Pattaya Newbie Guide Thailand
You might ask, ‘why Pattaya?’ rather than your usual holiday destination. Have you ever wondered what it is like to have women run after you like you’re a star? Sick of women who think a man’s duty is to do everything and anything to keep her happy? Sick of paying large amounts of money to have the company of women? Want to travel to an exotic land where people are friendly and talking to females is as easy as breathing? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Thailand, and in particular Pattaya, may be for you.
You can spot the guys on their first trip to Pattaya from a hundred metres (yards). They have a certain look in their eye that states that they can not believe what they are experiencing. It is not easy to describe what can, and does, happen in Pattaya to those who have not experienced it. It is like nothing else on the planet and is often described as ‘Disneyland for adults.’ Just imagine a world where, as far as sex is concerned, the role of males and females are reversed. Females become the hunter and males the controlling influence on how often sex is preformed. How does two or more sex partners in one day sound?
Image walking down the street and having nubile women scream after you to come have a drink with them. Not only that but once you have got to know them a little you have the option of them accompanying you for the rest of the night. The cost to you is dependant on how generous you are. You need not even need to discuss how much you will give her the following day as she will say ‘up to you.’ In reality upwards of 1500 Baht is expected depending on where you find her. This and much more is available in Pattaya. Again it is all as easy as breathing.
Time with ladies is uncomplicated as long as you follow some simple rules. Also with common sense you will remain safe and in good health.
This all comes with one warning. After a first visit to Pattaya many men are often addicted for life. Interests and hobbies you had in the past will be sacrificed as your energies will be focused on your next trip. Many people stop going out in their home countries to save money for their next visit. You may never be the same again!
Need an excuse to come? Other than the nightlife and ladies there are other activities in the area. Pattaya is also a popular golfing destination. There are crocodile and tiger zoos to visit along with tropical gardens and temples. There are fun parks and if water sports are your thing then there is diving, jet skiing and parasailing.
There are common misconceptions of Thailand that may make people think twice before coming on a first visit. Due to the western media many people have the wrong idea of Thailand. Many people have the impression that the men who travel as ‘sex tourists’ are losers, somehow. On the contrary many who come to Pattaya are very successful in their chosen field of work.
Another misconception is that men come to Thailand because of the availability of children. Unfortunately this does occur in Thailand, like anywhere, but it is not common. As a visitor you will be very unfortunate if you see this occur. Just repeating this is very uncommon in Thailand.
Prostitution is viewed a lot differently in Thailand as it is in the west. The Thai form of Buddhism is very liberal in this regard. As long as it has benefits for the family it is not totally against their beliefs. Even though the foreign (farang) sector of the industry seems huge it pails into significance compared to the local market. Prostitution is not strictly illegal but doing so in a ‘promiscuous manner is but this has no practical affect on visitors.
Whatever your thoughts of Thailand now they will be different after your first visit. For a lot of older guys it reignites a spark in them as they rediscover the delights of spending time with attractive young ladies. For younger guys it is a place to party and have fun while not having to worry about pandering to potential partners. There really is plenty for everyone!
Read on and you will learn what to expect on your first trip and how to make the most of your time in Pattaya. You will soon discover why Thailand is also called The Land of Smiles (LOS).
Cultural background of Pattaya Ladies
Any single guy who travels to Pattaya is going for one reason and one reason only; the ladies. Pattaya is reputed to have 30,000 working girls in about 3000 bars. This number varies during the year but rest assured there are always far more ladies than guys looking for one.
First of all we’ll have a look at where most of them girls come from and what their goals are and frame them in their culture. Where the ladies come from and ‘face’ is discussed on this page. The following page discusses the goals and views of the Thai ladies. After reading the two sections you will have a better understanding of Pattaya ladies.
Background of Pattaya Ladies
Most of the ladies that you will find in Pattaya come from a region in Thailand called Issan. This is the area in the north east of the country. It is culturally influenced by Laos in the north and Cambodia in the south. It is a poor rural area where the main source of income is growing rice.
The ladies who travel to Pattaya tend to be from poor families and have little education. Many have had a child with a previous partner (usually Thai) which places further financial pressure on them.
Unlike in our countries there is no social security safety net. In Thailand if you don’t work you don’t have an income. To replace the systems that we take for granted Thai children are conditioned to feel an obligation to support their parents when the need arrives. A large part of the burden is placed on the eldest daughter. High unemployment in Issan means that the need is nearly always present.
Many of the girls are driven to Pattaya under, either actual or perceived, pressure to provide financial support to their families. The pressure is even more so for those ladies with children. Also, they often come with the plan to find a foreigner to marry them and look after both them and their families.
Unfortunately, many of the ladies find that the actuality of Pattaya is much different than the stories that they hear and that it is not so easy to find a ‘good man.’ It is not long before their hopes disappear and they become disillusioned. This is further discussed on the next section
Pattaya Ladies and the Family
To Thais the family is the most important thing. From birth they are conditioned to be dependent on their family. This is very different from the west where independence is more important. For instance, young children often sleep with their parents well beyond what would be tolerated in the west.
This conditioning is important due to the lack of a welfare system. It is up to the offspring to provide for the elder members of the family after they can no longer work. For whatever the reason, more of the responsibility to provide for the family fall on the females of the family.
Another important factor is that female children are not regarded as highly as the male children.
‘Face’ in Thailand
‘Face’ is an Asian human trait rather than just a Thai one. Basically it is their pride and how they are looked upon by others. It is normal in our countries for people to be told that they do or have done something wrong. In Thailand it is considered very rude to do this. It is something that the Thais will avoid as much as possible. Thais would much prefer to lie than to make someone feel uncomfortable.
Something that the bar girls don’t like is for a guy to take them and for the guy to return to the bar to take another lady. This tells everyone in the bar that she is no good, in their eyes. You will not be liked in a bar if you go about taking more than one lady from there if you go about it wrong.
Some people will tell you that the whole face thing is just to keep a guy on the hook. The girls really don’t want to lose a customer to another lady as she loses money. While this is no doubt a factor genuine feelings of being discarded are also at work.
How to go about taking more than one lady from the same bar so that everyone is happy will be discussed in a later section.
As previously stated Pattaya girls usually come from a poor rural family with a sense of obligation to provide for their families. The girls head to Pattaya after hearing stories of girls coming and making lots of money. They also have heard about how girls come and meet a rich farang who look after them and their family. Most come with the idea of marrying a nice man to release them from their obligations that are placed on them by their family.
Unfortunately, for the girls, the reality of Pattaya is rather different. Perhaps they meet a man that they think is good. He promises her many great and grand things. He goes home with the promise of coming back to marry her but she never hears from him again. Perhaps she hears and sees similar things from the girls that she is working with.
The result of this is that many Pattaya girls quickly take the view that farang men are theirs to take as much money from as possible. This will suit guys who only go to Pattaya for a couple of weeks. They can just go and have fun and not have to worry too much about attachments. However, this situation is full of traps for those who are unaware of the situation. Don’t be one of those guys!
There is no doubt some good girls in Pattaya but being a newbie don’t go there looking for one. The sharks are just waiting for you and they are good at what they do. The section below is a bit of a warning about bar girls.
Bar Girl’s Goals
From the previous sections you can see that a bar girl’s (BG) main aim is to make money. However, how this is done can be quite mischievous. Alone with the money she earns from guys who pay bar for her many will also try to find ‘sponsors.’ A sponsor is someone who sends her money on a regular basis (usually) on the premise that she no longer works in a bar. While the sponsor is not around she returns to her bar (or another one) and carries on like normal. Some Pattaya girls have more than one sponsor.
There are all sorts of scams that the girls pull on guys to extract money. Things like a sick buffalo or sick parents are common reasons. Some girls will be giving these sorts of stories to many men at the same time. It’s a great way to make money, isn’t it!!???
Something that you will need to learn is to block out their sweet talk. Pattaya girls can be very good at making you feel special. They are good at their job and this is to increase their earning capacity from you. This is not always the case but it is a good policy to assume that it is for a first trip.
Go to Thailand as a butterfly (someone who changes partners often) and you’ll have a great time with the girls in Pattaya. A common rule is what is called the ‘3 day rule.’ The idea is to never take a lady for more than 3 days in a row. This stops you (and her) becoming too attached. Some people have a 2 day rule and some even a 3 hour rule, but up to you.
It will be in your best interest to treat the girls well. A little goes a long way. Treat the girls right and most times you will get more in return. Show some respect and that will be returned too.
Due to the nature of the business in Pattaya many of the stories that you hear about the girls is negative. It is easy to think that all of the bar girls are cold and calculating.
Pattaya Freelancers and Other Options
There are other lady options available to you. These ladies are called freelancers as they are not associated with a particular bar. Some may work in a bar but not be working when you meet them or perhaps the lady has a normal job and goes with farangs for some extra money or fun.
The advantages of meeting a freelancer is that you may not have to pay a bar fine or buy lady drinks at inflated prices. Also, you may get a gogo girl who demands a higher price while she is at work for the same prices as a beer bar girl.
The main disadvantage is should she runs off with some of your stuff you will have a harder time tracking her down. If you use a bit of common sense you should have few problems.
You can meet freelancers in many places. These include along the beach, in discos and on Walking Street. Where you meet them will dictate how you go about engaging them but just smiling and saying hello is a good start. For a bargain gogo girl you will need to hit the late night discos.
You’ll find that many (but not all) of the ladies in central Pattaya will go with farangs. It is possible to meet a potential partner at any time of the day and anywhere you go. Places such as shopping areas and on Baht busses are great places to meet ladies. You may find a gem.
Even though there are many freelancers in central Pattaya don’t think for a second that all Thai females are. You could end up in trouble if you make unwanted advances. Before approaching a girl make eye contact and wait for a positive sign. If it is evident that she is not interested move on.
Thailand is well known for their ‘third gender.’ Ladyboys (LBs) are found everywhere in Pattaya. If you are not interested in going with one you will need to develop a special sense for them. LBs can look incredibly feminine and will fool many guys coming for the first time.
To pick a LB look for a straight waist, big feet and hands and observe ow they conduct themselves. A deep voice is also a giveaway. Any person who behaves very seductively to attract your attention deserves a good looking at before you proceed. In a later section I give some information on how to identify a ladyboy. More information on how to spot a ladyboy can be found in the Ladyboys – Can You Tell The Difference?
|Warning: Be very careful on Walking Street late at night. Recently there has been a large increase in the number of LBs working that street. It would be easy for a drunken guy to be fooled. I am sure this happens every night.|
Pattaya Bar Areas
For the majority of first time visitors to Pattaya the entertainment area of interest is contained in a small area starting at Walking Street in the south and extending about 3km north to Soi 2. The area occupies a strip extending back from the beach approximately 400m. This is not the whole bar scene in Pattaya but is the majority of it as far as visitors are concerned. In fact most visitors will not even think of venturing further in the early days of exploring Pattaya. On a first trip some people don’t even venture away from Walking Street.
What follows is a brief description of the various bar areas found in Pattaya. It is no means comprehensive. Bars can be found anywhere in the area but these areas contain a high concentration of bars and many visitors group them together in a similar fashion due to their different character.
Soi 2 and 3 Area
This area is dominated by open beer bars forming large complexes. In the area you will find most of the well known soapy massage parlours. This area has seen a decline in the number of bars. Most of the bars that where on Soi 2 have now disappeared. Most of the bars are now located on Second Road.
If Pattaya is unique then Soi 6 is a unique soi in a unique place. This place is infamous for it short time bars and debauched behaviour. A trip to Soi 6 is a must on any visit to Pattaya.
The area contains a mixture of closed air-conditioned bars and open bars similar to those in other areas of Pattaya. The open air bars tend to be drinking bars. There are some bars that have some gogo elements to them. Added to the mix are some normal pubs similar to those at home. Many of the bars have rooms upstairs for short time engagements which is very convenient.
Beware that visiting this soi for the first time is very intimidating for a lot of guys. You are unlikely to experience anything else like it. It would be a good idea to meet someone to show you around.
Sois 7 and 8
Crossing to the south side of Central Road are Sois 7 and 8.
Like the soi 2 and 3 ares this area is dominated by open beer bars. There are a number of gogo bars and some larger bars. The bars extend along the whole length of both sois and onto both Beach and Second Roads.
There are a lot of options in this area to keep most people happy for a long time. Unfortunately, like other similar areas, conflicting music from bars is a problem.
Over the years the number of bars in Soi 8 has declined due to development.
The Soi 13s
This area comprises Sois 13, 13/1 and 13/2. Soi 13/1 is commonly known as Soi Yamato and 13/2 as Soi Post Office.
This areas contains a mixture of open air bars, closed air-conditioned bars and small gogo bars. Some of the bars are short time bars with rooms available should the need arise.
Sois 13/3 and 13/4 are known as Pattayaland 1 and 2. This area is dominated by gogo bars with small open air beers in the mix.
This area is become more and more the domain of the establishments catering for gay visitors. The small L-shaped soi between Pattayaland 2 and Second Road is known as Boyz Town for obvious reasons.
If Pattaya has a heart then Walking Street is it. For many people this area is Pattaya. You will see all sorts of people in this area from mum and dad with the two kids to hard-core mongers. They all come for one reason and that is the sex trade. For the family visitor it is to look at it from the outside and for the single guy the reasons are obvious. You may at times feel like you are a zoo exhibit.
The main entertainment area on Walking Street extends for about 500m. On it you will find many gogo bars, open-air bars, pubs and discos. Some bars have live music while some are like those in the Soi 7 and 8 area. Prices are generally a bit higher here to compensate for higher rents.
Off Walking Street there are many sois to explore. Some of Pattaya best gogo bars are located on these sois so make sure you explore. In fact the bars make it easy for you as you will find people promoting the establishments at the corner of their soi and Walking Street.
No matter what your preferences Walking Street is a must do on a first trip. However, don’t get stuck there as it may be the heart of Pattaya but there is more soul elsewhere.
Soi Buakhao and Soi Diana Inn
A little bit out of the way is the area along Soi Diana Inn and onto Soi Baukhao. The area contains many open air bars and gogo bars. The L-shaped soi between these 2 sois (Soi LK Metro) shouldn’t be missed.
The area is fairly laid back and has somewhat of a different feel to it. There are a few good hotels in the area which make it a great place to stay if you want to be a little off the beaten track. This area is being discovered more and more by people.
In recent times many open-air bars and guesthouses on Soi LK Metro have been converted to gogo bars. There are about 16 gogo bars on this soi of varying quality. It is worth making the trip to check it out. However, I would not recommend booking accommodation on this soi due to the noise levels.
There are areas outside of central Pattaya worth exploring at some stage. These include Naklua to the north, East Pattaya and Jomtien. For a first visit there is more than enough to keep you occupied in Central Pattaya. It is probably best to leave these areas to later trips. There will be other trips!!
Pattaya Bar Types
Below is a description of most of the bar types you will come across in Pattaya. Some bars cross the boundary between the various types.
Beer Bar: or open air bar. They usually consist of stools arranged around a tight horseshoe bar and perhaps a few tables. You are able to pay bar for ladies at beer bars. In many cases they are grouped together with other bars to for a beer bar complex.
Short Time (ST) Bar: this is usually a closed air-conditioned establishment. The ladies in ST bars will generally give you a lot more personal attention than those in a beer bar. They have rooms attached to the premises or close by. As the name suggests these places concentrate on providing ladies that go short time. It is possible to take a lady long time but it will cost you more than from a beer bar and the ladies are not always keen to go long time. Soi 6 has many short time bars.
Blowjob Bar: blowjob bars are similar to ST bars except that they specialise in blowjobs. In some of the bars you can enjoy conversation with your mates while the girl does her work.
AGoGo (or GoGo bar): a closed and air-conditioned bar. These establishments have ladies that dance for your viewing pleasure. You may pay bar for any of the dancing ladies who is willing to go with you. Many gogo bars also have show girls. These ladies perform special shows which may be sexually explicit or choreographed dancing. These ladies may also be bar fined but in most establishments will cost more that the dancing girls. There is also a third option in these establishments. The service personal (ie the ladies serving you drinks) may also go with you if they like you. To confuse things a little more some gogo bars also have hostesses. Bar fines and drink prices are higher in these establishments than in beer bars.
Hostess Bar: Hostess bars are closed, air-conditioned bars and sort of occupy the middle ground between beer bars and gogo bars. They are somewhat classier than beer bars but on normal nights lack the dancing ladies of the gogo bars. There are ladies that you can pay bar for if you find one that you like. Bar fines and drinks are between those of beer bars and gogo bars.
Coyote Bar: this type of bar is similar to a hostess bar except that it employs coyote dancers. These ladies dance fully clothed although the clothes tend to be skimpy. As with the hostess bars not all the ladies will go with customers.
Pub: If you think of a British pub that is more or less what you will find in Pattaya. These places do not have ladies that you can pay bar for. Some of these type of places have live music. However, you can try your luck with the service personnel just like you can anywhere in the world. You probably stand a higher chance than in your home country.
Disco: These are more or less like what you will find at home with one rather large exception. At these places you are almost guaranteed to ‘pick up’ a lady. Freelancers swarm to these establishments. Many of them are sponsored ladies, students or ‘normal’ ladies looking for a bit of fun and/or extra money. In Pattaya there is no entrance fee but the drinks are comparatively expensive.
Soapy: While not strictly a bar they are a popular alternative for having some fun. These places are massage parlours where ‘extras’ are part of the deal. Typically you will pick a lady from one sitting in an area behind a glass screen (commonly known as the goldfish bowl) and head to a private room. The lady will wash you then subject you to a massage involving lots of soap and bubbles. It is something that everyone should experience at least once. If you are still up for it you then proceed to the bed for some more fun.
Massage Parlour: again while not a bar these establishments also offer sexual pleasures. Typically after your massage you will be blatantly or subtly be advised that extra services are available. Not every massage parlour offer extras.
How Pattaya Bars Work
For the bar owner bars work in the same way as at home. The owner is out to make a living. In Thailand there are Thai owners and farang owners. The aim of most farang owners is to support their lifestyle in Pattaya. Some succeed but most don’t in the long term. It is often said that to make a small fortune in Pattaya from a bar you should start with a large fortune. Anyway for a visitor this is not important.
Because bars in Pattaya employ prostitutes they don’t work in the same way as at home. For a start you don’t have to make any effort to have a young attractive lady to give you some attention. On the contrary you may find yourself fending them off.
Role of the Ladies
If you ask most farang bar owners if they consider themselves to be pimps they will tell you that they are not. This position is debatable but in effect that is what is being provided in bars.
For the bar owner the ladies are there to earn them money. They do this by attracting customers to the bar. This is achieved by them being present in the bar (if they are attractive) or through gentle (or sometime playful aggressive) persuasion. Once in the bar they then encourage customers to stay as long as possible and buy them drinks. This is achieved by them entertaining you using their womanly charms.
For the ladies their aim is also to earn money. They achieve this through you buying them drinks, tips, bar fines, possibly monthly income from the bar and from providing escort services. Some of these will be explained shortly.
Something that you will notice very quickly is that you are not required to pay for each drink as you get them. Instead bits of paper are placed in a small pot in front of you. This is called a check bin. They are very convenient but not without risk.
Some bars will try to put extra drinks in your check bin, or bin for short. This is called padding. You should not be paranoid about this as it is not overly common. You’ll quickly get to know where you need to be more careful. It is acceptable, and advisable, for you to check what has been put in your bin from time to time.
As touched on in an earlier section bar girls derive part of their income from drinks bought for them by customers. These are known as lady drinks. How it works is that you buy the drink and the bill is put in your check bin. The girl also gets a receipt for the drink which she later exchanges for cash from the bar.
What sort of drink she gets depends on the bar and what she likes to drink. The drink may be in a small glass (a thimble would be a better description!) or the same drink that would be supplied to any customer. Gogo bars tend to be less generous with the size of the lady drink. Be warned that in general lady drinks cost more than your own drinks. A ball park figure would be about 120 Baht per drink depending on what she drinks.
In some places the ladies can be very pushy when it comes to lady drinks. Just remember that you are not required to buy them. A simple rule that a lot of people follow is that if a lady asks for a drink she doesn’t get one. The better places to spend your time are those where the ladies do not ask for drinks.
Buying lady drinks is a good way of having fun. You will get attention from the lady that you are buying them for. You can have a harem of girls surrounding you if you don’t mind spending a bit of money. In gogo bars you can have more fun with a lady for the price of a drink than with a lap dancer in our countries.
Be aware that buying a lady a drink in a gogo bar may not free her from her dancing duties.
Another way that the ladies make money is from tips. Tips are expected for service and should be paid when you pay your bill. Generally not a lot is required and between 10 and 50 Baht is enough, depending how long you spent in the bar. These tips are spilt amoungst the ladies in the bar at the end of the night.
Some guys give tips directly to the girls. The tips are for various reasons and probably the most common one is that she gave some good attention to a guy while he was in the bar. Other guys will give tips to ladies in gogos who put on a good show or just because they want to get her attention.
You may see people giving tips as high as 500 or even 1000 Baht!! You should avoid giving this much. To put things in perspective a girl working in a shop in Thailand is lucky to earn 1000 Baht for working one week. The result of guys giving large tips is that the girls receiving the tips will be less likely to want to be bar fined. Why would she go with a guy if she can earn more collecting tips?
Up a couple of grades from buying lady drinks is ‘ringing the bell.’ In every bar you enter you will see a bell. This has a special purpose and no doubt has cost many newbies more money than they would like to have spent.
When a bell in a bar is rung it means that the bell ringer wants to buy everyone in the bar a drink. This includes all the customers and all the ladies. You’ll be surprised how many ladies can come out of the woodwork once a bell has been rung!!
In gogo bars it can be a little less simple. Many have more than one bell. Usually they are marked as to what they are for. A bell that only buys all the dancing ladies a drink is probably the most common extra bell.
So you have spent some time in a bar, bought a few drinks for yourself and a lady. You decide that you like her and would like to spend some time with her away from the bar. This is the time when a bar fine is required.
What a bar fine is supposed to do is to compensate the bar for the loss of one of its workers. It’s not really important if there is more to it than that as it is a requirement if you want to take her away. In most cases the bar fine is not open for negotiation. If you do get a discount on the bar fine (that you agreed with the lady) you are probably taking money out of her pocket. That is probably not a good way of getting a good performance from her.
In a beer bar the bar fine is added to you check bin. You can either pay up then and leave with her or stay around for some more drinks. It is up to you (you will here this expression a lot in Pattaya.)
Usually in a gogo bar you are required to pay bar (ie pay the bar fine) for a lady as soon as you agree to do so. She is then free to change into her street clothes.
Beer bars tend to have bar fines of between 300 and 400 Baht. Gogo bars are a bit more variable with most charging 600 to 800 Baht. Many gogo bars have ladies who do special shows or temporary staff for which the bar fine tends to be higher. Also during the peak season many gogo bars raise their bar fines.
What to expect from a lady you have paid bar for will be discussed in a later section.
There is one position in a bar that you should be aware of. The role of a mamasan is to manage the ladies. This is more onerous in a gogo bar as she has to manage the dancers effectively. She will know all the ladies so she is a good person to seek if you have any special requirements that you are looking for on a particular night. An example of this is if you are looking for two ladies as she will know which ladies are prepared to do this. It is a good idea to compensate her for good service (eg buy her a drink.)
Hours of operation
You will always find bars open in Pattaya. The beer bars are open 24 hours a day. The only exception is on special holidays, election days and other special events. Even during these times you should be able to find somewhere to drink.
The gogo bars are a little different. They close at about 3am every night.
Some discos close are about 4am but then others don’t get going until 3am. These are great places to meet ladies without the need to pay a bar fine. This will be explained further in a later section.
Pattaya General Information
If you have got this far through the guide I guess you are interested in a trip to Pattaya. This page gives some general information about Pattaya. We’ll then look at visas, getting yourself from the airport to Pattaya, accommodation and what to expect once you are there.
Pattaya is located on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. It is approximately 150km from Bangkok and 125km from Suvanabhumi airport. Travel time from Bangkok is approximately two hours and from the airport one and a half hours. The road is good now that the road works have been completed.
Pattaya was a small fishing village until US serviceman began arriving on R&R breaks from the Vietnam war via the nearby U-Tapao airport. With their arrival the bar scene that is present today began to develop.
Being the oldest international beach resort in Thailand means that you should not expect to see real Thailand in Pattaya. On the contrary it is quite unique. Also don’t come to Pattaya if all you want is the beach. There are far more attractive beaches to go to than those near Pattaya.
There are four areas in Pattaya that may be of interest to the first time visitor. North Pattaya, also know as Naklua is north of the round-a-bout at the junction of Beach and Second roads. There are many bars in the area and they tend to be dominated by German nationals.
To the south of South Pattaya Road is known as South Pattaya. In this area is the highly active area known as Walking Street. For many people this is the be all and end all in Pattaya. Click on the map below for a larger version.
Between South and North Pattaya is Central Pattaya. There are many bars and gogos in this area and is where most people find accommodation during their stay.
South of South Pattaya is Jomtien. There is a bar scene there but it is more subdue than in Pattaya. The six kilometre beach is more attractive than the one in Pattaya.
Transportation is quick, easy and cheap between the areas by use of baht bus system. This will be detailed in a later section.
There are a number of different options for entry into Thailand. The option you use will depend on how long and/or how often you want to travel to Thailand.
For the nationals of many countries it is possible to enter Thailand at an international airport without applying for a visa before entering. For this type of entry all you need is a valid passport and proof that you have transportation organised to leave the country (this requirement is generally not enforced). It is possible to extend your stay in Thailand for up to 30 days but if you want to stay for longer than 30 days obtaining a tourist visa is advisable.
The list of countries covered by this scheme: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and N. Ireland, United States of America, Vietnam.
You can apply for a tourist visa before you arrive in Thailand. These are issued for stays of up to 60 days. They can be extended for up to an extra 30 days. Like with the non-visa entry extension you are not guaranteed to be given an extension. If you are going to Thailand for longer than 30 days this is the minimum you should consider.
The personal and documents requirements for this visa varies between different embassies/consulates so it is best to contact your nearest office for advice. This is also true for the multiple entry visa that is discussed below.
If you would like to stay for longer you have a number of options. It is possible to get a multiple entry visitor visa. Your visa be a multiple entry visa which is valid for 6 months. Each stay is up to 60 days and at the end of each period you will need to leave Thailand before returning. There is no minimum length of time that you stay out of the country before you can re-enter.
Once your visa and/or number of entries have expired you can use the non-visa entry scheme to stay longer. You can either leave the country by air or land. If you depart and arrive back in Thailand via an international airport you will be given a 30 day stay. However, if you arrive at a land crossing you may only be given 15 days. People from G7 countries (UK, US, Japanese, German, French, Canadian and Italian) may be given 30 day stays at land crossings. Be warned that in recently time the authorities has taken steps the reduce the number of times an individual can repeatedly do this in an attempt to reside in Thailand.
There is another class of visas available for those wanting to spend an extended length of time in the country. These are the Non-Immigrant visas which are either single entry or multiple entry visas. Each stay is up to 90 days before a boarder run is necessary. The multiple entry visas are valid for 12 months. If you have a multiple entry visa and your timing is correct, and you do a boarder run on the last day that the visa is valid, you can stay for 90 days after the expiration of the visa. The availability of these visas has become very difficult for those under the age of 50. For those 50 or over the documentation requirements have become more strict. Reportedly these visas are no longer being issued in countries bordering Thailand.
Many people over-stay their visas for various reasons. Most people seem to have no problem with this as long as they voluntarily leave the country ie go to the airport or border crossing to leave the country. However, if you are caught in Thailand over-staying your visa you are in for an unpleasant experience. You will find yourself in jail until preparations are made for you to be deported at your own expense. Do not over-stay your visa!
If you do over-stay your visa and you leave on your own accord you may be required to pay a fine. There is no fine for an over-stay of one day. For two days the fine is 1000 Baht and every day after is 500 Baht.
Beware that both the day you arrive and the day you leave is one day each. Also if you go through immigration at 11pm but you flight is at 1am the following day it is the day that your flight leaves that is important.
Be warned that from the 20th of March 2016 over-stayers will be treated far more harshly than in the past. If you overstay by more than 90 days and present your self at immigration on departure you may be banned from entering the country for one year. If it is more than 1 year the ban is 3 years, for more than 3 years a 5 year ban may be imposed. For those over-staying by more than 5 years the ban is 10 years. The important thing to remember is that for less than 90 days you will only be fined. However, there is a danger for those overstaying by even one day.
If you are asked to show your passport or arrested for something else and are found to have overstayed by even a day you may be banned from returning to Thaialnd. If your overstay is less than one year the ban is 5 years and if more than one year it is 10 years.
This is summarised in the table below. Don’t overstay!!
Being a popular holiday destination there are many accommodation options available for your stay. In recent years accommodation has been difficult to obtain in the high season. For this reason it is best to book before you travel. This season starts towards the end of December and ends in the middle part of February.
It is probably best to book for visits in December through to March. Outside of these months it is possible to arrive in Pattaya and find accommodation. This is a good option as you can see what you are going to get. However, for a first time visitor this may not be a viable option as how do you know where to go? You may well be at the mercy of your taxi driver. A better option is to book somewhere for a few days and have a look around
It is possible to find accommodation in Pattaya starting at about 200 Baht a night. Unless you are on a backpacking budget you should avoid this type of accommodation. Prices from there go up to as much as you want to pay.
The most basic type of accommodation advisable is guesthouse type establishments. These places start at about 500 Baht a night and are very good value.
The next step up is three to four star hotels. These range in price from about 1000 Baht to around 2000 Baht. Again these are very good value especially compared to the prices we pay at home.
The next step up is the four to five star hotels and luxury resort type of accommodation. Like anywhere these can be expensive and they tend to charge world-class prices. There are many options for this type of accommodation in Pattaya.
The management and staff of hotels in Pattaya are fully aware that you will be inviting guests to your room. This accepted as normal and you should feel comfortable doing so.
The area in which you stay in Pattaya should be dictated by what you expect to do. For a first visit it is advisable to stay in central Pattaya. This allows quick and easy access to the best that Pattaya has to offer.
Warning: Some hotels (especially the high end hotels) will charge you if you take a lady (who didn’t book in with you) to your room. This is called a joiner fee and is in the range of 300 to 500 Baht per night. Many places will charge you if you take a second lady to your room also. If this concerns you you should, and can, ask before booking.
When you are trying to decide where to stay you will also want to think about security. Many hotels and guesthouses have safes in their rooms, but not all. These are not your bomb-proof safes but they are sufficient. For your first visit it is a good idea to get a room with a safe to keep you important documents, expensive items and cash in. These safes are usually electronic user set combination lock type safes.
The level of general security of the hotels is variable too. Many hotels will check and record the ladies details from her ID card. Some will keep her ID card until she leaves. The most secure hotels will call your room before allowing the ladies to leave if you are not with them. If you want a certain level of security make sure you ask before booking.
Incidently guesthouse type accommodation generally provides the lowest level of security. If you want to increase it, and they have a bar that is open 24 hours, you may be able to pre-arrange for them to take the ladies ID cards that go to your room.
Tip: If your hotel requires the ladies you take back to leave their ID card before going to your room it is a good idea to ask them if they have an ID card before paying bar.
Getting to Pattaya and Away Again
Suvanarnabhumi (pronounced sue–wan-na-poom) Airport is Bangkok’s international airport. It opened in September 2006.
The airport is 30km east of Bankok and 125km, by road, from Pattaya. For more detailed information about the airport, including maps, please refer to bangkokairportonline.com.
Arriving at the airport
After disembarking you will need to make your way to immigration. Depending on which gate you arrived at it can be a considerable walk. Lines at immigration can be non-existant to considerable. A wait of up to one hour is possible depending on how many flights arrived before yours.
Before approaching the immigration counter have your completed arrival card, boarding pass and departure details handy. When it is your turn to be processed give the immigration officer your passport, arrival card and boarding pass. You may be asked to show your departure details.
Your checked baggage is collected from the carousels shortly after immigration. There are currency exchange booths in this area so you can change money while waiting for your baggage. However, they will only accept cash and not traveller’s cheques. The rates you get here a little less than elsewhere so only change as much as you need to get you to Pattaya. Converting money will be discussed in more detail in a later section.
Once you have collected you luggage you can make your way through customs. You are unlikely to be stopped at customs. However do not be tempted to carry more cigarettes or alcohol than is permitted as the fines are high and will cause you a lot of inconvenience if caught.
After customs you will exit either door number two or three, door number one is for domestic flights. This can cause some confusion should you have a taxi booked. If you have booked a taxi it is probably best to arrange to meet the driver at an exit from the terminal. These are numbered from 1 to 10. Number 1 is at the domestic side of the terminal. Door number 7 would be a good alternative.
There are numerous currency exchanges and ATMs on the arrivals level. Below is a map showing the arrivals level of the airport. The baggage carousels are located between immigration and customs. It is also possible to buy a SIM card for your phone.
Getting away from the airport
There are a number of options available to get to Pattaya from the airport. The first one that will be obvious is that offered by the numerous touts who will harass you after you enter the public area of the terminal. It is probably best to avoid using this service.
The most convenient method of getting to Pattaya is by taxi. This may sound expensive but by comparison it is not. The set price from the Airport to Pattaya is 1,400 Baht. It is not considered rude to try to negotiate a lower price and you should be able to get a lower fare. To find a taxi exit the terminal building on the arrivals level. You will see the colourful taxis parked up. Approach any of the people standing at tables near the taxis and tell them that you would like to go to Pattaya. You will find yourself in a taxi and on your way very quickly. You will be expected to pay the highway tolls (unless you have stipulated that they are included in the fare) but they don’t amount to very much.
There are a couple of companies who provide minibus service to Pattaya. These are cheaper than taxis but are not quite as convenient as they have a set timetable. More details of these services will be added once I have more information.
Another, even cheaper option is the use of public bus. To use this service, you go to level 1 (arrivals level) and locate Gate 8 to buy a ticket. The bus departs every hour on the hour from 07:00 to 22:00. The fare is 130 Baht and the trip is about 2 hours. You will need to take a taxi from the drop off point to your hotel.
Bell Travel Service runs a convenient bus service from the terminal to Pattaya. People using it have reported that it is a good service at the cost of 250 Baht each way.
If before you travel to Pattaya you spend some time in Bangkok a cheap option is to catch a bus. The trip takes a little over two hours and the service is regular. This service leaves from Ekamai bus station which is easily reached using the sky train. If you are planning on using this service make sure that you read the section about common scams.
Getting Away from Pattaya
This will probably one of the saddest days of your life! Again hard to understand until you have experienced it. Grown men have cried on the way to the airport!
To return to the airport after your visit all the same options are available. Taxis are cheaper from Pattaya to the airport and start from 800 Baht. While you are in Pattaya you will see many places offering taxi services back to the airport. Your hotel will also provide this service but you may pay a premium for that.
Obviously when you travel to another country things will be different to your own. Thailand is just not another country it is a different culture. You may offend people unless you know what to avoid. Also practical things that are taken for granted at home are different here too. This section contains Pattaya information that will make your first visit a lot easier.
This section has 2 pages. To view the next page use the ‘Next’ link at the bottom of the page to get more Pattaya information. Clicking anywhere else and you will leave this topic.
What to expect
If you have not travelled to a country with a different culture than your own Thailand will be a real eye opener for you. Things that you take for granted at home don’t exist or are done to a different standard. For example smells are different and they are not always pleasant due to the drainage system. Also watch your step as you may fall down an unmarked hole in the pavement. You will soon discover that if something goes wrong Thais can’t go running to the court to have someone else take responsibility for their inattention or apathy.
After the initial shock you will come to appreciate what Thailand has to offer. The fact that you are not wrapped in cotton wool often brings about a feeling of freedom. Political correctness has only made very short inroads into Thailand.
In Pattaya you will see, hear and feel things that will remain with you for a long time.
The thing that will stay with you for the longest time will be the beauty and character of the Pattaya ladies. The experience of having nubile women screaming and waving at you to get your attention is something that every man should experience at least once.
The budget of visitors to Pattaya varies enormously. It is really up to you how much you spend. Some people get by on a budget of 2000 Baht a day, after paying for accommodation, while others spend 10s of thousands of Baht a day.
Those on low budgets tend to not drink or only do so at the cheapest of places. Taking ladies ‘short time’ (short time means for an hour or two) helps to reduce costs. It is not advisable to try to stick to a budget this tight. It is your holiday and you should be out to make the most of your time.
At the other end of the scale are the ‘one week millionaires.’ These people spend up big. They do so by buying many drinks for the ladies and customers in bars (‘ringing the bell’ – this will be explained in the next section.) Also they may take more than one lady a day and eat at expensive restaurants. Giving large tips to the ladies in bars is another way to spend up big.
A very good time can be had on a budget between these two extremes. By limiting the number of drinks you buy others you can cut your expenses enormously. There is nothing wrong with only buying drinks for yourself and the lady you are talking to in a bar. Don’t get suckered into buying a lot of drinks for her ‘friends.’ Likewise eating the very tasty local food will cut costs.
For a good trip a budget of between 5,000 and 7,000 Baht a day after accommodation costs is adequate. As this is your first trip keeping some extra funds available would be advisable. You don’t want to spend your last few days in the hotel because you went over budget a little.
People have different ideas of how to take your spending money to Thailand. The options are taking cash, traveller cheques and ATM cards.
Do not buy Thai Baht before you go to Thailand. The rate you will get for your currency in Thailand will be significantly more. Any currency can be changed at the Bangkok airport. A currency exchange is never far away in Pattaya.
Taking cash is very convenient but is not without risk. If you lose the cash it is gone and therefore it is better to use other options to bring your spending money from home. It is a good idea to bring a small amount of cash for the ease of converting it to Baht. It is best to bring currency of the country you are from. This will save you converting your own currency an intermediate currency resulting in higher costs. If you are coming from the US bring larger notes as you will get a slightly better rate and be aware that notes produced in certain years are not easy to change due to the existence of counterfeit notes.
Traveller cheques are a far more secure way of bringing funds to Thailand. They usually cost a little when you buy them and then cost a little more when they are cashed in Thailand (33 Baht per cheque.) However you will get a slightly better rate than for cash. Due to the charges associated with using ATM cards traveller cheques may be a cheaper option that using your ATM card.
In Pattaya you are never far from an ATM machine. They accept the same cards are anywhere else in the world. Fees payable on ATM transactions will be dictated by your bank and by the Thai bank. Currently there is a 180 Baht fee charged by Thai banks for using a foreign ATM card.
Warning: credit card fraud is very high in Thailand. It is a good idea to never use your card to pay for anything in Thailand. If you must then do not let them take the card out of your view. Also if you plan to use your card in Thailand (either for payment or in ATMs) inform your bank before you leave home. Many people have had a stop put on their cards because they neglected to inform their bank.
Thailand uses 220 Volts at 50 Hertz. Two plug types are common; the US two prong plug and two round prong plug common in Singapore.
If you wish to bring appliances to Thailand you need to first check that they are compatible with the voltage. Many portable appliances are now dual voltage meaning that they can use 100 – 240 Volts. They can also work with different frequencies. Laptop computers should have no problems in Thailand but check on the transformer to ensure that they can use 220 Volts.
While you are in Pattaya there is no reason not to stay in touch with people at home. There are many good and cheap internet cafes in Pattaya. They tend to charge 20 or 30 Baht an hour and most will charge a minimum of 10 Baht. It is not advisable to use the cafes to log into things like banking. There are reported cases of some establishments using key loggers.
It is convenient to be able to have people in Pattaya contact you. This might be guys who you meet or the girls if you like. If you have a GSM phone that accepts a SIM card you can use this in Pattaya. If your phone is locked to a network you can get it unlocked at little cost.
SIM cards are easy to get. The Thai government passed a law that all SIM cards must be registered and ID recorded at the time of purchase. A SIM card can be bought for as little as 100 Baht with a small amount of credit. Local calls will cost in the region of 1 or 2 Baht a minute. Recharge cards can be bought at all 7-elevens and Family Mart stores that are never far away.
Pattaya enjoys a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: warm and dry (November to February), hot and humid (March to May), and hot and rainy (June to October). The most comfortable time of year coincides with the peak tourist season, which is over the Christmas and New Year period.
The chart below details the average temperatures and rainfall figures for Pattaya
Staying Safe and Healthy
If you follow some basic rules you will stay safe and healthy in Pattaya. The city is a fairly safe area but like everywhere can turn ugly if you put yourself in a bad situation.
Saying safe and stay out of trouble in Pattaya
You do not want to get involved in a heated argument with a Thai or get between two arguing Thais. Also don’t get involved in an argument between a Thai and other farangs. If you get in this situation you could get yourself into a lot of trouble as Thais nearby will take the Thais side regardless of the situation. The results can be very unpredictable.
It is not a good idea to show extravagant wealth in Thailand. Remember that our idea of extravagant wealth is different from the Thai’s view. Don’t flash a lot of cash around and try not to display expensive jewellery or camera equipment, for example.
Keeping a level head will keep you out of trouble in Thailand. Also try not to get too drunk, at least until you know where you need to avoid. If you do find yourself in a situation with a Thai do a lot of smiling and do your best to back out of it. You’ll find that the Thias use smiling as a way to avoid, or even reverse, a bad situation.
It may be obvious that condoms are a must but many guys still do not use them, at least, from time to time. Some guys proudly state that they rarely or never use them. Most guys who don’t use them from time to time do so because of having too much to drink. Perhaps another reason to limit your consumption!
Asian condoms are a little smaller than what you will get at home. Also the quality may not be quite as good. For these reasons it is best to bring your own from home. Also, it is a good idea to have some personal lubricant available.
If you run out of condoms or neglect to bring them larger sized condoms are available. Look for Durex Comfort condoms or a similar product from another brand. What yuo are looking for is a condom that had 56mm on the box as shown right. As shown ‘mm’ does not appear in English but you are looking for the numbers 56 on the box.
Once you have decided that Pattaya it is for you it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about immunisations. It is important to do this early as some immunisations must be done over a period of time.
One immunisation that you should consider that takes some time is for hepatitis A and B. You can get hepatitis A from eating infected food and hepatitis B from contaminated bodily fluids. There is no immunisation know for hepatitis C which like hepatitis B can be contracted during unprotected sex.
There are other immunisations that you may need to update but your doctor is best to advise you one this. If you have a good relationship with your doctor it is a good idea to inform him/her of what you plan to do while you are in Thailand
Almost all of the food you will get in Thailand will cause you no problems. However, it is not without risk. What you are prepared to eat will depend on how adventurous you are.
Getting diarrhoea is a risk in Thailand and you need to be prepared for it. Most people experience a mild case of diarrhoea but few suffer greatly. It is a good idea to keep a supply of Imodium in your room while you are there. It is easily obtainable from any pharmacy in Pattaya.
Thailand Police and the Law
The police system in Thailand works a little differently than that at home. The government pays their police force very little and the community becomes responsible for supporting the police financially. Police in Thailand are commonly known as the BiB (boys in brown) due to their uniform.
For most tourists this will have no consequences for them but you should be aware of how things work should something happen. This could save you some time and frustration.
If you find yourself being talked to by a police officer in Thailand you should be aware that trying to convince him that you have done nothing wrong is pointless. It is better to be humble, smile a lot and cop what is coming. With a bit of luck what you have been caught for is minor (eg not wearing a helmet on a motorbike) and the problem can get sorted quickly.
In most cases small problems can be sorted quickly and you will have two choices. You can get a fine from the officer and you will have to go directly to the station and pay up. The easy way is to leave the fine in the care of the officer who you are talking to. This can save you a lot of time and hassles at the station.
If you have done something more serious it will take longer and may result in you spending time in the monkey house (ie jail.)
There are three things that will almost definitely cause you a lot of problems and will highly likely result in jail time: under-aged ladies, drugs and visa overstays.
As far as a foreign man is concerned the age of consent in Thailand is 18. For a Thai couple it is less but that is irrelevant. Also remember that a lot of countries can prosecute their residents for crimes committed overseas. Don’t come to Thailand if you are not prepared to abide by this law.
Being in possession of drugs is not smart in any country and even more so in Thailand due to the stiff penalties and the jail system. Also be careful with who you have in your room. If you find a lady has drugs get her out as soon as possible as you may be held responsible purely because you have more money. Being in the company of someone who is in possession of drugs (even if you are not aware) can bring you grief
Many people overstay their visa and have no problems. However, stories of people getting caught by the BiB on overstays is not uncommon. If caught you will spend time in jail (maybe a week) before you are deported at your expense. You may also get a nasty stamp in your passport. There is no need to overstay in Thailand.
It is a legal requirement for a visitor to be able to produce a passport on demand. Technically this means that you should carry your passport at all times. For obvious reasons not many people like to carry their passport while they are out drinking having fun. You can carry copies of your passport details page and the page containing your visa/entry stamp. It is not guaranteed to prevent the BiB causing you some inconvenience but it is better than doing nothing.
A first time visitor with very little knowledge may well be shocked by this but prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Yes it is everywhere on open display but that is one of the great things about Thailand; there are many conflicting situations. Likewise pornography, sex toys and abortions are illegal in Thailand.
Even though gambling is common in Thailand it is illegal. Again stories of people getting caught gambling are not uncommon.
The supply of medication requiring a prescription without a prescription is illegal in Thailand. However many drugs, but not all, are available in pharmacies in Pattaya. Erectile deficiency drugs come under this category. Many pharmacies will sell you both the original product and their generic alternatives. Most people find the generic brands as good as (and much cheaper than) the originals product. For generic Viagra ask for Kamagra and Cialis is Apcalis. Don’t use these drugs if you have any sort of cardiovascular problem.
How to Identify Pattaya Ladyboys
Pattaya ladyboys are a common concern of newbies coming to the city. It is so because in many photos ladyboys are seemingly indistinguishable from the real girls. While Pattaya ladyboys appear very feminine to newbies there are a lot of tell-tale signs to look for that will give 99% of them away. The other 1%, well what can you do!!?? Yes, some of them will fool just about everyone. Read on to find out how to spot a ladyboy.
So what do you look at to see if a prospective partner is a ladyboy or not? The first thing you can do is look at how tall ‘she” is. Mosy ladyboys are taller than the Thai girls, as they are in our countries. If she is tall you may want to look at other factors.
Males tend to have a very straight body. Look for a nice womanly shape. Even the very thin ladies have some shape.
Pattaya ladyboys tend to have larger hands and feet than the ladies. I find that their feet give them away in a lot of cases.
Look for an Adam’s apple (see photo below.) Some ladyboys have them reduced so this is not conclusive. Also listen for a deep voice.
One dead giveaway of a ladyboy is the presence of a penis. You could always try the Crocodile Dundee grab test but that might get you in trouble. You may not discover this until you get to the room. Another reason to leave the lights on in the room!
Look for masculine feature in her face. This one is quite obvious but initially you may find it difficult. With practice you will see masculine features in ladyboys very quickly.
Ladyboys tend to use a lot of makeup. Obviously they are trying to hide things and make them more attractive to guys. Something they may be trying to hide is facial hair.
Think about how she approached you. If it was very aggressive and seductive you might want to have a bit of a think about it. It might be a turn on but remember they are guys and they know what guys like. This is a bit of a tough one as some of the ladies are also quite aggressive but not in the same way.
Have a look at who she is with. If some of her friends are ladyboy-like then you may want to have a serious think about it. Ladyboys tend to hang out with other ladyboys.
A final point is be very careful on Walking Street late are night. There are a lot of ladyboys trying to suck drunken guys in as they head home without a partner for the night.
Just because you are suspect on one or two (except the penis one) of these points may not mean that she is a he. You need to balance it all together and make your own judgement. If you are unsure then ask her or other ladies in the bar. This may give you further clues. A ladyboy may get defensive if you ask if ‘she’ is a he. A bar girl will laugh at you.
Also remember you biggest barrier in trying to decide if your potential partner is a he or she is alcohol. You don’t have to be paranoid just have your wits about you and you should have no problems. Also remember if you don’t feel right about a particular person there are thousands of other ladies who you will not have doubts about.
There are many scams in Pattaya. Below are listed a few of the more common ones. Please remember that there are others so keep your wits about you. Also remember that it is not only the Thais who will try to deceive you. There are many farangs in Pattaya just as desperate as the Thais. Just like at home if you think something is not quite right then you should listen to your instincts.
However, please remember that it is your holiday. As such you should not be overly worried about being ripped off. With a little knowledge and keeping your wits about you many problems can be avoided.
Probably the most common Pattaya scam (particularly in bars) is bill padding. In most bars in Pattaya they operate a check bin system in which bits of paper are placed in a small cup to record the drinks you have and how much you owe the bar.
Some bars and/or ladies will slip in extra drinks into your bin while you are not watching. If it is just the lady doing it then it will be for extra lady drinks. If it is a bar policy then both normal and lady drinks may be placed in your bin.
There are a couple of things to do to avoid this. At all times you should keep close tabs on you bin. From time to time it is acceptable for you to check the contents of the bin. If possible do it while those with access to your bin are watching to give them a clear message.
If you want to be really paranoid about this you can pay your bin when you order a drink or after a few drinks. This makes it easier to keep tabs on how much you have consumed. The downside of this is that you may end up paying more in tips
1000 Baht becomes 500
Another Pattaya scam is not receiving the correct change. You must at all times count how much you receive back. However sometimes you may give a 1000 Baht note and only receive change from 500 Baht. The service staff will then say that you only gave them 500 Baht.
This one is a hard one to defend as what proof do you have that it was a 1000 Baht that you gave. It is your word against the bar’s. If this happens to you ask to speak to the manager. With a bit of luck it may be a farang manager and you may have more success.
Something that you can do to make the chances of this occurring less is when you pay is to hold up the 1000 Baht note and get her to acknowledge that it is 1000 Baht and not 500 Baht. An even easier way is to carry smaller notes when you are out drinking.
Long Time become Short Time
Now we get to a Pattaya scam involving ladies you have paid bar for. The scenario is that you have spoken to her in the bar and you have arranged for her to come with you long time. You get back to the room and do your business. Sometime later she says that she has to leave for whatever reason. Usually this is to check on her child, get her child ready for school or check on a sick friend. Sometimes she may receive a call and then say that she has to leave for some reason. You cannot hold her against her will so she has to go.
This is a very annoying situation and there is not a lot you can do about it. It is more common with the gogo girls than the beer bar girls. There is one thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of this occurring.
When you are discussing taking her away from the bar one of your questions could be what time she will leave the next day. If she says the usual ‘up to you’ be specific when you would like her to leave. Make sure that she understands what you mean.
Of course if the lady does want to leave early she will want her money. Remember that she has made the decision only to stay with you short time rather than the arranged long time. You should only pay her for short time. If you have agreed on a fee with her before you paid par give her half and send her on her way. She will not be happy but som nom na (in Thai that means serves her right.)
Increased BF during busy times
This Pattaya scam is something that you can do nothing about. Whether it is a scam or not is open to debate. Bar owner will tell you that they do it to keep girls in the bar for longer during busy times. A bar without ladies will have few customers. It happens mainly in gogo bars.
I have put this here just so that people are aware of it. A good way to ensure that this practice continues (and increasing) is for visitors to pay, the sometimes ridiculous, prices.
This is no doubt the most common Pattaya scam. As you are walking around in the day time and early evening you will get approached by someone with a clip board. They will ask either if you have a minute or where you are from. The pretence is that they are doing a short survey and that you have a chance to win a prize for completing the survey.
What is actually happening is that they are lining you up to be subjected to a sales pitch for holiday home time shares. When you win a ‘prize’ (which you will) you will have to go and collect it from somewhere. It is here that you will be subjected to the sales pitch.
The best way to get around this one is not to take part in the survey. Just say no thanks. If you want to practice your Thai just say mai ow krap (meaning I not want.)
Foreigners on the Scam
You may think that foreigners are safe to associate with in Thailand. While in general this is true you still need to be a little wary as there are foreigners looking for victims in Pattaya. Be particularly careful if somebody contacts you via the internet eg through forums.
One scam that I have seen a number of times involves a foreigner approaching you on the street asking you where a particular hotel is. They come across very friendly but the question will eventually come. Usually it will be a line about losing his wallet and needs some money to get home. Just smile and at most say no thinks and just walk away.
Bus station scam
A good and cheap way of getting between Pattaya and Bangkok is by bus. There are many departures in either direction all day. When you get to the bus station you buy a ticket.
Recently there have been many reports of what seems an organised scam. When you pay for the ticket they will short change you by 100 or so Baht. Just be aware of this and count your change carefully in full view of the ticket seller. People who have done this have got the scammed money back with no arguments.
New Years Compulsory Ball Fee
If you are going to be in Pattaya for New Years check with the hotel if there is a compulsory ball fee. Some of the hotels do this. If your chosen hotel does this then try to find another.
Pattaya Newbie Tips
Below is a list of tips that should make your trip easier and more enjoyable. The list is aimed at Pattaya newbies but is also applicable to those who have been to Pattaya many times. The list is quite long but I think I have missed a few things so no doubt I will be adding to it over time. Like anything please treat this for what it is and treat every situation on its own merits. The best attitude to go to Thailand with is to go with the flow, be agreeable and smile a lot.
The list is in two parts. The first are general tips and the second are tips about the ladies
- Never travel anywhere without adequate insurance.
- Before booking a hotel make sure there is no extra fee if you bring a lady back.
- Thailand is not like your home. You will find some of the ways the Thais do things annoying. Just remember it is their country.
- All vehicles on the road have right of way as far as pedestrians go. Do not assume the black and white things across the roads are safe pedestrian crossings. Motor vehicles here have no obligation to stop for you if you are crossing on these. When crossing the road always look both ways before setting off. This includes one-way streets
- Never drink the tap water. It is OK for brushing your teeth but try not to swallow it.
- Be respectful of Thai culture and traditions. Do not insult the king or Buddha. It is considered an insult to go in public without a shirt covering the shoulders.
- Also stand for the national anthem when its played at the cinema
- For Thais there is a bodily hierarchy. The head is far higher than the feet with lower body parts being less important. For this reason do not touch a Thais head.
- It is considered rude to show the bottoms of your feet.
- If you are eating with Thais don’t blow your nose at the table.
- When using a toothpick, put one hand in front of your mouth
- Always smile and don’t act aggressively
- Don’t talk to anyone with a clipboard in their hands. These people are usually promoting time-shares. They are not good investment opportunities! Likewise avoid shaking the hands of the tailors. They are very reluctant to let go.
- Carry small change for the Baht bus.
- In bars check your check bin from time to time.
- You are not obliged to buy lady drinks so be firm but polite.
- Keep tips to small amounts unless you have received special treatment.
- Don’t get involved with drugs. If you do the best you can hope for is contributing a very large sum of money to the police fund. If it is serious or you don’t have enough money you may spend some hard time in the ‘monkey house.’
- Don’t carry around you foreign ATM card as it will be difficult to replace.
- Only carry as much money as you need.
- Don’t flash a lot of cash or wear expensive jewellery. This only attracts the attention of people who you may not want noticing you.
- Always carry some form of ID. Legally you are required to carry your passport but this is not practical.
- Thais are fairly conservative for that reason avoid showing affection in public. You will not have any problems in Pattaya but you may elsewhere.
- Don’t get too drunk. Other than the obvious dangers the likelihood of mistaking a LB for a real lady has a direct relationship with how much you drink.
- Don’t make plans as plans and Pattaya don’t mix.
- Before going join an internet forum. Try to meet a BM or 2 in your first couple of days in town. You will benefit from some local knowledge. Also the guys you meet in Pattaya will be the icing on the cake. Also remember that not all farangs are the type you want to get involved with.
- Don’t bring too much with you from home. Anything you forget or need can be bought cheaply.
- Never satisfy the urge to dance on the pole in any bar. You have never disgraced yourself in Pattaya until you have done this. The other customers in the bar will not appreciate it.
- Don’t get yourself involved in arguments in Thailand. This includes trying to help in an argument involving a Thai girl. You will only lose
- Shower often as Thai girls do not like the way we smell.
- Like with Thai people you should not let your guard down totally with other foreigners in Thailand. There are some desperate people who live in Pattaya. There is no need to be paranoid just careful.
- Never try to take a photo in a gogo bar. If you need to look at your camera inside a gogo bar make it evident that you are not taking a photo. It is best not to get your camera out at all.
About the girls
- Don’t fall in love
- Always wear a condom and bring them from home.
- Don’t go with a lady who is under 18. It is OK to ask to see a ladies ID but remember that there are fake ones around.
- Don’t agree to pick up your bar fine later. If you don’t understand this how would you feel if you got talking to a lady and after a few drinks you decide that you want to take her away from the bar. She then tells you that another guy is coming to get her later.
- Try not to stay with the same lady too long. Many people promote the 3 day rule. This means that you do not stay with the same lady for more than 3 days in a row. This limits the chances of you and/of her becoming too attached.
- If you are going to be a butterfly let the ladies know.
- Always treat the ladies with respect.
- The girls will tell you what you want to hear. Don’t take what they say seriously. You are a customer and she is providing a service.
- Don’t spin a web of lies to get free services.
- Be wary of freelancers but not paranoid.
- Don’t assume that every lady in Pattaya is a prostitute. In some areas (eg Walking Street) it may appear that every lady is but there are always some who are not. If they are interested they will let you know. If they show no interest move on.
- If someone bar fines a lady you like before you don’t worry. In Pattaya you only lose your turn. She will be available another night.
- Avoid taking ladies from bars near your hotel. It can make things awkward later when you bring other ladies past her bar.
- Try not to make it obvious that you are on your first visit. Then again I suspect they will be able to smell it from 100m (100 yards)
- Did I mention Don’t fall in love.
Pattaya Blues and Getting Loved Up
After you return home from your first trip to Pattaya there is three likely places you will find yourself. It is quite likely that you will not view the nightlife at home in the same light after a trip to Pattaya. It will seem rather sedate and quite possible you will not have as much fun as you did before you discovered Pattaya. However, that issue is not what this page is about.
The first thing that most guys do after their first trip to Pattaya is start thinking of away to return as soon as possible. I know of people who have come on their first trip gone home and been back two weeks later. In my case I left Bangkok with no intensions of returning in the short term. It was my third trip to Thailand but on previous trips I had not indulged in the local delicacies, so to speak. The flight time home was seven hours. By the time my plane landed in my home city I had decided to go back as soon as possible. Two hours after reaching home I was looking at flights and two days later a flight was booked to return to Pattaya four weeks after.
You should expect to get what is known as the Pattaya Blues. Some guys get very depressed. Most people say that the best cure is to book the next trip. If you are in a financial and employment situation to return then all is good. However, I have come across people who were not and they have gone into debt to pay for their new found hobby. This is not a good way to go. Keep things real and do not jeopardise other aspects of your life for Pattaya. Sure the place is fun but ultimately it is quite a shallow place. Without money Pattaya is almost definitely a worse place to be than your home town.
One unlikely feeling after a trip to Pattaya is one of dislike. If this is you I suspect that you have a more balanced personality than most guys. For most guys chasing pretty girls around to spread the fruit of their loins is a dream come true. In fact I would say that this is instinctive. As stated before Pattaya is shallow and this will not appeal to everyone. If you are in this situation after your first trip I would love to hear your reasons for feeling this way, if you can.
If you have not got yourself involved with a Thai girl you can stop reading here if you like. The rest of this page is for guys who got ‘loved up’ on their first trip to Pattaya.
While a bad dose of the Pattaya Blues is not good I think there is a worst position to be in. In the Pattaya Newbie Tips page I state twice that you should not fall in love with one of the girls in Pattaya. If you have you could well be in for a difficult time, unless you are lucky enough to be in a position to spend a reasonable amount of time with her. The situation will no doubt be compounded by a bad case of Pattaya Blues.
So you have fallen for one of the girls in Pattaya! What do you do? I suggest the first thing you need to do is have a good honest look at yourself and your situation. Can you handle a long distance relationship? How often will you get to see your new love? Can you trust her?
Long distance relationships are notoriously difficult and many fail. Into this you also have to contend with language and cultural differences. After your first holiday you are unlikely to have more than an inkling of the cultural differences that exists between Westerners and the Thais that you are likely to meet. Are you prepared to work through these issues?
In my opinion the real crunch comes with the time you have available to spend with her. Unless you are prepared to get her visas you will have to travel to Thailand to see her. Don’t count on endless tourists visas even if they are available for a Thai to visit your country. Unless you can see her regularly and for a good percentage of every year you should really think seriously about a relationship with a Thai.
Trust is often the stumbling block between Thais and Westerners and that goes both ways. This usually comes from the mode in which you met. For most couples he was in a bar looking for fun and she was looking for a customer. Unfortunately most guys have either had experiences of bar girls telling many lies to extract money from a farang or heard the stories from others. She is likely to have been promised many things by farangs just for him to disappear. In my opinion this is not a great starting point for a relationship. It is going to take a lot of work to get the trust issue resolved and it will take a long time. Spending only two or three weeks with her once or twice a year is not going to be enough.
So the question is can you trust the girl that you have fallen for? Only you will be able to determine this. As mentioned above you will need to spend quite a lot of time to determine this. While there are good girls in Pattaya there are a lot of sharks. Many of those sharks are good liars. You will need to keep your mind turned on as well as your eyes and ears. Look and listen for any inconsistencies in her story. Look at how she relates to other people and how she reacts to various situations. You will need to trust your instincts on this and if you have any doubts it is probably best to follow them. This is a difficult ask if your heart is doing all the thinking.
Any girl in Pattaya will be a risk, as with any women in the World. You will need to decide the level of risk that you are willing to take. In my opinion where and how you meet your girl can determine the risk. For example if you met your girl on Soi 6 there will be a higher risk. I am not saying that you can’t meet a good girl there but just that it is less likely. Even if you met your girl in a disco there is still a level of risk. Many of the girls in the discos in Pattaya are either there after they have finished work in the bars or girls who have boyfriends already (ie sponsors). If it is the later it should be easy to work out as they will need to talk to him from time to time. If she already has a sponsor she is obviously doing the wrong thing already so it is best to move on. That said there are some normal girls in Pattaya discos looking to supplement their income and/or find a farang boyfriend. These girls probably carry the lowest level of risk. However, that doesn’t mean that you will not get burnt by one. There will always be some element of risk.
One risk factor is how long has the girl been working in bars. To determine this look at how she conducts herself. Also look for a lot of tattoos and a reasonable level of English. Many of the girls will tell you that they learned English in school. While some do (you will find some university girls in Pattaya) most only learn it verbally. If she can speak English better than reading and writing it she probably didn’t learn it at school. Like everything there will be exceptions.
When weighing up whether you can trust the girl or not don’t rely on only one indicator. Try to consider everything that you know about her. Don’t forget to factor in both cultural differences and difficulties in communication. Yes, this will not be easy.
You will need to consider the difference in age between you and the girl. I think the larger the difference the higher the risk. Do you think a girl who could be your daughter or even grand-daughter would really be into you? What do you have in common with her? I am not saying that it is impossible just that there is risk involved. You may be comfortable with having a girlfriend who is mainly, or at least partly, in it for the money. There is nothing wrong with that arrangement just don’t invest your heart into the relationship.
Another factor that will influence any relationship with a Thai girl (particularly if you met her in a bar) is the considerable cultural and education divide between the two of you. Even if you completed the minimum education is the west it is likely to be considerably more than a Thai girl has been given. This is further compounded by a relatively insular life that these girls have lived. Don’t expect one of them to be able to debate the merits of a global market! I will not even start with the cultural differences as they are huge.
If you do decide to have a relationship with a bar girl there will be issues arising from her work. I think the issues will differ somewhat but they will not doubt have had experienced things that will have ‘damaged’ them. You will need to be mindful of this. Also, the circumstances under which you met will bring its own issues. I think the biggest issue will be trust. Remember that you was out looking to buy services and she was there selling them.
A relationship with a Thai girl is possible despite the stories that you may hear. You will hear guys saying that all Thai girls are the same. However, to expect this to be true is ridiculous. They are all the same just as all the guys who go to Pattaya are the same! Some guys tell the girls all sorts of lies to either impress them or get free services by promising them an escape from the industry they have entered to make her and her family’s life a little better. I suspect that many bar girls state that all foreign mean are liars and cheats. If you decide to give it a go ignore the naysayers and judge your relationship and partner on what you experience, not on what others have experienced. Life is full of risk we just have to decide what level of risk you are prepared to take and limit it.