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Pattaya, Thailand: A nightlife guide

By Manasee Joshi 3 September 2020

Header image courtesy of Pattaya Nightlife (via Facebook)

As a popular saying goes, “Good boys go to heaven, bad boys go to Pattaya,” which is true to an extent that even the soberest experience seekers go all googly-eyed once they see the glitz and glamour of this city. It’s hard to find anywhere else in the world that offers quite as much as Pattaya. Once the sun goes down in this part of the town, Pattaya wakes up to a whole new meaning of bustle under the lively nightlife, enthusiastic crowd, and all-night open pubs and go-go bars that bring a certain kind of madness to the air. The blinding neon lights and the shimmering signboards will leave even the most frequent travellers spellbound.

With a vast array of entertainment options, night markets, and restaurants catering to all tastes, planning a short adventure trip to this fantasyland could get overwhelming, for Pattaya has got the lot—whether it’s relaxing on sandy beaches, swimming in the sea, or sampling its legendary nightlife. But this handy guide has everything that will help you get the best of Pattaya nightlife.

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Liven the nights up with go-go bars

Walking Street is easily one of the most visited party hotspots in whole of Thailand, stretching from Beach Road until the very end of Bali Hai Plaza. It boasts a full kilometre of nightlife and entertainment options. The remarkable thing about Walking Street is that there is so much to see and do, given its sheer volume and variety, that even if you choose to spend every night of the whole week here, chances are you will not fall short of places to visit.

Go-go bars are synonymous with Pattaya’s nightlife and are the first things to catch your attention when strolling along Walking Street. The flashing lights, dreamy ambience, ear-splittingly loud music, and stage performers in minimalist attire performing all kinds of tricks will make your jaw drop—things here can get pretty wild pretty fast.

While most of these bars are known to be seedy and sleazy, there are some fancier ones, exuding class with skilled dancers and energetic performances. What’s Up A-Go-Go is one of the latter. If you have never been to a go-go bar before and are sceptical about exploring one, What’s Up A-Go-Go offers the perfect setting for the first-timers. The staff is welcoming and ensure that you are at your comfortable best, the seating areas are spacious and spread out, and the bar hosts multiple stage shows, from jaw-droppingly good acrobats to extravagant cabaret shows, making sure that everyone in the house gets the best view.

Baccara Go-Go Bar is by far one of the most visited go-go bars in Pattaya. The highlight of this bar is undoubtedly the two massively spread-out storeys, constantly brimming with clientele and bartenders as the evening progresses, and a huge outdoor patio bedecked with plush couches offering stunning views of the street. For a truly electrifying experience, get down to the gleaming dance floor throwing dazzling reflections of neon lights and metallic disco balls and playing a range of music, from soft romantic to hard rock.

Dine in the dark at these late-night restaurants

Walking Street also has plenty of delectable cuisines on offer. If you are looking for a late-night snack or want to indulge in some mouth-watering seafood while enjoying the gorgeous night views of Pattaya Bay, then make your way to King Seafood. This restaurant is known for offering the freshest seafood, invitingly displayed in massive water tanks, and stunning beach views from their oceanside outdoor area. There is nothing more musical than watching the sunset while sipping on a glass of crisp chilled champagne and listening to the waves kissing the shore. And if you are a seafood fanatic, then the sky is the limit.

Love Thai food and barbecues? Combine the two and you get the best of both worlds. At Keang Mookata Buffet, you can munch on all-you-can-eat buffet offering a huge variety of hot pot grilled meat, including marinated pork or beef, barbecued prawns, and crabs, and enjoy a genuine Thai food experience at unbelievable prices. The restaurant is almost always bustling with life and frequented by a lot of tourists and locals for its extensive bar menu and seafood variety.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the guide 👇

By Chinny Daez 26 August 2020

The Moonlight Fine Dining Experience, located near Jomtien Beach off Thappraya Road, is Pattaya’s best-kept secret. Whether you’re looking to surprise someone with a private romantic dinner with best-in-class wine and ambience or wish to spoil that special someone with a romantic candlelight dinner, Moonlight will surely put romance at the heart of your dining experience.

They’re dedicated to getting every detail right—from concocting pretty-looking dishes using the freshest produce and designating an enthusiastic staff member to be at your service, to spicing up your evening with sparkling wines, finest cutleries, and plush drapes, Moonlight ensures that your fine dining experience runs like a fine clock-work with an always-available service to look after your loved one’s every need and comfort.

If you want to try the finest Thai food, you need to eat where the locals go. The Glass House—which is generally considered to be one of the best restaurants in Pattaya, remains consistently busy night after night and its popularity among the local communities proves that it is as genuinely Thai as you are likely to find. Located just across the Jomtien Beach, the restaurant features a patio-style main dining area offering splendid views of the sunset further complemented by the mesmerising crashing of the beach waves.

There is also a glass-covered indoor seating area with uber-comfy sofas and lounge chairs. All of this, coupled with an impressive range of wines, cocktails, and delectable options in seafood and Thai cuisine, makes this restaurant much sought-after for late-night dinners.

Bars that jazz things up

When it comes to jazzy bars offering a plethora of drinks for the cocktail connoisseur, views that let you soak up the exquisite views of Pattaya, and upbeat acoustics that brighten up even the dullest nights, the pulsating Pattaya has plenty of options to choose from. From organised chaos of the Walking Street, a cacophony of the colourful beach road, to laid-back beachside shacks, you will always find a bar that suits your style and mood.

Make way for one of the chicest and most elegant bars in Thailand—Horizon Rooftop Bar at Hilton is the very personification of sheer elegance and luxury. Endowed with an expansive dining area, an open kitchen, and an open-air rooftop bar that captivates every guest with a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the gorgeous Pattaya city and the Gulf of Thailand, you will experience the next level of style and exclusivity at the Horizon Rooftop Bar as you relish the signature cocktails while admiring the magnificent views and music.

Experiencing Pattaya’s glamorous nightlife can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out major sporting tournaments around the world. You’ve bought the cap and the merchandise, and now you want to experience the game first-hand on TV. At Legends Pool and Sports Bar, you will be able to get the most out of your spectator experience with an equally zealous crowd, constant flow of beers, and an ambience that wouldn’t hold you back from cheering for your favourite team.

Enjoy fantastic prices on drinks, exciting deals on food and bar menu, and the best selection of the UK and US pool tables that have plenty of room to polish your snooker skills. There’s nothing quite like chilling in front of a larger-than-life plasma screen TV, keep the drinks flowing from a well-stocked bar, and toasting to every goal Chelsea makes—all of this while you are holidaying on the beaches of Pattaya.

One of the make or break for live music venues is not the deals they offer on food and beverage, or how nice has the place been decked up for the event. It is the kind of musicians the bar attracts that serves as a crunch point. Hot Tuna Bar at the heart of Walking Street has everything going for it. Surprisingly, it is also one of the very few chilled-out places to be amidst the frenzy of Walking Street.

From classic rock to chart-toppers, the bands here know their audience well and the staff knows how to keep the customers hooked on. With plenty of open-air seating and a wide selection of reasonably-priced drinks, Hot Tuna Bar guarantees to offer you a generous slice of Pattaya’s uninhibited nightlife.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the guide 👇

By John McMahon 15 November 2019

Electrifying cabaret shows 

When we think of cabaret shows, the first thing that comes to our mind is Baz Lurhmann’s iconic film Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman sensually gliding her way down from the ceiling on a shimmering trapeze, singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in a sultry, husky voice. Pattaya’s exotic selection of cabaret shows is a great way to relive those memories. Each a sensational extravaganza of the avant-garde—Pattaya’s cabaret shows provide one-of-a-kind entertainment with something for everybody.

If you are a looking for a night to remember, do not miss the grand spectacle of Alcazar Cabaret Show performed by kathoeys—or ladyboys. Thailand’s ladyboys carry with them a unique history that makes them an interesting read. Although their exact origin is still unclear, a plausible explanation is when Thailand became a tourism hotspot during the Vietnam War with constant inbound and outbound of US soldiers who were in pursuit of pleasure, the concept of ladyboys gained popularity. Today, they are actually considered as an integral part of Thai culture and continues to thrive because of immersive entertainment forms like cabaret shows.

The Alcazar live cabaret show promises to astonish and amaze guests of all ages. They take the audience on a chimerical voyage complete with a professional team of dancers, singers, and stunt performers. Each show is a grand display of ritualised dance forms involving girls performing the splits in glamorous costumes, tapping their feet to high-energy raucous songs, and some even giving striking martial arts demonstrations. Ideal for a whole host of occasions, an Alcazar cabaret show is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Tiffany’s Show, Alcazar’s big-budget cousin, features similar dancing and music styles from around the world but takes it a notch higher with revolutionary state-of-art stage designs. Rapid scene changes are carried out in a blink of an eye, and performances exhibit costumes from a world of glitter, sequins, rhinestones, and feathers on a much bigger scale. Their performers, also ladyboys, are considered the crème de la crème of cabaret shows in Thailand who perform their acts like a very well-oiled machine, without faltering even once.

As the final curtain comes down on both these shows, spectators are entranced by a whole lot of technical wizardry, spectacular scene changes, and intricate light and shadow effects that enhance the whole viewing experience. You may well leave Pattaya with more than you had bargained for.

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Manasee Joshi

Contributor

Manasee is a Hong Kong-based freelance writer by profession and lover of fascinating cultures, lip-smacking cuisines, and a vibrant social life. Having worked as a travel guide all across APAC, Manasee has dug deep into historical fun facts, architectural styles, and the best places to eat and drink in the places she visited. As a travel writer, Manasee aspires to inspire readers to follow in her footsteps. After a long day of work, you can find her binge-watching Netflix shows with a glass of crisp wine.

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