It is often claimed that the nightlife in Pattaya is the main attraction for the city. This is an image that Thai authorities seek to change by re-branding Pattaya as a family-orientated holiday destination. Nevertheless, the numerous bars and club in Pattaya are still doing very brisk business, and Pattaya remains the place to party outside of Bangkok.
It is estimated that there are over 2,000 nightspots in Pattaya. They cover the entire spectrum of business types. Here is quick breakdown of the main types of nightspot:
Except for the cabaret category, all of these night spot types are replicated for the gay market. The gay scene is focussed around Sunee Palza, Soi Day-Night and ‘Boyztown’ (Pattayaland soi 3, off Second Road). There is also a gay scene in Jomtien (Dongtan Beach, Jomtien Complex). If you wondered whether there is a gay equivalent to the crass, in-your-face, sex-for-sale Walking Street, well there is. It is called Boyztown. It is a narrow cul-de-sac full of A-gogo bars, gay beer bars and massage parlours for men (by men).
Walking Street is a cliché that is fully aware that it is a cliché, and doesn’t care. Everyone who visits Pattaya walks down the 500 meter stretch of neon. It is the number one attraction for the beach town. It is not only horny old men who cruise the street, it is also Chinese tour groups not intent on purchasing sex but in photographing the sordid street of dreams.
It is often said that the best way to get an idea of what Pattaya nightlife is like is to stroll down Walking Street. It is a pedestrian zone. At the entrance to the street are police officers ready to help tourists and break up any drunken altercations. As you walk further down the street you will see girls milling around outside clubs trying to lure male customers through the doors. Walking Street is a full on lesson in Thai red light district style.
Walking Street is pedestrianized between 6pm and 2am. While the official alcohol curfew is at 1am, for ‘entertainment’ areas the closing time is pushed back to 3am. Some places never seem to shut.
Soi 6 is famous for its collection of bars and especially short time bars.
Soi 7 and 8 is packed with a go go bars, beer bars, short time bars: everything a young mongering man could want within walking distance. These 2 sois also have ladyboys and ladyboy bars.
Soi Buakhao has a series of bars that appeal to British tourists and ex-pats.
Soi LK Metro has a growing number of go go bars.
Soi Diana and New Plaza has plenty of cheap bars.
Pattaya is called ‘funtown’, ‘paradise’ and the such like. There are bars, clubs and ‘entertainment’ somewhere near by. It is sleazy. Even bars where there seems to be no discernible prostitution vibe probably have girls serving you who are open to offers. This is sin city. The beer is cheap. The bar tenders are good. You can find a venue to suit your tastes. Heaven for many, hell for some and ‘work’ for the men, women and transgenders who supply the sleaze.