Pattaya Night Fever


Walking Street Pattaya 001 - Pattaya Night FeverOnce upon a time Pattaya was a tranquil little place.  A small community of Thais lived in this sleepy and secluded fishing village.  But, all of that changed during the escalation of the Vietnam War.  Pattaya transcended into “Patpong-On-Sea.”  Time passed by and the rush for tourist cash totally ruined its image both above and below the surface.  Frankly speaking, from the mid 1970’s, right into the 1990’s Pattaya was an ugly, stinking mess!  European travel magazines often gave their readers clear warnings about the appalling pollution and other serious health hazards.  In 1992 Which Holiday magazine voted Pattaya one of the world’s worst beach resorts.  This is not at all an accolade that any holiday destination would wish to acquire.

Pattaya’s infamous image spread rapidly around the globe, as it became notoriously known for sun, sea and sex.  Even back in the 1980’s, Pattaya had become a tourist trap on amphetamines.  Author Duncan Stearn refers to Pattaya as, “Patpong On Steroids.”  (Incidentally, “Pattaya — Patpong On Steroids” written by Duncan Stearn is a good read).   Ruthless exploitation coupled with an aggressive right-in-your-face attitude, was enough to kill many dreams.

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Now it is time to hop, skip and jump through the years and fast forward into the millennium.  The last few years has seen incredible changes to Pleasure Playground.  Who would have thought that even this booming party town would have expanded and improved so much?  I know a lot of “hi-so” people who would not have been seen dead in Pattaya in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  But nowadays, these same guys and many others like them, have become regular visitors to Pleasure Playground.  The expansion and modernisation of Pattaya is nothing short of remarkable.

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Hotel and restaurant standards have risen dramatically, along with new shopping complexes.  There are some superb pubs and clubs too.  Not only the number of beer bars and go-go bars has increased, but the standards of the most popular establishments are very high.  The enormous choice of venues means that visitors are able to find excellent value-for-money.  The level of competition is so high that the various venue owners are working hard to provide the best bargains and customer care they can.

We said farewell to the old Pattaya and we welcome the modern version with all its rejuvenated enthusiasm.  I first visited Pattaya in the 1980’s.  Since then, the bigger and better Pleasure Playground is the best that I have ever seen it.  If you have not visited Pattaya in some time, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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With the recent food festival right in the heart of the action, Walking Street was even more congested than usual.  Whether you were walking or talking, rolling or strolling there was plenty to see.  The multitudes of tourists are flocking to Walking Street and high season is kicking in.  The smell of tourist cash is drawing the bees to the honey.

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The recent party night in Sisterz Go-Go Bar on Walking Street was a great success.  More events of this kind are planned in the not too distant future.  The go-go games went down very well.  A lot of fun was had by all.  There was one game where a guy and a girl both raced to drink a bottle of beer each.  Surprisingly, even though the guy had a glass and the girl was drinking through a straw, the girl won easily.  Shortly afterwards, the “Human Hoover” was bar fined.  No wonder with those suction skills!


Today I have introduced a new section called “BAR CODE.”  I have used a play on words to offer my suggestions for a code of conduct.  The reason behind “BAR CODE” is because little is black and white in the neon jungles of Thailand.  Let’s face it folks, it’s a mysterious world of East meets West in the neon jungles of Thailand. 

TIPS TIPS — In this edition, I want to focus on cash tips that are given directly to the bargirls.  This often occurs inside the go-go bars, and sometimes has little relevance to bar fines, lady drinks, or extracurricular excitement.  This occurs when the “MMM” or Mobile Money Machine dispenses cash to one or more bargirls.  Recently I witnessed the opposite ends of two eccentric extremes.  When it comes to boy meets girl in the world of the go-go bar, you can count on some strange chemistry at times.  Therefore, there is plenty of bewildering behaviour.

Tip Tray Angelwitch Nana Plaza 03 - Pattaya Night FeverFARANG #1 — A mean-spirited old bugger refused to give one single Baht to anybody in a Bangkok go-go bar.  He had received good service, was waited on hand and foot, plus pampered (as best the girls could), and yet, he offered nothing.  It would not have hurt him to leave just 5 or 10 Baht on the tip tray.  OK, it is his money, but all he paid for were his drinks.  Grumpy then complained about paying 130 Baht in a go-go bar and proceeded to snatch all the coins off the tip tray.  He sipped away at his beer for ages and basically used up quite a few people’s time.  He didn’t even buy a single lady drink and never offered a tip to any of the girls.  I never say that a guy has to buy a lady drink, but the bargirls are trying to make a living.  He could have politely declined their attention, but he continued to grope and play with them.  In many similar establishments abroad, he may well have been given the bums rush.  You know, bounced off everything, whilst be hurled through the nearest exit door!

If a customer wants to sit alone and he indicates this quite clearly, then that is fine.  But, old Grumpy invited the bargirls’ attention, but never offered one single Baht.  Some guys just expect champagne, but demand it at house wine prices.  If this story sounds like you, or somebody you know, just have a think about your bar etiquette and behaviour.

FARANG #2 — This is somebody I know and he certainly is not short of a few Baht.  He always insists on spoiling the bargirls rotten.  Again, it is his money but this guy takes things to extremes.  Basically, as soon as he enters the Rainbow Go-Go Bars in Nana Plaza, he is swarmed by girls.  They know he is a soft touch for lady drinks and tips.  Hey, that’s fine he is a good customer.  However, he will tip the girls 1,000-2,000 Baht each just for sitting with him.  On top of a load of lady drinks this does seem excessive to me.  It is his money, but the local guys say that people like this spoil the market for average spenders.  The gentleman has a right to do whatever his wishes with his own cash, but many bargirls are not sophisticated enough to realise the difference.  Anybody else in comparison who does not give the same amount might be labelled a “Cheap Charlie.”

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SUMMARY — These are opposite examples of tipping too little and tipping too much.  I suggest that you take the middle path (“tang sigh klang” in Thai).  To fall in the middle of these two examples would be a better alternative.  By offering lady drinks and reasonable tips you will be respected.  Offering a cash tip to your favourite girl is a generous gesture — just don’t go throwing money at every bargirl that you come into contact with.

FARANG #1 will alienate himself by being so stingy.  Old Grumpy will wonder why no bargirls ever talk to him.  Looking to cut a cheap deal with a streetwalker, it is people like him who are targeted to get drugged and mugged.

FARANG #2 has set himself such precedence that he has to maintain that high level of tipping.  If he does not he could be shunned.  Throwing BIG cash tips around willy-nilly only spoils the bargirls.  Furthermore, your average guy cannot match that level and it can erode both your pocket and the market.


“I don’t want money.  It is only people who pay their bills who want that, and I never pay mine.”    Oscar Wilde.

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12 Responses to “Pattaya Night Fever”

  1. steve says:

    I hope that’s not me you are talking about.

    I never give 1,000 Baht tips, well only if I get a shag.

    See ya soon


  2. Rob says:

    what a load of rubbish

  3. Hi Dave,

    #1. I can’t believe you’re seriously suggesting that the “hi-so” crowd are embracing Pattaya. The place is an utter dive. I realise that Angelwitch has a branch in Pattaya, but even still – here’s my usual rejoinder:

    Yeah, Pattaya is a total f****** s***-hole. A napalm attack would do the whole world a lot of favours.

    100% of male Pattaya visitors are total scumbags. And everyone who dies there deserves it. And everyone who doesn’t die there should.

    A friend of mine, in a UK prison (for eight more years, poor guy) tells me that Pattaya is pretty much the only thing the prisoners talk about.

    Bring on the napalm. #

    Perhaps we have different definitions of the phrase “hi-so”…

    #2. ฿130 is expensive for a 330ml beer. Wholesale price is around ฿30. That’s approximately a 333% markup. The gogo bars at Saphan Kwai manage to turn a profit selling 660ml beers for ฿120. I wonder where the money goes at NEP sometimes…

  4. Steve, it was not you on this occasion mate!

    Rob, can you be more specific, what was rubbish?

    Bangkok Bad Boy, I see you are back to your “Bad Boy” image on Pattaya.  I had to delete your foul language, but it is obvious that you despise the place.  Your hatred of Pattaya is no secret.  OK, that is your opinion. 

    For your information – certain go-go bars in Soi Cowboy are now the most expensive in Thailand.  Four go-go bars in Cowboy now charge 150 Baht for a lady drink (cola), and an astronomical 200 Baht for a lady drink (Tequila).  Most go-go bars in Nana Plaza have very reasonable lady drink prices.  In some Soi Cowboy go-go bars this also applies to customer drinks too. 

  5. JD says:

    Bar Code :I am sure the girls will request drinks !!! and I presume wont stick around long without.

  6. Rob says:

    The idiot who says “100% of male visitors to Pattaya are total scumbags”, obviously has no brain at all, what a stupid, senseless comment. Pattaya is Pattaya, and if people don’t like it, they don’t have to go. I know that may be a little too deep and intellectual for some of your readers, but why make stupid, inane comments about somewhere they aren’t forced to visit? They should stay in the areas they like and allow other people to do the same without running them down.

  7. simom says:

    Hi Dave, there was a report on Stick yesterday about some guy being short-changed in a Pattaya bar and being set upon by three thugs after he complained… Stick didn’t believe it wholly but it read about right to me.

    You have said yourself that Pattaya can be very dangerous and I doubt if it has transformed itself in the last few months. It was okay five years ago, with lotsa cheap hotels and sex but now with both rising prices and violence, the risk-reward equation makes it more of a miss than anything else.

    For sure, you might get a few hi-so types slumming it in the Hard Rock hotel, probably an absolute disaster given what the average farang is like down there and the impression they come away with.

    High season is a disaster in Thailand from long termers point of view, but by all means encourage people to go to Pattaya, way past its sell-by date!

  8. Nick says:

    100% of male Pattaya visitors are total scumbags! You dont seem to be a bad boy, More like ignorant boy making such a sweeping generalisation about hundreds of people you have not met!
    I live in Pattaya and have met some scumbags and also some very well educated interesting people.
    Maybe its just the type that have interacted with you for some reason ??????
    Anyway no hard feelings…..have fun in Bangkok bad boy!

  9. Bangkok Barry says:

    “….but the bargirls are trying to make a living.”

    Dave – it is not the customers job to pay the girls a living wage. It is their employer. I know it’s the same with restaurants around the world, but that isn’t the point. Why should restaurant/bar owners expect customers to pay part of their staffs wages?

  10. JD, I never like to be judgemental about anybody. Many bargirls have their own style, some are aggressive and some are more passive. But, many are quite a few steps ahead of us farangs. It is incredible how well some bargirls can read a farang’s body language. They have an inimitable built-in intuitive radar. Quite remarkable!

    RE: BAR CODE – lady drinks and/or tips – Some bargirls do stick around, even if a guy has not offered them a drink. In some cases it is a matter of, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”

    Rob and Nick, I agree and I think you summed it up. If you don’t like a place don’t spoil the fun for others who do like that particular place. There is no accounting for individual interpretation, but we should enjoy what Thailand has to offer.  Party on!

    Simom, you are entitled to your opinion, but many guys would disagree with you. More and more guys I know are visiting Pattaya. I know top Managing Directors of HUGE Companies, who look forward to a brief sojourn down in Pleasure Playground. Usually speaking, the violence comes to those in Pattaya who are looking for it. One should be more streetwise (street smart) whilst in Pattaya, but most guys I know have a great time.  RE: INTERNET – The internet so often presents such a biased viewpoint.  It is very often only ever the Westerner’s opinion, or version of events.

    Bangkok Barry, I never said that the customers have to pay the girls’ salary. In the West you have to buy a woman a drink just to find out what her first name is. It is a friendly gesture to offer a Thai woman a drink, whether she is a bargirl or a traditional Thai woman.

  11. kheenaio says:

    Hi Dave, Sorry your not feeling well. Came by on Tuesday night to Anglewitch, am off to pattaya today back on the 14th for 3 nights. Hope to meet up with you then. ATB.

  12. Danny says:


    Pattaya is a good place for lots of fun, There are some idiots there, But there are idiots in EVERY place in the world, So just get on with your fun and ignore them. I think the people on here who are bad mouthing Pattaya have probably had broken hearts by some bar/gogo girl ha ha, Or been ripped off somehow. Get over it guys and start enjoying yourselfs 😉

    I go there 2 times a year, I’ve met a good mate out there who i regularly see when i visit pattaya, He is getting married to a Thai girl in December, I’ll miss the wedding but i’ll be taking them to Koh Phangan as a wedding gift, I love Thailand, It’s great ha ha, I have been going for about 10 years now (i’m 28). I had a Thai girlfriend for 3 of the years, I met her in club xzyte on a friends birthday party do, She was there on her university holiday from Sripatum University in Chonburi. I’m not with her now though 🙁 …. Long story LOL not LOS ha ha.

    Can anybody give me any info on Koh Phangan? I’m going to stay in Pattaya at the end of December then i’ll fly to Koh Samui to get a ferry to Koh Phangan, Do you think i should book my hotel room before i go? I just go to Koh Phangan and pay when i check in somewhere? (Which is what i usually do in Pattaya).



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