U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 10-31-2018, 04:31 AM
 
1 posts, read 361 times
Reputation: 16

Advertisements

You either love Pattaya for its bars and sleaziness, or you despise it.

I thought I would be in the latter category forever. That changed when I visited recently for the first time in a long time. The few times I went in the past, I could only stand its seediness for a couple nights at most. I even avoided telling friends and family where I actually was, so famous is its reputation as the #1 Sin City in the world.

As a long-term expat in Bangkok, I always laughed every time the local media talked about the gentrification of Pattaya and infinite arrivals of quality tourists. Internet forums and regular discussions with other expats fooled me into believing Thailand can only go in one direction - down, and as fast as possible.

That's exactly what I found has happened to nightlife in Pattaya. Bars are now poor value for money, but not because Thailand has become a failed state. On the contrary, it's because Thailand has experienced dramatic economic growth for decades.

Better days
Poverty and unemployment are at their lowest levels in history. Education and healthcare have never been more accessible. It seems everyone has an expensive smart-phone or car no matter what their job is. Most expats have seen lovely Thai girls selling products on social media or LINE. Thailand has one of the largest social commerce markets in the world, particularly among young people. Barriers to entry are so low, almost anyone can start selling online. Thailand 4.0, another media gimmick I used to laugh at, is real and tangible. The middle class has mushroomed as a result.

Isaan, where most bargirls are from, has benefited the most economically out of all the areas in Thailand.

Many girls destined to bar work in the past are now either in university, selling online, or working at another easily obtainable job. As Westerners, we may not consider all the new McJobs as the epitome of a thriving economy, but to many young Thai girls, it's a perfect life. The economic expansion has left behind only a small part of society. The girls who end up in bars nowadays are society's leftovers - the poorest and least educated who are unable to benefit from the modern economy.

The death of nightlife?
Decades ago, expats and tourists looked forward to epic nights out every time they stepped into a bar. Prices were cheap. Girls were friendly and always in a good mood. Mamasans were glad to see you and there was little pressure to pay for extras. These days, girls are crass and Mamasans are mercenary. Thai smiles and fun are gone. Prices are through the roof. Pressure is regularly applied immediately to buy lady-drinks and bar-fine. The whole environment is often inhospitable.

Open-air bars are more like cesspools than adult playgrounds. It's a struggle to find just one attractive girl out of hundreds. Unable to entice even the most decrepit punter with the tried-and-tested, "Hello handsome man, where you go?" many bars are completely empty. Society's leftovers fighting over scraps.

Tourists - the new breed
At the same time, young tourists fill new shopping centers and restaurants along Beach Road. The sidewalk along the beach is wider, full of new trees, and is surprisingly pleasant to walk along. Most tourists are now from Asia, the Middle East, and Russia. Families with kids are everywhere.

In many ways, it's like nightlife doesn't exist unless you specifically go looking for it, just like in most cities in the world. If you had never heard of Pattaya before, you would never know in the past it was full of Western tourists who mainly came for bargirls. There's no doubt the industry is dying.

I never thought I would say this when I first came to Thailand, but Pattaya 4.0 is here and I like it.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-31-2018, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,943 posts, read 36,139,074 times
Reputation: 9478
Quote:
Originally Posted by genkaplevis View Post
You either love Pattaya for its bars and sleaziness, or you despise it.

I thought I would be in the latter category forever. That changed when I visited recently for the first time in a long time. The few times I went in the past, I could only stand its seediness for a couple nights at most. I even avoided telling friends and family where I actually was, so famous is its reputation as the #1 Sin City in the world.

As a long-term expat in Bangkok, I always laughed every time the local media talked about the gentrification of Pattaya and infinite arrivals of quality tourists. Internet forums and regular discussions with other expats fooled me into believing Thailand can only go in one direction - down, and as fast as possible.

That's exactly what I found has happened to nightlife in Pattaya. Bars are now poor value for money, but not because Thailand has become a failed state. On the contrary, it's because Thailand has experienced dramatic economic growth for decades.

Better days
Poverty and unemployment are at their lowest levels in history. Education and healthcare have never been more accessible. It seems everyone has an expensive smart-phone or car no matter what their job is. Most expats have seen lovely Thai girls selling products on social media or LINE. Thailand has one of the largest social commerce markets in the world, particularly among young people. Barriers to entry are so low, almost anyone can start selling online. Thailand 4.0, another media gimmick I used to laugh at, is real and tangible. The middle class has mushroomed as a result.

Isaan, where most bargirls are from, has benefited the most economically out of all the areas in Thailand.

Many girls destined to bar work in the past are now either in university, selling online, or working at another easily obtainable job. As Westerners, we may not consider all the new McJobs as the epitome of a thriving economy, but to many young Thai girls, it's a perfect life. The economic expansion has left behind only a small part of society. The girls who end up in bars nowadays are society's leftovers - the poorest and least educated who are unable to benefit from the modern economy.

The death of nightlife?
Decades ago, expats and tourists looked forward to epic nights out every time they stepped into a bar. Prices were cheap. Girls were friendly and always in a good mood. Mamasans were glad to see you and there was little pressure to pay for extras. These days, girls are crass and Mamasans are mercenary. Thai smiles and fun are gone. Prices are through the roof. Pressure is regularly applied immediately to buy lady-drinks and bar-fine. The whole environment is often inhospitable.

Open-air bars are more like cesspools than adult playgrounds. It's a struggle to find just one attractive girl out of hundreds. Unable to entice even the most decrepit punter with the tried-and-tested, "Hello handsome man, where you go?" many bars are completely empty. Society's leftovers fighting over scraps.

Tourists - the new breed
At the same time, young tourists fill new shopping centers and restaurants along Beach Road. The sidewalk along the beach is wider, full of new trees, and is surprisingly pleasant to walk along. Most tourists are now from Asia, the Middle East, and Russia. Families with kids are everywhere.

In many ways, it's like nightlife doesn't exist unless you specifically go looking for it, just like in most cities in the world. If you had never heard of Pattaya before, you would never know in the past it was full of Western tourists who mainly came for bargirls. There's no doubt the industry is dying.

I never thought I would say this when I first came to Thailand, but Pattaya 4.0 is here and I like it.
That's a great write-up!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2018, 07:29 AM
 
1,984 posts, read 1,185,359 times
Reputation: 1631
Walking Street is a ripoff, but the beer bars and free Lance scene on the beach road are about half price vs. Bangkok. I actually may go soon. I haven't been in six years. My "GF" last time was a cute 33 yo,vfrom Udon, with two kids at her mom's. Prices too low to state here, kind of like cocaine prices in Nogales.....people from mainstream USA and Europe gave no clue about these matters
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2018, 01:29 AM
 
1 posts, read 338 times
Reputation: 10
I love Thai gilrs)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2018, 06:16 AM
 
359 posts, read 712,212 times
Reputation: 302
I love Thai sticks)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2018, 11:27 AM
 
1,984 posts, read 1,185,359 times
Reputation: 1631
Quote:
Originally Posted by TowBar View Post
I love Thai sticks)
Hasn't been around in ages...the stuff I smell the students smoking is like lower grade Mex..and laws are still pretty strict.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2018, 01:34 PM
 
Location: No. Virginia, USA
328 posts, read 476,424 times
Reputation: 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
That's a great write-up!
Hmmmm... I wonder who this guy is. Stickman? Pretty much nailed it, IMHO (although calling it "inhospitable" is a bit harsh. You know, older folks are always recalling how it used to be, and it was always so much better back then... but for first time [male] visitors it's still an eye-opener.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2018, 04:33 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
4,847 posts, read 3,374,646 times
Reputation: 7728
The one and only Stickman? Think he left Bangkok and is living in New Zealand.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2018, 08:59 PM
 
1,984 posts, read 1,185,359 times
Reputation: 1631
Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
The one and only Stickman? Think he left Bangkok and is living in New Zealand.
He recently restarted his Sunday column. There are many immitations now, along with thousands of vloggers covering the naughty scene, but his writing is a few notches above.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2018, 09:41 AM
 
115 posts, read 61,275 times
Reputation: 346
i live in thailand part time. i have a wife, a house, everything. it's a lot different than 15 years ago for sure. prices for nightlife is high now. if you want cheap nightlife, philippines is better. i stay here because i have a wife and i am planning on retiring soon. i am nearing 40 and just sick of america. the sooner i can sever all ties to that good for nothing country the better.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top