Behind the Smile, the story of Lek, a bargirl in Pattaya

The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya
'Daddy's Hobby'

Pattaya in Thailand

Pattaya Thailand

Pattaya is a city built for fun on the northeastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It is situated in Chonburi Province around 150 kilometres south of Bangkok. In the Sixties, Pattaya was hardly known and certainly not as a beach resort, but the American soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War started using it for R&R and it began to grow. Pattaya is most famous for its entertainment and its nightlife, yet in fact it has a lot more than that to offer.

As far as merely sport goes, Pattaya offers horse riding, swimming, diving, wind surfing, golf, tennis and jet skiing among others. However, unlike most sporting towns or cities, it does not begin to go to sleep as the sun goes down.

The bars, restaurants, discos and strip bars begin to open in profusion at about four o'clock. The wide variety of international bars in Pattaya are of every persuasion to suit every niche market.

There are Welsh bars, American bars, Irish bars, Lady Boy bars, beer bars, Go-Go bars and every other type of bar you can think of. Similarly with the restaurants, there are specialized restaurants for every country.Map of Pattaya

There are bush game restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, American, French, German and fish restaurants. In fact there are thousands of international restaurants and bars in Pattaya all attempting to be unique.

I am certain that you could remain in Pattaya for months without going to the same bar or eating the same type of food twice. This is just as well because there are representatives from each country in the world there too. You will hear English, Russian and every other European and Asian language spoken in Pattaya on a regular basis.

Pattaya receives over one million visitors a year. Most of these visitors are men, and the local government is attempting to do more to appeal to women and families by relocating the girlie bars back away from the beautiful, sandy, Pattaya beach.

Despite it being quite large, you can remain in your favourite part of Pattaya yet find nearly everything you want near-by. However, if you do want to get about, nothing could be easier. Most people, locals, tourists and ex-pats, just hop on a motorbike taxi or a 'Baht Bus'. These small open-backed pick-ups can be seen going around the city by quite predictable routes once you understand the design of Pattaya's roads.

The 'fixed fare' is ten Baht for as far as you want to go on the route, even though some drivers will attempt to get more out of you if you go a long way. Thais pay five Baht. If you do not feel confident enough to forecast where the bus is going, you could hire on one of the thousands of motorbike taxis.

They are dearer at around forty to sixty Baht, yet they will go anywhere you like. Get a quote before you set off to avoid disappointment on both sides. If you do not want to rent a car, there are other options.

You could rent a motorcycle or motorbike. A motorcycle costs around 100 Baht a day at the cheapest, but be wary of the traffic in Pattaya it can become fairly chaotic especially along the main Pattaya Beach Road.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on several topics, but is now concerned with Songkran - the old Thai New Year. If you would like to know more, please visit our website at Package Holidays to Thailand.

'Behind the Smile' refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as 'The Land of Smiles'.

by Owen Jones



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BTS 1: Daddy's Hobby

BTS2: An Exciting Future

BTS3: Maya - Illusion
BTS4: The Lady in the Tree

BTS5: Stepping Stones

BTS6 - The Dream