There is so much info on this site. On the right side of this page is "Asia travel info' Click Thailand and choose your region, town, check out accommodation ... click on the various choices and the end of each page there are often comments from those who have stayed before and their ratings/comments. Of course any opinion is subjective. Really so much stuff here, maybe take the time to check it out fully, am sure most of your questions have answers already onsite.
#2 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
9 1 11 Chaing Mai
Can anyone tell me in which direction is the LiThai G H on Phayalithai Rd from the rail station in Phitsanulok.........
Its worth a beer.......
#3 topogene88 has been a member since 30/12/2008. Posts: 11
from the railroad station you'll head west (towards the river) for one block. turn south (left) and go about two blocks. look for the street signs for Phayalithai Rd (or however it is spelled). turn right. the hotel is up a block or so on the left-hand side of the street. be sure to look up, since it is easy to walk right past the place if you don't see the hotel sign. it is less than a 10-minute walk.
you could also just grab a tuk tuk from the train station and save a little anxiety. it should only cost 20 baht per person or so for the convenience.
i really liked the LiThai and Phitsanulok in general. hope that helps. cheers.
In Pai I stayed at Baan Pai Village. I'd originally travelled to Pai with a friend, thinking I would stay three nights. I loved it here so much I stayed a full week (and was said to leave). We had a wonderful bungalow, with 2 twin beds (with netting), a private ensuite with hot water, and a lovely front porch. The rate was originally 600b a night, but they knocked it down to 500 after we were there a few days.
The complex also has an ok restaurant (although there is MUCH better food to be had in Pai), and an private outdoor massage area (I dont want to use "parlour").
Nightlife in Pai is laid back and FUN!
There are several bars in town with really great live music. We spent almost every evening at a joint on the road to the river called Edible Jazz, listening to an impromptu band and mixing our own drinks. Another favorite was Ting Tong, just outside town: delicious cocktails and really great ambiance. We usually finished the night further down the road at Bebop with more live music and lots of dancing.
Ties with Chiang Mai as top place to go out in my book.
Pai doesnt have much nightlife. A few restaurants and bars catering to farangs and the only thais you see live there to sell stuff to farangs. It's like a fake town put on for tourists.
If it wasnt for farang tourists the town would be a tiny village.
#9 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
That doesn't sound like my thing. I do not like to socialize much with tourists and definitely not with lots of them in one place. I don't go to Khao San Road or like places. I don't hang out with backpackers - not my thing.
Then you wouldn't like it. Outside of Bangkok nightlife seems to be catered around tourists rather than locals who stay eating with family.
#11 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
To each his own I guess.
With all due respect (this is a long-standing grudge not directed at you Krabiman), I've been reflecting on this snobbish undertone I keep coming across towards everything that's not 'authentic' in SEA. I fully appreciate that Pai is a farang-trap, but the point is: I am a farang. It amuses me no end when anti-tourists ostentatiously dressed in Thai pants & dreadlocks moan about how touristy a place is. I think the best we can do as guests in a country is keep an open mind and go to the places that appeal to us disregarding labels.
Pai has a great Muay Thai school, a great Tai Chi school, natural spas, waterfalls, trekking, lots of live music and a resident crowd of really hip Thais. Is it Thailand? As much as my local ski resort is Italy - so yes & no.
Maybe this rant belongs to a thread of its own :)
Kind of pointless going overseas to hang out in fake towns put on for tourists. Like going to a theme park. Hardly snobbish wanting to see authentic Thailand., that's the point of going there in the first place.
" It amuses me no end when anti-tourists ostentatiously dressed in Thai pants & dreadlocks moan about how touristy a place is."
Never had dreadlocks myself and dont wear thai pants other than to bed. Pai seemed to be full of people with thai pants and dreadlocks who like the place. People who dress in normal clothes with normal hair are less likely to like it there. It was a full on hippy hangout when I was there.
" great Tai Chi school"
Not even a Thai thing.
Don't know about these hip Thais you speak off. Seems Thais were only there to sell stuff to the next lot of dumb farangs right off the bus.
#13 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
As I said Krabi man, I meant no offence to you directly. But since you're throwing in the 'dumb farang' card I'm afraid the gloves are off my friend ;)
What does 'authentic' mean? Pai has a history dating back several centuries. Now it's largely shaped by tourism. Is that not true of many places in Thailand? Are they less 'authentic' because they're popular? So is Krabi (or Rome for that matter) fake?
Yes, many Thais in Pai own businesses catering to tourists. That's what normally happens in a town where 90% of income comes from tourism. A high proportion of them happen to be fantastic musicians and artists, you know, 'hip'.
A direct student of the Chen Tai Chi family was visiting from Yangshuo when I was in Pai. We trained with him for 3 weeks together with some athletes from the local Muay Thai gym. A pretty incredible experience despite it's 'un-Thainess'.
Bottom line: I think Pai is a gorgeous place, a great hub for trekking and a cute little town worth seeing. I experienced a very light-hearted vibe and a great sense of irony - exemplified by the ubiquitous posters & stickers saying 'Hippies Smell' :)
If you don't care for any of the things listed above, by all means - don't go!
FSH (Foul Smelly Hippie)
"Outside of Bangkok nightlife seems to be catered around tourists rather than locals who stay eating with family."
Krabiman, are you sure? I've found great nightlife in places like Lampang, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Nong Khai, and even areas of Ko Samet where I was pretty much the only westerner there. Live music. Lively conversation. Lots of drinking and definitely lots of fun.
Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with hanging out with the backpacker crowd either. I've had some great times, particularly in my younger days, slumming it with the backpacker set. I imagine it is a kindred spirit thing - not unlike spring break here in the states. No worries if that's not your thing, but no need to dis others if that is what they want to do. Cheers.
I guess the reason I don't like "slumming it with the backpacker set" is precisely because they are not my kindred spirits. I don't find myself in agreement with this crowd much. I don't wear fishermans pants or any other backpacker fashion, I don't have dreadlocks, I like globalization and what it's brought to Thailand, and so forth and so on. I'm a retired soldier, and not the kind of guy likely to find a lot of kindred spirits among the backpacker set.
I do agree with Francesstella in that I have no problem with places like Pai existing and catering to a certain tourist set or said tourists enjoying them. I don't see anything wrong with that and I do not harken for the "good ol days" when Thailand was "authentic".
Krabiman - on this statement you just lost me:
"Outside of Bangkok nightlife seems to be catered around tourists rather than locals who stay eating with family."
This is just wrong, wrong, wrong. I have lived in Thailand for three and half years, and live in a province with very few expats. The nightlife scene here caters ONLY to Thais. There aren't enough expats here to support even a single establishment, and we have many. I go out at least once a week, and I almost never see a non-Thai while out. We have a ton of bars and restaraunts, and none are for toursits, who don't exist here.
Pai, has cool bars, but no sleezy places, no bar bars like the southern tourist places
its not a scene for sex travellers, so forget it for that.
its a chill out place. Now overrun every weekend by Thai tourists who come to Pai
in the name of love, since they made a love story movie there years ago. its sweet actually. But in high season you struggle to walk thru the streets, that turned into markets a few years ago. no drinking or smoking on walking street is enforced. and
respectful dress is expected there, like always wear your shirt, no bare chests, like in the south. its an old traditional hilltribe village central. thats gone mad with tourism
the town packs up at 10pm, all town bars are to closed by 12 midnight,
by law, and town is suppose to be quiet after midnight. for late night revellers there are
late night food stalls and just over the bridge that open till the wee hours, only a short walk away, .
Its a great place to hang out for a bit if you are travelling yourself silly, and are in need of a rest. the locals are very friendly and cool and you dont get hasseled about anything. a big range of food is available, and there are a coupple of great falang
food places...........accom is also cheaper there, but not on high season weekends
where if you arrive late, you be lucky to find a room in town, and may have to trek out of town to find one.
#17 nedz has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 26
Depends what you call a sleazy place. Pai is only small and I never saw any bargirls there eirher if that's what you call sleazy. Seen quite a few towns with no obvious bargirls. Bargirls go to the bigger places looking for more customers not the small towns/villages.
Exacto, I was speaking in general terms and was talking mainly about the places that most tourists go.
#19 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
Just about every Thai Ampur has at least one Karaoke bar where girls can be bought out of the bar and every Provincial city has plenty of them - not to mention free lancers. Tambon and Ban Bo, OK, that's too small for much naughty nightlife, but Ampur and above, plenty. Thailand's prostitution industry caters to Thais - the tourist scene is a drop in the bucket. If Pai doesn't have any working girls I'd be shocked. I've travelled all over Isaan, and working girls are just a normal part of the background here.
Pai is a small village basically. There maybe bargirls there but its not obvious. Never saw any and havent seen any in places like Sai Yok, Phimai, Krabi Town. Who really cares anyway? Whores galore in western countries. Look at the local newspapers.
I've heard this drop in the bucket claim before but in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Samui where many bargirls are virtually every customer appears to be a foreigner.
How many thais can afford 1000 baht a night to pay for one?
Issan scene with local thais must be a very cheap scene because the average issan man earns bugger all.
#21 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
"I've heard this drop in the bucket claim before but in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Samui where many bargirls are virtually every customer appears to be a foreigner."
That's because when you see a working girl with a Thai guy, it just looks like two Thais together. The working girls catering to foreigners tend to look the part more - for obvious reasons, but the drop in the bucket isn't a claim, it's a fact.
And it isn't that cheap, but there are plenty of middle class and wealthy Thais. Right here where I live, in Mukdahan, there is a thriving, if small, red light district. About 100 girls working there and there are almost no foreigners here. Their customer base is all Thai.
Again, go to any ampur and ask for the Karaoke place and you will find working girls. That is every Ampur, plus all of the provinces have karaoke and brothels. If you live here, there is no way you can miss this obvious feature of Thai existence. Just drive down ANY highway and at night and you'll see a tons of these places.
I agree that Thailand will be different for everyone and what everyone is seeking on their vacation will be different. I don't hang out with the backpacker set, and Pai seems to be the kind of place that attracts that set, so it probably wouldn't be for me. And it's not anywhere near where I would otherwise go. If by chance I'm in the neighborhood, by all means I would check it out. But that seems unlikely in my case. But that a place like Pai exists and that it draws a certain set of tourists is perfectly OK with me. We aren't all the same. This holds true in my view for Vang Vieng and Pattaya and all the other places that have been "ruined".
I am planning on going to Thailand for three months and work from there on my laptop so would need solid internet connection. I am looking for cheap accomodation, perhaps a studio/hotel something under £100 /$260/month. Is that possible? I am thinking close the beach obviously. Where would you recommend to go?
I would say this thread isn't really the place to ask that question - although Krabiman might have some good advice on that. None of the three places mentioned here is close to the sea. But within Thailand you can find something cheaper than that. Around 150 USD in Mukdahan for eveything you want - but not sea.
Krabiman, I've only been coming to Thailand since '87, but in that time it's gotten WAY more touristy, and the type of visitors here have changed, many more short-timers and partiers. Lots of young folks who don't know sawatdee from sabaidee. Chiang mai at that time was so peaceful, it's so busy now, but is still Thai. I was on Koh Pangnan in '87, Phi phi in '89, long before they got over run with falang, (there was still loads of coral in the bay on Phiphi, who killed it off?), but rather than complain about it I just stay away, haven't been back to either since then. Still have the memories.
I suggest, if you haven't alrdeady, that you learn conversational or better Thai and then just visit and stay in one of the other many many places in Thailand. Check out Issan if you haven't already. Happy travels
#27 asiainmyblood has been a member since 15/2/2010. Posts: 6
I dont believe your claims Madmac. Where do all these thais get 1000 baht a night from? They earn 300 baht a day on average.
Easy to spot a bargirl from a normal thai girl.
Lots of thai guys have mia nois (mistresses) so they dont need bargirls
#28 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
You can find bungalows around 4000 baht a month around krabi. Mostly rented by thais and people who speak thai. They are fairly basic but ok. The touristy places charge a lot more. You wont find much on the internet that are cheap though. You need to go there and ask around. Helps if you can speak some thai. You should be able can get something a bit better for 7000-8000 baht. Touristy ones aimed at farangs will go for 15,000-20,000.
#29 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
"And it isn't that cheap, but there are plenty of middle class and wealthy Thais"
That's about 10% of the population or 1/10.
Not plenty. So about 6 million, half are men so that's 3 million. Say 1/3 of them use bargirls that's 1 million.
Thailand gets about 11 mill tourists a year, half are men so 5.5 men. Maybe 2 mill are interested in bargirls so it's 2-1 ratio to tourists. Wouldnt call it a drop in the bucket.
You mentioned 100 bargirls in your town. So if 50 thai towns have that many that's only 5,000.
In Pattaya alone there would be 20,000-30,000 bargirls and most of them target tourists. Some of the bars would have 100 each.
#30 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
Krabiman, first of all, there are 76, not 50 provinces in Thailand. And some are very large, like Khon Kaen. Have you been there? There are thousands of working girls there. Secondly you left out all of the Ampurs, almost all of whom have Karaoke bars. I live here and have for three and a half years. Working girls are everywhere. But they DO NOT all dress the part. Not out here. I get propositioned almost daily - and I'm not hanging out in Red light areas.
Have you been to Huai Khwang in Bangkok? There are thousands of working girls there catering almost exlcusively to Thais. Go there and check it out. Go into the Karaoke bars and then tell me prostitution in Thailand revolves around tourists.
Have you been to Hat Yai? That's in your neighborhood. Admitedly catering to Malays, but not western tourists. Thousands of working girls there.
According to actual STUDIES conducted, somewhere around 95% of all Thai men have used the services of prostitutes at some point. 95%!!! Yes, many guys are relatively poor. But they often scrape up enough for a three hundred baht whack once a month. And then there's the more affluent. You think if a guy is maintaining a Mia Noi he doesn't screw hookers? How many Thai friends do you have? Again, according to actual research done on the subject, every day some 450,000 Thai men use prostitutes.
Krabiman, on this subject, you are just out to lunch. The prostitution industry in Thailand has existed LONG before there was tourism. It is deeply ingrained in the culture. You can't blame the west or America on this buddy.
think things have digressed quite a bit from the original question...perhaps split it off to a new topic under Culture & Politics?
but IMHO MADMAC has quite a good grasp of the situation in #32. check out Huai Khwang/Ratchadapisek area in BKK as he said. or simply talk more to local guys wherever you are in Thailand (& Laos, Cambodia, etc).
(btw, has the 77th province been made official yet?)
Going once is hardly a big deal. I'm sure 80% of westerners have too.
76 times 100 = 7,600 still not very big. double it and it's still not that big.
"You think if a guy is maintaining a Mia Noi he doesn't screw hookers?"
Maybe but given the cost not very often.
"How many Thai friends do you have?"
450,000 sounds low. Tourists would be up around 1 mill
#35 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
"Admitedly catering to Malays, but not western tourists. "
#36 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
450,000 a DAY. You think 450,000 tourists are using hookers in Thailand every day? Are you kidding me? I'd be surprised if there were 450,000 tourists in Thailand.
"76 times 100 = 7,600 still not very big. double it and it's still not that big."
You left out all of the Ampurs... and you left out the bigger cities, like Korat and Khon Kaen which have large numbers all by themselves. Look, studies have been done on this. Roughly 450,000 Thai men have sex with prostitutes every day. It is much more prevelent here than at home.
If you have about 50 Thai men as friends one of several things isn't happening here:
1. You're lying.
2. They're lying.
3. You don't talk about it.
I live here and I know the deal.
You come here sometime and I'll show you...