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vortexed

Will it be much better to visit in December vs August?

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Hi all - 

Long time lurker and first time poster here.

Was hoping to tap into the board's collective wisdom regarding whether I should revisit Thailand next month, or if I should wait until December.

Pre-COVID I was visiting Thailand several times a year, and was pretty familiar with the Bangkok gogo bar and massage scene. I usually stayed in the Patpong area and hit up the bars nightly. I haven't been back since late 2019 and like many here I have eagerly been monitoring the gradual resumption of travel and loosening of restrictions (Thai pass, inbound testing, COVID health insurance requirements, etc), and enjoying the trip reports from those who have started going back to Thailand. 

From what I can gather, by next month, most of the COVID-related logistical hurdles will be gone and inbound travel logistics will be pretty similar to pre-COVID times. At the same time, though, per the most recent trip reports, it sounds like the tourist traffic and gogo bar scene (in terms of boys, customers, etc) really have not returned to pre-COVID levels. My pre-COVID favorite club (Screwboys) remains closed. It seems there's hope that by high season (ie, December), things might be in a better place and more clubs will have been re-opened. Do you guys feel pretty confident that this will be the case (maybe best I wait)? Or should I just go sooner if I can? If I decide to wait and Japan or Taiwan open up for solo travel in the meantime that might push my return to Thailand into 2023...

Opinions and speculations appreciated. 

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given all of the current spikes it seems clear that most governments will not be increasing the hurdles unless huge numbers of people start dying again.

South Korea just tightened entry requirements a bit, but it just means getting a PCR test on the day of arrival instead of within 3 days. Not sure how much difference that is going to make.

I wouldn't count on too much easing in Japan or Taiwan any time soon. 

I would likely wait until December for (hopefully) better weather and more things up and running. But as we can see from the reports here there seems to be plenty going on to keep on busy these days. So if you have the time and the means you might have less competition going sooner

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Green shoots are evident here in Pattaya. Beach Road was almost back to pre-Covid levels in terms of traffic, both human and vehicular, on Saturday night.

But that was Saturday when Bangkokians like to visit.

Nevertheless, there's plenty here to enjoy, though others can  comment on the bars. I'm not sorry I came, despite pangs of sadness at the closure of some favourite places. Back again in November when I suspect that the green shoots will be higher.

So my advice to vortexed is yes, come.

 

 

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Airfares may be less in December.  In a "normal" year that wouldn't be the case, but there's a big drop as of the 2nd week in September.  Now this is from the perspective of someone coming from the west coast of the US.  Flying to Bangkok in September the fares are $500+ less that in August.

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My visit in August 4 years ago the weather was gloomy most of the times heavy cloud cover and sometimes heavy rain for long hours , I would prefer December prices are much higher but the weather is lovely. 

 

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I am having a blast in Thailand, and if you've read others' reports, I think you will see that everyone who has made his way here in the last few months had a blast. 

I think your concerns about insufficient attractions in August can be put aside going by the experiences of those of us who have visited. I find myself faced with more places to visit and revisit than I have energy or time. Or libido either!

There are some members here who can do 3 tricks a day. This is beyond me. But the message to take home is that there are enough options here for those voracious enough to do three tricks a day. Haha.

Much depends on how much weight you give to the weather situation. Yes, there will be a difference, but unless a key objective is to get a tan ( e.g beach time in Pattaya), then I really don't think weather is any real impediment. I note you didn't mention Pattaya in your post, so maybe beach time is not in your plan anyway.

I also understand the complications of arranging travel around available leave periods. I have a similar-ish problem. And my instinct is to grab whatever time I have within my work schedule and not wait in the hope of another slot months later. Slots and opportunities can vanish unexpectedly. 

By the way, what's a PTO employee?

You asked what is our confidence level regarding Screw Boys reopening. It's really hard to say, but with each passing week, it gets more and more unlikely.

Reopening can be a costly exercise. Many interiors have fallen into ruin in the last 2 years, and I noticed that several bars have had a complete refit recently. So, it doesn't come cheap for the owners.

And if they did their market research, they might conclude that traffic to other bars remain poor and probably unprofitable. Good for us as consumers (more choice) but not so good for those having to put money in.

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3 hours ago, macaroni21 said:

 

There are some members here who can do 3 tricks a day. This is beyond me. But the message to take home is that there are enough options here for those voracious enough to do three tricks a day. Haha.

My biggest concern is whether there are enough boy options (via bars or apps), haha :)

3 hours ago, macaroni21 said:

Much depends on how much weight you give to the weather situation. Yes, there will be a difference, but unless a key objective is to get a tan ( e.g beach time in Pattaya), then I really don't think weather is any real impediment. I note you didn't mention Pattaya in your post, so maybe beach time is not in your plan anyway.

Of the 5-6 times that I've gone to Thailand, I've only ventured outside Bangkok twice - once to Pattaya and once to Phuket. Beach towns are just not for me. I know the Pattaya scene has many fans on this board, but I'm definitely a Bangkok kind of guy. I just want to have my breakfast at Le Meridien, relax during the day, and hit up the gogo bars at night!

3 hours ago, macaroni21 said:

I also understand the complications of arranging travel around available leave periods. I have a similar-ish problem. And my instinct is to grab whatever time I have within my work schedule and not wait in the hope of another slot months later. Slots and opportunities can vanish unexpectedly. 

By the way, what's a PTO employee?

Oh sorry, Paid Time Off. It means my vacation time accumulates at a steady rate over the course of the year, and I only have X number of vacation days total I can take over the course of the year. I had a different job pre-COVID that was much more flexible in terms of time off, but my job now has a much better work situation, so it's a tradeoff! 

3 hours ago, macaroni21 said:

You asked what is our confidence level regarding Screw Boys reopening. It's really hard to say, but with each passing week, it gets more and more unlikely.

Reopening can be a costly exercise. Many interiors have fallen into ruin in the last 2 years, and I noticed that several bars have had a complete refit recently. So, it doesn't come cheap for the owners.

And if they did their market research, they might conclude that traffic to other bars remain poor and probably unprofitable. Good for us as consumers (more choice) but not so good for those having to put money in.

Sad to hear about the Screw Boys situation! Not so much about the bar itself, but mainly because it had the best boy selection for my tastes (twinks with some muscle). I actually liked the Vietnamese boys! Hmm, which bar is going to take up the mantle of the best twink bar now?!

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