Thailand…Paradise Lost

I wasn’t into ‘paying for a girls time and companionship’ until my late 20’s when I had a particularly barren dry spell and had a sick relative (it’s OK the story gets better than this) who was preventing me from devoting as much time to the Beaver Hunt as I would have liked. Frankly I was pretty depressed about it all and was just chatting about it to a couple of guys I worked with. They said…look , you need a holiday, you need to get away from all this, come with us to Thailand.

I’d never been to South East Asia and that trip started a long term love affair with the place and it’s people which has sadly now ended in divorce. Thailand was an amazing country, this is going back 25 years and I don’t mean to get snobby about it but we landed in Bangkok and then jumped on the first flight out of there. We avoided the seedy neon flickering joints of  Patpong, where you could get just about anything from a fake Rolex to a fake woman…and all the combinations there of. I was lucky, I was with two guys with a little integrity and the backpacker mentality. We flew to Koh Samui which I promise you then was a sleepy little ex backpacker island with a couple of decent but modest low level hotels on the main Chaweng beach Road and a lot of cabanas on the beach. The backpackers had just moved to Koh Phangan but Samui was still a charming little one horse town. 

For those who’ve discovered Thailand post Di Caprio’s The Beach, you would not recognise my Samui. It was just a charming place that had only just got itself an airport and was just opening it’s eyes and stretching itself ready for the hordes that were soon to start arriving. There was no neon, no pole dancing, no blaring music, just a collection of little straw thatched roofed bars dotted around with beautiful young girls serving drinks and laughing and chatting with the customers, and the thump of Bob Marley coming from The Dub bar on the beach. It was exactly what I needed, for the first week we just hung out, drinking Thai Whisky and the most lethal Long Island Ice teas, chatting up the girls, flirting shamelessly, but at the end of the evening I made my excuses and left.

But the lure of these naturally friendly, genuinely sweet girls just gently pulled me and in the second week the me and the guys found a wonderful bar off the main street with a fantastic atmosphere and the sweetest most unassuming, innocent girls. This bar became OUR bar. We’d hired a little Suzuki jeep and we’d arrive at the bar to squeals of excitement from ‘OUR’ girls and then proceed to drink and flirt and dance and smoke the night away, then pile into the jeep and race back to our cabanas. We’d sit on the beach with the girls rolling the perfect joint and drink and laugh and hold these beautiful women in our arms, then go back and make love to them.

That holiday was perfect and I will never forget  ‘Joy’  whose Falang name so perfectly matched her personality. If I could turn time back I think it would be to that holiday with its great friendships and hedonistic indulgence. Many adventures in Thailand followed, not all centred around girlie bars and I last saw Joy when I kissed her goodbye years later in the Queens Hotel in Chang Mai….One of the great regrets of my life!!

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