Pattaya Night Fever

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Walking Street - Pattaya - ThailandOnce upon a time Pattaya was a tranquil little place.  A small community of Thais lived in this sleepy and secluded fishing village.  But, all of that changed during the escalation of the Vietnam War.  Pattaya transcended into “Patpong-On-Sea.”  Time passed by and the rush for tourist cash totally ruined its image both above and below the surface.  Frankly speaking, from the mid 1970’s, right into the 1990’s Pattaya was an ugly, stinking mess!  European travel magazines often gave their readers clear warnings about the appalling pollution and other serious health hazards.  In 1992 Which Holiday magazine voted Pattaya one of the world’s worst beach resorts.  This is not at all an accolade that any holiday destination would wish to acquire.

Pattaya’s infamous image spread rapidly around the globe, as it became notoriously known for sun, sea and sex.  Even back in the 1980’s, Pattaya had become a tourist trap on amphetamines.  Author Duncan Stearn refers to Pattaya as, “Patpong On Steroids.”  (Incidentally, “Pattaya — Patpong On Steroids” written by Duncan Stearn is a good read).   Ruthless exploitation coupled with an aggressive right-in-your-face attitude, was enough to kill many dreams.

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Now it is time to hop, skip and jump through the years and fast forward into the millennium.  The last few years has seen incredible changes to Pleasure Playground.  Who would have thought that even this booming party town would have expanded and improved so much?  I know a lot of “hi-so” people who would not have been seen dead in Pattaya in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  But nowadays, these same guys and many others like them, have become regular visitors to Pleasure Playground.  The expansion and modernisation of Pattaya is nothing short of remarkable.

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Hotel and restaurant standards have risen dramatically, along with new shopping complexes.  There are some superb pubs and clubs too.  Not only the number of beer bars and go-go bars has increased, but the standards of the most popular establishments are very high.  The enormous choice of venues means that visitors are able to find excellent value-for-money.  The level of competition is so high that the various venue owners are working hard to provide the best bargains and customer care they can.

We said farewell to the old Pattaya and we welcome the modern version with all its rejuvenated enthusiasm.  I first visited Pattaya in the 1980’s.  Since then, the bigger and better Pleasure Playground is the best that I have ever seen it.  If you have not visited Pattaya in some time, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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With the recent food festival right in the heart of the action, Walking Street was even more congested than usual.  Whether you were walking or talking, rolling or strolling there was plenty to see.  The multitudes of tourists are flocking to Walking Street and high season is kicking in.  The smell of tourist cash is drawing the bees to the honey.

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The recent party night in Sisterz Go-Go Bar on Walking Street was a great success.  More events of this kind are planned in the not too distant future.  The go-go games went down very well.  A lot of fun was had by all.  There was one game where a guy and a girl both raced to drink a bottle of beer each.  Surprisingly, even though the guy had a glass and the girl was drinking through a straw, the girl won easily.  Shortly afterwards, the “Human Hoover” was bar fined.  No wonder with those suction skills!


Today I have introduced a new section called “BAR CODE.”  I have used a play on words to offer my suggestions for a code of conduct.  The reason behind “BAR CODE” is because little is black and white in the neon jungles of Thailand.  Let’s face it folks, it’s a mysterious world of East meets West in the neon jungles of Thailand. 

TIPS TIPS — In this edition, I want to focus on cash tips that are given directly to the bargirls.  This often occurs inside the go-go bars, and sometimes has little relevance to bar fines, lady drinks, or extracurricular excitement.  This occurs when the “MMM” or Mobile Money Machine dispenses cash to one or more bargirls.  Recently I witnessed the opposite ends of two eccentric extremes.  When it comes to boy meets girl in the world of the go-go bar, you can count on some strange chemistry at times.  Therefore, there is plenty of bewildering behaviour.

Tip Tray - Angelwitch Go-Go Bar - Nana Plaza - BangkokFARANG #1 — A mean-spirited old bugger refused to give one single Baht to anybody in a Bangkok go-go bar.  He had received good service, was waited on hand and foot, plus pampered (as best the girls could), and yet, he offered nothing.  It would not have hurt him to leave just 5 or 10 Baht on the tip tray.  OK, it is his money, but all he paid for were his drinks.  Grumpy then complained about paying 130 Baht in a go-go bar and proceeded to snatch all the coins off the tip tray.  He sipped away at his beer for ages and basically used up quite a few people’s time.  He didn’t even buy a single lady drink and never offered a tip to any of the girls.  I never say that a guy has to buy a lady drink, but the bargirls are trying to make a living.  He could have politely declined their attention, but he continued to grope and play with them.  In many similar establishments abroad, he may well have been given the bums rush.  You know, bounced off everything, whilst be hurled through the nearest exit door!

If a customer wants to sit alone and he indicates this quite clearly, then that is fine.  But, old Grumpy invited the bargirls’ attention, but never offered one single Baht.  Some guys just expect champagne, but demand it at house wine prices.  If this story sounds like you, or somebody you know, just have a think about your bar etiquette and behaviour.

FARANG #2 — This is somebody I know and he certainly is not short of a few Baht.  He always insists on spoiling the bargirls rotten.  Again, it is his money but this guy takes things to extremes.  Basically, as soon as he enters the Rainbow Go-Go Bars in Nana Plaza, he is swarmed by girls.  They know he is a soft touch for lady drinks and tips.  Hey, that’s fine he is a good customer.  However, he will tip the girls 1,000-2,000 Baht each just for sitting with him.  On top of a load of lady drinks this does seem excessive to me.  It is his money, but the local guys say that people like this spoil the market for average spenders.  The gentleman has a right to do whatever his wishes with his own cash, but many bargirls are not sophisticated enough to realise the difference.  Anybody else in comparison who does not give the same amount might be labelled a “Cheap Charlie.”

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SUMMARY — These are opposite examples of tipping too little and tipping too much.  I suggest that you take the middle path (“tang sigh klang” in Thai).  To fall in the middle of these two examples would be a better alternative.  By offering lady drinks and reasonable tips you will be respected.  Offering a cash tip to your favourite girl is a generous gesture — just don’t go throwing money at every bargirl that you come into contact with.

FARANG #1 will alienate himself by being so stingy.  Old Grumpy will wonder why no bargirls ever talk to him.  Looking to cut a cheap deal with a streetwalker, it is people like him who are targeted to get drugged and mugged.

FARANG #2 has set himself such precedence that he has to maintain that high level of tipping.  If he does not he could be shunned.  Throwing BIG cash tips around willy-nilly only spoils the bargirls.  Furthermore, your average guy cannot match that level and it can erode both your pocket and the market.


“I don’t want money.  It is only people who pay their bills who want that, and I never pay mine.”    Oscar Wilde.

Stickman Bangkok Thailand

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In the meantime, if you can’t be good be careful… Safe sex saves lives!