One evening in PKK a Thai friend suggested that I might like to listen to some live music, which seemed an excellent idea, so off we headed to the wrong side of the tracks. When I say that, I mean it literally as the main railway line from Bangkok to Surat Thani fairly effectively cuts the city in two. To the seaward side are the tourist, administrative and commercial districts whilst the landward side is the residential area. There are only about three crossing points in the place and one of them is what looks like a cross between a road and a storm drain. At two metres clearance, I know men who could not walk upright through it.
We arrived at the venue, the name of which I have no idea as it is in Thai, but is pronounced something like Seeds Bar where we were joined by a couple of May's friends. I was certainly the only European in the place, and would not be at all surprised if that was generally the case. It was then that I was introduced to the largest beer dispenser I have ever seen (pictured). It was simply huge with a central column for ice and a tap on the bottom. It was served by a young Thai girl, the Beer Chang girl which reminded me of another SE Asian custom. In certain bars, each brand of beer is represented by one or more girls, so your waitress depends on what you are drinking in contrast to the European way.
The band took to the stage at about 10 and set about knocking out a selection of Thai rock and pop songs. In fairness, they were young and enthusiastic rather than technically brilliant but they did a decent show and were well received.
With the possible exception of the MC Club bar on the seafront, this place seems to stay open a lot later than other places in town.
Dress Code: None that I could see.
One evening in PKK I fancied a beer and plumped for a place I had heard about and seen but not visited, the MC Club Thailand Clubhouse. I am not sure of the provenance of this club. I know there is a probationary chapter of the proper Hells Angels in Thailand, and the photos and memoribilia on the walls did not suggest these guys were part of that, nor indeed, Piston Heads, Outlaws, Barbarians or any other sort of outlaw club. I felt a little sheepish parking a scooter outside but others had done it.
I wandered in and ordered a beer from the friendly barman who spoke good English. We had a chat about the place and he informed me that the boss would be back from Petburi soon. Sure enough, a while later, the unmistakable note of a Harley Davidson announced his arrival. It turned out to be a beautiful Electraglide, not chopped too much. In he walked, hair halfway down his back (I was instantly jealous), full bike colours, bike boots, the whole lot. He really looked the part. In he walked, saw me and immediately made a wai (the placing of the hands in front of the face and a bow), smiles broadly and says, "Sabhadee khap." His manners were certainly at variance with his appearance, which must say something, I suppose - books, covers and so on. His girlfriend, a proper "bike chick" was equally charming.
Don't be put off by the appearance, this is a really friendly place for a drink and stays open later than most places in town.
Dress Code: None, it is a bikers club!
This is instead of a restaurant tip here.
I heard the restaurants offer good seafood, but only few have menues in english.
Markets are excellent places to find something to eat.
Because most Thai houses do not have kitchens (!), they offer so much and cheap food you can buy on the streets.
I tried them in several places and never got sick. The only thing I was looking at was that I could see how it was prepared and that is was well done.
Some of the things I tried i don't even know the name.
Of course there is meat, grilled on bamboo sticks, noodle dishes, soups. Fresh fruits.
But what are these white, sweet round things called? They are made from rice and coconut milk and baked in pans that have many hollows. (See picture)
Dress Code: Casual.