We stayed at our friend's posh pad in Bangkok's "hi-so" (high society) district called Thong Lo. This friend of ours (Drew), who has been living in Thailand for more than 2 years already as an expat of my employer's arch rival, shares the place with his boyfriend.
The first few days were spent roaming around the city and nearby vicinities to see temples, floating markets, elephants, street life, bath houses or what have you. The entire Friday to Saturday morning were spent at this very lovely island called Samed. Back in Bangkok, Saturday night was spent clubbing at DJ Station and G.O.D. (Guys on Display) along BKK's Silom gay district. And Sunday was spent shopping in Jatujak and Bangkok's famous malls (MBK, Siam, etc.).
Even though it was already my 3rd time to visit Thailand, I still learned many things about the country and the people (thanks to Drew).
- We learned how to count numbers in Thai.
- We learned the basic conversation phrases needed to order food/drinks in a restaurant.
- We learned how to flirt/hook up in Thai! :)
- We learned that Koh Samed is an island not really famous to most tourists. The Thai people try as much as they can to keep the paradise to themselves. That is why the island still looks virgin and definitely unpolluted. In fact, I loved it - the quality of sand, the resorts, food, booze, night life, everything!
- At first, we thought that Thai gay boys are suplado (snob), but in fact, they are just shy to talk to foreigners as they are not so confident to speak in English.
- There are many Filipinos working in Thailand as English teachers. Learning English is becoming a trend in Thailand nowadays and English language schools are booming.
- There are less poor people in Thailand than in the Philippines. Majority of the society are becoming masses and the gap between the rich and the poor are getting smaller. Unlike in the Philippines, majority are still (very) poor and the rich are far apart even from the masses.
- Thai men (straight and gay alike) are becoming like Koreans - they are becoming vainer and vainer. In fact, the market for vanity products (hygiene and make-up) for men is becoming bigger and bigger in Thailand. Beauty products are being marketed by the quality and not by the price (unlike how they are being marketed to Filipinos), as they can afford these products already (whether consumer goods level or luxurious).
- Thai gay men who have the money love to splurge by going to the beach on weekends (not clubbing) and/or undergoing facial surgery. Yes, I didn't notice it during my first 2 trips to Thailand. But when Drew told me about it, I noticed that indeed, they have facial features that are not attributable to Asian looks. They have pointed noses, square jaws, fake dimples, etc. But these things are not obvious until you investigate and look closely at their faces. I realized that yeah - Thailand is famous to tourists because aesthetic surgery is really cheap. In fact, those who have the money go to the surgeon as often as Filipinos go to the dermatologist just to get a facial.
- I was shocked to learn that the cost of sex change in Thailand is just around USD 1,000!!!