21 June 2014

Hat Yai revisited

Why did I chose to go for a two-days stay in Hat Yai rather going to Pattaya two days earlier ?. In fact I do not know myself, even if a promotion by Nok Air (2160 THB return all inclusive) was an enticing offer. I think only curiosity lead me there, as this town has not a lot to offer except good shopping opportunity.

First surprise : I was the only farang on board, both outwards and return. I knew that the town had been recently affected by some assaults by the local rebels, but I had not heard of any travel warning for the Songkhla province. In town, farangs were very free and far between, the population being clearly divided between the chinese and the locals.

The main reason for my curiosity was obviously the current situation of the local boys bars, which gets very few updates on the boards - I guess someone has to do the job, right ? Not a lot of changes since my last trip three years ago ; two bars which are still alive and well, and more and more saunas and massage places - that I did not visit. However I could not find the place advertised in the Bangkok Post Nightlife Guide as "Boys Pub Bar", with as address : Nipat Uthit Soi 3 (not very accurate, as there are three Nipat Uthit Roads, all very long and running parallel one another, and from the maps only one has a Soi 3).

Buddy Men Club, gay bar in Hat Yai
Buddy Men Club, gay bar in Hat Yai
These two bars are located close one to another : Buddy Men Pub along Sriphunawat Road (along a short cut to Akarn Road to be more accurate) and Top Man Pub along Akharn Road, so in the south part of town. Buddy Men Club was surprisingly well staffed with about seven rather good-looking young men - mostly coming from the North of Thailand. And Top Man Pub had mostly local southern boys and a welcoming owner from Khorat.

I took a boy from Buddy Men, a 21 y/o from Chiang Mai which told me he was a tribe boy - rather useless in bed. Pity I had not chosen another one which proved to be much more affectionate when I chatted with him on the next day - a thai yai from Burma. Off rate 1500 THB short-time and 2000 THB for the night, including tip for the boy (who gets respectively 1000 THB and 1500 THB). An additional tip is always welcomed.

So much for Hat Yai, but I guess I will have to update myself once again in one or two years, as none seems to really bother about these remote areas ... the Buddy Men owner having told me he sees about one farang a year in his place,  ...

20 June 2014

More to Siem Reap than the temples

Besides being the mandatory entry point to the Angkor Complex temples, Siem Reap is also fast becoming the hip capital of Cambodia, with a thriving nightlife ; surprisingly enough, gay tourism is an integral part of this development, although with a limited numbers of bars and accomodation.

Most farang-oriented nightlife is concentrated in Pub Street area which is the local Khao San Road. Truth to be said, I did not really appreciate it : very commercial, full of the same young farang you can find in Pai, Vang Vien or Kho Phangan - but to each its own. At least this produces a very lively atmosphere where people seem to really enjoy themselves - I could not help thinking of Pattaya which seems to have lost part of this kind of customer base.

The Linga Bar is the only real gay bar in the place with a high-end and trendy atmosphere and some freelancers. We ended our evenings there trying out many of their cocktails ; however we were not impressed at all by the 10.30 week-end show. Pity we could not attend the other one in the Station Wine Bar - said to be much better at least for now.

Boy massage in Siem Reap
"good massage, special massage Sir ...."
I was more interested by the massage places which are located on the edge of Pub Street area and along the sois leading to Siem Reap Night Market. No boy-only place but these shops advertise cheap service ; rather young boys and girls try agressively to lure you into, strongly hinting at happy endings. No private room or private bathroom however, so I wonder what happens when there are more than one customer at the same time - not mentioning risks of theft.

I went twice with a sweet 19 y/o local guy with a face to die for, and not shy at all when it came to kissing, hugging and more. Massage was really too light but he was eager to please, very loving and careful. I bought a shirt for him only to have change enough for paying the massage fee (he had a good tip too), which made him very fond of me. Sorry for him, but there are so many other gorgeous boys in this area that I would have liked to try them all.

There are gay-only massage places too, including nearby Hatha Blue Khmer, which I did not try although the boys standing in front were very inviting. Moreover, boys on the street and some tuk-tuk drivers seem readily available for everything, and there is probably a more discreet scene to be explored  : sure I have to go back one day - preferably alone and without any commitment...

19 June 2014

Wonder of the world

The trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap was long indeed but at least everything went smooth unlike a previous and unforgettable one we had in Laos many years ago. There were roadworks for the whole first 150 km making driving very slow and bumpy. However the nearer we were approaching the town,  the more the road was improving and suddenly the roadway became large and smooth : we were in Temple Town.

We spent our four days in Siem Reap in the very nice River Queen Guesthouse managed by Richard and his friend, in a fantastic location near the river : close enough to nightlife and far enough to feel a more khmer atmosphere. Richard is the author of the blog I mentioned before (link on the right). We were offered a room (deluxe room) with a large balcony overlooking the river, and I immediately felt that I would come back once again. Although being generally fussy about accommodation, my boyfriend liked it too and he quickly became friend with the two house dogs.

Our three full days there were rather exhausting with two days and a half visiting the main Angkor temples and the last afternoon visiting the Thonlesap lake. The guesthouse gave us a nice tuk-tuk driver who spoke good english and his son who replaced him on day 2 was pretty cute too ; visiting more far-away temples as well as the lake gave us a good insight into khmer country life.

Angkor Wat boys
Angkor Wat boys

Your tourist guidebook will tell you about the Angkor temples much better than me. Although not being too much into old stones, I can only confirm that everyone of them is worthwhile, each one having its own caracter and charm. Marvelous, huge, fine, are some of the worlds which come to mind and I can understand why some people can stay many days or weeks exploring them. The weather was not very fine but I think that hordes of tourists which visit the temples at high season would be a bigger annoyance han lack of sun. I came here for visiting the temples and possibly meditating among these mighty and magnificent monuments, not for shooting professionnal pictures.

As for the lake, the trip to Khomphong Pluk is worth the long and bumpy ride ; it allows to feel the might of nature which elevates the level of the lake in the rainy season about 10 meters higher than in the dry season, thanks to the water coming from the Mae Khong River, and to appreciate how finely the locals have adapted to this exceptional natural phenomenon.

13 June 2014

Phnom Penh gay nights

Enticed by all the sweet faces I had seen in the streets, I was fancying numbers of bars with gorgeous boys ready to know me better ... Phnom Penh nights are not really like that, but there is enough to keep you busy for some time.

We visited only the places located close to the hotel, as both of us had been quite impressed by the traffic conditions. There were two bars within walking distance : Two Colours Bar just around the corner, and Blue Chilli Bar within five minutes. Both would compare with the host bars in Sunee Plaza with outdoor sitting and reasonable prices. I found there were not a lot of available boys, but we were on a weeknight. As I was not alone, eye contact was probably more difficult too.

Heart of Darkness Pub in Phnom Penh
Pub in Phnom Penh
I had a blast at the Heart of Darkness disco, about 15 minutes on foot from the hotel. We treated ourselves to a Mouton-Cadet red wine bottle (quickly followed by a second one) for only 30 USD each. I really loved the music there : only good international disco music without the local songs that too often spoil the atmosphere in thai pubs.For that exact reason, my boyfriend did not like the evening as much as me - despite the red wine he is very fond of too.

Although not strictly gay, the place was mostly patronized by boys but not much flirtation as most seemed to be there for pleasure and not for finding customers. Some farangs were to be seen alone, including elder ones - like me. 

I will leave for a next trip the massage places and the other local boys bars, which anyway do not seem to be numerous for the time being. The scene could however expand very quickly ...

12 June 2014

Sweet and wild Cambodia

Arriving in Phnom Penh through the airport is not exactly a breeze, but it could be worse. Not having opted for the e-visa, I had to make my visa at the airport but as I was one of the first passengers and everything was ready, I managed to get out quite quickly. Thank Goodness my boyfriend never misses what is REALLY important, so he immediately saw the booths where khmer SIM cards were on sale for a very cheap price.

Out of the airport, finding a taxi was easy but I did not wanted to haggle over the ridiculous price he was asking, so here we go into the awful traffic … complete disrespect of the most basic rules of traffic rules, undersized road network, billions of two-wheels appearing out of the blue … compared to Pnom Penh, Bangkok looks like Zurich ! However we finally arrived safe and sound to our hotel : the Silver River Hotel stands close to the Royal Palace, the Tonlesap Quai and some boys bars : our deluxe room with a nice balcony over the street was booked through Agoda.

Sitting in the taxi for 25 minutes to the hotel just when Universities and schools were out was more than enough to be striken by the cuteness of cambodian lads : no fat boy or girl in sight, only smiling and good-looking faces all over the street … promising sight.

Sweet khmer boy on mobike
Sweet khmer boy

We spent our two days in Pnom Penh shopping, visiting the most touristy places and strolling along the Sisawat Quai - despite having to confront the unendless and lawless traffic. Other trips included a visit to the Soraya commercial center, interrupted by frequent power cuts (never use a lift in Cambodia !), and to the Psar Tuol Tom Pong market - also known as Russian Market - where you can buy bargain clothes and souvenirs.

A tuk-tuk driver brought us to the Killing Fields, after a long trip among populous areas in the suburbs. Despite having read a lot about the Khmer Rouge exactions, we felt really moved when confronted with the reality of the awful crimes that were commited by Pol Pot and his henchmen. In fact no visitor can leave unaffected after visiting the exact location where the genocide took place. How a nation which has so nice-looking and smiling boys (and girls) can produce such awful crimes stands beyond reason.

But I had come in Phnom Penh not only for the tourist attractions and place of memories …

09 June 2014

On my own in Bangkok

After this highly cultural tour to Hua Hin, I have been staying on my own in Bangkok enjoying freedom as well as the quiet way of life of those who have time on their hands. I visited some apartments on behalf of one of my nephews who will have a six months on-the-job training here. As far as I know he is not gay but I warned him this country can be bewitching and he should always stay cool-hearted in every circumstance.

Scorpion Bar in Soi Twilight (courtesy Nickysgaypattaya)
Scorpion Bar in Soi Twilight (courtesy Nickysgaypattaya)
Silom is very quiet at the moment, and I went there only for looking at the world going by from the Dick's Café terrasse. I entered Classic Boys just to see only girlish twinkies and being charged an outrageous 350 THB for a Coke. Change came with a 100THB and 50 THB note, as if we should leave a 50 THB tip for such a rip-off ! The 50 THB went to the mamasan and I limited my tip to the usual 20 THB (I usually give more in the standard priced restaurants or bars). Super A bar and Scorpion open air bar were more reasonably priced with much more pleasure for the eye.

My boyfriend will join me this evening and to-morrow afternoon will be the flight to Pnom Penh where we should arrive in the evening for a three days stay. And my nephew should arrive to-morrow early in the morning for doing a five-months internship in Bangkok (lucky young man !). Of course I will go to welcome him at the airport and help for his first steps in the Land of Smiles, so this should be a rather harassing day ….

07 June 2014

Hot trip to Hua Hin

I did not feel as excited as before when reaching Thailand this time. The reason is obvious : a trip to Thailand, which previously doubled as the huge relief of being released from all work commitments and hassles, is now just this : a trip to Thailand. The excitement came back quickly as soon as I saw all these wonderful boys along the streets.

After a first day for recovering, I was soon joined by my young Khorat friend - the one who on our first meeting twenty months ago was not interested in anything other than playing on the bed. No change of mind on his side : the trip we had planned to Hua Hin was mostly devoted to hugging and some other basic needs, the rain being a good excuse for staying in bed longer than appropriate.

This guy is only 20, with the boy-around-the-corner look that I like (see picture below), something in his eyes which says « come », and skillful enough for endless entertaining . I still wonder why he is always willing to stay with this older farang. Sure he did not turn down the money I offered him, but I also think that these upcountry boys have a rather boring life : so some seize every opportunity just to leave their place and discover new people, provided that the farang understands and respects them, and can speak some thai.

Willing young thai lad
We just found some time to visit the new Water Market, far enough from town and not really worth the trip. When going to the beach, we were both repelled by the awful stench of horses, who are said to be the main attraction of the place … I also visited – alone - the two remaining bars in town, both very quiet with only two three boys in each.

Two nights in Hua Hin and one in Bangkok with this devil were enough to tear me out, and I am now happy to stay on my own for at least three nights in the thai capital.