Pattaya's famous Walking Street Pattaya is one of the biggest and busiest party hotspots in Thailand, with a dense concentration of venues, and is very popular for its bustling nightlife that includes their infamous Go-Go bars, nightclubs, sports bars, beer bars and restaurants. Being a kilometre long, stretching from Beach Road to Bali Hai Plaza, almost every building offers entertainment for you giving an immense amount of choice. The nightlife even extends up the side streets, making the area a warren of streets filled with exciting activity, and catering for almost every taste, so no matter what you're looking for you're more than likely to find it here!
There is so much to do in this area it's difficult to choose; all along the street many pretty Pattaya girls are out in force trying to entice tourists into their venue with various promotions.
There are many nightclubs and restaurants in and around Walking Street. If you want to party all night the nightclubs are the place to be, being open until the sun comes up. Whichever night you fancy you will always find the nightclubs busy as they are extremely popular with both locals and tourists of all ages, and each have their own style and special atmosphere to give a good variety for customers. Drinks in the clubs are generally more expensive that other types of venue, as with all places, but still cheap compared to Western prices. The restaurants in Walking Street give a good variety of choice, including international and Thai cuisine, as well as some great seafood establishments located on the waterside with views over Pattaya Bay, that serve fresh seafood which you can choose by picking it from the market style display; these restaurants are very popular, albeit a little more pricey than other areas of Pattaya.
There are a huge number of beer bars, which are located within large open-air complexes - in each you will find 20 or so independent bars which consist of a small bar surrounded by a seating area, some with pool tables or showing sports on TVs, and are all staffed with a few friendly Thai girls. These are the places to find the cheapest beer around and to take advantage of their happy hours.
If you like live music you can find several large open-air venues for catering for you, which have live bands of varying genres, who are great at entertaining the crowds. These venues generally have pool tables and sports TV's as well.
All along Walking Street you will find a large number Go-Go (Agogo) bars, the main attraction for many visitors to the area. These venues are located indoors, unlike other types of entertainment venues in Walking Street, so to see what they have on offer you will need go inside. The venues are very safe and the drinks are reasonably priced, albeit a little more expensive than the beer bars and live music venues.
Most Go-Go bars have a central stage area with seating areas surrounding this, allowing everyone a good view of the stage where sexy, scantily clad Thai ladies will dance (some professional, some not), put on special performances such as erotic shows, stage showers, pole dancing and acrobatics; some even encourage enthusiastic tourists to join their show on stage for fun and games, to the amusement of the other customers. A lot of these shows are very good and well worth watching, even if you are a heterosexual woman!
The hostesses are very efficient and will fetch you drinks frequently so you won't go thirsty, and will leave a running bar tab with you so there won't be any surprises when it comes to paying. All of the girls are happy to come and sit with you for the evening (for a small fee - usually a drink), but this is not at all compulsory and there is no pressure to do so.
Bar Fines and Lady Boys
If you are particularly taken with an exotically beautiful Thai girl, or even an alluring Russian girl, which can also be found working in bars, then most beer bars and go-go bars allow you pay a 'bar fine' to allow you to take the girl out for a short time, or even for the whole night; this bar fine will pay the establishment for the time that she is gone when she should be working, so you will also be expected to pay the lady for her time with you, the cost of which you will negotiate with your lady. Bar fines range from around 300 Thai Baht to over 1,500 Thai Baht, depending on where the girl works; they tend to be cheaper in the beer bars, becoming more expensive in Go-Go bars, and even higher for show girls and Russian girls.
Ladyboys, or locally known as katoeys, are men who dress, live and act convincingly as attractive women; they vary in the gender reassignment process between pre-operative men (transvestites), part-op (shemales with female breasts enhancements but still with male genitalia), and post-op (full female genitalia) - but as this last option is so expensive for Thai's these type of ladyboys are quite rare.
Ladyboys are a common and visible feature in Pattaya, due to the tolerant nature of the Buddhist culture. You will see many in Walking Street working in the beer bars and Go-Go bars, or in Pattaya's famous cabaret shows as dancers; however, there are also a fair number working in traditional feminine jobs, such as in beauty salons, hair salons and massage parlours.
Ladyboys working in beer bars and Go-Go bars, as with the women, are available for you to pay a bar fine for their company for a few hours or longer; alternatively, you can find many working freelance offering their company in Walking Street or Pattaya Beach Road. If ladyboys are not your thing but you are looking for a special lady you would be wise to exercise some caution as often it is very difficult to tell the difference between a genuine girl and a ladyboy, especially if you are intoxicated, as the ladyboys are so good and convincing as ladies! However, many will be honest with you and it is a common misconception that every other bar girl is a ladyboy, in the main they are genuine ladies, and you will only find one in ten to be a ladyboy.