Pattaya-Funtown.com – All you need to know about Pattaya

Popular with tourists and expats alike, Pattaya has attracted nine million visitors only in 2013 and is mostly famous for its sunny beaches, legendary nightlife and its 24/7 party atmosphere. Pattaya-Funtown.com aims to be your comprehensive online travel guide to Pattaya, Jomtien and Thailand, providing you with all the information you need before traveling to Funtown. Find everything you need to know about holidays, life and lifestyle in Pattaya here on our website. Useful info for tourists, “long stayers” and expats alike.

Pattaya News Blog – Daily Updated News from Pattaya & Thailand

Featured Pattaya Videos of the Week

More Pattaya Videos & Nightlife Clips – Beaches, Attractions, Nightlife Spots

Long-Stay Tourists & Expats! New Stricter Visa Regulations

Since 2014, a number of changes to the visa rules have been announced by Thai immigration. You can find a summary of the main changes here or at the bottom of this page. For further details, please also view our dedicated Thai visa section.

Visa Run to Savannakhet – Trip Report

Yellow bus from Pattaya to MukdahanIt was that dreaded time of the year again. Your webmaster’s visa was about to expire and he had to go on a “visa run” to get a new permission to stay in Thailand.
Same as six months earlier, our destination was Savannakhet in Laos, located on the banks of the Mekong river and just across the border from Mukdahan in Isaan.
Why Savannakhet – which isn’t exactly the most happening city in the region and a minimum 12-hour bus ride from Pattaya?
Truth be told, mainly because the Thai consulate there has an excellent reputation for issuing double-entry tourist visas and is nowhere near as crowded as the consulate in Vientiane … READ MORE

New Photo Gallery – Thai “Pretties”

thai-pretties 22Thailand’s so-called “pretties” are product and event presenters that make a living by being just what they are – pretty. Any kind of promotional event would be virtually unthinkable without the presence of the typically big busted “pretties”.
Being “pretty” isn’t just an attribute for natural feminine charms in Thailand – it’s a downright job title and hasn’t always come about all that naturally but often cost quite a bit of money – and all sorts of cosmetic surgery procedures.
We’ve now compiled a selection of the sexiest snapshots of the hottest Thai “pretties” our “in-house” photographer has taken over the years. Enjoy!

Pattaya Travel Guide – From Fishing Village to “Funtown”

Pattaya bay from Pattaya Park towerSince Pattaya’s “discovery” by U.S. soldiers in the 1960s, and its rapid transformation from a virtually unknown fishing village to one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, Pattaya has gone through some significant changes but has always remained loyal to its good old “Funtown” image.
Less than a two-hour drive from Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi Airport, Pattaya has become famous for its tropical beaches, dozens of nearby tourist attractions, excellent restaurants and shopping facilities but, most notably, its world-famous nightlife and “sex industry” that kick-started Pattaya’s boom as a tourist destination in the 1960s.
Pattaya in the 21st century, however, can no longer be reduced to its bustling nightlife, thousands of beer bars, nightclubs and massage parlours. While the city’s “adult entertainment industry” certainly still plays a major role in attracting tourists to Funtown, in recent years, more and more couples and families, many from emerging source markets like Russia, China, India and the Middle East, have discovered Pattaya as their favourite destination, urging the city to refocus also on the needs of this new breed of tourists.
Indeed, Pattaya today attracts millions of foreign tourists from all over the world every year and has something on offer for everyone – young and old, single and couples, families and pensioners alike.

Elephant show at Nong Nooch Garden near PattayaIf lazy sunbathing on Pattaya beach and shopping sprees on traditional markets fail to satisfy your adventurous soul, then how about a jet ski or banana boat ride? Some of the “must-see” tourist attractions include, for example, the Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya’s own version of a “Floating Market”, Crocodile Farm and Elephant Village. Other popular daytime activities include a boat trip to Koh Larn island just off the coast off Pattaya, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing or bungy jumping, to name but a few.
And if you don’t like being stuck in the same place for the entire length of your holiday, Pattaya is a perfect starting point for round trips and excursions to other popular tourist spots like Bangkok, Koh Chang, Ayutthaya, or the bridge on the River Kwai.
Rest assured that no matter what you’re looking for, you can be sure you’ll find it in Pattaya! And if you’re more into, eh, night-time activities, just scroll a bit further down …

 TOP TRENDING HOTELS IN PATTAYA & JOMTIEN A-Z
amariAmari Ocean Hotel
Pattaya Beach Road, North Pattaya

Top-rated five-star hotel at the northern end of Pattaya beach. All rooms come with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows or private balconies overlooking the glittering bay.

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areca lodgeAreca Lodge
Soi Diana, off Pattaya 2nd Road

Located in the heart of Pattaya's popular Soi Diana nightlife district and just around the corner from Soi Buakhao and Soi LK Metro, this top-rated property provides quality accommodation in an excellent location at affordable prices.

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at mindAt Mind Serviced Residence
off Pattaya Second Road, North Pattaya

Highly rated four-star hotel with numerous on-site facilities and 189 tastefully furnished suites and apartments, many with kitchenette.

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august suitesAugust Suites Pattaya
Pattaya Klang, Central Pattaya

Top-rated property within walking distance from the beach, many shopping malls and nightlife hotspots. Rates starting from approx. 1,000 Baht per night. Excellent value for money.

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baywalkBaywalk Residence
Pattaya Beach Road, South Pattaya

Situated right on Pattaya beach and just a stone's throw away from Walking Street, this popular three-star hotel offers quality accommodation at reasonable rates.

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cape daraCape Dara Resort
Naklua Road Soi 20, North Pattaya

Highly rated five-star hotel at the quiet northern end of Pattaya bay. Top-floor rooms offer a fantastic view over the whole of Pattaya bay. Also has first-floor rooms with private swimming pool.

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centara wongamatCentara Grand Mirage Beach Resort
Wongamat Beach, North Pataya

Top-rated luxury resort right on Wongamat beach at the quiet northern end of Pattaya bay.

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d vareeD Varee Jomtien Beach
Jomtien Beach Road (between Soi 13 and 14)

Popular 38-storey four-star hotel right on Jomtien beach. All 480 guestrooms offer stunning sea views and panoramic views over the Pattaya city area. Excellent value for money.

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dusitDusit Thani Hotel
240/2 Pattaya Beach Road, North Pattaya

Located at the northern end of Pattaya bay, this top-rated five-star property provides 457 stylishly-appointed guestrooms with private balconies and either garden or stunning sea views.

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flipper lodgeFlipper Lodge
Soi 8, Central Pattaya

Popular three-star hotel in the heart of Pattaya's Soi 8 nightlife area and just a stone's throw away from the beach and many shopping malls. Beautifully appointed guest rooms at rates starting from approx. 1,000 Baht per night.

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grand bellaGrand Bella Hotel
Central Pattaya

This highly rated four-star hotel commands an excellent location in the heart of Pattaya and is just a stone's throw away from the beach and popular nightlife areas like Soi 7 and Soi 8, New Plaza and Soi Buakhao. Room rates starting at just above 1,000 Baht per night. Excellent value for money.

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hardrock hotelHard Rock Hotel Pattaya
Pattaya Beach Road, Central Pattaya

Top-rated four-star hotel right on Pattaya beach and just a stone's throw away from the city's main attractions, shopping malls and nightlife areas.

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hilton pattayaHilton Hotel Pattaya
Pattaya Beach Road, Central Pattaya

Situated above the Central Festival Pattaya Beach shopping mall on Pattaya Beach Road, this top-rated five-star property boasts an exclusive selection of rooms that are the pinnacle of luxury and lavishness. Top-floor rooms and suites offer a fantastic sea view over the bay of Pattaya. Conveniently located near the city's top attractions, shopping malls and nightlife districts, and just a stone's throw away from Pattaya beach.

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ibisIbis Pattaya Hotel
Pattaya Soi 1, North Pattaya

Highly rated three-star hotel conveniently located in North Pattaya and within walking distance to the beach, many attractions and nightlife hotspots. 254 spacious and comfortable rooms starting from less than 1,000 Baht per night. Good value for money.

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intimateIntimate Hotel by Tim Boutique Hotel
Pattaya Second Road, South Pattaya

One of the most popular hotels in Pattaya, this family-run four-star property sits in the heart of South Pattaya and within walking distance from the beach and the city's main nightlife areas like Walking Street.

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jomtien beach penthousesJomtien Beach Penthouses
Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 9

Built only in 2010, this top-rated property in a central yet quiet location at Jomtien, just a minute's walk to the beach, features 60 tastefully designed rooms and suites, as well as large penthouses with private pool. Excellent value for money.

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jomtien palm beachJomtien Palm Beach Hotel & Resort
Jomtien Beach Road, Jomtien

Situated in the heart of Jomtien and just a stone's throw away from the beach, this popular four-star hotel boasts 723 rooms with spectacular sea and hillside views.

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lk the empressLK The Empress
Pattaya Beach Road, South Pattaya

Located on Pattaya Beach Road in the heart of South Pattaya, this top-rated four-star hotel offers great value for money and is committed to ensuring that your stay is as comfortable as possible.

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lk metropoleLK Metropole Hotel
Soi Diana, Central Pattaya

Highly rated three-star hotel on Soi Diana and just a minute's walk from the popular nightlife districts of Soi Buakhao and LK Metro. The property features 153 tastefully laid out rooms where you can experience a little luxury and peace between forays in the razzmatazz that characterizes Pattaya.

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lk renaissanceLK Renaissance Hotel
Soi Diana, Central Pattaya

Highly rated four-star hotel on Soi Diana, just a minute's walk from the popular nightlife areas of Soi Buakhao and LK Metro, and within walking distance from the beach and many attractions and shopping malls. This popular property features 62 comfortably furnished rooms with all the modern amenities you can wish for.

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lk royal suiteLK Royal Suite Hotel
Soi Buakhao, Central Pattaya

This highly rated four-star property on Soi Buakhao provides excellent value for money and is within walking distance from the beach and popular nightlife areas like Soi New Plaza, Soi 7 and Soi 8.

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mercureMercure Pattaya Ocean Resort
Pattaya Beach Road Soi 1, North Pattaya

Conveniently located four-star property at the northern end of Pattaya beach offering impeccable service at reasonable prices and all the essential amenities to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

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the nowThe Now Hotel
279/450 Jomtien Beach Road (south of Soi Welcome)

This highly rated stylish hotel just across the road from Jomtien beach has 51 fancifully designed guestrooms and suites with up-to-date facilities.

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opey de placeOpey De Place
Soi Lengkee, Central Pattaya

Popular two-star hotel in a quiet location just around the corner from Soi Buakhao and within walking distance from the nightlife hotspots of Soi LK Metro and Soi Diana. 72 beautifully appointed guest rooms at rates starting from just above 700 Baht per night.

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pattaya discoveryPattaya Discovery Beach Hotel
Pattaya Beach Road, North Pattaya

Situated just across the road from Pattaya beach amongst tropical greenery, this top-rated four-star hotel features 168 well-equipped and reasonably priced rooms in a central yet quiet location.

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royal cliffRoyal Cliff Beach Hotel
Pratamnak Hill, South Pattaya

Offering a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of Pattaya, with an ideal location on the headland between Jomtien and Pattaya, this top-rated five-star property offers stunning sea and city views and brings guests into the world of exclusivity and fascination. Room rates starting as low as approx. 2,500 Baht per night!

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sea me spring tooSea Me Spring Too Hotel
Pattaya Soi 10, just off Pattaya Beach Road

Highly rated 60-room hotel ideally located within walking distance from the beach, many shopping malls and nightlife hotspots.

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siam bayshoreSiam Bayshore Resort & Spa
Walking Street, South Pattaya

Ideally located at the quiet southern end of Walking Street, this top-rated stunning resort consists of 12 low-rise pavilions surrounded by tropical gardens and lagoons.

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siam @ siam designSiam @ Siam Design Hotel
Pattaya Second Road, North Pattaya

This top-rated stylish four-star hotel in the heart of North Pattaya provides guests with superior services and a broad range of amenities. All rooms feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort.

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MORE PATTAYA HOTEL DEALS AT DISCOUNT INTERNET RATES

Pattaya Nightlife – “Disneyland for Adults”

Outside a GoGo bar on Walking StreetHaving said that Pattaya is in the process of revamping itself as a suitable destination also for families – if you’re a single male tourist visiting Pattaya, your folks back home will hardly believe you that you’re coming here merely for the beautiful beaches, fascinating temples and deliciously spicy Thai food. Guess what, their disbelief is justified!
And even if you were so naive and quixotic – if you’ve studied Pattaya’s history carefully or just stroll down Pattaya’s beach promenade or (in)famous Walking Street after dark, you simply cannot ignore the “naughty” side of this self-proclaimed city of extremes. Or you may have read somewhere in a book on Asian culture that prostitution, in spite of not being “strictly legal”, has a lively and much longer tradition in Thailand than modern-day mass (or “sex”) tourism and is deeply ingrained in its culture?
Sure, more than half a century after U.S. soldiers “discovered” Pattaya as a R&R destination, Pattaya is still a true “Disneyland for adults” and particularly single male mammals. After all, it’s only fair to assume that Pattaya’s nightlife and bar industry, with an endless supply of beautiful Thai girls from the countryside, were the main incentives for the soldiers of the Vietnam war era to fall for Pattaya so quickly!

Sexy coyote dancers in a GoGo barYep, now we’re talking about Pattaya’s notorious nightlife and “sex industry”, with literally thousands of bars and nightclubs, discos, pubs and A-GoGo bars; last but not least – let’s face this pretty fact – Pattaya’s beautiful and charming ladies!
In our extensive nightlife section, we’ll sneak a peek at what you may expect in a typical Pattaya “girlie” bar. Learn how to spot a ladyboy; how much to pay for a “lady drink” or so-called “bar fine”; what’s the difference between a traditional Thai and “body massage” – and all the sexy rest of it.
To start with, why not just have a look around our popular nightlife pictures and video galleries to get a feel for what’s awaiting you in Funtown? We’re sure you’ll acquire a taste for it very very quickly.

Thailand Travel Guide – Welcome to the “Land of Smiles”

Our general Thailand tourist guide pages provide you with all the information you’ll need before traveling to the Land Of Smiles. Do I need a visa to travel to Thailand? Where can I find the nearest Thai embassy or consulate, and what kind of visa can I apply for? Find all you need to know about Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, history, people and culture, climate, holidays and festivals, and a brief guide on how to get around in Thailand.

Welcome to Thailand - the self-proclaimed Land of SmilesThis section also features various Thailand-related articles of interest for tourists and expats alike, covering such diverse topics as Thai dating sites, business, property and investment, national holidays, the difference between a traditional Thai and “soapy” massage, and the various types of “long-stay” visa available for Thailand. Learn Thai language? Our Thai language pages don’t just give you a brief introduction to the history and structure of this fascinating language – you can also pick up some basic Thai vocabulary and learn lots of useful phrases.

Looking for cheap accomodation in Thailand? We have partnered with Agoda.com – a Bangkok-based hotel reservation service specialized in securing the lowest prices in Asia – to offer you a selection of over 10,000 hotels and resorts in Thailand’s top tourist destinations, from budget rooms at special discount internet rates starting at less than 400 Baht per day to five-star luxury seaside resorts.

Long-Stay Tourists & Expats! New Stricter Visa Regulations

Thai visaIt’s certainly never been easy for expats and long-stay tourists to obtain a proper visa for Thailand that allows them to stay in the kingdom for longer than just a couple of weeks or months. Since August 2014, this certainly hasn’t become any easier.
Not only were the official requirements for certain types of Non-Immigrant visa tightened in several countries – a number of general changes to the visa rules have also been announced by immigration. While it still remains to be seen how strictly the new regulations will be enforced, here’s a summary of the main changes. More detailed information can be found most conveniently in the visa section of our website and on our frequently updated Visa News page.

  • Starting from August 2014, out/in visa runs, e.g., to the Cambodian or Lao border, including out/in “visa runs by air”, are basically a thing of the past. The Nation reported on July 15: “From August 13, people [who have not obtained a visa prior to their visit to Thailand] will not be able to re-enter the country, regardless of their choice of transport”.
    In other words: If you haven’t obtained a visa prior to your visit to Thailand but wish to stay longer than just for a holiday, then “visa runs” are no longer a viable option to extend your stay in the kingdom, but you’re advised to apply for a tourist visa at your local Thai embassy or consulate in advance.
    A single-entry tourist visa is good for a 60-day stay in Thailand and can now be extended locally for another 30 days. If you wish to wish to stay in Thailand more or less “permanently”, you should obtain an appropriate (Non-immigrant) visa prior to entering the country.
  • In summer 2014, it was reported that tourists and expats who overstay their visa for more than 90 days might get blacklisted in the future, i.e. banned from returning to Thailand for 1-10 years. Until now, tourists who overstayed their visa were usually simply fined 500 Baht per day up to a maximum fine of 20,000 Baht; only when an “overstayer” was caught within the kingdom, he/she faced arrest and deportation; overstayers were not blacklisted.
    According to the new proposed rules, foreigners who overstay their visa for 90+ days would automatically get blacklisted for a period of 1-10 years, depending on the length of their overstay. The new rules were reported to take effect late August 2014, however, have not been approved as yet, and the whole hurly-burly might have been false alarm only.
  • New stricter requirements for ED visa extensions have gone into effect on August 29, 2014. Until then, the same ED visa could be used to study the same subject, e.g. Thai language, for up to five years; the student did not have to leave Thailand but could simply extend his visa at the local immigration office every 90 days. Under the new rules, an ED visa is valid for a maximum of one year only, provided that the student studies the required amount of hours per week (otherwise an extension may be rejected and the visa cancelled). After one year you will have to leave the country and apply for a new ED visa.
    In addition, Thai language students will now also have to attend classes 4 days a week, for two hours per class, in order to extend an ED visa, effectively doubling the hours of study. If students don’t study the required amount of hours per week, their visa will not be extended. Also, when extending their visa for 90 days, ED visa holders will initially be given only a 15-day extension. At the end of this “evaluation period” they must go back to Immigration and will be granted another 75-day extension. This post and this thread at ThaiVisa.com discuss the new rule in more detail.
  • It remains uncertain whether the crackdown on out/in visa runners also targets foreign visitors holding valid tourist visas. AsianCorrespondent.com reported in July 2014: “Even those on valid tourist visas may be denied entry if immigration officials suspect feel they are spending too long in the country or working illegally.” Ajarn.com even anticipated that “from [August 12th], apparently no one will be allowed to use back-to-back 60-day tourist visas to enter Thailand.” This interpretation was obviously exaggerated.
    As an immigration official in Chiang Mai confirmed on August 20, 2014, “there is no limit to the number of tourist visas you can apply for, nor is there a minimum time limit between each one.” He also confirmed that a multiple-entry tourist visa will “allow you to exit and enter Thailand however many times you have been granted.” In any case, tourist visa applicants should always be prepared to prove they are in fact tourists and, if required, be able to produce a confirmed airline ticket, hotel booking etc. Some Thai consulates may also be more lenient than others.
  • Last but not least, there are also some good news. Reportedly effective from August 29, 2014, tourists can now extend their 30-day visa-exempt stay in Thailand by a further 30 days, not just seven days as previously. All you need to do is visit your local immigration office after your first 30 days have expired and apply for a 30-day extension at a fee of 1,900 Baht; effectively giving you 60 days of stay without having to apply for a visa. Just expect that you’ll be asked to produce a confirmed air ticket out of the country within the 30 days of extension, hotel booking confirmation, and possibly proof of sufficient funds. If you cannot produce an air ticket out of Thailand within 30 days, you will most likely be given only a 7-day extension as previously and have to leave the country within a week.

7 Responses to Pattaya-Funtown.com – All you need to know about Pattaya

  1. I DONT THINK PATTAYA IS A SAFE PLACE ANYMORE.ITS NOT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE THAI PEOPLE IT IS THE RUSSIONS that are steeling from the local shops and giving the local people and tourists’ big problem

  2. pattaya is a wonderful place if they could have some control over the people they are letting into Thailand

  3. No pattaya is not a safe place anymore,and it’s got nothing to do with the Russians ! They are arrogant but mainly stay jontiem. Pattaya is full if Indians and that’s the problem.the once beautiful thai girl who worked in the bar has since left and married rich Farang or gone back village. The current Thais in pattaya are only interested in what they can steal from the foreigner : that’s because there is little tourism -do you really believe Farang jumped off building 😉 bet his bank account fleeced first 555 / was with thai woman 7 yrs at end day thai cannot be trusted ! That’s fact 85% hate foreigners

    • Before this turns into a complete rant against tourists of whatever nationality – just let me throw in my two cents worth. 1) Pattaya (and I mean its general “atmosphere” and what the city used to stand for) has obviously changed quite a lot in the past decade, unfortunately not for the better I must agree (though that obviously depends on your “ambitions” and what you expect from a holiday here.) The growing influx of Russians, Indians, Chinese etc. has certainly had an impact; I just can’t see how this has made Pattaya a less “safe” place; except perhaps for the fact that these nationalities aren’t spending money the way “we” do and, for example, the bar industry has obviously been in a crisis for some years now. As a result, many sex workers may be struggling to make ends meet and instead turn to some kind of crime or scam. In general though, I think Pattaya is still relatively safe, that is if you use common sense and avoid high-risk situations like, for example, strolling down the beach promenade with a gold necklace around your neck, taking freelancers back to your room, getting into heated arguments with locals etc. I mean, compare Pattaya with, say, Manila, Phnom Penh or certain destinations in the Caribbean and you see where I’m coming from. 2) It’s surely a bit tough to say that Thais “hate” foreigners but yes, I must agree that many somehow seem to look upon us as not being quite on a par with them and their “superior” (sic) culture blah blah blah. This is even the more frustrating when you’ve lived in this country for a while.

  4. Pattaya has been criticized for quite a few years now – too many Russians, to many Indians. But the truth is, it’s still as much fun as 10 years ago if not more. There are now more go go bars and beer bars then ever. Sure, some bars especially around 3rd road (further off the beach) are fairly quiet these days but I wouldn’t complain about that, it just means there are more girls for me to select from :) Others complain about rising prices but if you look around there are still happy hours until 9pm for beer below 100 Baht at a lot of beer bars and a stroll down Walking Street you find draft beers for 60 or 70 Baht. You just need to know which places to go and you’ll have fun. Just the bar fines have gotten somewhat out of control, I think 800 Baht, 900 or sometimes even 1,000 Baht is too much even for a go go girl as they they’re asking 2,000 Baht plus themselves on top of that. I think the bar owners will react on that sooner or later if they see they lose customers who just aren’t ready anymore to pay these high bar fines (escept maybe the guys from Baccara who have mostly Japanese clients who don’t mind spending 8,000 Baht for one night out). And then down in Soi 6 you still get your short time fun including the room charge for 1,000 Baht – just like 5 years ago. And after that you can go in one of the bars in that Soi to play pool for free and enjoy a few cool beers for below 100 Baht as well. You can say a lot about Pattaya but it’s still fun as ever and definitely not too pricey yet. Great website mate by the way!

    • Cheers Stefan, if there was a “like” button for comments I’d click it here 😉 As for bar fines in GoGo bars, I think there are various reasons, for example, rental prices in Pattaya and key money have been skyrocketing in the last 10 years, unfortunately not only in prime locations like Walking Street or so. Of course, the girls are demanding higher wages too, which is only fair enough imo. The main problem for bar owners though I think is that it’s getting increasingly harder to find suitable girls for the bar job. To start with, thanks to continuously declining fertility rates, Thailand simply doesn’t have enough young women anymore. As a result, many GoGo bars these days have to hire girls via agencies, which comes at substantial extra costs. Thanks Buddha, I’m not going much to GoGo bars myself anymore, so that kind of inflation doesn’t bother me too much. I agree though that in order not to lose farang customers bars owners will soon have to find a workable solution, especially given the continued depreciation of the Euro; I’m just not quite sure what that could be?

      • That’s a good point, the birth rate has decreased in the past couple of decades and that will certainly put bar owners in trouble to find not just willing but also “talented” staff. What I assume is that the go go bars will completely vanish in the future, maybe not within the next 5 years but in the long term. One reason as you mentioned the changing demographics with less young Thai girls but also in my opinion because of more lucrative options for the girls. Especially the massage and escort industries will continue to attract workers as it’s just so more convenient for them to sit around all day playing on their phones while waiting for customers that they quickly serve and get paid in an hour or so instead of drinking beer all day long and doing one, maximum customers a day. Let’s see where the industry is moving, it’s gonna be interesting to watch and follow.

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