me that once upon a time there was pretty much Martinis and one or two other places for FL's, but that was about it. It was live music night outside, or you could go inside to the surprisingly small dance club. It was deafening inside, so we mostly hung out and watched the girls that were listening to the live band and doing their own hunting. Drink prices werent bad, and the selection was fairly good, but Martinis is a bit of a ways out. Also, my buddy was telling me that a Viet element has kind of moved in... maybe a third... and they tend to be rather business-like, so he only chose to meet there as I'd mentioned last trip that I'd never been there.

    From there is was the usual 'grab a table at Sorya Mall' night, just bs'ing & watching the gals. They criss-cross from Pontoon to Heart of Darkness (henceforth HoD), then plop down at the outside tables at the mall to eat, chat with their friends, drink... then they go back to patrol the clubs again. For informational purposes, I asked my friend about FL prices and he told me that the whole scene has really changed in the last year or two and it's varied now... could be that the gal is happy with $20-$25, or she could want as much as $50. I was kind of surprised that even FL's would ask that much, but I was quickly told that they can often get $50 if they look really good and target the newbie guys who obviously have no clue.

    After a burger from a street cart, which wasnt half bad but over priced at $2.50, I headed home around 3AM. I'd looked into HoD on a walk through, then we went to Pontoon for a bit. Both have no cover charge, so it's free to just wander in and look at the selection, though I hear Pontoon does have a cover charge on Fri & Sat. As usual for SE Asia, both places were overly loud and full of local girls looking for tourist guys. Pontoon is certainly the nicer of the 2 as they have an entrance-way type long room with a bar for relaxing and talking, but they also play music here... just not so loud you cant talk/hear over it.

    Woke up early (0800) to drop off my passport at LMN Travel, just around the corner. It's $50 for the 3 day turnaround service for a 60 day Thai tourist visa. Drop off your passport, the money and a picture... they take care of the rest. No filling out forms, no standing in lines, no questions asked. Last time I used the 4 day service, which was cheaper at just $40. He offered me a new 2 day turnaround for $75, but I always book 5 days here in case there's any delays or issues, so a 3 day turnaround is fine. I could've gone with the 4 day like last time, but with the brewing political trouble I felt like smarter move was to make sure I had my passport back and could leave quickly if I needed to. Nothing is supposed to happen until the 7th and I fly out on the 6th, but a smart man hedges his bets.

    And with that, it's now time to crash until early afternoon. I'll try to write more and provide other details later...
    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 2nd September 2013 at 10:18.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Good point about the street cleaners, at $2 a day minimum wage there could be a small army of them out and about and it would improve the city certainly from a first impressions point of view.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    There is tho.. During late evening huge piles of loose trash are put out by businesses.. And crews come and remove it in the small hours..

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    I'm not talking about garbage trucks & collectors getting the dumpsters & piles of trash bags, I'm talking about individuals going along the streets to get the discarded trash that people just drop.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Oh ok.. The thing I noticed is people don't properly bag garbage, making collections easy.. They over use shopping bags anfpd just pile it.. So the garbage trucks really need to kind of shovel the mess away.

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    So I thought I'd cover a few topics here for informational purpose... just my perspective on things and what I do/think/see... not gospel, only one guy's opinion. Topic of this post will be the cost of food & drink.

    Some food can be cheaper here than many places in Thailand. When I say this, I'm speaking specifically of the riverside bars, cafes and restaurants which are pretty much dead center of tourist central. You can sit on the main drag and have a meal for $6-$8. Nothing fancy, mind you, but a decent burger... or some Mexican food... or an Italian dish... or well done seafood. Compared to what a farang meal costs in Bangkok or Phuket, the prices are really good.

    Today though I ventured into the main grocery store chain here in PP, called Lucky. To say I was unimpressed with the prices is an understatement. Many of the farang items were indeed actually more expensive than what I normally pay in Chiang Mai. A few examples; a can of Campbells soup is $4, a large insta-pizza is $8, a small convenience store sized bag of almonds was over $2. The small bottles of coke were $1.25, which is what I think they cost in the US. The store looked nice... the equivalent of Tops or Villa Supermarket. But I went there thinking to grab some snacks and bread and ham for the room food so I wasnt going out so much. I did find some bread for $1 (we pay less at home), some ham for $3 (twice as much as CM) and some off-brand chips/crisps for $1.50 (about the same). I did however, save money on water which I found for just 20 cents... the convenience store down the road here (Smile Mart) charges 40 cents for the same bottle, same brand. I also picked up a pair of big bottles of beer... Angkor... but it didnt escape my notice that they sell Leo here and it was actually slightly cheaper than Angkor. I mean, how the hell is a (supposed) premium import cheaper than the local brand? Anyway, the big bottles of Angkor ran $1.50 each, which is about the same as I pay for beer at home.

    Last trip, I remember thinking that it was odd to me that the beers in the convenience store (Smile Mart) were the same damn price as the beers in the bars. Today I went to Smile Mart in the morning for some water and just sort of noted the prices for water, soda and beer. A few hours later I grabbed a tuk-tuk to Lucky. The water, beer and soda were all cheaper in Lucky... but still, compared to what I pay in Thailand and knowing that relative income is much lower in Camboland, I was pretty surprised that things werent cheaper. Hell, about half the things I looked at... things I normally buy back home... were actually more expensive.

    On the upside, one thing that is absolutely cheaper is wine. They had a fair selection of wines in Lucky, ranging from $4 per bottle, up to the most expensive stuff around $12. I'm guessing one could find more expensive wine around if one so chose, but obviously we're just talking about the kind of wine one would find on a supermarket shelf. I didn't buy any wine as I already have a bottle of red I picked up in Smile Mart for $6.50... of course the same bottle was $5 in Lucky.

    Another cool bonus is getting BeerLao at local prices (about $1/can)... Lucky didnt have it, but Jim stocks it at Cali 2. I definitely dig BeerLao. Unfortunately, it gets hit with that big import tariff, so I only occasionally indulge in it when I'm in Thailand. Nice to get it so cheaply here.

    As far as local eats, I've really only tried 2 things... the traditional dish of Loc-Lac, which is supposedly beef on rice with some spicy sauce... and just a very plain pork & rice, which seems to be the local equivalent to cao mon gai in Thailand. It's a $1 dish that isnt meant to be really enjoyed that much, just something OK to fill ya up (if you have 2 of them) for cheap so you can use your money elsewhere- like on booze and girls.

    Truth is, with decent western food restaurants serving food so cheaply, I just havent been tempted to explore much of the local cuisine. Every day for lunch I eat that pork & rice dish from the small local restaurant on the corner of 136 & Angkor rd, one shop down from the entrance to Golden House. But aside from the bland lunches, I eat most of my breakfasts at Nordic House, which is next door to Amari where I'm staying & directly across from Gold House. I get a ham & cheese omelet with toast and an order of bacon on the side... runs me $5 and its very good and very filling. And for dinner most of the times I hit a restaurant on the Quay... or California 2... it usually runs me $8-$10 cuz I have a couple of beers with it.

    So generally speaking, I am able to eat in western places twice a day, having a few beers with dinner, and still be under $20. That's pretty damn cheap for vacation eats. Many times I dropped more than that on one meal in a very average western place in Thailand. So it is cheap to eat and drink here, but evidently not cheap to eat at home... and no more cheap to drink beers at home than it is in the bar. I guess that was the lesson I learned today...

    (differing opinions always welcome)

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    Thanks for the detailed information. I'm guessing Luckys and SmileMart are the shop equivalents of 7/11 & Familymart in Thailand ?. Are there plenty of them around ? Also wondering if eating/drinking in places right on the Quay is much more expensive than other bars/restaurants down the side streets away from the river ?. Thanks

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Lucky is more like a tesco express.. It's the one superstore style but not halfway close to being big enough to be a tesco lotus.. Smile and kiwi mart are both small convenience store franchises.

    The country is so under developed there's no supply chains, there's no home pro or tesco or any of them.. Hence lots of stuff costs more than here due to a lack of volume sales.. The first mega home supply store that sets up and s in bed with the powers that be will have 20 mega stores in 3 years.. That's the kind of edge it's on now, just ready to kick off and wide open for the right chains.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Ohh and food in and around the river.. Yes the small riverside zone has a price penalty and apart from metro and la coisette, maybe a lower quality.. But it's tourist zone..

    Places like comme la maison, Armand's, sonoma oyster, etc.. Have to stand out in quality and price.. There's no city in Asia where you can eat as well on such a budget IMO.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    ..

    Places like comme la maison.
    jeezus......that looks just about the perfect restaurant in my book! unpretentious decor, incredible looking food, great prices
    wow

  11. #11
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    So last night was my first positive experience in WalkAbout. I normally go there at least once every trip and I find it quite easy to mentally imagine the place as the fcuked up bar in Star Wars. There are some serious hags there most days... and that's just the expats. But occasionally I have spotted a cute one there and thought to myself "what hell are you doing here? Didnt you see the sign on the door that said no cute girls allowed!" Then in fine print at the bottom; "We will make exceptions in cases of missing appendages though". Anyway, there's a really crappy pool table that's about as even as the elections around here, but hey, at least there's a table... and cold bears and freaky semi-humans.

    I had no plans as I'd confused the timing of an important phone interview by one day. I didnt even realize I had my days off until around 8pm. So I cracked open a beer and sent a text to my buddy letting him know my phone interview wasnt until tomorrow night and we agreed to meet up at WalkAbout in an hour.

    As I said, he's a long time expat and he hangs around the nightlife pretty often. He knows (socially) two thirds of the girls in the FL scene, I'd say. I got there first and like any good western film, when ya walk in to W/A as a stranger, especially one with a distinct size disadvantage & no hope of making a quiet unnoticed entrance, all the chatter and noise drops significantly and most of the eyes in the place turn your way. Or, at least they all turned my way, which can be a little disconcerting. I walked to an open space by the bar and ordered a beer in the best low key way I can manage. That's a bit like saying "look at the low key bear on a bicycle", but work with me. Lots of eyes on me so I dont even turn around at first I just order my beer and pay and take a long slug. After a pause, I turn and put my back to the bar and face the room. Sure enough, most eyes are still on me. Maybe it was because I was the only guy there who seemed to enjoy the benefits of good hygiene. Or perhaps it was because I wasnt sporting a wife beater with a beer logo on it. Or maybe I'm totally confused and they were all watching because at any moment they expected me to start picking up the undersized Khmers nearest to me and start eating them Godzilla style.

    I bravely scanned the place and was surprised to actually see a cute girl there. She was a bit of a spinner type, which I generally try to avoid as I have one of those at home. But as happens more often than not, she just sat staring. It was a different gal that had the cajones to actually approach me & start speaking. She had a kind face and as I knew all the sharks eyes were on me, I interacted pleasantly... smiling, joking, even bought her a coke. The cute one looked on, the way a lioness looks at a zebra. She was studying my habits, getting to know her prey. The gal talking to me was enjoying her coke and smile but my assessment of was that I should pass... pleasant enough, but I was sure those ample bosoms would fall like The Hindenburg once unleashed from their lacy support system.

    Soon my buddy arrived and we shook hands, but he misread the situation and thought perhaps I was actually interested in zeppelin-girl. He wandered off after just a minute and went to the table where the cute one was. She was sitting at a table of 5 girls. I'd dubbed them The Get-a-long Gang in my head already, as they all obviously knew one another well. Within 10 seconds, he calls over to me "Hey man, this one is really into you!" (pointing to the cute one) as a way to slightly embarrass her. The get-a-long gang all laugh, I grin and then she looks at me and flashes a big grin as well... and then it hits me... who this chick reminds me of... she's the Khmer version of Bjork. Short, odd, but cute in her own way. Hmmm... this could be interesting.

    I eventually broke away from the gal who was brave enough to actually approach me and shot a round of pool. Whatever hope I may have had about looking like a confident, smooth criminal of a man were quickly dashed as I played the worst game of pool in my life. Ray Charles even said I looked terrible out there. I just smiled along anyway and sat down afterwards, drinking another beer and watching my betters play.

    Bjork hadnt lost interest though, despite my abysmal gaming performance. She kept looking over, yet she never built up the courage to approach. Yes, I know I could've done it, but I was having fun playing the cat and mouse game... that's the great benefit of living in SE Asia... when it comes gals, you generally dont care if it works out or not, there's always another bar and a flock of new potential bed warmers. So, I sat back with an inner grin and watched as Bjork looked over and looked over, struggling with whether she should come over and talk or not. Eventually my buddy said "Lets walk down to Sorya Mall and grab a table" and I agreed. As I left I waved at the original gal that approached me... lets face it, it takes a little guts to clumsily approach someone... probably more so when that someone (me) looks like they just stepped down from the Sgt at Arms position in the local Hell's Angels chapter. So I said bye to her and smiled. Then I gave a long slow wave to Bjork as we walked out, giving her eyes that said "I'm getting away... you gonna chase?"

    I noted that she noted that we didnt ride off in a tuk-tuk... we were walking just down the road to the mall... and I turned away, fully certain that it wouldnt be too long until she turned up at the mall and 'accidently' bumped into us there.


    To be continued... (I just realized I have to go to a dental appointment)

    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 3rd September 2013 at 16:55.
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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Dental appointment finished... gotta love good, modern dentists at 3rd world prices.

    So... carrying on... me and my buddy sit at a table. We are joined by a much older gal that he knows, who was actually one of the characters from the Star Wars miniverse of W/A Pub. She was definitely over 40, which isnt often easy to ascertain with SE Asian gals. But this one made it obvious by her generous application of clown-like amounts of make up. I began to secretly wonder if at bedtime she would just pull at one corner of it and it would come off all at once like a halloween mask. My buddy assured me that she'd been a vocal, active part of the FL scene in PP for over 12 years now... she was people who knew people, ya dig? I was pleasant with her and smiled, the way one might smile at a low level mafia boss. She was in decline, but still influential enough to cause serious headache for anyone who pissed her off. You could tell she was classy by the way she kept her iphone tucked into her bra strap, just past the tips of her blond(ish) hair that fell on her several gold necklaces. This one was not someone to cross.

    A few beers went down and sure enough, Bjork strolls by our table and smiles. She'd obviously scouted us from some distance, but acted surprised to see us sitting there right beside where she happened to be walking. Rather than call her out on the charade, I simply said "just sit with us". She looked hesitant... like I shouldnt have been that confident or direct. It was, after all, the first words we'd said- and it was she who was hunting me, right? To play nice, I offered her a drink. Now bear in mind, W/A and Sorya Mall are FL places, so there's no retardedly inflated 'ladydrink' prices... a drink is just a drink and only costs $1. She gets a coke as well, prompting the mental notion "wow, these girls dont tend to like to drink much, considering the line of work they're in", but hey, whatever makes her happy.

    As the serving gal brings the drink, I order another BeerLao and ask about the fried pork strips I'd seen them serve before. My buddy was the one who'd ordered it last time, but he'd just strolled across the road and into HoD for a quick whiz (their bathroom is actually much closer than the malls). So I explain what I want in clear, simple terms. The gal looks me right in the eyes and says she understands. I'm thinking I want some finger food to sit on the table and whoever wants to nibble can do so. I was a bit peckish, but not really hungry. It was more of a social gesture. Well 5 minutes later the serving gal plops down a plate in front of me with a pork steak and steamed vegetables on it. Hmmm... not exactly what I had in mind. I ate some of it anyway and just played it cool like that was what I'd intended all along.

    My buddy had come back and we were soon joined by another member of the get-a-long gang. I assumed this was probably the one Bjork got along with the best. We were all joking and the vibe was good. After an hour or so, my buddy peeled off and so did the other gal, leaving us to talk and decide if this was a done deal or not. She had passed all of my little tests thus far, but things can always spin off in a bad direction if you dont complete some basic interview questions before proceeding to the room. First off, I tend to prefer my room to be roughly the temperature of Hoth. When I'm at home, I make exceptions for the she-wok and it probably stays around 25C. But when I'm in a room alone, I like snow to be blowing out of the aircon... it gets some complaints, so I talk about it before hand in a joking way to see how they react. She was fine so long as the could have the big blanket. Fine by me, in my world blankets are for girls and Peanuts characters with thumb sucking issues.

    I asked if she was more interested in ST or LT, which got the always non-committal "up to you". I could tell by then though that there was a genuine interest on her part, so she was probably wanting LT, but was being polite and leaving the decision to me. I still live by the sage advice that Nels gave me very early on in my Thai time... 'choose from the gals that are choosing you'... I've never forgotten that. Those 8 words have probably avoided a shit ton of headache for me. Never chase and dont pick the girl who thinks she has the Arc of the Covenant between her legs. In the end, a vagina is a commodity... one that can be pretty much interchanged with any other one. It's who the gal is and how she interacts with you that's really going to dictate if you have a good time or not. So the best way to increase the likelihood of a mutually fun experience is to go home with someone who is genuinely wanting to be with you. Yes, this means I rarely go home with a 9 or 10, but I also dont have any bad stories of drama or headache.

    So I look at the time and it's just past midnight. I ask if she's an 'up all night person' like my buddy, who doesnt often head home before the sun starts shining again. She says "No, I like to sleep. If I dont find someone by 1 or 2 I go home alone and sleep". That's good, because my usual sleep time is around 11... so it's already feeling late for me. The interview completed, I ask if she's ready to head to my hotel. We didnt discuss pricing, but I felt confident I knew the acceptable range, and would make adjustments to what I planned on paying based on her performance.

    On the way home, she asked what my buddy had told me about her. I replied honestly that he'd said she'd been around about 4 or 5 months, then disappeared for a month or two, and now had only been back in PP for a week. He didnt know where she'd gone. She told me she had to go back to her village for 2 months to help her family and friends plant rice. I guess they all kind of help one another in her village and everyone gets their fields planted that way. The fact that she was willing to work that hard (planting rice aint no joke), wasnt wearing much make up, didnt have any gold, and no ink all kind of added up to this girl not being very hardened by the game yet. I asked her why she kept staring at me all night, but never did approach me. She said she liked me as soon as I walked into W/A (no ego boost, this is like winning a beauty contest Vs Frankenstein) but she didnt know what to say and was too nervous to talk much. Even when she first sat at the table with us at Sorya, she kept looking at me but not saying anything. At first I thought she either had Downs or simply didnt speak English, either of which would've meant a quick DQ. But no, she was apparently just a little nervous. Once again, to me this hinted at her not being the typical hardened gal one finds in the nightlife.

    I wont go into vivid details about the bedroom antics, save to say that it was mutually enjoyable. She slept under the blanket to ward off the blizzard blowing down on us and didnt complain at all. In the morning... well, 6 hours later, she woke me up for a much more perfunctory round 2 (cant blame her, I was still pretty tired too) before heading off to go sleep wherever it is she normally sleeps. My guess is that it's a much warmer place than where I sleep.

    And so an enjoyable experience was had with a WalkAbout girl. Never thought I'd end up taking a gal out of that place. But I had no complaints at all about Bjork. She was cool, fun, cute and had zero attitude. Probably only a 6-7 in most people's book, but personality is the ultimate trump card... and in that department, she was damn near girlfriend material. I'm staying in tonight as I have the afore mentioned phone interview, but perhaps I'll see her again in the next few coming nights. One never knows what'll happen here when they head out into the nightlife... and that's a lot of the appeal...
    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 3rd September 2013 at 18:15.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    I've often found the 6's and 7's that you click with can turn into 9's back in the loom, a much better result than a 9 in the bar turning into a 3 or a 4 once they get barfined.

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Interview was cancelled. Went to Cali 2 for dinner and a few beers. Shot a few rounds of pool with one of the girls there, trying to shake the rust off. Meeting my buddy at W/A in about 30 minutes. Probably wont take anyone tonight... not much feeling the need. Just wanting to chill out and socialize a little. Of course, things have a way of changing once you're out there...

  15. #15
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    jeezus......that looks just about the perfect restaurant in my book! unpretentious decor, incredible looking food, great prices
    wow
    A bit lower key than this is la marmite on 108 for French bistro type stuff with a good specials board.

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    Thanks for the answers on the shops question. Just wondering Warprofiteer how much you paid for your night with the Walkabout girl, as you didn't discuss money beforehand ?, and would she have stayed a lot longer if you wanted her to, or are PP girls keen to get away early in the morning ? . Obviously if you keep such details private, then no problem, I understand. Hope you enjoyed your trip again, & looking forward to reading more

  17. #17
    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    ^ $30-$35 is around the price for a LT with a W/A FL.....of course up to any punter what amount he feels is right

  18. #18
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    $30 and no complaints. She would've easily been multi-day GFE material if I wanted that. Due to the room temp, she was keen to go sleep where she usually slept, but she probably would've stayed if I wanted her to (and if I cut off the A/C). There was a good chemistry there. That's the key really... and the thing that makes every interaction between hunter & hunted unique... I cant say "girls in PP are looking for LT" or "girls want this much or that much"... I can only say how my interactions went. Your mileage may vary. Greatly.

    My buddy, a grizzled vet of this scene, had an instance recently of being told by a FL that $50 is the price for ST. He laughed it off and moved on quickly. If you put yourself in the position of not being able to lose... as in, you dont deeply care if any particular one wants to go or not... there are a thousand more where that came from, so never want it enough to make a bad decision... if you arent in a position to lose, then it's awful damn hard to lose. Even if you try several venues and either dont find what you want, or you maybe even get knocked back or told "hab period", dont let it matter much cuz tomorrow is a whole new night and it will likely be filled with all new opportunities.
    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 4th September 2013 at 06:41.

  19. #19
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Last night I was just a bit tired after dinner. Then I called the she-wok on Skype and continued to grow more sleepy. Finally I sent a text to my buddy saying I wasnt going to make it out. I'll probably head out after my interview tonight... only have tonight and tomorrow night left.

  20. #20
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Just to cover a few other subjects here...

    I went to the dentist yesterday. Cambodia has got to be the only country on the planet that I look forward to going to the dentist. The guy I go to here is certified to practice in Aus, Germany and the US, but practices here. His office is quite modern and he uses the most modern tools & techniques. I dare say, his office is probably better equipped and more modern than any I've seen in Thailand. He did a filling for me and explained that just in the last year the materials have changed and fillings are now white. So he did the new modern white filling for me and the whole visit ran a grand total of $25. I was quite pleased.

    I was going to get a crown done, and again he explained all the newest options and possibilities, but in the end he needed a full week to do it and I only had 3 days to give. I was unwilling to extend my visit for political concerns. He voiced the same concerns and said he'd arranged for a very early flight on the 7th to go to a dental conference in Malaysia. That said, the prices I've been quoted in Chiang Mai for the crown have ranged from 10K-15K, which is roughly half what it costs in the US. Maybe less. But here in PP the cost for the mid-grade option is half what it is in Chiang Mai, or roughly 20%-25% of US cost. So, its a definite bargain.

    [beware; abrupt subject change ahead]

    I feel a bit sorry for Cambodia in some ways... there is such an amazing potential for the future. With just some very basic changes to things, I feel they could overtake Thailand in a decade's time in terms of tourism income. That said, I dont think those changes will ever happen. The street beggars will not be discouraged from hassling tourists. People will continue to just drop trash wherever they feel like it and there will be no one to clean it up. There will continue to be near-zero investment in proper infrastructure and planning. It just sucks for this country as they are squandering their potential to be a really sought after tourist destination... they could use the money. Or, put more correctly, the avg Cambodian could use the money... the people running things seem to embezzle and cheat their way to millions and dont even have the common courtesy to not flaunt it by driving huge expensive cars.

    On a personal note, I am doing OK on my budget for this trip. I've blown it in every category except one; entertainment. I had budgeted for company up to 4 times... I've only indulged once. Admittedly, I still have tonight and tomorrow, but I think I'll be OK as I tend not to be a horn dog... 2 for a one week trip is still ok in my book. It's enough. Talk about your western problems, eh? "Oh gee, I only slept with 2 good looking women this week".

    *sadface.jpeg*

    Ok, enough for now... think I'll go shoot some pool at W/A... practiced for a few hours at Cali 2 and started to somewhat shoot in a non-embarassing way. I took on the best player of his staff (the shortest one, should you ever feel like a challenge) and had kept even with her until she started changing all the rules on me. I scratched, hitting one of her balls in while doing so and she proclaimed this gave her 4 shots. I understand the 2 shot rule for scratching, or knocking the other person's ball in, but I'd never heard of it being cumulative. Then, on the 2nd of her 4 shots, she scratched. She insisted this only made her lose 2 of her shots, so it was still her turn again. Somehow I ended up losing that game. Surprise. Then the next game I shot well, but missed on the 8. She then ran her 3 remaining balls and scratched. When I went to shoot on the 8 I purposely shot too softly so as to simply use the first for positioning to make the subsquent shot easy. After the first one I took, she informed me I had only one shot. This is the complete opposite of how I lost in W/A last time, where I was informed the 2 shot rule counts even on the 8 in Cambodia... I scratched and the other person didnt sink the 8 on the first try, but before I could stand, she walked over and took a second shot on it, knocking it in. Hmm... so which is it, is there 2 shots on the 8 or not? I didnt make a big deal of it... I was just there to shake the rust off anyway. Due to losing the last two games in questionable fashion,she finished ahead 5 games to 3.

    Anyway, yeah, gonna hit W/A for an hour or two now... do some people watching and play some pool to redeem myself.
    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 4th September 2013 at 17:26.

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