It might need a bit of time if you can be bothered reading the whole thing, I couldn't be bothered splitting it into different threads for different areas.
Travelled around by road as usual this trip. Found it very very hot everywhere. Seemed to put off the highway patrol police from setting up road checks. Main centres visited were Phuket (have posted about this on another thread) Bkk and Pattaya as well as around the North East Issan.
Visted BKK near the start and at the end of my trip. In the first couple of days visited Soi 8 Rachada, soi 8 Pub, which changes little from trip to trip. Full of groups of young student types drinking with their friends/gigs/boyfriends. But full-on fun, more adventurous as the evening progresses and the 'bottle' empties. Same advice as usual, not a place for lone farangs to go, while there are a heap of willing boys, if you're not in a group or at least with one other you will 'stand out' and not in a positive way. Go with a thai friend or friends and you can still 'chink' glasses and hook up with guys there. It's nothing like DJ station, for a start there is actually room to dance, and even when full (all tables taken) there is still room to get around in the place fairly easily. Again unlike DJ the toilet areas are very cruisy, many hang around preening and many just engaging in conversations with friends or 'targets' it's almost like a social area in itself. Many will just start conversation out of the blue and many of them can talk decent english. Only downside with Rachada is that I was staying in Silom/Sathorn area and it's a bit of a pain getting back by taxi.
Going back to Bkk near the end of my trip I couldn't be bothered heading to other areas of Bkk so stayed around silom. For 2-3 days there is still plenty to do and so easy with BTS at Chong nonsi or Saladaeng. Sitting at the open/host bars in Soi Twilight can be fun, there are lots of nice guys working in these bars as waiters and keen for interaction. Maxis, which was very busy every night, I noticed has taken out the large windows which seperated the main airconed bar from the terrace and now is 'all in one'. Banana bar and the bar opposite are always quite busy, but it was nice to see the bars further up the soi get a fair share of customers with Ocean beer bar (former Solid staff) and Scorpion Beer bar both very busy as the evenings wore on. As usual plenty of massage boys in the soi, and many happy to offer to go to your room for the massage if not too far away.
Soi 4, not a regular haunt of mine, only the occassional visit to Balcony, but went back most evenings this visit to the bar next door to Balcony heading up the soi, didn't note the name but is a very large bar inside with big terrace. Has large windows seperating the outside terrace from the main aircon bar but windows can be opened to enjoy the music on the terrace. We chose to go inside and while not packed, was busier than my last visit, with the band one of the very best I have come accross in Thailand. A mix of western pop/rock and superb covers of Thai songs, and quite happy to play whatever was requested. A six piece shit-hot band with male and female singers, and the other musicians could also sing, and not just 'average' voices...top class vocals. A few of the customers got up and danced around to the upbeat songs. Thai covers were excellent and popular. The friends we were with really enjoyed this place. Was open till 3am and was so enjoyable we stayed from 11pm to 2am one of the nights before heading to DJ.
Soi 2 as usual jam packed Fri and Sat, other nights very busy and a little more enjoyable for it. DJ as usual Bt200 entrance weekends 2 free drinks, and other nights Bt100 with drink ticket. The drinks here HAVE to be the very best value in all of Thailand. Bt100 for a drink, if spirits not measured but poured from the bottle up to the barman. A Bt20 tip ensures a good drink and quick service even when very crowded. Finished at 3am the times we were there. Didn't bother with GOD as going out early evening to 3am for me is about as much as can enjoy. Also as usual, very few farangs in the Soi2 bars virtually all Asians, yet inside DJ huge amount of farang.
Last few days we stayed at Tarntawan as usual, easy for everything. Car parked securely, staff as usual the same, consistant and very welcoming. Room up to usual standard. Not much more to say about this hotel, ticks all of our boxes for the last 2-3 days stay before heading back home. Close to all silom night life, and easy to get around Bkk by BTS. Plenty of taxis outside the door on Suriwong Rd and less than an hour from the airport.
Time spent in Pattaya on this most recent visit was briefer than usual. Had a couple of days at the start of my visit as my Thai friend whose truck i borrow, wanted to go to the BURAPA motorcycle festival for 2 days in Pattaya. This was very last minute, so headed to Pattaya with nothing booked for accommodation. For only a 2 day stay the obvious choice for me was Baan Dok Mai, so called Warwick there to find he was fully booked for one day and had one room only for the second day, couldn't be bothered changing accomodation for only one day so paid a visit to the Flamingo.
Immediatly brought back memories as I entered the ground floor, only to find reception is now up the first flight of stairs in what was Jaap the old managers office. Plenty of rooms available, the young girl in charge showed us a Superior room and a Suite, since it was for only 2 nights we took the superior at Bt790. Had to beg for second room key which has a battery operated hob to be used as the front door entrance key after 1am when reception is closed. Also have a deposit of Bt500 for main key which is refundable at check-out. Rooms compared to old Flamingo have changed very little, i had compared them in a post using the website photos, but the room which was fairly large with a front balcony, is exactly the same as the old Flamigo except the mattrass was new, the curtains/bedspread were changed and the TV was a flat screen. Bathroom exactly the same. No coffee making stuff, only 2 glasses, no hangers in the wardrobe, new safe under the bedside table at floor height, very difficult to access. Ony two towels, no soap etc... very basic. Only one young girl on duty so you are expected to carry your own luggage to the room.
Compared to Baan Dok Mai, BDM wins hands down! While pleased for BDM being full, was disappointed at not getting a room there. Bigger room for about the same price at BDM, better bathroom facilities, better room facilities with kettle coffee/tea, much more confortable, DVD player and more staff. The 'suite' at Flamingo for Bt1200-1500 would be well over-priced, much better with one of the large top floor Baan Dok Mai rooms at Bt850.
We visited Pattaya again later in the trip for 7 days of which 2 days were lost to 'circumstances' and so only really had 4-5 full days of fun there. Stayed at Mosaik the second stay as usual, their Studio Prestige units were fully booked and so only had Deluxe Studio units which whilst being smaller than Prestige units are still roomy with kitchen area and nicely furnished, also with dining table for 2. Bt5000 for the week plus about Bt1000 for water/air/inc checkout cleaning of Bt300. Still excellent value. Had car parked right outside when not using it to get around.
Martin and Clomx wll be surprised to find that I didn't make it to many clubs on this visit. Didn't even make NAB as we went to Step Up accross from NAB instead and five of us had a great night there, opened whisky and the band was top class as were the DJ tunes later. What is going on with the clubs in Pattaya Martin911!! Dave Man was closed/had moved, Tam Nan Chon was closed, IDOL was closed. So one night at Step Up, one at Krapaw Daeng another at Hollywood was the sum total of our late nights. Hollywood was as packed as I have ever seen it with tables being set up in the area as you come in the door at the top, 90% Asians, very few farangs and not many middle eastern customers. Excellent show as usual, DJ 50-50 same stuff he plays every visit, so left there at 3am. Had another night at Kawpow Daeng for a change which all the company enjoyed despite reservations from a couple of the party before we got settled in, went on to spend a very enjoyable fun night there with a real music-mix of pop, folk, rock and issan dancy tunes...something for everyone!
So not much on the clubbing front. Boyztown was as usual, busy in the host bars, but the agogos fairly quiet. Dropped in by Funny Boys first visit for a while, it was exactly the same as usual plenty of available guys, decent amount of customers but not 'bouncing' fun wise. Happy Place was packed as usual, only managed one visit which was a Sunday a couple of days after we arrived, so I had hoped to get back but 'circumstances' didn't allow so didn't see Justme. Sat with manager M for the time we were there, the show was excellent, with plenty of boys available and a good range from men to more femme. A few (Asian) females in but they added to the overall fun as some of the boys reacted and showed off. There were more of the "street Boys" in the show and they had different moves from the last time i saw them. Great to watch 'close up'.
As for bars.....I really only stop in by agogos to catch up with guys i have known for years and a bit of fun, as with the host/beerbars usually visiting early evening before heading to a club or late night venue. Coming from a country where you cannot sit outside in shirt sleeves on an evening and where there are no host/barbeers or agogos as in Pattaya, just enjoying a different scene from home is fun in itself, buying a drink here and there for staff and passing out a few tips without actually offing boys. So only stopped in by Lucky7 and Kawaii boys in Pattayaland which had a good few cute lads but not much in the way of customers.
Sunee was the usual busy, but laid back. I have to say there are some very cute and attractive waiters now at some of the host/beerbars there. If i was 'single' i dont think i would have needed to venture into any agogos to find suitable boys for company, there were quite a few stunners and many hoping for an off to visit a club. When i said i wasn't able to take off anyone that night, a couple said they would pay their own bar off just to get out for some fun, even had the 'free sex' for fun-night offer from a couple of long time regulars.
Dropped in by New Sawatdee just to see it as it was new, plenty of customers here, and 'lively' boys keen to make eye contact but you would 'need to check IDs' regarding a few of them. In fact while there one of the doormen came in talked to the mamsan and 4-5 boys got off the stage and went out back, that usually tells you 'something' regarding ages/id's/drug free guys. Then across the soi to Nice Boys and catch up with a couple of the waiting staff i have known for years, Nice Boys as usual was very lively, great range of boy-types and many having a great time joking aound etc.. The gay/femme boys who know a customer is man/top make a big effort to engage in fun, joking talking etc.. to get noticed. That is the difference between like of Funny Boys and Nice Boys. You can happily visit both if looking for a boy to 'off' but just going in for a bit of fun, Funny Boys is dead compared to the likes of Nice Boys.
I know a couple of the Happy Boy guys and also dropped in by there for a drink. The guys there told me the upper floor which was used for 'getting to know' your boy better is now being discouraged in favour of going up to a further floor where there are 2-3 rooms, these rooms actually have no doors but are dark and discreet, the changes are the result of a police/official visit and the resultant new 'style' is set. There is a charge of Bt100 for 'short time' use of these rooms, but the boys said more full-on contact is encouraged and expected when taking a boy up. A bit dodgy if there happened to be a visit from authorities while up there was my first thought. Still, Happy Boys continues to have a good selection of willing boys and was fairly busy with customers while I was there.
As for the beer/host bars, still All Of Me, and the bars around it were very busy and enjoyable, as were Yaya's and Sky Boys. Corner bar had more customers than i expected to see based on recent 'reports' but seem to have a couple of the gay-boy staff back and good hosts they were. Crazy bar further down the soi past Krazy Dragon was lively too. Forest bar was also busy and the host bar next to it, i think Wans? had a couple of very cute waiters and very keen for an off, it was packed every time i passed.
All my opinion only of course, and just telling it as I saw/experienced it. Long post but those who are not interested in reviews or opinions need only 'pass by' without reading. Very easy to do Brithai.