Seven on Holiday: Pattaya

Greetings friend, it is I–Bangkok Seven–and I’m on vacation. But that’s not going to stop me from posting something mildly entertaining to take up 10 minutes of your Sunday, no sir. I’m still on the ball. Speaking of balls, I’m in Pattaya.

Ahh, Pattaya. Jewel in the eye of the Thailand whoremonger. Paradise for part-time paramours. Giddy gift for gauche go-getters. Haven for hedonistic heavy-petters. Way station for the wanton and wicked, among other things that aren’t as untoward, but who wants to hear about that?

Ptown used to be my regular getaway spot back in the day, before I got settled-in and lazy in BKK. The sea air, the cheaper prices, the devil-may-care atmosphere and (mainly) the women were a dizzying combination for the senses. I quickly built up a harem of holiday hotties that would come out of the woodwork whenever I strolled into town. But over the years, as I became more committed to Patpong and my Pattaya regulars began to dwindle, the appeal of the coast-with-the-most waned. Then came the recent articles and op-eds about how Pattaya is dying, and tales of empty sois with empty bars rose to hysterical levels. Then I made a couple trips in a row where I didn’t find any of my old flames and didn’t ignite any new ones. There were less girls hanging their asses out the front of bars, and the ones that were seemed for the most part to be a lot…how should I put it…thicker.  Thanks, invading American fast food corporations, you dicks. Not to mention that in 2017 I crashed a motorbike on a particularly rainy night due to a mudslide directly under the Pattaya sign and dislocated my shoulder. As a result, I’d been a little gun shy about returning. I thought to myself, “Why do it anymore?” And so for over a year, I didn’t.


But I broke my beach-free streak last week, and I’m happy to report that things seem to be getting back to normal in that provincial pinnacle of pernicious pleasure. At least, to the naked eye. Soi 6 is once again packed to the rafters with lascivious lasses, and while they continue to be on the—ahem! thick side, there are a few that fit Seven’s fit taste (maximum 35 kilos with or without fake tits), so it felt like old times. In fact, some serious new life has been breathed into the soi in the form of more than half a dozen new (since last year) bars: Maggie Choo’s, MJ Kitty Girl, Kelaya 66, Playpen, Jungle Bar, Liqud, Baku, Lust, Candy Bar, and Coming have added much-needed light, sound, and fury to the 6. In short, the place is fun again, and not just because of the new joints. Nearly all the trusty rusty ones have taken on a new shine as well. For example, Dolls A-Gogo tore out the girls’ dressing room and moved the bar back, creating four tables’ worth of new space. Additionally, the NightWish Group are in the middle of a slow takeover of a ton of bars on the 6, most recently the bars Passion, Seduction, Envy, Wrath, and my new personal favorite, Avarice. I spoke with a couple of the NWG managers who said the group currently runs 19 bars around Pattaya with projected goal of 65 in total. These guys and their lovely bar staff have a singular vision: domination. So far they’re doing a great job of jump-starting the heartbeat of the 6. And the overall, soi-wide attitude of the ladies in all the bars seems sunnier. Maybe everyone’s riding the wave of optimism created by the NightWish Group, or maybe they’re putting Prozac in the girls’ drinks. Or maybe the city council mandated that everybody c’mon get happy, but whatever it is, me likey. Me likey mak-mak.


And it’s not just Soi 6. There are new places and fresh faces all the way down the beach road, and more bright spots on Walking Street. One of my old gal-pals directed me to Hidden and Pin-up, where the music is loud, the drinks are strong, and the girls are frisky. There’s something unique about a Pattaya girl. They’re not like Bangkok girls. Even when a BK girl relocates to Ptown, she changes. She takes on a different persona—the Pattaya persona (Pattayona for short, copyright BKK7).  That persona can be described as follows: harder edges, but sweeter smiles. No-nonsense but easy-going. Up for anything, down for everything. Ready to bang at a moment’s notice, or happy to chat, no strings attached. The words “shy, reluctant,” and “unwilling” don’t exist in their vocabulary. They’re at once funny, fierce, fetching, feisty, friendly, flirtatious, and felonious. Oh, I wish they all could be, Pattayona giiiiiirls!

Anyway, getting back to Walking Street, the vibe really does feel more to me like it did in past years when times were better. I heard a lot of moaning among the expats, bar owners, and even the girls about how business is slow and there are less customers. And for a while, a pall hung over Ptown like a dark cloud of pessimism, and it gave pretty much everybody the blues. But that’s not what I saw on my trip. Just the opposite. The people I rubbed elbows and other body parts with aren’t letting the lack of customers get them down.

It seems like just a few years back, there was a similar economic slowdown. Back when people were burning down malls in Bangkok and there were tanks in the street. Tweren’t many tourists then either, I tell you what. And the Thais seemed to come through it all right in the end. Maybe that’s what’s happening again. A slump followed by a surge. I hope so for their sake, but personally I prefer less bodies in the seats at my favorite gogos. Less one-week millionaires. Less lokjit pawing the girls. That’s my job, dammit. The grabbing hands, grab all they can as a wise industrial Britpop band once sang. Martin Gore must’ve visited Thailand once or twice.

But again, I digress. As I was saying about Walking Street, it sure feels like old times over yonder. Busy-busy-busy, and smiles all around. Nearly every gogo I went-went into was jammed with customers. Here’s a list of said gogos: Dollhouse, Sapphire, Electric Blue, Tantra, Fahrenheit, Taboo, Bliss, and new joints Pin-Up, Hidden, and Tee Rak. All chock full o’ nuts. So whatever the Debbie Downers of the blogosphere say about business being bad in Ptown, I sure didn’t see it. The Negative Nancies can suck it, or maybe just suck. In every economy, there are lows and highs. I feel like venues of vice in Thailand are coming out of a dip and heading for an upswing. From a slump to scandalous. From down back to dirty. From flacid to erect.

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there’s a new kind of venue on Walking Street–a “social club” explicably called “Social.” Basically, it’s a gogo but there are no gogo dancers. There are hostesses who will come sit with you while you lounge, and you can buy them drinks but they won’t barfine. I predict the place will be closed before this blog is published, but who knows? Maybe the gimmick will take off, or take root, or whatever.

The takeaway from my vacation overall, though, is that Pattaya has started to look and feel like its old self. And that’s happy news for all us mongers who love the gogos, beer bars, and red light districts and the sassy lassies who peddle their wares there. They can make a man feel hung again, if not young again, and put that old familiar smile back on his face again. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for another day of sea air, long hair, perfume, and a short-time room. Apologies for all the rhyming in this monoramble. I’m not sure what’s come over me, or who’ll come over today. I just know she’ll be skinny.

Until next time, keep your beer cold, your balls empty, and cheers to another week above ground in this fabulous country.