Korat-Farang.com

And then there was one

Coolkorat · 38 · 4390

0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline 348TB

  • KFers in Korat
  • Just Arrived
  • *****
    • Posts: 11
Where does one go to "mingle" in Korat?

I go out for coffee six days a week and have been doing so for well over a decade. I can count the farang that I've run in to in these numerous coffee shops on one hand. I also go out for lunch now and then. I never see another farang at any of the establishments in which I dine. I shop several times a week and never see a farang when I'm out and about.

I live in a moo baan in which there are now three resident farang. We've all lived here at least 13 years. One of the other foreigners is an Irish guy. I've never laid eyes on him except for a couple of times when my wife pointed him out at The Mall. The other is an American guy who is a teacher. In 13 years I've seen him exactly twice; once when he was mowing the lawn and once when his wife gave birth and they paraded the newborn around the neighborhood in a pram. Where do these people hide out? And, why?

The point of my post was that Korat doesn't really have an area where one can go to run in to other expats.

Khon Kaen has the area in the vicinity of the City Pillar and Central in which there are a number of restaurants and bars catering to foreigners; all of which are within walking distance of each other.

Udon has the street behind Central on which sits the Irish Clock (a wonderful pub) and a number of other bars and restaurants catering to farang.

I could go on, but I'm sure I've made my point.

I'm afraid that after 17 years of Korat I've become a confirmed misanthropic loner. I'm fine with that and resigned to it. That's just the way things turned out.


Dare i say the farang bars around town of which there are very few these days. You don't have to be a drinker they serve coffee/food, thinking of the Monkey Bar in town or the River Bar in Joho which to my knowledge are the only 2 nowadays.

If you don't fancy doing bars then i think the opportunity to mingle with other farangs is going to be very difficult.

My opinion.....


Online Roger

  • .
  • Wisdom in Forum
  • *********
    • Posts: 5344
Hello Fadang. You re suggesting that you have become a 'misanthrope' but if you regret that state, then you are not a misanthrope at all. Surely you have a choice ? Fact is there are Expats around and you just have to take the plunge and have a chat. The 'Monkey Bar' is OK and they serve coffee and soft drinks if you don't like a beer.

You say 'Where do these people hide out?' - perhaps they say the same of you. Make the effort M8 and knock on the door - suggest a Sunday Roast at the monkey or something . . .  or do a BBQ and invite them . . . It's up to you. I introduced myself to some in my locality near Korat and they are firm friends to this day, although I left Korat years ago.

Whenever I pass a Falang I try to make eye contact for a 'Good Morning' or something like that and admittedly, some seem to look away. Some people are shy. But you have to make an effort.

I seek the Company of people every day and would be bored to tears if I didn't. Good luck.

TB - I'm told there are less Farang around than say 5 years ago so maybe the 'bars' are not what they were . . . but it's still possible to find friends surely ?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline Coolkorat

  • KFers beyond Korat
  • Forum Sage
  • *****
    • Posts: 1326
  • Whichever way you throw, it will stand
    • Pix Isaan
Where does one go to "mingle" in Korat?

I go out for coffee six days a week and have been doing so for well over a decade. I can count the farang that I've run in to in these numerous coffee shops on one hand. I also go out for lunch now and then. I never see another farang at any of the establishments in which I dine. I shop several times a week and never see a farang when I'm out and about.

This thread got me thinking about where the centre of Korat is: it seems to one of those cities lacking a 'West End', 'Downtown', Main Street or square. It lacks a heart. Perhaps when the high speed rail starts this will happen (if the city elders are wise enough). Would the Monkey Bar consider relocating? Would a concentration of expat cafes, bars etc bring more expats into the centre and in close enough proximity create an international atmosphere? I always liked the Sports Bar (2nd version - I didn't know the first) and at that time there was the ability to walk between the G&D, Sports Bar and whatever the Monkey Bar was called before. It is definitely in the common interest for expat venues to be close together: perhaps the mistake made in the past is being 'away' from the competition - look at Patpong, Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy to know that grouping is commercially sensible.


Offline Fadang

  • Just Arrived
    • Posts: 6
Dare i say the farang bars around town of which there are very few these days. You don't have to be a drinker they serve coffee/food, thinking of the Monkey Bar in town or the River Bar in Joho which to my knowledge are the only 2 nowadays.

If you don't fancy doing bars then i think the opportunity to mingle with other farangs is going to be very difficult.

My opinion.....

Exactly my point. When it comes to Korat, "there is no there, there".

But, I'd be happy to do bars. When I first came to Korat there were a number within easy cycling distance of my home: PB, Walrus (?), Eddie Vegas and, best of all, the Irish Bar. I went to those places frequently. Every one of them is now closed with nothing to replace them anywhere near where I live.

As for "take the plunge and have a chat", where, exactly? Are the Monkey Bar and River Bar really the only expat hangouts in Thailand's most populated province?

Here's what happened the last time I tried to have a chat: A new coffee shop opened not far from my home. The coffee wasn't great, but I went a couple of times a week just to support the new business. There was a group of three or four farang who met there every morning. I tried to have a chat with them, hoping I might be invited to join their group, but I was firmly rebuffed several times. I felt so sad and bad at being rejected that way that I never went back.

Korat is a strange place.


Online Hector

  • Golfers in Korat
  • Member
  • ********
    • Posts: 680
I live 50 odd km north of Korat, which is too far to go and 'mingle', have a drink at a bar etc, so I can't comment on the places farang might go to in order to 'mingle'.  It does, however, seem odd that there isn't more farang interaction in a city the size of Korat.  But maybe this subject deserves a thread of its own, as all this has moved away rather from the original topic, which was how to stop K-F disappearing into the twilight and I regret that I still have no sensible or concrete suggestions as to how to avoid this.  My gut feeling is that K-F will stagger on much as it is until the guys that run the show have no option but to pull the plug, which I hope will not be any time soon.


Offline Fadang

  • Just Arrived
    • Posts: 6
I was positing that the lack of a real farang community is one reason that the Korat farang forums have fallen by the wayside. Exploring the community issues might be a way to rationally confront the dying forums issue.


Online Robert

  • KFers in Korat
  • Solid Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1187
Hi Fadang,
I do not know how old you are but I am 76 and do not have the need anymore to go to bars or disco's. I live not so far away from Raya Grand Hotel to I also miss Paul's bar (Later called the Walrus with Tony in charge).  Will meet some friends at The Mall, Terminal 21 or Central whenever we feel doing so. Do not like to go out at night with Thai drivers on the road who do not use their lights or drivers (all nationalities) who have been drinking.

Just to be honest: my wild days are over  ;D ;D ;D


Online Roger

  • .
  • Wisdom in Forum
  • *********
    • Posts: 5344
Hi Robert. Wasn't the Walrus Steve's place ? The Ozzie Guy who passed away . . . . . that was a good for a meet. Also Briony's Sports Bar was great. The 'old' Check Inn too.

And Fadang - don't give up because of the miserable 4  ::)  Not everyone in Korat is like that ! ?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Robert

  • KFers in Korat
  • Solid Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1187
Hi Robert. Wasn't the Walrus Steve's place ? The Ozzie Guy who passed away . . . . . that was a good for a meet. Also Briony's Sports Bar was great. The 'old' Check Inn too.

And Fadang - don't give up because of the miserable 4  ::)  Not everyone in Korat is like that ! ?

Whatever the name of the bar was in the first place I honestly do not remember but the first person running the bar when I came there was a guy called Paul. Maybe a different man but I thought it was called Sportsbar. I like sports and went there, a poolbilliard was there too at that time. After that Stevie came and then Tony. The bar had for sure a different name before it was called The Walrus.


Online Teessider

  • KFers in Korat
  • Forum Sage
  • *****
    • Posts: 1349
  • No metropolis without Ironopolis
I remember Paul (from Southampton) who opened the Sports and Cocktail bar. He used to run quiz nights which were well attended. After a while he went back to UK and quiz nights moved to the Ram. Steve then took over and renamed Paul's bar as the Walrus.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaine Pascal


Online Robert

  • KFers in Korat
  • Solid Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1187
I remember Paul (from Southampton) who opened the Sports and Cocktail bar. He used to run quiz nights which were well attended. After a while he went back to UK and quiz nights moved to the Ram. Steve then took over and renamed Paul's bar as the Walrus.

Thank you Teessider for the info. I remembered Paul but not the exact name. Knew it was something with Sport in it because that was the reason I went there for the first time.


Offline Coolkorat

  • KFers beyond Korat
  • Forum Sage
  • *****
    • Posts: 1326
  • Whichever way you throw, it will stand
    • Pix Isaan
Thank you Teessider for the info. I remembered Paul but not the exact name. Knew it was something with Sport in it because that was the reason I went there for the first time.

Interesting you say that Robert, got me thinking. Would a venue (I am reluctant to use the word 'bar' because a lot of people are not interesting in drinking alcohol as the central aspect anymore) centred on sports be more attractive? Perhaps balancing comfortable seating, plenty of large screen TV's with a choice of sports and languages? Perhaps some clever tech so different commentary languages could be played by different tables?


Online Roger

  • .
  • Wisdom in Forum
  • *********
    • Posts: 5344
CK - unless it's EPL or Rugby internationals, it seems that TV is treated as wallpaper in the 'Sports Pubs' in the UK and I guess that's true in Thailand too. Actually as an example, the Monkey has several TV's with sports channels.

I've noticed in the UK the last few months, that local Pubs are quieter - I think it's a post Covid slump and perhaps a shortage of dosh. Guessing that Thailand may also be recovering slowly in that respect so I don't see the lack of a lively friendly meeting place in Korat, as mentioned by Falang, getting better any time soon.

I think drinking a beer or two is still very popular and after all, it's that that helps pay, largely, for the TV channels.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 04:48:55 PM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline Fadang

  • Just Arrived
    • Posts: 6
So, how is it that places like Udon and Khon Kaen managed to retain a lively farang bar and restaurant scene, but Korat has not? It seems that people are nostalgic for the bars that once were, but they almost all seem to have failed for one reason or other.

What is it about the Farang in Korat that seems to so different from the Farang elsewhere?

A couple of random thoughts:

• Thinking back, the last time I had a conversation with a Farang in Korat (aside from a neighbor) was in early 2021. And that was actually at a coffee shop in Kham Talay Soh where I used to run into a friendly Aussie when I cycled out there Saturday mornings.

• Another place I miss is Pasinee which was on Suranaree road not far from Ratchasima Hospital. This was run by a Lebanese guy who had a fantastic menu and ice cold beer. I used to meet up there once a week with a group of fellow Americans. That ended when the owner had some financial and legal problems and ended up doing what I used to call a "Pan Am Bankruptcy".



Online Roger

  • .
  • Wisdom in Forum
  • *********
    • Posts: 5344
Fadang - I wonder if the Falang scene in Udon and KK has changed post-Covid too ?

Korat did have a good scene with the Walrus, Check Inn (Monkey Bar), Sports Bar (Briony), and the George and Dragon but only the Monkey remains.

Sorry but if the last time you had a chat with a Falang was nearly 2 years ago, I wonder if it's you that's out of step ?

What happened to your American pals in Pasinee - didn't you have phone numbers to arrange to meet elsewhere when Pasinee crashed ?

I don't seek to be personal to anyone but you bring the subject up - you seem to be in a rut and maybe need to try harder ! Go for it ! ATB !
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 03:18:20 PM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

  • KFers beyond Korat
  • Forum Wizard
  • *****
    • Posts: 2336
But four bars and a few others used by farangs scattered around the outer town, hardly compares to what the scene was like in KK at one stage. But that started changing before covid. As once scouse expat said to me, before covid, in words to the effect of, that most pubs had a good crowd most evenings, now its all much quieter and bars are often empty. And that was pre-covid.

At that time, most bars and a good smattering of massage shops were centred around the area of the Pullmanm, Kosa, and a smattering of other hotels. The hotels are pretty quiet these days as well. My favourite place, The Blues Bar, that was around the corner from The Pullman, has recently relocated away from the area. Great breakfast there and I regularly ordered food from them a lot when I was in hospital in KK. Their crispy bacon rolls are to die for!

Worth pointing out that Thailands economy was going down the pan pre-covid.

I think the bars demise in many areas is due to enonomic reasons and a change in the type of farangs who now visit. Before there were plenty of farangs with Thai wives, girlfriends, regularly visiting cities like Korat, KK and others to visit their wives families, see their kids and so, but by and large that isn't the case anymore. And the usual tourists hardly visit such places. And I think that change started before covid. 

I personally met with farangs I knew from the UK in both Bangkok and Korat when living there, visiting with Thai wives / family. And once since moving to Hua Hin. But for a variety of reasons, they are not coming so much. Another I know has postponed his long planned retirement for financial reasons.   

I also think there were the more adventurous farangs, with less disposable income, who stayed in cities in the north with a good expat population, because of what those cities could offer, at a much less cost than the usual places. And again, I recall talking to a Brit when Steve was still at the Walrus, who admitted that was the reason he stayed at Korat, it was simply more affordable. But then it got less affordable, as happened, I think such people had no choice and left. Likewise, there was a regular on the Hua Hin forum from years ago, who skirted around the regs, but who eventually, had to return to the UK, as the cost of living rose here.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 05:46:54 PM by caller »


Offline Fadang

  • Just Arrived
    • Posts: 6
Fadang - I wonder if the Falang scene in Udon and KK has changed post-Covid too ?

I've been to both places in the last few months and both are much livelier than Korat.

Quote
What happened to your American pals in Pasinee - didn't you have phone numbers to arrange to meet elsewhere when Pasinee crashed ?

They're all dead now. I think some of them kept in touch after Pasinee closed, but I was not part of that.

Quote
Sorry but if the last time you had a chat with a Falang was nearly 2 years ago, I wonder if it's you that's out of step ?

I'm sure that's true. As I said, I've become a misanthropic loner and intend to stay that way. But this is not about me, in spite of the fact that I've related some personal experiences to make a point. I'm just trying to figure out why there is not much of an expat community in Korat, while such communities (and the associated bars and restaurants) seem to thrive elsewhere.

In my daily life I never see other farang. I'm out for coffee every day. I never see another farang. And I'm not enjoying my cappuccino at obscure, out of the way places. I frequent spots like Cafe Ama which is near the Sima Tani hotel, Sa Oon which is near the Khon Kaen bypass not far from Home Pro, Class Cafe on Mittraphap near Ratchasima School, Amazon on Mukkamontree, also near the Sima Tani hotel. I dine out three or four times a week at various restaurants. I never ever see another farang at any of them.

Is this me who is out of step?

I'm done here.


Online Roger

  • .
  • Wisdom in Forum
  • *********
    • Posts: 5344
Hi Fadang - well at least you're having a chat here   ;)

Re. my last and your reply to it :-

1. So the KK/Udon scene has quietened too but is still better than Korat's.

2. So sad to hear ALL those Friends passed.

3. 'Misanthrope' is a great word - the Dictionary definition is 'a person who hates, dislikes, or distrusts most others; an antisocial, cynical, or unfriendly person' and you intend to stay that way - your choice but it doesn't sound much fun . . . . .

4. 'Figuring ' why Korat lacks a vibrant expat centre - some Falang have left, the Covid effect, some Bars closed etc., money is tight ?

5. You never see other Falang as you go around - that surprises me. Perhaps other K-F could suggest places attended by Falang, (but you are a misanthrope). 

ATB   :)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein