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Published: July 24th 2006
I wonder how many people in the world have this exact same photo
I met up with Charmy (who I met in Vientienne) and she showed me various sights around town, from the famous reclining budda at Wat Pho, to Wat Aruns towering pinnacles as well as the very western modernity around Siam Squares many upmarket department stores. I love the variety that Bangkok has to offer - some areas have a small town feel, other really make it feel like the big city it is. Some areas seem to be pure chaos, while other are far more relaxed. I am certainly getting a much better feel about Bangkok than last time I was here, and have no regrets about avoiding the Khoa San Road! Grandmothers please don't read the next bit (well only if your my grandmother, grandmothers in general are allowed to)
The real eye opener of the day though, was Phat Phont (Patpong). Renowned for being home to the seedier side of Bangkok nightlife it is every bit as sleazy as I expected, and a whole lot more. The area is centred on a bustling counterfeit market, which is surrounded by bars and clubs catering to a variety of tastes and a variety of activities behind closed doors. Walking past
one very open door I was grabbed by Charmy and shown through into the scene going on inside. About 30 girls in their skimpies were dancing on stage. "Look more carefully" she told me. And then I realised. Every one of these girls had a little too much in their underwear... if you get my meaning. AS we walked around the streets touts - some men, some ladies, some somewhere in between - were advertising all sorts of depraved acts involving ping pong balls, cigarettes and beer bottles. The bars had names ranging from the very in your face "Superpussy" to the more subtle "Balls" (Apparantly a gay sports bar). However class is something that, at least superficially, cannot be applied to any establishments in the area. Walking the area is infact very interesting, but I found the constant site of old, fat, ugly westerners arm in arm with stunning young Thai girls disgusting and embarrasing.
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