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Posts posted by thaiophilus

  1. In Japan, visiting the sento/onsen, often as a family or social group (sports team, bunch of friends etc etc) is still very much part of the culture even though everyone has baths at home. The big sento have all the other things you'd expect at a spa, restaurants and so on, so people often stay for many hours. At the other extreme, I've watched the sun set over the sea at a seaside onsen that was just a vouple of natural pools in a space between some big rocks. That was mixed bathing - the women wrapped themselves in towels, the men were naked.

    A visit is definitely recommended if you like eye candy, but you need to know the etiquette.


  2. 25 minutes ago, vinapu said:

     On two occasions they also asked me  to show them boarding pass from my flight just landed so don't throw it out until you are on the street

    very sensible

    Very sensible indeed. Never  throw away documentation until you are on the next phase of your travels!

    Some airports even demand your baggage receipts before you can take the bags.

    (The boarding pass inspection is probably because a recently arriving flight was a stopover that didn't terminate there, so they need to be certain that confused passengers  to wherever didn't get off in the wrong country. It happens.)

  3. 9 hours ago, vinapu said:

    effective rate for my currency ( not USD, nor Euro ) withdrawn from ATM is marginally worse than rate in Airport booths in main building  and only minimally better that one I'd be paying if purchased baht locally before trip. 

    One possible difference: is the ATM billing you in baht or your home currency? If it's kindly offering to do the conversion for you, the "dynamic currency conversion"  rate you get will be far worse than if you insist on being billed in baht and letting your home bank do the conversion at the mid-market rate.

    Just say no!

  4. 10 hours ago, pong2 said:

    Amazing to see that such places still do exist-and apparently even in very same place- since < 2000. Cannot be said for any of the gay places (well, hmm, BBB?)


    "The Men of Thailand" 7th edition from 1999 lists A-Bomb, Ambiance, Le Cafe Royale, BBB, Toy Boys, which all still exist in some form.

  5. 1 hour ago, kokopelli3 said:


    Yes, Gun did work as masseur at Ambiance pre-covid.

    Glad to hear he's still in business. His farewell massage was my last encounter before departing in 2020 🙂

  6. 5 hours ago, kokopelli3 said:

    macaroni, if you go again, try Gun who is a masseur at Scandic. Good massage and good ending; Gun speaks English, is very pleasant and easy to converse with.

    Is that Gun who was at the Ambience for a while and before that at Narcissus on Pattayaland 1? If so, I second the personal recommendation. Otherwise I found Scandic as Macaroni says, though to be fair I haven't been there for several years and they may have improved.

  7. 2 hours ago, Milk78 said:

    I stayed at the Raya in April 2021. I liked the hotel a lot. Cheap (although i think prices have gone up a bit now that it is busier) and pretty comfortable. It is probably mid range. There is, or certainly wasn't when I was there, a dining room so no breakfast options.

    There was certainly a breakfast room when I was last  there in January 2020. I can't remember which floor it was on. Maybe a covid-related closure?

  8. 21 hours ago, Tartegogo said:

    I am often very confused by Google maps and how people refer to streets on Line or on this forum.

    How do streets in Bangkok work?

    I'll take one example: another thread here talks about Home Massage on intramara(sic) 29. When I search on google, I only find Inthamara (with an h) 29 and it must be right because it is just in the right area according to the rest of the post. Are h and r equivalent transliterations for a Thai sound?

    Also, I looked at their line account and they report this location:


    But looking on the map I can only see Inthamara 29 and inthamara 33, it looks like 31 was replaced by a giant motorway. https://goo.gl/maps/wmcdy1Hq1fkU8p4P8

    Interestingly, when I type "31 อินทามระ"  into google maps, it takes me straight to a house on inthamara 25. https://goo.gl/maps/qiWVfmhnjvR3YwjcA

    So how does it work? Does placing the number before the street name has a completely different meaning from placing it after the street name?

    If it is before the street name, the number is the house number, not the alley number? 

    Also, when they only give you the alley number, how do you know which house to go to? Some don't seem to have a sign. Do you ask the neighbours for the "gay massage spa with the cute boys"? 🙂


    Someone help this newbie please.

    You're expecting consistency and correctness. TiT so it isn't going to happen.

    • People make mistakes when transliterating unfamiliar languages.
    • Google Maps regularly gets things wrong outside of California, and is slow to correct them.
    • Given a mixture of letters and numbers that it doesn't recognise, it's likely to guess that you want what someone else recently searched for.
    • There is no single satisfactory romanization of Thai, so everybody makes up their own. (There's an official romanization but it isn't satisfactory: it doesn't even distinguish short and long vowels, never mind tones)
    • The 'r' sound is fluid. It's a marker of the Bangkok prestige dialect but in other parts of the country it becomes 'l' or disappears altogether.  And at the end of a word it's pronounced 'n' .
    • In this case the Thai spelling has no 'r' symbol , so 'intramara' is just wrong.  'inthaamara' would be a better representation (h after t means it's aspirated - a 'breathy' T, not the English "th" sound) and the second vowel is long.
    • A canonical address would be something like "<plot number>/<house number> thanon <street name> soi <number>" but there are many variations

    HTH 🙃

  9. 13 minutes ago, floridarob said:

    So make your withdrawal count, make it a big one, lol

    ATM limits are typically 10 000 to 30 000 B.

    13 minutes ago, floridarob said:

    Luckily there are banks that absorb or refund these fees 😉

    Or just hide them somewhere else in the system.  It's a safe bet that the bank will not be the loser.

  10. 5 hours ago, Connery43 said:

    One last thing - how much should I bring and how much to obtain at a Casa de Cambio?

    Not sure if that's what you meant, but don't buy baht until you arrive - you will get a much better exchange rate in Thailand than back home. Use exchanges (Super Rich, TT or similar, not banks.) Don't exchange money in the arrivals area of Suvarnabhumi, go down to the basement (Airport Rail Link) level where the rates are better.

    1 hour ago, floridarob said:

    ATM's are the easiest ....try to have more than 1 account in case anything goes wrong with 1, you have backup.
    (hotels are generally paid online beforehand)

    Be aware that the ATMs will charge you 220 baht (around $6) per transaction. That's on top of whatever your home bank charges for foreign exchange and use of foreign ATMS.

    ... and if hotel are not paid in advance you may find that sometimes they insist on cash. "machine broken, no card" (which may not be the real reason!)

  11. On 10/22/2022 at 2:48 AM, PeterRS said:

    The nonsense just gets worse. Now the dreadful Boris Johnson is being considered by some as the ideal candidate to restore the fortunes of the ruling Conservative Party.

    Fortunately, despite the assurances of the (more?) dreadful Rees-Mogg he has chosen not to stand even though he still thinks he's the best person for the job. That probably means that an Invisible Hand made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

    Anyway, Prime MInister of the day is now Rishi Sunak. Can he beat 45 days in office?


  12. ... and she's gone, setting a new record. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-63309400

    One of the things that first fascinated me about Thailand was its bizarre politics, with so many parties and  and a continuous succession of new scandals,  new governments, new constitutions. Where else would a PM (Sarit, 1952) launch a coup against himself? Where else would a party bring down the government by not standing for election? (Abhisit, 2006)

    TiT, I thought. Couldn't happen anywhere else. Little did I know...




  13. Another couple of good but not fancy Thai restaurants in south Pattaya:

    ฟ้าพัทยา: Fra Pattaya, on Pattaya Tai between Second Road and Walking St. The speciality is duck but if you ask for any Thai dish they can probably provide it. The menu used to be written on the walls in Thai only, but nowadays they have a huge picture menu.

    ผักบุ้งลอยฟ้า: Pak Bung Loy Fah on the corner of soi 13/3 and Second Road has a good menu of seafood and other dishes. They don't throw flaming morning glory across the road any more but that's the origin of the name.

    Both do excellent กุ้งแช่น้ำปลา

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