Category Archives: Gay Bangkok
Pattaya is located about 2 hours drive South of Bangkok, or about 90 minutes from the new airport. It is well known for its beaches, and the “sun/sea” image, but far more renowned for its reputation as “Sin City”.
Nightlife dominates this city and the people who come here generally come for this. You can have 24 hour entertainment; from the beach during the day, quiet cafes in the afternoon, early evening drinks, wild evenings in gogo bars or cabaret bars and late night fun in the discos.
It’s all here, and it’s all set up for the gay visitor. What’s more it’s as safe as anywhere in Europe and you pay Asian prices, rather than European ones. Pattaya stands for erotic fun. ANYTHING you want is here and can be found.
The history of Pattaya is interesting. Until the mid 20th century it was a sleepy fishing village. In the time of the Vietnam War, the Americans built a large air force base close to the town and imported troops by the thousand. Towards the end of the war, they started using Pattaya as an area to send the combatants for R&R. The town started to grow. Of course the veterans wanted one thing to compliment the sun and sea – they wanted sex. The local girls were happy to provide this and so Walking Street started to grow up. By the mid 80s it was a shanty town of wooden huts and loose women. At about the same time, but far more discrete, Boyztown had started to develop and the gay market had established itself.
Through the 1990s the straight prostitute market exploded. Cheapening air travel, better accommodation, more available tourist money and general economic prosperity lead to Walking Street becoming what it is today. Sunee Plaza, Pattaya’s second gay area started in the late 1980s and by the mid 90s was firmly established. Sunee is still largely un-troubled by non-gay tourists.
However Boyztown is frequented by coach loads of them. You will frequently see two or three coach parties per night, usually Japanese, mixed sexes and hetero, walking through Boyztown, being guided through. One can imagine the party looking at the gay “exhibits”. They peer in through the open door on the occasional club and wonder at the boys they see.
And that’s what most gay tourists come for. Pattaya itself has a huge market based around this sex industry, and the gay market congregates around two areas. One is Boyztown. Glitsy, glamorous and top-priced, it features gogo bars, host bars and cabaret shows.
Ten minutes away and just down Soi VC, by the VC hotel is Sunee Plaza, smaller, with less sparkle, it has an air of fun, frivolity, spontaneity and eroticism that its big brother often fails to deliver.
Technically this is one short street, although most people lump in the adjacent Pattayaland Soi 1 and 2 to make a large area. It’s older and more established than Sunee Plaza. Here one can find the Cabaret shows such as at the Copa Showbar or at Boyz Boyz Boyz. Copa includes an
amazing “underwater” show and has two later dance shows. The boys in the dance troupe will excite you. Boyz Boyz Boyz has a slightly less well choreographed show, but is still fun and worth going to.
There are also many other Gogo bars, try Star Boys in Pattayaland soi 1 or Cupidol in the same soi. Star boys is a favourite for many a local with its wide range of boy. Cupidol has a nice line up and the boys wear really nice underwear. You might consider the beer bars with their attractive hosts; I’d recommend Panorama in Boyztown which occupies a prime position at the head of the street or Oscars almost next door, owned by David, a large Brit with a personality to match. Then there are restaurants such as the Café Royale with an extensive menu and daily specials and the Ambiance Hotel actually in Boyztown.
Here is an area which advertises itself as the “heart of the extreme city”. It has a feeling of being the smaller brother to Boyztown, but in fact there are more bars and more facilities here. It is also cheaper than its older sibling. I’d recommend Krazy Dragon – the original table top gogo bar in Pattaya. The boys come round and squat down on your table with their over-size baggy shorts and no underwear! A smaller gogo bar well worth a visit is Euroboys where the boys wear the sexiest white satin underwear with lace up sides.
Beer bars abound and each has its own character and charm. Oud’s café bar is fronted by the outrageous and screamingly funny Oud – it’s worth a visit just to meet him. Memories Music bar will play music all night in many styles and this is their theme. You can stop for a drink on the corner of the terrace at Don Plaza’s Terrace bar and watch the world go by. Just round the corner is Duc’s coffee shop with its collection of books and International movies. The Corner Bar serves double shots for the price of one and has the best location in the Soi. Its pool table is often in demand by the local Thai lads. Mike’s Bar La Cage (just outside Sunee Plaza in Soi VC) has regular party nights and offers a Happy hour. The guv’nor – Mike – will do his best to look after you.
For food, one is spoiled for choice. Next door to La Cage is Mike’s All New White Night. This restaurant provides everything from breakfast to a set menu evening meal. The Balkan Express features Barbecue food from Croatia, and very tasty it is too! They have started a Thai menu and the host boys are very attentive. Oud’s bar and Memories (already mentioned) also have snack menus – Memories being open from 2 pm. And of course there are an abundance of Thai food cafes around.
All the attractions of Sunee Plaza can be found online. This site has a good diary and is kept completely up to date so you can see exactly what is happening in the area.
After the go go bars close (at 1 am), there are still the beer bars to visit. If you want to party on, then there are a number of late night discos to try. These are chaotic affairs, filled with Thai boys, who have just finished work in the beer and gogo bars. They are for the most part not near the two main areas, but can be found by talking to any local bar owner or bar boy. If you take a boy for company, he will show you his favourite. I’d recommend Body Language or XZYTE, but there are another half a dozen to try.
Where to stay
Pattaya has more than its fair share of hotels. A number are worth
mentioning here. For people who would prefer to stay close to Boyztown, there
is the Ambiance, right in the heart of the action. Some people would say it’s
too close. Sunee visitors have a larger range to choose from. Two guys
Guesthouse is extremely comfortable and would suit any traveler on a budget,
with rooms from £11 per night. John, the owner, is a particularly friendly
host. At the other end of the scale there is the Don Plaza Hotel, offering
suites and a 4 star comfort level. There plenty of Pattaya hotels around the city that will
fall into different price brackets so that you don’t have to worry about
spending too much money.
Originally providing a very cheap holiday, Pattaya is no longer the cheapest place in Asia. However compared to Europe it is still a bargain. Drinks Vary from £3 for a beer in a Boyztown showbar (there is no charge for the show), to under £1 in Sunee. You can get a good breakfast for £2 and a quality evening meal for under £5. The costs of entertaining a boy are very much cheaper than in Europe and if the thought of Asian boys fulfilling your every fantasy appeals to you, this is the place to visit.
Daytime attractionsThe main scene for tourists in the day is the gay beach at Jomtien – just 10 minutes away by baht bus. 10 baht gets you there, merely hail a bus going in the right direction and hop on. When you get to the beach at Jomtien, turn right down beach road. Pass the toilets and look for the concession numbers. The gay section includes concessions 20 to 25. Each has their own brightly coloured deck chairs in their signature colour. Each also has beach umbrellas to shade you. The concessions charge 30 Baht for a chair for the day, and for a small fee will provide food and drink all day for you. While you are there, a bewildering array of vendors will walk past you.
You can buy anything you need (and many things you don’t need from them). The range starts with fresh fruit, peeled and packed on Styrofoam trays, doughnuts, fried fish, and ends with bed spreads, carved elephant heads and hand made cards. Of course there is everything in between.
Also look out for the stream of manicure ladies and massage boys, any of whom will perform their services for seemingly ridiculous rates. A good leg massage for 30 minutes (which should bring a smile to your face) will cost a mere £2.50.
Outside the beach, there are many other attractions. Places to see include Wong Amat, an enormous ornate wood building just North of Pattaya, Big Buddha Hill (there is a clue in the name here), and Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens. You might also like to think about a trip to the elephant village or maybe a day out to Bang Seray, a truly sleepy fishing post about 30 minutes south. If you arrive lunchtime, you can have a nice seafood lunch, and stroll along the fishing pier about 3.30, just as the boat boys are waking up and showering on deck.
One word of caution
Prostitution is technically illegal in Thailand, although the entire city depends on this market. There will be no problems as long as the boy you take home with you is over 18. It is as well to check their ID. Taking boys from recommended host bars or gogo bars is far safer than picking a boy up from the street. A little caution and you will have the holiday of a lifetime.If you’ve never been to Pattaya – check it out! For the gay man, there is everything you could want here.
All set in a tropical setting. If I were designing paradise, I would look little further than Pattaya!