Dodger's Last Trip Report

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Dodger
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#1 Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:25 pm

Hi you maniacs.

This will be my last Trip Report as my holidays in Thailand are about to transition to full-time residence.

I embarked on a semi-retired lifestyle at age 42 working 6 months a year and spending the remaining 6 months on holiday in our beloved LaLa Land. Including 4 years that I spent visiting Rayong Thailand on work assignments in the early days I have now spent 24 years in country which has been truly a remarkable and life altering experience. I knew from day one that when the day did come for full retirement that it would be in Thailand. That was an absolute and the time has now arrived.

Life in Bang Saray:

I just returned home after spending the last 3 months living in Bang Saray much as I will after retirement. I intentionally spent the majority of my time in Bang Saray only visiting Pattaya a few times to see friends in an effort to mimic what it will be like when I am there full time and make any necessary adjustments.

The results of this test run were very favorable: I did not find myself getting bored at all which was a concern I had with choosing a place like Bang Saray to hang my hat. My boyfriend and I kept busy during the daytime with our own personal hobbies; His being fashion design work, cooking (he loves the kitchen), reading, and of course Facebook and U-tube time which is in the life blood of the younger generation (maybe all generations) . I enjoyed my little projects fixing things, making things and changing things in the condo. I found myself waking up at 5:00 AM much as I do back here at home when working, always took a morning stroll on the ocean, visit to the boat docks, splish-splashing in the small pool, playing music, writing (3 chapters of first book semi-complete) and of course attempting to side-track my boyfriend for some spontaneous play time. Evenings were spent eating out at one of our favorite local restaurants followed by movie time (we are both movie buffs).

Living in Bang Saray versus living the bar scene in Pattaya has totally altered my lifestyle. I have adapted well to the serenity the environment offers and feel healthier and more vibrant as a result. There is a healthy expat community there and many gay boys – they just don’t stand out as much as they do in places like Pattaya. The downside is there are no gay venues in BS. I just visited PTY a few times and honestly found myself getting a bit bored. As we all know the swan song is playing loudly in Sunee Plaza and Boyztown, and frankly, after getting used to the slower pace and courteous drivers in BS I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

My expenses have been cut below half since moving to BS where my average daily spending is 1,000 THB (30,000 THB/month) for both us and we eat well and don’t go without anything. That doesn’t include annual expenses such as health care, condo maintenance fee, vehicle tax/insurance trips/excursions, etc. And if you’re thinking about how much money I have to pay my boyfriend – the answer is nothing. I hesitated to say this as I really don’t want my last Trip Report to turn into a laughing stock – but it’s the truth. He’s not a money boy, earns his own modest income selling dresses that he designs and makes, doesn’t ask me for money, and we just celebrated of 5 year anniversary together.

I know that most of you (if not all) do not believe that a relationship with a young Thai partner is possible without $$$money$$$ – but it is. I know this because my attempts failed so many times, mostly with bar boys. It wasn’t until I decided to look at the gay dating sites until I realized that I was shopping at the wrong market.

One adjustment that I found was necessary was to have a vehicle. Driving my motorbike down the Sukumvit Shockwave to get anywhere is just too stressful and will get even more dangerous as I continue to age, as well as the fact that I felt that I needed to add another dimension to my retirement where I could travel on side trips on a moment’s notice without relying on planes, trains, or those fucking buses with their Evil Knievel drivers with a death wish. I decided on a good old American Ford Ranger Pickup which should do the trick.

After retirement I plan to take a trip down to Hua Hin to visit an old cyber friend and his boyfriend Suphot, as well as other places I’ve either been before and liked and some new adventures.

Health Care Stuff:

I canceled my Thai health care policy I had a year ago and made a final decision that I would be self-insured after retirement. Considering the costs of such policies for people over the age of 60 plus the low cost of health care offered at Queen Sirikit Naval Hospital which is fairly close to Bang Saray all led to this decision. I gave Queen Sirikit a test run this past trip as well. I had varicose vein surgery in both legs on June 4th and have nothing but good things to say about the hospital, the qualifications of their doctors, and last but not least the cost. My total bill which included ultrasound exam, doctor consultation, surgery, anesthesiologist, nursing care, two nights in a private room and follow-up examination was 26,600 THB (U.S. $858). The same care would have cost at least double at the Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital and of course 100 times more here in the U.S.

Other Stuff:

Water purification: After receiving advice from a friend who runs a major U.S. water purification company I purchased and installed a five filter system in my condo which produces water that tastes as good as the costly FIJI spring water I buy here in the U.S. According to my source the two and three filter systems which seem to be the most commonly used in Thailand simply don’t do the trick. They apparently render the water fairly safe to drink, although do not filter out enough of the chemicals that can have bad long term health effects. Ironically the water supply place in Pattaya where they sell the bottles of water to the public only uses a two filter system. Just a word of advice in the event anyone here is contemplating getting a system. My partner and I consume 3 liters of water a day. Having this purification system saves me from lugging 3 bottles of water from7/11 every day (362 trips to the store every year), elimination of 1,000 empty plastic bottles being tossed back into the environment every year, and a cost savings of 15,000 THB/year (at 42 THB per 3 liters a day). A good five filter unit costs between 8,500 – 11,000 THB.

I have made many friends both Thai and expat over the years including some of the members of this forum who I look forward to spending time with when my feet get firmly planted. I will always miss the good old days with a passion, never relinquish the memories, but looking forward to the next adventure as I plunge into the final third of my life…God willing and the creek don’t rise.

Cheers,

Dodger

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#2 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Trongpai » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:37 pm

Dodger wrote:Evenings were spent eating out at one of our favorite local restaurants followed by movie time (we are both movie buffs).

Can you recommend a specific restaurant?

Your Bang Saray reports inspired me a few weeks ago to visit Bang Saray from Pattaya. It's not a long trip at all driving on Sukhumvit. Once past Chaiyaphruek it's clear sailing. I noticed a lot of new development along the coast from Na Jomtiem to Bang Saray and I think the quaintness of the area may be short lived.

The BF and I walked the fishing pier and along the beach. I noticed several open air restaurants both over the water and on the land side. We just went to one that seemed to have the most customers and had a nice Thai meal for very little Baht. It was over the water just before the pier. As night approached you can see the lighted Jomtien sky line. There was a time in the not too distant past that would have been all dark. It looks close. Perhaps it will be a passenger ferry route in the future.

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#3 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:52 pm

Dodger wrote:my holidays in Thailand are about to transition to full-time residence.

Congratulations. I hope all goes well for you.

Please keep us informed about life in a more laid back area of Thailand. Most of us are probably much more familiar with the city scene. While many of us have visited smaller areas, few of us have gone to live permanently in those areas.

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#4 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:38 am

Thanks GB.

I will certainly continue to babble about life in general after retirement.

Trongpai,

We have 5 favorite restaurants we bounce between:

The Beach Restaurant which is the first restaurant on the promenade as you enter BS mostly for its atmosphere sitting under coconut palms and watching the sunset. Great Indian curry dishes and the best cheeseburger in town
.
Ruan Talay Seafood Restaurant extends out on the ocean located a few hundred yards past the boat docks on the right side. I believe the restaurant you and your boyfriend visited is called "Preecha".

Kua Ya Ging Thai Restaurant: located on the same soi as Ruan Talay (has orange colored tables extending out on the soi) is a local favorite and has the best Thai food I've ever eaten. My boyfriend has a discriminating taste when it comes to Thai food and he loves it there. Most entrees are typical Thai prices - 60-80 THB.

Jasmine Restaurant: A Norwegian restaurant which is our favorite. If you drive into BS from the main road you turn left at the circle and it's 200 yards down on the right. Always busy - great meat and potato dishes - soups - smoked salmon, etc. They always serve large portions of everything - salads are huge - gigantic bowls of fabulous soup can be a meal...real mash potatoes like grandma used to make - and the best beef tenderloin in town. The bar is always busy at night as well with a host of pretty Thai girls for the str8's.

The work you see in BS along Sukhumvit is the result of the EEC Project (Eastern Economic Corridor) which continues to expand. Just in the past 2 years neighboring U-Tapao Airport has transitioned to a full service international airport, a new Big C Extra with Major Cineplex opened in April two miles past BS on the right side of Sukhumvit, a new Home Pro was constructed last year, and right next to Home Pro is a massive new develop which will be a Silom Paragon Shopping Mall right in little old Bang Saray. EEC plans also include having direct train linkage from both Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airports with stops in Bang Saray (Nong Nooch) and U-Tapao.

All of these are welcome developments to the BS expat community but not sure how the locals like it who now refer to Bang Saray as Little Pattaya.

Cheers

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#5 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Jun » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:57 am

Good luck and please keep us updated on the experience.

It's interesting and probably useful, as more of us will shortly be transitioning to longer trips & eventually, maybe relocation

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#6 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Undaunted » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi Dodger, we usually see each other a couple of times in Tuk Com but not this trip. I always enjoy reading your reports. I remember 15 years ago my first visit to Bang Saray it was then a sleepy fishing village amazing how it has changed, I also remember being your photographer at a wedding of you and a boy at a massage place across from Tuk Com it appears you have found the right one this time, if the "relationship experience" doesn't pan out would you stay as a single guy in Bang Saray?
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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#7 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:03 pm

Hi Undaunted,

I only visited the Day/Night area once or twice during my trip so better luck crossing paths with you when I return in October.

You asked...

if the "relationship experience" doesn't pan out would you stay as a single guy in Bang Saray?

No.

I would find another boyfriend.

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#8 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Undaunted » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:13 pm

Dodger wrote:I would find another boyfriend.

Hmmm, sounds familiar generally when it is time to change the oil with a motorcycle I trade it in for a new one :!:
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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#9 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:50 am

I've had the same motorbike for 7 years and perfectly content.

As long as it turns over when I want a ride and doesn't cost too much to maintain I'll keep it... :)

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#10 Re: Dodger's Last Trip Report

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:46 am

Dodger wrote:As long as it turns over when I want a ride

"My wife is just like my car. When I really need her, she won't turn over."
- Rodney Dangerfield


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