An English amateur writer named Allan Dudson and of approximately the same age as your webmaster recently sent me an email asking me to help him promote a book he had written more than a decade ago but failed to publish the old-fashioned way.
In brief, the subject of his autobiographical work is Pattaya and his adventures here as a young British “sex tourist” over numerous visits to the city between 1996 and 2002 – a topic I thought some of our readers might enjoy as well.
Allan has now published his book on Amazon Kindle, hoping to sell enough copies to get him and his family – an ex-bar girl from the now defunct Victory Bar on Soi 8 he married in 2002 and their two kids – back to Thailand once again; a country they last visited in 2006.
We’re happy to support Allan and have now published a series of excerpts from his 301-page book Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist here in our blog. If you like our “literary appetizers” and want to read more you can purchase the book at the Amazon website at just £2.67.
- Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist (Part One)
- Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist (Part Two)
- Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist (Part Three)
- Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist (Part Four)
- Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist (Part Five)
- Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist (Part Six)
But to start with, let me begin with some background information.
Introduction – Pattaya in the late 1990s
What struck me when I read Allan’s first email was the fact that we actually have a few more things in common than just our age, an ex-bar girl-cum-wife, and a shared ambition to write. For example, we both visited Pattaya for the first time in the late 1990s – Allan in 1996 at the age of 25, me a year later but a year younger than Allan – and we share a couple of fond memories of Pattaya back in those “good old” days.
To start with, Pattaya back in the late 1990s, or the city’s nightlife districts, covered an area much smaller than almost 20 years later. Soi Buakhao was just another street in the urban hinterland of Pattaya beach with hardly any bars and not of much interest. Soi LK Metro didn’t exist at all (it was virtually an empty plot of land), and Soi 7 had just a couple of bars on the northern side of the alley. Soi 8, Pattayaland and Walking Street were mainly the places to go, aside from some now defunct beer bar complexes like the ones on Soi 2 and Soi 9 (the latter had to make room for the new Central Festival mall and the Hilton Hotel some years ago). Walking Street at that time, I should add, was actually still a proper nightlife hotspot where even expats went for a drink and to find a girl for the night, not the Chinese “tourist attraction” to which it has deteriorated in recent years.
When I came to Pattaya the very first time in July 1997, a friend of mine who knew Pattaya since the early 1990s and had arrived a few days earlier, had booked a room for me at the Sawasdee Mansion on Soi Honey. Now for some reason, my taxi dropped me off at the wrong Sawasdee hotel – the Sawasdee Pattaya on Soi Diana, near the junction with Soi Buakhao – and the reception staff there didn’t even notice the mistake at first but just gave me a room key and let me go up and take a shower (they came knocking on my door only about 20 minutes later after they’d realized my booking was actually for another hotel of their group).
Anyway, I remember looking out of the window in that room after I had taken a much needed shower. There was hardly any traffic on the street below me. At the horizon I could see the sea and some islands in the distance. Across the road there was a vast empty plot of land with I think a cow or a buffalo on it, feeding on sunburnt grass.
If you’d look out of that same window now you’d probably not see the sea anymore. The empty parcel is now taken by the popular nightlife area of Soi LK Metro and the LK Metropole hotel just across the street. What I then thought was the middle of nowhere is now one of the busiest and most congested areas of Pattaya.
Pattaya was clearly in the hand of Western visitors – British, Germans, Americans etc. – and unless you specifically searched for them you’d see only few Russian or Chinese tourists around town. The bar girls back then ignored you by watching television or painting their fingernails instead of hiding their incurious faces behind smartphones and taking selfies. The Vengaboys and “Chilli Chacha” blared out of speakers all over town. You would drink Mekhong whisky and Singha beer, Carlsberg, Kloster or Heineken (no Chang, Leo or San Mig Light were available yet). Bar fines were 150-200 Baht, and “long time” would set you back just 500 Baht.
Suvarnabhumi Airport was still swampland (it was opened only in 2006), and a taxi ride from Bangkok’s old Don Mueang airport to Pattaya would take you at least three hours.
The condominiums that were under construction at that time (there weren’t many yet in Pattaya) were being built for the anticipated invasion of the Chinese following the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. That exodus never materialized.
And yes, it was that unforgettable time of the Asian financial crisis when, at least for a year or two, you got crazy amounts of Thai Baht for your German Mark, British Pound or US Dollar!
The crisis started in Thailand in July 1997 with the financial collapse of the Baht. The government was soon forced to float the Baht due to lack of foreign currency to support its fixed exchange rate, and the Baht devalued swiftly and had lost more than half of its value by the end of January 1998.
Your webmaster visited Pattaya for the first time in mid-July 1997. I stayed for only three weeks (at the Sawasdee Mansion hotel on Soi Honey which cost 280 Baht per night then) but got increasing amounts of Thai Baht at the exchange booths each day. Even better, when I returned in December of the same year and this time stayed for a full month (living even cheaper at my then-girlfriend’s rented apartment) I got nearly double as much Thai Baht than just half a year earlier!
Imagine if that happened again today and a beer in a bar would set you back just 30-40 Baht again, and “long time” rates were effectively back at 500 Baht a night!!
I was a 24-year-old greenhorn then, traveling on a budget and with little sexual experience aside from the usual vanilla sex with two or three girlfriends in my hometown. I was shy for my age but rife with unfulfilled kinky fantasies, and the illusory world of Pattaya unfolded before my eyes like a surreal movie where I wasn’t just the leading actor, but also the director and screenwriter in one person …
In his second email, after I had told Allan a bit about my own first visits to Pattaya and some of my experiences and memories, he explained a bit more about his own situation and what led him to write Walking the Wild Side:
It’s amazing how our situations were so similar, you of all people will understand the culture shock and transformation of personality after that first trip [to Pattaya]. I was completely taken in by it all and it was the only place that I felt was real, and I was truly alive there. [In my book] I try to explain the emotions and the psychological effect it has on a young man. It sounds corny but how on one side of the brain tells you that the girls are just earning money, and the other side tells you that they really care for you. [These are lines your webmaster could have written himself.] I fell in ‘love’ so many times over there but never sent any money to the girls until the last one, and that was the one that I married 13 years ago and we are still going strong to this day, with two kids together.
I could go on for ages about Thailand, and that was the reason for writing it all down in a book. I wrote it about 10 years ago and at the time tried to get it published the old fashioned way but had no luck. It took me about a year to write. Then at the start of this year, I found the file on an old CD in a box in the shed at the bottom of the garden. I uploaded it to my laptop and went through it twice correcting lots of little mistakes. I then published it through Kindle on Amazon, because it was free to do …
To cut a long story short, I decided to lend Allan a helping hand and suggested to post a series of excerpts from Walking the Wild Side to our blog. (Due to the terms and conditions of Allan’s contract with Amazon Kindle, we’re prohibited though from publishing any of the text in digital form apart from the first 10% of the book which are set mostly in Bangkok and before he gets to Pattaya.)
So today here’s the first part of our Walking the Wild Side series – a brief excerpt from the prologue for a start. If you like it and want to read more – here’s the link where you can find and purchase the complete book.
THE LIFE OF A SEX TOURIST
BY ALLAN DUDSON
I sat at the end of the International Beer Bar in Bangkok with three friends. I had arrived in Thailand no more than two hours before, just enough time to check in at the hotel, shower, change clothes, visit the nearest hospital and get to the nearest bar that had girls for hire. It was about mid-afternoon and Johnny, who had been to Bangkok many times, ordered the first round of beers. After about ten minutes of observing in great detail, all of the girls in there, I noticed that John had called over a sexy little Thai girl. He bought her a ‘Wine Cooler’ and I watched with excitement as she put the white straw between her deep red lips and sucked.
She was wearing a tight, red T-shirt and I noticed a beautiful pair of breasts, not too big but just the right shape. Moving down her body with my eyes, I arrived at the wonderful sight of her buttocks from the side. I was almost in a trance as my eyes beheld this sight for some time; it was the best looking ass that I had ever seen. Clad in black, tiny shorts with those smooth, brown legs appearing from them. I noticed not one ounce of fat anywhere on her body. She went back momentarily to speak with her friends, although she was still in sight. I took the opportunity to get up and leave Dean, who had been sitting next to me and talking about nothing of any interest, and went to stand next to John.
“Fucking hell John, she’s all right isn’t she?” I said as I approached. John nodded his head in agreement as we could see her making her way back towards us. As the girl slowly and seductively approached, John turned his head and looked down the bar, so as he could address all three of his friends and shouted, “That’s my first fuck of the holiday.” I remember thinking that John would have no chance, as this girl was stunning, but I would watch and learn as he interacted with her.
She eventually returned and stood between John and myself. I gave her a smile, and still holding the Wine Cooler that John had just bought for her, she turned her back to him and spoke to me. My stomache tightened and my face felt slightly warm, as she said, “What’s your name?” I eagerly told her my name and then she asked me if I wanted to go with her. I quickly agreed; it was as simple as that. I told John and Gaz that I would be gone for about an hour and I asked them if they would still be in the bar when I returned. I was a bit worried about being left alone in Bangkok on my first visit to Thailand. They said that they would be but John didn’t look too happy. I walked out of the bar proud as can be, holding hands with a sexy Thai girl. I was feeling quite anxious, as this was the first time I had ever done anything like what I was about to do.
She asked me where my Hotel was and I told her that it was just two streets away. She suddenly stopped and told me that she had a room and suggested that we go there. I agreed and we both walked into a laundry shop and through to the back, passing by Thai men and women washing shirts and underwear. We climbed some stairs and entered a small, dark room. I could smell sex and stale semen as I entered; the whole experience was a little un-nerving …