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Thread: How About Patong These Days?

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  2. #42
    Senior Member stupscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2 View Post
    ^ the only thing looking good there is the air quality - I'd rather go to Med Europe/Caribbean/Pacific US than see that overdeveloped shite (sorry Robaht).
    Air quality 555, someones forgotten the smell.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member Thin White Duke's Avatar
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    The two guys (mods can you believe it) who have been saying there is no Asian content....actually prefer the Med or the Caribbean over Patong.

    Lolzzz
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  4. #44
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robaht View Post
    It's a bit like the Pattaya vs. Patong debate of previous years. If you prefer beaches and that sort of thing, Patong is definitely not for you, Phuket has some places but again, if any development turns you off, then yeah, go somewhere else. For the older guys like Dawsey, K2, Captain, I can understand you just want some peaceful environment to read your newspapers and that you have moved on from a dynamic Phuket scene, for whatever reasons = did it, done it, too many people, too many buildings, too many hot young girls, etc., all cool. You've got the internet!

    Personally, I think it's still a lot of fun and I am not mired in the past. In fact, lots of things are better now than even 5 years ago~!!
    What would you consider better than 5 years ago?
    I was only in Patong for one night this last visit so I definitely can't give it an honest in-depth review.

    But I couldn't think of anything I saw that made me think it was better than 5 years ago.

    I was pleasantly surprised that the area around Patong Rd(The Nap and Aspery Hotel) and after that has not been negatively built up.

    My total thoughts:

    I thought Bangla Rd was way too overload. It just didn't seem to have a natural flow like before. I don't know if that makes sense.

    I liked Soi Freedom.....Felt a bit more wide and not as claustrophobic.
    I thought the beach looked nice and I liked the food area near Loma Park.

    Kamala, the main road through is way too busy these days but the village itself is still pretty cool.

    Nai Harn, Karon, and parts of Kata look untouched from years ago.

    All and all, besides the traffic I'd be happy to go back to Phuket and you can't beat the price of flights and how many there are

    But I definitely don't get that laid back vibe I once did.
    As Ao said......We lost our Samui relax 555

  5. #45
    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    What would you consider better than 5 years ago?
    I was only in Patong for one night this last visit so I definitely can't give it an honest in-depth review.

    But I couldn't think of anything I saw that made me think it was better than 5 years ago.

    I was pleasantly surprised that the area around Patong Rd(The Nap and Aspery Hotel) and after that has not been negatively built up.

    My total thoughts:

    I thought Bangla Rd was way too overload. It just didn't seem to have a natural flow like before. I don't know if that makes sense.

    I liked Soi Freedom.....Felt a bit more wide and not as claustrophobic.
    I thought the beach looked nice and I liked the food area near Loma Park.

    Kamala, the main road through is way too busy these days but the village itself is still pretty cool.

    Nai Harn, Karon, and parts of Kata look untouched from years ago.

    All and all, besides the traffic I'd be happy to go back to Phuket and you can't beat the price of flights and how many there are

    But I definitely don't get that laid back vibe I once did.
    As Ao said......We lost our Samui relax 555
    Better than 5 years ago? Up to you....

    If I were doing the exact same things I was 5-10 years ago, I'd have to say no, but I can't name a single place in Thailand that is really. If all I cared about was drinking and mongering like another two week millionaire, I probably would have moved on. Patts is probably better, but I don't care for the place at all. It's a one dimensional town with a sucky beach, but if you never leave the bar or your room, who cares? Truth is, I'm not the same guy I was then, and the things that keep me here are different from the things that brought me here.

    Today I'm not just here on a blowout mongers holiday, I'm a local resident, a property owner, a neighbor, and a friend. We love Patong because it offers so much of what makes us happy in a very convenient package. We actually LIKE the pulse, and vibrancy of the vitality of a town that's always moving. From our condo overlooking Patong bay, we can walk 100 meters out the Soi to the beach, where our local Burmese crew will have our umbrella up in seconds on the best patch. We can walk (if we chose) over to the Big C or our gym (we use the gym at the Yorkshire) in 5 minutes, or stop and talk to our friends from shops and businesses along the way. Life is different when you live somewhere and aren't in a hurry. People treat you differently when you've become part of the fabric, not just part of the breeze. Patong has a reputation, but it's underpinned by a whole community of people... People worth getting to know. Life's different when you invest something of yourself in it.

    For us, Patong offers a great mix of things that we probably could't find anywhere else in the same place. We have access to all the modern conveniences and international goods, we have a dandy beach right out the front door, but with the ability to get in the car and get to any other beach (some of which are admittedly nicer) on the island in less than an hour. We have a rich mixture of friends, both Thai and international (two of our best friends are actually couples composed of western WOMEN married to Thai men), a fantastic tropical climate, a good international airport with lots of flight choices for easy in and out, incredible access to great food and fun, all wrapped up in sabai sabai....

    Are there difficulties, sure, same as anywhere in Thailand... Do things cost more here? Yes, but that's because people will pay more to be here rather than Nakorn Nowhere... If jungle solitude is your thing, go for it, but it's not for me. Public transport and taxi mobs? yeah, you need your own transport... But there is a good baht bus going east/west to Phuket Town, just not north/south.

    It seems to me it's all a matter of fit. It depends on what you want. If all you care about is the cheapest densest mongering opportunity, then go to Patts. If you're looking for something more quiet and laid back, take it up to Kamala or Surin Beach. Looking for something more "real", and don't care about the beach? Chiang Mai is a great city... Up to you.

    For us, as residents, as a home, Patong offers a great combination of a whole lot of things. Is it for everybody? Probably not. Is it the best at anything? who knows... It's really popular to decry Patong is dead, or it's not as good as it used to be, but I think that's a vast oversimplification and is largely spewed by people who don't live here or who had the best times of their life here years ago and are still chasing that same newbie mongers high. It's just like a junkie is still trying to relive that first magic experience, you can only have it once. After that, it's different and hopefully you are too.

    It's all a matter of what you want.
    "They got the metric system over there… they wouldn't know what the fcuk a quarter-pounder is…"

  6. #46
    Senior Member Thin White Duke's Avatar
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    Great post

  7. #47
    Senior Member Petter's Avatar
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    For the older guys like Dawsey, K2, Captain,and the Kamala Dart club boys


    Yea i more and more se how we all have changed,time flies and we go in all directions,what was fun and interesting ten years ago isn't necessary top of the pops today ,
    Nobody is a social drinker. Everybody drinks to get drunk. I mean, nobody drinks 10 pints of coke in a night

  8. #48
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    I still enjoy Samui more now because the pace is slower but I think Phuket is much more beautiful overall than Samui
    I always thought Samui should put much more effort into linking internally.. OK the Lamai to Mae Nam dirt track is being made a rd finally, but a few 100m addition to that would be linking Chaweng and same goes with heading east to Lipa Noi / Nai Thon.. I think the beauty is there but the focus on only having a ring Rd and that road being so highly developed / clustered kind of held back higher up seaview development like Jungle club.

    Reality is Jungle club is just a few 100m from the ridgeline to the back of lamai.. Putting some links through would have made much more village connections.
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  9. #49
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    First off.. Great post and great that it fits your needs..

    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    Today I'm not just here on a blowout mongers holiday, I'm a local resident, a property owner, a neighbor, and a friend. We love Patong because it offers so much of what makes us happy in a very convenient package. We actually LIKE the pulse, and vibrancy of the vitality of a town that's always moving. From our condo overlooking Patong bay, we can walk 100 meters out the Soi to the beach, where our local Burmese crew will have our umbrella up in seconds on the best patch. We can walk (if we chose) over to the Big C or our gym (we use the gym at the Yorkshire) in 5 minutes, or stop and talk to our friends from shops and businesses along the way. Life is different when you live somewhere and aren't in a hurry. People treat you differently when you've become part of the fabric, not just part of the breeze. Patong has a reputation, but it's underpinned by a whole community of people... People worth getting to know. Life's different when you invest something of yourself in it.
    That was the thing for me tho.. After 9 years on Phuket I was still an outsider, your still the farang for the gouge, you still rank lower than the taxi driver who arrived last weekend.. Sure you may know a bunch of people, but the system is set up to extract value from the visitors and no matter what you do you fall into that category. Dont think thats true, park your car for 5 minutes in front of the taxi rank.

    That inability to integrate was one of the primary factors that soured me there.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    I always thought Samui should put much more effort into linking internally.. OK the Lamai to Mae Nam dirt track is being made a rd finally, but a few 100m addition to that would be linking Chaweng and same goes with heading east to Lipa Noi / Nai Thon.. I think the beauty is there but the focus on only having a ring Rd and that road being so highly developed / clustered kind of held back higher up seaview development like Jungle club.

    Reality is Jungle club is just a few 100m from the ridgeline to the back of lamai.. Putting some links through would have made much more village connections.
    agree with what you say...but linking up ridges here through gullies is a pretty decent engineering job...takes a lot of time and money...roads have to be used and maintained or they turn back to jungle pretty quickly...for example the ridge road that runs past the golf course there in "front" of the Jungle Club ridge is pretty much impassable again after all the rain we have had recently on all but a "scrambler"

    I'm just about to head out on the 'southern mountain road" with Irish Joe (Joe Guevara from in here and PI) for a ride...that one heads over the mountain on a south ridge which runs from Wat Kunararm on the ring road(turn right) and heads up na muang road to the waterfalls (past the elephant treckers where you, me, Bee and Nid took a ride a long time back) then follows on past The Buddha Magic Garden down past the airforce base to the ring road at the chevvy Dealer...just short of The main turn off into Lipa Noi there...its my favourite "off the beaten" road here these days now that Lamai/Mae Nam mountain road is so "roadish"..its easily done on a PCX or even a bigger bike/scooter but hits a few very potholed sections...views of the southern islands are superb though

    If you take the other Track/road from Lamai behind my place up to the "Buddha on the Mountain" Temple there is a ridge road that runs behind the temple and joins up with the "southern mountain road' at The Secret Buddha Garden...I've tried to get across that one but it wasn't doable for me on a PCX...maybe bring one of your dirt bikes down with you next time and give that one a crack

    BTW you will be pleased to hear that "Gecko Club" is up and running again this season...they've had a few big name-ish international DJs here during the past month
    Last edited by nelsonone; 31st January 2017 at 11:35.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    First off.. Great post and great that it fits your needs..



    That was the thing for me tho.. After 9 years on Phuket I was still an outsider, your still the farang for the gouge, you still rank lower than the taxi driver who arrived last weekend.. Sure you may know a bunch of people, but the system is set up to extract value from the visitors and no matter what you do you fall into that category. Dont think thats true, park your car for 5 minutes in front of the taxi rank.

    That inability to integrate was one of the primary factors that soured me there.
    I could not disagree with you on any of this, it's all true. I think where people differ is in there ability to deal with their "position" in society, or lack thereof. No farang can ever be a part of Thai society. We can be tolerated because of what we bring (money or security), but we can never have position. We can never be included or important. The question is, how do we deal with that? For me, I can accept having a place within an "international" community, and that's enough. FWIW, I'm much more likely to have an honest "deep" conversation with a Burmese person than with a Thai... I mean hopes, dreams and fears kind of stuff... Thais have too much face in the game. No, I'll never be integrated in a purely Thai society, but I think it's possible to be liked, and well regarded.

    I'm curious about how living in Chiang Mai vs. Phuket has made a difference in how "integrated" you feel vis-a-vis Thai society
    "They got the metric system over there… they wouldn't know what the fcuk a quarter-pounder is…"

  12. #52
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonone View Post
    maybe bring one of your dirt bikes down with you next time and give that one a crack
    Actually told myself that after last trip down.. if coming in the truck why not bring a bike.. Open street map shows a few dirt trails networking up that I dont think I have done on a scoot.

    Was only trying to say that I dont think its the lack of beauty. more the lack of accessibility to it.. Where theres roads rambling about into Nai Harn and people have been trecking down to Promthrep cape etc for decades..

    BTW you will be pleased to hear that "Gecko Club" is up and running again this season...they've had a few big name-ish international DJs here during the past month
    Yeah saw they have been making a few FB updates after a long period of radio silence.
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  13. #53
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    I could not disagree with you on any of this, it's all true. I think where people differ is in there ability to deal with their "position" in society, or lack thereof. No farang can ever be a part of Thai society. We can be tolerated because of what we bring (money or security), but we can never have position. We can never be included or important. The question is, how do we deal with that? For me, I can accept having a place within an "international" community, and that's enough. FWIW, I'm much more likely to have an honest "deep" conversation with a Burmese person than with a Thai... I mean hopes, dreams and fears kind of stuff... Thais have too much face in the game. No, I'll never be integrated in a purely Thai society, but I think it's possible to be liked, and well regarded.
    Agree on both parts..

    The deeper discussions (my 2nd from last language tutor a great exception but she stopped doing lessons due to having a baby.. She was great and able to joke about Thainess or even commiserate with Thai things without taking offence with her being Thai.. She could agree 'yes thats annoying and Thai people do that a lot' without being defensive like your accusing her of the thing.. Very rare and was really beneficial for me to talk through ideas, she was also a great teacher) as you say often seem to come more easily with other asian immigrants..

    Secondly we will always be outside but its how much that effects interactions thats different..


    I'm curious about how living in Chiang Mai vs. Phuket has made a difference in how "integrated" you feel vis-a-vis Thai society
    On Phuket, I always felt I was tolerated as a source of income.. Even the Thais I might interact with socially, in bars, in basically transaction type settings, were there and interacting because they made money that way.. The feeling was if they had money, they wouldnt choose to be there.. The entire eco system of a community thats based on tourism and most have come there because they heard there was money to be made, is one where locals extract money from visitors.. And no matter how recent an arrival a Thai was they were local, and no matter how long you were there you were still the visitor. I think thats true in Pattaya too and mostly true in Samui (or hua hin) but theres still a lot more leftover local families where the 'just arrived to make money from whitey' isnt the sole and only driver of why they are there and why you are interacting. On Phuket if you took out the women who you knew from bars, and the female partners of mates, or thier friends.. You could go a very long time without having a conversation that wasnt based on a sale or a job.

    In Chiang Mai they have a normal economy, sure theres tourism as a component of the economy, but its still surrounded by farming and agriculture, by manufacturing and doing stuff.. Their kids are going to school and uni, they have hopes and aspirations bigger than finding an older farang to take care.. Also we are a smaller part of the population, so businesses are catering mostly to thai locals and only sometimes to us. That has aspects which are hard (communication and the usual expectations v thai service being one) but it keeps the economy and way your dealt with sort of grounded. You may well still get a 10% price gouge, but not the 100%, more often than not your treated with curiosity. I would class it more like Phuket Thais treat non local Thais, how I get treated up here.. Not as preferential as someone talking local dialect, but not in any measurable negative also.. Theres also times when I receive better than local treatment, the extra scoop at the food cart, fussed over and the fan pointed at me by the old granny fussing about etc, theres sometimes (not always of course) the little extra respect given to westerners, thats especially true outside of town.

    Northern and southern Thais are really different in social interaction too.. Northerners are much less pushy, blunt, are softer and gentler, more polite and patient by a huge margin. After a while up here its a bit shocking to be in southern Thailand again and Northern Thais will all grin and joke if that comes up. They get shocked by southerners too. I know you know this, but southern Thais are blunt and sometimes scammy with each other, its not only a Thai/farang thing its partly a southern hot head thing. I have had Thais up north tell me they dont like it or dont want to go back down south because they felt ripped off, which we would say is because we were farang, but its just the differences.

    Also, I live in a village outside of Chiang Mai by a decent way now. First place was a moobaan setup, so walled off from each other a bit more but now in a really roosters and birdcall village situation. People here are super nice to me, smiles, waves (I ride a mountain bike most mornings so they all see me about) and shouted hellos from some.. To not be acknowledged and greeted even if its just a sheepish grin is unusual. In that way people are much more friendly superficially than they are in an english town. Of course the flipside is everyone knows everyones business, if I was dragging bar brass back home at 3am the whole village would know before I woke up. I grew up in a village, and I am not dragging brass back here these days anyway so that kind of community feeling isnt a problem. I have never heard of a crime happening in the area, despite there being some very grand homes and multi millionaire farangs in the area, thats part of village life. I dont go and sit having a chang at the village store of an evening, I wont pretend to be close friends with my neighbours like that, but I dont feel any kind of resentment / jealousy / unwelcoming attitudes at all. I am not Thai, but I dont feel that has negatives, on Phuket I wasnt Thai, and that meant I was second class in many things.

    Also theres lots of scope to have common interests, Thais ride in enduro groups, Thais ride trials, Thais do 4x4 adventures, Thais go camping, in all of these clubs and situations your welcome, lots of the hobbys and interest things allow much more normal social hanging out. I was camping a couple of weeks ago, and spent the whole night hanging out with a whole gang of folks from the next tents and campfire, sharing drinks and food, laughing and playing with my dog, just kinda normal.. If only my Thai was more fluent I would feel that was as normal an integration vibe as I could imagine, its my own limitations which stops me integrating more not any distance from locals.
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  14. #54
    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I've always liked the vibe in Chiang Mai, but not been able to put a finger on why exactly, other than the fact that it's a "real" town, populated for the most part by real people, and exists for reasons outside of separating foreigners from their money.. I've also never spent more than about 2 weeks there in a stretch. I'm truly grateful to you for sharing those insights. There's a lot to reflect on there.

    I've never had a Thai actually joke with me about "Thainess", usually they'll just kind of shrug their shoulders as if to say "you wouldn't understand", but the real meaning is much deeper, and more evasive than explanatory.
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    "They got the metric system over there… they wouldn't know what the fcuk a quarter-pounder is…"

  15. #55
    Senior Member sundancekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    I could not disagree with you on any of this, it's all true. I think where people differ is in there ability to deal with their "position" in society, or lack thereof. No farang can ever be a part of Thai society. We can be tolerated because of what we bring (money or security), but we can never have position. We can never be included or important. The question is, how do we deal with that? For me, I can accept having a place within an "international" community, and that's enough. FWIW, I'm much more likely to have an honest "deep" conversation with a Burmese person than with a Thai... I mean hopes, dreams and fears kind of stuff... Thais have too much face in the game. No, I'll never be integrated in a purely Thai society, but I think it's possible to be liked, and well regarded.
    Really good posts on the subject I thought. Going on 14 years living in Phuket now, and I'm actually getting more and more comfortable each year. Which can be a bad thing as well 555.

    But better internet, better electricity (I live inside the Kamala village 555), better choice of food etc. etc. I can only pinpoint a few episodes where I've had serious problems living here, but then Thais have been stepping up beyond what one could have expected. Perhaps not as real friends, or deep philosophical discussions... but I am perfectly content with my current situation. Same as you. I have access to an amazing island, when it comes to food, beaches, or bars or whatever else I could desire. Easy access to others parts of the world as well. Whatever rights or recognition I do not have I choose to disregard.

  16. #56
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    Wow, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I've always liked the vibe in Chiang Mai, but not been able to put a finger on why exactly, other than the fact that it's a "real" town, populated for the most part by real people, and exists for reasons outside of separating foreigners from their money.. I've also never spent more than about 2 weeks there in a stretch. I'm truly grateful to you for sharing those insights. There's a lot to reflect on there.

    I've never had a Thai actually joke with me about "Thainess", usually they'll just kind of shrug their shoulders as if to say "you wouldn't understand", but the real meaning is much deeper, and more evasive than explanatory.
    I need to have connections where I live but maybe you can't ever really get that living outside the west?
    But maybe Thais don't value that at all because in our apartment building in Vancouver I know a bunch of people whereas my wife doesn't talk to anyone, and she is not an unfriendly person

    Me and LIL were in Luang Prabang and I went to the little local store near our hotel for an ice cream...........I ended up sitting with 3 Lao guys and having 4/5 beers and having a real legitimate conversation
    Something I have never had with a Thai in all my years in Thailand

    Although I do have decent conversations with my BIL's but they are limited in scope

    Also, I wonder if I lived in Thailand, and had my stepson and a young child that you'd make friends through their schooling as parents do here?

  17. #57
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    Wow, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I've always liked the vibe in Chiang Mai, but not been able to put a finger on why exactly, other than the fact that it's a "real" town, populated for the most part by real people, and exists for reasons outside of separating foreigners from their money.. I've also never spent more than about 2 weeks there in a stretch. I'm truly grateful to you for sharing those insights. There's a lot to reflect on there.
    Chiang Mai is in a very rare situation, where I can easily obtain every imported rarity I might think of, superb coffee beans, imported olives, stilton cheeses, etc etc.. And yet its still not tourism dominated, especially when you move to even the edge of town. I can also do all kinds of project stuff (fabrication welding painting, etc services) that only a big city would provide. Its got a balance I would find very hard to replicate any where else in the country.

    It doesnt have a beach.. Its tourist attractions lean more asian (temples etc) and are more country / rural like waterfalls and mountains than postcard palm trees etc.. If it had the beach, it would have become a pattaya city.. What it lacks, is kind of what has made it the more normal place it is. Its also 'me', if I came to Thailand and came initially to CNX it would be too slow, I would need the bar scene, nightlife and gogos for a time to get burnt out on it and make all the mistakes myself.. I wouldnt appreciate how nice the people are, without realizing that Thais are quite different. I had to have the decade in the hustle and neon, to know that as fun as it was with the hilltop villa, bar fining entire gogos, and a low key drug addiction it would kill me trying to keep up with it 5 nights a week now. Its me thats changed as much as places have.

    I've never had a Thai actually joke with me about "Thainess", usually they'll just kind of shrug their shoulders as if to say "you wouldn't understand", but the real meaning is much deeper, and more evasive than explanatory.
    Agree... And not only that but beyond being able to merely recognize it, but also to recognize it as a reality, to hear and outsiders frustrations with it, but then not take the negative as a personal, given how 'thainess' is drummed into them as being so high and mighty at all stages of life..

    In fact that was something my tutor talked about a lot, how cultural identity is drummed into them, she was very open and had great examples, as school kids trying to out shout each other to sing the national anthem as the loudest person was the most patriotic and thainess = best etc.. Those lessons taught a lot more than just language stuff.
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  18. #58
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Me and LIL were in Luang Prabang and I went to the little local store near our hotel for an ice cream...........I ended up sitting with 3 Lao guys and having 4/5 beers and having a real legitimate conversation
    The fact you were stumbling about at 2am drunk looking for an ice cream says all you need to know about the depth of that conversation dude..
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  19. #59
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    The fact you were stumbling about at 2am drunk looking for an ice cream says all you need to know about the depth of that conversation dude..
    Only time I think I was drunk in LP was the last night when Mr Big Shot was buying bottles of wine without looking at the prices 555

    And the fact you don't remember I gave you my MB key, your err too!

  20. #60
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Sneaky french moustache stitched me up there I admit !!

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