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#31 Analyst

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 05:14 AM



Yeah, you definitely want to get away from Khao San or Nana, where most grubby backpackers hang out. Route 66 is fun. Cute girls and good music. DJ Buddha, awesome Thai-American DJ from Brooklyn, plays there on the weekends. It gets a little crowded inside for me these days but my friends and I usually get a table outside, rather than fighting through the mob of people to go to the bathroom.

Thailand's nightlife is segmented into local and non-local places to hang out. For example, you'll never find local Thais at any place like Patpong or Nana or Soi Cowboy. Or, even places like Bed Supperclub, Q-Bar, Glow (great music and drinks but mostly farangs and Isaan working girls), unless Carl Cox or Tiesto is playing.

Young Thais (ages 21-25) party a lot on the RCA (Royal City Avenue) strip which includes a string of clubs lined together: Route 66 is the most popular followed by Slim. Both play hip hop. Astra and Flix are decent too and usually book the international drum & bass or progressive house/trance DJs. Hip-hop has become the music of choice for alot of younger Thais. Its kinda cool see the local b-boys breakdancing on the Skytrain platform on Victory Monument stop or the freshly sprayed tags on the construction around Satorn road. I haven't check out the new clubs around Ratchada but I hear that a lot of hip hop clubs are opening there.

For the other group of young Thais (ages 25+), who don't like hip-hop much, go to Thonglor Soi 10 to restaurant/pubs like Boose or Gigabyte, which usually feature a live band playing Thai music and songs that caught on here and never expired (i.e., Zombie by the Cranberries, By the Way by the Red Hot Chili Peppers). These places usually get really popular really fast and then dry up when something new comes along, like Huk around Thonglor Soi 18 (used to be the old Song Selung club but plays Hip Hop and has hookahs). The owners then invest a ton of money to remodel the club and then promote/market the hell out of it by enlisting the services of a promotion agency who ensure that certain models/entertainers (called "Prettys") show up.

At both of these type of places, you'll find mostly Hi-So (Thai term meaning high society) young Thais from prominent families and young professionals. Thailand has an informal caste system, segmented by wealth. Economically, Thailand is still an developing country and its populace still basically into two groups: Wealthy and poor. While there is an emerging middle class, I would argue that the gap is still pretty wide between rich and poor.

The bottom half go to Ratchada to party at clubs like Hollywood, Dance Fever and other places around Soi 4. Here you'll see mostly tables of young girls (mostly non-Bangkok working girls with their "Sias," or much older patrons). The crowd here can get a little rough and fights and stabbings are frequent.

I moved here about six months ago for work but my perspective is mostly through a Thai lens, as I am ethnically Thai and I usually go out with my cousins. I'd love to get any perspectives from the Westerner side....
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#32 Tisswat

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 09:56 AM



Wow - your posts are very interesting to read, Analyst. Please keep it up.
reporter: "what do you think about western civilization?"
gandhi: "i think it would be a good idea."
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Posted 05 June 2006 - 04:13 AM



Thanks Tisswat.

Based on some of the previous posts on this thread, everyone's experience with BKK has been quite different. From my perspective, I think its one of the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia and I'm comtemplating the propspects of staying here or in the region indefinitely. Upon arriving here back in September, I thought I would be in BKK for one year at most. But Thailand has a way of growing on you very quickly. Once you leave the contraints of the Lonely Planet and Frommers frameworks and step off of the beaten path, the country really begins to open up. I have my favorite Hainnese chickenn and rice vendors on Soi 38 Sukhumvit, lounges on Soi 26 Sukhumvit, quiet design library at TCDC in the Emporium, etc. Every week is spent finding some new place to eat or explore.

Let me know if you ever make it here. I'll be happy to suggest a few places to check out.
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Posted 05 June 2006 - 04:14 AM



Thanks Tisswat.

Based on some of the previous posts on this thread, everyone's experience with BKK has been quite different. From my perspective, I think its one of the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia and I'm comtemplating the propspects of staying here or in the region indefinitely. Upon arriving here back in September, I thought I would be in BKK for one year at most. But Thailand has a way of growing on you very quickly. Once you leave the contraints of the Lonely Planet and Frommers frameworks and step off of the beaten path, the country really begins to open up. I have my favorite Hainnese chickenn and rice vendors on Soi 38 Sukhumvit, lounges on Soi 26 Sukhumvit, quiet design library at TCDC in the Emporium, etc. Every week is spent finding some new place to eat or explore.

Let me know if you ever make it here. I'll be happy to suggest a few places to check out.
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#35 Analyst

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 04:14 AM



Thanks Tisswat.

Based on some of the previous posts on this thread, everyone's experience with BKK has been quite different. From my perspective, I think its one of the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia and I'm comtemplating the propspects of staying here or in the region indefinitely. Upon arriving here back in September, I thought I would be in BKK for one year at most. But Thailand has a way of growing on you very quickly. Once you leave the contraints of the Lonely Planet and Frommers frameworks and step off of the beaten path, the country really begins to open up. I have my favorite Hainnese chickenn and rice vendors on Soi 38 Sukhumvit, lounges on Soi 26 Sukhumvit, quiet design library at TCDC in the Emporium, etc. Every week is spent finding some new place to eat or explore.

Let me know if you ever make it here. I'll be happy to suggest a few places to check out.
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#36 Serge d Nimes

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 03:55 AM

My wife and I are going to Thailand for 13 days and then to Tokyo. We are wondering where we can go to have a lot of cheap sun, fun, and beach. We want to avoid tourist traps and adults.
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#37 Tisswat

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:54 AM

If you don't like tourists, I would avoid Koh Phi Phi. Or at least stay away from the main beaches. It's a beautiful place, but it's attracting more tourists than the island can handle.
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#38 mizanation

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:12 PM

My wife and I are going to Thailand for 13 days and then to Tokyo. We are wondering where we can go to have a lot of cheap sun, fun, and beach. We want to avoid tourist traps and adults.


that's funny, my wife and i are going to okinawa for a few days then thailand for 11 days and then going to tokyo. so, i need the same info you need. :)

i have the tokyo thing down, but thailand is new to me.
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#39 englandmj7

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:18 PM

I have posted in several threads on Thailand before, so I know there are a bunch out there. If you want a place that is cheap, beautiful, less tourists, and lots to do (ESPECIALLY if you like to party), look no further than Pattaya Beach. It is roughly a 2-hour private van ride ($25) south of Bangkok and is less saturated with foreigners than the Phuket (Phi Phi islands, etc.). Also, you can pick and choose from a post I made for someone a few months ago.

If you have roughly two weeks in Thailand, a good way to spend your trip might be:

3 days in Bangkok
3 days in Pattaya
4-5 days in Phuket
2-3 days for a trip to the River Kwai

You don't want to spend too much time in Bangkok as it is pretty loud, dirty and fastpaced. Then again, you need to be there for a few days to see the Grand Palace, the Golden Buddha, Reclining Buddha, etc. and take a trip down the Chao Praya River. If you want a crazy nightlife atmosphere and are not squeamish (i.e. you don't mind being hit on by transvestites), then you can stay near Patpong, which has the most notoriously famous nightlife of just about anywhere in the world. Keep in mind, however, that alot of the hotels near Patpong cater predominantly to gay men, so make sure and look it up on the internet before booking! Patpong also has an insane night market featuring just about every counterfeit item imaginable.......

From Bangkok, you can get your hotel to schedule you a limo van to take you to Pattaya, which is about 2 hours south and will only cost you about $25 for the ride there. In Pattaya, there is a huge street called "Walking Street" that is for pedestrians only and has hundreds of restaurants/bars/clubs, etc. This is also a great place to sit on the beach and you can schedule boat trips to nearby secluded islands where you can relax and drink rum in coconuts. Pattaya also has the beautiful Nong Nooch tropical gardens, etc. There are several great hotels in Pattaya; basically just stay in any of the large ones (there are several: Sheraton, etc., etc.).

Whilst returning to Bangkok you can schedule a trip to go to the River Kwai. Each tour is different as some may take you through the the Floating Market (which is north of Bangkok) while on your way to the River, whilst others may include other things. Here are examples:

http://asiatours.net...s/RK-RS102.html
http://www.numberone...com/erawan.html

The trip is generally from 2-3 days long and doesn't really need to be booked far in advance. Your best bet would actually be to inquire at your hotel's front desk as they can usually always organize this kind of stuff for you.

Lastly, I would recommend flying to Phuket (approx. a 1-hr. flight = $120) which is where Thailand's most beautiful beaches are (and some damn beautiful Scandinavian women......don't know why, but they love this place). From there you can stay on the main island, or take the 2-hr. ferry out to the Phi Phi islands and stay on a beach hut for a few nights, which cost under $10 a night. There is tons of info. online about Phuket and it is very easy to book a hotel there. You might also consider Koh Samui if you want somewhere beautiful but with less tourists, but again, you have to fly there from Bangkok. Thailand is extremely civilized as South East Asia goes and there is no need to worry about giving credit card numbers, etc. over the phone to hotels as it is a very safe country with very little crime. Most hotels, however, can be booked online through various travel sites. Let me know if you have any other questions!


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#40 Analyst

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 05:37 PM

I would disagree about Pattaya. In my perspective, Pattaya by night is like Patpong multiplied by 4X. It's ghetto. There are tons of farangs looking to hook up with both Thai boys and girls. The alleys are all neon lights and beer bars. From a beach perspective, it's easily reached from Bangkok and decent. The diving really sucks from Pattaya, so expect 2-3m visibility at most and tons and tons of sea urchins littering the floor, waiting for you to step on them.

I've only been to Phi Phi before the tsunami. Back then, I took a quick flight to Krabi and then the 1.5 hour boat right to the islands. There's some tourists on the island, but far less than what you would find on Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan (home of the full moon party and mushroom shakes). The reason: no night life, which in my opinion, is the best part about the island.

On Phi Phi, you have excellent limestone formations for rock climbing. Maya Bay, where they filmed the Beach, is a close kayak ride away. If you want to go diving, visibility this time of year is close to 20-25m visbility. It's probably one of the best places to get certified. Check out Hippo Divers outfit while you're there. Overall, it's a quaint tiny island, which keeps away the party kids you'll find on Phuket, Samui, Pha-Ngan, Pattaya, etc.
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#41 englandmj7

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 06:14 PM

I would disagree about Pattaya. In my perspective, Pattaya by night is like Patpong multiplied by 4X. It's ghetto. There are tons of farangs looking to hook up with both Thai boys and girls. The alleys are all neon lights and beer bars. From a beach perspective, it's easily reached from Bangkok and decent. The diving really sucks from Pattaya, so expect 2-3m visibility at most and tons and tons of sea urchins littering the floor, waiting for you to step on them.

I've only been to Phi Phi before the tsunami. Back then, I took a quick flight to Krabi and then the 1.5 hour boat right to the islands. There's some tourists on the island, but far less than what you would find on Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan (home of the full moon party and mushroom shakes). The reason: no night life, which in my opinion, is the best part about the island.

On Phi Phi, you have excellent limestone formations for rock climbing. Maya Bay, where they filmed the Beach, is a close kayak ride away. If you want to go diving, visibility this time of year is close to 20-25m visbility. It's probably one of the best places to get certified. Check out Hippo Divers outfit while you're there. Overall, it's a quaint tiny island, which keeps away the party kids you'll find on Phuket, Samui, Pha-Ngan, Pattaya, etc.


He heh, well it is certainly a matter of preference. If they want to strictly sit on a beach and have people trying to rip the off every 4 seconds than Phuket is the place.

Pattaya beach itself is not as great a beach, but within a few minutes baht bus ride is Jomtien Beach and within a 20 minute, $10 boat ride are several private islands with bars, etc. I lived in Pattaya for a couple of years and go there every year for at least a month; it is a great place, especially if you want the partying/racey scene of Bangkok coupled with beaches as well.

Sure, there are ladyboys and ghetto parts, but where in Thailand isn't there? If you want somewhere secluded then I can offer several places, but it seemed that you might want to party it up (per your 'no adults' statement). If you want cheap housing though, I will certainly back up Analyst's Phi Phi islands recommendation; you can get a hut on the beach there for under $10 a day (you share bathrooms, etc., but the hut is ON the beach); not to mention that Scandinavians seem to favor Phi Phi, so don't be upset when you see 20 bleached blond, gorgeous, tanned topless women frolicking in the water (wear sunglasses so your wife doesn't notice). :D
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#42 Tisswat

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 06:18 PM

I've noticed englandmj7 recommend Pattaya it in other threads too, and I really don't understand why. I totally agree with Analyst on this. Pattaya would be the last place to visit in Thailand.

Of all the touristy destinations (Samui, Phuket, Pattaya, etc.), Koh Phi Phi is the least touristy.. but don't expect quiet beaches and no nightlife. There are sports bars with loud music, giant beach restaurants that sell lobster with fries, salespeople that try to sell you diving courses, accomodation and restaurant meals, etcetera. Hardly an undiscovered paradise, as some would like you to believe. A visit to the place where they shot The Beach is nice, but the gorgeous little bay is filled with at least 5 other speedboats filled with tourists. "The Beach" itself can be very crowded at times. On the main island, you definitely want to stay away from the boat arrival point - some bays on the other side of the island are much more peaceful. It's a beautiful place, but it could definitely do with a lot less tourists. I wish I had seen it 15 years ago.

If you want something really laid back, there's tons of less discovered beaches in Thailand. It will take a bit more effort to get there, but in my opinion it's definitely worth it.
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#43 englandmj7

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 06:41 PM

aha aah. Pattaya is one of those places that only the seasoned Thailand vet can appreciate. ;)

But seriously, I have been going there all my life, and my dad, who has been going to Thailand for almost 40 yrs. (not to mention living there today) knew there was no other place for him to buy a home. Maybe you are right in that Pattaya is a "guy's town," but my wife has been there several times with me and she loves it.

Okay, so you have a couple weeks and you want to see beautiful beaches.......go to Phuket. Pattaya is an experience, not just a vacation; nonetheless, I understand your quips. I suppose it is a matter of preference.
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#44 mizanation

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 07:02 PM

england, i've heard from a couple other people that pattaya is out of this world. so different strokes for different folks, literally. fairtex muay thai has just opened up a new school there, so it can't be that bad of a place.

we actually have a few friends in thailand, one of whom is a big pop star out there, so we should be ok. thanks for the great rundown on spots to hit, i can't wait to see all that stuff--especially all the temples.

hey england, is it too hot for jeans? how bout boots? better to be in shorts and sandals?
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#45 Analyst

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 07:06 PM

It's getting harder and harder these days to find that "road less taken" these days in Thailand. Everyone is looking for the paradise painted by Alex Garland or the back-alley hole-in-the-walls from Bangkok 8. I wish I had more time to explore, but with practically no time, I can only steal an extra day or so once in a while to make it a long weekend.

I found an excellent spot on Koh Pha Ngan back in January. On Mae Haad, on the most northwest corner, you'll find a quiet beach with a semi-submerged sandbar stretching out to a small island in the distance. This is probably one of the most peaceful places I've ever been to on Earth. Compared to Haad Rin, the water is clear and is mostly isolated. About 50m from the beach, you'll also notice a small outdoor bar with "mon kaang" triangle pillows and candles adorning the floor and a skinny local with dreads manning the counter with no other customers. Be sure to try the Bomb Lassis there for a smoothie with an extra spaced-out kick in the pants.

In comparison, when the ferry from Samui drops you and the 60 other Isreali, Italian, British, Australian backpackers off at Haad Rin, the main landing point on Koh Pha Ngan, the first thing you notice are the 60 Europeans, Canadians, Aussies all waiting to get back on the ferry back to Samui and then to wherever it is that they call home. And so it goes day in and day out. Out of this group, you'll find zero Thai tourists, outside of the locals and others with commercial interests on the island. I found it strange that I was the only Thai on the boat and was always mistaken for Japanese. After a few days, you get used to the mellow atmosphere on the island. The best part is that there's never a rush to go or do anything. Breakfast easily turns into 4 hr affair after you've watched several Simpson episodes, Old School, and Maid in Manhattan, over eggs bacon and toast with a few mimosas and maybe a watermelon shake on the side. At night the fire-twirlers line the beach spinning firesticks faster than a Sith Lord on X.
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#46 englandmj7

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 07:20 PM

england, i've heard from a couple other people that pattaya is out of this world. so different strokes for different folks, literally. fairtex muay thai has just opened up a new school there, so it can't be that bad of a place.

we actually have a few friends in thailand, one of whom is a big pop star out there, so we should be ok. thanks for the great rundown on spots to hit, i can't wait to see all that stuff--especially all the temples.

hey england, is it too hot for jeans? how bout boots? better to be in shorts and sandals?


When are you going exactly? December-January right? In those months, I wear jeans when I go out at night (and it is STILL uncomfortable) only so I don't feel like a jackass, but most people do not. It is very warm and you will sweat your ass off (even at 2 am). With that being said, I think you might be very uncomfortable in jeans if you plan on doing any walking at all (as opposed to sitting in a hotel/bar and drinking all day) ESPECIALLY in the thick, hot Bangkok air. I always have one pair of jeans, a couple pairs of thin/light cargo pants/khakis and a couple pairs of shorts.

If you are going to bring jeans, definitely don't bring thick ones or raw ones....you will paint the street blue with the sweat you'll be making. Also keep in mind that you can buy anything you want there for dirt cheap. In fact, every year when I go for a month I take a backpack with 7 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of underwear and the clothes I am wearing ONLY. I buy everything else there (for some reason you can't get a good pair of sock in the whole damn country!!).

Depends on your level of comfortability. If you would wear jeans whilst trotting around NYC on the hottest day of summer, then you will be fine in Thailand......what kind of boots do you mean? ankle-level hiking boots? Those are fine. If they are 100% leather combat boots or something I would definitely advise against. Yep, I usually always were some hiking-type sandals (but don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be caught dead in them in the U.S.!) or some thinner hiking shoes. I always wear bring my Terra Sertigs:

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It can easily get over 90 degrees and is extremely humid.......pack accordingly. Less is better. If you need something you can always get it there.
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#47 mizanation

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 07:40 PM

england, that was the best advice i've heard so far. thanks. you saved my ass. i'm going in a couple weeks and before i read your post, it was gonna be 17oz raw denim with frye leather engineer boots.
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#48 englandmj7

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:09 PM

england, that was the best advice i've heard so far. thanks. you saved my ass. i'm going in a couple weeks and before i read your post, it was gonna be 17oz raw denim with frye leather engineer boots.


Shit man! They would have sat in your luggage the whole time! The weather is a killer that time of year. I wear shorts and a b-ball jersey and I am still too hot......usually have to sleep naked even with the A/C on full blast......I'll bet you love to hear that :D
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#49 poly800rock

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 01:50 AM

that's funny, my wife and i are going to okinawa for a few days then thailand for 11 days and then going to tokyo. so, i need the same info you need. :)

i have the tokyo thing down, but thailand is new to me.


why are you going from okinawa to thailand back to tokyo? it seems you're backtracking?
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#50 poly800rock

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 02:02 AM

england, that was the best advice i've heard so far. thanks. you saved my ass. i'm going in a couple weeks and before i read your post, it was gonna be 17oz raw denim with frye leather engineer boots.


you'd be stupid to bring boots. jeans are fine. i wore jeans almost everyday i was out there in may/june and it was hot a shit. I guess if you're used to it you're used to it. I agree with analyst in saying that there are probably few places in thailand that aren't a regular spot for someone in the world, but I have still yet to hit ko chang off the andaman sea (which overlooks the burmese coast) and the islands south of phi phi, that whole national park area. In all honesty i prefer the west coast beaches to the gulf side, but thats just personal preference.
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#51 xcoldricex

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 02:17 AM

Pattaya sucks, avoid at all costs.

haha everyone is doing japan/thailand. i'm trying to get an extended layover in tokyo to do some quick shopping and eating. or i might just end up in china/hk/thailand.
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#52 chagoo

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 03:26 AM

Anyway, I haven't taken vacation in quite a while. These days I just meet friends at one of the executive lounges like Piano, the Pent, Sopranos, or Resort and chill for the evening.


oh you make it sound so exclusive.

just wait till your girlfriend reads about this.
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#53 Serge d Nimes

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 03:28 AM

Thanks for the advice. Phi Phi sounds like it will be perfect. We are going to be there a while and will definately explore other islands. We want to have a pretty chill time while we are there and then party like crazy in Tokyo. We both enjoy hiking, kayaking, climbing and swimming. We will most likely be in Bangkok for New Years, does that sound like a good idea?
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#54 poly800rock

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 03:44 AM

Thanks for the advice. Phi Phi sounds like it will be perfect. We are going to be there a while and will definately explore other islands. We want to have a pretty chill time while we are there and then party like crazy in Tokyo. We both enjoy hiking, kayaking, climbing and swimming. We will most likely be in Bangkok for New Years, does that sound like a good idea?


lanta which is the island right next to Phi Phi is also fucking really nice. And a bit less developed at least 4 years ago. Go towards the south of the island.
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TEAM OZAWA (oi lui xwy qluy wh l krcviukevi, zeaeylxy kibuiy kwbeiyt. oi lui drky l hlsi qemml kfwq.) http://www.superfutu...ad.php?t=255186

#55 Tisswat

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:40 AM

We will most likely be in Bangkok for New Years, does that sound like a good idea?

If you want to go out and party - hell yes. Analyst can probably provide you with a detailed overview of all the venues in BKK.
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In before waywt thread.

#56 Analyst

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:33 PM

555555555555555555555555555
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#57 poly800rock

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 07:16 PM

555555

Nothing exclusive about it....just another flavor of the city :)

let me know if you want to roll...my membership or yours...



shit
...........


wish i could roll
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TEAM OZAWA (oi lui xwy qluy wh l krcviukevi, zeaeylxy kibuiy kwbeiyt. oi lui drky l hlsi qemml kfwq.) http://www.superfutu...ad.php?t=255186

#58 Analyst

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 11:36 AM


shit
...........


wish i could roll


Poly, anytime you're back in BKK, let me know...hurry up and finish up this grad school thing and head back east...
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#59 tonaf

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 06:36 AM

wow!!

here's the last place i'd expect to read about exclusive executive lounges
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#60 xcoldricex

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 07:31 AM

yo analyst! i'll be there in dec! :)
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