Kenyon worked as the British Honorary Consul in Pattaya for 14 years up to
2010. In that time, he met all types of British subjects and dealt with all
types of problems that British subjects could get themselves into! There
would be very few holders of a British passport who do not know Barry
Kenyon, and almost all wax lyrical in their praise of the man.
This slim volume, “Honorary Consul Pattaya” (ISBN 978-616-348-995-1, January
2014) details a few of the situations Barry found himself in, and is
available in Bookazine.
The first chapter serves to place the book in Pattaya and Barry himself
describes this first chapter as a potted history of the city of Pattaya, and
how King Taksin (not “Thaksin”) is remembered with a statue outside City
Barry describes how the changing demographics led to restaurants offering
bangers and mash “for UK tourists who were in reality seeking a tropical
Manchester but with a hot sun, cheap beer and on-demand sex.”
The reader is taken through 21 chapters in the life of your British Honorary
Consul and covers the red light district, pedophiles, contract killers, body
snatchers, the coup, funerals, Barry’s MBE and the fugitive Elvis Presley!
Pattaya remains one of those places in the world which seems to attract
people who like to live outside the law, and the honorary consul had his
fair share of those, with prison visits being part of his remit.
Barry does look at the plethora of English language media and is not afraid
to comment on each. This newspaper being labeled as “staid” but does call
the Pattaya Mail the “doyen” of the Pattaya print media.
The undoing of the British Consulate premises is covered, and the reasons
behind the decisions shown in the red tape demise, as well as financial
The final chapters do have some vitriol within them, and it would appear
that Barry Kenyon did get the wrong end of the pineapple from Bangkok’s
British Embassy, though having read the previous chapters one can see that
Barry was too much his own man, rather than a lackey of H.M. Government.
Barry has retained the ability to stand back and look at Thailand and some
of its anachronisms, such as the immigration laws, and suggest what will
happen when the ASEAN Economic Community becomes fact. “Thailand’s labour
laws and entry and exit regulations are a myriad of complex rules which
don’t really fit the new world.”
He also discusses the changes within the embassies as far as passports is
concerned, noting, “Financial axes are usually swung by people proclaiming
to represent the public interest.”
I enjoyed this book and was disappointed when I came to the final page
(195). I wanted it to be longer, even though the price of B. 300 makes this
book bargain basement. I would like to see it go into more detail with an
increased RRP. Having said all that, I really did enjoy Barry Kenyon’s book
and his droll sense of humor and sarcasm are enough to have the reader at
least sniggering, if not outright guffaws.