The Ultimate Newbie Guide to Thailand

Guide to Pattaya 

pattaya_zone_map.jpg (292097 bytes)Pattaya: Located just 1.5-hour drive south of Bangkok (1,000-1,400 baht by taxi) Pattaya is known for its near 24-hour adult activities. While there are a number of touristy attractions around Pattaya, most western tourists go there to Party. In short, if your mission is to be a sex-tourist and to get as much non-stop action as possible, this just might be the place for you.

Beaches: Pattaya does have beaches, but most find themselves not going there as they are nothing to write home about, if not down-right dirty. A short distance from Pattaya is Jomtien Beach where the beaches are quite decent; and a short boat/ferry ride from Pattaya Beach or Bali Pier are is the island kho Lahn with nicer beaches. Vendors frequent the beaches and offer everything from food, sunglasses, ice cream, etc. Spending time on the beaches is not expensive. Take care to protect yourself against the strong sunlight in Thailand, even on cloudy days people with sensitive skin can get sunburns unless they use a sunscreen cream with a high protective factor.

Outlining the main bar areas: Pattaya is the heaven for sex tourists and partiers. Large sections within 3 blocks of the beach and stretching more than 3km (2mi) north/south has countless Beer Bars and Go-Go's.
Click on map in upper right to see large scale.

Walking Street: On the south end is Walking Street which is blocked to motor traffic after 20:00 (8PM). It, and the side streets (Sois), are home to most of the Go-Go's and Discos in Pattaya as well as number Coyote Bars and Beer Bars. Except for a series of open air Beer Bars most of the Walking Street venues are air conditioned.

Near the other end to the north are Soi 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 stretching between Beach Road and 2nd Road.

Soi 1 - 5: From Soi 1 to Soi 5 and along with second road in that area are many beer bars, some with live music. Slowly, however, the real estate in the Sois is being converted to hotels or condominiums.
Most soapy massage parlors are along 2nd road between Soi 2 and Soi 4.

Soi 6: Quite unique and admittedly a Soi that is loved (if not worshipped) by some and despised by others. Almost all of the bars in Soi 6 are known as a short time (ST) venues. Walk down the Soi and enjoy the swarms of ladies (and some ladyboys) outside the bars. Find a candidate (or more likely she will find you) and head for the inside of the bar. Agree to spending the next hour together and pay the bar fine (typically 300 baht) and head upstairs for a shower, a relief and another shower. Tip the girl (commonly 700-1,000 baht) and you will be on your way. Most (but not all) the ST rooms in the Soi 6 bars are very much on the seedy side and add that recent crackdowns have caused many of the ST rooms to be off limit in the Soi, but your company will know where to go nearby.
Soi 6 is mostly a daytime/early evening venue. Note, next to Soi 6 is Soi 6/1 which a hangout for ladyboys.

Naklua Area: North of Soi 1 is Naklua Road which spur north east and feature another couple of km's (over 1 mi) of more outdoor beer bars, several in the Sois but all close to Naklua Road. The Naklua area is usually not found by newbie's without direction and recommendation from someone "in the know". A good option is to take a baht bus north on 2nd road to the end at Dolphin Circle, then walk from there on Naklua Road for a km or so. It is always easy to get a baht bus back.

Soi 7 & 8: Some distance south of Soi 6 is Soi 7 and Soi 8 (just south of Central Pattaya Rd), also between Beach road and 2nd Road are even more beer bars and a few Go-Go's and across 2nd Road are more yet in New Plaza and in the Made-In-Beer complex. Soi 7 and 8 used to be very busy but some bars have closed down and new buildings have taken their place. Despite this these Sois should definitely be visited as they are a part of the Pattaya experience you should not miss. A lot of diamonds in the rough can be found there. New Plaza has a very poor P4P scene, but is an excellent place for drinking beers at some of the lowest prices found in Pattaya.

Soi Honey: Head further south to Soi 11 (Soi Honey), which runs East of 2nd Road to Soi Buakhao. This Soi is known many massage establishments and although massages can be found all over Pattaya this Soi has created a name for itself (Soi Horney) offering mainly oil massages with full expectation of a happy ending. There is also a soapy massage establishment in this Soi.

Soi Diana/LK: Soi Buakhao from a bit north of Soi Honey and south past Soi 13 (Soi Diana) and including Soi Diana as well as LK Metro is another very active section of Pattaya. It used to be almost exclusively beer bars, but recently several Go-Go's have opened their doors in the area especially in Soi LK. This area is becoming more and more popular as there are excellent hotels close by, some of them brand new.

Soi 13/x: Further south are Soi 13/1, 13/2, 13/3 and 13/4 between Beach road and 2nd Road. 13/1 and 13/2 are a mix of massage places (a little like Soi Honey) and beer bars. It is far from the most active part of Pattaya, but worth a stroll through on occasions. Soi 13/3 and 13/4 (AKA Pattayaland 1 & 2) feature more beer bars, but also have a reputation for many ladyboys and gays as evident by a section clearly advertized as BoyzTown.

Coconut Bar: Finally there is the famous Coconut Bar, which is the beach side of Beach Road stretching all the way from Walking Street to Soi 1. This, and in Walking Street, is where most freelancers in Pattaya are found. There are freelancers on Beach Road around the clock, with the peak hours from sunset to past midnight. The later it gets the higher percentage of ladyboys are present. A stroll along Beach Road is interesting but be careful as there have been occasional reports of mugging and violence (generally late night to early morning). The expected compensation for freelancers are on the lower side of what one may expect in Pattaya and there is no bar fine to be paid; yet as elsewhere the prices vary a lot. Note that in case of picking up a freelancer, you are on your own. She does not work at a bar and has no regular health check-ups as the regular bar and a-go-go girls have from the larger entertainment venues and may lack other attributes concerning accountability and trust.

This "tour" of the bar areas covers most that newbie's will traffic, but it is worth mentioning that there are many many more areas like sections between Soi Buakhao and 3rd Road, the dark side (across town past Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien Beach, etc.).

Local Transportation: The number one for of transportation in Pattaya for tourists is the Baht bus. Alternative transportation includes motorbike taxi.

Baht Bus: Pattaya is famous for its baht buses or shared taxis. They are pickup trucks that is outfitted with a cap in the back and which will seat about 10, plus a couple standing on the rear platform. Simply wait at the side of the road and raise your hand to signal them to stop (when the driver sees a potential customer he will usually honk). Jump in the back and enjoy the ride for as long as you like and press the buzzer when you want to get off. The cost is 10 baht (subject to increase in 2017). In some case you may find yourself taking two, maybe three, rides to get where you are going. There is no specific rules as the routes although many are quite predictable. Don't tell the driver your specific destination as you then will hire it as a point to point taxi and the cost will be 100 baht or more. In some cases you may prefer such arrangement in which case you simply need to agree to the price before getting in. At night time you may find them waiting a key location and will load the taxi full before leaving, however, if you walk in front of the area where they queue up you can simply flag any passing taxi and jump in. They will not pickup next to the queue.

Motorbike Taxi: A quick and reasonable priced option for short trips. They cost more than the baht bus, but are not constraint to the main roads and most traffic jams. Many Thais prefer motorbike taxi over any other form of hired transportation. A typical ride within the main sections of Pattaya will cost 40-60 baht. It goes without saying that motorbike is a lesser safe form of transportation, especially at night.

For more general transportation information, including air, bus, train and rentals see the Transportation Section.

Jet Ski Rental: There are a number of jet skis for rent at the beaches, however, since the chances of getting scammed is quite high details have been posted in the Scam Section.


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