Greetings Monkeywatchers, showaddy crap for another year, and following a festive season with best mates punching each other’s lights out, celebrities dropping like flies and bars decorated with copious amounts of vomit (in other words, a normal Christmas), welcome to our first look at the dubious goings-on of 2017.
It’s been reported that the Prime Minister has stressed the need for Thailand to focus on attracting quality tourists rather than just chasing higher numbers. He might have a point, as the report went on to say that in 2016 Thailand had a total of 32.6 million visitors and tourist revenues went up to the equivalent of $50,000,000. So the average tourist spent just over $1.50 during his stay then. Factoring in previous estimates of farang holiday expenditure, we’ve calculated that the average Chinese tourist must have spent a total of about 5 baht during his stay. Would’ve been jack shit if they didn’t have weak bladders.
So what’s all this malarkey about new baht bus routes then? If you believe some of the stories going around then there won’t be any more baht buses on 2nd Road or Soi Buakhao, so if you’re going to Walking Street you’d better find yourself a hotel within walking distance or you’ll probably never see your room again. And why are the routes numbered 4 to 7? What happened to the first three? No doubt it’ll all come out in the wash (probably the dirty linen.) It’s all academic at the moment though, as the baht bus drivers haven’t taken a blind bit of notice of any of it. But the rumour that baht bus fares are to rise to 20 baht was absolutely true. That is, it’s true that it was a rumour. The story itself was horseshit.
The long-anticipated inaugural voyage of the new Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry was allegedly cancelled because of… waves. The owners swear that this is the truth, but it sounds like a ferry story to us.
Twenty three Indian tourists were fished out of the sea just before New Year after their boat sank off the coast of North Pattaya. The two speedboat owners who came to their rescue advised them to spend a little more on their boat hire next time as 23 people is just a tad too many for one pedalo. Sinking pigs?
Beach Road is the place to be if you want to see the very latest Indian supercars…
New Year bar news now, and there’s been a few name changes around town. Amethyst has reopened as Gold, and Spice Club, which was the old Shark Club in all but name, is now Shark Club in name as well. Looks like it’s now the dark side of the Moon Club as the lights have been out for a while. And that well-known man about town Mr Egg has opened his own bar called Le Pub on Soi Diamond. The best of British luck to you, sir.
A distraught Ruskie turned up at the Police Station last week to report that his pay-as-you-go girlfriend had legged it with his laptop, camera, iPad phone, jewellery and 3500 baht in cash. Only 3500 baht? Silly cow. She should’ve gone with an Indian because, as we know, they’ve always got upwards of 250,000 baht on them when they get turned over.
A couple of needy schoolboys had a bit of a result when a pair of donated jeans they were given to keep out the cold were found to have 100,000 baht in the pockets. “I’m well chuffed”, said one of the lads. “Yesterday I didn’t have a pot to piss in and now look at me.” The boys said they would spend the money wisely, which in Thai parlance means they’ll blow the lot on bar girls and Mekhong whisky. Good lads – you know it makes sense.
If the baht bus boys find out about this they’ll all want to join (if you dont have a magnifying glass handy, it says "Taxi Racing Club Thailand")...
Another look over the shoulder now with a couple of reminiscences from the Monkeywatch of January 2007…
“Well, who would have thought it? Just three months after its much-trumpeted opening, the new Suvarnabhumi airport is to be partially closed because of poor construction. This will be administered by minor officials as senior figures don’t have time to deal with such trivial matters - they’re too busy plotting the next bar crackdown to ruin the holidays of any tourists who manage to survive the ordeal of their planes landing on what’s left of the runways.
In the best traditions of Hollywood, Fun City now has its name spelled out on Radio Station Hill in 20 metre high letters. They haven’t got it quite right yet, but it does offer an opportunity for tourists who are bored with the Big Apple to visit the big PATAYTA.”
Meanwhile, back in 2017, Pattaya was in the naughty corner yet again just after New Year when a video clip of drunks fighting in McDonald’s went viral on social media. Why do people go to McDonald’s if they want to fight? Come to that, why do people go to McDonald’s if they want to eat?
A Chinese tourist was arrested by police last week after visiting what he thought was a public toilet…
There was a story somewhere last week that Pattaya had been replacing bent manhole covers. Don’t know why they can’t let ladyboys replace their own chastity belts.
The government has announced that the 2017 general election is on track - it’ll be held in 2025.
And to end, an update to the ferry story. After many delays and postponements, the Pattaya to Hua Hin ferry finally set off on its maiden voyage on January 5. It hasn’t been seen since.
be seeing you
(thanks to short for the taxi pic)