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The Hidden Gems Of Thailand – Chumphon

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There are lots of hidden gems in Thailand, especially for those who are prepared to travel a little bit off the beaten track. One of those is the southern province of Chumphon – perfect for those who love nature, adventure and the general outdoor life.

If you are unfamiliar with Thailand you may be surprised to know that Chumphon has 222km of coastline and 44 islands. This coastline has beautiful, peaceful, sandy beaches but if you move inland you’ll find stunning green forests with magnificent waterfalls, not to mention the mangroves and rivers. This is certainly a contrast to the major tourist destinations with locals living a typically Thai way of life. When you visit Chumphon you will be welcomed by friendly locals keen to show you their picturesque province.

Tourism is certainly expanding in the area and some communities have decided to embrace this. One of the most notable communities is on Koh Phithak, in the Gulf of Thailand. The island only has 42 households and a Homestay but this island, made up mainly of fishermen, welcomes around 100,000 visitors each year. On the cape of the island is a viewpoint, where on a clear day, it is possible to see some of the better known islands such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

The Hidden Gems Of Thailand - Chumphon

If scuba diving is your passion then you won’t be disappointed with several excellent sites available in the Mu Koh Chumphon National Park such as Koh Ngam Yai, Koh Ngam Noi and Koh Rang Ka Chiu. The marine life may not be as varied as in other popular destinations but it is certainly plentiful so you are sure to see some fantastic sights. At present, tourists are forbidden from entering Koh Ngam Yai and Koh Ngam Noi due to bird-nest collection but the boats stop at buoys so you can take in the splendour of the islands from a distance.

Another of Chumphon’s major industries is coffee production and indeed the province provides 60% of all Thailand’s coffee. The valley where the coffee is grown is heavily promoted by TAT’s Chumphon-Ranong office, describing the area as “an attraction for adventure” especially for cycling enthusiasts. The area is particularly attractive in the morning when the sea mists can cover the valley with the highest peaks dropping having temperatures that can be in single digits.

As tourism is new to Chumphon, the province is focusing on driving growth by ensuring that all tourist sites are clean, easily accessible, but most importantly safe. The infrastructure of the area is being improved all the time with THB100 million set aside for road improvements and THB15 million made available for CCTV cameras.

Tourism will certainly help an area that has previously relied on agriculture but has suffered with falling rubber and palm oil prices in recent years. Along with tourism, the locals are encouraged to grow hot-season fruits such as durian, bananas and mangosteen. This will give a further element of stability and diversification.

Stickboy aka Sticky Boy aka Mike McKay aka Mike McKwai, Wild Mike, Magic Mike, Mr Mike, and a fair few more best forgotten, is a party animal with hollow legs who loves music, current affairs, beer, food, causing trouble on Twitter, and making the most of life without worrying too much about what people think or say about his antics. You can send him stuff here - stickboybkk@gmail.com

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Opinion

Good Times At Geisha

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Geisha Nana Plaza

Geisha on the top floor of Nana Plaza opened back at the beginning of December 2018 and went through a rollercoaster ride under its owner dubbed the Crazy Korean.

I don’t want to drag up the past as he has now left the building and no longer in charge which has seen the bar go from alright for a quick drink to lets order another round and another.

With a Thai guy now at the helm, it is a totally different bar and me saying this comes off the back of more than one visit.

Just before the shutdown me and my bro were on a Nana bar crawl and we popped in for a drink. The new boss, staff and dancers made us right at home so much so we stayed until lights out when the plan was to hit each bar for 1 drink, ring the bell and move on.

I’d have been back sooner had it not been for the coronavirus shutdown but my wait was over when i dropped by with my missus the other night.

Decent music, cold beer, plenty of attentive staff and stage packed with birds with a second shift floating around waiting for their time.

The new man was in fine form and suggested we go watch the show in the tub with a ringside seat.

Oh man, that wee blonde thing kissing my missus will be with me until she gets round to bedding her and hopefully lets me watch.

A fun bunch they are in Geisha and unlike some other bars, nobody really giving a toss what you are up to as long as you aren’t getting out of hand and making problems and I like that because in some bars staff and security have a really bad habit of staring at people who are doing nothing wrong, just having some fun.

And one last thing to come out of my recent trip was they are up for doing a photoshoot sometime soon which would be good as I haven’t done one since last October.

So there you have another bar to add to your list the next time you are in Nana Plaza. Just don’t tell them Stickboy sent you.

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Opinion

A Night Out At Tartbox

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A Night Out At Tartbox

During the dry spell when there was no beer to be had Artbox at Sukhumvit Soi 10 turned into a popular spot as refreshments were available.

It wasn’t only refreshments that were available but there was also the potential to meet ladies for some short time shenanigans as there was simply nowhere else for working girls, or those short on money and an itch to scratch, to meet men with some cash to splash on a bit of horizontal mambo.

Artbox didn’t really take my fancy when a few mates had said they were going but on Saturday night they decided to drop by for a beer and a bite to eat before moving on to the Neon Alley. I caved in and decided to join them.

Having taken a wander around buying food and parking my arse close to the stage I soon came to the conclusion the sign out front needed changing from Artbox to Tartbox.

I didn’t see the security guard at the gate on cleavage duty but there must have been one as everywhere I turned all I could see was tits hanging out on display for all to see and admire.

One lady with massive melons came close to a wardrobe malfunction on several occasions as she bounced around from stall to stall with all the bloke’s eyes popping out as she passed their tables. This woman wasn’t shy and was more than happy to show off her assets.

I spotted a few familiar faces in the crowd who normally ply their trade on Soi 4 too, and yes, they were all showing off the girls like it was a competition to see who could show the most.

One thing to keep in mind if you do decide to go for a nosy and chance your arm is not everyone you see there is looking to hook up. It really is a mixed crowd so watch out you don’t get a slap for making an indecent proposal to a group of girls there to have a drink after they’ve clocked off from the office.

Will Artbox continue to be a pick-up place for ladies of the night in the future?

Who knows with bars and other nightlife venues starting to reopen there are more choices of where to go man hunting.

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Opinion

Opening Night At Nana Plaza Was A Blast

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Opening Night At Nana Plaza Was A Blast

July 1st was the day many owners and customers had been waiting for since the middle of March when entertainment and nightlife were allowed to resume.

My plan was to visit all three bar areas to see what was going on and share it here on the website and do a few updates on social media.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry as the saying goes and that’s exactly what happened. My whistle-stop tour became an adventure in Nana Plaza and boy, did we have ourselves a grand old time.

With some bars deciding to wait until after the long weekend with 2 dry days we had ourselves a list of 9 bars to visit and we kicked things off in Morning Night.

As we progressed through the outside beer bars to Stumble Inn, Big Dogs and K&S our entourage started rapidly growing in numbers.

There were lots of happy smiling faces in each of the four beer bars we visited and a decent amount of customers around too.

Time to venture inside Nana Plaza where you are asked to check-in via the Thai Chana app or alternatively sign in with your name, time and mobile number, at the entrance. Masks are required and once you’ve had your temperature taken and offered hand sanitizer you’re good to go in less than 30 seconds.

First up was Spanky’s for me while some of the guys opted to check out Twister BKK.

As you would expect, the middle floor house of fun was crushing it. Spanky’s was rocking and almost full when I popped in. Happy days.

My aim was to make sure we visited every bar that was open so it was a quick drink and a catch-up with all the usual suspects on and off the stage before moving on.

Next stop for us was Rainbow 4 where we planned to meet with the boys who headed to Twister BKK. In we go and ask where’s the bell…. “mai mee”. Huh? You haven’t got a bell?

We ordered a round and a few moments later a bell appeared. Ding, ding, ding.

Lots of cuties to keep me busy but to be fair, it wouldn’t have been difficult to spot some eye candy as the owners had filled the bar with at least 100 dancers.

It was the same story in both Rainbow 5 and 2 plus Twister BKK. All those bars had no fewer than 100 girls dancing. That’s a lot of chrome pole crumpet to choose from.

The man who appeared with the bell in Rainbow 4 was on the ball and accompanied us to Rainbow 5, formerly Twister Bar, before we all moved downstairs to Rainbow 2 which was heaving with dancing dollybirds. I fell in love at least 5 times in the hour we were there.

One for the road in Twister BKK which I missed on the first visit and damn, it was like Hotties R Us.

It’s too easy for me to get in trouble. I’m weak but there was no monkey business for old Stick last night.

It was burgers and bed after a great night out with the boys.

Hats off to all the bar owners who jumped in on the first day of opening who made a fine effort. As the week goes on more bars will be opening giving you even more choice and by the middle of next week, the whole Plaza will be open again.

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