From 10 Things I Hate About Go-Go Bars To Can ESL Teachers Afford To Live In Bangkok

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

It’s time to relax as next week marks the start of the five day bonanza that is Songkran. We hope you’re already stocked up with super soakers and a suitably floral shirt.

In contrast to the presumed excesses of the week ahead, this week has been pretty quiet, save for a 1.7 billion baht crystal meth raid in Chiang Rai and some surprisingly cool and rainy weather.

Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

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Thai sex worker accused of exposing HIV to Taiwanese customers

Taiwanese and Thai media have fixated this week on a story revolving around a HIV positive Thai sex worker who is thought to have exposed a number of Taiwanese clients to the disease between 13 and 22 March this year.

Identified as 24-year old Patty, the women allegedly recruited clients in the eastern Taiwanese county of Taitung using the LINE app. She entered Taiwan on a tourist visa before being deported back to Thailand this week.

There are thought to be at least two Southeast Asian prostitution rings operating in Taitung due to their welcoming visa policies, which include visa exemptions for Thai nationals for 30 days.

Railway connecting Cambodia to Thailand rebuilt after 45 years

It was revealed this week that a 48 km railway connecting Phnom Penh to the Thai border has been rebuilt by Cambodia, 45 years after its destruction during the Cambodian Civil War.

Trains are now operating between the border town of Poipet and Sisophon, a provincial capital. Later this year, the railroad will be extended from Sisophon to Phnom Penh. Eventually, it is hoped that trains will serve passengers all the way from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, although this has not yet been finalised.

Buy a T-shirt, support soi dogs in Thailand

Thai Street Paws, a soi dog rescue operating down in Songkhla, is in dire need of funds. Founder Tamara Johnston is currently feeding and caring for around 120 dogs on the streets and in her foster homes, and money is running out.

She’s hoping to raise funds with this latest Thai Street Paws branded T-shirt campaign. All proceeds from the sale will directly benefit the rescue, and will go towards food, vet bills, sterilisations, foster home expenses and much more.

There are 7 different styles available, all emblazoned with the Thai Street Paws logo, and available for a very reasonable price.

Please consider supporting this very worthy cause, if you can 🐶 ❤️


10 things I hate about go-go bars

Go-go bar veteran Stickboy here weighs in about the things he hates about girly bars in Bangkok. Always a good read regardless of your own predilections towards BK’s naughty nightlife, he cites ‘car alarm techno’ and the hilariously inert-sounding ‘skytrain shuffle’, amongst other things as the worst features of go-gos. If there are any bar owners reading, you know what you need to do…

One of the most striking things about the blog is just how expensive a night out on the go-go tiles can be for a punter. What with buying your own drinks, lady drinks, tips regardless of service levels and 1,000 baht bar fines, you could easily be out of pocket before you even start negotiating any extra-curricular attention with your bargirl.

Teaching in Thailand: first lesson disaster

An amusing look back here on Phil Hall’s first ever lesson teaching a class in Isaan. Finding himself nervous, shy and a little underprepared, his words are probably very relatable for all of Thailand’s first time western teachers.

But whereas most first lessons, while daunting, end up going pretty well, Phil’s did not. He regales us with the tale of how a large teacher named Mustafa manages to injure him to the point of passing out during an impromptu dance, only then to be stung by hornets as he escapes the classroom and finally for his motorbike to refuse to start when he tries to leave the schoolyard.

Teaching in Thailand is a wonderful thing…

Forum Threads

How do ESL teachers afford to live in Bangkok?

Sticking on the teaching theme, an interesting Reddit thread here on the big question that faces many unqualified English teachers: how do they afford to live in Bangkok?

With salaries often hovering around the 30,000-35,000 baht a month mark, teachers aren’t exactly flush with cash in the Thai capital, even if they do manage to snag an increasingly rare sub-5,000 baht a month rental.

This topic feeds into the wider subject of the gentrification of Bangkok. What was once viewed as a very cheap city for expats is gradually becoming more and more unaffordable for those living on local wages. Of course, this is all moot for people willing to ‘live like a Thai’ — your expenses will reduce hugely once you give up comforts like air con, western food, Villa Market and all that it houses, as well as other expensive imports!

Would you marry a Thai woman with kids?

One of those ‘would you rather…?’ questions that pop up every now and again on Thaivisa forum here. This time, a member is asking for opinions on his plans to marry a Thai women who has two teenage children from a previous relationship.

Lots of different perspectives here, from the cynics who advise against getting involved, to the men who’ve done similar in Thailand and lived to tell the tale.

Of course, with modern families like these, there’s bound to be some tension and aggro at some stage, but it’s curious how many of these members don’t seem to accept that, just like them, Thai women of a certain age are likely to come with baggage. All of us are carrying something on our backs.




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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!


Featured photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash



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