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  1. From Thai PBS World Deputy National Police chief Pol General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn sounds surprisingly cheerful given that his high-flying career has just plunged into another crisis. It’s as if he were trying to prove he is the proverbial cat with nine lives. “I wish everyone a safe return to their home provinces for happy meals with their family during Songkran … Happy Thai New Year,” he wrote recently on Facebook. Last month, Surachate was transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister along with National Police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol after a dispute erupted between Thailand’s top two cops. The transfer order, signed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin last month, declared that their hostility threatened to escalate and undermine public trust in the police force. The conflict has been escalating since last September when Torsak beat competition from the more senior Surachate (counting from the number of years since becoming a superintendent) to be named the new national police chief Surachate had been a strong contender for the top post in the Royal Thai Police (RTP). But just days before the appointment was made, armed policemen raided Surachate’s house in Bangkok over online gambling allegations. Many observers believe the raid was timed to shatter Surachate’s chance of rising to the top. Born to a junior policeman, Surachate grew up in the deep South province of Songkhla. As a teenager, he enrolled in the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School’s Class 31 where his name was inscribed on the school’s plaque for impeccable behavior and sports performances. After graduating, he joined the Royal Police Cadet Academy’s (RPCA) Class 47. Surachate was the shining star of RPCA Class 47 alumni, rising quickly through the police ranks. After being appointed deputy inspector at the age of just 24, he rose to inspector at 30, deputy superintendent at 34 and superintendent at 38. Aged 42, he became the deputy commander of Songkhla police. He simultaneously led a forward command overseeing four insurgency-hit border districts, which earned him bonus years on his service record – a privilege preserved for officers in the insurgency-hit southern border provinces. The extra years of service helped secure his meteoric rise at a relatively young age. Surachate had not even celebrated his 45th birthday when he won a promotion to the rank of major general. Then in 2018, at the age of 48, he was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed chief of the Immigration Bureau. He also doubled as head of the Police Cyber Taskforce, handing him the authority to investigate cases across Thailand. High-profile cases and the press conferences that accompanied them saw Surachate quickly rise to national prominence. His recent transfer, however, is not the first blow he has suffered. Surachate has experienced similar if not worse setbacks in his career before. Back in 2019, then-prime minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha not only removed him from his police role but also shunted Surachate from the force altogether, transferring him into the civil service. Surachate filed a complaint against Prayut’s transfer order with the Central Administrative Court but lost the case. Many believed back then that his police career was over, but he defied expectations by returning to the RTP in grand style in 2021. Three years ago, Surachate was appointed to a new post on the same level as assistant national police chief that seemed created especially for his return. He managed to rebuild his police and public profile effectively and was promoted to the post of deputy national police chief, apparently on track for the top job. But disaster struck when he was implicated in an online gambling scandal. Continues at https://www.thaipbsworld.com/surachate-hakparn-the-rollercoaster-career-of-thailands-most-famous-policeman/
  2. "Reminiscences of the past are best avoided and what is required is a quick look and a quiet turn away." John Mortimer, Rumpole of the Bailey
  3. ....and massage shops provide the water, and often other nourishment.
  4. From Wikipedia Trump University (also known as the Trump Wealth Institute and Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC) was an American company that ran a real estate training program from 2005 to 2010. It was owned and operated by The Trump Organization. A separate organization, Trump Institute, was licensed by Trump University but not owned by The Trump Organization. In 2011, amid multiple investigations, lawsuits and student complaints, it ceased operations. It was founded in 2004 by Donald Trump, who was U.S. president from 2017 to 2021, and his associates Michael Sexton and Jonathan Spitalny. The company offered courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation. Despite its name, the organization was not an accredited university or college. It conducted three- and five-day seminars (often called "retreats") and used high-pressure tactics to sell them to its customers. It did not confer college credit, grant degrees, or grade its students. In 2011, the company became the subject of an inquiry by the New York Attorney General's office for illegal business practices, which resulted in a lawsuit filed in August 2013. An article in the National Review called the organization a "massive scam".] Trump University was also the subject of two class actions in federal court. The lawsuits centered around allegations that Trump University defrauded its students by using misleading marketing practices and engaging in aggressive sales tactics. The company and the lawsuits against it received renewed interest due to Trump's candidacy in the 2016 presidential election. Despite repeatedly insisting he would not settle, Trump settled all three lawsuits in November 2016 for a total of $25 million after being elected president.
  5. Have yet to encounter shop in Bangkok without AC. Most shops don't open before 11 but usually remain open until midnight in Silom area and often later in Saphan Kwai. Comfort supplied by the masseurs. 🙂 Avoid outdoor activities between 11 and 4. Early morning and Twilight good time for walking parks. The bars don't open until after dark so no problem there. Siam Paragon, Icon Siam and Central World are all great malls but my favorite has become Samyan Mitrtown. Besides the great stores and food offerings, there's an observation deck and discount cinema. It's adjacent to a major university so the people watching is guaranteed to be fun. Just one stop away from Silom MRT station. https://www.samyan-mitrtown.com/en/
  6. From CNBC International travel roared back last year, pushing airports from London to Tokyo up in a global ranking of passenger traffic. Dubai International Airport ranked as the second busiest in 2023, up from fifth place in 2022 and fourth place in 2019, according to Airports Council International’s preliminary ranking, which was released on Monday. Passenger traffic to Tokyo Haneda International Airport jumped 55% last year from 2022, and the airport ranked fifth, up from 16th place a year earlier. Global airports served 8.5 billion passengers last year, up 27% from 2022 but still about 6% below pre-pandemic counts, ACI said, citing preliminary figures. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Air Lines ’ biggest hub, once again topped the list of the busiest airports, serving 104.7 million passengers, ACI said. Here are the 2023 rankings (with 2022 rankings in parentheses): Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (1) Dubai International Airport (5) Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (2) London Heathrow (8) Tokyo Haneda International Airport (16) Denver International Airport (3) Istanbul Airport (7) Los Angeles International Airport (6) Chicago O’Hare International Airport (4) New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (9)
  7. From CNBC Trump Media shares plunge after company files to issue additional DJT stock plunged more than 17% in premarket trading Monday after the company filed to issue millions of additional shares of stock. Trump Media’s dramatic slide came as Donald Trump headed to a Manhattan court to begin jury selection for his criminal trial on hush money-related charges. Trump is the majority stakeholder in the company. Trump Media, which created the Truth Social app and trades under the stock ticker DJT on the Nasdaq, fell nearly 20% last week.
  8. From Pattaya Mail In a concerted effort to safeguard public safety amid the Songkran festivities, the Policy and Planning Division of the Pattaya Municipal Administration has launched a proactive campaign to convey a critical message: the strict prohibition of high-pressure water guns, commonly known as PVC pipe-guns. Security teams are taking to the streets to disseminate this urgent warning, emphasizing the inherent dangers associated with the sale and usage of these banned water guns. The force generated by high-pressure water guns poses a grave risk, capable of causing serious injuries upon impact, particularly to the delicate organs such as the eyes, potentially leading to irreversible blindness. Moreover, these prohibited devices pose significant hazards to motorcyclists navigating the city’s thoroughfares.
  9. From The Nation The body of a foreign tourist who dropped a water pistol in the Saen Saep canal and jumped in to retrieve it was recovered on Sunday evening. On Sunday at 7 pm, authorities received a report of a missing person near Pratunam Pier along Khlong Saen Saep. They collaborated with a water rescue team and forensic doctors from Ramathibodi Hospital to investigate. The incident occurred at the Khlong Saen Saep Pier, under the Chalerm Lok Bridge. The water rescue team swiftly located the deceased male shortly after arriving. Initial findings suggest that the victim, a foreigner visiting Thailand for the Songkran festival, lost his water gun in the canal and drowned while trying to retrieve it. Witnesses, among them other tourists, attempted to intervene but were unable to come to his rescue, but promptly alerted authorities to ask for assistance. The precise cause of the incident is currently under investigation. The foreigner has yet to be named. ================== In another incident, the Bagnkok Post reports that a 54-year-old man from Japan fell to is death from his seventh floor hotel room in the Lumpinee district Monday.
  10. From Reuters A general view of the department store Kaufhaus des Westens "KaDeWe" in Berlin, Germany January 29, 2024. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo © Thomson Reuters DUESSELDORF (Reuters) -Thai retailer Central Group has acquired the landmark KaDeWe property in central Berlin from the insolvent Austrian company Signa in what it said was another step towards buying the group. Central said in a statement on Friday that it was optimistic about talks to acquire the entire KaDeWe Group, which includes Alsterhaus in Hamburg, and Oberpollinger in Munich. The Thai retailer already holds a 50.1% majority stake in the group. "The acquisition of the KaDeWe building is the first important milestone for us in the attempt to restore and restructure the KaDeWe Group operating company towards a sustainable, financially viable business," said Vittorio Radice, board member of Central Group Europe, in a statement. The purchase price for the building, a popular tourist destination in Berlin, was reported by the German business daily Handelsblatt at roughly 1 billion euros ($1.07 billion). Central did not say how much it paid for the property.
  11. From Pattaya Mail Jeff (JJ) Michell now living in Thailand is personally working through the process of retirement as are so many Expats here in Pattaya. At the Wednesday, March 27, meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club he shared his ideas on how to deal more productively with the 4 phases of retirement – Vacation, Loss, Trial & Error, and Reinvent & Rewire. Jeff was a Fire Protection Engineer for 40+ years until retiring in August of 2022. Also, a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) & Hypnosis, he spent two years working as a life coach and giving classes in personal development. He began his presentation by laying some ground work for his talk. JJ explained how (1) Dopamine is a biological currency as it creates the desire to do, to succeed, and to create & procreate; (2) NLP is a psychological approach that focuses on the connection between neurological processes, language, and behavioral patterns learned through experience; and (3) how goals are created from End State Energy and they may shift form to the extent that there is new data to make new adjustments but in the process more energy is available. JJ then described the four phases one experiences upon retirement. The Vacation Phase mirrors the traditional honeymoon phase of retirement, where retirees enjoy newfound freedom, relaxation, and indulgence. It’s a time of exploration, travel, and leisure activities, akin to an extended vacation. This is followed by the Loss Phase, the time when retirees may grapple with feelings of loss, both tangible and intangible. Loss of identity tied to work, loss of routine, and possibly loss of social connections can be significant. It is a period of adjustment as retirees navigate the emotional impact of retirement and redefine their sense of purpose. The third phase is one of Trial and Error. During this phase retirees experiment with various activities, interests, and routines to find what brings them fulfillment and meaning in retirement. It involves a process of trial and error as retirees explore different avenues for personal growth, social engagement, and leisure pursuits. Then comes the final phase, to Reinvent and Rewire. This is when retirees actively reinvent themselves and their lifestyles to align with their evolving priorities and aspirations. They may pursue new passions, engage in lifelong learning, cultivate deeper relationships, or contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. This phase emphasizes adaptation, resilience, and continued growth as retirees embrace the opportunities that retirement offers for self-reinvention and personal fulfillment. He concluded his talk by summarizing how it all comes together, the ground work to the phases of retirement. After JJ’s presentation, MC Ren Lexander brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and then called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum portion of the meeting where the audience can ask questions or make comments about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. To learn more about the PCEC, visit their website at https:/pcec.club. To view a video of JJ’s presentation on the PCEC’s YouTube Channel, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4zIIO6MkOM.
  12. Although I don't do four-hand massages, here are some things you might consider. Four-hand are standard fare at mot shops and not difficult to arrange. However, if it was me I'd follow advice from Vinapu and others. Select one guy you definitely want in the equation and ask him to suggest the other member of your team. I've spoken with a few members this year who've had four-hands at Natural Massage on Silom Soi 6 and they were quite satisfied with outcome. As for six-hand, you need a shop that has more spacious rooms. The one that first comes to mind is One Spa in Saphan Kwai. Even standard rooms are spacious with mattress on floor and ample space for guys to move about around it. And their roster certainly has the twink offerings you have in mind.
  13. From MSN and Tik Tok An Australian wildlife protection group has lots to celebrate after they saved and rescued 16 Asiatic Black Bear cubs from a home in Luang Prabang, Laos. The group, called Free the Bears, say the home belonged to a wildlife poacher who hoped to use the cubs as fodder for a bile farm. Thankfully they found the cubs before the worst happened and have since brought the cubs somewhere where they could be safe. Life has changed overnight for the cubs, who now receive constant care and attention from local and international conservationists. According to Reuters, Free the Bears works with local communities and governments across Asia to protect the Asiatic Black Bear (or moon bear, as they are also known because of their distinctive markings), as well as sun bears, which are also at risk across Southeast Asia. But nothing could've prepared them for what they found during a raid in the house of a Chinese national last March. On the day of the raid, neighbors heard the cubs crying from within the home and called Laos police. When police arrived at the property they found the 16 bear cubs inside what appeared to be a bear bile farm scheme, a practice where bile is extracted from a bear's gallbladder to later be used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is legal to do in China, but illegal in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries. Police said there was one additional cub found on the premises, but it died before authorities could remove the cubs from the home. "When we arrived at the house there were bear cubs everywhere," Fatong Yang, animal manager with the charity, told France 24. In total, they found 10 male cubs and six females. The cubs each weighed between 1.3 to four kilograms and were believed to be about two to four months old.
  14. The Bangkok Post is reporting that sexually transmitted diseases are rising rapidly among the nation's youth. Cases of syphilis have tripled since 2028. Those in the 15-24 year-old group now account for 47% of new cases of HIV. The Disease Control Department recommends that condoms always be used. https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2775464/sexually-transmitted-diseases-surge-among-young
  15. From Thai PBS World Thailand and Vietnam have agreed to elevate their relations to comprehensive strategic partnership (CSP), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry’s press release said yesterday that both countries would announce their upgraded ties in June when their leaders are scheduled to hold a joint cabinet retreat in Hanoi. Vietnam has established the CSP with seven countries including China, Russia, India South Korea, the US, Japan and Australia. In June, Thailand will be the eighth CSP member and the first Asean country. In addition, both sides discussed ways to promote three main areas of bilateral cooperation including trade and investment, tourism and infrastructure. On trade and investment, Sretha asked Vietnam to facilitate Thailand’s goods in transit, especially fruits, at the Vietnam-China border checkpoints. On tourism, both sides agreed to increase flight connections between the two Congress and support the “Six Countries, One Destination” scheme. On the infrastructure development, they agreed to work together to improve the infrastructure, particularly in connecting the road between Thailand, and Laos to boost trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges. Sretha is scheduled to visit Hanoi and take part in the 4th Joint Cabinet Retreat in June.
  16. From TIME / MSN by Charlie Campbell / Phuket, Thailand It’s just past 11 p.m. on Phuket’s neon-festooned Bangla Road and revelers are out in force, though the heady atmosphere is distinctly more Sochi than Southeast Asia. TVs overhanging the sprawling beer bars show ice skating instead of soccer; Cyrillic signage proliferates; and Russian-speaking touts dispense flyers for pole-dancing clubs exclusively featuring women from former Soviet republics. “Russians, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Kazakhs,” says one tout in dark Ray Bans and a skin-tight Armani polo shirt. “We have them all here.” The war in Ukraine has entailed an incalculable human toll, while roiling markets, disrupting supply chains, and sending inflation soaring across the globe. But in Thailand, the two-year-old conflict is also having a profound social effect despite being over 4,000 miles away. While many Western nations have shut out Russian air travel in response to Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Thailand sees Russian arrivals as key to reviving its pandemic-ravaged tourism industry. In October, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin extended 90-day visas upon arrival for Russian passports, insisting in a February interview: “We’re not part of the [Ukraine] conflict. We are neutral.” Last year, Russians ranked top for tourist arrivals in Thailand from outside of Asia with 1.4 million visitors. Meanwhile, Russians were top overall on the southern resort island of Phuket, which has long been a favorite haunt. Last July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Phuket to inaugurate a new consulate to cope with surging visitor numbers. A month later, the Phuket Tourist Association sent a delegation to St. Petersburg and Moscow seeking to court even more vacationers. In the first three months of this year, 366,095 Russians arrived at Phuket International Airport, almost double the same period of 2023 and transforming the island’s commercial and social life. (That figure doesn’t include the significant number who transferred via Thailand’s main gateway of Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.) But while a boon for the macro economy, the influx has chafed with locals who increasingly complain that Russians are stealing jobs and upsetting cultural mores. Across Thailand, lurid headlines such as “Rabid Russian assaults police team in Phuket after going berserk at a city centre hotel” and “Russian tourist kicks pregnant Thai woman after asked to leave shoes outdoor” are both a symptom and cause of alarm. (However, transgressions involving New Zealand, Swiss, and Portuguese nationals admittedly proliferate also.) “Russia and Thailand are so different and sometimes they don’t understand Thai law and culture,” Lieut. Colonel Akachai Siri, chief inspector of Phuket Tourist Police, tells TIME. “Sometimes they break the law and they don’t recognize we have law enforcement.” Nevertheless, Thailand’s Russian incursion appears here to stay. Other than the preferential visas, sanctions on Russian air carriers and reciprocal bans on Western airlines have slashed the destinations where Russian nationals can escape their frigid winter, making already-popular Thailand an easier choice. And then there are the not inconsiderable numbers fleeing economic doldrums and a war of choice that they had no part in choosing—not least since the Kremlin has ramped up military conscription amid mounting casualties. “That was the final straw for us,” says Mark, a Russian who fled to Thailand with his boyfriend after an initial draft announcement in September 2022 and asked that TIME use a pseudonym for security. “We understood we can’t go back because anyone can be called to the army and just die in the war.” Beyond 90-day visas upon arrival, thousands are applying for one-year business or education visas. Arnold, who asked that TIME use only one name for fear of reprisals in his homeland, moved from Moscow to the Thai resort town of Hua Hin permanently last year and has noticed an increase in what are colloquially termed “relocants” fleeing the “various negative things which are going on back home.” Continues at https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/thailand-s-tourist-towns-deal-with-their-own-russian-invasion/ar-BB1lrptp
  17. I've had different experience but only after I'd had a few massages in shop and got to know them. Developing mutual trust is the key. But agree it takes time and effort. +1
  18. From Forbes As travellers increasingly seek transformative wellness experiences, Indigenous cultural practices have entered the mainstream. From the commercialization of ayahuasca retreats to Mexican sweat lodges (known as a temazcal, it’s now easier than ever to access ancient modalities of healing on your next trip. But many of these cultural practices are divorced from their origins, eliciting criticisms of cultural appropriation. Subsequently, travelers pursuing a more ethical and regenerative approach to travel look to go to the source for their next culturally rooted wellness experience. In Thailand, one such ancient practice that is attracting travelers is bamboo tattoos known as “sak yant.” While the exact origins are not clear, the tattoos are believed to date back centuries; first used by Holy men and later by Buddhist monks across Southeast Asia in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Translating to “magic tattoo,” they’re believed to hold magical powers; ward off evil spirits and bestow the wearer with strength and courage. Due to their role in providing protection and good fortune, they are only to be applied by a spiritual master who can impart their energy in the application process. As a result, sak yant masters in Thailand are in high demand, and can develop an international following for their practice, particularly when they ink celebrities. Now travellers can access one of the most coveted sak yant masters, Ajarn Neng Onnut at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel. A master and teacher in the art of sak yant, Onnut has over ten years of experience applying sak yant tattoos to over 10,000 people, including celebrities like Brooke Shields and Ryan Phillippe. As the first hotel in the country to provide sak yant, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel has already seen guests fly from Europe and the United States specifically for the service. In Thai, “sak” means “to tap,” describing the method of tapping the ink onto the skin using a traditional khem sak, a metal rod designed to replicate the shape of a bamboo stick which is often passed down through generations from a preceding sak yant master. Perhaps even more important as the application process of “sak” is the ritual that surrounds it. At Anantara, master Onnut consults the guest the day before the inking to learn about the guest’s life and goals in order to decide on the most appropriate yant, which can range from the most famous Haah Taew five-line yant to larger designs like the Twin Tigers. In becoming learned in sak yant, master Onnut studied the intricate artwork of the tattoos—which consists of almost 1,000 graphic images—and learned to read and write the entire Khmer and Pali scripts, memorizing the tattoo’s associated prayers, chants and mantras. Continues at https://www.forbes.com/sites/annahaines/2024/04/11/would-you-travel-to-thailand-for-a-tattoo
  19. They should reflect the high standard of performance as exhibited by the former president.* * See Trump, golden shower, Moscow, 2013, et al.
  20. NOTE -- It would surely make for a wonderful park. However, four words ("some of this space") could also turn out to mean that "most of this space" will be used for high-rise condos. From The Thaiger The Bangkok Port, located in the bustling Klong Toey district, is earmarked for a potential relocation, the Transport Ministry announced. Deputy Minister Manaporn Charoensri revealed plans for a feasibility study into the port’s relocation yesterday, to transform parts of the 32-rai site into a public park. Manaporn, responsible for overseeing the operations of the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT), shared that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had proposed during an April 2 Cabinet meeting, a partial relocation of Klong Toey port to the Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri. The 62 year old prime minister’s order will be followed with the formation of a dedicated committee to examine the plan further. This relocation is complex, with multiple factors to consider, including existing lease agreements and employment contracts, Charoensri noted, referencing an initial survey conducted by the PAT. She reassured of the impact on industrial factories and oil refineries, stating that not the entire port would be shifted. Instead, the Bangkok-born PM has proposed methods to make optimal use of leftover space or areas currently misused by the community, aiming to alleviate traffic congestion in the vicinity. Some of this space, she indicated, might be redeveloped into a public park. The BMA aims to shift the Bangkok Port to the Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri, with a vision to reduce air pollution and transform the vacated area into a green space for city-dwellers, reported Bangkok Post.
  21. Bangkok Pat takes us on casual amble on the other side of the Chao Phraya river and invites us to get lost in its roads and back sois. Swear my blood pressure retreats as I follow in his footsteps.
  22. NOTE -- Has echoes of the Red Bull cover up. In both situations, the victim was one of their own. From The Thaiger At the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, 15 police officers have been convicted of dereliction of duty for their involvement in a cover-up surrounding the fatal shooting of a highway police officer in Nakhon Pathom last year. Former Krathumban Police Station inspector, Police Major Kiartisak Somsuk, alongside 14 other officers and seven civilians, faced justice for colluding to conceal evidence in the high-profile murder case. Alleged influential figure Praween Chanklay, also known as Kamnan Nok, was implicated in aiding the officers in their malfeasance. Despite the damning evidence, only one officer, Police Sergeant Major Apirak, managed to evade conviction. The chilling incident unfolded during a party hosted at Praween’s residence on September 6 last year. Pol. Maj. Siwakorn Saibua was fatally shot by Thananchai Munmak, an associate of Praween. Shockingly, as the officer lay wounded, the 15 policemen stood idly by, failing to intervene or provide timely medical assistance. The motive behind the gruesome act allegedly stemmed from Siwakorn’s refusal to allow Praween’s fleet of trucks, carrying illegally heavy loads, to pass through checkpoints under his jurisdiction. This act of integrity cost Siwakorn his life. The court handed down varied sentences, with Kiartisak and three other officers facing two years behind bars, reported The Nation. Eleven officers and five civilians received one year and four months, while another civilian was sentenced to one year, nine months, and 21 days. Praween was not spared, receiving a two-year jail term, with additional charges pending.
  23. Although I may attend an occasional show, massage shops are my venues of choice. I enjoy a much wider selection and the cost is always reasonable. Yes, the majority are straight but don't read too much into that. Remember you're in SE Asia now and not Idaho. Many will surprise you--as they have me--with how affectionate they can be. And I wouldn't rule out finding them in Soi Six, Surawong or Saphan Kwai shops as well as some of the high-end ones elsewhere. It's an equal opportunity profession. Good luck!
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