The First Time in Pattaya
I took my first trip to Pattaya, Thailand on the advice of friends. I travelled alone, but I knew that we would
meet up there. The taxi took me straight from the airport to Soi 7 (Street 7) where I had booked a room in the 'Pig
I arrived at 5:30 pm so the area was only just starting to get busy, but Soi 7 is the probably the busiest
street in Pattaya or maybe Walking Street is. Anyway, I went inside, showered, changed and went downstairs to the
bar for a drink. In that 90 minutes the soi had come alive.
It is very interesting to note people's first reaction to Pattaya. I just sat at a window mesmerized by all the
beautiful women I could see outside. There were hundreds of them within view and I could see only a small section
of the soi. I actually found it intimidating.
Not frightening, but the girls were all so self-confident. I don't think that there are many Western men who
haven't seen it before who wouldn't be awe-struck. In fact, the girls are not a bit scary and are quite safe. I
have not heard of any pick-pocketing or attacks in Soi 7.
Theft may happen in Soi 7, it certainly does on Beach Road and Soi Buakhao, but the sois 1 to 17 are not
well-known for bad experiences - quite the opposite.
Most men are very flattered by the amount of attention. The funny thing is that a lot of men do not want to see
that every man, old or young, fat or thin, gets the same treatment, but then not many men over 40 get compliments
from beautiful 20 somethings in the West and it is very nice indeed.
It is very hard to remember that you are just part of the daily job to them. Even after several visits it is
still hard to remember that the cat-calling and the wolf-whistling is not personal. Men are so easily flattered!
Because we are starved of it at home.
The reaction of foreign women visiting Pattaya is very interesting too. Most Western women instinctively dislike
the kind of women who work in the beer bars in Pattaya. These bar girls are beautiful, brash and scantily clothed.
Most Western women are jealous.
However, that attitude often changes as soon as they actually meet real, live Pattaya bar girls. It is quite
amazing to witness. The reaction is usually one of solidarity and awe or respect for these hard-working girls, who
do a difficult job well in the beer bars and gogo bars.
I have seen old and young Western women dancing on table tops showing their knickers out of solidarity with the
young bar girls. As one woman said to me: "There but for the Grace of God go many women".
I know elderly married couples who come to Pattaya every year because they love to sit with the bar girls and
just chat. Most of the bar girls can speak some English and all of them have a story to tell.
Most men that come to Pattaya experience some kind of holiday romance even if it is platonic rather than sexual,
because the girls are irresistible. There is certainly something about them, something magnetic and getting over a
holiday romance with a Pattaya bar girl can be too hard for an aging Western male to handle.
It is a common event for a tourist to go home and fly straight back to Pattaya again the following week.
I know, because I did it too.
by Owen Jones