Thursday, 31 July 2014

Men Factory sauna update

Men Factory sauna update

Friday, 25.07.2014

After a rather disappointing visit last year, time to visit Men Factory Sauna (Silom Soi 2/1, sometimes called Muffil 2 - 2nd branch of Muffil Ladprao 113) again to form a balanced opinion.

Current theme days (from 19.05.2014, note in the sauna):

Naked Party: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun (small towel only)
Underwear Night: Tue, Sat (Small towel only)
Big Towel: Thu
Sexy Boy Show: Wed-Fri-Sat

(And by "small towel" they mean small towel, I have seen bigger and thicker napkins in restaurants.)

Handwritten note:

Sexy Boy Live Show! Showtime Wed 8:15 pm, Fri-Sat 9:30 pm  

(I asked cashier who confirmed 9:30, however internet says 9, and the show was around 9)

Arrive 19:50. Pay 170 Baht entry. No condom or lube provided, towels are on 4th floor. A quick walk through the premises, around 20 customers, all Asian. There is still barbed wire as decoration in the maze. UNACCEPTABLE (I am not talking about interior decoration style or design, I am talking about security.) The minuscule cathode ray tube tv showing porn has been replaced by a decent size flat screen. 

There is one boy who looks cute, and he shows interest, so I let him lead me to a room. On the mattress, there is a wet spot (I only found out after putting my hand in it), wipe it off with towel, will never know what it was (but I can tell it was not water).

However, this was more to make him happy (sometimes I have a charitable moment) and to rig my statistics, I try to get paid encounters below 50%, and this is one free sex more and one paid encounter less.

Afterwards, take a shower. Want to get a fresh towel, but they are empty, and the table has a note in Thai "Towels are currently in the dryer. Come back in ten minutes". UNACCEPTABLE. Go to 5th floor and find the sexy boy show has already begun (around 9 pm). Two boys and seven spectators. The show lasts about 10 minutes, in the end the boys fuck in the nude, nothing to write home about. 

Finally get a towel and try their free soup (5th floor, rice soup with chicken?). The soup is good. A customer joins me and starts a conversation. Very good English and entertaining. Tells me about the background the name of Sukhumvit Soi 71 (Pridi Banomyong). The first time I have a chat about Thai history with a Thai. Sense of humor as well: when I get my 3rd refill of soup (small bowl), he comments:

Christian, do you know why people go to gay saunas? To have sex, not to have dinner!

During our conversation, I saw up to three rats. One of them carried food from the kitchen to it's lair, running across the room every five minutes.

No comb in the changing room, have to leave with messy hair.

Leave 22:45. About 10 customers left. While this visit can be counted as success (sex, dinner, conversation), I will be a very, very, very long time until I come back.

Other reports draw a similar picture:

Has any of my readers been there? What was your experience? 

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

G-Star Pavilion

G-Star Pavilion

Saturday 26.07.2014

This place has been on my list for a long time. Burmese Woman is free and wants to go as well, so we meet there at midnight. Dinner in foodcourt first, enter around 00:30. The place is full, estimated 400 customers. Entry only age 20+. Didn't see any Farang in there.

Around 1 am comedy show, afterwards people dancing on the stage. I spot a few cute boys, recognize two who used to work in X-Boys some years ago. Beer 120 Baht (Singha 330 ml bottle). Way to toilets is labyrinthine, several stairs up and down and several corners.

At 2:00 am, lights go on and music changes to indicate closing time. Suddenly, people start to smoke inside (before only in smoking rooms and toilet). Emptying the places takes over half an hour, plenty of taxis outside waiting for customers. 

This is the time to make contacts (exchange a few smiles with boys waiting for taxi or gathering outside or at the food court opposite). One could come at closing time, I don’t drink, don’t dance, don’t sing, so I could skip all this.

At Meng Jai Junction แยกเหม่งจ๋าย (the crossing of Pracha Uthit Road ถนนประชาอุทิศ and Thiam Ruam Mit Road ถนนเทียมร่วมมิตร which becomes Ratchada Nivet Soi 24 ซอยรัชดานิเวศน์ 24). 30 Minutes walk from MRT Huay Kwang or MRT Thailand Cultural Center. I saw bus 74 drive past around midnight, there is a bus garage about 2 km away. (Neither line nor garage in that area in my bus map.)

13.7698931,100.5856703 = 13°46'11.6"N 100°35'08.4"E 

On facebook and googlemaps called “Gstar Pavilion” (จีสตาร์ พาวิลเลี่ยน ผับ) various other spellings on the web. 

Part of the G-Star group: G-Star Paradise (Ramkhamhaeng Soi 89/2, currently closed July 2014), G-Star Vintage (Chiang Mai), G-Star Palace (Khon Kaen).

update Nov 2015:
Place at Meng Jai Junction is closed.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Buddhist Hell Gardens in Thailand

Buddhist Hell Gardens in Thailand

There are over 20 Buddhist Hell Gardens I know of in Thailand. Details below (alphabetically by province and website). I have been to 5 of them and will visit some more if time permits. Locations and travel distances from google maps.

This document is an advanced draft, should enable the educated reader to find more information, but when I try to complete the data for one place (by searching on the internet, English and Thai), more pop up, so I stop at this point and rather go visit those I know of instead of searching for more I won’t have time to visit.

Last updated  21.05.2015 to include new places and links

General information or collections of various places: pictures from various Buddhist hell gardens, without clear identification

Complete list in Japanese: 

There is a book in Japanese "Hell Jigoku no aruki kata" (Hells that I have walked to) 2010 by Tsuzuki Yoichi which describes 16 temples with hell gardens (source: The Fate of rural Hell, p. 94)
Ang Thong (Wat Muang วัดม่วง)
10 km west of Ang Thong, 1 km south of hwy 3195
Tambon Phai Cham Sin, Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, Chang Wat Ang Thong 14110, Thailand
ต.ไผ่จำศิล อ.วิเศษชัยชาญ จ.อ่างทอง

Ayutthaya (Wat Kai / Wat Gai วัดไก่)
26 km by road north of Aytthaya, 13 km by road south-east of Ang Thong, 500 m east of hwy 32 = AH 2
Tambon Sang Han, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, 13220
ตำบลหังสัง จ.พระนครศรีอยุธยา


Chiang Mai (Wat Mae Takrai วัดแม่ตะไคร้)
วัดแม่ตะไคร้ ต.ทาเหนือ อ.แม่ออน จ.เชียงใหม่ (just pictures) (German, full article only for subscribers) (just photos) (German, full article for free)
I learnt of this place from an article in "Der Farang"   

Chiang Mai (Wat Si Don Chai Pa Tung Ngam / Wat Mae Kaet Noi วัดศรีดอนชัย ป่าตึงงาม / วัดแม่แก้ดน้อย)
15 km north of Chiang Mai, Try Wat Mae Kaet Noi. It’s about 3km from Maejo University. Travel down route 1001 from Chiang Mai and, immediately before the University, turn right (this is also route 1001, sometimes known as the “alternate 1001″. You can get a green songthaew from Warorot market.
18.877943,99.03681 = 18°52'40.6"N 99°02'12.5"E
วัดแม่แก้ดน้อย หมู่ 5 ต.ป่าไผ่ อ.สันทราย จ.เชียงใหม่

Chonburi (Bang Saen, Wang Saen Suk บางแสน วังแสนสุข, Wat Saen Suk Suthi Wararam วัดแสนสุขสุทธิวราราม)
Bang Saen Sai 2 Soi 19, hwy 3137, 13.297500,100.9128611 = 13°17'51.0"N 100°54'46.3"E
Bang Saen Sai 2 Soi 19, Tambon Saen Suk, Amphoe Mueang Chon Buri, Chang Wat Chon Buri 20130,
บางแสน สาย 2 ซอย 19 ต. แสนสุบ อ. เมือง จ. ชลบุรี

Nakhon Ratchasima (educatioal garden Wat Pa Lak Roy อุทยานการศึกษา วัดป่าหลักร้อย)
15.1722634,102.0747463 = 15°10'20.1"N 102°04'29.1"E
30 km north of Nakhon Ratchasima, 1 km west of hwy 205
Tambon Non Thai, Amphoe Non Thai, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30220
ต.โนนไทย อ.โนนไทย จ.นครราชสีมา

Nan (Wat Phumin วัดภูมินทร์)
Hwy 101, in town center,
18.7745479,100.7716506 = 18°46'28.4"N 100°46'17.9"E

Pathum Thani (Wat Puet Udom วัดพืชอุดม)
Hwy 3312 = Lam Luk Ka road ถ.ลำลูกกา or hwy 4003, about 30 km east of Don Muang Airport,
13.9568012,100.8867223 = 13°57'24.5"N 100°53'12.2"E

Phang Nga (Wat Tham Ta Pan วัดถ้ำตาปาน)
8.453939,98.528078 = 8°27'14.2"N 98°31'41.1"E
In town, 200 m west of hwy 4 = Phetkasem road ถ.เพชรเกษม ถ.มนตรี (ใกล้วิทยาลัยเทคนิคพังงา)
Tham Ta Pan Bureau of Monks, Mueang Phang-nga District, Phang-nga, Thailand

Phayao (Wat Sri Khom Kham วัดศรีโคมคำ)

Phichit (Wat Maiplayhuai วัดใหม่ปลายห้วย)
Photo taken in Noen Po, Sam Ngam District, Phichit, Thailand 16° 22' 25.52" N  100° 5' 19.05" E

Roi Et (Wat Ban Non Sawan วัดบ้านโนนสวรรค์ spelling slightly different from the following wat)
16.3104833,103.9859778 = 16°18'37.7"N 103°59'09.5"E
50 km north-east of Roi Et, 500 m east of hwy 2046
Tambon Waeng, Amphoe Phon Thong, Chang Wat Roi Et 45110, Thailand
ต.แวง อ.โพนทอง จ.ร้องเอ็ด

Roi Et (Wat Pa Non Sawan วัดป่าโนนสวรรค์ spelling slightly different from the previous wat)
27 km by road east of town, 7 km south of hwy 23,
Tambon Thoet Thai, Amphoe Thung Khao Luang, Chang Wat Roi Et 45170
ต. เทิดไทย อ. ทุ่งเขาหลวง จ. ร้อยเอ็ด

Roi Et (Wat Pa Thewapithak Pracha Bamrung วัดป่าเทวาพิทักษ์ประชาบำรุง)
16.130959,103.626201 = 16°07'51.5"N 103°37'34.3"E
10 km by car north of Roi Et, 100 m west of hwy 214
Changhan District, Roi Et, Thailand ตำบล จังหาร อ. จ้งหาร จ. ร้อยเอ็ด

Saraburi (this one seems to be fictional)

Songkhla วัดท่าเมรุ
ต.บางกล่ำ อ.บางกล่ำ จ.สงขลา

Sukhothai (Wat Thawet วัดเตว็ด)
17.0810203,99.832412 = 17°04'51.7"N 99°49'56.7"E
วัดเตว็ดกลาง หมู่ 4 Thap Phueng, Si Samrong District Sukhothai 64120, Thailand
ต.ทับผึ้ง อ. ศรีสำโรง จ.สุโขทัย
About 10 km by car north of Sukhothai, about 300 m east of hwy 1195, about 500 m west of hwy 101

(Article in Book “Fantasy Worlds” Taschen, Deidi von Schaewen, John Maizels)

Suphanburi (Wat Pai Rong Wua วัดไผ่โรงวัว)
14.161771,100.159021 = 14°09'42.4"N 100°09'32.5"E
Hwy 3422, about 50 km south of Suphanburi and 60 km north of Nakhon Pathom
Tambon Bang Ta Then, Amphoe Song Phi Nong, Chang Wat Suphan Buri 73190, Thailand
ต. บางตาเถร อ. สองพี่น้อง จ. สุพรรณบุรี (book about the place)
update 11.03.2015: bought the book "The Fate of Rural Hell: Asceticism and Desire in Buddhist Thailand", underwhelming

Surat Thani วัดวิเวการาม
หมู่ 1, ตําบลทุ่งเตา อําเภอบ้านนาสาร จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี, 84120 84120วัดวิเวการาม/@8.8930425,99.3910358,11z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xae70107e02b5259b 

Udon Thani (Wat Ban Waeng / Wat Pho Chair Sri วัดโพธิ์ชัยศรี / Wat Luang Por Nak วัดหลวงพ่อนาค) there were no signs for Wat Ban Waeng, might be a misnomer
17.680141, 102.424962 = 17°40'48.5"N 102°25'29.9"E
68 km by car northwest of Udon Thani, 56 km by car southwest of Nong Khai
Soi DPT., Tambon Champa Mong, Amphoe Ban Phue, Chang Wat Udon Thani, Thailand
10 ตำบลบ้านผือ อำเภอบ้านผือ จังหวัดอุดรธานี (10 km apart, which one?)

unidentified places

Mural paintings of Buddhist hell:

Huay Xai (Lao, across the Mekong from Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai province)

Luang Prabang (Lao, Wat Pa Phon Phao)

Wat Bang Pli Yai (Samut Prakarn)

Wat Rong Kun (Chiang Rai)

Wat Pa Kung (Roi Et, glazed tiles, not just a painting)

Chiang Mai (Wat Mae Yuak) paintings
วัดแม่หยวก ต.ช้างเผือก อ.เมือง จ.เชียงใหม่

Hell is also depicted on some temples as bas relief, which are much less dramatic but a few of the tiny creations decorating Chiang Mai's tranquil Wat Chai Mongkol, near the Ping river, are quite nice.
Each the size of a person's hand, some of the golden figures against a blood-red background show a man being sawed in half, plus other violence.
Nearby, a snow-white background highlights gold-colored people falling into a boiling pot, while the Buddha serenely meditates.
Further north, at Chiang Khan's Wat Si Khun Meuang along the Mekong river, an evocative wall painting portrays the boiling of humans, with an ox-headed man adding to the misery, though most of the temple's paintings avoid pictures of punishment.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC