One Night (and a Half) in Pattaya

In The Smiths song “The Queen is Dead,” Morrissey asks “Oh, has the world changed or have I changed?” I wonder the same thing, only about Pattaya.

How they hangin’ reader, my name’s Seven and this is my blog. The last three times I’ve gone to Pattaya—heretofore I’ll refer to as Ptown—has produced a disturbing trend: that of yours truly checking out of the hotel one or more days early to schlep back to Bangkok. Each time, the reason for my early exit has been the same, and when I ignored my instincts and booked a trip to the bawdy beach last week, ‘twas no different. So has Ptown changed or have I changed? The answer is, both.

There are no hot girls in Pattaya anymore.

OK, that’s an exaggeration. Based on my expert ability to create ratios, I’d say that for every 100 chicks in Ptown, there’s one hot one. Add to that the lingering devastating effects of the scamdemic, and Ptown just ain’t what it used to be. Don’t get me wrong—it’s rammed with tourists and Thai chicks. But it ain’t a “Seven” scene. Not anymore.

Things started out well enough. I rolled into town at 14.00 and checked in to my ocean-view room at the Beach Front Hotel, Soi 4. Nice joint, huge fridge, bed hard as a block of stone. The weather was cool and breezy with intermittent rain. I had a quick snack at Mama’s Kitchen on Soi 6 (one of the only restaurants I used to frequent that didn’t go out of business)—potato skins and a sml (I had sticker shock at the low price—300b all-in)—before trawling The 6. It’s a fact that the number of hot chicks per capita had been slowly declining over the past few years, even before the plan-demic. Despite that, up until 2020, there was usually at least one 8 or 9 in every bar, with a higher concentration at the NightWish Group-owned bars. Today, the situation is much more dire. There are a lot of possible reasons why. Many girls told me it’s because so many chicks have gone to Phuket, where at the moment there’s a higher concentration of tourists. That makes sense.

It pissed down from 15.00 to 16.00, so I ducked in and out of bars down the soi and back, trying to simultaneously stay dry and find a girl to occupy my time.  The overall mood on The 6 now is optimistic, and no wonder. Pattaya is teeming with horny dudes. Still, the town is only around 60% open with some permanent closures as well as temporary ones. NightWish Group is still operating with only half their bars open. They’ve moved over the girls from the closed bars, creating a couple very crowded party clusters along the soi that are rammed with chicks and locals, making it hard for a tourists to wedge their way in. One of these clusters consists of Playpen, Toy Box, Repent, and Nightwish, conveniently located across from Slice, the awesome pizza joint. The entire time I was on The 6, I saw only two fit girls. One came out of Repent dressed in civilian clothes and might not even have been working. The other was in Toy Box, and as I put down my pizza and made my way toward her, she got snapped up by a Japanese tourist. The next day, it happened again. I was again having a slice across from her bar. She clocked in at 16.56, walked to the front, and as I sprang from my seat a dude who happened to be walking past barfined her on the spot. It was 16.57. It was at that moment that I realized Pattaya was no longer my kind of town. It used to be you could find a few diamonds in the rough on The 6. Now they’re just rough. But I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I had a nap, regrouped, and headed to Walking Street.

   

A brief nightmare ensued when four idiot hipster Gen-Z Amercan dudes boarded the baht bus. The first one ask the driver if he goes to Walking Street. Then he asked how much it cost. Eesh. Then they had an irritatingly loud conversation about lifting weights. All four of them talked at once about their workouts. One had a mustache, unironically. They were so simultaneously so stupid, loud, and unironic about the caricature they presented, I felt like I was in a cartoon. And they weren’t the only ones. For some inexplicable reason, Pattaya is lousy with American morons. How and when they discovered Thailand is a mystery to me, but it’s a bad omen for all of us. Americans positively suck. On a side note, it was endearing to see that the Central Pattaya Mall hasn’t taken down their Christmas lights. In fact, it’s likely they don’t even know they’re Christmas lights.

Walking Street was quiet–well, it was busier than my last visit in 2021. But it’s not back to normal yet. There’ve been recent closures and openings. In fact for a Bangkokian who hits Ptown sporadically, it’s always a surpise from visit to visit which places reopen and which ones re-close. The current hotspots are Fahrenheit, Dollhouse, and Sapphire. Coincidentally, those are my top 3 faves (now that Electric Blue has shut/moved to the upstairs of Dollhouse). Pin-Up is going strong after downsizing. Overall though, WS is still mostly dark, and going there just depresses me. The good news is, other locales have sprung up, and some of the old dependable places are still going strong. Tree Town is a sprawling, ever-growing matrix of beer bars. This location was also jam-packed with girls and punters, along with live music bars, food carts, restaurants, the whole magillah. If I was a first-timer in Ptown, I’d probably make Tree Town my go-to spot. There’s a lot of variety there. A guy could spend a whole weekend in TT and not hit the same bar twice.

All the places that I used to love in Ptown are now terrible. On LK Metro, the joint that used to be called Touch (teeming with hotties and old cartoon porn on the TVs) is now called Catch Me, and believe me when I say, you wouldn’t want to catch any of the girls in there. Now that I think about it, maybe the new name refers to Chlamydia. In spite of the dearth of hot girls, LK was an absolute madhouse. Everywhere I went, I had trouble finding a seat. Kink was positively crazy. Within seconds of settling in, a girl leaped onto my lap like it was 2010. ‘Twas a similar situation in Sugar Sugar—a place mostly staked out by jealous locals. I lucked into a seat as someone else was leaving, and within seconds was being molested by two mostly-naked girls. And while I appreciated the attention, they were both 6s, so I downed my sml in two swigs and bailed.

Heaven Above has moved from Walking Street to Soi Boomerang. I needed Google Maps to find it. The soi appears dead as you walk down it, but that’s a misdirect. The bars are stuffed to the rafters with girls and customers. My buddy Dan is managing Heaven Above these days so I popped in to say hello. He introduced me to the owners—genuinely nice guys. They didn’t know me from Adam but they were friendly and welcoming. The girls were pretty cute for the most part, and also very friendly, creating a mood reminiscent of the Pattaya of my youth.

Here’s my theory for why Pattaya is so crowded, despite the dearth of hot women. The entire planet is suffering from a 2-year-long case of blue balls. At the present time, there are few countries where a dude can go to get his rocks off. For this reason, Thailand is poised to explode, especially in the coming weeks as more travel restrictions are lifted. Although when I asked a girl if the gogos are crowded every day, she said it’s mostly busy on the weekends. That’ll change soon, I’m sure.

 

Another place that changed for the worse is Horizon Rooftop Bar above the Hilton Hotel. My favorite Ptown activity (besides a Soi 6 afternoon BJ) used to be watching the sun go down from a seat at Horizon whilst smoking a Cuban cigar and sipping wine. This time, when I got there, they told me smoking’s been banned. In an open-air rooftop bar? I thought. Fucking WHY? When I asked the poor hostess, she said “Because Covid.” What in the ever-loving fuck does Covid have to do with smoking cigars in an open-air rooftop bar? I thought. But I didn’t ask. I knew she wouldn’t have an answer. So after snapping a couple pics, I left, and found a place that would let me smoke: Virgin Rooftop Bar on Soi 4. The view isn’t as spectacular as Horizon, but they’ve a nice Australian Cabernet (350+) on the menu and the staff are ingratiating, so I put it in the ‘win’ column.

In addition to the sad state of the RLDs, there remain large swaths of the town that haven’t recovered from the Covid shutdown. Walking down random sois, one can see a tableau of empty buildings on parade. Massage shops, restaurants, whole hotels stand empty and decaying. My assumption has always been that the world is rife with billionaires who’re biding their time, waiting for the lockdowns and restrictions to reach a definitive end, at which time they’ll swoop in and buy up these businesses. But for at least the next few months, Ptown will remain a half-dead town.

After finishing my stogie and wine, I did two more laps on The 6 without seeing a single girl who rated above a 6. Frustrated, I went back to my hotel and stared hopelessly out at the beach. After some ruminating, I packed my shit, left the key at the front desk, and made the 8 o’clock bus back to BKK.

And that’s all the monger that’s fit to ponder from me this time. Swing back by next Sunday, and between now and then keep your balls bald, your beer chilled, and here’s to another week above ground in the greatest country on Earth: Thailand. Cheers.