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  1. This photo taken about 1a.m. Wednesday. The vendors' area extends from the Surawong entrance to the alley that connects to Patpong 2 (near Dreamboy), my friend tells me. The remainder of Patpong remains open to traffic. It's heartening to see new life returning after the long winter of covid.
  2. One reason could be the need to open the road to allow for trucks to service the business needs of the lease holders (trash removal, deliveries, etc.). There's also the access of emergency vehicles in case of fire to consider. Wouldn't be surprised if it reopens in a different, smaller configuration.
  3. From Pattaya Mail December will see the launch of the annual Naklua Walk & Eat and the return of the Wonderfruit festival. Pattaya Mayor Poramet Ngampichet said Nov. 30 that the Naklua walking street would run weekends from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29 in Naklua Old Town and help promote the community’s seafood and entertainment activities. Tourists can see, shop, eat and share in activities. Pattaya has been busily renovating parks and markets with plans to have them complete by January, but one thing that won’t be done is the bird-watching walkway linking the Lan Po Market and Long bridges.
  4. Another thing to keep in mind is that all of the buildings and roads comprising Patpong (1, 2 and the connecting alleys) are on privately owned land. Finding sufficient vendors to rent space on Patpong 1 could be holding up the re-opening. Since the market is dismantled every evening and reassembled the following afternoon, and the display stands stored in a garage off of Patpong 2, the logistical expenses are huge.
  5. From Coconuts Bangkok A short circuit was blamed for Saturday’s fire at the CentralwOrld shopping mall, and one woman was treated for smoke inhalation, according to police. Prapakorn Tiyabutr was the only injured in the late afternoon blaze, which sent panicked shoppers scrambling for the exits after it broke out at the mall’s Groove dining area, said Col. Pansa Amarapitak, Pathumwan police chief. Prapakorn was treated at the nearby Police General Hospital. Witnesses told the authorities that the fire started at a booth which was made of wood and decorated with LED bulbs and spotlights. It had been there since July and was connected to a power supply. Continues with video https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/short-circuit-blamed-for-fire-that-injured-1-at-centralworld/
  6. This was taken by a friend about midnight Monday. Unfortunately the night market's promised re-opening didn't occur.
  7. I agree cutting a customer short on the clock is a big no non-no. Forget the "you come, I go" philosophy. You and the shop agree in advance on the time and you have every right to expect the contract will be fulfilled. Some shops will place a clock in the room. When I'm with a guy I haven't used before, I call his attention to the time we begin the massage. If there's no clock, I just show him time on cell phone so we both have the same understanding. As I've observed before, I've been very lucky with my massage experiences on the last few trips. As I get older my expectations have evolved. The most important aspect of a satisfactory massage--beyond good technique--is the sensuality of the experience and the personalty of the masseur. My bottom line is now very simple: did I have fun?
  8. With so many massage shops in the area, you have a much higher probability of finding good time in the vicinity of 1500-2000 baht, tip included. No drinks to buy, no attitude to deal with are there are plenty of eager guys who want your business. And for an extra 500 or so to the house, they'll do outcalls. What's not to like?
  9. This demonstrates that having the courage to protest against prejudice and injustice can succeed in making a difference even in countries with repressive regimes. I am in awe of the courage and sacrifice of those Iranians who made this happen. From Chanel News Asia protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police, on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on Sep 20, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Ozan Kose) TEHRAN: Iran has scrapped its morality police after more than two months of protests triggered by the arrest of Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country's strict female dress code, local media said Sunday (Dec 4). Women-led protests, labelled "riots" by the authorities, have swept Iran since the 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin died on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran. "Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary" and have been abolished, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. His comment came at a religious conference where he responded to a participant who asked "why the morality police were being shut down", the report said. The morality police - known formally as the Gasht-e Ershad or "Guidance Patrol" - were established under hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to "spread the culture of modesty and hijab", the mandatory female head covering. The units began patrols in 2006. The announcement of their abolition came a day after Montazeri said that "both parliament and the judiciary are working (on the issue)" of whether the law requiring women to cover their heads needs to be changed. President Ebrahim Raisi said in televised comments Saturday that Iran's republican and Islamic foundations were constitutionally entrenched "but there are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible". https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/protest-hit-iran-abolishes-morality-police-death-mahsa-amini-3121191
  10. A few years ago I was sitting with an Asian friend, watching the Dreamboy show. It included a slapstick segment featuring ladyboys made up in grotesque costumes and makeup. At one point they simulated picking up fake feces off the stage floor. Members of the audience were recruited to join the act on stage and to my amazement, quite a few joined in. Just about all the seats were filled and the Asian dominated crowd roared with laughter. After the show I asked my Asian friend what he liked most about it and he said the ladyboy comedy routines. It was what appealed to me the least. It was then I came to appreciate the cultural gap. It wasn't that they didn't like to see sexy guys on stage. It was that they also wanted to be entertained in a way that left me nonplussed. I never did get around to catching the new Dreamboy show on my last trip. It wasn't because I didn't want to to attend but I always managed to find something else to do.
  11. From Coconuts Bangkok A fire broke out Saturday afternoon at the CentralwOrld shopping mall, according to reports on social media. A large blaze broke out in the mall’s semi-outdoor dining area called Groove at around 4:15pm, sending shoppers fleeing through smoky corridors and coughing heavily, according to clips filmed at the scene. Firefighters rushed to the scene and were attempting to put out the flames. There were no reports of injuries so far and the cause of the fire was not yet known. One person reported fleeing upon seeing the smoke and flames without hearing any warning, three years after people complained no alarm sounded when a fatal blaze killed two employees and injured 17 in the same mall. The mall announced at about 5:30pm that the fire had been extinguished and no one had been injured. Continues with video https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/fire-breaks-out-at-bangkoks-centralworld-mall-again/
  12. From Channel News Asia JAKARTA: Indonesia's parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code this month that will penalise sex outside marriage with a punishment of up to one year in jail, officials have confirmed. The legislative overhaul will also ban insulting the president or state institutions and expressing any views counter to Indonesia's state ideology. Cohabitation before marriage is also banned. Decades in the making, the new criminal code is expected to be passed on Dec 15, Indonesia's deputy justice minister, Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, told Reuters. "We're proud to have a criminal code that's in line with Indonesian values," he told Reuters in an interview. Bambang Wuryanto, a lawmaker involved in the draft, said the new code could be passed by as early as next week. The draft has the support of some Islamic groups in a country where conservatism is on the rise, although opponents argue that it reverses liberal reforms enacted after the 1998 fall of authoritarian leader Suharto. A previous draft of the code was set to be passed in 2019 but sparked nationwide protests. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated at the time against a raft of laws, especially those seen to regulate morality and free speech, which they said would curtail civil liberties. Critics say say minimal changes to the code have been made since then, although the government has in recent months held public consultations around the country to provide information about the changes. Some changes that have been made include a provision that could allow the death penalty to be commuted to life imprisonment after 10 years of good behaviour. The criminalisation of abortion, with the exception of rape victims, and imprisonment for "black magic", remain in the code. According to the latest draft dated Nov 24 that was seen by Reuters, sex outside marriage, which can only be reported by limited parties such as close relatives, carries a maximum one-year prison sentence. Insulting the president, a charge that can only be reported by the president, carries a maximum of three years. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, has hundreds of regulations at the local level that discriminate against women, religious minorities, and LGBT people. The changes to the code would be a "huge a setback to Indonesian democracy", said Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch. The deputy justice minister dismissed the criticism, saying the final version of the draft would ensure that regional laws adhered to national legislation, and the new code would not threaten democratic freedoms. A revised version of the criminal code has been discussed since Indonesia declared its independence from the Dutch in 1945.
  13. I can second what Vinapu suggests. If you wish to remain in the Silom area, try Silom Soi Six. You'll find six all-male shops (soon to be seven) and none charge a minimum tip. I was a regular there on last trip and found they guys to be friendly and fun to be with. Don't be shy about discussing your message in advance with the guy who catches your eye. Some of the shops have en suite showers and all appeared clean and well maintained. One hour oil usually starts at 500 bht. Saphan Kwai is a good area to explore if you're up to doing a little traveling and walking. In addition to the places Vinapu mentions, KK Massage (associted with K-Man) has a huge stable. One-hour oil 400 with min tips 700-1,000. My experience there says stick with the 700 baht guys. Good luck!
  14. From CNN Airbus has previously announced a variety of hydrogen-powered airplane concepts as part of its ZEROe program, including the Blended Wing Body. (CNN) — Airbus has announced it is developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine -- and that it plans to test it on the largest commercial airplane ever to take to the skies. The French aviation giant revealed at Airbus Summit 2022 on November 30 that it will mount the engine between the wings and the tail of a modified A380 superjumbo. Test flights are estimated for 2026, as part of the Airbus ZEROe initiative to launch a zero-emission aircraft by 2035. "In terms of aerodynamics, the A380 is a very stable aircraft. So the pod attached to the rear fuselage via the stub doesn't pose much of an issue," said Mathias Andriamisaina, head of ZEROe demonstrators and tests at Airbus, in a statement. Airbus had previously revealed concept designs for an aircraft utilizing liquid hydrogen fuel and combustion engines, but vice president of Zero-Emission Aircraft Glenn Llewellyn suggested fuel cells alone might be sufficient to power smaller commercial aircraft. The engine uses fuel cells to convert the hydrogen into electricity, which then powers a propeller. "At scale, and if the technology targets were achieved, fuel cell engines may be able to power a 100-passenger aircraft with a range of approximately 1,000 nautical miles," he said. Continues with photos https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/airbus-fuel-cell-engine-rolls-royce-easyjet-engine-c2e-spc-intl/index.html
  15. From Thai News Agency Strongest Baht in 5 Months, Less Than B35/US Dollar BANGKOK, Dec 1 (TNA) – This morning the bath value appreciated to 34.97 baht against a US dollar, its strongest level in five months, compared to its close yesterday at 35.26 baht per dollar. Kanchana Chokpaisarnsilp, a research executive at Kasikorn Research Center, said Asian currencies including baht appreciated as US dollar weakened after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said interest rate increase could slow down in December. Poon Panichpibool, markets strategist at Krungthai Global Markets of Krungthai Bank, said players in the monetary market of the United States were less concerned about the interest rate increase by the Fed and fully exposed themselves to risks as Mr Powell agreed with other Fed officials to slow down the Fed’s rate hike. However, the Fed chairman insisted that the Fed would continue to raise its policy rate until it could control inflation. (TNA) ==================================== US / Baht 34.98 EURO / BHT 36.57 GBP / BHT 42.50
  16. All of my comments go to direct quotes you've made. They follow the rail you started traveling in the OP. Your intent was to make a wholly unsubstantiated claim that most masseurs were older and/or chubby. But you cite no evidence or experience whatsoever to support it.
  17. Sounds like you're avoiding the question. Most is not a figure of speech. It denotes "greatest in amount, quantity, or degree." So if your research is based on pre-covid experiences, please tell us what hotels had all these "older and/or chubby guys" that you encountered?
  18. Well, Mr. "P", if you already visited many upscale hotel spas and determined that "most" of he masseurs are "either older and/or chubby," why don't you just tell us what hotels those are. That would certainly narrow the list because you've obviously conducted copious research already.
  19. The lack of diversity among the organizers may have also been a factor. The SWING group seems to have had a major role in determining the agenda. A few private photos I've seen of the event showed signs reading: "My body, My pussy, My choice, Your money."
  20. From The Nation Where to get a free Covid jab in Bangkok as cases soar Bangkok has ramped up its free vaccine drive in response to a surge in Covid-19 infections. Thailand logged over 700 new Covid cases per day last week. People can get free vaccine jabs at the Bangkok Youth Centre (Thai-Japan) in Din Daeng district at weekends throughout December. All nationalities can reserve jabs via the QueQ app or simply walk into the vaccination centre between 8am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Children aged five and above can also get a free jab. A walk-in free vaccination service is also available for adults at the following 11 hospitals under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). 1. Klang Hospital, Monday to Friday, 8am-3pm 2. Taksin Hospital service at Platform Wongwianyai shopping mall, Monday to Friday, 8am-2pm 3. Charoenkrung Pracharak Hospital, Monday to Friday, 8am-2pm 4. Venerable Thawisak Jutindharo Hospital, Monday 1pm-4pm and Tuesday 8am-noon 5. Wetchakarunrasm Hospital, Monday, 1pm-4pm 6. BMA Ladkrabang Hospital, Monday to Friday, 8am-2pm 7. Ratchaphiphat Hospital, Monday to Friday, 8am-3pm 8. Sirindhorn Hospital, Friday, 1pm-3pm 9. Bang Khun Thian Elderly Hospital, Monday to Friday, 8am-3pm 10. Khlong Sam Wa Hospital, Wednesday to Friday, 1pm-2pm 11. BMA Bangna Hospital, Monday to Wednesday, 8am-11am
  21. From Thai PBS World Commuters using the Bangkok Mass Transit (BTS) train service on the Sukhumvit and Silom routes will be charged an additional 1-3 baht beginning on January 1st, according to the company. The fare rise, from the current 16-41 baht to 17-47 baht, depending on the distance travelled, will be applied betweenMor Chit and On Nut and between the National Stadium and Taksin Bridge. The fares from On Nut to Keha in Samut Prakan, from Mor Chit to Khu Khot in Pathum Thani and from Taksin Bridge to Bang Wa remain unchanged. BTS CEO Surapong Laoha-Unya said, however, that the new fares are still below the ceiling of between 21.52 and 64.53 baht defined in the concession contract, but the company has agreed to delay imposing the highest rates because it is fully aware of the effect it would have on commuters. He claimed that BTS had adjusted its fares three times since it began operations in 1999, with the latest adjustment taking effect on October 1st, 2017, from 15-42 baht to 16-44 baht,although the company is authorised, under the concession contract, to adjust fares every 18 months. He said that the latest adjustment is necessary to offset the increases in fuel, electricity, labour and maintenance costs, as well as overall inflation. He said that the company will, however, offer promotional prices for travel next year by offering bonus points to frequent travellers to exchange for free rides. Senior citizens are still entitled to a 50% fare discount and a one-day pass is also available at 150 baht, he said.
  22. From The Associated Press Qatari official puts World Cup deaths 'between 400 and 500' A Qatari official involved in the organisation of the country's World Cup has put the number of worker deaths related to the tournament "between 400 and 500" for the first time, a number drastically higher than any other previously offered by Doha. The comment by Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, appeared to be an off-the-cuff remark during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan. The comment threatened to renew criticism by human rights groups over the toll of hosting the Middle East's first World Cup given the migrant workers who built more than $200 billion worth of stadiums, metro lines and infrastructure needed for the tournament. A statement on behalf of a Qatari Supreme Committee spokesperson said on Tuesday: "The Secretary General told Piers Morgan's 'Uncensored' programme that there were 3 work-related deaths and 37 non-work related deaths on the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy's projects. "This is documented on an annual basis in the SC's public reporting and covers the 8 stadiums, 17 non-competition venues and other related sites under the SC's scope. "Separate quotes regarding figures refer to national statistics covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities (414) nationwide in Qatar, covering all sectors and nationalities." In the interview, portions of which Morgan posted online, the journalist asked Al-Thawadi: "What is the honest, realistic total do you think of migrant workers who died from -- as a result of work they're doing for the World Cup in totality?" "The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500," Al-Thawadi responded. "I don't have the exact number. That's something that's been discussed."
  23. It seems as if organizers of the Thailand Pride Festival of 2022 were playing it low key--very low key--because it came and went without many taking any notice. According to a lone post on GB's board, about a dozen groups walked Silom Road on Sunday, Nov. 27. There were reportedly some side events on Nov. 25 and 26 which apparently received little advance publicity (intentionally or unintentionally). 25 November 2022 Physical structures and signs of the rainbow flags in Silom Road Side Events in the scheduled location by stakeholders HERO Awards 2022 at the Australian Embassy by APCOM HERO Awards 2022 After Party by APCOM 26 November 2022 Physical structures and signs of the rainbow flags in Silom Road Thailand Pride Festival Party by Silom communities and partners This was the organizers website: https://www.apcom.org/thailand-pride-festival-2022-press-conference/ Like to think I read the local media regularly and puzzled how this slipped by without notice. If anyone attended, it would be interesting to hear their impressions.
  24. From The Thaiger Despite conflicting optimistic predictions, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is warning that Thai tourism may take a sharp downturn next year. While international travellers are flocking to Thailand now, industry experts fear that it may be a flood of pent-up demand and, by next year, all those who waited through the whole pandemic to get to Thailand will have already booked and taken their trips. TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn explained that, for nearly three years, people could not travel and take holidays due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Once Thailand began reopening, many overly-eager people raced to enter the country. And since all the restrictions were lifted last month, many people who have been waiting impatiently booked their trips to come during this High Season. But, the TAT governor fears that all those people will finish their travel by March and tourism in Thailand will see a big dip as factors level out. The reality of global recession, extreme inflation, and the high prices of plane tickets and travel costs will set in and cause potential travellers to delay or cancel their holidays. Still, authorities in Thailand remain hopeful that tourism revenue will continue to increase next year. Original forecasts expected 1.5 trillion baht in tourist spending this year, though that number has now been reduced to 1.3 trillion. The average foreigner is spending about 60,000 baht per trip to Thailand. The TAT believe that number could be pushed up to about 77,000 baht with various government incentives, especially offering longer stays. Countries or territories that are eligible for visa exemption to Thailand are currently receiving a 45-day stamp instead of 30 days. That longer stay programme is scheduled to run until March of 2023. Phuket has already reported statistics showing that European travellers are booking longer stays, likely because of this 45-day stamp. https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/tourism/thailand-tourism-may-see-a-decline-next-year
  25. From Thai PBS World “Royal Procession with the People” brings old tradition to life on screen Thailand and Korea share no borders and are 6 hours away by plane, yet everything Korean has become part of Thai life including music, food and TV series. The ties are further strengthened as trade and cultural exchanges grow and now the Thai public can also enjoy an art exhibition “imported” from South Korea at a Bangkok museum. Thailand’s Fine Arts Department and the National Museum of Korea are currently hosting an exhibition entitled: “A New Encounter : Immersive Gallery of Korean Art “ at the National Museum in Bangkok. The exhibition demonstrates how Thailand and Korea relate to each other, especially where the monarchy and religion are concerned. “We chose art dealing with the King and Buddhism because it can easily relate to Thailand,” said Korean curator Sumi Yang. The exhibition features two sections. The first focuses on a new encounter between Buddhist art from Korea and Thailand. Walking into the first exhibition room, visitors are “greeted” by Buddha statues in two corners – one from Korea and the other from Thailand. The Korean curator chose the 9th century Buddha statue made of granite while his Thai counterpart picked the 7th century Sirijava style Buddha statue made of sandstone for the exhibition. These two sculptures were created by different people and nations and are not from the same era, yet these two images of Avolokiteshvara Bodhisattva evoke the same sense of soothing human souls and offering hope for salvation. “Granite can be a difficult material to sculpt due to its coarse particles but it was the most common stone in ancient Korean Buddhist sculpture,” Yang said, adding that the sculpture shows bold abstract expressions whereas sandstone sculptures have softer and more delicate expressions. The 7th century Sirijava style Buddha statue made of sandstone. Thai and English details about the two Avolokiteshvara Bodhisattva are provided in text format for those who want to learn more about the two statues. For example, details on the statue’s headdress and ornaments of the “Buddha” are given. The Korean sculpture came from the National Museum of Korea while the Thai one is usually exhibited at the Bangkok museum. The Fine Arts Department handpicked the statue for the exhibition. After learning and experiencing the first section, visitors can move to a relatively more the colourful and “modern” exhibition – two immersive digital video works entitled “Journey of the Soul” and “Royal Procession with the People”. The video set reconstructs the set of “The Ten Kings of Hell” Buddhist paintings from the Joseon Dynasty (1329-1910) and selected uigwe (the royal protocols of the Joseon Dynasty), which was inscribed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme in 2007, from the collection of the National Museum of Korea. A New Encounter : Immersive Gallery of Korean Art “ is on show in room 401 of the Maha Surashinganat Building at the National Museum in Bangkok from now until 21 May 2023. By Veena Thoopkrajae Continues with photos https://www.thaipbsworld.com/bringing-thailand-and-south-korea-even-closer-through-art/
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