I was a fairly young man when I first came to Pattaya. I had told my family and friends back home that I was on some sort of cultural expedition to explore Thailand and South East Asia. But that wasn’t true. I was heading to Thailand for the Nightlife in Pattaya. The only thing I would be exploring would be the bright lights of Walking Street and Soi 6 and dark interiors of the Go-Go bars.
I had no idea Pattaya would have such and impact on my life.
I had been to Bangkok before, but when it came to Pattaya, I had no idea what to expect. I’d read the many internet forums and gotten advice from many seasoned travelers. Their counsel all seemed the same. No matter how much you research and read about it online, Pattaya is going to stagger your senses. Be prepared to be overwhelmed. And they were not wrong.
Soi 6 – Trial By Fire
I arrived in the City of Sin by mid-morning. By 3pm I had met a friend, someone who I had been chatting with before the trip, and we headed down to Soi 6 for some early afternoon horseplay. Might as well jump in the deep end if you want to learn how to swim.
The girls called to us as we made our way down the street checking out the beer bars. “Hellloooo, handsome man!” More than a few jumped out for a grope and a hug. Trying dutifully to pull us inside their bars for a drink.
We walked from Second Road to Beach Road, giving me plenty of time to gawk and take it all in. The sheer number of girls in this one little street blew my mind. I was in a bit of a fog as we turned around and headed back up the road.
We hit a couple of different beer bars until I’d drank enough to have a pretty good buzz. My pal suggested we relocated once again to the bar next door. We settled into a little table next to a girl swinging around a pole on the podium. Soon we were joined by two more lovelies and my friend bought them a drink and asked them to join us.
They were both pretty and had bodies that were super fit. I couldn’t believe hot some of the Pattaya girls are. Mine started to rub my crotch, trying to get a rise out of me. And it was working. She tries to kiss me, but I turn away. I’m not ready for that type of PDA. A few more beers and my inhibitions are gone. We’re making out like a couple of school kids.
She slips away to the bathroom and when I look over at my friend, he’s got a coy grin on his face.
“What?” I ask.
“I don’t know if I should tell you this or not.” My stomach sank, afraid I knew what he was about to tell me. He looked pensive and conflicted.
He hesitated then, “I thought you knew, but now I’m not so sure. You do know this is a ladyboy bar right?”
I didn’t say a word. I just looked at him. I must have looked in shock as he continued.
“I thought you knew. But don’t worry, we can leave. I won’t say anything if this is an issue for you.”
“Wow. I’m a little surprised. But it’s cool. Are you into ladyboys?”
“I dabble.” A sly grin coming over his face.
“I guess I dabble now too!”
We both laughed and proceeded to pay our check bins and move on. That was a hell of a way to be introduced to Pattaya.
More Shenanigans All Over Pattaya
Our day drinking mischief continued. We did a recon up Soi 7 and 8, but all was quiet. It was still early. He hit a few small beer bars on our way from Second Road up to Soi Buakhao. My friend suggests another bar nearby. But as we walk up, this time I’m on to him.
He had called it “The Swan” bar, but the sign read Pook’s. Which was the same name as the ladyboy bar we were in on Soi 6. Fool me once. By this time, I’m good and truly sauced and have no objections to having a seat at the bar.
This place is not for the shy. It has an outdoor bar right on the street with ladyboys dancing on three poles. Anyone walking by can see you sitting there staring up at the beauties. This was at a time before YouTube was mainstream and there was little chance of getting caught in someone’s video, but the nervousness and apprehension is still there. Or at least it would have been if I wasn’t 3 sheets to the wind.
My buddy tries to encourage me to take one back to my hotel with me. While I did make sure I got one of the guest friendly hotels in Pattaya, so that bringing back a girl or in this case a ladyboy wouldn’t be an issue. I wasn’t quite ready to cross over to the “dark side.”
So, after a couple beers and enough ladyboy rump and junk was shaken in our faces we headed off for something to eat. The sun was starting to dip below the horizon and it would be night soon. Time for the real hijinks to begin.
Walking Street Tomfoolery
The baht bus drops us off near Walking Street. I’m not sure I’m going to make it. My mind is clouded by drink and wants to go back to the hotel and pass out, yet my legs keep taking me to the next bar. My body is on autopilot.
We stumble into a go-go bar that I can’t remember the name of. We belly up to the stage and get a couple of beers. I take a few swigs and put my drink down on the stage in front of me. A dancer swings around her pole and her six-inch high heel connects with my San Miguel Light and sends it spiraling out of control.
It misses the both of us and we come out unscathed save for my spilled beer. I use it as a sign and order a water. The night isn’t near over and I need take a break from the booze. My pal keeps on drinking.
Don’t try and keep up with an Irishman when it comes to drinking.
We hit a few more go-go bars to check out the displays of Pattaya girls and I start back on the beers. It’s an involuntary reflex at this point. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself. I’m in the Sodom of the new world.
It’s late now and the go-go bars are going to close. The light comes on and we are encouraged to leave. As the old saying goes, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”
I’m ready to get a motorcycle taxi back to the hotel, when my friend suggests he knows an after-hours bar I would like. Too sauced to make a rational choice, I say “let’s go!”
We turn down a dark alley off Walking Street with people scurrying around in the shadows doing who knows what. There are a few bars with curtains drawn over the door, blocking passers by from observing what is going on inside. We snake our way down to the end of the alley where we find E-zy Bar.
“You’ll like this place.”
“Let me guess. A ladyboy bar?”
My friend just smiles and heads inside. And I’m right on his heels.