Thailand 2011 — Part 5 – Phuket, Patong Beach, Massage Parlor

wpid-DSC01985-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThis appears to say “NING — NOT SANITARY CHOPSTICKS”
Its supposed to say “NING-NOT, SANITARY CHOPSTICKS” — The manufacturer is “Ning-Not” but they appear to have accidentally mislabeled their chopsticks as unsanitary.

wpid-DSC01988-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgPeople seem to park wherever they want. Some guy put his motorcycle and trailer right behind our van, so our driver picked up and moved his stuff.

wpid-DSC01989-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgAnother gas station

wpid-DSC01991-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThe main drag in Patong is narrow and windy, all one way.

wpid-DSC01996-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWe arrived at a Courtyard/Mariott located right on the beach.

wpid-DSC02000-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgCheck-in took a while

wpid-DSC02003-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgA Holiday Inn was across the street

wpid-DSC02006-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgNice hotel

wpid-DSC02008-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgSparkling clean rooms

wpid-DSC02010-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgCool sink

wpid-DSC02012-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWeird shower with no curtain or door. The glass is permanently in place. There’s a one-inch step separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom, but water from the shower still splashes into the toilet area. Typical thai bathrooms are literally “bath rooms” where the whole area is tiled and used for bathing.

wpid-DSC02014-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02017-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLooking outside

wpid-DSC02018-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThere’s a cosmetic surgery place two blocks away in case I decide to get implants or a sex change.

wpid-DSC02019-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgIts about 2am on a Sunday night, so its quiet

wpid-DSC02029-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgOrdered room service. Pad thai, chicken satay, pad se ew, Singha

wpid-DSC02031-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLOL, foam party

wpid-DSC02032-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgAnd if that’s the sexy swimsuit, I’ll pass. 6000THB is $200USD

wpid-DSC02033-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThe live band looks like a cross between NSync and The Spice Girls


14 June 2011

wpid-DSC02035-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTwo pools, one on the third floor and one on the 7th

wpid-DSC02036-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMy brother and I went looking for the beach

wpid-DSC02037-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThe compass/GPS on his Android phone as well as mine was worthless. The arrow was stuck in place but spinning wildly. It took us away from the beach.

wpid-DSC02038-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgIt was hot as hell…

…and we walked for miles…

wpid-DSC02039-2011-08-6-13-03.jpg…and ended up in some spooky areas.

wpid-DSC02040-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgHmm, Starbucks. That means there’s white people nearby, which means…

wpid-DSC02042-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTHE BEACH!

wpid-DSC02044-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02045-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02047-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02048-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02049-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02050-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThat was fun, but how the hell do we get back to the hotel?

wpid-DSC02051-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWe didnt recognize very many landmarks and had no idea which direction the hotel was, so we sort of guessed. That wasn’t our building.

wpid-DSC02052-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgCats and dogs just sort of hang out in Thailand. They usually have owners, but they roam free and sort of just come home when theyre hungry, and they live outside. This cat gave birth and was taking her babies across the street one by one. You can see her sagging stomach.

wpid-DSC02053-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMontana Grand? Are we near Helena?

wpid-DSC02055-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgSomehow, we ended up finding the hotel. I was drenched in sweat.

wpid-DSC02056-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02057-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTook a shower, checked the map, looked outside for reference points.

wpid-DSC02058-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgRelaxed and ordered dinner. Beef salad, mango ice cream, Perrier, Pepsi Max, and a bacon cheeseburger for the hell of it.

I had a lot of internetting to catch up on. They charged per PC for internet access, so I cheated by installing Virtual Router, a program that turns your PC into a wifi hotspot. I was connected to the hotel by ethernet.


15 June 2011

wpid-DSC02063-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWe got in the van to go do some sightseeing.

wpid-DSC02061-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThere has to be at least 20 people crammed into this pickup, and its trying to go up a steep hill.


wpid-DSC02080-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02079-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgA couple maps at a view point we stopped at. There’s islands and such.

wpid-DSC02081-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgHot girl’s motorcycle broke down.

wpid-DSC02082-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02083-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWinding roads

wpid-DSC02085-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02086-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02087-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgStopped for dinner by the beach

wpid-DSC02088-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgGin and soda

wpid-DSC02089-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgA pineapple drink


wpid-DSC02093-2011-08-6-13-03.jpg”Not going anywhere? Grab a Snickers”

wpid-DSC02095-2011-08-6-13-03.jpg1kg lobster, $15

wpid-DSC02096-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgI ordered ice cream and got this pile of diabeetus. It was awesome



wpid-DSC02101-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThe girl over there has horrible posture


wpid-DSC02105-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgDogs doing things

wpid-DSC02106-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThat cant be safe. Wires and such dangling everywhere

wpid-DSC02111-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLeft the hotel and walked to Bangla, the red light district

wpid-DSC02112-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgIt doesnt get weird…

wpid-DSC02113-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02114-2011-08-6-13-03.jpg..until you get further in

wpid-DSC02115-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThis guy got into my picture. He was holding signs advertising ping pong shows. If you dont know what that is, Google it at home.

Several convenience stores were selling beer, and we were able to carry and drink outside

wpid-DSC02117-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgOff of Bangla were small streets lined with bars, go go clubs, massage parlors, “Husband Day Cares”, and strip joints. Each one had a theme, one in particular, “Soi Crocodile,” had nothing but ladyboys.

wpid-DSC02118-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTiger beer, by the way, tastes great

wpid-DSC02120-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgAfter a few beers I was like “HELL WHY NOT” and we ended up going down to the end one of these alleys to see a free ping pong show. Entry was free but the first beer was $16. Every drink after that was more reasonable at $5. We were treated to a shower show, some stage dancing, and… umm… insertion shows. I’ll never look at a push pop the same way again. 😮
A hooker slid up next to me and started chatting me up. To disarm her a bit and eliminate the weirdness, I told her in perfect Thai that I was Thai-born and on vacation from America. She asked me to buy her a drink, so I did — she got us cold towels to cool off so I figured why not reward her for the service.
Then another girl slid up next to my brother. She looked much younger and had braces. 😮 The girl with the braces asked for a drink, but we declined.
I didn’t want to wake up one morning in a bathtub full of ice and my kidney missing, so I tipped the hooker next to me (she had me slip the bills under her top, and things) and we left.

wpid-DSC02121-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgA European fellow sitting with his prostitute.

wpid-DSC02122-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgGirls dancing

wpid-DSC02123-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02125-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgI was drenched in sweat and took a shower as soon as we got back to the hotel. We ordered pizzas for dinner.


15 June 2011

wpid-DSC02130-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMy brother and I put our computers and US cash in the safe and walked to the mall, Jungceylon

wpid-DSC02131-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThey love the king here, and insulting him is grounds for punishment

wpid-DSC02132-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgCristin Massage is apparently popular with European and Australian visitors. From what I read, you go in and pick a girl from the “fish bowl”, a glass cage where they all sit together. Pricing is based on age. You then go to a private massage room upstairs where she bathes you by hand, then performs a “full contact” oil massage on an inflatable mattress. Then you move to the king bed where the sex is had. Pricing ranges from 1500 to 2000 baht ($50 to $80). Supposedly, they’re a bit inconsistent with condom use. I imagine the building to be swimming with HIV.

wpid-DSC02134-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02135-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWe arrived at the mall. The closer you get to Junceylon, the more white people you see.

wpid-DSC02137-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgI cant imagine many locals having the Outlaw burger.

wpid-DSC02138-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgA knockoff Apple store

wpid-DSC02139-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLooks like West County Mall to me

wpid-DSC02142-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02141-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThey do a fountain show at 7pm and 9pm, inspired by The Bellagio in Las Vegas

wpid-DSC02143-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02144-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgBig C, a large multilevel department store

wpid-DSC02146-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02147-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgFunny escalator

wpid-DSC02148-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMy brother bought headphones. We eagerly needed vegetables for regularity

wpid-DSC02149-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThere wasn’t much to eat in the mall other than fast food, and we thought it would be silly to spend a lot of money on the mall’s Thai restaurants. Curiousity was killing me, so we did the douchey tourist thing and went to McDonald’s

wpid-DSC02151-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLaminated menus on the counter got around the language barrier by letting people point at what they wanted

wpid-DSC02152-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTomato, Chili Sauce, American Ketchup — Tomato and Ketchup were the same thing.

wpid-DSC02153-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgAmong the pie flavors is tuna.

wpid-DSC02155-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgI ordered a Big Mac which comes just one slice of cheese to keep it under 500 calories.

wpid-DSC02156-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgThe potatoes tasted different. Good, but different.

wpid-DSC02158-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMy brother wore his Brooks and Dunn t-shirt

wpid-DSC02159-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTotal was $10 for two combo meals: one Big Mac and one double filet of fish.

wpid-DSC02161-2011-08-6-13-03.jpg“GO UPPER, SMART SHOPPER” — Apparently people needed convincing to use the escalator

wpid-DSC02162-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgReligious statues at the mall.

We ran into two girls, one Australian who said she studied in Missouri and one Australian. After some friendly conversation I folded my arms and waited for their pitch. They were handing out drink coupons for a club called “Seduction”. They promised it would be free of hookers and ladyboys.

wpid-DSC02163-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLots of suit makers and tailors. Last time I was here, in 2006, Nissan made a huge deal out of the new Versa (known locally as Tiida), but its apparently been a flop. I’ve seen two here with Chevy Optras, Chevy Cruzes, Honda Civics, and Toyota Corollas making up the rest.
wpid-DSC02165-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgOops, concrete problem

wpid-DSC02167-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgWe arrived at the hotel (1.4 km away) and ran into my mom in the elevator who told us it was happy hour, so we headed down to the bar and ordered a couple margaritas

wpid-DSC02169-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02171-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMy mall purchases — a memory card reader (my fourth!) and a rare issue of Top Gear Australia with a free DVD! The articles and reviews are written by both the TGUK and TGOZ hosts, and the measurements for power and torque are all in kilowatts and newton-meters. The memory card reader I brought from home died, then the two I bought from Lotus died, so a shop called “Banana IT” had one, and we’ll see how long this lasts.

wpid-DSC02172-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgEnjoying a margarita.

wpid-DSC02174-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgTIME FOR GREEN BEANS. 1 kg was about $1.15

wpid-DSC02177-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgPlaced them in the coffee pot with water and they were done in minutes

wpid-DSC02180-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02182-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgUsed the ice tongs to remove them

wpid-DSC02183-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgLater that night we went back to Bangla and checked out the expat pubs where all the Europeans drank.
wpid-DSC02184-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMost of them were empty, but it was a Wednesday night.

wpid-DSC02187-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02188-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgSome shitty magician

Fast Tube by Casper

wpid-DSC02189-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgAnother go-go bar. Supposedly, the bars that get any business at all have regular hookers. To take a hooker home, you have to pay the bar a “fine” in the amount of about 15 dollars or so. Then, you have to find a room. The higher end hotels disallow prostitutes from coming in because of theft and crime concerns, or they will require you to show her ID in case you’re robbed. This is why so many bars and massage parlors (I later learned) have rooms for rent upstairs, usually about 10 bucks. So for $15 to the bar, $10 for the room, and $50 for an entire night of ‘boom-boom’, you can go home with a venereal disease as a souvenir.

wpid-DSC02190-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgA massage parlor. These places are PUSHY. The masseuses are all hookers. I almost elbowed a hooker in the face for being so damn aggressive with her sales pitch. The girls stand on the curb with signs for prices including foot, back, oil, and facial massages. Then they say “massage, massage, massage” over and over. If you ignore them, they’ll run up and grab your arm. I said “NO!” and my brother goes “DONT FUCKING TOUCH!”. I jerked my elbow backward to get free and almost hit one in the nose.
Passing them on the street later on, I noticed some of them saying to each other “That guy said no, dont touch” in Thai. These massage parlors all call each other to set pricing and probably to report creepy customers who take things too far (whatever the hell “too far” means in prostitute jargon), and I imagine they also got the news that some tourists dont like being grabbed.

wpid-DSC02191-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgFish markets are still open at 11pm.

wpid-DSC02192-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgMario appears to have been hung himself after being forced to sell iPhones.
This quiet road off of Bangla was like an oasis of peacefulness in the middle of all the bars, strip joints, and clubs. The street was clean with snowfall LEDs and gentle lighting.

wpid-DSC02193-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgSome guy drawing pictures

wpid-DSC02198-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgwpid-DSC02200-2011-08-6-13-03.jpgAfter miles of walking, we did finally go to a massage parlor, a legitimate one that guaranteed no funny business. You can tell the proper ones by the lighting and the open windows where you can see everything. We each got a Thai massage for just $13 for an hour.
After washing our feet they had us go upstairs to a quiet room with relaxing music and air conditioning. I was worried at first, but the customers were separated by curtains not walls, so it was legit. I was also worried because our hostness was a tranny, but she didnt do any of the massaging. It was instead older Thai women.
The problem with a proper Thai massage is that it HURTS. I was twisted, contorted, and brutally tenderized like a piece of chicken fried steak. But I felt amazing afterward, ready to do cartwheels.

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