Readers' Submissions

Disenchanting Pattaya

  • Written by Anonymous
  • February 14th, 2009
  • 13 min read



You said it many times before. That this will be the last time you are going to come here. That staying in Pattaya is a waste of time and a sacrilege to the many places in SEA which offer cleaner beaches, friendlier locals, safer infrastructure, classier nightlife and simply a better vibe. You always came up with excuses such as having a girlfriend there as well as a harem of regular girls from which to choose or the cheap food and booze, the convenience of getting around, the refreshing evening breeze or enjoying a sunset on the beach among a plethora of gogo bars. And you always mentioned that despite the obviously predatory nature of this capital of sins there were always the smiles which made you feel comfortably welcome and let you forget that you are in fact only in the biggest brothel in the world. This time though it is a real challenge to come up with any reasonable argument that justifies the month that you just spent there.

The girlfriend is no longer working in the pool hall and has gone to sell shirts in a Bangkok mall because she could not put up with serving the old, dubious farangs, sleazy Thais and stupid bargirls anymore who came to play at her venue every day. Your selection of regular girls all were very busy with customers during this peak season or have left for good, leaving you with no choice than to start at zero again and go through the “what your name, where you from, how long stay Thailand” routine just like anybody else. The fact that you can meanwhile make those basic conversations in Thai does nothing more than to provoke the question of whether you work here. It simply signals to them that you know far more than you should and lessens their interest in you in no time. Why did you not just train to convincingly tell them that it was your first holiday in Thailand instead of learning all that vocabulary?! Or do newbies get the same rough treatment? Is there still some magic for someone who has never visited Walking Street before? If so, the fascination surely wanes faster than ever before even for first-timers. The fun is spoiled by the bluntness of the girls, the mockery of touts and street vendors, the arrogance of service staff and a generally mercenary vibe.

Please don't make the same mistake again. Don't just ignore and forget the many upsetting situations you experienced during that holiday and pretend that just all was good and well. Or do you really like to get physically grabbed by those slimy Indian tailors ten times per day anywhere in this city? Do you like to get ambiguous calls from disgusting katoeys out of the bushes on your way to a quiet place on Naklua Beach? Do you enjoy the foul smell that lingers everywhere? Or how about that evening when you made the mistake to sit down on one of those benches on Beach Road that are occupied by street whores to take a rest and drink your water? Once they found out that you are not going to buy their services and told you to “fcuk off” because you disturbed their business did that not harm your ego? Being told where to go by an ugly bitch in a public place, is that really on your list of events that make an enjoyable holiday? So much as you wanted to start a dispute and set her up with some Arabs for a gang bang to give her a right seeing to you knew there was no point and the only way in such situations is to vote with your feet. Probably not set feet in that city again would be the best conclusion but can you find a better alternative?

Unfortunately it seems that you have not learned much as previous holidays have already taught you that there is hardly any point to the way you used to try to get gratification from partaking in the bar scene. The gogo girl who refuses a 20 baht tip from the final bill because it will bring “bad luck for future tips” in the evening is not the exception. They will always ask for more anyway so screw 'em. Mind you, you bought her a lady drink already for which you have no-one to blame but yourself. You did right in just taking back the money and leaving without looking back. All those cynical wais and the acted courtesy of service staff only gets on your nerves so it's best not to look at anybody. In fact the day that you decided not to tip anything at all anymore in nightlife venues was the wisest decision you made this year. Even if it means that you will be called “kee neow” or “jai dam” every time you check your bin you felt that your karma was much improved when you spent some of the saved tips on really harder working street vendors which are carrying their trade on a shouldered pole or mutilated beggars. At least they still show a little bit of honest gratitude. Also, you have to admit that there is some satisfaction from feeding on the delicious free barbecues which are always on display at birthday parties in the beer bars while sipping your 35 baht happy hour beer. Well, you know to behave yourself and usually left a generous 5 baht tip for the food.

Of course you were not surprised when in that sorry excuse of a soi 8 coyote bar at 8:45 PM you get a bill for the full price of your San Miguel light whereas the happy hour clearly runs until 9 PM. You have been to that country often enough and know that there is no point in making a fuss over a few baht. But the place of venues you had to cross off your list due to either bad entertainment or bad treatment was getting so long that you were starting to get hard pressed to find adequate replacements for the next night. One of the dancers in there even addressed you with her worries about her Australian boyfriend (who of course she never cheats on) who lagged behind in sending over the regular 40,000 baht for more than a month already. Now she did not know how to pay the rent for her house which resulted in her having to “work” again – well that cheered you up! You enjoyed watching her closer after that and wondered what she was capable of doing in order to justify such a lofty stipend. Cute sure, sexy yes, but the stretch marks showed off previous childbirth which simply seems to be the norm these days for girls in most venues in Pattaya and heavily reduces the attractiveness, not so much of the body but of the woman itself, for this means that she is just after a supporter, not after someone to really share her life with.

You have to realize that the days where easily obtainable GFEs were the norm in Pattaya are over. You get older and the girls get more money hungry. If the trend continues, and it won't reverse for sure, then in a few years Pattaya will just be like a bigger version of Amsterdam's red-light district. Short time the norm or maybe hostess like arrangements with previously set terms. No more “up-to-yous”! The girls really cut into their own flesh though because those “romances” are what brought them sponsors who financed bikes, cars, houses or left them with the inheritance. However, the way they behave nowadays even the most desperate guys will start to ask questions (but more and more girls seem to get their stipends out of online relationships anyway…) Will a few naked gogo girls blotched in tattoos and stretch marks and some grumpy massage ladies still justify the long trip then? Maybe still attractive for retirees who need someone to look after them but for young guys on holiday a waste of time and opportunities.

Most girls were less than entertaining and did very little to cheer you up. In fact their behaviour ranged anywhere from extremely silly to downright offensive. It really seemed to have worsened a lot in the 2 years you have been coming to Pattaya! They play all tricks of the trade without the blink of an eye. They lack the least bit of empathy which reportedly was once one of the biggest draws of the women of this country. Now they are as superficial and at the same time as selfish as it gets. How can they keep getting away with that? Are there really enough guys who are ignorant enough that this does not bother them and hence continue handing over the cash? It takes a real simpleton to overlook all these obvious flaws and the overall sadness and dirtiness of the place at this point in time. Of course, to be fair, the behaviour and appearance of most guys who frequent Pattaya does little to change the appalling attitude of the locals. There is just way too much bullshit involved from both sides these days. But as much as the guys are to blame for having a hard time separating “good girls” from “bad girls” and often ending up staying with the wrong one, you often feel that the girls are not much better in deciding who would be good for them in the long term. That's probably why they behave the way they do now and measure love with money or gold and nothing else.

Lets not blame your bad mood on the girls though. Did you not have a great few days with that lady you met in a disco? Did she not manage to cheer you up with her energy and constant positivity? That has to be quite some achievement regarding the permanent huffy mood you are in recently, don't you think? She really deserves credit (and some baht) for that! Did she not give you a little bit of that old fashioned GFE by cutting your nails and providing you with free oranges and watermelons in her room? See, it still exists! And did you not feel like you were in your early twenties again during the frequent intimate, mutually entertaining sessions which brought back your old enthusiasm for the most beautiful exercise on earth? Of course you have to forgive her lackadaisical cockiness and for vomiting and peeing in your bed but how could you know that 7 San Miguels were more than a cute 40 kg light lady could take in 2 hours? Anyway, the earplugs and Xanax let you drift off to a nice sleep while she was finishing her business and the next morning, when you already forgot what had happened, you wondered why she tried so sheepishly but enthusiastically to make up for her mistake. A whore sure, one of those who maintain a sponsor even, but the completely satisfying sexual experience over several days at least justified the trip.

And did you not have a no strings attached sexual encounter with a girl you met online only a few days prior to coming to Thailand. You can't blame her for not living up to your increasing expectations and that she was not girlfriend material in your eyes. She even picked you up at the airport with her car for about half of what a taxi would cost. Would that ever happen in your home? You know the answer. You could easily have met half a dozen more if you had gotten your lazy ass up to Bangkok. And even if the bars became mostly boring and were really lacking eye candy you still managed to get at least a free neck massage and an ice cold towel due to the afflicted face you always made. They took at least a little bit of pity on you. What more can you really expect in such a money oriented business? And don't forget the evening when by accident you stumbled in that new bells and whistles gogo near Walking Street. Normally you would have left immediately but you were pretty drunk and the sofas in there were inviting you to lay down and enjoy the buzz. And at 80 baht for a beer you can't be wrong, can you? The moment when the performing girl drew you on to the stage you were a bit distraught but still half drunk you have to admit that it was an unforgettable moment when she motioned you to lay down, open your mouth and catch a ping pong ball from where ping pong balls do not normally emerge. Unfortunately she only needed 2 tries. Only in Thailand.

Unique – and some bizarre – experiences, warm weather, delicious food, that's what you came here for and you found it all.

So what are you complaining about? Oh yes, You did not manage to find a replacement for your past experiences with the girlfriend. Well if you want a sirloin steak you should probably not go looking for it in McDonald's. Times are changing and there is surely a reason why Pattaya continues to draw both rougher customers as well as rougher girls. The bars are simply less fun than strictly business nowadays. If you only possess the least bit of perception then you cannot deny that they lacked any kind of charm. Too dirty, too sleazy, too blunt. What was once (long before you started coming to the kingdom) a genuinely fascinating environment where you could maybe get a glimpse of what paradise looks like is about to completely lose the last bits of its soul. The red light areas of Thailand will just become like anywhere else in the world and will more strictly be populated by mercenary pros. Why should Thailand with its millions of tourists be excepted? You also are not that much into shopping that this absurd monstrosity of a mall next to soi 9 on Beach Road could lure you into coming back.

You have great memories from your earlier days in Pattaya. Don't spoil them by witnessing any longer all the inevitable changes for the worse which are going on. Your days of innocent fun in Pattaya are over. You simply do not feel comfortable there anymore. Accept it and move on. There are plenty of pretty students or office girls in Bangkok who would love to entertain you in a much classier environment. Or how about a trip north to Khon Kaen or Udon? Traps and money issues will arise there too but you will get a new perspective and maybe a desire to experience a new type of nightlife. Try it at least to do a completely other type of Thai women justice and enjoy some new sights and sounds before you decide to give the whole country – not just Pattaya – a miss.

Stickman's thoughts:

A friend said it well recently when he said that he looks forward to his Pattaya trip all year long but when he eventually makes it there and leaves he feels empty and unsatisfied…..and then the cycle starts again…