Prostitution is a big part of Thailand's culture and unfortunately it is the way of life for many a Bar girl. Thai wages are relatively low compared to most countries and these poor ladies have to make a living by making a life for themselves by offering themselves to a foreigner.
Guys from many nations come here and many Thai women are very surprised on how quickly it takes a male to fall in love with them. Yeah, to a male they would seem pretty cute, they are smaller than most woman and they always seem happy to see you no matter who you are. But as a female who has been to Pattaya,
I kind of felt sorry for a lot of them and while I knew two personally and got to know them as a female friend, I learnt that they didn’t usually liked their job, it was a job to them and they were often making money so they could support their families who lived out in the country or found it hard to get by.
“Hello my Big Big Honey” is a great book to read. It is interesting as it is informative and allows the reader to look at some of the letters that Girls in Thailand (mainly in Bangkok) write to their ‘boyfriends’ when they are back in their own countries and vice versa. Some tales are happy ones, while others show sad stories of mixed emotions between the cultures. The woman like the book says “seem passive but are capable of fighting back” and men who are sometimes totally besotted with these girls that they offer marriage and can often become “so obsessed they cannot let go”.
To find a copy of “Hello my Big Big Honey” check out anyone of the local bookshops in Pattaya and around Thailand itself. Bookazine has a lot of great books for all interests and this one can be found in the Thailand guide section along with many other books written on the same sort of Genre.
Hello my Big Big Honey, Love letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and their revealing interviews ~ Collected by Dave Walker and Richard S. Ehrlich
Thailand produce red and white wine. Good thai wine is a little bit expensive, around 300 - 600 baht in Supermaket, it come usually from Petchabun Province.
Chateau de Loei, more expensive is consedered the best thai wine. Chateau Grand virache have a taste like really good french wine, Chatemp easy to find even in small supermarket is a good wine.
Probably you cannot find the sweet stuff or Khawng Wáan in traditional Thai restaurants. When the Thai menu refers to "Dessert" it will refer to all foods whose primary flavour characteristic is sweetness. Thai people do eat the sweet stuff as between-meal snacks, mostly already prepared and sold by market or street vendors.
Thai love to bring these Khawng Wáan as presents when visiting somebody. These include grated coconut, coconut milk, rice flavour, cooked sticky rice, tapioca, mung-bean starch, boiled taro, fruits. For crunchy stuff some may contain fresh corn kernels, sugar-palm kernels, lotus seeds, chopped water chestnuts, cooked black beans.
I LOVE all the sweet stuff, especially wrapped in banana or pandan leaves! And those beautiful, strong colours... magnificent!
It is world-wide well-known that the Thais have been artisticly influenced by many sources. And Thai painting traditions were mostly confined to religious art, of a high quality. Slowly some artists delighted in breaking Thai social codes and means of expression. The most important artists are frequently exhibited and collected outside of Thailand.
A lot of artists earn their money in the commercial branch of painting. You'll find a lot of galleries all over, even exposing the same paintings. It is big business to create a fake Monet, Van Gogh or Renoir. Anything you want can be painted. Think a copy is something else as an imitation. What is worse? Take it ... or leave it!
The swallow birds are famous throughout South Asia and especially in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. This legendary bird is producing the world-wide famous "edible bird-nests soup". The best come from the South-coast of Java and got involved with the legendary Javanese Spirit-Queen Ratu Kidul. Though Thailand comes as second and some Wat's (Temples) are famous for producing these swallow and expensive products.
It is good for the endocrine system, for the body and ... for the beauty of your looks, really! Maybe that is why the Javaneses dedicated the swallow birds to a true Goddess. Even the legendary founding was an originally Chinese one many ages ago, the Thais do gather this product, too, and love the soup. The Thai gatherers get a lot of respect for their dangerous work. Whenever having an edible bird-nests soup think of me ... ;o)
The kathoeys/katois are the famous "ladyboys", often beautiful creatures making their appearance anywhere. Donot be surprised doing some shopping at a supermarket in the early morning, and getting served by a ladyboy; the transvestite, all maked-up and dressed, ready to perform and doing her super-duper-show.
Most of the girls on the streets and in the Go-go bars 're showing their lovely bodies, but the kathoeys love to dress, and buy their extravaganza dresses all adorned with glitters, feathers and spangles, covering their ladyboy bodies. Guess ... I got introduced at the place where they buy their clothes at bargain prices. Just on the market, Central Pattaya, only on Tuesday and Friday open. Yep,... magnificent dresses I saw! And even the mannequins looked like ladyboys ;o)
Thailand is a monarchy and the Royal Family is deeply loved and respected. So visitors should also be respectful. Avoid disparaging remarks about anyone in the Royal Family, don't speak ill of its members even in jest!
We happen to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, also named the Golden Queen. Government offices as well public and privat schools are closed during this very important date (August 12, 2006). The beautiful Queen is also considered by all Thais as their mother. Mother's Day used to be celebrated on April 15, but the government decided to move it to August 12 in 1976. Because of the so beloved Golden Queen.
In Hippie-time it was used to grant flowers to anyone you loved. Flower-power still is hot and, in Holland you'll find flower-stalls all over. In Thailand these stalls are for the locals to buy flowers for their altars, shrines and places special dedicated to their beloved ones. The Indonesian Bali island is well-known for this tradition. The garland ornaments are named "Phuang Malai" by the Thais. Literally that is "Jasmine Garland".
Garlands are also for good luck and worn at birthdays, weddings, graduations (festivals). Not only the Thais though tourists do buy these beautliful flowers, too. Maybe to feel the power symbolically concealed in the colours, the smells, the kind of flower and the special together tied ornament flowers. Probably sooner to surprise their new sweetheart. I love this special floriculture ...
Not that popular though still famous out of ancient times is the Kinnari, a bizarre image of a bird-woman. She is a mythological creature with upper-body (head, arms and torso) of a woman, and the lower part of the body of a swan. Well, that's the original version which is Burmese. Later bird-women do has the feet, wings and tail of a bird, sometimes an eagle. Also named a Bidadari.
This female creature is famous while the Palace Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, has also some of these images. And downtown Bangkok you can find some. The ancient Kinnari was famous for her knowledge, her dance and poetry and got the symbol of feminine beauty. Also Buddha was a Kinnara, the male version, is told. I felt happy to see this female creature in Pattaya. Go to the WAT CHAIMONGKRON (see link), enjoy this monastery and beauty of Kinnari, and all other images there ...
"Welcome To The Land of Smile" is read when you enter Thailand, even you haven't passed yet immigration desk. But that will be a thing of the past little by little. Most of the new tourists often assume the Thai are so nice, friendly and always smiling. Yep, even when they bump into you on a terrace and upset your glas of wine, they smile at you!
Remember the smile is a totally innocent reaction during any situation that is possible. Especially in Thailand, the Land of Smiles. Remember the smile (in Thai yim) can be polite (yim tak thai), of a winner (yim cheuat cheuan), the sorry-smile (yim tak tan), the happy-smile (yim tang nam dtah), the mask-smile not to show unhappiness of sadness (yim sao), a dry smile of a nervous one (yim hairng) and some more ...
So not anyone is smiling for happiness or being-your-friend. Even the slogan will not be so touched anymore you will get a smile of any Thai in any circumstance. After all there will be always one that smiles at you for sure ... the laughing Buddha!
This Buddha image is very big and quite impressive too.
I found it very interesting as I watched the locals, to see what the local customs where in regards to how the Buddha is worshiped with flowers, gold leaf, prayers, incense etc..
You can walk around the temple complex and just absorb the peaceful atmosphere.
There is also a great view of Pattaya city near here which is directly north of this point.
Songkran is the Thai New Year. The custom is to pour a little bit of water on someone elses hands to bless them. Well the foreigners and bar girls have changed it up a bit. In Pattaya Songkran is the biggest water fight you'll ever see in your life. It is on April 19th, but the water fight lasts a full week in Pattaya. It starts on the 12th or 13th and ends on the 19th. It was the biggest wet tee-shirt contest I ever saw in my life. After seeing all those soaking wet girls I felt truly blessed. The picture is of a few of the guys with their water cannons. Those guns dump about a gallon of water on you in about 3-5 seconds. It is definitely worth going to see if you don't mind getting wet. Make sure you put all your valuables in a plastic bag before you go out. They don't care if you have your digital camera in your hand. If you're on the street you're a target.
This event is over a few days in april the hotest and dryest month.......it is normally over a few days but once in Pattaya a few years ago it went on for 2 weeks........
Basically the whole country erupts into big water fights............you will wherever you are get wet in doors or outside...........don't bother changing into dry clothes you will just get wet again even battles rage while driving down the road and accident rates go up.
Its mad but fun and if you think it will annoy you after a while then miss this time of year or stay in your hotel room.................thats exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When spending a night at the best friend complex watching the muay thai, the boxers will walk around the diffrent bars after their bout looking for you too show your appreciation(money)I was taken back a bit by this at first, but you are under no obligation to give them anything,however 20-30 baht is unlikely to break a "farangs"holiday budget.
Ofcourse we, wanderlusty tourists, do know our immune system has been disordered and we should change our eating habits. That it means, too, we should consume cockroaches, bees, scorpions and other insects goes some ideas too far, ... huh???
Well, we could try to look for the street stalls and vendors, only for a watch! And see the healthy Thai people on your holiday all around who don't mind eating a bug, an insect, a reptile ... so, here are some photographs that probably gives you the creeps. You can find these bugs all over, and maybe around the corner of your hotel ... c'mon, just try one!!!