Happy holidays, folks. I’m Bangkok Seven and this is my blog. Earlier this month I posted a list of reasons why a female farang might not enjoy Thailand. In truth, I’m harbor some bias regarding this topic due to my intense dislike for white chicks, especially Americans. But since I’m not completely heartless, I feel a small obligation to suggest some alternative destinations for anyone not fond of Thailand to try out. These locations may provide one or more of the appealing aspects of Thailand (like nice beaches) without the drawbacks (eg. throngs of hot Thai girls rendering you irrelevant). If the list seems limited to you, it’s because it is—limited that is to my personal experience, and I haven’t been to too many places, but I’ve done my best. Here goes:
I can’t say enough good things about this rocky isle off the western coast of Italy. With pristine beaches, rustic towns, excellent food and remarkable wines, one wonders why more people don’t visit. In fact, its popularity as a locale for gastro-tourism is growing, and deservedly so. While technically part of Italy, Sardinians are fiercely independent. They make a big deal about the fact that during WW2 they successfully staved off invasion by the Nazis.
I stayed in the charming northern town of Castelsardo at the Hotel Pedralada. The room’s balcony overlooked the gorgeous coast. The town itself is huddled around a castle at the top of a hill, which today is a museum. The maze of narrow alleys zig-zag through homes, antique shops, and best of all, restaurants. I expected to see beautiful beaches and quaint, old architecture. But I had no idea how fantastic the food and wine would be. Fresh lobster, a wide variety of pastas, plus beef, pork, wild boar, and even donkey on an edible plate of pane carasau, washed down with cannonau–a wine exclusive to Sardinia known for its lush flavor and high alcohol content (17%-20%).
Just a few miles west of Sardinia is a Spanish island best-known for being a British retiree holiday destination. But Mallorca has a lot to offer. Like Sardinia, the beaches, stone roads, old cathedrals, and ancient fortifications are visually stunning. And like Sardinia, the food is glorious. But Mallorca also has some unique points of interest, namely museums dedicated to Miro and Picasso. Both artists spent some creative time in exile on Mallorca, and these museums showcase some of the best work they did there. Each exhibition is a unique, marvelous entity and a must-see if you go to this splendid island.
The country of Panama is divided into provinces. One of them is a cluster of islands near the border with Costa Rica called Bocas del Toro, and one of these islands is Bastimentos. At the time I was there, only one resort existed on the island. By now it’s likely teeming with tourists and hotels. But that shouldn’t diminish the beauty of the place, especially Red Frog Beach. By day you can surf, relax in the shade of sloth in palm trees, or enjoy a cocktail at the grass hut beach-side bar. By night, provided you’ve checked that there are no crocodiles, you can take a night swim (if the moon’s out, the water is clear enough to see your feet, even waist-deep) or lay back and stargaze. Half the year it’s possible to spot the Southern Cross.
In the center of Lake Nicaragua is a volcano. When it’s dormant, it’s better known as the island of Ometepe. It’s a great locale for anyone who wants to get off the beaten path. There are only a handful of hotels that are never full, so it’s relaxation 24/7. I stayed at the Hotel Finca Santo Domingo, a smallish joint right on the shores of the lake. The door to my room was 10 feet from the water, which made taking a dip easy, as long as you weren’t put off by the prospect of being eaten. Lake Nicaragua is said to be home to the world’s only species of fresh-water shark. While there, I found a local guide who took me on a personal tour up the volcano. It was a truly unique experience.
Thailand is blessedly barely trafficked by Americans. The main reason for this is laziness. People in the States balk at the thought of a long plane ride, especially when Hawaii, Florida, and Mexico are easily accessible. My first foray into tropical climes was a trip to Oahu when I was a teen (hence no photos). For those easily rocked by culture shock, Hawaii is a safe choice. English speakers, US dollars, plus all the positive aspects of life in the tropics. The only thing missing is the hordes of hot caramel-colored women.
Many old expats decry the current state of Thailand. They moan about the good old days when everything was cheaper and women were kinder. Many of those same dudes point to Cambodia as the “new Thailand,” claiming the culture there is closer to how Thailand was half a century ago.
One downside of all the above option is, while the beaches are picturesque, there’s not a lot of naughty-girl action. Phnom Penh is the exception. In fact, there’s not much beach to speak of there—just the marshy banks of the Mekong. But there are hot women-for-hire up the yingyang. And they possess the fierce, devil-may-care spirit that so many expats claim Thai women have lost.
That’s it for my list of Thailand-alternative destinations. I know there are a lot more, it’s just that I haven’t been to them. These are the ones I can speak about. So if you’re a Thailand expat and want a change of scenery, or if you like beaches but aren’t keen on TLOS, you have other choices. If you’re a female farang, I strongly encourage you to try one of the above locations. I, for one, will thank you.
Until next time, keep your balls warm, your beer cold, and cheers to every fucker who goes somewhere other than here for their holiday. Peace!