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Pattaya Nightlife

  • 18 Tips to Survive Ladyboys and Pattaya Crazy Nights

    Pattaya Girls, Ladyboys & Tips


    Pattaya’s nightlife is both famous and infamous around the world, which can make it a little intimidating for a first-timer. The sheer scale of it can also be overwhelming, with Walking Street alone being about a kilometre long from end to end and containing a dozen nightclubs, 80 go-go bars, countless beer bars and thousands of amorous young ladies (well, most of them are ladies). Relating to this world of late-night naughtiness are terms, expressions and practices which are unique to Thailand and, in some cases, specific just to Pattaya.

    We have prepared a beginner’s guide to Pattaya nightlife for those planning their first visit to Walking Street or one of the city’s other noteworthy party areas, giving you a rough idea of what to expect on your first walk through Pattaya’s really wild side. Through this, we hope to arm you with enough knowledge to ensure that you get the most out of Pattaya after dark, avoiding any nasty surprises and confusion.

  • Glossary

    Bar Fine
    A fee to cover the bar’s ‘loss’ when taking a girl away from her place of work for a ‘date’, ranging from as little as few hundred baht to as much as 2,000 baht. This is usually non-negotiable and varies according to the size and location of the bar and the job title of the girl. This money goes to the bar and does not cover the cost of the ‘date’.

    Bar Girl
    A girl who works in a bar. This is sometimes broken down into coyote girls (who generally work in beer bars) and go-go girls.

    Beer Bar or Bar Beer
    Two ways of describing the same thing – a simple open-air drinking establishment with low prices for local beers and spirits (and bar fines). They are all practically identical, featuring pink neon lights, flat-screen TVs and a staff of six or seven girls calling out to the passing “handsome men” to come and join them.

    Cheap Charlie or Kee Niaow
    If you don’t buy lady drinks, you will quickly find yourself being largely ignored by the bar staff and being called one of these.

    Coconut Bar
    The common nickname for Pattaya Beach Road, where you will usually find freelance girls spaced surprisingly evenly along its length at night, underneath the palm trees.

    Connect Four
    A simple game of aligning four coloured tokens in an upright board, used as a distraction to keep you in the bar once the conversation dries up. A game of skill, bar girls tend to be extremely good at it as they get hours of practise every evening.

    Go-Go Bar
    An enclosed bar where the star attraction is the stage of semi-naked dancing girls. The music is usually loud and the drinks prices (and bar fine prices) are often quite high, but the special shows can be extremely risqué.

    Happy Ending
    Offered at the less upmarket massage parlours, it will almost certainly leave a smile on your face, but might come as a shock if you just wanted a massage.

    Literally translating as “northeast”, this is a large rural area of Thailand, consisting of 20 provinces near the border with Laos. An unusually large proportion of the girls working in Pattaya bars are from there.

    A fun alternative to Connect Four, it consists of a box with nine paddles which have numbers on one side and the word “•JACKPOT•” spelled out on the other. Roll two dice into the box and flip the paddle corresponding to the value of either one die individually or both combined. If you roll and can’t make a move, you lose. If you flip every paddle, you win.

    Katoey or Ladyboy
    A transvestite or, in some cases, transsexual. Particularly common around certain sois and near the tree on Walking Street. Often taller, slimmer and, in some cases, prettier than the ‘real’ girls.

    Lady Drink
    A small but often surprisingly expensive drink which bar girls will press you to buy for them. The elevated price is because the girl gets a cut of the cost.

    Ping Pong Show
    A show involving the propulsion of ping pong balls without the use of a paddle. Available at only a few of the more extreme go-gos, this is actually one of the tamer shows on offer!

    Ring the Bell
    Almost every bar in Pattaya has a large brass bell hanging somewhere. Ringing it means that you are buying everyone in the bar a drink. In go-go bars, this usually means that you’re only buying the dancers a drink and the price is sometimes capped at 1,000 baht. It’s a good way to make a lot of new friends and spend a lot of money very quickly.

    Short Time or Long Time
    Quite simply, the duration of the ‘date’ you wish to take a bar girl on. Short time is usually a matter of a few hours while long time is the whole night.

    The Thai word for a small side-street or alley. Most are officially designated with numbers but many have a widely-used nickname according to what the street is best known for.

    The Thai word for “darling” or an equivalent term of affection. It is worth noting that “da ling” is very close to the Thai word for an unmentionable part of a monkey’s anatomy, so being called teelak is usually a very good sign.

    Dating a Bar Girl in Pattaya

    It won’t take you very long to find a bar girl in Pattaya who takes a liking to you. Walk down certain sois on your own and you could find yourself being literally dragged into a bar! Once you’ve bought a few lady drinks and perhaps lost a few dozen games of Connect Four, you may wish to take the date to the next level.

    The first step is to pay the bar fine. This is the non-negotiable fee to cover the earnings the bar will lose due to the fact that you are taking one of their employees away. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it is preferable to the alternative of ‘dating’ a ‘freelance’ girl since it is easier to find the girl again in future, if you so wish. The cost of the bar fine is determined by a number of variables. The fine for a coyote girl in a Soi 6 beer bar may be as little as 200-500 baht, for example, while a Walking Street go-go dancer’s is between 1,000-2,000 baht.

    Now that the girl is free of her employment obligations, what you do next is up to the two of you. You could go to a restaurant or nightclub. If you take a particular liking to the girl, you might want to go travelling around Pattaya or other parts of Thailand together, though this will naturally require a larger bar fine and you will be expected to cover the costs of meals, tickets and a gift for the girl – usually something gold or valuable. Anything further should be discussed and negotiated with your new friend and, like most things, comes with a cost, which can vary from about 500-1,000 baht for short time and 1,000-3,000 baht for long time, depending on the girl.

    It is important to remember that not every girl you see on Walking Street is a bar girl. Plenty of them are just ordinary folks who are enjoying a night out, partying with their friends. If you just walk up to anything in a skirt and say “how much?” you will be lucky to walk away without getting a slap. Even some bar girls dislike this blunt approach. Taking the time to be a gentleman will usually give you much better results.

    Ladyboys in Pattaya

    A common fear among first-timers in Pattaya is that the girl they end up choosing for a date will turn out to be not completely a girl. This is actually an extremely rare occurrence since the local ladyboys do not go out of their way to try to trick their punters. Most will be quite up-front about their gender and sexuality since they don’t want any problems caused by confusion. Even so, there are ways to spot a ladyboy from a distance to help you to avoid any awkwardness, which we have detailed in our spotter’s guide.

    It should be noted that the ladyboys in Pattaya have developed quite a reputation for decidedly unladylike behaviour, including pickpocketing and violently overreacting to even very subtle snubs and insults. We strongly recommend being extra careful and as civil as possible around them.

    After 18:00, Walking Street becomes entirely pedestrianised and most of the other major nightlife areas (such as Sois 6, 7 and 8, Soi LK Metro and Boyztown) become so crammed with people that vehicle traffic rarely ventures through them. However, you will always be able to find motorbike taxis at each exit. While prices are always negotiable, don’t expect to be able to pay the same price to get back to your hotel as you did on the outbound journey since prices rise as the hour gets later. For example, a journey from the vicinity of Sukhumvit Road to Walking Street may have cost you about 70 baht at 21:00, Read More...

    A Few Notes of Caution

    The vast majority of people have a great time in Pattaya after dark without having any problems at all because, for the most part, it is safe and fun. Violence directed at tourists is quite rare, though pickpocketing and purse snatching are a little more common, making it advisable to carry as little of value on you as possible. Generally speaking, exercise the same precautions you would when going on a night out in your home country and you should be fine.

    One unusual variation is that drink spiking has been known to occur, but it is men who should be more concerned about this than women. Be very wary of leaving your drink unattended or of drinks given to you by strangers as you may wake up several hours later with a headache and a lot less cash.

    There are a few scams commonly associated with Pattaya’s nightlife, including bill-padding and the infamous ‘sick buffalo’. The best way to avoid them is to know what to look out for, which is why we have prepared a guide to Pattaya’s most common scams.

    Given the amount of 'dating' going on, there is a fairly high rate of associated diseases and infections in Pattaya (which explains the unusually large number of small clinics). In all cases, take appropriate precautions to protect yourself from problems later.

    Tourist Police

    The Tourist Police Volunteers are mostly westerners who will help out with any problems that tourists visiting Pattaya get into by acting as translators and intermediaries. They have posts and patrols along Walking Street every night. You can also contact them by dialling 1155. For other issues, the Pattaya Helpline (1337), provided by City Hall, has English-speaking staff who can direct your call to the appropriate destination.

    Police Emergency: 191
    Tourist Police: 1155
    Pattaya Helpline: 1337

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