31 October 2010

Adventures on isaan roads

Male students in Ubon Ratchathani
Street scene in Ubon Ratchathani

Naklua’s suggestion was a great one. I went to this small place called Black Beans (which reminds something not very poetical relating to gay sex). I had never read anything about it in any webboard but my official tuk tuk driver knew everything about gay places in Ubon. This is a karaoke bar located almost next door to Krung Thong Hotel in downtown Ubon. There is a bunch of about eight to ten lads on duty, and once again I was surprised by their high level of cuteness. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that some seemed to be rather on the young side. I took a 22 y/o student coming from Loei Province which proved to be an excellent partner for the night.

So that leaves us with the coyotee bar, the karaoke bar, and also two places where gay people go : one near Laithong Hotel and the other out of town (sorry I do not know more) – more than you could expect for what is usually labelled as a gay desert. And I do not count the mysterious house of boys that no one wants to tell about …

As for praticalities, Ubon is a big town but they have a very easy bus system and tuk-tuks can be found everywhere ; I staid in Nevada Grand Hotel (now Ubon International Hotel) which was nice despite showing its age, and within walking distance to Famous Bar. However the neighbouring Nevada Complex is now almost empty so I guess this is not any more the place to find boys at night.

Mukdahan Tower
Mukdahan Tower
My trip to Mukdahan was quite uneventful except for the fact that in these days of end of school holidays, busses and stations were filled to overflowing with pretty young things getting back to their universities. Mukdahan was another of these towns I would call John Deere Buri but with nice views over the Mekong as a premium. Strangely enough, the banks were almost deserted at night. One night was enough.

The trip to Udon was along a 2nd class bus and for more than five hours, it could have been a nightmare because the bus was more than full. I was lucky enough to get one of the last seats, about 20 other travellers had to stand for 2 hours until we could reach Sakhon Nakhon.

I was sitting on the back seat, trapped between an elederly monk and two students who shared the same seat, one sitting between the wide opened legs of the second.... You can imagine that the trip was a complete dream, and I had no qualms about pressing my leg towards the boy's in order to give as much space as possible to the monk, of course out of respect for him. The latter seemed to apreciate it as he suddenly tied a band around my wrist. This happened exactly when we were entering the That Phanom district, and this is where my boyfriend's favourite wat is located.

29 October 2010

Wild Ubon Ratchathani

I am now beginning my second and last night in Ubon Ratchathani and I love to be here. First of all what I see all the day long is most pleasing to the eye, and if some Pattaya residents are asking where the beautiful boys are, well I guess there is a fair share left here in Isaan. Moreover the whole town exudes a wild atmosphere and at night the streets belong to young motorists all more handsome one than another... is it because helmets are a totally unknown thing here, is it because of the persistant wind ? Anyway I really feel like being in the Far West here.

Thung Si Muang park in Ubon Ratchathani
Thung Si Muang park in Ubon Ratchathani
However the official gay scene is rather limted ; my first visit was for the so-called "Famous Bar", which claims itself as a gay bar but is rather a boys bar with an unusual format ; they have six to eight boys acting both as waiters and coyotee dancers ; both women and gays come here but what I mainly saw was women yelling at the boys who of course are more interested in them than in older farangs ... This bar is located behind the former bus station which is now known as Talaat Hok (market number 6), along Chayangkhun Road (the big road towards Amnat Charoen). Things begin to liven up at midnight. Despite one of the boys here being what most would call an absolute stunner, I did not stay there. In fact I quickly realised that he was probably beyond reach, and so I had to look elsewhere - sorry cannot tell more.

This night I will try the suggestion by Naklua (see comment in last post), and also see whether there are some hustlers near the park ; to-morrow it will be a short bus ride to Mukdahan where there will probably be not much to report about.

27 October 2010

On the move

After one week in Pattaya, I am now entering the second part of my trip, the one which usually leaves me the best and most vibrant memories. This is the ten days or so when I travel to places I know little or nothing about.

Hua Hin beach and boy
Hua Hin Beach
I have just come back from a one-day escape to Hua Hin where I like to go every second or third year. This is mainly because I like the quiet atmosphere of the place, and also as Hua Hin was the first area I went aside from the usual Bangkok-Pattaya pair. I had a nice chat in the old Red Indian Bar with a cool guy from Chonburi and then headed for the new Little Choices Bar ; about five or six guys there, but I could not scrutinise them as much as I would have liked, because one preyed on me and did not stop talking. When he finally left, the brown-skinned young guy I had noticed at first had disappeared.

I gave the almost next-door Guyz Bar a miss as there was no boy sitting in front, and went then to another bar that the Chonburi guy had told me about - and I had never heard of this place before, though it is open since three or four months. It is called SM Bar but has nothing to do with what you could imagine. This bar is located on the south side of Chomsin Road, west of the railway (about 400 m from the level crossing) and it is just an ordinary bar and massage with five boys ; as it was beginning to rain, I stayed there more than I had thought and with the influence of numerous Chang beers, I finished the evening with one of the waiters in the so-called massage room.

All in all a nice but short stay in Hua Hin where I found more masculine boys than before, and where I always promise to myself that I should stay longer next time. The hotel I staid was a steal with big clean quiet rooms, a pool and one of the best locations in town (close to the gay bars) for only 980 THB.

To-morrow will be another day and atmosphere with a flight to Ubon Ratchathani where I will have two days to explore the town - at least the still not flooded areas.

24 October 2010

New stage

When you think you know all the best places in Thailand, you just wait for another year and everything will be changed.

So if you want to be in the know now in Pattaya, you will have to bring your friends to Tamnan Chon (on Pattaya 3 close to new Hollywood) which is the newest place to go for a nice evening. You only have to love thai music, and you will listen to three or four bands singing luk thung, as well as string with intervals for dancing : a modern version of Tamnan Isan or Sri Saket with good eating, sturdy wooden tables and chairs, and the usual good service. No coyotee boys however. The time just seemed to fly when I went there with Tam and four of his friends (allowing him to gain more face in the same time). What I liked most was listening at all the audience singing together when the band suddenly stopped singing : this was in tune, enthusiastic, and very impressive. In fact it is in these moments that I understand why I love Thailand - and do not ask me why, I could not answer.

Tamnan Chon in Pattaya
Tamnan Chon in Pattaya

My first stay in Pattaya is now coming to an end, and I can only report of the few bars I went in ; as usual in Boyztown, Funny Boys still has a very welcoming staff, and boys mostly to my taste unlike most other bars in the area. Besides this, I could find the new bar that  the former Street Boy owner has bought : it is called David, a big place with white colour as the theme. They should open before the end of this month in Pattayaland on the same side as Cupidol and Sawatdee.

I had five great days in Pattaya with lots of sun in Jomtien, not to many people on the beach or on the streets ; sure things will have changed when I will come back in two weeks. For now it will be a mix of Bangkok and Hua Hin with a trip to Isan, the only fear being of course the huge flood that are now hurting so many people in the country. A good news being that I will be on my own after one week with Tam ... not that I do not like being with him but having a full freedom is not so bad either.

21 October 2010

Awkward

Thai boy on the beach
For our second night in Bangkok, Tam and me went for a drink in City Walk, a rather out-of-the way place (near Saranrom Palace) ; not a lot of customers but we went probably too early. Too early as well for having a chance to find boys hustling along the streets. However I could see two of them sitting on a bridge rail and they were handsome enough to justify a further trip there. We also went to some other Saphan Khwai bars, mainly to the famous "Charmming" which had been falsely announced as closed. However there were not a lot of boys sitting there, but all of them as cute as usual.

Tam is now with me in Pattaya, which has prevented me so far to make some detailed exploration. However I saw enough to say I now realize that what had been said on the boards is not completely false. Yes there are still a lot of people in Sunee but when you come only once a year you can immediately notice how many bars have closed, how much they are missed in the scene, and also how much arabic places slowly invade the area. And I think that without all the boys that used to roam along the sois, the atmosphere is not quite the same as before - even if I would not have only spoken to anyone of them.

Speaking of questionable boys, I found myself in a very awkward situation in Jomtien when a -legal- seller came to sit with me, as we know each other since two years. All of a sudden he left to another customer leaving me with his young brother (13 y/o but looking only 10). And this boy was innocently sitting near me, making himself at home, sipping his Cola and lazily stretching his legs. Ten minutes seemed like one full hour. The fact that I felt so uncomfortable during this time tells a lot about the present hysteria about underage boys whom we should avoid as if they were plague-stricken people.

18 October 2010

Gift

Thai boy ready for more
Christmas arrived yesterday and I got what I had craved for : being able to have once again a one month stay in Thailand.

It took a long time however as I had chosen to leave home early so that I could have a little time in Zurich.  I used it for strolling about in downtown where there are some gay bars - mostly one where I met another thai boy many years ago. I had been brought there by the first thai guy I met in Geneva ; as he had to go to Zurich, I proposed myself to take him with my car and when he brought me in Carousel bar, my jaw dropped at seing three or four asian boys waiting for a customer. I think this is one of the places which made me decide to go to Thailand as soon as possible, and this changed my life.

Thai guys have now left the Carousel Bar since many years, and I still have to find where they have gone. Hustlers are now mainly east-europeans and mostly gypsies ; I love their dark skin and their manly attitude but I would not be confident enough to take one, let alone having a holiday in Romania …

Swiss being what they are known for, my flight arrived just in time in Bangkok, and after a 15 minutes waiting for immigration and another 15 minutes for luggage, I arrived in my nest in Saphan Kwai one hour and a half after landing, which was not too bad. Of course having left the debilitating pace of everyday life for a one month interval, makes delays and wastes of time much more bearable.

Tam had left his work in a Pattaya hotel and come and see me in Bangkok, and we spent the evening together … not that this was the way I had imagined for my first night in Bangkok as I like to be alone as much as possible, but he is my boyfriend after all, and the nicest guy on earth when he is smiling. We made the usual trip to Rakhang Thong restaurant in front of Elisabeth Hotel and had a beautiful meal with a Tom Yam Kung to die for.

I brought him then to Street Boy, which has a new owner, after the former one – an oldish kathoey who was very nice and spoke good english - has left for Pattaya. We listened to the latest lukthung hits while looking at the 5 or 6 boys working there – two of them I could easily have taken with me for a night. We were rather inebriated already when we arrived in Be High which had only two boys left after three were said to be already offed. A couple of beers and much flirting and chatting with a Chiang Mai host later, it was time to head for the hotel.

Still one day in Bangkok and then it wil be a short trip to Pattaya.

(as usual, except mentioned otherwise, the boy above is not an acquaintance of mine and his picture is here for your viewing pleasure only)

10 October 2010

Christmas ahead of time

Young and promising thai boy
Unwrapping the gifts
Only one week to go … I spent my whole weekend gathering more information, packing my bags, downloading thai music to my MP3 for the long flight, all this with an unique thrill of anticipation that only an impending trip to Tailand can get you into.

Exactly the same thrill that I felt when I was a child and Christmas was coming : I cannot wait to discover what presents I will find under the tree. It's the excitement of not knowing what this month will bring … whom I may see … where I may find someting or someone.

What is most incredible is that unique feeling is exactly the same I had before the first trip fourteen yers ago … At 56 I am somewhat jaded by many things in life .. except by what is the aim of a whole boring year and occupies a lot of my mind every day and every night. And I am pretty sure this is not due only to the boys, but to the general atmosphere of a country that I love .. the atmosphere I had felt from my very first hour in Bangkok when I was walking in the morning along the busy lanes near Malaysia Hotel.

Fourteen years ago, Christmas began coming in October and never moved any more.