06 November 2007

Chiang Mai details

Accomodation

I staid in Novotel which is located north of town, in a rather trite area but very convenient to one of the two gay districts in Chiang Mai. The area is somewhat out of town but there is a Tops supermarket next door - but not the bike shop I had hoped for. Novotel arranges a free shutttle to and from the Night Bazaar at night, do not forget to reserve.
I had no problem bringing guests to my room ; I only regretted that the bell boys and other male staff members had to wear a ridiculous uniform making them look like residents of a psychiatric hospital, they seemed really cute and smiling but this outfit was a complete turn-off.
You will get a good deal booking through their website with their "City Breaks" rates (no change, no cancellation, minimal stay 2 nights) : I paid 1080 THB/night, breakfeast and taxes included, no joiner fee.

Moving around

In fact moving around in Chiang Mai is not really convenient, so I think staying within walking distance of one of the two gay areas is a must. From Novotel you can walk very easily to the Chang Phuak gay bars (Freeguys, Doy Boy and Circle) ; for Golden Ball, My Way and the massage places in the area, you will have to walk for about 15 minutes along streets where you will be the only pedestrian : it seems that in Chiang Mai everyone was born with a motorbike between his/her legs ... can be annoying especially at night fall.
It could be difficult to find one's way at night, so better check the area out during daytime on the first day. You can always ask for tuk-tuks to bring you if you are lazy or fear the trafic (there is always one in front of the hotel, asking for the usual - outrageous - Chiang Mai prices).

Golden Ball Restaurant

This would be one of the three must-go gay places in Thailand if you ask me. First of all the food is really delicious, I was especially impressed by the freshness of the meat, and this for very low prices. Then there is the all-male staff, more than ten young and cute northern boys eager to chat with you, and that you can off if you want to know one better. Golden Ball is a little bit difficult to spot at night, go to their website and print the Google map they offer, it could help you (although Google is not the best for its maps ...). This is an open-air place that you will perhaps find a little bit untidy at first sight, but the atmosphere is really unique. Choose a place in the middle of the yard, or you won't be able to look at all the boys.
This concept of restaurant with offable waiters seems to spread in Thailand as I have been said there is currently similar places in Phrae and in Sukhothai.

Golden Ball website (which also has up-to-date information about Chiang Mai) : 
http://www.radchada.com/

Chang Phuak bars

Freeguys is for me by far the better place although they charge Bangkok-like prices (200 THB for one drink). It is supposed to open at 20.00 but you will not really see the boys before the beginning of the show at 22.30 ; the show - mostly by the boys - is quite interesting although on the raunchy side if you like it. The boys are known to be 18/22 y.o cute boys from the North with seemingly many thai yai lads.
Doi Boy is more quiet with only 8 boys on the day I went, mostly ordinary guys. Do not come before 22.00, when they begin the show - which is in fact gogo dancing.
Circle Pub seems to appeal more to thai customers, it is more a host bar with a somewhat stilted atmosphere.
Garden Bar (near Lotus Hotel) : typical beer bar where I did not go very often ; never saw any hustler there.
New My WayA little bit further than the other bars ; I could not go there but read that they have cute but pushy boys.

Night Bazaar Bars

Behind the Night Market and D 2 Hotel, a row of small beer bars that you will spot from the numerous motorcycles parked in front : Secrets, C U and Cruise on the left, Dragon King and Cream on the right ; toilets at the far end of the alley.
The boys here are mostly hustlers from Burma and of dubious age, who go from one bar to another when they do not play billiards in the two front bars. A delight for the eyes, especially when you find yourself face to face with a gorgeous 16 y.o burmese cutie in the toilets - you have really to keep control on yourself in hot situations like this ... I did.
It seems the place is patronized mostly by regular customers (not all being decrepit retired guys ...), and in fact I had the impression that the boys were not really interested by new-comers - probably because they know well that tourists cannot bring them to their hotels. So I guess you need time to get accustomed to the place. I still have to understand if the toilets could provide a provisional shelter for further activities, but I doubt it as the place looks like a trap in case of police check.
I offed a 22 y.o Thai Yai who explained me how he had to hide from the soldiers in his village, located near the Chinese border (three days needed from Mae Sai ...) ; good sex, nice attitude and great personality.

Climbing Wall bars

A cluster of open-air beer bars which are Friendhip, MTVee, Paradise Bar, Cupid Bar and Chez Nous. No freelancers here but waiters that can be offed, so a less commercial atmosphere than in the Night Bazaar row. Most of the bars seemed very quiet except Paradise Bar.
The boys there are definitely older and more feminine than elsewhere in Chiang Mai.

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