Weekly reports on Pattaya activities, Nov 28, 1999
Weekly reports on Pattaya activities
Nov 28, 1999
NOVEMBER 28, 1999
- Review of Sunee’s “Restaurant Nazis” and Nok-Nok, A Club with Style
- Pattaya Finally Touted as Low Cost Resort by Tourism Authority
- Loy Kratong Ceremonies Throughout Area on Nov. 22
- Snow Machine Reported Ready at Boyz Boyz Boyz
- Splash Opening Still Set for Dec. 11; Doubts Abound
- Patpong Type Market Rumored for Pattayaland 1 and 2
- BoyzTown Sign Renovated as High Season Arrives
- Web site Friend, Shanghai Native, Enjoys Visit to Pattaya
- New Web site Added by Friend
- Jolly Boys has Re-opened on Day Night Soi 2
SUNEE PLAZA: A REVIEW OF “RESTAURANT NAZIS”, AND NOK-NOK–A CLUB WITH STYLE
This report was provided by a friend who regularly contributes to the comments board following his return to the US from a short visit in Pattaya and other spots in Thailand:
“On our second night in Pattaya, my traveling companion (“Jim”) and I decided to explore Sunee Plaza, after some recommendations by local friends. I was particularly taken by one club. First we dined at a restaurant owned by either Nazis or Nazi wannabes. They spent part of the evening “Seig Heiling” other old German customers. I was not impressed, nor was I impressed with their brutal treatment of the two beautiful waitstaff. One owner (or perhaps manager) could barely speak English–surprising for a German–yet snapped viciously at his waiters if they didn’t immediately understand a command in his pidgin English. He also went apoplectic when I ordered wine to be served with my main course and requested that the glass be chilled, as that is the way I like it at home. I was also impressed, however, with the meal which was exquisite–cooked to perfection, replete with flavor and presented gallantly. The best part may have just been watching the two gorgeous boys scurry about. They may not treat the waitstaff well, but the owners have great taste. As to the waitstaff, I wanted to “take them away from all this!”
“My favorite of the three clubs we visited was Nok-Nok. Now there is a club with style! We approached, weaving our way through the gauntlet of touts and were greeted by two soft-spoken shills dressed only from the waist down. Black bow ties graced their necks. We were ushered in the upscale establishment by a polite, but not obsequious captain. Bar to the left, seating curving in a horseshoe around a substantial stage that jutted towards the base of the U-shaped seating. A number of handsome boys dressed in the usual garb danced to music that wasn’t overbearing. Conversation was possible.
“The captain brought us hot towels to refresh ourselves (what, am I in a First Class cabin?) and followed up with dishes of snacks–shrimp crackers. Only then did he ask if we wanted drinks–which we did. Meanwhile, a customer to my right had taken a liking to one of the boys who wasn’t dancing and sat on the far corner of the stage making out with the young man. Judging from the movements, the Farang’s tongue was reaching far enough down the throat to tangle with his partner’s lower intestine. I became attracted to a boy with an incredible smile and soon he was sitting with me. Jim likewise found a companion. We inquired and were assured there were rooms to entertain, as it were. Now, now here came my only disappointment with Nok-Nok. “Jim” was gone seconds before Em and I were. Soon, we were following them down the street. Strange, I thought. I had assumed the rooms were in the club. “Jim” and his friend entered the Top Man Bar and as we came in they were disappearing into the back. We were told there is only one room.
” Out we went and began wandering, like Moses and his flock, trying to find a room. I tired of this quickly (after going to one more club) and asked to be taken back to Nok Nok. Inside, I politely (on my best Asian Manners) asked the captain for my 500 baht (off and room fee) back. “No problem, sir,” he replied in his best Customer Service Manners. He handed me the blue note, which I transferred immediately to Em, still seated on my right. After all, it wasn’t his fault. So, Nok-Nok, which also has a great cabaret show comes out with high marks for a classy, comfortable establishment, good music, and extra twists like hot towels and “hors d’ouvres.” Medium-high marks for the number of handsome boys and more top marks for customer service.
There was a final happy ending for Em and me. I came back later, about 10 minutes from closing, and invited him to my place for the night. When we left together he said, “Thanks for inviting me, I didn’t want to have to go home alone.” He is a wonderful, gentle 21-year old from the Isan and everyone spent the night happily ever after.”
End of Comments on Nok Nok from my friend.
PATTAYA BOOSTED BY TAT AS LOW COST RESORT ;
CAMPAIGN BASED ON MOVIE, “THE BEACH”, STRESSES LOWER COSTS FOR THAI VACATIONS
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is joining with 20th Century Fox, producer of the movie, “The Beach”, filmed in Thailand and now opening in the US. In a campaign based on joint promotional efforts, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been touting tour packages for beach holidays; typical packages for England offer seven night beach packages at £519 (about 32,437 baht) for Pattaya, Hua Hin for £569, Phuket for £533 and Koh Samui at £659. Although the packages for Phuket and Pattaya are remarkably close, considering Phuket’s recent reputation for exceedingly high hotel charges, even with these quotes, Pattaya comes in at the lowest level for packages in Thailand. (Bali was priced at £641; Penang, Malaysia at £663, and other beach resorts in other parts of the world far higher, according to the survey of package tour costs conducted in London.)
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working hard to take advantage of the publicity created by the film, and it is expected that Pattaya and Phuket should both benefit substantially from such efforts. The Bangkok Post reports that England has now supplanted Germany as the top European market for Thai inbound tourism. In addition to working with Fox studios on the campaign, numerous airlines are involved, also, including Thai, EVA, Quantas/British Air, and China Air, all of whom participate in the promotional events, which include free showings of the film, “The Beach”.
At the same time, the TAT recognized the importance of also stressing the so-called MICE aspect of tourism (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), an aspect of tourism in which I still think Pattaya badly under-utilizes its outstanding facilities.
Pattaya should be a leader in providing meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. It offers more, and more cheaply, than almost any other area in Thailand, and probably the world. Pattaya has some of the finest convention and meeting facilities in Thailand, and all kinds of enticements for active, interested conventioneers and seminar attendees, and their spouses, but Pattaya puts forth very little effort toward attracting these high-spending tourists. I would like some day to put together a page on these offerings available for conventioneers and seminar attendees for the web site we have been “pushing” so hard, www.pattayagay.com. This aspect of Pattaya’s offerings is a vastly undertold story, and one that even gay interests worldwide should be aware of.
With Royal Cliff’s highly acclaimed new PEACH (Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall) now in full operation, the spectacular facilities of Ambassador City, the facilities in the new Mercure Hotel, and the meeting facilities of such hotels as Montien, and so many others — and now with the almost certain support of the new Asian University of Science and Technology and its expertise and facilities to add intellectual support, Pattaya has a great story to tell; we just need someone to spread the word!
LOY KRATONG CEREMONIES THROUGHOUT AREA ON NOV. 22 PROVIDED OUTSTANDING
CEREMONIES, HUGE TURNOUTS
Loy Kratong ceremonies held throughout much of Thailand on Nov. 22, the date of the full moon in the lunar 12th month, attracted huge turnouts to local beaches, hotels, bars and similar establishments, as tourists mixed with Thai locals in honoring the water spirits whom the Thai believe provide ample water for the needs of the people, and give the Thais the opportunity to pay their respects to those spirits, in the hopes of having good wishes for the future come to pass. The ceremonies held in Pattaya attracted huge masses of people to Jomtien Beach, and to Pattaya Beach, and to numerous hotels and other facilities providing ceremonies on that occasion. One ceremony I ttended, at Icon Boutique Hotel, was notable for the sincerity and dignity in which the various ceremonies were performed. Photos and further comments on the Loy Kratong ceremonies will be provided next week. This event, now referred to by some as the Festival of Lights, is one of Thailand’s major festivals, yet is one of the few which do not involve days off work; all ceremonies take place in the evening, after the end of the usual work day. William, one of the owners of Icon Boutique Hotel, has kindly provided photos of some of the ceremonies, which I will provide next week.
A few comments about the Loy Kratong ceremonies at Icon were in this note to a friend in America. including special comments about two particular young men my American friend inquired about:
“Yes, I talked a little with Ake, and he was very outgoing and friendly. He was also fantastic looking in one outfit where he had a robe or something wrapped around his waist, with nothing else (apparently) on, and he had it down about as small as it could go, with the not in front down to the level of his pubic hair. Wow. A good looking young man.
“Nung was there also, of course, both as one of the stars of the dancing program, but also as one of the stars of a special “we are family” introduction. William, emphasizing how Icon’s staff is “like family”, brought out Nung and his wife and one of the other dancers and his wife,
and introduced them all with the announcement that by next year they will have added two babies to the size of the Icon family. Nung’s wife and the other wife beamed, as did Nung! Neither of the women are “that far along”, but both are bulging and obviously pregnant, but not ready to give birth for a couple of months yet, I would guess. (But I certainly don’t know much about pregnancy nor about how far along a woman may be!) It just “appeared” that way to me.
“CNN Asia has made quite a production of the Loy Kratong festivities here, showing some scenes from a fairly massive event, apparently at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, emphasizing how the banana leaf boats (kratongs) are designed to ‘symbolically float away their sins of the past and wish for future happiness.’ The kratongs each have a bit of incense and a burning candle.
“Thuu (Tu) (a waiter who has been particularly attentive to my friend on his visits at Icon) waited on the table for my dinner companion and me, and was ‘ever present’ as always, and took care of whittling down the incense sticks so they would stand up straight in the banana leaf kratong, then lit the incense sticks and the candle, and stood by while my companion and I (and everyone else) knelt down and put our little individual kratongs in the water, and swished them away by paddling a little in the water, so they went out toward the center. The hotel owners had earlier launched a major, flower bedecked kratong for the hotel itself and its “family”; then later, another ceremony where all the staff members, all of them, came out and participated in launching a ‘staff’ kratong, identical to the first, and only later did we have the ceremony where the rest of us launched our own individual kratongs. Thuu told me afterwards that the staff members had made the kratongs themselves that afternoon!
“All this with Chris (the alternate singer) singing through dinner, and between the various parts of the ceremony, and between the various performances –four of them while I was there–of the Icons dancing single numbers.
“Leng, (the coordinator of guest relations), told me that Toi (the regular singer) would be back Wednesday. He was invited down to Jakarta to perform at Hard Rock Cafe in Jakarta, and, incidentally, to be there with an American friend who was there on business. The singer, Chris, did remarkably well; he has a very nice voice, but lacks the assurance and comfortable presence on stage that Toi exudes.”
SNOW MACHINE REPORTED READY AT BOYZ-BOYZ-BOYZ
A friend from San Francisco reported that while he was staying at Ambiance Hotel on a brief visit recently, he became aware of the snow machine which Boyz-Boyz-Boyz has acquired, and which is apparently intended to provide the “special effects” they are advertising in connection with their “Anniversary party” on December 6. More on that next week.
SPLASH OPENING STILL SUPPOSEDLY SET FOR DEC. 11; DOUBTS ABOUND ABOUT WHETHER THEY WILL MAKE IT
The report that Splash intends to have its grand opening on December 11 still holds, I am informed, but my personal visit to the site leaves me with grave doubts that they can possibly be ready to open by that date. Renovations still continue at a slow pace, and the glass needed to enclose the “manquarium” intended to be the center piece of their show is not yet in place. I don’t see how they can open by December 11, unless they make a massive sustained effort such as “Believe Boys Go Go Bar” did in the Day-Night Soi 2 area recently. Believe and Funny Boys bars, both in the Day-Night area, opened quickly after major renovations, but no such effort appears to have been made with Splash. We shall continue to watch.
PATPONG TYPE MARKET IN STORE FOR PATTAYALAND 1 AND 2????
Rumors are spreading that the owners of the streets on which all the bars and restaurants and other establishments on Pattayaland Sois 1 and 2 are located are in the process of negotiating for establishment of a night market modeled after the Patpong Area night market in Bangkok. The streets are apparently privately owned, just as the “Patpong” family owns all the rights to the street in Patpong 1 in Bangkok, and the prospect of possibly hundreds of baht per stall per night in revenues seems attractive to those owners, we are told. This would seem destined to provide major disruptions to those areas, but the bars in Patpong seem to thrive despite the disruptive effects of the night markets there. No facts to go on, only rumors so far. “BOYZ TOWN” would not be particularly affected, since the street there is not owned by the same owners as are Pattayaland sois 1 and 2, we are advised.
BOYZTOWN SIGN RENOVATED AS HIGH SEASON ARRIVES
A crew of workmen stripped off all the old paint down to bare metal on the main BoyzTown sign hanging over the main entrance to Pattayaland Soi 1 last weekend, and the sign has been repainted with a brighter black background. Other than repainting, the sign remains unchanged, and will almost certainly continue to draw the crowds of tourists to travel through (and gawk at) the highly publicized area. Such groups have become an all-too-frequent occurrence since several articles about “prostitution in Pattaya” were featured prominently in the Bangkok Post several months ago. As many as eight to ten tour groups are now being escorted through the area each night recently.
VISITOR FROM HONG KONG REPORTS GOOD TIME ON VISIT
A young Shanghai native now living in Hong Kong visited Pattaya’s gay venues this past week, and found the information in the www.pattayagay.com website helpful to him. The young man writes that, though this was not his first visit, the information provided through the website helped him realize how much more was available, and he enjoyed not only the BoyzTown area (especially Boyz Boys Boyz) but also the Because Massage at Adam and Eve House, and the show at Crazy Pub. It is good to know the website does help some visitors have a better time.
FRIEND OF WEB SITE CREATES ADDITIONAL WEB SITE
Mike Williams, who is the author of the web site, “Welcome to My Thailand” which features articles primarily about Bangkok and its environs, but also providing a web page for Top Man bar in Bangkok, is expanding his
scope. Mike has been very supportive of our web site, www.pattayagay.com. He now has an additional web site. He advises: “My first pages on the new site are up go.to/khun ” This is a site primarily devoted to the new bar in Bangkok, Khun Sweet Cigar. Mike adds: “This has a story about the Khun Sweet Cigar, another on my friend who I found there and a page on Pattaya. I haven’t created the links page yet. Hope you like it. Feel free to publicize it. I still would like to do a whole page for the ICON on Loy Khratong.” Now that William of Icon has provided photos of that ceremony, they will be passed on to Mike for his web sites. Mike’s first web site, “Welcome to My Thailand”, is found at travel.to/chaidee.
JOLLY BOYS HAS RE-OPENED ON DAY NIGHT SOI 2
A friend advises: Jolly Boys Has Re-Opened “Forgot to mention to you the other day, but Jolly Boys is open again. About the same as before. Not many falong, and most of the boys come from down stairs [Boys Studio Boys Bar]. Had a few new ones, but nothing to get excited about!” Jolly Boys is situated on the fourth floor of the Jolly Boys building next door to Boys Studio Boys Bar, which has the same ownership as Jolly Boys. One of the main attributes of JollyBoy is that it has an elevator (lift) to take customers to the upper level, and, with the bar located on the fourth floor, it also features a much more private ambiance than does Boys Studio, which opens directly from the street. Jolly Boys had suspended operations briefly two months ago until he arrival of “high season.”
That’s it for this week.
GAY PATTAYAN Nov. 28, 1999