Thursday 12 May 2016

Is Thailand safe? More from Hua Hin

It's just a few weeks since we saw the horrific scenes in Hua Hin - an elderly couple and their son, victims of what appeared to be an unprovoked attack by a group of young Thai men. The couple have vowed never to return to Thailand - Thais I have spoken to have expressed a sense of shame and anger directed only at their countrymen. A new video paints a very different picture of what went on that night. There can be no justification for kicking an elderly woman in the face - but this video shows what initiated the confrontation and, apparently, who threw the first punch.
Many people criticise Thais for going into fights "mob-handed" as though there should be a code of honour for a street brawl. It would be better if those critics understood the concept of "face".
Insult a Thai at your peril - he or she must even the score - and it's quiet acceptable for your mates to help you do that.
Instead of complaining about that - it's pointless - visitors need to understand the concept and adjust their behaviour  accordingly. If that's not acceptable - choose a different holiday location.
The Thais involved in  this incident are likely to be punished (unless they have influential family) - the Brits will, in all probability, continue to milk the sympathy they have received for being victims.
Based on this new film - their promise never to return to Thailand can only be welcomed.

Check the video here  

Saturday 26 July 2014

Please shoot the guy who makes up the headlines

My theme in this blog is that most journalists are lazy, unprofessional and will do anything to make the facts fit the conclusion they have already made. It seems the malaise extends to headline writers...

Monday 9 December 2013

Would you fall for this scam

This film is only partially set in Thailand, but it deals with the infamous boiler room scams which have received so much coverage in the press recently.

Keith Jones is an Australian who was conned out of about 150,000 US dollars in an investment fraud. He invested the money on the strength of a few phone calls and a cursory check of the internet sites to which he was referred by the caller. It's staggeringly naive for a man who is obviously intelligent and at least moderately successful in his chosen career.

The film shows how he traced the group that had taken his money to an apartment block in Chiang Mai. It's a very impressive effort from a man who, presumably, is not a professional film maker. The film is well put together and he is a very capable narrator of his own script. It's well worth a look, if you have an interest in Thailand or in the ways in which foolish people can be parted from their cash.

The only word of warning... if someone phones saying they have a great investment opportunity, ask the question... if it's so great why are they sharing it with you... a complete stranger?

The film is here Whambamthankyouscam

Sunday 7 July 2013

Never go to Thailand

This is a promotional video, so there is nothing to spark a rage against lazy journalists. It does, however, depict Thailand and it shows the country with which I am more familiar.

Well worth four and a half minutes out of your day - Watch here

Thursday 13 June 2013

Thai sex industry - a truly authentic take

This blog focuses on how Thailand is presented in the media and, in particular, how the country's notorious sex industry is portrayed in so called documentary films. The men involved in the Thai bar scene are invariably depicted as ruthless predators or sad, fat old men who have failed to connect with females in their own countries. Thai women take the role of helpless victims of traffickers or heartless, scheming manipulators eager to separate the hapless "farang" from his hard earned savings.  It should come as no surprise that the reality is so much more complicated.

I have written two books set in Thailand's most infamous city, Pattaya. My contention is that the lazy stereotyping so prevalent in the documentaries is wide of the mark, but there is a thread that ties many of the participants on both sides of the sex trade together. They are all trying to find something that is missing in their lives, for many of the girls that is no more than the small amount of cash that it would take to look after their families. For others the stakes are much higher.

My books have consistently received 5 star rankings on Amazon and the key to their success, I am told, is that they are a truly authentic take on the dynamics of the Thai sex industry. If you would like to know more about the darker side of Thailand and how its participants really interact, then I hope you will take a look at these books.

Thai Kiss - is available on  and 

Thai Lottery - is available on and

Both books are available on all the regional Amazon sites and also on Barnes & Noble, Nook and Kobo.

I hope you will check them out and let me know what you think.

Thanks to Lewis on who says of Thai Kiss -
This book has now become my all time favorite novel about Thailand ,it gives a very enjoyable detailed look into the many facets of the underworld of the Pattaya bar scene ,and some of the not so pleasant characters involved in it. The story is a suspenseful, well researched fast paced page turner, from a brilliant writer. The twists and turns in the plot were very well executed, you will be hooked.

I loved this book , it's gripping from start to finish, can't wait for his next one.

Sunday 2 June 2013

21st Century Sex Slaves

There are countless films dealing with the sex industry in Thailand, this one is unusual on two counts. First it acknowledges that the majority of women involved in the trade are not the victims of trafficking. They could walk away if they chose to do so. Second it looks at the problem of women being brought into Thailand from abroad. In this case a gang from Uzbekistan is pimping its own nationals to Arabs and Indians living in Bangkok (so the film claims).

It's an interesting film and certainly worth forty four minutes of your time, but it is not without its irritations.

The voice over attempts to inject drama into situations which look considerably less dramatic than the narrator is suggesting. Some film, which is claimed to portray a single night's action, is betrayed by a time clock which shows it is spread over around 19 days. Most disturbing is that the police seem to blunder through their investigation, diving in to make arrests without the evidence to make a charge stick.

The case is bust open when police arrest two Thais outside Pattaya. I regret that when I saw that, I started to wonder if the whole thing was a fabrication. As the narrator tried to suggest it was a life and death situation for the forces of law and order, it looked to me like the arrest of a couple of taxi drivers who had stopped for a nap.

So, a genuine fly on the wall documentary or an elaborate promo for a well meaning charity and the Thai authorities anxious to suggest they are combating the sex trade? You decide.  Check it out here. Film

Friday 24 May 2013

Louis Theroux and the Thai Marriage Bureau

Once again it's not exactly journalism just an opportunity for Louis Theroux to lure the hapless into providing unintended entertainment. Theroux arrives in Bangkok trying to find out why western men seek love in Thailand and why local women seem anxious to help them out. The star of the show is Ronny, the marriage bureau owner whose dress sense and overall demeanour seems to be inspired by the fictional Bertie Wooster. Lake Palmer offers valiant support as the man who is desperate for love but might easily be an axe murderer if it were not for a steady stream of prescription medication.
This is the kind of TV you have to watch through your fingers, I was barely able to believe that either man thought an offer to appear alongside Louis Theroux could end well.
Some genuinely amusing moments but it's impossible to watch this without feeling sympathy for everyone on both sides of this particular form of match making.

Take a look - Thai brides    

The film tells you what happens to Ronny's latest conquest - if you want to find out what happens to Lake you need to take a look at this link - Lake's fate

The picture quality may be patchy in places.