Since Pattaya's "discovery" by U.S. soldiers in the 1960s and its rapid transformation from an unknown sleepy fishing village to Asia's hottest tourist destination for fun seekers and night owls, Pattaya has always been (in)famous for its bustling nightlife and "sex industry". Although Funtown has "upgraded" its image significantly in recent years and is well on its way to establish itself as a multi-faceted beach resort suitable for tourists from all waks of life, Pattaya's notorious nightlife and entertainment industry - with hundreds of bars, nightclubs and discos, thousands of sexy bar girls, GoGo dancers and ladyboys - are still Pattaya's major attractions.
At a rough estimate, there must be about 2,000 entertainment venues all over Pattaya, from open-air hostess bars, international pubs and live music venues, to ultramodern discos and nightclubs; from GoGo bars with table-dancing or "sexy show" performances, to world-renowned transvestitecabaret shows. Given an approximate ratio of 10 bar girls per venue (some GoGo bars may have more than 50 dancing damsels!) there must be around 20,000 bar girls in Pattaya.
Although beer bars and Go-Go bars are concentrated most densely in the South Pattaya area, bars can be found from Naklua in the North down to Jomtien in the South. Especially Soi 6, 7 and 8, as well as Pattaya's world-famous Walking Street, the unrivalled epicentre of Pattaya's nightlife, are literally packed with hundreds of neon-lit bars and nightclubs. Other up-and-coming entertainment areas are Soi Diana and Soi LK Metro, to name but a few.
The official closing hour in Pattaya's entertainment zones is sometime between 1 and 3 am depending on the location, e.g., 3 am on Walking Street. Depending on how strictly or laxly these rules are enforced, however, "closing" is often interpreted as only switching off the music and non-essential lighting, while many bars usually stay open until well after 3 am. Some bars are also open round-the clock (it's common practice for many bars to pay tea money to police).
Indeed, Pattaya's nightlife is so seductive that some unaware visitors - conservative people in their everyday life - develop real vampire mentalities in Funtown. Some night owls don't even leave their room before sunset and, vice versa, don't get back into their coffins before the morning sun above the Gulf of Thailand threatens to burn their pale faces! This is for one simple reason:
Pattaya is a true "Disneyland for adults" where anyone's entertainment dreams come true. If you have been to Hamburg's Reeperbahn, Amsterdam's red-light district or Bangkok's notorious night spots, then you're not even halfway prepared for what Pattaya has on offer. And if you're coming to Pattaya to find the lady (or ladyboy?) of your dreams, chances you won't get satisfied and find some suitable company for at least a couple of hours, are basically as low as zero ...
Pattaya Beer Bars (Hostess Bars)
It's virtually impossible to count how many beer bars there are all over Pattaya. Roughly estimated, there must be something between 1,000 and 2,000 bars scattered all over town; perhaps even more? So if you're looking for a nearby place to have a drink, chat with one of the bar girls and find sexy female companionship for the rest of the night, you'll never have to search for very long.
The most traditional and Pattaya-typical form of a bar beer (as Thai people call them) is an open-air kind of a hut, with a square bar counter and roof on top. While the punters sit on bar stools around the bar, the service girls, mostly prostitutes who are "for hire," stand or sit behind the counter and entertain their customers from there. Aside from having a drink or chatting with the girls, beer bar pastimes include a game of pool, connect-four and shut-the-box. Many bars will also show live sports on TV.
Many open-air bars are concentrated in large beer bar complexes, most densely on Soi 7 and Soi 8. Other bars are located on the ground floors of shophouse units, which often provide guest rooms on the upper floors (indoor bars). So-called short-time bars, usually with dark glass fronts and dozens of girls sitting outside advertising their services, can be found abundantly on Soi 6 between Pattaya Beach and Second Road. In addition to the regular bar business, their services rather resemble "small brothels" so-to-say, including rooms with "special maid service" available upstairs.
In order to draw attention to themselves and their services, Pattaya bar girls usually shout at passers-by stuff like Hello sexy man! Where you go? I go with you! or something even more obvious. If you travel as a couple or family, these verbal invitations will usually be more reserved: Hello madame, welcome inside please! Etc. What needs to be pointed out: Although Pattaya bar girls are effectively prostitutes, bars in Pattaya (including GoGo bars) cater not exclusively to single male tourists, but female guests, couples and families are welcome nonetheless. Pattaya bar girls, except for the cashier and the so-called mamasan (i.e. a kind of female manager and "pimp" in one person who manages the various activities of the girls) are actually hostesses or, in more obvious words, prostitutes. If there is mutual understanding, bar girls are ready to accompany their male customers for an hour or two, or the rest of the night, back to their rooms. To take a girl out of "her" bar, customers usually have to pay a so-called "bar fine" (money paid to the bar directly so that the lady can leave with the customer) of usually around 300-500 Baht. The bar fine, valid for usually the rest of the night, will be added to your bill and is generally not refundable. (Please note that you will stay have to pay the girl for additional sexual services!)
If you should either not be looking for female company, or travel as a couple or family, a night out in a Pattaya beer bar can still be lots of fun. Although the staff of a typical bar will usually all be prostitutes, customers without intention of paying a "bar fine" are generally very welcome, too, and indeed make up the majority of the clientele. You can always pop in for a couple of drinks, a game of pool, or simply to chat with other punters, just as you would in your local pub back home. Drink prices are very reasonable, i.e. cheap when compared to what a beer may cost in a pub in your home country. The girls are always happy to entertain their guests with a game or have a chat with you; alternatively you can just listen to the music and enjoy Pattaya's unique nightlife atmosphere. The only real - yet significant - difference is that the bar maids, if a financial agreement has been settled, are available for extra "out-of-the-office" services in the privacy of your room ... Pattaya BarsPattaya Bar GirlsThe Truth About Pattaya Bar Girls
Pattaya GoGo Bars
Do you fancy the sight of half-naked sexy Thai girls show-dance right in front of your eyes? Then a visit to one of Pattaya's (in)famous A-GoGo bars should definitely be on your to-do list when staying in Pattaya, regardless of whether you're a single male or an adventurous couple.
Currently, there are more than 80 A-GoGo bars all over Pattaya, most of which can be found on Walking Street and its side-streets. An ever-growing number of GoGo bars can also be found on Soi LK Metro off Soi Buakhao.
GoGo bars are air-conditioned indoor bars with dancing stages in the centre and lots of attractive women with only little clothes or bikinis on who, in rotation, perform the erotic art of pole-dancing. Many bars also provide some kind of show entertainment, often including profane objects such as balloons, bananas, cigarettes ("pussy smoke cigarette") or simply two affectionate girls involved (lesbian show). Table-dancing on mirrored tables has also become increasingly popular in the past years. The reason for these mirrors, of course, is that the ladies wear only very little clothes under their short skirts and to make sure that heavily intoxicated punters, who prefer to stare down at the table anyway, do not miss any intimate physical details between the thighs of the sexy dancers. Other GoGo bars provide their show dancers even with Jacuzzi bathtubs to make sure their most intimate parts meet international hygiene standards. Well, you get the idea ...
While A-GoGo bars are concentrated most densely in the South Pattaya area (Walking Street, Pattayaland Soi 2) lightly-dressed show girls, shaking their little booties on the dancing stage, are plying their trade all over Pattaya these days. An ever-growing number of chrome-pole palaces can be found exceedingly on Soi LK Metro, but also on Pattaya Beach Road, Soi 6, 7 and 8, Soi Post Office, Soi Yamato, and even in Jomtien or Naklua.
Unfortunately, the music played in many Pattaya GoGo bars tends to be the average noisy Thai-style Techno or dance music played at a little ear-friendly volume. Some bars, however, seem to employ DJs of a more advanced age group and play some good old Rock 'n' Roll tunes or a decent mix of music styles at a more moderate volume.
Seating in GoGo bars is available either on barstools right along the stage or on sofa-style chairs along the usually mirrored walls. While a seat right in front of the stage will certainly provide you with a more detailed view of the female body, you can be sure to get a stiff neck as well!
Despite frequent raids on venues providing what authorities deem "lewd" entertainment, "sexy" shows at designated hours (often featuring real "pussy artists"), "no knickers" and nude dancing are still common in many GoGo bars.
Most Gogo bars have Happy hours in the early evening hours, with draft beer being sold at as cheap as 50 Baht or less, which isn't just good value for money but may be cheaper than drinking in a beer bar. Most GoGo bars employ extra staff whose job it is to simply stand outside the premises, wave advertising signs promoting show times and "happy hours" and invite passengers to come in and join the fun.
Regular drinking prices for bottled beer, imported spirits or "lady drinks," however, are well above the average prices paid at conventional beer bars. For example, a bottled beer may easily cost you 120-180 Baht in most GoGo bars and especially lady drinks are usually well above 100 Baht. As a tourist, however, given the special sort of entertainment you're getting, you should still find these prices reasonably cheap.
Of course, AGoGo bars are hostess bars; this means that the dancers (not the service girls usually) are available for a session of erotic exercises in the privacy of your room. However, as Gogo girls are usually more attractive than their colleagues in outdoor beer bars (and their salaries much higher too, meaning higher running costs for bar owners) bar fines in A-GoGo bars tend to be at least double as high as in beer bars, roughly around 500-1,000 Baht or even more for "stunners" and "show girls".
Naturally, the "compensation fee" that GoGo girls charge for additional sexual services in your room also doubles or triples the amount that an average looking bar girl would ask for. Expect to spend a minimum of 2,000 Baht all-inclusive. Short-time rates (sex for an hour or so) may start at around 1,000 Baht at the cheaper venues while long-time rates are roughly between 2,000 and 4,000 Baht (the sky is the limit). Pattaya Bar GirlsPattaya GoGo Bars
Having said that GoGo bars are primarily hostess bars catering to single male tourists, they can certainly provide great fun for more adventurous couples, too. A-GoGo bars have become a substantial feature of Pattaya's (in)famous nightlife and synonymous with Pattaya's notorious "sex industry". A visit to a GoGo bar should therefore be on every tourist's must-see-list in Pattaya, even if it's just to get a first impression and you should leave it again on your own - or with your wife of 25 years!
Pattaya Gay Scene, Ladyboys & Transvestite Shows
As the rest of Thailand, Pattaya is extremely gay-friendly and has a fairly developed gay scene, including gay bars, A-GoGo bars and show bars with attractive young male dancers, transvestite cabaret theatres, gay massage parlours and other gay-friendly establishments.
Albeit less developed than its straight bar scene, Pattaya's gay bar scene is similarly organized. There are both conventional beer bars where you can have a drink and chat with the male staff, as well as A-GoGo clubs or show bars, which feature erotic dance and show performances. The only difference from straight bars is that the service staff, the hosts and dancers, are young and attractive males instead of bar girls.
The two most popular gay entertainment areas in South Pattaya are Sunee Plaza/Soi Day-Night (off South Pattaya Road) and the world-famous Boyz Town (Pattayaland Soi 3, off Pattaya 2nd Road) where an abundance of gay bars and GoGo clubs, massage parlours "for men by men", gay-friendly restaurants and related establishments are located. A few gay bars can also be found on Pattayaland Soi 1 and 2. Boyz Town is the indisputable epicentre of Pattaya's gay nightlife. This short and narrow cul-de-sac is packed with A-GoGo and show bars, and if you can't get laid here, you can't get laid anywhere. Boyz Town is more expensive than Sunee Plaza, but you can be sure to find top quality entertainment here. Sunee Plaza, on the other hand, has gained a reputation for younger boys - some well below the minimum age of 18; so to avoid legal consequences, better be careful and ask the boy to show you his ID card before engaging in more intimate activities. Underage prostitution is strictly prohibited by Thai law! Jomtien has also developed its own popular gay scene. While Jomtien's own gay beach, Dongtan Beach, is a popular daytime meeting point for local boys and Western gays, Jomtien Complex features a growing number of gay bars and nightclubs, some of which also feature show entertainment. Pattaya Gay Scene
Another typical feature of Pattaya's nightlife are Thailand's unique katoeys aka ladyboys. Often more attractive than the "real thing", Pattaya's ladyboys are famous for their sexy looks and their potential to offer you a sexual experience of a different and slightly "sleazier" kind. While most ladyboys work as freelance prostitutes on Walking Street and Pattaya Beach Road, there's also a rising number of bars and pick-up joints specifically designated to katoeys.
Pattaya's two most famous ladyboy shows can be enjoyed at Alcazar and Tiffany Cabaret - both located on the northern section of Pattaya 2nd Road (not far from the Central Festival Center and Big C). Both are neither GoGo bars nor ladyboy pick-up joints; but if you fancy professional Las Vegas-style cabaret shows performed by female impersonation artists, then you surely should not miss these two places.
Tiffany and Alcazar have been in business for more than 20 years and are renowned across the world for their fantastic, professional ladyboy shows. Regular televised beauty pageants are additional attractions for visitors ... Pattaya Ladyboys: Ladyboy Bars, Areas & Meeting Points
Discos & Nightclubs in Pattaya
Nightclub and coyote dance club on Walking Street which purportedly has the "sexiest ladies in Thailand coming for fun every night." World-renowned DJs mixing up a "hectic-electric blend of beats and basslines" (from club music, trance and house music, to mainstream pop), hot Thai girls and a great party atmosphere have made Club Insomnia one of Pattaya's most favourite nightclubs and pick-up joints. LimaLima Club Bali Hai Plaza, southern end of Walking Street
Reportedly popular with Russian clubbers, LimaLima promotes itself as the "biggest" disco and nightclub in Pattaya and takes pride in having brought many international DJs and artists to Funtown. LimaLima has two dance floors with Techno, mainstream dance and Hip Hop music. LimaLima charges no entry fee and reportedly offers "inexpensive" drinks.
Stylishly decorated, and rather expensive, "dance club" on Walking Street and one of the hottest spots in Pattaya, with plenty of freelance ladies on the prowl. The music is generally mainstream American Hip Hop, Gangsta rap and R&B, with live music on the weekends. Lucifer is notorious for double-tier pricing and charging foreign revelers double the price for their drinks. Given the fancy cave-like interior design and the entertainment you're getting, it's definitely still worth a visit though. Marine Disco
Marine Disco, located in the very heart of Walking Street, has been in business for decades and become an institution in Pattaya's nightlife. Due to the many freelance hookers - often on their second shift of the night after having been bar-fined in their regular venues and taken for a "short time" already - Marine has gained an infamous reputation not only as a discotheque but rather as an after-hour pick-up joint. MIXX Nightlife Disco
Bali Hai Plaza, 3rd floor (at the Bali Hai Pier at the southern end of Walking Street)
Promoted as "Pattaya’s first upscale disco," MIXX Nightlife actually combines two discos in one. If you’re into House music or Trance, then you’ll enjoy the Crystal Palace with its modern, funky atmosphere and state-of-the-art technology. If your taste in music runs more towards R&B or Hip Hop, Rouge Club is the place for you. MIXX opens nightly from 9pm till late, with the "best international and Thai DJs and very beautiful dancers." Popular exceedingly with Russian revelers. The Pier
Pattaya's newest and "most exciting" nightclub in the heart of Walking Street (former location of Polo Club) opened only in 2013 but has quickly established itself as one of Pattaya’s most popular disco clubs. Please check their website for their weekly schedule, special events, guest DJs etc. Star Dice
Located at the Pattaya Garden Resort on Naklua Road, North Pattaya, Star Dice Entertainment is a large traditional Thai-style discotheque featuring live music and show entertainment. You are welcome to bring your own bottle of whisky and order only the mixers and the ice cubes. No double-tier pricing as in the pick-up joints on Walking Street, but no freelance hookers either. Popular with locals and tourists alike. Tony's Disco & Entertainment Complex
Large entertainment complex with live music and dance show entertainment at the southern end of Walking Street. Same concept as Marine Disco and one of Walking Street's favourite meeting points for freelance "ladies of the night." In other words: a pick-up-joint.
Warning: Tony's has become notorious for excessive double-tier pricing. While drinks are sold at very moderate prices to local girls, it's a rather expensive venue for foreign revellers who are expected to pay at least double the regular drinking prices. Nonetheless, a visit to Tony's has become an integral part of an excursion into Pattaya's nightlife and should be on every night owls's "must-see" list. Decide for yourself whether you love or hate Tony's.
Other forms of evening entertainment include live music venues, Thai-style pubs and karaoke bars, which are exceedingly popular with the locals.
Although the main reason to visit a karaoke bar may be to "sing-a-song", some karaoke bars also employ hostesses and operate as Thai-style short-time bars. As they mainly cater to Thai clients, however, and the volume and quality of the singing performances might not completely meet your Western taste, it's probably more advisable to stick to the farang-oriented bars if you're in search of accompanied evening fun.