Stickman Readers' Submissions March 11th, 2024

Thinking About The Pattaya Of Old

I used to enjoy Pattaya in the years around 2003 – 2010. And I agree with Stick’s latest column Peak Pattaya that those were the golden days of Pattaya. I bet lots of fun had happened there before and lots of fun after, but for me, those were the days.

What happened? The first big change was the sudden influx of Russians, especially from Siberia. Suddenly the Thais got confused when they saw a white man. Was he a Westerner or a Russian? That’s about the same time I felt the attitude towards tourists dropped. Russian signs popped up and the condo market changed.

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Then came the Arabs, then the Koreans, then the Indians, then the Chinese etc. Pattaya even had clubs for our African friends. Globalisation hit Pattaya like a punch in the face.

A funny thing I experienced at a beach in Pattaya,was these new Indian visitors wanted to take selfies with me. Like they had never met a white person before in their life. It was like going to Isaan back in the day.

It was a confusing period in Pattaya, because we whiteys were the only ones keen to walk around with Thai ladies, paying them, marrying them etc. while other nationalities just came there for a good holiday. Pattaya was pretty much beers and girls for us.

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Another sudden change I experienced was the change in clothes. Almost from one year to another it was not acceptable to wear shorts and slippers anymore when going to bar or clubs in Pattaya. In the heyday, everything was possible. “You are farang and have money, you can do anything”, a local girl explained to me one year. The next year a girl in a bar told me to wear shoes and pants when going out 🙂 Slippers and shorts were not the norm anymore and are rarely seen these days. I have nothing against this, but it shows how the town went from a quiet beach retreat to a modern international town.

With the new audience from Russia and other countries, the scene changed. They don’t seem to have the same sort of holidays as us white folks. Suddenly Russian discos turned up with international DJs etc.

Back in the day, the white man surely was the boss. Bars had names like “Rolling Stones Bar”. Girls would stand totally naked on Walking Street and BTW, who remembers the couple of years when souvenirs was openly sold everywhere around Pattaya together with dildos, knives and fake Viagra?

That time, Pattaya had no queues anywhere. Just take a taxi and drop by a random hotel, walk in and get a room for the preferred period or extend day by day. Later, hotels were fully booked and some places you needed to book a month or two in advance. You could take the boat to Koh Larn with no pre-bookings and beaches there would be almost empty. The streets started to become “Arab street”, “Indian street”, “Korean street”, “Chinese street” and “Russian street.” The white man was pushed back like native Americans in America. Pattaya was the “Clash of Civilizations”. At the same time our value dropped, we were no longer important or needed.

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Suddenly we were just another customer, and when we left the table some Indian or Malaysian guy would take our place. We went from feeling important and valued to nothing, just another brick in the wall. Perhaps it was always like that, but we didn’t feel it back then. Going into a bar you would be met with smiles and recognition. Women would talk with you with curiosity and a “spark”. They would be happy to stay with you for a week or more and not even ask about money, if you just took good care of her. Entering a bar, a potential wife / husband situation always lured around the corner with broken “Me Tarzan, You Jane” English being spoken. The talk between men in Pattaya was often about how to get rid of a girl in a nice and polite way. Things have changed since then.

Nowadays it’s the girls trying to get rid of you! The girls are lazy and disinterested. They are the boss now and they speak better English than the average Scandinavian.

Another change I saw around 2010 was the change in men’s ages. When I first came to Pattaya in my 20s, most visitors were white men 45-50+. Alcohol and girls were the reasons to go there.

Later, Pattaya changed fast. Now it started to look like Ibiza with young party crowds in nice clothes, and pool parties. Bodybuilders would take training holidays or settle there permanently. Bargirls started to do fitness as well and started to get tattoos like their new customer base.

Pattaya changed like anywhere in the world, but Pattaya changed with a pace I had never seen before elsewhere part from, perhaps, Dubai.

Now I have a family and go there with them for a vacation now and then. I bet some young guys enjoy it now the same way I did before, but they will never know what it was like before and I believe the old crowd would feel the same as me about the Pattaya heydays.

The author of this article cannot be contacted.

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