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Pattaya Daily News

13 December 2006 :: 19:12:04 pm 26066

The definitive general guidelines to Pattaya for foreigners from a concerned courtesan

Pattaya – sometimes known as the Sex Centre Of The Universe - has an ambiguous reputation among foreigners, despite its lavish beaches, bars and broads. Often, they don’t fully grasp the complexities of the Thai lifestyle, so, as a Thai, I’m going to you some guidelines to ensure your stay in our fair country is trouble-free and enjoyable.
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Pattaya is now one of the most popular seaside venues in Southeast Asia, with a multitude of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, cafes beaches, sports and entertainments – sufficient to cater to every taste under the sun. One of Pattaya’s greatest attractions, however, is the Go-Go bars, beer bars clubs, pubs, and discos where you can meet willing companions of all three genders: girls, boys and lady boys, so that you need never again go lonely, either for a short holiday, or in the longer term, usually at a cost, however.

Transportation is much cheaper than in Bangkok, the regular taxis – the blue Baht Buses or song taaw normally cost 10 Baht anywhere within the city boundaries; a new, local bus service operates an air-conditioned service for a flat fare of 20 Baht; motorcycle taxis normally cost from 20 Baht upwards; and longer distance buses will take you to Bangkok, and Suvarnabhumi Airport, from the North Pattaya Bus Station, or all points north from the Pattaya Klang Bus Station; additionally, buses to the local conurbations, such as Chonburi and Rayong operate on Sukhumvit Road. Otherwise, just walk to all your favourite venues.

If you want to travel on motorcycle taxis or privately in a Baht Bus, arrange the fare beforehand, and don’t argue or pick a fight in the event of dispute, the Thai will recruit 30 compatriots and you’ll always come off worse. If in doubt, take the Baht Bus driver’s name and or call the Tourist Police.

CHILL AND ENJOY You are guaranteed to have the time of your life in Fun City – Pattaya – as long as you go at the Thai pace, which can be summed up in three words/phrases: sanook (enjoy), sabai (relax) and mai pen rai (it doesn’t matter). Don’t try and force Western values on the Thais, otherwise you’ll be constantly frustrated.

BARS Bars are located in virtually every available space in Pattaya, though if you’re gay, go to Boyz Town or Sunni Plaza. The bars in Pattaya come in 4 varieties: beer bars, Go-Go bars, drinking bars and Karaoke bars. The Beer Bars, which normally open from 5pm to 2am, are usually the cheapest, especially during Happy Hours, and have willing hostesses, but you’re likely to be asked to buy a lady drink for the lady who comes up and engages you in conversation. If you wish to further enjoy the lady, to release her from the bar, you must pay a bar fine, normally in the range of 300-500 Baht, to the Mamasan, the lady in charge. Your chosen companion will either accompany you back to your room, or up to her room on the premises; the latter is cheapest as in certain bars the overall price includes both the bar fine and Horizontal Mattress Gymnastics (HMG). If you take a lady back to your room, negotiate the price beforehand, but pay afterwards, and make sure you DO pay, otherwise you’ll find either the police or local heavy brigade standing at your door!

The Go-Go Bars, which normally open anywhere from 6 to 8 pm and stay open till 2 am, are voyeur parlours and charge more than the beer bars for the drinks, the privilege of taking the lady, or boy off the premises and for the HMG. You can just drink and enjoy, but you will usually be approached by one or more ladies, especially if you ogle them too much on stage. Again, the same applies as regards buying lady drinks, but you can face them down and refuse to buy one, it’s not compulsory! The bar fines and the charge for HMG are normally higher in Go-Go bars, the former 500-1000 Baht, usually, and the lady’s fee 1000-3000 Baht. It is possible to indulge in HMG for free, but you have to look like Brad Pitt and/or be from 20-24, if you’re a young geriatric, forget it!

Drinking Bars. These are just normal bars where you can go for a drink, but without ladies, or at least ladies who can legitimately go off with you to your hotel/room.

The Karaoke Bars are usually Thai only, just as most beer bars and Go-Go bars are farang only, so don’t be surprised if the Thai regulars look at you aghast. Despite their name, they are once again venues for HMG, the singing and booze are incidental.

For the time of your life, you can go to the body massage parlours, which offer a luxurious, ultra-sensual time with a bath where the lady acts as a nude sponge! HMG extra. The price here is usually 1,500 Baht inclusive.

Beware of bill-loading, always check how many drinks you’ve had and check the maths

All Discos are open to ladies of any nationality, but for male seekers, discos predominantly cater to farang heterosexual males or mixed Thai and farang males. The former include Marine Disco and Lucifer’s on Walking street, whereas the latter are Hollywood, Slim and Excite. The ladies are freelance, either free-ranging or after hours bar girls and usually cost 500 Baht. These are rarely free! NB if you indulge in illegal substances, avoid the discos as they’re subject to impromptu police searches and blood testing!

Under normal circumstances, you won’t be ripped off by the ladies, not unless they’re high on speed, but be cautious and don’t put temptation their way. Be considerate and don’t forget you’re usually far richer than they’re ever likely to be, which is why farangs have gained a reputation for being walking ATMs – also most ladies won’t believe that you’re broke, even if you are.

A cautious note re.mixed gender individuals, otherwise known as lady boys or katoeys. These are normally males who are at one of a threefold transition stage: they merely dress as ladies, they’ve got breasts due to implants and/or hormone treatments, or they’ve had the cut and are effectively fully female. They can sometimes be impossible to tell apart from the real article, but here are some tips, they’re often:
• tall
• deep-voiced
• large-footed
• equipped with an Adam’s apple (though not all)
• physically much stronger than ladies
• much more exhibitionist

MONEY AND VALUABLES Here, the best policy applies globally, not just to Pattaya – don’t be stupid, or too intoxicated! If you want to loose all your valuables, leave them exposed, or walk around sporting weighty quantities of gold. The safest bet is to secure large amounts of money, watches or other valuables in the safe at your hotel, or leave them at home, the same goes for money. Carry two wallets, one with a minimum sum and the other secured deeper on your person. Avoid flashing your money, change 1000 Baht notes for smaller denominations before partying and don’t leave your cash loose. Only use ATMs when there are either many close neighbours, or no one’s close and secure it on your person immediately. Don’t give your credit card number to anyone, irrespective of how long or how well you know them. Watch suspicious character, rogue motorcycle riders and don’t sit too close on buses, or put your wallet in a front pocket.

FARANG BANDITS Though this happens more often in Bangkok than Pattaya, beware the sidling farang, or beach bum with amazing, get rich quick scams, these include time share bandits, gem-sellers, con-merchants and sellers of non-existent or way overpriced bars or condos. Don’t leave your brain at the airport and exercise a modicum of intelligence. That also applies to Thais who sidle up and try to get you to buy ganja, coke etc or to go and see live sex shows. It’s often an excuse to rob you. Remember, there’s virtually nothing free in this life.

HARD LUCK STORIES Many bar girls are past-mistresses of the hard luck stories and their tales are legion: sick water buffaloes, mentally infirm or medically needy family members, new babies, new condo rents, motorcycles needing repair, essential new mobile phones etc. etc. They are nearly all windups, but not all! Check’em out first. And pay the rent yourself rather than giving the lady the money. And also try not to fall in love at every bar you visit, or to marry a new dynamic lover at the drop of a hat. Exercise discretion, good people.

DRIVING Always, repeat always take out the most comprehensive insurance you can before venturing out onto the maelstrom that passes for Pattaya roads, especially hiring cars or motorbikes. If you don’t, you may have someone conveniently back into you, to get a new bumper etc, have to pay horrendous medical charges for causing death, injury or substantial damage to vehicles or motor cycles. Re. motorbikes don’t drive like a maniac, despite what others may do, don’t ride Harleys and always wear protective clothing especially a hard helmet. Try and secure a hired bike at night in case some individual, including the person you hired it from, decides to steal it.

Expect to have to pay instant fines if you’re stopped by the police and don’t argue, if you don’t want to be incarcerated indefinitely. Always practice safe driving techniques and anticipate that the driver next to you will perform the most ridiculous manoeuvre, including signalling without actually doing so. And always carry a legit international driving licence and a copy of your passport with current visa page.

MAD DOGS Finally, avoid dogs at night, they’re all schizophrenic – nice during the day and bite your legs off at night, even if you’re riding a motorcycle. Look out for snakes in unlikely places and finally don’t be a mad dog yourself, or an Englishman i.e. don’t go out in the mid-day sun without protection. Always walk in the shadow, and take frequent, but short sunbathes with a high sun factor.

Apart from that – chock dee – good luck, keep your wits about you and ENJOY, because to all intents and purposes you only live once.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Tourism News

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