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  1. #1
    Member Ningi's Avatar
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    Cool Addicted to Isaan Part 1

    As a 20 year old british soldier in late 1963, I was whisked away at very dark oclock from the fleshpots of down town singapore to a mystic country called Thailand ,this was my 2nd visit , first one never got farther than the australian MI room at ubon and the US fieldhospital in korat from where I was medevacced to singapore, After afun filled flight in an Argosy we landed at Ubon, and then on to the back of a lorry for the 100km trip to the Britbuilt holiday camp near Leong Nok Tha, my lord what a shock to the system even after Labuan and Kuching!!some tents were still there but the first tin huts had already been built, that evening down the village to see the sights, out past Ali,s the charwallahs coffee shop and tailors(Yes they were there in the early60,s too lol) down the dusty path towards the lights, the first lamplit hut was the Sawadi Bar !! earth floors bamboo walls and the most beautiful women god ever created, and they were handing out free drinks!!a clear spirit called Lao Khao with lukewarm coke to put out the firein your throat, Thus started my fascination for Isaan which was to affect the life of me and my family for the next 46 years and was to draw me back from whereever in the world I was living and was also to influence the lives of my children and grandchildren, if this does not bore you older readers maybe you would like to hear about the birth of pataya and the jungle of patong and kata

  2. #2
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    If no-one else will listen, i will gladly pull up a sandbag and watch the lantern swing. Army 1975 - 1997

  3. #3
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    yes that will be interesting
    go on, im quite sure this will amuse many of us here on td

  4. #4
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    Paragraphs would be nice, i have trouble reading walls of words

  5. #5
    Member maahuanao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningi View Post
    Leong Nok Tha, my lord what a shock to the system
    Yes indeed.... I got married in the Poo Din Hotel in Leung Nok Tha!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningi
    if this does not bore you older readers maybe you would like to hear about the birth of pataya and the jungle of patong and kata
    not at all. carry on mate. love the old stories and history, dont suppose you got some photos too ?

  7. #7
    Member Ningi's Avatar
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    Part2

    Well where should I start, the village was called then Ban Kok Talat, today it is Ban kok sahm raan, the work in camp was never boring, feeding 2 squadrons of sappers ,who were working 12 hours a day, 6days a week for 3 months at a stretch was always abit scary!! these hard grafting men ,turned into animals after dark and and from 1600hrs saturday till sunday evening they were let loose in Ubon much to the dismay of the US airforce and the Australians,As per prior request new paragraph

    It was not un usual to wake up sunday morning in the arms of an almond eyed beauty, and wearing a pakamaah, all your clothes missing or swapped for items of US uniform, I even sobered up one day in the back of a US ambulance with 8 other bodies on our way back to camp crown , the ambulance was borrowed from outside the messhall on the US base, after 3 months was sent down to Utapao by truck to pick up some bits and bobs, quite an achievement in those days,only laterite roads and timber bridges from crown to korat,then the tarmac roads started , there was a type of road from Bkk to utapoa , sort of a mix between red dust, shite and laterite, no bars or hotels in pataya (Not a poledancer in SIGHT)just atiny fishermans camp, a bamboo jetty, and miles of golden beaches,

    the biggest joy was the 3 day stopover at the officers club on the thai naval base at Sattahib, twas there I met my future brotherin lawoh the joys of Mekhong and Singha shandies and more ladies!!round about that time some of our lads were building a house on the Beach at Pattaya also the first bar was being opened by a chinese lass from Singapore called Barbo and the flood gates were opened

    Back in the village we dug a new well ,and 4 more bars were opened , and the first bargirls appeared!! By then we had opened up the camp to the thai,s our Medical centre was a great hit then,but more later

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningi
    As per prior request new paragraph


    but actually, great stuff, this thread is gonna be a winner!

  9. #9
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    This has the makings of a TD classic (especially if some photos were found).

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Thai Pom's Avatar
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    Great thread dont keep us waiting too long

  11. #11
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    wow laterite roads
    takes me back

  12. #12
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningi
    first one never got farther than the australian MI room at ubon and the US fieldhospital in korat from where I was medevacced to singapore
    Lesson learned. Don't drink the water.

  13. #13
    Hansum Man!
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    Our family arrived in Bangkok in 1961, for four years . . . but none of Ningi's outback stories . . .

    Fascinating thread, Ningi. Thank you

  14. #14
    Member Ningi's Avatar
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    Cool Life in the village

    Well squaddies came and went ,But I was on permanent staff so I stayedrunning hot and cold monsoons, the promise of an openair cinema, open air swimming pool, sitdown toilets and fans and mosquito nets in the huts,Anyone who remembers It aint half hot mum!! well we were living it, In the wet season when the laterite roads became rivers we lived on tinned food , Bully beef powdered egg and other unmentionable horrors, it was at about this time I wrote my first cook book called 15 ways to Wok your dog!!!

    About this time I met a young lady from the next village who was later to become my First wife and the mother of my children, My Isaan dialect was coming on great, had even started to learn thai at the junior school in Leong Nok Tha, causing much mirth among the children, I think I was the first farang in the history of Isaan to be able to sing Loy Krathong word perfectI also loved the old thai love songs and one in particular Nok noi written by his royal Highness the King was a particular favourite of mine, and even today when we visit the village and the lao khao is flowing I often get asked to sing some of the old songs.

    With the permanent establishment of the camp, the open air cinema and the the free treatment at the medical centre were very popular with the thais from miles around, By now there were about 60 working girls and their pimps and mommasans who came from Ubon and korat in the village, and with them came STDs, so a clinic was opened in the village and short arm inspections were once a week in camp, Oh the disgrace for the first squaddies to be infected, confined to camp, no beer, and being labeled the unclean and having the piss taken out of you literally lol. It got so bad a new medical officer arrived to take care of what was then called the VD clinic, cause of much merriment to the permanent staff a lily white kneed virgin rupert direct from Blighty,Poor bugger didnt stand a chance, Sapper Harry S. hq troop 59 squadron RE, on sick parade, Doctor asks what is the matter with you sapper?? Harry replies I have Gonnorhea sir, Doctor says how do you know sapper?? I do the diagnosis!!to which I have had it 7 times before Sir!! that is not BS by the way harry was later shipped back to BMH singapore STD wing.There are many funny stories about the medical centre, especially after the arrival of the ruffy tuffy Aussie and Kiwi Detachment from 16 Commonwealth field ambulance the fun starts here

  15. #15
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    Airportwo's Avatar
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    Great stuff - as mentioned piccies would be great!

  16. #16
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    Great writing Ningi, i can almost smell the atmosphere.

  17. #17
    RIP
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    I think you'll find you've loaded the pics a tad small Ningers...




    this one's better

  18. #18
    Member Ningi's Avatar
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    the top photo was our holiday camp at Pattaya,2nd one is the Sawadi Bar Ban kok talat , we got our priorities right at crown no proper toilets but we did have a 9 hole golfcooursedont know who the skeleton in the hat is

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningi
    dont know who the skeleton in the hat is
    didnt they feed you ? lol

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningi
    dont know who the skeleton in the hat is
    Look like Norton


  21. #21
    Member jimmie2549's Avatar
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    superb thread Ningi excellent
    Feed us with more please haha where do I find your Book 15ways to your dog

  22. #22
    Member Ningi's Avatar
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    Big blue,little blue,johnno, tommo, and mr moto Arrive

    A new detachment of medics arrive direct from active service in Malaysia, aussies , kiwi,s and a few brits , was a bit like rambo meets andycappthey fitted in well and boy did they know their job, we taught them to drink they taught us Aussie rules amixture of rugby ,unarmed combat, ballet dancing and all in wrestling, On the catering staff of 59 squadron there was a 18 stone alkie from the gorbals His name Lockie(short for Lockhart Urqhart) Wilson , he was asleep in the hut on saturday morning when the beer ration for the aussie troop was issued, 120 cans of tiger 6 tins per man, big mistake between 9 am and 4 in the after noon lockie managed to get outside 41 cans of beer!! thes went crazy threw him in the shower to sober him up so that big blue could give him a flogging lol the word spread quickly and soon we were all waiting for the fight to start, big blue the troop champion and hardman squared up to a sooggy wet lockie, who shouted at the other aussies to join in, blue looked at his mates and lockie hit him once blue collapsed with a badly broken jaw, half adozen of the aussies piled in , they were no pushovers but there was no stopping lockie till little blue cold cocked him with a galvanised steel firebucket, we thought he was dead, no use shouting for a medic 7 had been injured by lockie and the other medics were sorting them out, we carried lockie to his bed and left him before the camp police turned up, 15 minutes later lockie appeared on the hut veranda a bloodstained towel round his head and a slab of tiger under each armhe sat down opened a can , toastedthe aussies and told them they better find some where else to sleep for the rest of the weekend the hut was hisfrom that day until he left no one ever asked lockie for a fight

  23. #23
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    Addicted to Isaan, part 1...

    I love to hear of these old times. I am just 58 years old, and have spent 1 year
    here in Isaan. But can find it extremily fascinating still.

    So PLEASE, go on, let us hear from your past. I Love it..
    Glegolo

  24. #24
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    OK, forgive my ignorance, but what were british troops doing in Thailand in the early 60's ?

  25. #25
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    Very entertaining.

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