Many people from all over the world will visit Pattaya just to experience it’s amazing nightlife. The nightlife in Pattaya can be very different from a lot of other locations in Thailand. When the sun goes down the volume goes up. That does not mean it is just full of nightclubs and party goers, but there is a whole economy built upon this party style atmosphere. If you are planning to have a night out in Pattaya where do many people start? That’s quite simple in a bar.
Bars in Pattaya
There is one thing you will not be short of in Pattaya and that is bars. If you are staying in central Pattaya, you will usually be no further than 50 feet from a bar at any given point. During the evening when the neon lights are switched on this can be quite a sight. With the large number of ladies trying to attract people into the bars, many targeting single men, this can put off some travellers. This is no different to visiting some of the major European resorts like Falaraki, Magaluf or San Antonio in Ibiza.
Once you are in your bar you will be able to order your drinks as if you were in a restaurant. Table service is normal in Thailand and it works very well. There is one major difference from bars back home and that is you will build your bill as the night goes on. Be careful with this as you can end up with a large bar bill without realising it. It is always prudent to pay for you drinks every hour or so or count up how much your bill will be. Some of the bar staff may come and sit with you if it particualy quiet, it is up to you if you offer to buy them a drink. If they do ask, then it is advisable to settle up your tab and leave. The staff in each bar makes a small commission off of these drinks and they often will cost more than your drink. These are referred to as “lady drinks”.
If you do buy the staff a drink it will usually be some kind of fruit juice, due to the fact that they often work long shifts. Can you imagine having to work for 8 or 9 hours drunk? That is why they will have some sort of fruit juice. Lady drinks will vary in price from bar to bar and often will be more expensive in bars along walking street.
Walking street in Pattaya
Starting at the end of beach road and working it’s way to near the Bali Hai pier is walking street. This is possible the biggest attraction in terms of nightlife in Pattaya. As you enter Walking street you will be greeted with the tourist police station at either end. The tourist police can be seen patrolling Walking street to help with any incidents that occur involving foreign tourists. Given the fact that a large number of British, Austrailian, Chinese, Indian and Russian tourists are all in the same place in Thailand, there are always going to be cultural differences that arise. But incidents are relatively low by all accounts. Many people just enjoy the party atmosphere.
As soon as you get in to Walking street you will see a large number of live music venues, bars, night clubs and go-go’s. Each one of these has its own theme to help make it stand out from the rest. The bright neon lights that illuminate this mile of madness are what a lot of visitors come to see.
Walking street is famous for its night clubs. These include Marine disco, Insomnia and Lucifer club. Marine disco is the oldest of them and traces its origins to when U.S service men were frequenting Pattaya on their R&R time during the Vietnam war. Thankfully it is completely modernised today and is often open until the early hours each day. All of the clubs located on walking street charge similar prices for drinks, these are often more than bars in other areas of Pattaya. So you have been warned. The biggest difference in the clubs is that you will settle your tab after each round of drinks that you order.
One of the attractions that bring in a lot of English speaking tourists are the live music venues. The rolling stone bar will one of the first you will see if you enter walking street from the beach road end. In here there is a live rock band playing rock hits from the 80’s, 90’s and beyond. This is a great place to visit, but can become very crowded very quickly at night. As with all live music venues in Thailand, it will be a Thai band performing each night so you will often hear the same songs over the course of a few nights. But this is still a great thing to experience.
Another one of the top attractions in Walking Street is the number of Go-go bars. These are effectively strip clubs that do not charge admission. Often they will have a large number of attractive young lady’s outside trying to encourage people to go in. Often these will have some form of cheap drink offers to entice you to go in. Be warned that these are very different from strip clubs in your own country. The girls can often be very persuasive in the way they get you to spend your money. This can become very expensive if you don’t have your wits about you. This is not to say you will not have a great time, but your wallet may regret it in the morning. Some of the most notable are Skyfall, Alcatraz, The Windmill club and Farenheit.
It is not all nightclubs and go-go's on Walking Street, there are a few large open air bar complex’s that offer you a chance to just sit and relax at a bar or play some pool. Again drink prices may be higher than in other parts of Pattaya. The bar staff will operate in the same way as any other bars. The bar girls will encourage you to part with your money as they will earn money based on what you spend. Occasionally they may even challenge you at some bar games. This is a quick way for them to make some money off f you. Games such as Connect 4, Jenga or Shut the door are all popular ways to make a 100 baht from you. Don’t be fooled if you win the first game, these girls are very good at these games. That's what makes the nightlife in pattaya so appealing.
Nighlife in Pattaya away from walking street
There are numerous other nightlife spots outside of walking street. The first is the Pattaya Beer Garden. This is located right outside the Walking Street entrance on beach road. The beer garden is a popular bar complex and restaurant that caters for families and has a really relaxed atmosphere. As it is located out over the sea the beer garden is a great place to enjoy a meal before you start your evening. Unlike other bars in Pattaya, the beer garden staff will not hassle you for lady drinks nor do they employ anyone who will. They offer you a beer mat when you arrive which will indicate if you want any company or not based on which way it is facing. The food is excellent at the beer garden and you will not be disappointed whatever you choose.
Right in front of the beer garden is a beer bar complex that occasionally has amateur Muay Thai fights. This is a really popular sport in Asia and this will give you a little demonstration of this sport. These are not serious fights and are there for your entertainment. If you want to give the fighters a tip, this is always appreciated.
LK metro is another location to see the nightlife in pattaya and to spend an evening exploring. LK Metro is mainly known for its Go-go’s and beer bars. Prices are not as high as Walking Street but you should still expect to pay a little more. The billabong bar, located right on the corner of LK metro is a great place to take in the experience of the area. You can sit outside and just people watch, which is fascinating in its own right. They also do some great buy one get one free drink deals. Just remember to ask for your second drink as they will bring it out once you have finished your first. It’s always good to check your bill at this point to make sure you have not been charged twice as this deal can be withdrawn at any point. If you are not sure just ask the staff who will help you.
But the main reason that so many people visit LK metro is the go-go’s. These outnumber bars in the area. Sugar Sugar agogo is the first go-go is the first you will see if you are entering from Soi Buakhao. Others follow very quickly as LK metro is not a vast area. These again are priced slightly lower than those on walking street, but the experience is still just as good. This location is very popular due to its ease of access as the Baht buses run relatively close to the entrances at both ends.
Not far from LK Metro is Soi Honey. This is very popular due to the high number of massage parlours located on here. This is a great place to visit if you are looking for a massage and there are even some specialist one located down Soi Honey. If you travel towards the second road end of Soi Honey you will find Retox 2, a popular place to watch live sport. There are a few other bars along Soi Honey which are similar to others in the area with some live music playing.
Soi 8 & Soi 7 are just a short walk from Soi Honey along second road. Soi 8 has some really great bars towards the beach road end of the soi. The most notable is Rolling live 3 that has a live band playing every night. The drinks are reasonably priced and the staff help make you enjoy your time there. This is one of the few bars where everyone is welcome. Soi 7 is very much the same in terms of atmosphere. There are lots of beer bar complex’s with girls trying to entice customers into each bar. There are even a couple of ladyboy bars along here. You can easily spend an entire evening on Soi 7 given that it has a wide range of bars and restaurants.
If you take the baht bus (or songthaews) along second road to soi 6 you will be at another of Pattaya’s wildest nightlife spots. Now it is quite important to not get soi 6 and soi6/1 confused due to the nature of the environment. Soi 6/1 is famous for its ladyboy bars and you do not want to end up with a surprise at the end of the night. If you see the “Corner” bar then you are on Soi 6. This Soi is around 350 meters long and has bars on each side. There are also things like hair salons and various hotel rooms along here. But this can get quite noisy at night. This area is notorious with people who are looking for the short term companionship of a lady. This is why many of the bars offer short term rooms.
There are also a couple of other attractions that are on beach road. These are the cocktail vans. Converted from old VW beetle camper vans these make a great addition to the nightlife on beach road. If you want to sit and watch the sunset behind the horizon whilst sipping a cocktail then you should check these out. There are 2 of these with one located between soi 6 and 7 on beach road. The second is on beach road close to Mikes mall. They will make what ever you like for as little as 80 baht. That is such a great bargain it is hard to just have one.
If you carry on travelling on The Baht bus you will end up at Na Kluea fish market. This a great place to visit for the whole family. You can choose your food and have it cooked for you for as little 280 Baht for a family. Then you can watch the sun go down by the beach and enjoy a relaxing evening. This is an area where many Thai people will visit at this time.
There are thousands of places to visit at night in Pattaya that I have not mentioned, just go exploring if you are in the city.