Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

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Undaunted
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Re: Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

Post by Undaunted » Sun May 05, 2019 2:06 pm

fountainhall wrote: Lovely anecdote, Dodger. Can you recall any more of the history of gay Pattaya related by Ian? Also, did he have any information about the first go-go bars in Bangkok? My knowledge only goes back to 1979 with two of the bars - a sleaze joint named Stockholm on Langsuan and Apollo in Silom Soi 4 above where Sphynx used to be.
Wow! How old are you?
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

Post by fountainhall » Sun May 05, 2019 3:12 pm

Undaunted wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 2:06 pm
Wow! How old are you?
I have no idea why you should ask that! I have frequently written about my early visits to Bangkok and the bars I visited as well as the fact that I have been living in Asia for 40 years. 62 is not old compared to some here!

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Re: Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

Post by Dodger » Sun May 05, 2019 4:58 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Can you recall any more of the history of gay Pattaya related by Ian? Also, did he have any information about the first go-go bars in Bangkok?
In all my conversations with Ian spanning the next 4 or 5 years I don't recall ever discussing Bangkok.

According to Ian there were no gay venues in Pattaya until the 80's and the very first to open was Gentlemen's Club in the area now know as Pattayaland. Walking Street was there but only ran a short distance with a few girl gogo's, tattoo parlors, food stalls and short time rooms for the GI's. The only bar he could recall on Beach Road was the Tahitian Queen which I believe still operates today.

That lit the spark which ignited Boyztown with the first venues being places like Panorama, La Bistro Guesthouse, Cafe' Royale and Cockpit Gogo, which, according to Ian, was the first boy gogo to open in Pattaya. Places like BoyzBoyzBoyz, Thai Boyz Boyz Gogo, Wild West Gogo, Star Boyz Gogo (Soi Toyota), Moonlight Gogo, Sawatdee Gogo, and others started opening in rapid fire until the 3 sois comprised in what became Pattayaland and Boyztown were loaded.

It was Ian who took me on my first visit to Sunee Plaza, which, according to his memory, didn't have any gay venues until the later 80's - early 90's. I believe he said that Crazy Pub, Crazy Dragon and Amigo's were among the first gogo's on the Sunee sois with Violet House being the first short time hotel. Sportsman's Bar which operated for about a decade went on to become Corner Bar and now Double Shot. Sportsman's catered mostly to German Clientele who preferred very young boys. Most of the boys I saw hanging around Sportsman's back then were between 10 - 14 years old just to give you an idea. I vividly recall Ian saying that it was Sportsman's Bar that created the theme for Sunee Plaza..that being venues which offered younger boys.

I love nostalgia!

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Re: Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

Post by fountainhall » Sun May 05, 2019 5:16 pm

The first of my few visits to Pattaya was in 1983 or 84. If memory serves me correctly Cafe Royale was more of a host bar than a go-go bar. I did take one guy from there and we spent a couple of nights at the Royal Cliff which was less grand then. No problems at all with joiners. I didn't return until after 2000.

I remain fascinated by what was happening in the gay scene in Bangkok pre-1979. Stockholm was a dump in an old-style Thai house that must have been demolished in the early 1980s. As for Soi 4, I have no memory apart from the Apollo go-go bar which was my regular haunt. I wonder when Rome Club started up as a gay club. It was hugely popular until the owners must have got struck by lightning and changed it to a straight club. It died not long after!

Not that it was ever all that accurate, but I wonder if anyone still has a Spartacus Guide from the end of the 1970s.

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Re: Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

Post by ก้นconnoisseur » Tue May 07, 2019 10:09 am

Interesting thread but perhaps it may deserve to be broken off into a new one.

Two Australians informed my historical knowledge of Pattaya. The oldest story I ever heard was from a dear friend named Warwick whom I used to meet up with each summer. This was a decade ago and he was already in his 70s. As a young man he and his lover took a station wagon trip driving around Asia and other parts of the world. They drove down to Pattaya from Bangkok in 1965. He told me that at that time it was just a fishing village with little there.

A tale of a much later time was told to me by another Australian named Malcolm who used to be a fixture on the beach (when the beach was the beach). He was a bit younger around mid-60’s I think. He had been coming to Pattaya since the 80’s and told me it used to take him hours on a bus coming from the old airport and much of the roads were still dirt and became very muddy in the rainy season and the bus had to slow to a crawl and heave over the treads created in the wet roads. He said there were just a few bars then mostly around the Boystown area.

Dodger wrote:
During my very first visit to gay Thailand in 1998 I sat at a bar stool in Panorama Bar/Boyztown and got into a conversation with a very friendly Australian gentleman named Ian.
My first trip was just a year later. My magic conversation took place in a small bar called Playboy over near the Day/Night area which later became the Studio complex and is now Mosaic. I was staying across the soi at the Flamingo Hotel which is still there and in operation I think.

A nice guy who was sitting near me uttered a sentence that had a big impact on my travels, “You oughta try Chiang Mai” and then told me about the different kind of world that was up there. A year later I did try it and loved it and returned more several more trips over the years. Like everything, it has changed a lot, but I have some great memories of the Rose of the North.

In another thread Dodger wrote:
I was convinced that Thailand would one day become my home during my very first visit to LOS in 1998… I’m grateful for being able to experience two decades of Pattaya during its hay day and often wonder how I survived it. I made so many costly mistakes involving Boys and Money but some mistakes are just too much fun to only make once. Those who experienced Pattaya back then know exactly what I’m talking about. Conversely, it would be totally impossible to describe to anyone who hadn’t.
Truer words were never spoken for those of us who were there.

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Re: Go Away Expats Thailand Doesn’t Want You!

Post by fountainhall » Tue May 07, 2019 11:03 am

Fascinating observations! The history of go-go and other bars in Pattaya, indeed the entire development of that fishing village, is of course due to the Vietnam War and the leasing of Utapao to the US Air Force for B-52 raids in Indo-China. All those horny, young airmen and others serving in Vietnam needed somewhere for R&R and entrepreneurs soon found a way to provide it. I expect servicemen in those days were expected to be straight and gays hid their sexuality. So the advent of the girlie bars did not lead to the development of a gay scene.That clearly came after the Americans had departed. But it would seem a natural development once a major nightlife scene had been established.

I wonder about drugs at that time. We know that during the Secret War in Laos, the CIA's Air America became a major heroin smuggler into the US. There must surely have been a drugs trade in Pattaya.

I'm curious about Bangkok because there was definitely a gay scene before gay Pattaya. No doubt there were bars and other establishments where Thais could find nighttime entertainment. But these were surely restricted exclusively to Thais (as some are today). I wonder when a commercial scene developed earmarked primarily at tourists and local expats. Was it in the early 1970s? Or even the 1960s? I wonder if gay servicemen took their R&R in Bangkok where they could be more open than amongst their fellow servicemen in Pattaya?

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