Thailand: Thailand is a favorite port visit for Marines and Sailors, both because of liberty at Pattaya Beach and field training in Rayong Province.
Liberty in Thailand: Pattaya Beach is an international beach resort frequented by Australians, Japanese and Europeans. Many Marines and Sailors relish Thailand for the opportunities presented for female companionship and also for the infamous massage parlors seemingly found on every street corner in Thailand’s very sexually-permissive society. But not everyone in Thailand is looking for female companionship. Planeloads of European men arrive daily with the intent of finding companionship with underage Thai boys. And transvestites are everywhere, reportedly because of a number of sex-change clinics based in Thailand. In fact, transvestites follow Marines in the field, hoping to “score” with a U.S. Marine. Other things to be cautious about in Thailand include Tuk-Tuk (trike) drivers who will take their passengers into the darkest parts of Bangkok, and then demand extra money for the ride out of there. (A sternly worded warning of brutal force to the driver will usually solve this problem, unless he has buddies at the ready. Then its best to take off running and find a cab for a quick getaway.)
Top left: Pattaya Beach is beautiful, though, many Marines and Sailors travel to nearby Bangkok. Elephants and Cobra snake charmers can be found on the streets of Thailand.
Middle left: Thai kickboxing can be found at many clubs and bars. Sometimes, a U.S. serviceman will be invited for a fight. But no matter how tough the serviceman, he usually ends up looking silly because of the unique fighting characteristics of Thai kickboxing that involves both punching and kicking.
Bottom left: Marines and Sailors take a launch from ship to shore.
Field training: Thai people are very friendly and will often interact with Marines during training exercises.
Thailand is an exotic land. Buddhist monks and ancient temples are frequently seen during training exercises.
One Marine killed a Cobra. He put it on his sleeping buddy’s chest. When he awoke, we heard his bloodcurdling scream from over a click away!
Many people in rural Thailand are not rich, but they’re not poor either. They seem to be very happy and content with their lives. Many households have a television and a moped or motorcycle for transportation. Shrines (image left) can be found outside of many houses. Pets include monkeys and really big lizards. Fast food includes Coca-Cola served in plastic baggies (so the vendor can keep the bottle) and ice cream served on hot dog buns.