BY TRAIN TO BANGKOK 

Part two

By Bangkok Byron

HUA HIN NIGHT LIFE

It is always exciting – and a little nerve-racking – to explore a new “night life” area (I’m sure you understand the significance of the inverted commas). I had some idea what to expect from online research, but I also knew that some websites are hopelessly out of date (or just in la-la land).

About 10 paces was all it needed to take me from the hotel to the entrance of Soi Bintabaht. The name almost speaks for itself, as “bint” is wartime Britslang for a girl (still current in the 1960’s) and “baht” signifies money – in other words, this is the street where you can buy a girl. I was amused by the subtitle on the signboard: “Walking Street” – they all seem to be copying Pattaya these days – even faraway Angeles City! But it’s a very short walk, and about 100 paces brings you to the end of it. 
 

The red light district of Hua Hin.jpg

My first reaction was disappointment. There didn’t seem to be much going on. Later, as it filled up. I found that there were many tourists, mostly middle aged and elderly western couples (many, judging by the overheard accents, from the UK), but not many single men. By the same token, the bars seemed largely devoid of girls. Some bars were almost empty; others had one or two girls sitting or standing out front, and a few more inside. There was a large area, called Hua Hin Beer Garden, which had no girls at all. I hurried past it, then plonked myself down in a random bar and ordered a Chang (Happy Hour, 59 Baht – not much more than in The Big Mango in 2005 – so at least those out of date websites had been right about something – Hua Hin is cheap!) 

A girl in the Hua Hin beer garden.jpg

A girl hit on me and started chatting me up. She was not my type at all, being rather “homely”, that is to say, a plumpish MILF (or should that be MINLF, with the N standing for “not”) in her mid to late thirties. Still, being a gentleman (I try), I bought her a drink and chatted with her for a while before moving on.

 

The story was much the same in the next bar, and I was beginning to despair of Hua Hin. In the third bar, it happened again, as yet another homely lady took me through the usual bargirl/farang chit chat: “What your name?” “Where you from?” “You have girlfriend Hua Hin?” etc. (Did you spot the Full Metal Jacket allusion?). As we talked, I found myself wishing that I had not bothered with Hua Hin at all, but gone straight on to Bangkok. Well, at least I had only booked for two nights (I had considered three), and I had plenty of work to do online. So I decided, as I finished my beer, that I would use the two days to finish my work, then move on to Bangkok and party party.


As I was heading back to my hotel I felt a light touch on my shoulder, and looking round saw a beautifully shaped woman in a tight black dress with a cutaway high on the left thigh. I walked on a bit further, and seeing nothing else that appealed, decided to go back and investigate her. I could see that she was older than the average Bangkok bargirl (which I have calculated, from the ages of the girl's last ten bargirls I met, at 24 – not a huge sample, and perhaps skewed by the 37-year old I talked to in Geisha, but it gives a rough estimate). 
 

Two girls outside the Hua Hin bar.jpg

These days, I’m looking for more than just a roll in the sack – I want “connection”, but it is no good expecting to find it with a 24 year old (since I am a “sexy”-genarian). Also, I want inner qualities (jai dee); I want the GFE (Girlfriend Experience) – what’s more, I want a girlfriend (yes, I know I am looking in all the wrong places, but there are reasons for that). So I sat down and chatted to her. I found out that her name was Chompu, and that she was 34. I liked her, and stayed, and bought her a few drinks, and bought the mamasan a drink (well, she was a bit pushy, but lady drinks are cheap in Hua Hin), and in return, she posed for a photograph:

Chompu standing inside the bar building.jpg

Then I asked Chompu the key question: “Barfine?”

“300 baht.”

So far, so good.

“How much long time?”

Her reply almost made me fall off my seat: 

“How many days I stay?”

Days!!! In Bangkok you are lucky if a girl will agree to a long time – never mind DAYS!

“Two.”

“1,500 baht.”

It’s a good job it was a chair with arms or I really would have been on the floor! That’s less than I paid for a long time in 2005! We sealed the deal with a kiss.  We stayed in the bar for a while and got chatting to a man and his wife from the UK (she was from Scarborough – not far from my neck of the woods) who were staying at one of the Hua Hin resorts. It’s this that makes Hua Hin so different from Pattaya. The bars are not just girlie bars, and the sex(y) tourists like me mix with the real tourists (who outnumber us by far). My new tilac said she thought of working in Pattaya, but chose Hua Hin instead because, though the money is a lot less, the place is more laid back and she likes to see the families on holiday.

As I sat and watched the scene and talked to Chompu, I began to understand how it works. Most bars have around half a dozen girls working there. My tilac told me that they are not paid any salary, but get 50 baht from a lady drink, and payments from customers – around 1,000 for short time, 1,500 – 2,500 for a long time, though she told me that it is mostly long time. The way she explained it was revealing of the general attitude of the girls in Hua Hin: “Customers like a long time.” This compares favorably with what a girl in Carousel said to me on my visit to Angeles just two weeks before: “Girls like a short time.”

Clearly much more of a customer focus here – something that is long gone in Bangkok and Pattaya, where I have heard that some bars limit short time to one hour (that’s not a typo – one hour!), and is fast disappearing in Angeles. I was beginning to like Hua Hin. Later on, Chompu and I went bar hopping, ending up in Tina Bar, which is a music bar with a live band at the western end of the soi. It was full, and had a great atmosphere, suggesting that good music is a more successful attraction than bad girls in this laid back holiday town. Every now and then we were approached by a vendor of some product or another, including a little girl selling roses – of course, I bought one for my new tilac. She took pity on the girl and bought her an orange juice.
 

A little girl inside Burger King restaurant.jpg

To end the evening, we had a meal at Burger King (what, in Thailand! I hear you say – but it was nearly 2 am and everywhere else was closed). Then it was back to the hotel. What follows is, of course, private and personal, but it was the proof of the pudding of my emerging theory: that an older woman, if carefully chosen (well, she chose me, I suppose) will be more suitable for me, and take better care of me, than some self-obsessed, teenage, short time queen – indeed, she actually said as much: “I want to take care you” – and she did!