By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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Gaybutton
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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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First, Barry's presentation to the Pattaya City Expat's Club, April 13, 2022. I think most will agree - this is a "don't miss" presentation.




And now, all about Barry and the Pattaya Mail . . .
___________________________________________

Pattaya’s English news media then and now

By Pattaya Mail

April 17, 2022

After suspending meetings for the first months of the year, the Pattaya City Expats Club held their first meeting of 2022 on Wednesday, April 13th.Over 75 members and guests were in attendance to hear speaker Barry Kenyon’s talk on “Pattaya Through the Eyes of the Media 1992-2022.” His presentation provided a look at how the local and international media have responded to the many changes in Pattaya over the past 30 years.

Barry has lived mostly in Pattaya during those 30 years. He has worked in various capacities for the British Embassy, including being the Honorary British Consul in Pattaya and a volunteer assisting Expats at Pattaya’s Immigration Office at Jomtien Soi 5. He is now largely retired but is a foreign-cases consultant to a Pattaya lawyer and provides articles of interest for the Pattaya Mail.

Barry began by mentioning that the news media has had a big effect during the past 30 years. He said his first experience with news media was as a youth. This was in school in Lancashire, UK where he was the editor of the school magazine. What he published was subject to the control of a teacher. His second involvement was in 1983 in Haiti where he prepared press releases for the visit of John Paul II. His press releases also had to be reviewed before publication by a lady with the Secret Police.

When he first came to Pattaya in 1992, there were no English language newspapers, radio, or TV to provide information. English language news was done mostly through the distribution of printed handouts.Thus, many Expats were uninformed about important news. He cited the creation in 1992 of the “retirement visa” which allowed retirees to stay in Thailand on a continuing basis as an example as it remained unknown for many as its existence was not publicized.

This began to change in 1993 when the first issue of the first English language newspaper was published. Thus, the Pattaya Mail was the first and longest lasting English language newspaper in Pattaya. He considers the first 15 years or so of the 2000s to be Pattaya’s golden years for a flourishing media with their being many English print news, radio, and TV coming into existence. However, in recent years there has been a decline in the print media. He mentioned the names of several newspapers that came into being but now no longer exist.

Barry commented on issues of interest covered by the news media including one event he was personally involved in. But in that case, it caused considerable negative news coverage for Thailand both locally and internationally. In February 2016, Thai authorities raided the Pattaya Bridge Club and arrested the elderly members with the oldest being 84. Barry was one of the 30 arrested. Barry commented on the reason for the raid even though the Bridge Club had been in existence for over 20 years holding regular tournaments without any problems. Eventually, the allegation of illegal gambling was dropped, but an archaic law regarding ownership of playing cards the charge; the law was imposed by Japanese occupation forces during WWII.

In conclusion, Barry said that although the past 30 years of Pattaya’s history of change has been interesting, he believes that Pattaya will continue to change over the next 30 years. One item is in process; the making of a Medical City. A million square meters in East Pattaya us now starting development. It will not only include medical treatment facilities, but will include many medical related industries.

After Barry’s presentation, MC Ren Lexander called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum where attendees can make comments or ask questions about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. For more information visit the PCEC’s website at https://pcec.club.

For more information on the infamous “Pattaya Bridge Club Raid” put that text into a Google or other internet search engine. To read Barry’s letter to the editor at the Pattaya Mail about the raid shortly after it happened, visit http://pattayamail.com/12anniversiry/pa ... _story.htm.

Story and photos: https://www.pattayamail.com/socialscene ... now-395511

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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"If he’s right, it looks like the sex tourist has become an endangered species."

Once again, my question is simple - WHY? I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why sex is something bad. If the sex oriented venues and prostitution is confined to designated areas, so what? What's the problem? If the main reason some people are traveling is for inexpensive easy sex, again so what? What's the problem? And if it's gay sex they're seeking, yet again so what? What's the problem?

Somehow, somewhere along the line, sex became a no-no. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures encouraged it and apparently gay sex was fine with them. What happened?
________________________________________

Cambodian tourism will be the “new Thailand”

By Barry Kenyon

April 19, 2022

While Thai authorities seek to diversify foreign tourism beyond sexpots and seriously ponder 10 year visas for super-rich investors and retirees, neighboring Cambodia is preparing for a mass international influx starting soon. Cambodian premier and strongman Hun Sen has already liberalized immigration rules by abolishing compulsory medical insurance, pre-flight medical checks and even on-arrival health tests for fully-vaccinated foreign visitors. But that’s only the start.

More than 100 kilometers of new roads have been constructed in and around Siem Reap which is the gateway to the Unesco-listed Angkor Archaeological Park. An investment of US$150 million has seen the thoroughfares equipped with modern street lighting, traffic lights and security cameras. Much of the old town will be totally unfamiliar to the 2022 visitor although the internationally-famous Pub Street remains. Hun Sen has described Siem Reap province as the rising star of the kingdom, especially the ancient temples which attracted 2.2 million foreigners in 2019 and produced US$100 million from ticket sales alone.

Meanwhile, a brand new 700-hectares international airport is under construction, funded by the Chinese investment company Yunnan Holdings, which is scheduled to open late next year about 50 kilometers from Siem Reap. Press releases say it is designed to protect the Angkor Wat World Heritage Site – the current airport produces too much environmental damage and attacks temple foundations – and to double tourist numbers becoming the “new Thailand”.

A new US$1.5 billion airport to serve the capital Phnom Penh is also under construction and is scheduled to be completed by 2025. It will be the ninth largest airport by area in the entire world. Plans are also afoot to improve Sihanoukville international airport which serves a beach resort and is the casino hub for the entire country. Cambodia’s tourism ministry predicts that international passengers to the country as a whole will be 12 million by the mid-decade, double the 2019 total.

Phnom Penh travel agent Doun Visith says that 30,000 foreign visitors visited Cambodia during the recent April water-festival celebrations, mostly flying in from Thailand and Singapore. “This is slower than you would expect, but there is currently no Chinese tour market and the land borders with Thailand remain closed to tourist traffic.” He cautiously added, “But Cambodia will never allow the tourist industry to be based on the former Thai model of go-go clubs, seedy bars with rooms by the hour and rude transvestite cabarets.” If he’s right, it looks like the sex tourist has become an endangered species.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... and-395715

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Gaybutton wrote:
Wed Apr 20, 2022 6:16 am
If the sex oriented venues and prostitution is confined to designated areas, so what? What's the problem? If the main reason some people are traveling is for inexpensive easy sex, again so what? What's the problem? And if it's gay sex they're seeking, yet again so what? What's the problem?
it is not just Thailand that is conservative about this - if this was the USA's international reputation as a sex tourist paradise being discussed how popular do you think it would be with the majority of the population (ignoring perhaps half of California and New York City), and with the government, regardless of who is in power?

and in Thailand it is even more culturally bound - every city and every town may have its brothels and short-time hotels, every second youth may leave the family and its rice farm to go and work at a "restaurant" in the big smoke, and every second husband may have a mia noi, and everyone knows about it and gossips about it among friends, but when it hits the Thai press it is a scandal, and when it hits the international press then it is a disgrace to Thailand's reputation - particularly when it is the three Ps (Patpong, Patong and Pattaya).

how long have you lived in Thailand and yet you still ask "so what?", "what's the problem?" - TIT (This Is Thailand) as Bernard Trink used to say in the Bangkok Post!
I’m nervous now when people cough near me, I would be much more comfortable if they would far cough.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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bkkguy wrote:
Wed Apr 20, 2022 8:43 pm
you still ask "so what?", "what's the problem?"
That's right, and I'm still waiting for a sensible answer. What you wrote isn't it.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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I think over the next few years Thailand (and Cambodia) are going to learn just how many "Sex Tourists" they actually had before they tried to sweep the allure of "Prostitution" under the rug.

I took 46 consecutive holidays in Thailand spanning 23 years and would never have once burdened myself with the tortuous 27 hour trip from Chicago to Bangkok if is weren't for "Sex".

There are plenty of holiday destinations a hell of lot closer to home with pristine beaches, gourmet dining, luxurious resorts, plenty of options for sightseeing excursions, nightlife entertainment, etc., but Thailand's uniqueness at offering "the exotic" with endless opportunities for sexual encounters (gay or str8), was second-to-none. This is what set Thailand apart from just about every other destination on Earth. I find it hard to believe that a significant percentage of other tourists weren't coming to Thailand for the very same reason (regardless of what they say).

I know...I know...there's always the people who claim they come here for the delightful food, golden temples and culture, but as far as I'm concerned, they are few-and-far-between. If I had a dime for every time I sat next to a tourist in a host bar or gogo bar who's telling me he came here for the "culture", at the same time as the boy he just offed is unpinning the number from his shorts, I'd be a rich man.

I think the biggest mistake Thailand (or Cambodia) could make is to give the perception to potential tourists that they will no longer be catering to people who are interested in having sexual adventures during their holidays. Understanding that the "scene" is changing, as well as the fact that the "dating apps" are driving a lot of the change we see in the demographics, there's still a huge demand for "Sex" and only a fool would think differently.

If I were TAT I would spend just as much time advertising the pockets (or areas) where couples interested in the "exotic" can still connect - just as aggressively as I'm showcasing the more family-oriented attractions they seem destined to create. A good example (for gays) would be highlighting scenes like "Jomtien Complex and Boyztown" to keep attracting gays who come to Thailand primarily to hook up with their "Thai Dream Boy"...with or without the spicy food, golden temples and cultural bullshit.

And, while I'm at it; Every single town and village in Thailand has at least one inconspicuous hotel (love shack) which serves this very purpose for the Thai nationals who enjoy the same things we do, and you don't see these disappearing. Prostitution' is deeply ingrained in the culture...at all levels of society...so who's kidding who?

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Dodger wrote:
Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:59 am
And, while I'm at it; Every single town and village in Thailand has at least one inconspicuous hotel (love shack) which serves this very purpose for the Thai nationals who enjoy the same things we do, and you don't see these disappearing. Prostitution' is deeply ingrained in the culture...at all levels of society...so who's kidding who?
Exactly right. And many of those love shacks are much nicer than many hotels and at a fraction of the price. The only Thai people who seem to have a real problem with it are those in powers-that-be positions, probably because of outside pressure from other countries, NGOs, religious groups, etc.

Why sex is perceived as something bad goes beyond me. Why? Whatever makes some see it that way, I'm glad I'm not one of them. But I do resent other people trying to tell me how to conduct my sex life and who I can and cannot conduct it with - as long as it is consenting adults.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Inflation is hitting Pattaya hard but it’s not evenly spread

By Barry Kenyon

April 23, 2022

The news that Thailand from May 1 will not demand pre or post arrival health checks for vaccinated visitors has been ecstatically greeted. However, they still need to register in advance online to prove their vaccination status and minimum Covid insurance worth US$10,000. The Thai Chamber of Commerce, amongst many other bodies, says that a proper tourist revival will be delayed until prior registration is totally dismantled, as in the Cambodian model.

Meanwhile, international tourists, expats and locals are already being hit by rising prices. In Pattaya, the evidence is everywhere. Beach Road restaurants, facing a steep rise in cooking oil and commodity prices, are changing menu prices way beyond the 5.73% government year-on-year inflation total. Some barber shops in south Pattaya have already increased the cost of a shave from 100 to 120 baht, quoting “the rising cost of everything”, whilst farang are sometimes charged 140 baht as they get a quick run-over with an electric shaver as well as a safety razor.

Next month, the price of diesel fuel at the pumps will rocket from around 30 baht to 35 or 36 baht per liter. This is because of the half-removal of government subsidies. Without that reduced safeguard, which could end at any time, the actual pump price would be 41-42 baht. Because almost all transport in the Pattaya region is conducted by diesel-fuelled lorries, buses and taxis, inflation gets an automatic hike. You can still get a taxi from central Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi airport for 1,000 baht, but it’s no longer an easy challenge.

Inflationary pressures go beyond food and travel. Kenneth Wong, of Top Form Bras with local Thai factories, says the cost of fabric, foam pads, metal wire and plastic adjusters is also going up. He blames the Russia-Ukraine war, a partial factor, but Thailand’s once famous current account trade surplus has long since disappeared thanks to the pandemic. The good news for international visitors is that many foreign currencies have advanced against the baht. Even the British pound has defied the expectation that it would nosedive post-Brexit and is currently worth around 43.5 baht.

Many owners and managers of bars and clubs, now posing as health-conscious “restaurants” to satisfy the law, say that booze prices are likely to remain stable for now. Dave Selman, who rents premises in the popular Tree Town area of Soi Buakhao, said competition was fierce. “Many of us are relying on more customers with a smaller profit margin.” A masseuse at a nearby relaxation emporium said that a basic one hour rub was likely to remain at 200 baht minimum. “We survive on extra services and tips.” But then she hastily added, “You know, I mean a cup of tea whilst you relax or a more expensive moisturizing cream.” Absolutely.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ead-396035

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Sat Apr 23, 2022 12:10 pm
Inflationary pressures go beyond food and travel. Kenneth Wong, of Top Form Bras with local Thai factories, says the cost of fabric, foam pads, metal wire and plastic adjusters is also going up.
I would like to think that not many members have noticed the price of bras going up.


Barry Kenyon wrote:
Sat Apr 23, 2022 12:10 pm
“We survive on extra services and tips.” But then she hastily added, “You know, I mean a cup of tea whilst you relax or a more expensive moisturizing cream.” Absolutely.
Has anyone here ever been billed for the tea at a massage shop ? ;)

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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I sadly must point out that Barry Kenyon has got it wrong about the plunge in the exchange rate between the Baht and the UK pound. The day before the Brexit vote the rate was 56 Baht to the pound, the day after the vote it plunged to 36 Baht to the pound. It has slowly crawled up to 43.6 (current rate today). Living on my small pension means that this has really hurt me over the last six years and I don't see the pound gaining at all anytime soon.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Research into penis size in various areas of the world? Exactly how is that research conducted - and do they need any volunteers . . . ?
_______________________________________

Thais fight back against penile discrimination

By Barry Kenyon

April 27, 2022

Thai social media, especially via Tik Tok, have struck back against a British online pharmacy claim that Thai men have the seventh smallest penises in the world. “From Mars” printed research from 86 countries claiming to show – generally speaking – that Caribbean and African countries sport the biggest manhood, so to speak, and Asian countries the smallest. Erect penises fall mainly into the 4 to 6 inches category.

Critics point out that the data is suspect as much of it is self-declared by volunteers who may be prone to exaggeration. Equally, men with small equipment might feel self-conscious and refuse to participate in enquiries. Many Thais on social media have complained that the research is racist or based on colour discrimination. One claimed that the findings were nonsense as the main cause of short penises was childhood circumcision which is not routinely performed in the Land of Smiles.

International research about this sensitive subject goes back to the 19th century when an anthropologist Timothy Laws began asking detailed questions in Latin American cities. However, his findings were never published as his persistent questioning was misunderstood by locals and he was knifed to death on an Argentinian street. During the second world war, propaganda on both sides criticized the sexual potency of their adversaries.

Since then, there have been many attempts to get to the bottom of the matter but without much success. Claims that penis size is related to the size of feet, or of the nose, or even of certain fingers have been propagated but shown to be baseless. The same is true of research trying to demonstrate that national IQ rates are responsible, or even the number of vegetarians in the population.

Unsurprisingly, the Covid era has launched many theories in association with the genital region. There are endless discussions on social media about “long Covid” producing a shrinking manhood with doctors allegedly blaming vascular damage. Believe it if you wish. More scientifically, the International Journal of Urology suggested this year that environmental pollution, notably plastics, could be affecting both penis size and semen production. But nobody really knows.

Indeed, the most likely explanation could well be genetic and based on immediate parentage and ancestry. In the meantime, a contributor on Twitter claims to notice that the type of political system in a country is linked to manhood size. This could give a new meaning to the expression “a hung parliament”.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ion-396473

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