Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Thai straight nightlife: tamnan

Thai straight nightlife: tamnan

Friday, 28.02.2014

I have a massage in Silom, and the masseur (whom I have met twice before) suggests we go to Tamnan for drinking and dancing afterwards. Having read good things about Tamnan in Pattaya, I agree.

Full name: Tamnan-Kon-E-San Bangkok Branch (their spelling in English) ตำนานคนอีสาน (but they write Kon with obsolete letter Ko Kon: ตำนานฅนอีสาน), literally “legend/chronic/history of Isaan people”, is a short drive by taxi (about 50 THB fare) from Silom/Saladaeng. It’s on Charoenrat road, but my friend just asked for “Tamnan”. No website in English or Thai that I know of, but it’s in databases of businesses:

We arrive 00:15 and it is packed. We get a table beside the stage and order food and drink. Later we can move in front of the stage. The entire night, I see one other Farang. There are tables and chairs, but the majority is standing and dancing. No smoking inside, smokers go outside (balcony, street). I didn’t see any shishas.

Prices: Leo beer tower 3 liter 495 THB, bucket of ice 55, fried rice seafood 80. Staff comes around some time after your order is delivered.

Music is very loud, I forgot my earplugs, but use tissue to protect my ears. Other Thai customers do the same. No problems with flashing lights (compare sangjan, it was horrible).

The toilets are clean, well lit and odorless. There are masseurs who can/will massage you at the urinal and at the wash basin, I decline. Another person will hand you a hot wet towel and asks for a tip afterwards. Sorry, not from me, I take it for granted that there are towels in the bathroom. I made several trips to the bathroom just locking at myself in the mirror, as an excuse to roam around the audience and to have a look outside.

Security is around and removes aggressive drunks, whereas tired drunks just sit on the chairs and sleep. The entire night, the atmosphere stays party. Aircon can’t cope with the heat, I feel warm but many Thais stay in long trousers and long sleeved shirts. Body contact (inevitable because it’s packet, or deliberately with cute boys) shows that most others have unpleasant sweaty skin.

About 1 and 2 am it is packed, standing room only. At 3 and 4 you can easily walk, but party is still going when I leave around 4:10. When I had a look outside between 3 and 4 am, there were several policemen, don’t know what they were doing there.

This place is very similar to sangjan (see my post in December 2013) and tawan daeng (somewhere near Rama 3, I went three years ago with a Thai friend).

(They have dancing boys as well, however body fully covered by clothes.)

----- Individual experience with my Thai friend

After massage I tipped him 1000 Baht as usual. We left the massage place at midnight, usually my friend has to work until 2 am, I wondered if he can just leave (and should have asked, see his demand for a kind of off-fee at the end of the night). He pays taxi (big brownie points if a boy pays small expenses by himself).

It’s just us two (I was wondering if friends of him are already there or would come later, once he has caught a Farang who pays), but we clink glasses and chat with other customers (as far as loud music allows), and move along the row of tables when it gets crowded.

My friend tips generously (about five times 100 Baht, he even gives me 100 Baht and tells me to tip the comedian Kathoey on stage), I pay for food and drink. About 2 am, I am ready to go home (this is not my scene, I just do reconnaissance tours and two hours are enough), but my friend orders another tower of beer, so we stay longer.

The audience is promising, I spot several cute boys and I think I spot a few gay boys. One cute (and gay?) boy is near our table and we dance a bit together. Cute face and haircut, but seems a bit slutty, too pale and too fat (by my very strict standards), so I don’t exchange phone numbers. But on leaving he grabs my hand when I walk past him.

The second tower of beer is almost empty (I had just one glass, water afterwards; that means my friend drank most of it, but no signs of inebriation), it’s about 3:30, definitely time to go home for me. Then my friend holds out his hand and asks for 1000 Baht. I point to the empty tower and wave my hand “no more”. After a good night so far, things turn nasty.

But after some shouting at each other, and finally writing on my mobile phone because it’s too loud for talking, I understand: the 1000 Baht are kind of off-fee. That’s clearly too much as off-fee, and he should have told me in the beginning. I offer him 500, he doesn’t take the note, I put it back into my pocket. After some further negotiations (unpleasant shouting), he accepts 500.

I have spent about 500 for massage, tipped him 1000, spent another 1000 on drinks, now gave him 500, that’s a total of 3000, I don’t want to spend any more.

This is a general problem I have with other friends as well, I should set a limit in advance, tell them or better give them the amount I am prepared to spend the evening, and no more! It happened before: I have seen and heard enough, my budget is expired, most bottles are empty, I am ready to go home, when another round is ordered at my expense.

He leaves the table 3:45 and doesn’t tell me where he is going. Before he told me when he went away. I set myself a limit of 20 minutes, if he isn’t back after 20 minutes I assume he left and I would leave as well. But he is back after 10 minutes. We slowly get back into party mood and leave about 4:10.

Outside he explains to me that he has to pay his boss 1000 Baht (for leaving early from work?) and that he found someone (one of the dancing boys who had a drink with us?) who will give him 500. With better light outside, I see a big love bite on his neck, he says a ladyboy kissed him. He is not angry with me (well, I am the one who should be angry, but I am not) and wants to see me again soon. We drop the subject of him coming with me and staying overnight (his suggestion at the begin of the evening, but I am pretty sure that would involve further requests for money), I take taxi home and he goes back in the disco.

I have to give him credit to turn the situation around, after these nasty negotiations about 1000 Baht off-fee. We part as friends (hug and kiss), and I will see him in two weeks. 

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC


  1. it's quite possible he did not make it up that he needs to pay off fee when left work earlier, even if he missed 1-2 hours only, last year on at least 3 occasions / Arena, Adonis, Bangkok Massage / charged me 700-1000 for taking boy very close to closing time.

    But agree if that's the case boy should tell you in advance, may be he assumed you know?

  2. I didn't off boys from massage before, so I didn't know. I won't pay 700-1000 Baht off-fee! It was his suggestion that I join him to Tamnan, so he should have told me.


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