Pattaya has a large number of go go bars, although these are concentrated primarily in and around Walking Street and a few other select areas. They are one of the main reasons many visitors come to the city. The sex industry thrives in Pattaya as long as everyone sticks to the rules. Prostitution was made (officially) illegal in 1960 but the Thais are an eminently pragmatic lot in many ways and so it’s tolerated in certain areas, since its lucrative to those on both sides of the law. Most of the go go bars in Pattaya are found either along the Walking Street or down selected lanes (sois) off Beach Road, with a few over at Jomtien beach.
Go go bars started life in the late 1960s (hence the anachronistic name) and feature girls in g-string bikinis, more or less dancing (or shuffling around) in a UV-lit atmosphere with loud music. The go go bars of Pattaya are very relaxed and have none of the clandestine character and sleaze of red light districts in other countries.
The girls are often fun, friendly and willing to go home with you, albeit at a higher fee than the girls who work in the beer bars. A distinction should be made from ‘beer bars’ – which are essentially offering the same thing, but the girls are more clothed, and cheaper, though usually less sexy. They are open to the street and more relaxed. In some of the go go bars on Walking Street these days the girls are totally naked, or at least topless (or bottomless!)
If you are new to Pattaya, you needn’t feel embarrassed. Simply pop into a bar and quietly sit watching sport on the TV, or the girls dancing, over a beer. The girls will approach you, and although some are quite forward they are, on the whole, respectful. There is pressure to buy lady drinks which, in 2010, were priced at an average 120 baht. It’s not that the girl is thirsty necessarily, it’s just that she receives up to 30 baht from the sale of each lady drink as a tip. All of the go go bars in Pattaya are entered through a curtain or door, with plenty of touts outside – mainly pretty ladies to guide you in. The only ones that try to charge for entry are Thai-run, show places that are rip-offs.
The smaller Pattaya go go bars may have as few as 10 girls ‘working’ in each; the larger ones can have as many as 50 or more. There are even a couple of ‘European girls only’ go go bars in Walking Street, employing mainly hard-faced, but attractive, East Europeans. These places are popular with North Asian tourists, less so with Caucasians. Read more about finding hookers in Pattaya.
Many men take their girlfriends into go gos with them for a quick drink, but for the more serious male tourist this is why he is in Pattaya. About 75 per cent or more of the visitors to Pattaya are (supposedly) single men. Just choose which one of the lovelies you fancy and buy her a drink first to get acquainted. It won’t be long before you are approached, but you’re welcome to sit and drink alone for a while; they will soon leave you to yourself.
To take a girl out of the bar you must pay a ‘bar fine’. This ranges from 200-1,000 baht, although the standard is around 600 baht. The amount depends on the bar in question, the season, the time of night and whether the girl is considered a show dancer or not. For example, most go go bars increase their bar fine rates to 1,000 baht until midnight on really popular nights, such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Some impose this figure for the whole of December and into January, known as the high season. The bar fine is to compensate the bar owner for the loss of the girl’s services. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, go go bar owners make more money when they have a full complement of girls keeping drinkers in the bar than they do from making a profit on bar fines.
Although the most common practice is to take the girl out the go go bars, some go go bars offer room facilities onsite, or the girls will direct you to a nearby ‘short time’ hotel. Some of the girls will charge 1,000-1,500 baht for ‘short-time’, which is usually less than an hour (if she’s any good). The bar fine will have to be paid (some places charge less if a customer is only going short time) and the room rented, usually for about 300 baht.
However, at most go go bars in Pattaya you can take the girls off to your hotel room and this is the most common practice. Girls will expect more if you want them to stay all night and some guys simply ‘hire’ a girl as companions for several days. Earlier in the evening, some girls will agree to a reasonable short time fee if they know they can be back in the bar to try their luck on someone else. A good hotel security will usually require a girl to deposit her ID card at reception so your chances of being drugged and robbed are reduced…more on Pattaya bar girls.
Soi Diamond, off Walking Street, has a choice of 16 different go go bars, from Shark Agogo (2nd floor), Diamond Agogo, Windmill Club, Super Baby, Super Girl, Heaven Above (upstairs) and Naughty Girls as some good examples. The rest of Walking Street really speaks for itself at night, with young touts (both male and female) at every go go bar entrance.
Pattayaland Soi 2 (13/4) now has one go go: Classroom, although many people consider it more a sport bars and lounge than a go go these days. The Kitten Club employs more katoeys (ladyboys or transvestites) than real girls and tends to have overpriced drinks. The adjacent Penthouse Hotel is popular.
Hottie’s Coyote Club is a top entertainment venue in Second Road with more than 50 charming, beautiful Thai girls and live music. Ziggies Bar is found in Simon Drinking Street in North Pattaya and offers a fun-packed evening of entertainment. Club Blu Coyote Bar is situated on the corner of Soi LK Metro and Soi Buakhao in Central Pattaya and offered air conditioned go go fun with a host of gorgeous ladies…more on Pattaya nightlife and bars.
Soi Yamato, Soi Post Office, and Sois 7 and 8, as well as Soi Buakhow and the adjacent Soi LK Metro, are other places to find go go bars in Pattaya.
Pattaya also has a lot of ‘freelancing’ prostitutes. These are girls who prefer not to work in bars, are not sexy enough, or are regular girls who make themselves ‘available part time’. They tend to frequent discos (Marine, Club Illusion, Lucifers) or bars that do not have a bar fine arrangement. However, the largest congregation of them can be found loitering around on the promenade along the beachfront of Pattaya Bay. At times, the sheer number can be daunting but most will only look at passers-by. If you look interested then some will make a comment or two and even approach you. They are certainly cheaper (without a bar fine) than girls in bars. Some of these girls are simply students who occasionally indulge in the sex trade for pocket money.
Pattaya is a sex hotspot for people from all over the world. Safe sex is practiced by the majority of the girls and is expected from you in the same way. There are various sexually-transmitted diseases in a city like this and HIV, although not too widespread, is still a genuine threat. Many smaller complaints, such as herpes, can also be very uncomfortable for you, possible spoiling your time here, so do use basic precautions. The girls here are almost always clean. There are many English-speaking doctors around (Dr Belen (off Second Road), near soi 6 has been in the city a long time) and the pharmacists are great (they have seen it all before)…more on Health in Pattaya.