Thai Viagra: a Local Aphrodisiac

Unusual & Funny Things in Thailand

My full time job is not writing. Yes, I do write a lot, but my full-time job is deleting emails. Everyday I have to get rid of countless junk mails. (Yup, my spam blocker is useless.)

Most of them are those all-time classics: the ads for cheap remedies for chaps lacking in confidence, size or strength. You know the kind of thing I mean: “Want to impress the ladies when the pants come down? Viagra 100mg x 30 pills, only $3.33 per pill.” “Warning! Don’t buy enhancement pills! They don’t work! Our Enlargement Patches are the most respected in the industry…” And so on. 

I don’t know why these people bother sending this kind of spam to anyone in Thailand. Thai men don’t need Viagra or other pharmaceutical props for their equipment. They have Yadong.

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Yadong is basically lao khao (“white whiskey” – a fiery rice spirit) in a glass jar or an old whisky bottle to which are added special herbs and, in the old days, the occasional dead animal such as a scorpion or a snake.

Pimon Pato has a small stand selling a modern version of Yadong near Koh Sireh. She told us, “I don’t think you will find the old-style Yadong around here any more, especially with dead animals in it. It’s illegal."

She sells eight versions of Yadong in powdered form – just add lao khao. In the spirit of research (all serious journalists have to do research, don’t you know), I bought the “Viagra” yadong, one of eight recipes Khun Pimon sells, the others being good for muscle aches or period pains, to enhance the blood or strengthen the heart, and so on. A double shot of “Viagra” Yadong, mixed up on the spot, cost me 20 baht and easily filled an old Red Bull bottle. Khun Pimon was careful to explain that it’s not a one-shot wonder – any of her recipes require multiple doses over time to have a cumulative effect.

Nevertheless, I felt that one good dose might be enough for experimental purposes, and I enlisted our food expert, Sam Wilkinson, as a guinea pig – without telling him what it was.

Here is his report:

Taste: Yadong reminded me of toothpaste! Its taste lingered in my mouth and honestly, without the boozy after-smell it could have been a mouth freshener. 

Smell: A little bit musty. I’m not a great fan of Lao Khao after seeing someone spit some on a smouldering campfire one evening and watching it ignite. If that’s how it reacts with an almost-dead fire, imagine what it does to your poor stomach lining! Pass the dynamite please… 

Outcome: Well, er, ahem, nothing really. Okay, so it is supposed to be ‘accumulative’ in its properties but then so are some male-enhancing drugs sold on the Internet and that’s an obvious time wasting tactic while the seller moves house and buys a new car. If you ask me, it’s more psychological than tangible; a bit like drinking snake’s blood or believing all that hype about pheromones. By the way, I have some wonderful pheromone spray for sale, guaranteed to pull in the girls. Just go to

Khun Pimon is at her Yadong stand in Soi 8, near the Gankeha government apartment on the way to Koh Sireh, every evening from 16:00 to 22:00. Her prices range from 10 baht to 130 baht a shot. She can be reached by calling 084-1840416 (Thai language only.)

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