Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Phuket - Big Brother Plans

Tracking Wristband Product
Tracking Wristband

Now I am not a fan of Phuket because of the the rip off transport prices, but now this negativity has increased. I am aghast no matter the good 'intentions' of the following plans:

There are plans apparently to fit tourists with wi fi enabled tracking wristbands at some stage so that the tourist can be found if there is an untoward incident. That's the line the authorities are coming out with. I have also read that the wristbands will be able to track tourists movements to enhance planning for future tourist activities. They say all data will be secure and only used for the benefit of the tourists. In Thailand - secure ?

To facilitate this tracking they are massively expanding the number of Wi Fi hotspots in Phuket so all of it is technically feasible.

If all this is correct and it is actually being planned and not just a figment of some persons overactive imagination, I cannot see it going down to well! What do they want to do? Cut down tourist numbers to the area dramatically or what?

Lets hope this fizzles out into nothing but it is worrying.

I am sure we all read of the fitness tracking band that divulged the routes taken by armed services personnel, next it will be a map of the routes tourists use to navigate the go go bars of Phuket!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bargirl Scene In Chiang Rai City

Having been in Chiang Rai a few months I quickly realised that the bar scene revolving around P4P and bar girls is quite limited. But it does exist.

The main bar area for this sort of entertainment is in the city centre along Jetyod Road, close to the famous Chiang Rai clocktower. There is a mix of 'normal bars' and P4P bars stretching along about 250m of the road.

Naturally, there are more P4P girls in high season than low season.

Everything is low key and not 'in your face' as it is in some areas of Bangkok. The bars are normally quiet until late into the evening, with most P4P girls coming to work after 6 or 7 pm. Depending on the level of business, some bars stay open most of the night behind closed shutters, but normal closing time is 12 midnight.

Some bars have pool tables, some don't. A couple have live music on occasion.  But all in all a farang can have a pleasant time in Jetyod Road as long as he or she doesn't expect too much - unless they ask (and pay).

But before asking get the feel for the bar first, as not all bars in Jetyod Road have P4P available !

By the way, there are zero 'a go go' bars that I have found in Chiang Rai. Apparently there used to be but they were closed down a few years ago. I have heard that there is a Thai style go go bar somewhere in the city but I don't know if this is a myth or real.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Estate Agencies in Bangkok

Having lived in Bangkok for many years I have moved about 7 times from condo to condo. Each time I have moved I have spent hours scouring the web and estate agency websites for a suitable property.

 One thing I found is that the vast majority of websites had many properties shown but a large number of properties were no longer available. I found this very frustrating, and in fact downright irritating.

I also found the same property on more than one website at different rents. I called the agency with the cheaper price to be told it was no longer available but they had another similar that was priced higher. I declined, and went to the other site that had the same property and called them - it was still available and so I took it. Not happy with the first agency at all.

From my experience I can say that if you need to rent or buy a condo try On Nut Condos. Nala who runs it tries her best for you but they only cover the Sukhumvit area from around Nana to Bearing along the BTS. Not a problem if you want to live in that area.Connected with the Bangkok branch they have a branch in Chiang Rai as well renting houses if you are interested,

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Work and Retirement - Thoughts from Bangkok

Some thoughts after spending years in Bangkok......

I am lucky, or some would say sensible. But I know I am lucky.

I retired from my employment when I was about 50, the pension I receive is not huge but it allows me quite a good life in Thailand.  Prior to the crash in 2008 it gave me an excellent lifestyle for doing nothing!

During all of my working life I paid over 10% of my income towards a pension. It was difficult, especially when I was first married and had kids, but I persevered. I nearly didn't.

I was broke when I was about 25yrs old and talked things over with my boss. I wanted to stop paying into my pension to give me more disposable income.  Thankfully he convinced me not to. I thank him in my thoughts every month now :)

The sad thing is that I have met many men in Bangkok who are 50 years old or older who have no pension or any other substantial income. Many of them work here, legally, but can see themselves working forever. The UK state pension seems to be getting further away from their grasp with the increase in pensionable age, and there is also the added consequence of living here with the UK state pension not increasing for ex-pats. Living in Thailand on a UK state pension is getting harder everyday and of course the Thai Government will not help you, and why should they?

So all I can say is START  a pension plan early in life and pay as much into it as you can. The way things are going you will not be able to rely on a state pension in the years to come.

NO, I am not a financial adviser nor am I touting for business. I am just a realist